Thursday, December 30, 2010

This & That

OneWord - Hit the Go button and you're given a one word prompt.  You have sixty seconds to write about it. Oddly motivating.

Writing Prompts from Writer's Digest - Some very creative & fun prompts here.

Unphotographable - Word pictures.  Truly fascinating & enjoyable.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter Wonderland

We're on day two of being snowed in, and so far haven't killed one another.  It helps that the kids have all new toys and Wii games to amuse themselves with.  I'm hoping to go sledding later today.  I don't know the exact amount of snow, but Tom is guessing 8-10".  It's really windy so it's hard to measure with any accuracy.

It's a perfect day to snuggle up with a good book.  I'm trying to finally finish The Lord of The Rings.  I'm nearly done The Two Towers and hope to start The Return of the King later today.  It's all in one volume, which is nice.  It's my mother's copy, and I've had it for two years, so I'm thinking now's a good time to finish it and give it back already.

We had a lovely Christmas with both sides of our family. My husband surprised me with the Carole King & James Taylor cd & dvd. (Live at the Troubador)  He bought me a new laptop a few months ago so I wasn't expecting anything else. We put it on to play immediately and even took it with us to my parents' house to listen to over brunch. They just don't make music like that anymore.

My parents knocked my socks off with their gifts.  My father always asks for a list, in detail, of what we want.  He wants to give us something good without guessing.  So I had asked for a Coleman hiking hydration pack. I could not be more excited to try this thing out soon! It's lightweight and very slim, just enough room for keys, phone, camera and a map, along with a water bladder you fill and drink from a tube. I may need to find somewhere to hike this week in the snow.  But that turned out to be my little gift, as they presented me with a little jewelry box.  They gave me the most amazing tanzanite and silver ring. I think I may have cried, I was so stunned.  It turns out that they also gave the exact same ring to my sister when she was visiting for Thanksgiving.  She nearly bit through her tongue keeping it a secret from me.  I can't stop staring at this sparkly thing on my finger!  I haven't been able to wear my diamond since the Frodo Incident, as the scar has made my finger too thick to wear it. This one fits the ring finger of my other hand perfectly.

Tom and the kids are off all this week, and then he has next week off as well.  We have some fun things planned, but for now are content to stay indoors out of the driving wind.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas


The greatest man in history, named Jesus, had no servants..... yet they called Him Master.
He had no degree..... yet they called Him Teacher.
He had no medicines.... yet they called Him Healer.
He had no army..... yet kings feared Him.
He won no military battles..... yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime..... yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb..... yet He lives today.

Merry Christmas ♥



Friday, December 24, 2010

This & That

Why I Don't Want an iPad - This guy echoes a lot of thoughts that I've had about our technology & more-more-more driven society.  I'm just way too cheap to buy things when they first come out, and everything is outdated five minutes later anyway.

Why my church rebelled against the American Dream - A very convicting piece on how comfortable we are in America. Are we living out the life of sacrifice that Jesus called us to?


Thursday, December 23, 2010

No more excuses!

I opened my mailbox today to find a nice chubby padded envelope waiting for me. I opened it up and it was a book! Any book makes me happy, but this one, oh my!  My lovely friend Chrissy sent me a book titled, Page After Page, by Heather Sellers.  The subtitle says, 'Discover the confidence and passion you need to start writing & keep writing, no matter what!'

I am ridiculously excited about this book! Could the timing be more perfect?  I was just saying the other day that I really want to write but don't know why I'm not. I'm just one chapter into this book and she's already addressing every single reason, excuse & fear that I have about writing.

Chrissy, you rock!  Thank you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Remembering Kilian


Seven years ago today my friend Jessie gave birth to a sweet baby boy. Kilian Richard was beautiful and precious. He was welcomed by three older siblings who were so excited to meet him.  At first, everything seemed perfect. But he quickly became ill, suffering from a Urea Cycle Disorder. Kilian was taken off of life support on Christmas Day. There are no words for how my heart grieved for Jessie and her family.

Seven years later, I pray that God would give this family comfort and peace. Some of us are planning to change our profile pictures on Christmas Day to one of Kilian. We want Jessie to know that we have not forgotten her son.

