Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cutest Valentine EVER!

This arrived in the mail today and isn't it the cutest valentine card ever? Camden was SO proud of his creation!
How funny is that? It TOTALLY fits his personality too!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Follow Up and Realization!

Well, after so much excitement yesterday, i had an epiphany! I know that the Lord works in me every day. I know even when i'm not listening, He is still there watching over me and guiding me. Well, i realized late last night, while dwelling on the fact that every. inch. of. my. house. had been seen yesterday by the law enforcement officers that entered it, that i am SO glad that i listened to that little bug in my ear over Christmas break.
Jeff and i moved into the house we're in almost 4 years ago. We had never owned a home with a basement before that time. We bought this home in order to have a place to expand our home business and work. Two years ago we moved the "workroom" from one space in the basement to another. And for the almost 4 years we've been living here, i have been quite the "collector" and have not been good at getting rid of things. Now - don't freak out - my house is NOT like any of that weird stuff you see on Hoarders. THAT freaks me out. But, i will admit, that up until Christmas, my basement was disorganized, cluttered, and had too much stuff in it. Outgrown clothes, boxed up and piled in one room. Holiday decorations - two different rooms. Business stuff - - not even organized - in three different rooms. Kids toys --- ALL OVER THE PLACE. Well, Christmas break changed all that. I honestly, couldn't stand going to the basement, so we worked tirelessly and cleaned out the whole thing. Every bit of holiday decor is organized and boxed and labeled in a room. The toy room is cleaned out and organized (or at least it was over Christmas break), workroom stuff is now much more "central" and not spread between old and new workrooms. One room is a large pile of garage sale stuff. One room is for all the lawn and garden stuff we have.Two car-fulls went to goodwill. One truckload went to the dump. (Yes, I might add - that sounds like a lot of rooms - our basement is as large as the upper part of our home.)
SO, here's my epiphany!!!! WHAT WOULD I HAVE DONE YESTERDAY IF THAT BASEMENT HADN'T BEEN CLEANED OUT OVER CHRISTMAS???? WHAT IF I HADN'T OF LISTENED TO THAT LITTLE VOICE IN MY HEAD TELLING ME TO JUST TACKLE THE PROBLEM AND THEN IT WON'T BE A PROBLEM ANYMORE!!!??? Well, here's what i think. You know, the Lord is the only being that knows exactly how your life is going to play out. . . even before things happen. And you might think it's petty that i bring the Lord into this, but he MUST have been watching out for me. He MUST have known that those officers were going to enter my house. If that basement hadn't of been cleaned out, i swear i would have had Jeff drop me on the side of the road - with the children - and leave me there! If i was worried about the piles of clean laundry not being folded in my bedroom, i can't imagine my worries about that basement had it not been cleaned out. I know, i know - we're talking safety of my family, cops making sure no one has broken into our home, and here i am worried about the what-if's of clutter . . . serious, not something to worry about. But when you realize that someone who doesn't have unconditional love for you, has just seen every. inch. of. your. home. . . . those things do pop into mind - at least my crazy little mind.

Now that i got that out on the table - let me give you something to laugh about. Our church is on the corner of a somewhat busy road. Therefore, every Sunday morning, there is a police officer stationed at the corner to help with traffic flow. Every now and then when adults and/or older children in my house see a police officer, we refer to them as the "popo!" I'm sure i'm not the only one in the world that does this. For example, when the kids are being super poorly behaved in the car, i have passed a police officer before and used that little leverage to help me. . . "Kids, do you see the 'Popo' over there? If he sees you behaving like this, he's likely to arrest all of us!" I joke a LOT in our house, and when we see cops, i will often say, "Be good, there's the POPO!" I really mean no disrespect, it's just a term of endearment in our home, but when i think about it, i realize the police themselves probably wouldn't be so 'endeared' to it! Well, today as we left church, not a soul had mentioned anything about the police officer, nor the laymen directing traffic. But lo and behold, the precious, barely 3 year old in my car says, with as much gusto as one can imagine, "HEY!!! SEE THE POPO OVER THERE???" And then just roars laughing because he knows he is funny! I'm sure it's a had-to-be-there-moment, but if you know our C, you know how animated he can be. Now, it's time for me to realize, that every word that escapes my mouth WILL BE repeated, and typically, in context! Better mind my P's and Q's from here forward! The POPO are watching!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Put 'Em Up!!!!

