Saturday, May 29, 2010

week end updates

I know I caught everyone off guard when I posted "R.I.P. Jeffrey" but that's exactly how caught off guard I was when I received the sympathy card! I got on the phone and called the hospital. The question for me was- "Okay, who do you actually call regarding a situation that just happened?" I called and explained my situation and told them I just wanted to check and see what was in the medical record for this incident and they passed me through to medical records. The nice lady who I spoke with was probably flabergasted as I told my tale; She put the phone down after telling me the information because "She has never had to deal with a situation like this" and had to speak with her supervisor on how to handle it. When she came back on the phone, she apologized for the delay and explained just that. She also stated that she was referring this situation to their PR department and asked if she had the correct number for a return call and that someone will be in touch.

About an hour later, I received the phone call from the head of the PR department. She stated that she would like to know exactly what I received and I read her the envelope and the card. She apologized in great detail and explained that she will be finding out how this happened and that she would call me back. I explained to her that I was 30 weeks pregnant, my husband was the only bread winner in the family, what if this actually goes through the proper channels and asked what happens if the paperwork was done to complete their end of the paperwork and would it effect his driver's license, insurance, workers comp, bank accounts, Etc. She then saw my concerns more seriously and promptly returned my call about 2 hours afterwards with the news that it was just a human error and that the card was sent to the wrong family and that the person who sent the card felt horrible for doing it. I told her that I was ecstatic that it was only an error and not actually in the computer or the paperwork, also let her know to tell the lady who sent the card that I completely understand, and I understand that it could have been "just a bad day" for her and that everything was okay. Fireman was so happy to hear that He was not "deceased" and actually shown in the paperwork as being alive. So was I!

I have another update for the Easy Child Program. I think that the kids did not think I was very serious when I told them that they had to earn so many points to go spend the night with someone, or even that they needed the same points for someone to sleep over at the house. They found out how serious I was when I told them that they were not doing the sleepovers that they were invited to for that reason. We went over the points system, adjusted it accordingly and we are restarting it again to see how it goes again. I think they thought they could play the "but mom if you let me go it will give you a break" card to get me to let them go. Let's see how serious they take my words this week.

This week we really put some efforts into getting some things cleaned up in the house and garage. I started sorting the boy's room, and worked on the girls room. The girls room is very close to being acceptable now except to start going through all of the clothes in the closet and thinning out for summer clothes, while I still need to go in and sort through the boys room more and tackle getting his winter clothes put away for a couple of months. We tore into the garage with a vengeance, really making headway to getting it organized. We moved some storage items out to the barn for more organization while giving us more room in the garage for an actual car. We still have a ton of toys to sort through and organize, but got a good start on getting that done too. We also had thrown together some items for a yard sale, though I think maybe we had prices too high. If we do the yard sale tomorrow I will definitely be marking down the prices just to make sure it all goes somewhere else! I really wish I would have taken photos before and after today. It really opened up the garage for more space for the van.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

R.I.P. Jeffrey D. Mann

Only me....

Only my family.

Only in 2010.

Jeffrey Mann was a wonderful husband and father for his family.
Born July 1963 in Akron, Ohio, he was the brother of one sister and three other brothers.
He lived life to the fullest, played many sports from childhood until after three of his children were born.
He holds 8 300 rings and 1 800 ring for bowling. 
Jeff was also a member for 7 years of the local community fire department and was a firefighter EMT.
He will be dearly missed and remembered lovingly by his wife, Tina Mann and his 4 children, Steven, Katelyn, Brianna, and Gracie Mann. 

There will be no calling hours; and a date for interment will be scheduled after he actually passes.

No Honestly.

I am amazed.

I am not sure how to respond to this. 

Okay, I think I have some explaining to do.

On Monday, I received a phone call from frantic fireman.  He smelled antifreeze of the big truck he was driving, so when he got back to the yard, he turned the truck off.  Since I wasn't there, I don't know all the details.  All I know is that at approximately 9:38 AM Monday May 24, 2010 I received this phone call from the frantic Fireman stating he was on his way to the hospital because the cap off the radiator of the truck he was driving exploded when he was checking if the cap was on right or tight. 

Anyways, 4 hours later he was released from the hospital and we had to go back to the other doctor the next morning in order to get him cleared for work.  After being cleared for work and he actually returned to work on Wednesday, Today I received some really weird post that came in the mail. 

Upon looking at this said piece of mail; I notice that it was from the same hospital that treated Fireman on Monday.  It was addressed "The Family of Jeffrey D. Mann" with the address on the front. I opened the mail, and found a sympathy card.  The only thing I can think of is that someone at the hospital thinks my Fireman is deceased?

I have attempted to call and get a hold of the person who sent this out and signed the card; however she went off duty at 2:30 and I was told to get a hold of her tomorrow.