If you know someone who has lost a child, don't be afraid to bring it up.  Say something.  Let them know that you remember. Too many people think they are doing their friend a favor by keeping silent.  All that does is isolate them. You don't need eloquent words.  Just let them know that you remember. ♥

The Stigma

Stigma Deters

The American Journal of Epidemiology released a study recently that showed that two thirds of problem drinkers do not seek professional help because of the fear of stigma. I can personally attest to this.  When I got sober I clung to something a friend had said; that she never went to AA because she didn't want "the stigma."  I was sure she was right, although I also just wanted to hide from my situation.  It makes me angry now that I think about it, at her and at myself. I needed help and didn't get it because I was afraid, and had no one to guide me. I told no one about my new sobriety except Tom. I should have gone to rehab, and I should have gone to meetings, but I cowered in fear in my house.  I didn't drink, but I didn't change either.  The only difference was that I no longer had my crutch to use in coping with life.

I'm incredibly blessed that three years later a dear friend, who was also sober, invited me to attend an AA meeting with her. God had been working in my heart about this, and I was opening up to the idea of getting help.  I felt safe with her, and agreed to go. It was right near my third anniversary, and they gave me a three year coin.  I treasure that coin, because it signifies the true beginning of my new life in sobriety.  I began doing the steps, got a sponsor and started to heal. I examined my own heart, and made a list of the people I had harmed.  I prayed, I cried, I changed.  I made amends where I could, and made a fresh start into a new world.  I began to feel free. FREE.

I get very frustrated when I hear people talk about the 'success rate of AA'. To me it's like talking about the 'success rate of diet & exercise'.  If people do 100% of what they should do in either of these paths, they will succeed.  The failure isn't in the program but in the person.  Whatever people on the 'outside' may have to say about AA, the truth is that you don't know it if you haven't lived it.  If you have never walked this road with us, then please keep your negative opinions about AA to yourself. You can't begin to imagine how AA saved my life.  God used it to show me again and again how I needed to change, how I needed to let Him lead me. God used the people in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous to save my life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Update on the Little Guy

First, some housekeeping: I'm switching from calling my youngest T, to TC.  My husband is Tom and I call him T for short ALL the time.  So calling our non-Tom son by his father's nickname was confusing, even if it was only on the blog.  So I'm going with his middle initial too, to make it TC, and you can imagine him choppering Magnum, PI around town.
So TC had a doctor's appointment yesterday, wherein she confirmed my ear infection suspicions.  He does have infection in both ears in fact, and she's worried about his lungs developing pneumonia with all the junk in there.  So back to the nebulizer which we haven't used in ages.  Every four hours, even nighttime if we can manage it, and she wants to see him again on Thursday.  She must be pretty concerned about the possibility of pneumonia to be that pro-active about it, so I'm praying a lot about TC's lungs.  I'm pretty much keeping him in the house and away from other people as much as possible so he doesn't catch anything else in the meantime. The timing is good, since there will be no school, MOPS, bible study or small group in the next two weeks, and I can keep him in a bubble.

To Write, Perhaps

I find myself wondering if I am too happy to write.  I used to write all the time in high school and college, back when I was miserable. Dark and twisty and amazing stuff.  Now I live this relatively safe and boring life, and have nothing to write about.  Well not nothing, but only enough for a blog.  It's a weird place to be in.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cuppycake

There is something just so endearing about this song and this little girl.  Of course, she's now all grown up and forging an acting career: Amy Castle.  A. and I both have this on our phones & love to sing it together.....


Tis the Season....

Two weeks ago at school A. jumped into what she thought was the deep end of the pool. She did a pencil-point, where you put your arms at your sides and shoot straight to the bottom.  Unfortunately she was actually over the slope to the deep end, and hit bottom fast.  She fractured her foot. She's in a lovely green cast until next week, hopefully not longer.

This past Monday we were eating dinner and E. asked me to scratch his itchy back.  As I did, I noticed some red blotches behind both ears.  I lifted his shirt and was horrified to find that he was absolutely covered in red spots. I imagined having to move Tom in with my parents for 10 days as he swears he's never had the chicken pox.  Thankfully it turned out to be hives; just a weird reaction to the viral infection (colds) we're all getting over.  A few days of steroid and he was fine.  Tom has had it the worst of us with the cold turning into some flu-like symptoms.

T. has been hacking and snotting for over a week now, and doing asthma treatments along with cold medicine. Then yesterday he suddenly added a fever of 103° and glassy, bloodshot eyes to his symptoms.

This afternoon A. started getting a headache, and is now in bed with a migraine.  I don't remember ever having so many weird sicknesses back-to-back like this before. I'm so ready for Christmas vacation!  We all need to be cooped up and away from public germs for a week.