What a day! It started out as your regular, any old, it's almost spring, kind of Saturday. Jeff left before 9am to do field prep for softball tryouts. Kids and i had a lazy morning around the house. We had to be at the fields at 1pm for tryouts, so as we left, i piled into the car with umpteen coats and sets of gloves or mittens and hats. Realizing Griffin had been out the front door twice, i asked if he had locked it and he assured me he had (do you see a little foreshadowing here?)! We set the alarm, loaded the car, and off we went to the park.

After freezing our tails at the ballpark while waiting in line for tryouts, the kids and i headed back to the car. Since tryouts were nearly over, we decided to wait for Jeff and head out for a late lunch. We ate at a restaurant close to the mall and just as Jeff was signing the receipt, his cell phone rang. Not recognizing the number, he decided he better answer, and immediately, i knew something wasn't quite right. "Yes, since we're not there, I think you better dispatch the police to the house!" Those were the words i actually caught and understood Jeff saying! Quickly, i decided to blow the joint and load up the car! We bolted out of the restaurant, and headed straight for home --- albeit we were a good 20 minutes from the house. Jeff and i talked the whole way home about what could be going on. . . sure all the while that our home had been broken into. Well, then Griffin mentioned the whole "did you lock the door" conversation again and in tears, admitted that he wasn't quite positive that he had locked it, he just THOUGHT he had locked it. We assured him that if the door just blew open, it would be just fine. He was so scared . . . still not sure of what. . . but he was about to throw up the whole way home. He was scared that he was in big big trouble if he hadn't locked the door, but i think he was more scared thinking of the possibility of someone actually breaking into the house. I think at this point he honestly didn't know if he had locked the door back - a mistake i myself have made more than once.

Low and behold, 25 minutes after leaving the restaurant, we pulled into the neighborhood just in front of the police officer. Now, trust me when i say, i have the utmost respect for the police and the job they do, and i know they get a LOT of false alarms to houses, but seriously 25 minutes? We were in the driveway and Jeff was out of the car before the officer ever made it to our address. (And might i mention he looked to be about 115 pounds and maybe 21 years old???) Anyhow, after the officer confirmed Jeff was the owner of the residence, he directed us to stay at the car while he looked in the front. He said if all the doors were "in tact" he would have to wait for a backup officer to arrive because he couldn't enter the premises without backup! Well, he checked the front doors and all were closed and sealed tightly, (although he didn't try to actually turn knobs and open them), so, we had to wait. . . and when i say wait, i mean ANOTHER 25 minutes for the "backup officer" to arrive.

Well, during this 25 minutes, Jeff gets a call from the neighbor that lives down the road. (A little background - we had tried to call him on our way to the house - thinking he would be a lot closer and could do a little investigating to see if the front door had just blown open - and give us a little piece of mind while we drove home. BUT, according to his 7 year old, he was in the shower and his mom wasn't home. ) Back to the current timeframe -- We're waiting for the 2nd officer to arrive and our neighbor calls Jeff and low and behold, he and the 7 year old had run by the house to drop off a sweatshirt that Griffin had left at their house. Well, the son, had walked up to the front porch and when no one came to the door, he just opened the door and threw the sweatshirt inside, ran back to his car, and off they went. Hence, this is when the alarm was triggered.

