Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A week in the country

Just checking in to say that we are relaxing in the country for a week. We're staying on my uncle's farm and visiting with lots of family that came in for a 'winter reunion'. It's snowing and very windy out, so I'm enjoying being cozy in the house with a cup of coffee and a good book.

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Decorating

I recently dug all the boxes of Christmas decorations out of the attic, and found myself wondering how on earth I ever ended up with so bloody much of it. I seriously need to scale back, but I don't know what I could bear to part with. There must be 6 or 7 of those giant moving-style boxes & Rubbermaid totes that are crammed full. In addition I have a giant ceramic tree that you plug those little Lite-Brite-style bulbs into. I haven't even put that out yet because I'd like to minimize the time that the Tyrant has to ingest the bulbs.

The tree itself isn't in storage, because we prefer the live kind and picked out a nice one a few days ago. I always look forward to the tree, and the lovely smell of it in the house. I've gotten really adept at how to hang ornaments for the least amount of toddler breakage. And I've accepted the fact that the cat will drink the tree water every night while we sleep, so refilling it in the morning has become routine. I can tolerate him taking a drink because I'd rather him do that than this which I find disturbing.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Moving On

I mentioned in a previous post that we have changed churches. I don't think that I have anything very eloquent to say about this, plus we really aren't broadcasting it to anyone at our old church, hence why I really haven't talked about it. But part of me just wants to share about it, because it's a BIG STINKING DEAL, and since everything in life can affect recovery, it seems wise to open the flood gate on this one.

We've been unhappy at our church for a few years. We just felt we weren't growing there anymore, or learning much of anything. It was a great 'starter' church for us, where the people became like family, and genuinely cared for one another. But as the years went by, the things available for the men dwindled, and the Sunday school classes descended into group therapy rather than Bible study. Still, we stayed. We were involved in just enough that to leave would be difficult, and we loved the people so much. We made many close friends there over the years. But we continued to be unhappy, and were completely frustrated by the lack of 'meaty' sermons. You can only grow so much as a Christian if all you hear are Dr. Phil-esque lessons on life. I am not diametrically opposed to those kinds of sermons, but if they are all you are being fed, you are slowly becoming malnourished.

A year ago in November I had a conversation with one of my closest girlfriends about the situation. As I shared all that we were frustrated or fed up with, she gently pointed out to me that I didn't need to continue to pray about this, because God was clearly showing us the door. I resisted her point, but she repeated back to me all of the things I had told her, and asked, if the roles were reversed, would I tell her to stay or go? I knew in my heart that I had my answer. I had prayed repeatedly, and time and again He had answered me. I needed to stop asking Him questions that He had already answered. I asked her why, then, couldn't we go? She said, 'because you don't want to'. The truth was that we had a certain measure of comfort in the familiar, and to leave would be to start over in a foreign land.

So we stayed, still unhappy, but too hard-headed to do what we should. It wasn't until the beginning of August, when the Man and I hit a breaking point, that we were able to make the decision. Our marriage was a mess, we couldn't communicate, we bickered, we festered, we were unreasonable. There was a low point where I just wanted to check out of the marriage, not legally, but just emotionally. I was tired of trying. The Man and I sat down one night, and amidst many tears, we knew we had to do something drastic. We asked ourselves, if we were in a church that was feeding us spiritually, where we were learning and growing and walking in our faith the way that we were supposed to be, would we be struggling in our marriage like this? We agreed right then and there that we would finally make the change.

And now here we are, over a year after my conversation with my friend before we finally did leave. I slowly extracted myself from my commitments and we quietly left. Some of our friends have also recently left, but not for all of the same reasons. Some core reasons are the same, but individual disagreements have contributed more to their departures. My one friend stated that he would like to have left but kept his membership there, so that he could go back if circumstances changed. I thought about that, but realized that if we were going to uproot our children and take them on this journey, then we could not do so with the idea of waiting things out. We need to be committed to this change, and not to sound too Frodo-esque, but I think that over time we will realize, there is no going back. The church we have left would not be the same church that we would go back to years from now. A church is made up of changing individuals, and as such, is a fluid entity. I have found this to be very true when I have gotten together with the 'old gang' from my drinking days, and felt uncomfortable. Time has changed all of us, and sobriety has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I don't belong in that circle of friends anymore, even if they wanted me, which I'm pretty sure they do not. And that's ok now. As I go forward making my amends, I have peace about leaving that life behind.