I Am Second


"I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. The authentic stories on iamsecond.com provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second."

IAmSecond.com

Friday, December 17, 2010

So You Want To Write A Novel


This absolutely cracked me up and made my day!  Enjoy....

New Book Glee


I got two new books this week that I'm pretty stoked about.  The first is Slave by John MacArthur.  As I posted last week, I joined BookSneeze.com and will be reviewing the book when I'm done.  The fact that I get a free brand squeaky new book out of the deal is just gravy.


Yesterday we had our Christmas party at Bible study, which included a white elephant.  (I don't have to explain what that is, do I? Let me know if it's a regional thing, lol.) I was able to snag a copy of The Help.  I have been hearing about this book all year and dying to read it.  However, I'm inherently cheap and refused to buy it new.  I couldn't find it used or at the library, so I was waiting it out. Hooray for free! Two free books in one week! *swoons*

Overheard

Me: Be careful buddy, I don't want you to hurt yourself.
T: I won't Mom.
Me: You know those are famous last words, right?
T: haha, I love that.
(~convo with T about playing with his sister's crutches)


T: Mom, are you scared of monsters?
Me: No, because they don't exist.
T: I'm not scared of monsters because I have a gun!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I really am an idiot


I've been pondering myself lately, trying to figure out what my deal is. I cannot get my act together.  The house is a perpetual mess the last few weeks, I'm not writing and I am not getting any projects done.  I could go through my entire thought process on what is going on with me, but I'll spare you.  The short version is I just have not been praying. At least not for myself.  I pray for Tom and the kids, and for any prayer requests that come my way.  I pray with my prayer partner as often as we can schedule it. I pray with my tablemates at Bible study. And I love it.  But in my typical martyr-fashion, I leave myself off this prayer list.  But it gets worse.  I'm not only a martyr because I don't ask for things for myself, but I'm also a complete idiot because I never run anything by Him.  Big things? Sure.  But my day to day life and decisions? Nope. I want to be a better mom, but I haven't asked Him how to do this. I want to get my chores done and make time to write, but I never ask Him to help me to do this or to show me how to do it. I want to lose weight and be awesome but I flail about in my own efforts and never invite Him into the process. I'm all twisted up trying to figure out how to balance all the spinning plates in my life, yet I haven't asked Him to help me. *facepalm*

So I'm going to start praying in the morning.  I tend to pray at night when I'm in bed and almost asleep, like that's effective.  I need to start my day with Him.   I need to be constantly reminded that He is in charge of even my little things that I think I've got handled. I need to have my idiocy derailed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Potty Mouths

Aimee shared this blog with me on Facebook, Jamie the Very Worst Missionary.  This particular post was about her frequent use of language that seems to offend other people.
This may surprise you, but I was never given a list of God approved words. And I can’t imagine what would happen should such a list ever present itself. I know people who would keel over dead if “fart” was on the approved list, or “shut up”. And I know people who would straight up burn the list if came from Costa Rica where "b*tch" is part of common language that 4 year-olds use.

I really enjoyed her honesty.  Is she wrong?  I don't know.  As I've said before, I do tend to be a bit sweary at times.  I have tried over the years to cut back on it, as I'm aware that it's a dirty habit and my mother doesn't approve. In the grand scheme of things I have figured, be it right or wrong, that I have given up oodles of bad habits and I'd really like to keep this one.  I don't use God's name in vain.  I don't curse in front of children or my mother, nor do I curse other people out. But when I get mad I mutter & swear.  I don't know if the words I choose would be considered shocking or offensive to others.  I think it's like Jamie said, and that it would only offend certain people who have a different measuring tool than mine.

Cursing, Swearing & Vulgarity  This article had a lot of good stuff in it and I love a good topical Bible study.  It goes in depth and examines four categories of bad language.  I found it an interesting study, but they lost me a tad in the Slang & Euphemisms section.  I personally don't think that substitute words are a big deal.  Snap, frack, poo, gosh.... I just don't think these are a problem, even if they originally represented something else.

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (Colossians 3:8)  I find myself, having re-read this verse several times, wondering if this is something subjective, such as dancing.  Some church folk believe that all dancing is sinful, while others dance at every social event.  Yet David danced before the Lord, celebrating his love for the Lord in a joyful display with his body.