Fireman came home, I showed him the card, I put my ear to his chest to make sure he still has a heart beat.  He is still breathing and currently he is out on the tractor mowing the front yard.  I keep asking myself if this is just a dream or if he is actually a ghost that still goes to work, still does duties around the house, or IS IT JUST A DREAM????

My next question is how has this occurred?  Does this mean there is a death certificate? I need to find out! 

Only me and my family - only in 2010 right?  This will soon calm down and life will get back to normal right?
Here I am- 30 weeks pregnant (as of tomorrow) and now something else so upsetting.  I guess the funny part is he is now weed whacking the front yard.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Week One starting the Easy Child Program....

Today officially starts the program I set out to set up.  The charts have been created; as well as a chart to rotate certain jobs in the house that there seems to be a knock down drag out yelling screaming fight over.  The kids and I went over the charts, explained how they would work, and started using them immediately.  Bad start, 1 child ended up with only 3 points, while one ended up with -6 points and the other -18 points.  I certainly hope that it does not discourage them, but rather see what they are doing and to change what it is they are doing to be dinged on the points.  Instead of just checking things off, we walk through the chart every so often to see what accomplishments have been achieved; and when they do some behavior we are trying to change we bring them to the chart, ask them what they did and have "them" tell us what category it would fall under and why, if we agree, they check off that item.  I think it is actually an eye opener for the youngest; as she actually was able to tell me what she needed to do to change things and what she did wrong.

It also seems to be helping because I am not as agitated with what has been happening in the household; and there are less fights.  It seems they are getting along better between siblings.

This is only the first day so we will see what happens when the "honeymoon" phase is over.  I am sure we will find something I need to tweek with the program, but I hope it's going to give them the opportunity to learn more about themselves as well as how much easier it is to get along with the whole family.

I will try to get an update posted next Saturday!  :O)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Drudging along..

I really want to just ignore it. SERIOUSLY! Ignorance is bliss! I have been walking around the house doing pretty much everything I can do... except for that ONE job that I really need to get done tonight so I can move on to my next project tomorrow... FILING!

I have it all behind me, all sitting in a nice pile of who knows how many trees that gave their lives to actually put this paper here in my house.

How dare they?

So.. I am looking around... Honestly! I have dishes to clean up, just waiting for the kids to finish so that I can get that done.

Is that just another procrastination?

"I'll get to it after dinner"

"I'll work on that tomorrow."

Enough already. I will feel better about tackling the mess of the office.. that god forsaken pile of this very thin wood. TONIGHT.


Well, is it enough to just say it? I know I will feel better once it's done and conquered. I just need to do it!

Yes, I keep telling myself this thinking it will sink in. Does it? Or does it keep driving me to find another mess to tackle?

Seriously... Dishes, then papers... At least I will have the two hour season finale of Grey's to work on my mound of documents. I have already filled 3/4 of a 30 gallon trash bag! My shredder is calling my name...

SHHHHH. Can you hear it?


I am so embarrassed! And don't ask where the photo is! I am NOT sharing!

Imogene, "Boo's Inner Brat"

A new program for the kids...

I dug up some of my old software while decluttering the cd's for the computer.  I'll admit I downloaded it into the computer, but never took the time to understand it or use it.  I got it out on Saturday, started going through  the instruction manual and thought, "This can be do-able!".  I re-downloaded onto my computer (since it was many moons ago and has not been used since!  Plus all the times I have had to re-do the computers) and started on my journey.  I played with it some yesterday, thought about how I can make some adjustments to the program and voila!  I think I have the answer! 

The program - Easy Child Encouragement program!  you can find out more on their website at .  I ended up sitting down tonight, writing down expected behaviors (things they SHOULD be doing and CAPABLE of doing, like chores), Extra behaviors (chores that will be flipped around and no one child should be expected to do them every day), and other behaviors (things they SHOULD NOT be doing at all).  The kids can earn points for expected behaviors and extra behaviors, but they lose LOTS of points for each bad or "other" behavior listed.  I went through and deleted out the behaviors already in place for the kids and put mine in.  I have not set up a points system yet, as I need to really think about that part and I need to sit down with each child and come up with what the points will earn, and it can change each week.  I especially liked the fact that once I had the behaviors entered for one child, I could apply them to each list in creation mode, making it easier to get going. 

While talking to my friend Marian about what I was doing and going with the program, she started to go to the website and check it out also and I think she was actually joking when she asked "can I make one for my Husband too?" and it just dawned on me that YES!!! you can make one for yourself and your husband too!  So I created charts for both of us, and tomorrow after Fireman gets home we will sit down with the kids and go over what we need to do and change to make things easier here in the house. 