And so it must be with this change. I have to let God give me peace about leaving that church life behind, even as it is so difficult to start all over again. We will make new friends. We will find a new niche for our family. I have left behind the Remembrance Services, which was one of the main things that held me back from leaving in the past. I wasn't willing to give those up, nor did I feel like God had released me from it. I needed to see it through. But something happened this year, a change in me that I did not expect. I became ready to finally let go. In my head I had always been willing to let go of the past, and lay my children to rest. But in my heart, I was incapable of doing this. Holding that Remembrance Service every January was a way to keep their memory alive, but it also served to keep wounds open. When God finally answered my prayers for answers, and gave me permission to walk away, I balked. It may seem senseless to someone on the outside, but when you have lost a baby, and all you have left is your grief, you are reticent to let that go. The pain was all I had left of them. I know that it's time now, and I must let go and move on. I don't know how to do that, but I'm trying.

After talking and praying about this decision for so long, having made it seems anti-climatic in some ways. We have been at the new church for a few Sundays now, and are hoping to join a small group in the new year. The Man is incredibly happy, and his joy is enormously helpful to me. I need his affirmation that we made the right choice, and that we are in this together. God had told me that 2008 was going to be a big year for us, and it has been. It has been an incredibly difficult and painful year, with many challenges. We have grown in unexpected ways, and I look forward to seeing where He leads us.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Death of a Friend

My friend Vic passed away last night. He'd had cancer for nearly a decade, and gone through periods of good and bad ever since. He was in hospice care in his home since July, which was when we went to say our goodbyes to him. He wasn't expected to live more than a few weeks but surprised everyone by hanging on a few more months.

Vic was a wonderful and loving man. We knew him through our church, and I served with him as a Deacon. My sadness at losing him is swaddled with peace in knowing that he is no longer sick or suffering.

Farewell dear friend.... I'll see you at the eastern gate.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Yes, it's new layout time again

And if you hate it, you can blame my friend Nova, who told me that the old layout was boring. I'm pretty sure that this one is even more so, but when you mess with html, sometimes you get the horns, or in this case, you lose all your nifty sidebar items and have to start over. I hunted through loads of Pyzam layouts but I hate how 99% of them squish your main text into a tiny little column. And I can keep fussing with this today, or I can tend to the stomach-virus-laden child who is currently sleeping on the couch. I can tell you what I'd rather be doing of course, but it will get messy if I ignore the Princess for too long.


So, we're felons, apparently

Over the summer we acquired a fish tank, and a co-worker of the Man had given us some snails. He had too many, and they're good for keeping the tank clean, so we were happy to take them. To me they were just brown snails, and other than the fact that they did keep reproducing and filling the tank with more tiny brown snails, I took little notice of them.

The United States Department of Agriculture however, is mighty interested in them. Yesterday morning the Man got a call from said co-worker, informing us that these snails, that he had originally bought on eBay, were now being confiscated by the government. They are some sort of ramshorn snail, and for some reason we aren't allowed to keep them. The Man bagged them up last night to go turn them over. The only info I've found seems to be that the USDA has issues with controlling their population in commercial fish ponds, though I'm not at all clear what that has to do with us.

The irony of having to turn over aquarium snails to the government isn't lost on me. Of all the illegal things I did in my previous life, possession of contraband slugs sure never made the list.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Random Things

The Barnacle shall henceforth be known as the Tyrant. He is two and has worked hard to earn this new title. He recently decided that he did not care for the dishtowels that my mother keeps hanging from the front of her oven door. He relocated them to the kitchen floor. Not thinking much of it, Gramma hung them back up. The Tyrant narrowed his eyes at her, strode back to the oven door, and removed the towels to the floor again. This time, he stomped his little foot on them, and ground them down. He gave Gramma a LOOK and left the kitchen. I don't think she dared try to put them back after that. The Tyrant has made his point.

