Monday, December 29, 2008

Our First Christmas Eve at Our New Home

Christmas Eve morning we opened our presents as a family of five (can't forget Toby).It's nice knowing that we will celebrate and make many Christmas memories in this home for the next 20 years or so, God willing.

Showing off their candy canes.

Marissa loves her new kitchen.

The Q Crew checking out the kitchen.

Dad opening his 1930's radio repleca.

The Darth Vadar lap top... the best present ever according to Roo.

Toby thanking Mommy for his Christmas toy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

One of Roo's Favorite Presents...

...was also one of Jose's. :)


We had a great Christmas at my mom's. We are actually still here. We will be headed home tomorrow and I will write more about our Christmas and post more pictures.

Deb's dad is still in ICU and things are not looking good. He has had another stroke and two big heart attacks. So please continue to keep him in your prayers.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I can't wait to catch up with you all soon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Three 4 Year Olds, a 2 Year Old & Lots of Sugar

Josh and Jake came over today. We made brownies, ate hot dogs buns, and decorated giant ginger bread and snowman cookies.

Marissa ate way more candy than she put on her ginger bread man.

Jake got a little crazy with the pink.

Mr. GQ (Josh) and his prized snowman.

Roo inspecting his work.

The boys were using their buns for telephones. Goofy little fellows.

And the most important thing is... Marla and I made it out alive and we didn't even have to break out the bottle. :)

It's awesome to have a friend who just gets it, it being what real motherhood is like and someone who knows sometimes you just do what works.

Thanks Marla for being such a great friend. I'm so glad you gave a complete stranger me your number in the mall when the boys were a year old. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

They Refuse to Cooperate

This and That

We spent the weekend at mom's. Jose and Deana went to the Casino boat in Evansville on Friday. That was their Christmas present from me, money to gamble away :)
They had a blast and Jose went in with $100 and came out with $180. Deana did not do as well, but she had a great time.

While they were gone on Friday, Mom and I decided to give the kids a present. If we could, mom and I would exchange presents on the day we buy them. We have never been able to wait. The kids opened their remote control cars that mom and Deana got them. Ruben LOVES his. He said it was the best Christmas present ever. Marissa's was a bit smaller and less complicated but she loves it too.

We leave Wed. afternoon to go back to mom's for Christmas. I was going to let the kids open all their presents Wed. morning. But then they would not get to play with them long before we leave to go to mom's. And I'm just not dragging all their loot to moms to have to drag it back again. So I decided they could open one present every night until we go to moms. I realized I'm the adult here and I can make and/or break the rules if I want to. :)
They opened their shopping carts last night.

So maybe that is a new tradition we will start. That way they really get to enjoy one thing before moving on to the next.

I really am enjoying the holidays this year. I am trying to live in the moment and just enjoying being with my family and making sure my kids know the real meaning of Christmas.

Every year we buy toys and donate them to toys for tots or our church. This year I decided to do something for people that we know. There is a single mom in my life who is a great friend and wonderful mother so we are doing some things for them. I won't go in detail about it here because it's just not necessary but I am really thankful we have been able to help this Christmas. It's such a tough time for everyone right now.


On a sad note, my best friend, Deb, called a little while ago and her Dad, Ernie, had a stroke last night. He has been in and out of the hospital the last month or so. But we all thought he was doing better. This family really has been through so much lately. Elizabeth is back in jail and we still don't know the status of the baby.
I feel so torn because I want to be there with Deb and the whole family because I consider them my family as well. But it's Christmas and I don't want to leave my kids either. Hopefully he will be fine and I can go the weekend after Christmas.

Please keep them all (Gouge Family) in your prayers.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our Friday Night in the Park

Every year we take the kids out for a long drive to look at Christmas lights and then we walk through the park and look and the lights and take pictures.
The camera was being difficult this year and it was freezing out. My poor kids, I insisted that we go on Friday night, it's important to continue traditions even in 22 degree weather. :)
Roo took his camera too, I think his pictures came out better than mine but I haven't yet taken the time to figure out the software to download his pictures to the computer. He has only had the camera since his birthday, 8 months is not that long is it? :)

Before leaving our house, Marissa checks out our carousel.

Marissa was so excited to see Snoopy at the park. She has a stuffed Snoopy that she loves.

Ruben did not like being in front of the camera since he brought his, I had to beg and plead for him to let me take his picture.

Marissa was in awe of this deer, his head moved up and down.

Marissa and I were petting the deer, Ruben just standing there with camera in hand. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Daddy's Office Christmas Party

This first picture was a miracle!
It's rare to get them both looking at the camera at the same time but smiling and hugging...well I thought it was impossible until tonight. :)

Such a handsome little guy.

Marissa hamming it up!

She gave me this look when I wouldn't let her have a glass of coke that was on the table. lol

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thank You

I can't seem to find the words tonight as I look through pictures of the last two years. I think the song that is playing sums it all up...Thank You.
Thank you God for giving me this little girl, for watching over her.
So often I forget just how very blessed I am.

I'm so very grateful...thank you God for everything.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Breaking Out the Christmas Decor Before Thanksgiving

I brought(dragged) all of the Christmas boxes in the house today.

And started putting things up around the house.

The beginning of Dec. always seems to fly by.