Also, like mentioned before, we will have rotating chores that not one child will be responsible for each day, sooooo- The solution??? We are going to create a "white board" that I can hang on the back of the kitchen door that we can actually rotate each chore each day of the week.  I have three different "sets" of chores that we will list, then can alternate the days/people in charge of that task for that day.  I thought about "what if someone does not want to do that chore for that day?" and my answer to that is once we have the names down for the chores, I will take a picture of the chart and I will make sure that if there is a question regarding whose day it is I can refer back to the picture.  ( My kids are sneaky and would probably erase their name and put another in it's place!)

As soon as we get all the details worked out and on paper I will share more about the program and how it is working. Meanwhile, please check out the website and see what you think of the program... I would love to hear your comments!

If you are worried that it may not work for you.. there is a 60 day money back guarantee.. plus if you order now they have a sale going!  I by no means get any kickbacks from this company by endorsing this product- I just want others to know about the program so it may help other families also

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Slowly coming along!

I feel like my house is at the complete and utter choas right now as we are decluttering and moving things around the house making room in time for Gracie's appearance into this world. What I "normally" could do I see being put off until Fireman can help, or if I can manipulate the kids into doing for me. It's a difficult task, and yes I feel like I am not in control of things that normally I do when no one is around! My flower beds are completely a mess and it's not like they can't be done by others, but I am the one in the house that knows what I planted and where; what is technically a wanted plant and what is a weed! This is just a small concern though.

Last weekend we found these really cool "pantry" type furniture that we decided to move the girls into and we are putting the large dresser into the garage and store it until we get all the items together for a yard sale. Between moving that out and actually cleaning out 95% of the girls toys, the room is starting to come together.

Here is Katie's "Dresser", along with Gracie's temporary "dresser" (at least until her clothes are bigger). Gracie's "dresser" actually houses things she will use as a newborn up until 6 months. 

I organized under the crib; all the older sized clothes are boxed according to size, the baby swing I got in a yard sale for $8.00 (yes, $8.00!!), the bigger Boppy pillow from a yard sale for 3.00, and the packed diaper bag are all stored under the bed.

Here are photos from the wall hangings I got to go over the crib.
I am hoping that Fireman can put them up this week, if not this weekend for me. We still do not have the mattress here, but after the kids get out of school I will be picking it up.  I can't wait to get the mattress in the crib to put the bedding in it.  It will look adorable!

I love the DREAM aspect, as I think it even fits for the older girls and I hope that they dream about what they want to do with their futures as well.

 To help the girls to organize their room, I purchased an over-the-door shoe organizer.  I still need to find shoes out in the mess in the garage (the toys pulled from the room!) and have them sort through what they can still wear and to get rid of what they can't wear.  It is a much better system than what they had before as it was a box under the bed and they could never keep their shoes together.  It was such a disaster going anywhere because they were always hunting down shoes.

The Crib and storage under the crib... Need I say more?

The next big project (It's been scheduled into my calendar!) is to totally clear out the outrageous mess in the closet and get it all straightened out.   I am planning on having this reduced down to 7 pants, long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts.  I have the top of the closet to deal with too, and if I can at least get the clothes out of the closet and into the living room before the girls get home Friday afternoon this will be Friday evening's  project!

Even though it does not seem like I have done a lot of work, it has been.  Poor Fireman, I have utilized him much more than I thought I would, seeing as how I am under a weight lift restriction from the Doc.  He seems to enjoy it, and he is even giving good thought as to what needs done to get the projects done more efficiently.  He is definitely getting excited, and he is also counting down all of the days until our new baby is here.  I don't think I have ever seen a man so excited to welcome his children into the world and he works so hard to raise his family and to do what he feels he needs to do to keep the family going.  I am so thankful that I have him as my Hubby!
I have spent way too much time writing this, now it's time to start boogieing on my projects that need to be completed today.  Slow and steady, I will get things accomplished, and with the help from my family it will be wonderful!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A little bit of House Cleaning...

Yes, we have done some moving and shaking of things on this site!  We have changed the blog look, and I am still working on updating the sidebars, so pleeeeeze excuse our dust! 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What does our new daughter's name mean?

The girl's name Gracie \g-ra-cie\ is a variant of Grace (Latin), and the meaning of Gracie is "favor; blessing".

The girl's name Lynne \l(yn)-ne\ is a variant of Linda (Spanish) and Lynn (English), and the meaning of Lynne is "pretty".

When we chose this name we chose it after seeing Gracie via ultrasound and how she acted during the session. We actually had chose a boys name thinking it was a boy - considering all of the cravings I was having were those like when I was carrying my son. I actually found these definitions for the names under a baby site; and the night before I found them I was skeptical of the names; seeing as how these names will follow my daughter for the rest of her life! My husband was the one who brought the name of Gracie up first; then jokingly stated it would be awesome to use the infamous line "Goodnight Gracie" when putting her to bed. We thought long and hard regarding the middle name; other considerations were Anne (Jeff's mothers name was Mary Ann), Mae (my sister's middle name) and I can't remember the other. We originally chose Lynne because of how it sounds with Gracie and also after choosing it found that it was one of my friends middle name. After reading the definition found for Lynne though I thought it was perfect as my Mother's name is Linda and Lynne is listed as the variant of Linda.