I drug out all of the boxes of Christmas decorations today. I have an insane amount of decorations and tablecloths and stockings and on and on. While I was busy giving myself an insulation halo, I discovered another box of 2T clothing for the Tyrant, score!

The Man worked 87 hours the week before Thanksgiving. Seriously.

My vacuum cleaner has died. There should be a law about these things breaking during the holidays. Who can afford a new vacuum when you just dropped 300 clams on DS Lites and games for the Princess and the Boy for Christmas? (YES, those are their only gifts this year, sheesh!)

Our catfish is eating the angelfish's eggs. Very rude.

We finally left our church. There's no real way to get into that without this turning into a giant emotional vomit. Knowing it's the right decision doesn't make it any easier. We'll be starting at the new church next week.

On Thanksgiving morning I went to a rehab center for a Gratitude Meeting. There were hundreds of people there, standing room only. There is something very gritty and humbling about seeing the detox patients sitting there among people who have from a few weeks or months, up to decades of sobriety. You want it for them, but know that some will not make it. We can only offer our experience, strength and hope, and show them what we have done. The rest is up to them.


Signs that I'm raising my children right

I was going to bed the other night, and when I pulled back the covers, I was startled to find a huge black spider on my pillow. I'm not generally bothered by bugs and spiders, but I was thankful that it was a rubber tarantula. I admit that I did jump because I wasn't expecting it, but then burst out laughing, as the Man and I tried to guess which of the kids had left it there. The next morning the Princess sweetly asked if I had enjoyed my surprise last night. I knew it had to be the blonde one, she's very wily that way.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Changing How We 'Do' Christmas

We are changing how my family does Christmas this year: We had already made the decision to limit the kids to 3 special gifts each, in memory of the 3 gifts that the Magi brought to Jesus, and also to teach them about gratitude for what they have. A friend posted this video on Facebook and I'm reposting it because it really drives home the message that, now more than ever, we should be caring for our fellow man, the way that Jesus did.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day and I've been thinking about my grandfather Raymond all morning. I never knew him, as he died when my mother was only 14. He was one of many men in my mother's family tree that served in the military. I thought it would be nice to honor the vets from her family today. I regret that I don't have any pictures from my father's side, as many of his uncles and his father also served. When we moved my grandmother into a facility last year, I took my laptop and was able to scan a lot of her pictures in that transition. Any military pictures from my dad's family would be in his posession, and I'll have to make sure I ask to borrow them so I can honor them in the future.

This is my great-great-grandfather, John Conrad. He served in the Civil War and was wounded.

My grandparents in 1942. My grandfather served in the Army.

My mother says that sometime during my grandfather's military service, he was one of the only survivors when his ship went down. He floated with debris for several days before being rescued. I wish we had more information, but this was something my grandfather did not like to talk about. I'm hoping to do some research and find out the name of the ship.
My Great Uncle Keith, 1942, home on leave.

My Great Uncle Ord, near Germany, 1942

My Uncle Noel, served in the Army.

My grandfather, top right, in Hawaii, 1938

Sitting on top of an anti-aircraft, 1938, Hawaii

Thank you to all of our veterans. There are many more in my family, including cousins who have served and are serving now. I'm extremely humbled by their service, and honored to call them family.

*note* I apologize for the spacing being off. I edited the post about fifty times and blogger refuses to cooperate.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Fangled Toys

I find myself in an interesting paradox lately. I am a fan of technology (the blog being a good case in point) and I am not generally afraid of new things or trying to learn them. But these days I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, and honestly, quite pretentious.

It started with the new van that closes the doors for me. While I truly enjoy being able to push a button and watch the door close on it's own whilst I hoist a small person and a purse and a bag of groceries, there is still just something ridiculous about it that unnerves me. Who do I think I am really, that I need doors to be shut for me? What kind of person is this lazy or uncoordinated?

The Man bought a Bluetooth for his phone a while back. He works in a state that does not allow you to talk on the phone while driving, so it's either use a headset or pull over. Unfortunately, he soon found that he couldn't hear very well on it. He said I could have it, and set it up for me. (I can hear on it just fine, because I have my mother's supersonic hearing. Remind me to tell that story later.)

