You have been so good to us summer

Our “summer” started June 14th! Kids last day of school the 13th and off to a Cali vacation the next day, talk about starting it off right!

My 1st major vacation as a single parent, FEAR had set in and I was nervous about the 23 hour drive as the only adult and the fear of being able to keep everything and everyone together while we were there. O’well time to suck it up and begin the journey!  

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Plans to meet our best friends from AZ there that we haven’t seen in a year, so exciting! On our week stay, we hit Disneyland, California Adventure,  Knotts Berry Farm & the beach, Hunnigton.

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Disneyland… My most favorite place on Earth. The feeling of walking thru those gates cannot be matched, although the new Cars ride was beyond amazing and brought tears to my eyes over how WOW  it was.  Being there brings this tingly awesome feeling that I could never get enough of.  We have been there numerous times and I could go every week if I was able too!  A blog on that alone will be in the future!

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California Adventure and Knotts are awesome places too of course! The kids prefer California Adventure over Disneyland for the bigger thrill rides they offer. Knotts is more of the break you take between or after the bigger parks, lots of fun but not as large so easier to get thru in 1 day.

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 A wonderful vacation, amusement parks, beach, shopping and all the neat places we ate, my fav The Boling Crab http://www.theboilingcrab.com/! It was our 1st time there and was AMAZING! A must try if you like seafood and well… chicken tenders. The food was delish, after I got past having to remove the shrimp heads myself! The atmosphere loud crazy and fun, kinda like us as we fit right in there, which is hard to do in restaurants these days when everyone is quiet and reserved haha!

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We spent a week having a blast with some awesome people! The 23 hour drive home was tough since we drove straight thru and didn’t stop to sleep like we did on the way there. Would I do it again!? YES I could never stay away from Disney for too long, but will prefer to fly!

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Big vacation behind us, time to spend some time in our own amazing area…

We have spent many Saturdays this year in Green Bluff http://www.greenbluffgrowers.com/ picking lots of fresh fruits, feeding the animals, eating more cherries than any of us would like to admit, meeting some pretty amazing people, seeing beautiful weddings, getting lost & best of all, enjoying some quality family time!

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Silverwood & Boulder Beach http://www.silverwoodthemepark.com/! A neat amusement park & seasonal water park located in Athol, ID. It is about an hour & half from our house. I want to say that Silverwood is very similar to Knotts Berry farm. Not too big and loads of fun! We have spent several days there this summer! We all love it and with it being so close it is a must visit for a full day of fun in the park itself riding awesome wooden roller coasters & some other big rides and then spending a few hours cooling off in the water park and hitting some huge slides and the 2 wave pools! Can’t miss the magic show in the Theatre of Illusion with Nick Norton while you are there! A must see while enjoying a very affordable large pizza dinner, breadsticks & drinks for the family, all for $25 while having your mind blown with his amazing magic!

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Summer camps! My 5 year old son got to attend his very 1st 3 day pee wee camp at Camp Gifford! (YIKES!) I was SO nervous and he was SO excited. I honestly have NO idea how I actually dropped him off and drove away. I cried the entire ride home and on and off all 3 days & not being able to talk to him drove me NUTS!! I was counting the hours till I could pick him up. Not sure I want him to go again but he had SO much fun it will be so hard to say no.

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Family Camp at Riverview Bible Camp located in Cusik, WA! http://www.riverviewbiblecamp.com/   Wow what a neat experience that was! We will be making that a yearly trip no doubt! We went with our church, Suncrest Family Worship and spent a Fri, Sat & Sun there. The camp had SO many things to do for the whole family! Riverfront swimming with inflatable water toys which included and were SO much FUN: The Blob (fun & scary!), Trampoline (loads of fun!), Saturn (ya good luck getting onto that!), Iceberg (now that is a climb), Log ( sure if you feel like falling into the water repeatedly), Slide (more for the kiddos), Canoes (Um about that… Our family & canoes= will end up swimming 3 minutes after getting into it), Heated pool (didn’t get to try that, not enough hours in a day),  Swings (yes even for us big kids!), 40′ Amusement park slide (I would like to change the name of this slide to Burn Slide instead of amusement slide since every person that flies down it on a waxed burlap bag WILL obtain a burn on some area of skin LOL but it is impossible to stay off of since it is SO fun), Hiking trails (LOTS!), a beautiful creek with a bridge ( a must see), Water Balloon War Zone (um SO fun!), Gymnasium with three basketball courts, Ping Pong, Tether Ball (a fav of our family!), a game room,  24 hour coffee/tea/hot chocolate with SO much scenery to sit on the deck or at the lake and watch, priceless really. The cabins were awesome! Our cabin slept 10 with full bathroom & shower, so our whole family got to stay together. We had guest speakers who are missionaries that told some pretty amazing stories that had our attention, morning and evening services, 3 delish full course meals, tons of play & family time. If you have not visited a family camp as a family this is a must do!

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Cat Tales, an amazing non-profit animal rescue! To make a donation or to see what it is all about visit their website http://www.cattales.org/ Spent the day with the fam bam there seeing the big kitties, tigers (lots of them, white 1s too!), bobcats, lions, panthers, cheetah, and even a bear! You can take a guided tour, watch a show, just browse the cages and best of all; you can choose to feed a bear or tiger! To feed a bear you must be 6 years old, he LOVEs watermelon! To feed a tiger you must be 8 years old and they eat raw bloody steak, yum! The workers there are awesome, full of energy, very friendly and helpful and willing to talk to you & answer any questions you have (I had lots!) It was a neat experience for all of us! They also offer Zoo school, I was told it is a 1 year fulltime program that you take and you can get hired there or go somewhere else and apply. If you are interested in zoo keeper, animal medicine or just want to work around the big cats (ME!) you can take this 1 year hands on course and get certified! How cool is that!?

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Here is more info from their website:  “Are you interested in a career in zoology? Train to become one of the best. Cat Tales ZTC is the ONLY school of it’s kind where students learn every aspect of zoo operations and professional animal care.  Take a peek at a Zookeeper’s Day to get a taste of what is involved, and see if zookeeping may be for you. While we do not guarantee job placement for graduates of the program, we receive requests on a regular basis for information on upcoming graduates as possibilities for positions at various facilities. Top names in the Zoological community hire people who have successfully completed our program, because of their well rounded training. Applicants must be 18 to apply.

From movies, to eating out, to theme parks, to long long drives, to getting lost, to picnics & events, to camps and so on this summer has been nothing short of amazing, but today it is time for summer to end and school to start! As I said bye to my kids today as they went off to their 1st day of the new school year I was filled with so much emotion, mostly happiness that this new year brings new adventures, new memories & experiences but some sadness creeped in as well, sad that the summer fun & late nights are over & that my house will be very quiet during school hours, also sad that they are 1 step /year closer to growing up and leaving the nest.

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Well, gotta use this quiet time wisely & get some work done, they will be back home before I know it!

P.S. Please share your summer stories and any new or neat places you visited & that you would or wouldn’t recommend! We would LOVE to hear about it! Afterall, it is never too early to start planning next summer!

Mama Bear Plus 6

 

Must wear pants and bra for this

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I would never be able to count how many times I have heard people talk about their desire of working from home. Ah living the dream, not having to wear pants if they don’t want to or even a bra hahaha of course depending on what type or work at home field they choose. I ran a home child care for 8 years and yes I wore pants M-F 6am-6pm but I was working from home! I also ran a plumbing company from home virtually and on the phone and if I wasn’t already teaching preschool I could be pants & bra free all day! Truly loved what I did for numerous reasons! Work at home looks different for each individual!  I have also heard a few say that they could never work from home for various reasons. I myself am an entrepreneur, always have been. Whether I work from “home” or not my desire to work for myself runs my life.

 

I am a mama of 6,  #1 was born 20 years ago and with her birth my desire to be with my children every day was born with her. I was 17 when my 1st daughter was (go ahead, gasp, its expected). I had already had my 1st and 2nd jobs by then.

 

The  1st being at Dunkin Donuts and the 2nd at a childcare facility. When she was born I had taken time off from my job and had planned to go back when she was 8 weeks old. My plans were shifted as I dealt with the death of my mother just as I was suppose to return. (You can see more about that hurdle in a blog post on here “I wish Heaven had a phone”) Until my daughter was a year  old I stayed home with her before I returned to the childcare field where I could take her to work and be with her at all times. All this time wondering what kind of business I could start to be home with her and my future children.  I was young and dumb (as they say) I like to refer to it as naive. I had tried all sorts of stuff that I got in the mail from stuffing envelopes to babysitting to answering phones from home. None of this worked out for several reasons, scams and not enough inner drive or self discipline. Fast forward about 12 years & 3 more daughters! During which I went to college for medical assistant, pharmacy tech, computers, worked in childcare and still tried & failed numerous “work at home” scams & offers. None of it stuck, no passion, no drive, no fuel in any of those things aside from working with kids. Found myself pregnant with my 5th daughter and wanted out of the workforce but needed the 2nd income, I wanted to be a fulltime mother and knew there were other mothers that wanted their kids out of daycare facilities and if they couldn’t be with them they would love for another mother to be with them that could and would love them so I decided to open a childcare in my home.

 

8 years of awesomeness! 8 years of loving, nurturing, teaching & caring for numerous children most of which came to me less than 6 months old and stayed till they went to kinder! Many sets of amazing parents that became lifelong friends for which I am beyond grateful for! During the years I worked from home with the childcare I was also able to go school and get my Associates in Business Management. While I was running the childcare my spouse at the time and I also started a plumbing/handyman business that I managed from home which was also a neat adventure! As with any business it had some ups and downs but by far life changing in such a positive way and if I had not outgrown this adventure I would still be doing it. Anyone looking to work from home, love children & to teach, has tons of patience, and a safe environment should certainly look into running a licensed childcare facility in their home!

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With 95% of the children I had in my care going to kinder and knowing that I would have to start with a almost all new batch of kiddos, plus all my kiddos in school fulltime during the day, I chose to close my doors with the childcare (although I kept managing the plumbing company) and step out in the work force once again and put my degree to work as an office manager at a wonderful Alzheimer’s facility where I stayed till my children & myself relocated to WA state (yet another blog post if you want to read about that adventure) I enjoyed working outside the home and met a great team of people but the entrepreneur in me & the drive to help others just can’t be contained any longer!

 

When we got to WA state I knew for sure my plan was to work from home & was not going to pursue anything else but chasing my burning desire to help others and change the world 1 person at a time! We have been here over a year and I have worked from home since moving here along with studying at the School of Online Business and Coaching Cognition to become a life coach and grow my own business and create my own products. Who knew!? So my exciting, well paying, financial freedom, debt free future, chasing my dreams, living life to fullest, dream is all falling in place and coming together  & I truly owe it all the Man above for His guidance in my life every step of the way!

 

P.S. Are you or someone you know looking for a life coach, need some guidance in your life & with your future? You can reach me on Ingenio 🙂 http://life-coaching.ingenio.com/Coaching%20with%20Kelly

 

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Mama Bear Plus 6

I wish Heaven had a phone…

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Lugene Ann Colby 01/01/1956-04/25/1993

My mama, my best friend, a woman FULL of spunk, love, endless dreams and laughs.

Me and her, her & I. Single mama of 1, ME

I could write for days about all the memories that I pray never leave my mind of her life & our relationship. But I will keep it short and sweet as this day I remember is not a celebration as her birthday would be, it is a day that stings me to the inner core of my being, the day I lost the only parent I ever had. The day my life as a daughter ended just.like.that.

April 25th, 1993 We were baptizing our 2 month old daughter at St John’s Catholic Church at 1:30PM. All our friends and family are there except for my grandma who had to work and could not join us and my mom, who was supposed to be there. I talked to her 2 days before that and she, in her very scratchy sounding voice said of course she would be there, she was off that Sunday and wouldn’t miss her 1st grandbaby’s baptism. But she wasn’t. I was mad. I kept looking for here to walk in the door and nothing. How could she do this? She knew this was important to us. She knows where the church is and said she was off so there should be no excuses for her to miss this. Baptism was beautiful but I was still upset. Maybe just maybe she would show up at the after party we had planned… What would her excuse be?

See I was rebuilding a great relationship with my mom during these last 2 months since the birth of my daughter since she had been very upset that I was going to be a 17 year old mother. She wanted more for me and felt that I had thrown it all away by keeping my baby. I knew from the time I saw the pink line on the test strip that she would flip out, that she would not want me to keep it, that she would be so very disappointed in me. I was her only daughter, she had high hopes for me and felt that this was a way to road block them all for myself. Plus no mother dreams of being a grandma at only 37! During my pregnancy we rarely talked and when we did we would argue and fight. As I got closer to my due date she began to realize she would have to accept this or we would never have a relationship, so we began to build. To build a new friendship and a new understanding of each other. It wasn’t the same fun exciting relationship we had as I was growing up, it was more of a mature “soon to be mother” to mother bond and relationship. It was what I was longing for so very much. She was there in the delivery room when I delivered cheering me on, to see her hold her granddaughter was a sight I will never forget! She fell in love, instantly and from that point on I knew we would all 3 be close. In the weeks that followed she had me meet her at the bars she hung out at, the bowling alley etc so she could show off her granddaughter! She was a young and proud grandma J

After leaving the church and still no sign of my mom we headed to my grandmas place of work to pick her up so we could head to the after party. As we pulled up there were cops everywhere by the front door, which is where we were supposed to pull in. She works at a retirement home and we see cops and ambulances there often, no worries. We get as close as we can and I can see my grandma walking towards to door, she is crying and crying hard. I am now thinking her favorite patient just died, oh no. As she approaching the car a few officers are also walking towards us. Hmm this is weird. I am getting the baby who is still all dressed in her white dress to show grandma in hopes of cheering her up. An officer reaches out and takes my baby from me as my grandma starts talking, she says “Kelly, its your mom.”  I say “What about my mom!? And why the hell are you taking my child from my arms!?” She then tells me that my mom has died. “What NO no she hasn’t she is home she isn’t at work.” My mom was a heavy equipment operator at the mines and it was a very dangerous place for her to work, many accidents had happened there and if she was to ever die, which of course no teens mom is ever going to die, but if she ever did it would be at work. Grandma stop this I say. “She is off today she told me so!” She says “She died, she died at home. She was very sick. We need to go with the officers and they will take us to her.” At this time I have NO clue where my infant is and I am leaning against the car wishing I could wake up. This is bullshit, it’s a lie. Not true not true at all. The officer with my baby walks over and wraps his arm around me and walks me to his car while another officer is basically holding my grandma up as she walks to the police car as well. We all get in and start driving. I am asking question after question and no one is answering them, they all keep saying we don’t have details yet etc. UGH! After what seems like a 2 hour car ride we get to St Joesphs hospital. “Okay she is in the hospital, she has not died she is just very sick. People that have died are not in hospitals! What is wrong with these people telling me false info. See grandma they got you all upset and she is just in the hospital. She is going to be okay, she just needs us here.”  No one speaks…  The officers, carrying my baby in her car seat refusing to let me carry it,  walk us in the emergency room area and thru the halls and then into a room where there is another officer sitting and my mom on a table covered with a blanket to her neck and a tube still hanging out of her mouth. My grandma very loudly loses control and begins to cry out to her daughter, her 1 and only daughter. The officer holds her upright and keeps her from hitting the floor. As I slowly approach the table looking at her intently thinking she will ask me what the hell I am staring at I realize this is real… She is not moving and she looks so different. I walk up next to her face with my grandma. We both are talking to her, almost yelling at her. This can’t be happening! This is my mother, the only parent I have. I am 17 I can’t be without my mom! Why would God do this!? What happened!? Why didn’t they save her!? She was SO young SO healthy! Our lives at this moment are forever changed…

My mom died at her home from a mixture of the flu & pneumonia with her long time girlfriend there as she is the 1 that called the paramedics and after working on her for over 30 minutes they pronounced her gone at 1pm. There was entirely too much fluid build up in her lungs for them to get any oxygen into them. She was sick for a week and saw 2 docs that told her she had a cold and to take cough syrup. Not 1 of them took the time to take a chest x-ray or any blood work etc. Not 1 of them took their time to really listen to her and diagnose her correctly. Wrong doing on their part, YES! Did we sure them and their practice, YES! Did we win, YES and NO! We won the lawsuit and they financially paid their dues but then again we didn’t win as we still didn’t have her. We still had a HUGE hole in our hearts and lives that can never be filled… Would she be here today if they did their job better!? Nobody can answer that! But damn it she would have had a chance! Beating myself up for years over cursing her and being angry at her for not being at my childs baptism when she was at home taking her last breath…UGH! For many years my faith in God was 0. After all how could God take my mom from me when I am at church baptizing my baby!? There is no good mighty powerful God that would do that! So for years I blocked out any and all things that was God related, until my mid 20s when I was able to really find faith on my own thru several life experiences that I endured. I then came to realize that it was just time for her maker to call her home. There is nothing any of us can do about that no matter how much or how good of care she would and should have received.

I have many moments in my life where I wish Heaven had a phone, just to talk to her 1 last time… ALL the things I want to tell her, talk to her about, ask her! The list is endless…  The 1st thing I think I would say is how much I love her, because I just never told her enough and how I miss her beyond words. How I am so sorry that I didn’t stop by her house on my way to the church at noon even though I was right up the street and just assumed I would see her at the church. How I find SO much of her in my own parenting and the things I say to my own kids sounds like it is coming from her mouth! I would ask her if she is proud of me & the person I am today, even though I was once a teen parent and was destined for failure as so many people assume.  I would give anything to see what she would have to say about all these grandchildren she has and how amazing they are. How she would spend her time with them and teach them to bowl like a pro like herself and how to play a top notch game of pool. I would give anything to see her have her dream of owning land with a horse, and the smile on her face after accomplishing that since she was saving every last penny for it before she passed.  And SO much more!

Life is short! You just never know when your time will be up or the when the time will be up for the people that you hold close! Be patient with the people you love and cherish them and the moments with them for the time you have is limited. Tell them you love them! Forgive them! Like they say, life is like an hour glass and when it runs out of time you can’t turn it over and start it again. And if you are lucky enough to still have 1 or both parents, call them. Tell them they are important to you, you will be SO glad you did!

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Mama Bear Plus 6

Just Us

So saying I am going to start a blog for the past year and doing so have been 2 VERY different things! Just as I attempt to start, the phone rings, kids crying, dinner burning, urgent emails need answered, some one needs a ride, dogs tracked in mud, someone saw a spider, power surge…, that cup that “wasn’t me” sat on the edge of the counter now spilled on the floor covering floor and cabinets in grape juice, shall on go on!? These are not excuses as to why I am just now sitting here writing this after a year of saying so, they are valid reasons! And as any mama knows once your train of thought leaves the building it is  unsure of when to return!

The house is quiet and nobody is home…Hurry hurry get to typing before the chaos and noise return in about 2 hours hahahaha!

About us, I am a 37 year old mama to 6 pretty cool, jazzy, awesome kiddos (most days!) I run this ship by myself, ya I know I am crazy, like I don’t hear that almost daily. But I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

About my crew members (children): I have 5 daughters Asarias will be 20 this week, Anaya is 17, Alena is 15, Ariah is 13, Alexa is 7 and my 1 and only son Aiven is 5. My oldest daughter has since spread her wings & flown from the nest to venture life on her own with her long time boyfriend, Aaron. (YES we love the letter A!) Each 1 Oh SO DIFFERENT in every way possible, makes for a very unique amazing household! Asarias, so determined, loving, caring, selfish (in a good way!), fashionable, smart, far too mature for her age at times & true pug lover! Anaya, set in her own ways, caring, helpful, funny, must have the 1st bite or taste of everything (strange I know LOL), dedicated & true animal lover! Alena, a fruit loop in a bowl of cherrios, strong back bone (or hard headed, trying to say it nicely), loud & crazy, fun, athletic & loves her Jewels (yellow lab)! Ariah, obnoxious, funny, colorful, never wears a jacket (even in the snow!), very photogenic when taking pics of self (daily!), sometimes quiet, good in school & loves gum & lip gloss! Alexa, sassy, far too old for her age (gotta expect that living with 4 teen sisters!), a real life Punky Brewster, funny, loving, generous, & loves loves loves babies! Aiven, How much space do I have? He is a true boy, being the 1st after 5 girls I had no clue what expect and yes, I am in for a ride! Funny, adventurous (to say the least!) NO fear having, germ-a-phobic, FULL of personality & character, favorite color-RED, & loves the PS3!

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And about mama bear, I am a single mama to these awesome creatures of God, they keep me going when I feel I can’t, they give me purpose, strength, fill my heart & soul with love pure endless love. They are my reason for every positive things I do in life. I am a follower of Jesus. I am following my dreams of creating my passion filled career and they are with me with every step I take, even when I trip and fall. I am an entrepreneur. I love to cook and feed people. I LOVE Disneyland. Did I mention that I LOVE Disneyland!? I am loud (I yell a lot, hey beats spanking!) I try my best to be the friend I would like to have. I was a native of AZ for 36 years till I packed up my kids and 2 dogs and moved to WA state. I have a grandma & best friend in AZ that I miss more than words can say… But I am blessed beyond words & I know it.

1 of my fears: Knowing my kids will all grow up 1 day and I will have an empty house, YIKES!

Life is a bit crazy, loud, chaotic, messy, exciting, mysterious, happy, “never a dull moment” around here! Come on in, hope you are hungry, take off your shoes, stay awhile (if you can handle it) & have a seat at the dinner table with us (if you don’t like what we are having tonight, there are about 17 boxes of cereal for you to choose from!)

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P.S. Need advice, parenting/family or life!? Call or chat with me now!
http://life-coaching.ingenio.com/Coaching%20with%20Kelly

Mama Bear Plus 6