I certainly hope that while passing the variant of my mom's name on to Gracie that it will have some sort of positive effect for her as while it's not Linda, it's still fitting for our little girl and my Mom has many good qualities I would love for my daughter to share with her.

So now we have the meaning behind Gracie Lynne - "A pretty blessing"

Friday, May 14, 2010

There Comes a time

My undertaking was slow in search of the past.
With only a two names I feared it wouldn't last.
One day out of the blue all the facts fell into place.
Dates matched names, now it was easy to trace.

Pieces fell into place, I was making great stride,
Great aunts and uncles even siblings coincide.
I had page after page without even one error.
My lineage was accurate,I recorded it with care.

When it was finished my heart sunk with despair.
I was hoping for leaders and heroes, I really did care.
Great grandpa was an outlaw, his father was insane.
All had black pasts that disgraced the family name.

The tree full of skeletons of highwayman and crooks.
Their faces on wanted posters instead of in books.
Rather than recording my history in the old family Bible,
I broke out my chain saw so not to be libel.

Author Unknown...

To see more poems about ancestry please visit:

Monday, May 10, 2010

How do you help a child with Special Needs?

I really hate this time of year... It's IEP season. For those who do not know what this is an IEP is what is known as an Individual Education Plan. This is a step taken when the schools perform a Multi Factor Evaluation on/for a child to find out if there are any educational delays.

Many of my readers know that I have a child on the Asperger Syndrome range. It's basically a high functioning autism, though until the new diagnostic book comes out (from what I have read anyways) Asperger is kind of on a range of it's own and right now not like a child that is located on the Autism Spectrum. There are many types of Autism, and not one child is alike on this spectrum.

My son is in 7th grade; soon to be moving to 8th. The IEP team has met at the school to come up with his new IEP for the 8th grade year. I always get all torn up when it gets to this time in the year because yes you want your son to excel; yes you want to see him be able to do the work and yes you want to see good grades... but exactly how much help do you try to get him?

My problem is that I am a hover parent with my son. I know of his problems he deals with and I have tried to help him with these problems. I now look back and wonder how much of the help he has received- both here at home and school- has hindered his abilities. I am trying to not implement so much that he expects the help all the time and that he does not rely on that help. He needs to learn how to do things on his own. So how and when do you draw the line? How do you help loosen the apron strings so that he is learning responsibility and also supporting his needs? I really think there is a fine line here.

My son is scheduled to graduate in 5 years... I am afraid that if I don't start implementing now that he is responsible for what he needs, how he deals with people, try to work on executive functioning skills, and his social interactions how will he EVER learn? It's a fine line, and it's a line that needs to be gently walked. This is not something I take lightly because it's my son's life and I want him to grow up and I want the best life that he can possibly have.

Friday, May 7, 2010


This is the USA at it's Best!?!?!?

This morning I went to sign my dogs up for welfare.
At first the lady said, "Dogs are not eligible to draw welfare".
So I explained to her that my dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy,
can't speak English and have no clue who their daddy's are.
They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care
and feel guilty because they are dogs.

So she looked in her policy book to see what it takes to qualify.
My dogs get their first check Friday.

Dang this is a great country.

~~ This was an email I copied ~~ Thought it was a good laugh!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Amazing things...

Amazing things I am finding.. somethings I hope will change, others I hope they don't!

So far, I have found that Gracie loves to wake up when I fall asleep, or even lay down to try to. I have found that she has times for awake and times to sleep. I also found that she likes to be rocked, as I sat there in the rocking chair rocking back and forth and actually feeling her move back and forth in my stomach. I also find that if I stop before she wants me to that she wakes up and kicks me. She likes laying low in my stomach and when she stretches she loves to push on both hips as she does. Sometimes I think she is stronger than the other three were, but could that be because there were so many years since I have been pregnant that I may have forgot how the others were?

We are rather prepped for a new baby in the house (more prepared than I thought we would be at this point!!) At 26 weeks I am grateful for all of the help gathering things we need to get for the baby's upcoming arrival. With all of the great finds I have found with clothing I think we are close enough to being prepared for the "big day". I think really the only thing I need to find (big wise) is a swing, as to me a swing is really important, seeing as how she loves for me to rock in the rocking chair already!

The excitement is building the closer we get to her birth. Yesterday when I was teaching the kids how to hang up clothing on the line, Steven commented about how he is excited about his sister's arrival and how he cant wait to see her in the clothes we were washing and hanging to dry.

My favorite part of the day is to get a chance to sit back and watch my stomach moving all over the place.