So I went out to run some errands the other day, and took the new toy with me. I put it in my ear and immediately felt important, because clearly unimportant people would not need to have something this dandy. The Man said I looked like the Borg. I went about town, doing my errands, and wondered who I could call to try it out. This was when I realized that the new toy fell into my pretentious category. I only talk to probably four people on my cell phone, and one of them had just reminded me that resistance is futile. (If you aren't a Trekkie that was totally not funny, I know.) I finally decided to call my best friend to ask her a question about some plans for the weekend. That's it. Haven't used it since. I just do not lead a life that requires me to be that plugged in to other people 24 hours a day. And while I joke about it, at the same time I do find it very sad that people use this kind of technology to 'communicate', and miss the reality that they close themselves off to the real live people in front of them. I see it everywhere: a man and wife having dinner out, and the man has his ear plugged in to some other person.... a mom picking her kid up from school, also plugged in to some other person who isn't in front of her. And I wonder, how does that wife feel? How does that child feel? To be the person who is so uninteresting to you, that you can't even be bothered to talk to them while you share a meal? That you can't hang up and greet your child that you haven't seen all day? Unplug people, seriously! What the heck do you have to talk about that is more important than the person you are with?


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

"Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. The 'Wave of Light' that marks the day is an international affair, something everyone can be part of. At 7pm local time, across every time zone, all are invited to join in lighting a candle in remembrance and honour of little ones loved and missed.
A wave of light around the world may only go a small way to brightening the darkness and silence of babyloss...both as an individual experience and as a taboo subject. But it is a beginning. May the light illuminate and honour, and if it is bright enough, foster discussion, research and prevention, empathy, and support for those who grieve."
(Quote from the Loss Directory)
When we held the first Remembrance Service at my church, we did it on October 15th. (The service was later moved to January, to coordinate with Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.) This date is very special to me, and to so many others who have faced the heartache of child loss.
A very dear friend of mine had a miscarriage this week. My heart is heavy for her, wishing I could do something for her but knowing all too well that I cannot spare her this pain. She needs to go through this alone with God, and my job is to pray her through. When I went through my miscarriage some people respected my grief and acknowledged it, but left me alone about it too. I appreciated that, because the last thing I needed was platitudes about where my baby was or what God's plan was. Losing Lily didn't make me question my faith. I just needed to be allowed to grieve for her, and I didn't need to know the reasons why. I wrote this poem at that time:
Please don't tell me that it will be fine.
It won't, it will always be different.
Please don't tell me that I will get over it.
I never will. I won't even try.
Please don't tell me when it's okay for me to get pregnant again, or how long I should wait.
That's between us and God.
Please don't try to mother me.
I already have my own mother.
Please don't hide pictures of other babies from me.
I couldn't hide from this if I tried.
I don't need to be handled with care.
I am not fragile.
I don't need to be discussed in quiet voices.
I am not your sad secret.
I don't need anyone to tell me anything reassuring.
Nothing you can say will change anything.
All I need is for you to smile, and listen, and comfort me in silence.
God gives me strength, and I will survive.
Please just be my friend.

Shay ©2001
For those of you who are grieving recent losses, I pray that God would comfort you and give you the peace He has given me.


Monday, October 13, 2008


Hello loves, it's been a while. My life is crazy-mom-busy these days and with the Man still gone 75ish hours a week, I'm holding down the fort alone. I'm looking forward to the end of the soccer season soon, as three trips a week for that has become my undoing.

I added a new thing to the blog, if you notice on the top right. It's a clock with dancing and music. It makes me pretty happy, but you can mute it if it annoys you. It's in military time, so after noon you have to subtract 12 to know the time.

Piano lessons are still fantastic and I got glitter stickers on my completed pages today. Yeah yeah, I know it's silly, but really, I spend my life with small people, and sticker motivation has it's merits, even for the 34 year old in the house.

I signed up for Word of the Day emails from and I feel smarter already. Today's word was sobriquet, which has nothing to do with being sober, oddly enough. My favorite new word so far though, is donnybrook, which I'm sure I will find oodles of ways to use around this circus.

Heroes has started a new season, and I'm finding it harder and harder to watch home alone at night without the Man. I may need to start watching it with him in the daylight, because I have Sylar and Mohinder heebie-jeebies and our cat does little to make me feel safe. He did however, reassure me of his undying love at midnight, 5:30 and 7 o'clock this morning as he lay at my bedroom door yowling. It was not euphonious.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Minimum Wage = Minimum Results

So the Princess and I are starting piano lessons. I'm pretty stoked about this. I took a year of piano as a teenager so I could get my ears pierced a year early but haven't touched one since. I always hoped to get back to it, and here we are!

Two weeks ago I took the Boy's godfather with me up to Guitar Center to get his opinion on digital pianos. He's a musician, and we really trust his perspective. We finally decided on the Yamaha YPG635. They had sold the two they had in stock that week, so they told me they could order it to be shipped to my house at no extra charge. The sales guy said it would be 4-5 days. This seemed like a good idea at the time, so I signed my life away and that was that.

After patiently waiting for a week I called and very politely asked where the wayward keyboard might be. I was transferred from one stoner dude to another who said he would find out the tracking number ASAP and would call me back in 'like, 45 minutes, k?'. I waited, forlorn, by the phone. Ok, I didn't, but my phone never rang. The next day I call them back and get connected to my same guy, who is 'totally sorry that he forgot to call' me back. He misses the part where I am reaching through the phone to strangle the Pearl Jam out of him. He says he will get the tracking number for me and puts me on hold. Five minutes later (which, as you know, is an eternity to wait on hold listening to Marilyn Manson) he comes back breathless to ask if I would mind waiting a while as he tries to find it. I acquiesce and go back to listening to thee worst version of Sweet Dreams Are Made of This ever. I take the phone with me while I move laundry to the dryer, correct math homework and remove the cat from the pantry.

My BFF finally returns and he does not have good news. Apparently the guys at the other store dropped the ball, and it's totally not his fault but they didn't ship it yet and he sent them the confirmation twice and they lost it and he is really frustrated with those guys and it's shipping out today and he's sorry and it will probably not arrive until this Friday. I asked about my parting gifts but only received a bright shiny apology and that was it. I'm not feelin' the love.

The next day, as I wrote out the list of things I would need to plot the demise of the ball dropping other guys, my knight in shining brown armor arrived with the blessed piano. My UPS guy never lets me down and even got it into the house for me. The Man assembled it later and the sounds of the children fighting over it now fill my happy home.


Monday, September 22, 2008

New Books

I love new books. The smell, the feel of crisp pages, the dream of reading an entire page without being interrupted. It's all lovely. I recently ordered some new books for my recovery journey. I have started reading them and hope to actually finish them soon. I say 'hope' of course, because there is just something about a phone or a book in a mother's hand that attracts small children like moths to a flame.

As Bill Sees It - "Selected writings from the cofounder of A.A. touch nearly every aspect of A.A.'s way of life. An aid to individual meditation and a stimulant to group discussion, As Bill Sees It contains 332 short writings with topics indexed for quick access." I really love how they have collected helpful & powerful things that Bill Wilson said not only in his books, but in his personal letters as well. This man was no doubt divinely inspired.

12 Step Sponsorship: How It Works - "Passing it on is a key concept in the Twelve Step community and many of the traditions and knowledge of the Twelve Step recovery program have been passed down by word-of-mouth from one generation of sponsors to the next. Twelve Step Sponsorship effectively takes this knowledge and tradition and applies it to a working manual for sponsors, guiding them through their role in reaching out and helping new program members."
I have never had a sponsee and I recently talked with my sponsor about the possibility in the future. I know how to stay sober, but I worry that I don't know enough of the details of the program or where to find certain things in the Big Book. I later had a realization; the same fears I have about being someone's sponsor are the same ones we Christians share about witnessing. We think that we don't know enough Scripture or that we will say the wrong thing. We forget that it isn't about us or our fragile egos, but rather about Him and what He can do through us if we are just willing.

God & Me, Devotions for Girls (Ages 10-12) - We found this book at an outlet yesterday and the Princess is very excited about it. They had one for boys as well but I wasn't sure that the Boy would actually sit still for it? I was rethinking it this morning and I may go back and get the one for him as well. I also got her a Bible cover so she can carry her Bible and Awana book all in one place.

I realized that as much as I love books and love to read, I don't think I ever post about that? I will point out, however, that I do use Shelfari to keep track of what I've read, and if you look down my right sidebar you will see a shelf with what I'm reading. (You can view my Shelfari Profile here.) I'm currently just finishing up the first in the Sunrise series by Karen Kingsbury. Her books are a quick read but I can't seem to put them down. Her ability to bring characters to life truly impresses me. I have literally found myself starting to pray as I read of someone's trials, then stopped myself as I remembered that they were fictional characters! Kingsbury has a gift, no question.


This & That

Sleepin’ in Omelette - This is a beautifully written recipe, accompanied by helpful pictures to teach you all you need to know about making this omelette. That said, do not ever make it. You will die of a heart attack within five minutes of eating it. You have been warned.

Never End Game - If you have an hour or 19 to kill, try this game.

Followers - If you look on the top right of this page you will see where the Followers section is. I am forlorn and lonely here folks, so throw me a bone. It's Monday and I need to feel loved! Click over there to Follow me!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Her dog's name was Magnum

I wanted to change the temperature here today, to bring back some laughter after the sorrows of this past week. But first, I need to talk about something that is weighing very heavily on me today.

A week and a half ago I was in my kitchen and I noticed a dog in my yard. I went out and greeted him, and he came to me. He was big and white and very friendly. I led him to the back yard so he wouldn't run off, and checked his tags. After I gave him a dish of water, I called the number on his tag and left a message for the owner. A short while later she called me back, and when I told her where I lived, she said that she would walk over, as she lived just around the corner. When she arrived we introduced ourselves, and chatted about her dog. He had an invisible fence collar on, and she figured the battery must have died in it. The woman was very slim and pale and I felt an urge to be extra kind to her. She thanked me repeatedly and I told her it was my pleasure and he had been no trouble at all.

Yesterday I found her name on my caller ID. I hadn't remembered her name. It was the young suicidal woman who was shot to death last week. My heart broke when I read the name, realizing who I had had in front of me just a week before her death. I know I could not have prevented what she did. I know that she was not my responsibility. But still.... I had this woman in front of me, and I have the peace in my heart that she was so desperately unable to find. How I wish now that I had been able to give it to her, to share my Jesus with her, to be a friend to her.

I am blessed to have found my way out of the pain and turmoil of my past, and into the life of freedom and peace that I have today. I know the kind of pain that girl felt, and it hurts me now to think of how she must have been suffering. I don't know why God led her into my life for that brief moment, but if nothing else, I will choose to think of her whenever I feel homesick for hell. I don't want to go back to the pain I used to live out each day. I don't know why she was depressed, or what struggles she faced that led her to her decision, or if addiction played any part in her problems. We may have nothing more in common than pain. But I do know what it's like to wish for death, to not know how to cope with that pain for one more day. The difference is that now I know how to live my life free of those burdens. I can only hope that she is resting in peace, and pray for the hard days ahead for her family.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today was a sad day in many ways. I watched some of the coverage of the 7th anniversary of 9/11 this morning, and my daughter is old enough now that she asked me a lot of questions. Not hard questions, just looking for information, but.... I found myself unable to finish some of my sentences as I choked up, remembering how it felt that day. I live in a central location to where the four planes crashed, but was not in any danger. I did not personally know anyone who died that day. I was not affected in any way except the most common one, which is that I was an American who fell to my knees in complete horror when I turned on the tv that day. I prayed fervently, rubbing my pregnant belly where I carried the Boy, and feeling afraid in my own home for the first time in my life. Without my faith in God, I do not know how I would have coped with all the swirling emotions of that day. I wonder what it is like for those who feel they have no one to cry out to when life does not make sense.

Today was a reminder of the evanescent quality of life in other ways as well. A suicidal woman around the corner from us barricaded herself in her home, and then shot at police who were forced to return fire and kill her. I live in the suburbs where these things are very rare, and very shocking.

When my husband left for his evening shift at work, he had to take a longer route to avoid a huge accident that had shut down a highway. Several people were killed. He called only a few hours later to say he was on his way home. A car had crashed into one of their sweeper trucks at 70mph and four adults in the car were killed. A newborn baby in the back seat survived, along with the driver of the truck who was taken to the hospital. My husband spoke to one of the passengers in the back, who was still alive at that point. The man was groaning in his pain. My husband cleared broken glass from the baby girl's face as she screamed. When I watched the news coverage an hour ago, I could see him standing near the wreckage of the car, it's roof sliced off and the entire car crushed. He said it was one of the worst accidents he has ever seen, and he saw many when he was a volunteer firefighter for a dozen years.

These tragic things happened on the anniversary of tragedy. I think about the families of those who died today, and wonder what it will be like for them on 9/11 in years to come. I wonder if any of them knew Jesus, and I shudder to think of those who did not. I just ache for them. I have no wise or thoughtful words for times like this, and can only rely on God, and ask Him to show us the way through the valley of the shadow.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happy Best Mom Ever Day!

I'm trying to think of a way to appropriately commemorate something that happened yesterday. It was my first experience and I know I'll want to mark it on the calendar and celebrate accordingly every year. It's these little moments as we raise our children that whisper softly to us about the joy that we feel when we look at our little ones.

I got my first phone call from the principal about my child's behavior. Please hold your applause. I am deeply moved. *bows*

So the Boy made it through all of Kindergarten and one day of First Grade before doing what we all naturally want to do.... Hit the annoying kid next to us in the head with our lunchbox. As I bask in the glow of my stellar parenting skills, I silently thank the good Lord that we bought him a soft sided lunchbox. I was at a Deacon's meeting last night at church, and as we had our umpteenth go-round with an endless argument, I found myself wishing I had brought my son's lunchbox with me. Being a grown-up can be so tedious sometimes, always having to restrain ourselves and be the bigger person. I really think that a good brawl would have moved the meeting along rather quickly. But alas, I not only had to behave like a lady, I had to take the minutes of the entire train wreck. Don't get me wrong, there are many things I enjoy about being Deacon in my church, and they are truly a wonderful group of people. But no one knows how to beat the dead horse longer than a Presbyterian committee.

But I digress.... The Man and I had a discussion with the Boy about inappropriate behavior, Christian manners and beat-downs. Neither of us is admitting that we find it funny, at least not to each other.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kids, can you say 'IRONY'?

You know, wherever you stand on politics and the war, what kind of jackass do you have to be to think that acting this way at an anti-war protest makes ANY SENSE??

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"And now,' cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!'

This past weekend was one for the books at Casa de Chaos. On Friday night we witnessed the renewal of wedding vows by our closest friends. It was really quite touching, and the Barnacle was really enthusiastic about it. The woman sitting in front of us must have agreed with him, as she kept turning around to look at him with an eye borrowed from Hot Wheels 3. Mercifully, the Princess volunteered to take him down the hall, and we got to watch the end in silence. At that point I was wearing a variety of cereals that he had managed to leave behind, bless his wee heart. Did I mention he can now announce, "I poooooooo!", and is cutting four teeth? All at once?

Saturday we picked up speed as we ran errands, did chores and schtuff. Dropped the kids off at my in-laws who were taking them to a grange fair. Later in the day we went to a barbecue hosted by one of the gals from my Bible study. We had a lovely time but the sheer volume of small children in the back yard created quite the hullabaloo. Small people everywhere, with all variety of snack and drink and wreckage to pick up behind them.

Sunday was church and then home for the Princess' 9th birthday party. More wild shriekings, with lots of kids running around throwing water balloons at my brother and each other, jumping in and out of the pool with water guns, and all the grandparents hiding from the aquatic fun in the house. Much fanfare was beheld as she opened her gifts, including two new WebKinz and the brand new, just came out, 'Mom, can you believe it?!' CD of the Camp Rock soundtrack. I'm already hearing the songs in my sleep.

Have I mentioned how happy I was when Monday finally arrived?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Just Keep Swimming

Where did my blog list go?? It's there when I go to edit the template, but I can't see it on the page. I'm annoyed because that's how I go read other blogs. Foo.

Well I'm off to the camper in a few hours, and I'm only taking the Boy. The Princess is away at church camp until tomorrow and the Barnacle is staying home with the Man. It's the de-barnacling of the Barnacle you could say. It will be the first time that he and I are apart for more than a few hours, so we'll see how he does.

We have some new pets here, six little fish. I asked the Man what kind they are. "Cheap starter fish." he replied. They are teeny and greyish and that's the extent of our knowledge apparently. The Boy named them (not sure how the Princess was so gracious about this) and now they are called Nemo, The Boy, and Hot Wheels 1 through 4.

We had talked every once in a while about getting fish for the kids but nothing ever came of it. Then out of nowhere, the Man gleefully arrived home a week or so ago with a tank, rocks, filter, plants, fish food, plastic castle and so forth. We had new neighbors move in up the street and they put the whole kit and caboodle at the curb the first day. Guess they were tired of it or their fishies were lost in transit. Either way, we are shameless curb shoppers in this family, so home it came to be cleaned and refilled, much to the joy of our children. The only thing we needed to replace was the lid for the tank, as it was cracked.

The first night the fish were with us the Man and I were watching tv and I discovered something fantastic. The sound of the water falling into the tank from the filter could not be drowned out enough by the tv to prevent my body from constantly needing to pee. The Man promised to fix the lid or replace it. The next night the cracked lid was temporarily taped and in place and I could relax without any pressing bathroom needs. It was sometime later in our evening that we heard a loud noise come from the kitchen. The Man had just been walking into the room when one very wet and FREAKING OUT kitty came flying across the kitchen counter, crashed into the fridge and tore up the stairs. Apparently sitting his fat rump on the cracked lid was not a good idea, and he got a closer view than he had planned.

The fish won't talk about the incident but I have a feeling that Hot Wheels 3 is holding a grudge. He keeps giving the cat a fish-eye. (I know, worst pun ever, hahahaha)

Monday, August 4, 2008

This & That - The husband of a gal in my Bible study is the creator of this web site. You can search or browse for all the roller coasters, thrill rides, family rides, and water rides you've ridden, and add them to your ride list. You can even search or browse by amusement park. Your score goes up as you add new rides that you've experienced, and you can win prizes as you reach certain milestones. Very fun for all you thrill seekers out there! I'll be waiting for you at the end with my funnel cake.

3-D Logic - This is a fun little game that you will either love or hate. It has 30 levels, but they don't necessarily get harder each time. They seem to throw in an easy one here and there just to keep you guessing.

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary” Quotation Marks - Misinterpreting bad punctuation since 2005

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Tara at Deal Seeking Mom tagged me and in order to avoid housework this morning I will play along. Here are the rules when you get tagged:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

My Unspectacular Quirks
1. I can do this weird flippy thing with my left thumb. It's like a double joint effect of some kind that people see and say, "Ewww..."
2. Since Tara confessed her love for NKOTB, I will admit that I still have my Hanson CD. And I still love it. So there!
3. I do not like water ice or frozen slushy drinks of any kind. I find them weird and they hurt my teeth.
4. I hate Starbucks. (Although I don't think it's a quirk, I'm sure the Starbucks fans all just gasped.)
5. I can draw on my face with my (gold) wedding ring. If you're a woman reading this, odds are that you can do it too. Odds are also that you are now going to the bathroom to try.
6. I'm a huge Garth Brooks fan and have every single album he has ever made, including the box sets. I guess that's not so quirky? But I do have a pencil drawn portrait of him hanging in my office, so maybe that is.

Trish at Beneath the Couch Cushions
Amy at Life with My Boys
Kat at ScaredyKaterpillarsNoMore
Stephani at her Cake Blog
Shannon at Run the Earth, Watch the Sky
Jenn at Ivy Six Pack