Well, the officer was TOO KIND and as we explained to him the conversation Jeff had just had, he said things like this happen all the time, but since we know the neighbor's kid had walked in, there was no way of knowing who else could have just walked in and they would have to "secure the premises" before we would be allowed to enter our own house! Safety first, i am thankful for that.

So, officer #2 finally arrives, and i kid you not, it was just like an episode of Law and Order. After a quick briefing of the events that had transpired, they slowly approached the front entrance. One officer stood to each side of the doorway. And what do i see, but THEY DRAW THEIR GUNS AS THEY PUSH OPEN THE (unlocked) FRONT DOOR. Backs pressed to the outside walls of the house, arms with guns in front leading the way, they enter the house, step by step. Now, mind you, we are standing at the end of the driveway, so i can't see too much, but i can see them as they "sweep" my house with guns in hand, arms outstretched leading into the great room and turning to the master bedroom. Now, i wish more than anything, that i could have been a bug on the wall, to see their faces, when they entered my room and saw the PILES of clean laundry in hampers at the foot of my bed waiting to be folded. . . i'm sure they probably snuck a little cellphone picture of the "craziest shit police officers see in houses they must enter" and will post it to whatever secretive blog they have out there to laugh at all of us, not so good with laundry, mothers. We could see them walk back down to the other end of the hallway, guns leading the way, to check the rest of the house. The amount of time it took them, they either 1)secured the premises quite well; or 2) took a lot of freakin' pictures to share on the internet to show what a bad housekeeper i am!!!
But, after a good 5-8 minutes of waiting, they came back out of the house - might i add with smiles on their faces - and assured us that as we suspected, it must have been the neighbor, because everything looked secure and it didn't "look" as though things were missing. (In my little mind i couldn't help but think, "What officer? - Do you think that my booby-trap of 248 matchbox cars in the foyer would have killed anyone who actually entered? Do you mean that the 2 laptops, one silhouette craft cutter, 2 boxes of crafting supplies, paper cutter, and a bazillion small piles of crafty trash sitting on the dining room table was still there? You mean the pile of dirty dishes is still in the sink, the boogie man didn't clean those up while he was inside? And the laundry is all still piled at the foot of my bed? Or, are you honestly talking about the tv is still mounted on the wall, and the drawers have not been pilfered through and the jewelry box is still there?")

Sure enough, all is well in our house! The kids got a great kick out of watching the officers enter our house. Camden thought is was WAY COOL to see a real police officer within arms reach and even cooler to see his car parked at our mailbox. I'm sure the neighbors are all brewing rumors about the "domestic dispute" or child abuse or something even more grand that happened at our house today. And yes, i will add here that three different neighbors drove by my house while there was a cop car parked in front of it and 5 family members standing in the driveway and not a one of them stopped to ask if we were okay or if we needed anything!!!!!! Is that alarming to anyone else??? Hey neighbors, what about helping each other out??? Guess i know who DOESN'T have my back!!

All in all, it was a great day. Quite the excitement, and for those of you that ever doubt that the McCreary house isn't ALWAYS doing something fun, here is proof. Your run of the mill Saturday for most families, yet we have the police entering our house, GUNS DRAWN!!! But the saddest part of it all . . . I. didn't. take. a. single. picture. Not of the guns, not of the police cars, not of Griffin about to wet his pants in anxiety! DANG!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Really, It's February?

Where Oh Where did January go?
We had lots of fun in January, including an entire week with no school, unexpectedly, and now we're battling through what feels like really long weeks, although we are just really back in a "normal" schedule. A few pics from our snow days and fun times last month!
Camden and his best friend, Gracie!
SNOW cones. . . Literally:
Just so we remember how big they were in Jan. 2011 when we had 6 inches of snow!
And of course, to remember how beautiful everything looked. I love a snow covered yard and house! Now, the driveway . . . that was another story. Took days for it to be truly serviceable again!
We had a great week! We ventured out, slowly, a couple of times; watched lots of movies; burned enough firewood that now we need to restock, and had a great week just together as a family!