So I wanted to get a jump on Dec. Still no tree as of yet though.

I found an inflatable carousel on sale at target last week. This afternoon, we all bundled up and went out to put it up.

And I realized after looking at my pictures tonight I did not get one of the finished product...but it's way too cold to go out there now so that picture will have to wait. :)

Yes, it's almost Dec. and we still have leaves in our front yard, lots and lots of leaves. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Busy Week Coming Up

I'm so not ready for Thanksgiving to be here and I'm in no way ready for my baby girl to turn 2 the day after.

Jose and I spent the weekend painting Marissa's room for her birthday. I got her a Winnie the Pooh bedding set a while ago. She mainly is crazy about Tigger but I couldn't find a set with just Tigger so she has to take Pooh too. :)

I wanted to paint her room purple but it just didn't work with the border and the bedding so we went with PINK! Much to my best friend's dismay! Lometa (Ruben's godmother) hates pink for little girls and honestly I'm not really crazy about it myself. But we did it anyway. We chose a very bright,almost hot pink. It could get to be a bit much I'm afraid, but I think it makes for a very cheery little girl's room. We also painted half of one wall with chalk board paint because the child loves to draw.

I promise to post pictures soon. We still have to get more border to put up.

I've got so much to do this week and all I really want to do on this very rainy Monday is climb under a blanket and go to sleep.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I really hate feeling helpless but right now I do. My heart is heavy tonight because of my little sister Elizabeth. She is not my biological sister but I have been in her life for 14 years since she was 8 years old and she is my sister in every way that counts.

She was in and out of trouble throughout her teenage years, sneaking out of the house, drugs and boys were always involved.
When she was 19 she had my niece, Elaina. We all thought when she had Elaina she would change and grow up a little bit. Unfortunately that did not happen. She left Elaina with her mom (my best friend Deb) when Elaina was just 2 months old.
Elaina will be 4 this month and Deb and her husband are in the middle of going to court for full custody for Elaina.

Several months ago Elizabeth got in a lot of trouble with the law and had charges pressed against her. I won't go into all the details of that. But the things she did involved members of our family and because of the things she did our family can no longer be there for her and I totally understand that and do not blame them at all. She has a court date for Feb. 4, 2009. They are very serious charges and I don't know what will happen.

She had been staying with her boyfriend, They have been together for a few years. He is also has charges pending against him. Last week her boyfriend's mother kicked her out.

She is 7 months pregnant and has only been to a doctor once and has not been on prenatal vitamins and has been using drugs on and off. We are not sure what kind or how much. I found out today that she is in a women's shelter.

When I found out today that she was in the shelter, I called there and left a message. I didn't figure she could call me back long distance (we live 6 hours from her) But a few hours later she called. It was good to hear her voice but I could tell how broken she was and it was really hard to keep it together on the phone.

My heart breaks for her. I know what she has done is wrong. And I want to say that she finally has realized the error of her ways but I can't because I have thought and said that so many times before and I was wrong. But she is my sister and I know what it is like to have everyone walk away from you because you screwed up big time. It's the loneliest feeling one could ever experience.

My first instinct is to get in my car, drive the 6 hours and bring her here. I did offer but she said the shelter is helping her to get her GED (she is dyslexic and has always struggled in school and with getting her GED) And they will help her with other things too. Counseling and getting a medical card so she can get to the doctor.

I think about the first time I met her. I was 18 years old and in a place where I had no one except my mom. She was an 8 year old chubby little girl who only had her mom and her brother. The day we met she was sitting on the couch waiting to meet her Big Sister (through big brothers/big sisters) She was so shy. It didn't take long for me to draw her out. She was laughing and talking on our first outing.

I remember taking her to get her first training bra. And worrying about her when she was 12 and no longer chubby and older guys started to notice her. At 12 she looked 16 She was so and is beautiful.

I remember letting her drive my truck at 14 or so. She was doing great until a bee came through the window and she went hysterical. It was not funny at the time but afterwards we laughed our butts off.

I miss her so very much and I hate the thought of her in a women's shelter. I used to work in one. Some are not bad but it's not a place you would ever want to be. Especially 7 months pregnant.

She says her legs and feet are extremely swollen. And she is in a lot of back pain.I hope they will get her to a doctor soon.

I am so very worried about that little person inside of her. I don't know what will happen with this little one. I just ask God to keep his hand on this sweet innocent baby.
I don't know if she will serve jail time and if so what will happen to that little one. I know family will eventually get it but if the baby is born addicted I'm not sure of the process that we will have to go through.

I wish I was there to put my arms around her and tell her everything will be alright. I am fighting the urge to get in my car and drive there. Even though she would only be able to see me for a few minutes because of where she is and their rules.

All I can do is pray even though at the moment it doesn't seem like enough. But I know God can take care of her. He is the one that brought us together so many years ago. He gave me a sister when I had lost mine. Not as a replacement but she helped fill the void and so did her family who became my family.

I ask everyone to say a prayer for Elizabeth and our family her unborn child and Elaina. I know God can take care of all of us and turn this situation around.

Elaina, Me, Elizabeth and Marissa
This was taken last year at our girl's birthday party. Elaina and Marissa share the same birthday, Nov. 28th.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday