Search This Blog

Sunday, December 23, 2012


I have a friend who has homeschooled all 6 of her children until they are in high school.  One of her reasons is that she wants to be their number one influence during those impressionable early adolescent years!  What a great idea!   

And although I’m not cut out to homeschool my dear daughter ….I value her life more than that!  I can lay heavy on the influencing!  In fact, I’m prepared to influence all over her! With her now changing body, raging hormones and 5th grade drama…I kick myself that this hasn’t been the norm all throughout her life.  I hope I’m not too late – YIKES!

I began this quest this holiday season, spending lots of one on one time with my girly.  Being home alone two evenings a week while dad is away gave us perfect opportunity.  I informally dubbed our times together as our “Holidates” and two nights a week throughout the advent season we did something “Christmasy” together. 

We’ve been close to harpooning each other at times – but for the most part we’ve had a great time!

Here’s how it all went down.

1.  Holidate #1:  Operation Gingerbread House

It’s not the Gingerbread Palaces or mansions you see on Display at the local department store but we did it ourselves and we felt quite accomplished afterwards.  We did learn two things.  1.) Neither of us are very patient when it comes to crafts and 2). Neither of us like sweet tarts!  Blek!
Unfortunately the only pic of alledged gingerbread house ...can't really see much of it!

2.  Holidate #2: Christmas Card Craft

Armed with stick on foam penguins, snow men and reindeer, Christmas ribbon, card stock and markers we commenced to creating Christmas Cards.  Christmas music played in the background and I found this to be an extremely joyous time!  I made about 5 million of these cards and Hannah made…..2!  She assured me over and over it was fun!  Two things I learned here were:  1) body language speaks louder than words and   2).  I won’t be applying for a job at Hallmark anytime soon.


3. Holidate #3 Make it and Take it Night

The ground work was laid out for me here. Our neighbor had a make it and take it craft night. It was great fun and Hannah got to use a Cricut (a very fancy cutting machine used in scrapbooking)! We also took pop top cans that we had opened from the bottom, emptied out and cleaned. We covered them with paper and ribbons, filled them with m&m’s and hot glued the bottom back on. The recipient of this cute mystery gift will have to pop the top to see what’s inside and enjoy it’s contents! Great idea eh? Not mine of course! What did we learn here? 1. Cricut paper cutters are waaay more exciting than foam penguins 2. Walking home in the dark with a bad flashlight and watching mom slip in the mud is even better than a Cricut paper cutter L.
4.  Holidate #4 – Christmas Shopping

Miss Hannah was overjoyed when I told her our Holidate agenda included shopping!  We headed out to Wally World to do her shopping for her brothers and gift exchanges.  We had great success!  Afterwards I offered to treat her to a fast food dinner.  She decided she wasn’t very hungry but would love a hot apple pie from McDonalds.  Sure, why not?  It is a holidate afterall and we’re throwing all caution to the wind (literally).   Pies had just come out of the oven and were almost impossible to eat.  So, I did what any sensible mother would do, I rolled down my window and held the pie out the window in the cold December air to cool it off as I drove down the road!  Lessons learned:  1) I am not the poster child for good parenting tips  2) If you want to really make your kid laugh – hang their dessert out the window!

5. Holidate #3 –Mosaic Ornaments

Aunt Jane came to the rescue on this one. She donated this wonderful kit to us that she found in her own craft closet! We armed ourselves with tweezers and a preheated oven and set out to making these lovely ornaments. With a “paint by number” type system for the craft challenged like ourselves this was a big hit! Very pretty! We learned…1). Tweezers are for more than plucking these days.. 2). Turns out ovens “ain’t” just for baked goods”!

6.  Holidate #6.  Wrapping it up

With Christmas tunes playing in the background and paper, bags, ribbons and bows all laid out for us, Hannah and I commenced to wrapping presents!!  We picked a specific pattern of paper for each person, made our own name tags and had a great time.  We ended the night by bagging up homemade cappuccino, paired them with our homemade cards and Hannah delivered them to the neighbors!! Lessons…1). Scotch tape doesn’t stick to paper that has a lot of glitter on it 2).  Stick on foam figures make good name tags also….will we ever run out of these?


7. Holidate #7 – Light Bright

We included Dad in on the fun!  He was chauffeur, money bank and the lead in all of our caroling to the radio songs!  We drove to Mishawaka to a subdivision that puts on a big light display each year.  They take a donation and all proceeds go to eight different charities  - double score!  We had such a good time and said “oooh and ahhh” a lot.   We ended the evening with a trip to Starbucks (and Target to pick up “yet” more groceries) and sang songs the whole way home.  Super fun and our best guy was with us – which made it over the top!  What we took away from this night… 1).  Taking pics of houses from the back seat of a moving vehicle results in lots of pics of mailboxes and lots of giggles from all involved  2).  Dad’s are just great….’nuff said!
a few of the pics that didn't have a mailbox in the forefront :)

Unfortunately, the stomach flu kept us away from Holidate fun for a couple of nights...but all in all I think our Holidate experience went pretty well.  This might just be a tradition we keep up! 

Merry Christmas to all - enjoy every moment together!  Celebrate all year long!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A head full of air!

Have you ever seen a baby born with a lot of hair and said, “Wow look at that head full of hair!”?  Well, when you read this blog you will want to say about me… “Wow, look at that head full of air!”. 


What I’m about to tell you is true….sad…but true!


It all started a few weeks back when I had carpal tunnel surgery. I’ve decided not to sue or anything but I’m pretty sure he slit a hole in the side of my head causing my brain to leak out.  It just has to be his fault….I’m just sayin’!


I had the surgery of both hands on October 3.  I was pretty much out of commission for a couple of days not able to do much with my hands.  It was then that my brain also took a vacation and forgot to return with my hand strength.  I won’t go into great detail but over the course of the weeks that followed I banged my head on the freezer door handle really hard almost making me black out, I rammed my toe into a chair breaking it, only to ram said toe into a shelf 3 days later.  The day after I broke my toe I bent way down to pick up something that didn’t make the trash can and on the way up I hit my head (again) really hard on the edge of the shelf over the toilet.  The night I broke my toe I also ran my thigh into a shelf that juts out in our bathroom putting a huge bruise on my thigh.  Last Sunday I burned my index finger on the oven grid and three days later sliced the skin off the top of my middle finger when I picked up a cracked plate out of the cupboard.  The broken end came off in my hand cutting my finger. 

It’s quite a site to see really. 

Three days ago I lost some very important documents that Joel gave me to take to our accountant.  I got all the way to the accountant’s office and didn’t have them. I knew they were in my car. I put them there that morning.  I retraced my steps and was sure I must have put them in the mailbox along with a stack of mail he gave me to mail.  I asked the poor Post mistress to go through the mailbox to look for them.  I later found them in the church office garbage can – don’t ask me how they got there – better ask my surgeon – this is his fault after all.

But what happened today takes the cake! Here’s some background.  The doors in our new house have a lock on the door knob, the kind that when they are locked can be turned from the inside but not the outside.  They also have deadbolts.  Our front door was not weather tight so Joel recently applied weather stripping to the front door causing the door not to shut tight unless you give it a good hardy slam.  

I, for one, never lock the door knob on the back door, just the dead bolt.  But just in case a would be robber were able to jimmy the dead bolt without waking us… the locked door knob should way lay him another few moments, so therefore, my dear husband locks both!  I was ready to take the garbage down to the end of the driveway when it was time for the bus.  I reminded Hannah this was my late day at work, asked if she had her key and she said yes.  I told her I would lock the door knob on the front door because the dead bolt is so tight it’s hard for her to turn.  I checked the door knob and gave the door a good hardy slam and a push for extra reinforcement. 


Then I threw on my coat and headed out the back door to put the garbage out.  On my way back up the drive I thought to myself… “ I sure hope Joel didn’t lock the back door”.  Yep, well you guessed it – it was locked.  So was the side garage door and also the exterior basement door.  I didn’t bother going up the stairs to check the front door, because, afterall, I had just locked and slammed it shut just moments ago. Furthermore,  I had to work quickly so there really wasn’t time.  Our landlords  live just a block over and they usually leave fairly early in the morning so I headed out on foot to their house.   Of course, I had no cell phone either! 


I was glad to see their kitchen light was still on so I slowed down a bit and caught my breath assured that help was on its way.  Turns out they gave us their last key and didn’t make a replacement.  Hmmm, well here’s the good thing I got to drive my landlords nice big diesel truck over to the elementary school to wait on Hannah so I could get her key.  I don’t know anything about diesels so he started it for me.  I didn’t want to turn it off because I didn’t know how to start it.  So I sat for a long time at the school, idling loudly with my coat over my pajama top waiting and waiting for bus #27 to pull up.  It did finally, the last bus to pull up.  After humiliating my daughter with just my utter presence I grabbed the key and headed for home in the really cool diesel truck being driven by a woman clad mostly in her pajamas.


It was now 7:45 and I had to be at work at 8.  I had to get dressed, do the hair and make up, eat breakfast and give my mother in law her medication.  I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it.  To save time I decided to run up the stairs and go in the front door.  I pushed the key into  the lock and guess what????  The door just pushed right open!!!!!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????  All I would have to do is go upstairs and push on the front door and it would have opened!!!  Expletive….Expletive…Expletive! 


Well, I guess, on the bright side (and there is always a bright side mind you) this was a long drawn out way to find out that when we think the front door is latched it really isn’t. 


This is why I’ve decided not to sue my surgeon.  Had he not released my brain, making a giant air bubble in my head, I would not have locked myself out, thus never finding out about the door, thus keeping us from a tragic break in of some sort…saving the day….all of our valuables and possibly our lives even.  In fact, I think I’ll tack a little extra onto the bill he just sent me….just as a way of saying thanks!  Now you really know my head is full of "air"!!!



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Expired Perfection!


In my mind, the definition of a perfect child would be one that is respectful, obedient, compliant, easy going, compassionate, appreciative and well…..the list goes on and on!  You get my gist here right?


My husband and I actually took such a child with us on a Labor day vacay to a giant mall in Northern Illinois.  We proudly claim her as our own – our daughter!  She was sweet as sugar!  Compliant with the agenda of the weekend, patient when we shopped for ourselves, delighted when we shopped for her, thanking us with each purchase.  She was conscientious with her purchases trying not to overspend our money.  She sought Dad’s approval in the clothes she tried on seeing if they met his “classy not trashy” clothing guideline.  If dad disapproved she moved on to the next item without complaint – no eye rolling or disdain whatsoever.  Her manners in the restaurant were top notch and she walked hand in hand with daddy to the Theatre thanking us several times for the great weekend! It was dreamy!


I’d venture to say that those observing us on our shopping adventure were marveling at what an incredibly wonderful child she was or maybe they were marveling at what great parents we must be to have brought up such a fine and well-mannered young lady!  (to be read with a wink and a sniff!) Okay, this is dreaming!


Once home the “perfect” child started doing laundry without being asked.  When she found out that we had invited the extended family over for an impromptu gathering she took it upon herself to tidy up the house and bake something!  (I’m totally speaking the truth here – not making this up). And then the Perfect” child wowed our socks off when the tree trimmers arrived and she announced that she “Wished she could help too”.  The “perfect” child found a pair of gloves and went to it; gathering up heavy branches and prickly twigs and carting them over to the chopping pile. ALL WITHOUT BEING ASKED…ON HER OWN FREE WILL!  She was glistening with sweat, hard work and determination to see a job through!  We sang the “perfect” child’s praises and maybe even patted ourselves on the back a little bit!  (again wink and sniff here)


Just when she was getting ready to receive “Poster child perfection” recognition she wowed us even more with compassionate acts towards grandma and others that love her dearly.  Can this child be any more perfect…….?????


I tucked the “perfect” child into bed a wee bit late last evening.  I even agreed to let her go to sleep to a movie in her dvd player – to help her wind down a bit!  At 6:15 a.m. I woke the “perfect” child with a spring in my step and a song in my heart!  Things went sour pretty quickly.


It was then I learned that, like a gallon of milk, a cup of yogurt or a pound of ground round, perfection also has an expiration date!   And when it is opened it can stink up the whole house.


Not wanting to taint the “perfect” picture I’ve painted of her I won’t go into detail of exactly what expired perfection looks like (it’s really not for the faint of heart).  I will say, however, that the morning consisted of a missed bus (on purpose), a removed door knob (hint: this is how you overrule a child who locks them self in their room – you just remove the door knob), one swat on the rear and being grounded from everything except breathing.  Oh yes, did I mention that I am now the proud new owner of several cute outfits from Justice?  Well, I am!  They now hang prominently in my closet.  Too bad I can’t wear them….because I would…that would be the ultimate wammy!


I’m glad the “Perfect” child went to school today.  It gave me time to pray, blog and eat four miniature candy bars (they’re miniature so they don’t count right???).   I phoned the hubs to make sure that the weekend wasn’t just a dream I was having.  He confirmed that it was real – that our child was, in fact, temporarily perfect! 


They say some people dream of perfect children.  I say to those people:  Been there….done that…it’s highly overrated!


The bad news is that this child I speak of is only 10 years old.  I’ve heard from weathered, gray haired mothers of teenage girls that I’m to expect this to only get worse.  At this point I’m thinking the only thing worse would to actually witness her head spinning around.  I’m thinking it did spin this morning – I just didn’t see it!


In my desperation this morning I sought out the “Good Book” to see what the master Parent has to offer about discipline.  This is what I found:Top of Form

Proverbs 13:24 ESV / 256

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

Hebrews 12:11 ESV / 193

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Proverbs 22:6 ESV / 156

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Ephesians 6:4 ESV / 113

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Proverbs 29:17 ESV / 97

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.

Bottom of Form


These scriptures were so helpful and good reminders to be diligent in my discipline of little Miss Wishy Wash!   The selfish ME particularly likes that last one about ME getting the rest and ME getting my heart delighted!!  Hey, it’s been a rough morning okay?  I know she’ll never truly be perfect and I don’t expect her to be!  But I am reminded from these scriptures that discipline now brings bright hope for her future.  I will press on because I desperately desire for her to yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness one day.  Until then I’ll hit the good book again – where are those scriptures on patience???
Until next time.....weathered gray haired lady!




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Brave - and I'm not talking about the movie!

I was devastated to hear the news of the Movie Theatre massacre in Aurora Colorado last week.  I had to think that this was the complete opposite of an encounter I had with strangers at a movie theatre earlier in the week.  

I took Hannah and a friend to see “Brave”.  The movie was great but the conversation I had with twin boys prior to the show was over the top! 

We went to a small hometown theatre where the movies are cheap, the popcorn is great, the chairs are broken and the floor is sticky!!  But we enjoy going there anyway. 

The room we were in had about 30-40 seats in it only.  The three of us where the only three there until a woman walked in with two darling twin boys who appeared to be preschool age. 

They were of Mexican descent with big brown expressive eyes and their hair slicked over to one side.  One carried a big bag of popcorn and they both chattered non-stop to the “grandmother” that was with them.  As grandma assessed the situation she decided that two active boys plus one large soda equals one accident waiting to happen.  So, she told the boys to sit tight while she ran to the concession stand to get another cup so they could each have a cup to use.  (Again this is a very small place and the concession stand is just outside the door). 

Recognizing her dilemma I offered to go get the cup for her.  Thinking they may charge her for it she thought she should go.  “They’ll be fine – it’s just right outside the door,” she said. 

Before I could even turn around one of the little boys piped up and said – “Hi, I’m Anthony” to which his brother added – “And I’m Daniel”.  Seeing they were now occupied grandma quickly exited to get the cup. 

My conversation with these two live wires went as follows: 

Anthony: ….and we have a little baby brother named Jonathon.

Daniel:  ….but he was just a baby in my mommy’s tummy and now he is borned and he is too little to come to the movie with us.

Me:  Oh – so you are big brothers?  You are brothers aren’t you?

Anthony: - Yes

Daniel:  We are twins!

Me:  How old are you boys:

Anthony: 5. Welll, we were 4 but then we went to Mexico then we were 5.

Me:  Oh, so will you go to Kindergarten this year?

Anthony:  No we don’t go to school but we aren’t babies anymore.

Daniel: We were babies in our mommy’s tummy but that’s just how God made us…. Do you know God?

Me:  (quite shocked by this little man’s innocence and boldness all rolled into one) Why yes I do, very well – He is my savior?

Anthony:  Well, do you know his book?

Me:  Oh yes, I do and I read it a lot

Daniel:  My momma has His book and she reads it a lot too. 

By this time Grandma was back and they were sidetracked by the snacks being presented and the start of the previews. 

I, however, sat glaring at the previews on the screen but feeling blessed to have just been witnessed to by a couple of 5 year olds. 

There were “God markings” all over this little episode, but two things impressed me the most: 

1.  Talking about God to a total stranger was just as natural as breathing for these little boys.  What if I hadn’t been a Christian, hadn’t known God?  Would I have been positively impacted by such a convicting question presented by such an adorable messenger? These little fellas had no reservations, were not inhibited in any way, didn’t care where they were and weren’t afraid of offending anyone. If only I spoke the name of Jesus/God as carefree as these innocent little boys do?  What a lesson to me about testifying no matter where you are or who you are with.

2.  The example of being in God’s word that this mother has set for these boys.  As glad as she must have been to have a little reprieve from these two little chatterboxes and have some alone time with her newborn, I’m sure her heart would have swelled to bursting if she could have heard their witness to a total stranger that day.  She definitely has set an example of Godly character for these young boys.  Obviously, they have noticed that momma reads the Word.  Obviously, they have taken note that God is number one in their home.  Children are mimickers of what they see and hear – obviously, they see and hear a lot about God in their home.  Have I set this example for my children?  Are they impacted by what they see and hear in our home?  I have not met this mother but she has impacted me greatly with her Godly character reflected from the mouths of her tiny sons.

 Ironically I went to see the movie Brave - but these two little cherubs really taught me how to be "Brave" for Jesus!

I went to see a movie and came out of there being moved! What a blessing!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A change is gonna come

This Sam Cooke song from the 60’s came to mind today as I was reflecting on all the things that are about to take place in my life in the next few short weeks.

What kind of change is gonna come?

……I will pack up everything but the memories of our house of 12 years and leave it for a  young couple to begin their own memories in.

…..I will move into a temporary spot…for an undetermined amount of time.

….I will say good-bye to Zac one more time when he goes back to college – wait?  Didn’t I just say hello to him.

….I will send Nic off to Phoenix…but this time he will drive (just sedate me til he calls and says he’s there safely, okay?).  His senior year….will he come back or will he stay there???


….My daughter will go to a different school.  Same friends, same school system, just a different building for 5th and 6th graders (5th grade??? Really?  Talk about change that’s about to come. Geesh!).

....Joel will go back to teaching which means sleeping past 5:30 every morning will end (very sad about this one - but I do like me some Sparky time)


               Change is good

It broadens our horizons…

               Teaches us new things

                        Keeps us from becoming dormant

                              Energizes us

                                    Gives us something to look forward to

                                             Helps us set and achieve goals

               Change is good……and yet, in order to endure the changes of life you must have consistency in some areas. We depend on the “constants” to make the changes bearable, keep us grounded and not lose sight of our goals.

The love of family

      The encouragement of friends

               Contentment in spirit



               Most importantly.

Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday,     
                               (Hebrews 13:8)

I'm so thankful for my Mainstay!
He never changes
And that is good! Amen!


Friday, June 1, 2012

Are we there yet?

It’s been a very hectic week and not one day of it that I didn’t cry over something! 
                             Yes, I have cried over something everyday this week. 

This is how I respond when I’m overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed – I cry!  Hey….it works for little kids –so I’m thinking it will work for me as well.  (Side note….temper tantrums is also a tip I got from little kids…and that has been effective for me as well this week.  I, of course, do the “mature” temper tantrum. I don’t go for that childish kicking and screaming business….I go straight to the dish throwing and pot and pan clanging.  One just feels so much better when they can break a few plates!)

The constant unknown of not knowing where we are going to live swirls around in my brain constantly and puts an ever grinding pit in my stomach always.  This coupled with the fact that...
  1. I spent the first two days of the week working a moving sale and making coolers of lemonade
  2.  the rest of the week working during the day and attending dance rehearsal/recitals from Tuesday to Saturday every single night.  HOW MUCH DANCE CAN ONE MOM TAKE ANYWAY!? 
  3.  And…well….my family…God love ‘em! Let’s just say…..they just don’t keep house the way I do!  This is where the temper tantrum part comes into play!
  4.  Mix in a little 40 somethingish hormones….shake briskly (do not stir) and you have yourself one lethal mama combo! 

It’s so bad that while kicking a broom out of my way in the laundry room earlier I pondered whether or not if it might lift off if I were to straddle it!

Knowing how deep down in the pit of despair I was, my husband (again…God love him), tried to give me a bit of encouragement by emailing me his “verse of the day” which was: 
                                     John 14:18 
     I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 

 Very sweet of him to think for one measly second I’d believe this and find some kind of hope in it.  My retort reply to him was this:  “Although this is a very hope-filled verse I also know that he left a group of very nice people to wonder in the desert for 40 years!

 See just how crabby I am???  Sorry God!  You’ve got much work to do in me yet!!!

On Wednesday, I dragged my tired and grumpy rear to the office knowing that a stinkin’, happy, cheerful little newsletter was on the agenda.  UGH!  I was not in the mood for this so I began to thumb through some of my stinkin’, happy, cheerful literature in hopes of finding some kind of hopeful little tidbit that might cheer some poor sap up!

I did – and that poor sap was me! 

Here’s what I found: (from the Newsletter, Newsletter – written by K. Myers)

Are we there yet? This age-old refrain of young travelers is followed by a second question: “How much longer?” How similar those queries are to the psalmist’s oft-repeated cry, “How long, O Lord, how long? (Psalm 6:3b, NIV).  Patience is an uncommon virtue these days.  We’re anxious to get where we’re going or to get what we want.  But think how much we miss while wishing we were elsewhere!  In our rush to reach a destination, we fail to grasp lessons that can be learned only along the way.  What blessings might you be overlooking in the here-and-now and the right-where-you-are?     

Hmmm…if this doesn’t bring your broomstick to a crashing halt I don’t know what will!

I’ve spent a good deal of this crazy chaotic week mad, upset, overwhelmed and especially ticked off at those that I love the most (if you loved ones are reading this – it still does not mean that I excuse your trashy, unkempt ways and your inability to be able to see what needs to be done and do it…just sayin’) and totally blinded to anything that closely resembled a blessing in my week.

Sooooo here it is…..My official overlooked blessing list

·       A house that sold quickly – helping us meet our goal to get out of debt – a real blessing that sometimes feels like a curse to me right now.

·       The anticipation of what God has in store for us…where will he take us?  Where will we live???  What path is he taking us…it can be exciting and not something I dread! (it's also teaching me much about Waiting on Him!)

·       Sons who are strong and healthy and willing to help their mama set up for a moving sale!  Love you boys! (again….messiness still not acceptable! J)

·       A husband who cares enough to approach with caution with an encouraging word – so brave that guy!

·       A beautiful daughter who has danced her little heart out in spite of feeling really crummy all week.  Her grace and maturity have shined this week and I am thankful!

·       New friends I have met through dance and spending these last few evenings with them.

·       Good health – can’t imagine this chaos if I were ill.

My list goes on and on – I’ve been compiling it in my head as I go along. I promise!

Am I there yet?  Nope – but I’m going to work at the blessing pit stops along the way!