I wonder if cursing is something that can be a stumbling block for some and not others.  I don't have any solid answers on this; it's just something I'm pondering.  I do want to be pleasing to God.  It bothers me when I hear people cursing in casual conversation for no purpose.  It makes them sound common and unintelligent, which is a shame.  But I'm also not interested in condemning them for this.  I think too often Christians get tangled up in how unbelievers are sinning, and forget that we all need the same Grace.  We need to meet people where they are.  I once heard a newly sober young man share in a meeting about what it was like to read the Bible.  He was in awe of God's word, and said, "This sh*t is amazing!"  He meant no disrespect, and was expressing joy at having been saved by God from his addiction. It was honest & beautiful.

Here endeth my random thoughts on this topic.  Oh, and I added the asterisks out of respect for those who would rather not see the actual words. ;)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Raccoon Love

I had an interesting discussion with my sister Emily recently.  We were talking about the emotional toll it takes on us as wives when our husbands are gone for long hours at work.  Tom worked 67 hours last week.  Add to that his drive time of 45 minutes to an hour depending on if he's at a job site or in the shop, and it's a pretty significant chunk of time.
Emily said that she and her husband once watched an animal show where they separated a female raccoon and her mate in cages.  They cried for each other, going completely berserk at being away from each other.  After a time, they moved their cages next to each other.  They were able to reach through the bars and touch each other, and it immediately calmed them.
Ever since watching that show, Emily & her husband joke with each other about needing raccoon time.  And all jokes aside, this makes complete sense to me.  When Tom is gone for a really long time, I need to hold him  and touch him and reconnect with him.
I don't believe in soulmates.  Well, let me amend that.  I don't believe in society's definition of soulmates. I don't believe that there is one person that you are destined to be with that you magically find.  We make our own choices, and we work to build a marriage. I think you grow into soulmate-dom. (soulmate-hood? whatever)  God tells us in the Bible that a man will leave his parents and join with his wife. (Genesis 2:24) That they will become one flesh.  I always thought it was a metaphor, or that it meant sex, but recently I've begun to see it differently.  I am so connected to Tom that I physically feel out of sorts when I am away from him for too long.  I need to be with him because we are one.  He really does complete me, and not in a Jerry-Maguire way.  In a real, connected to each other & God way, that is the result of time & trials together, not based on fluffy feelings & stars & flowers.  When he walks in the door filthy, exhausted & smelling like motor oil, I can't wait to hold that big lug and get me some raccoon love.

Monday, December 6, 2010

This & That

The Year In Disturbing Celebrity Book Deals - There is maybe one book on this list that I would be slightly interested in reading (Susan Boyle).  The rest completely disgust me.

I started using StumbleUpon recently and have been enjoying it a lot.  I had signed up for Digg ages ago but just didn't get into it, and then lost my password, so that's that.  The Nonbloggingfriend uses Stumble, so I thought I'd try it out. Lots of interesting and inspiring and crafty things out there with which to waste my time.

Speaking of time wasting, one site I found on Stumble was NotMartha. Lots of goodies to check out there as well.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Overheard

"Did you handcuff your brother to something in your room and leave him there?"
"Yes, but he knows how to get out." (~convo with the Boy)


"Can we go to McBurger King?" (~The Tyrant)


"What's this bag for, Mom?" (Holds up old knitting type bag with handles.)
"It's just a satchel buddy; you can use it for whatever you want."
"Oh.  Well, I'm going to use it for Toy Halloween.  So when I go to people's houses I will hold my bag open and they will put toys in it." (~convo with the Tyrant)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Don't just stand there....

In my time on Facebook I have seen many social awareness campaigns come and go.  I generally don't participate in any of them.  Several months ago women posted where they put their purse every night, (on the table, etc) under the guise of raising awareness for breast cancer.  Right now many are changing their profile picture to their favorite childhood cartoon character, to raise awareness of child abuse.

I know I tend to be salty and cynical, but seriously, HOW is this helping anyone?  I'm sure not everyone will agree with me on this, but raising awareness is generally pointless if that is the end goal.  If you talk about it, and cheer for the cause, and get a warm fuzzy feeling, you have essentially done nothing for the cause. You've done just enough to assuage any guilt you may be carrying, but you haven't actually helped anyone. Put your money where your mouth is, and DO something.  Go volunteer, raise money, donate, get your kids involved to teach them, speak out in tangible ways.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10  God made us to do good works, not just talk about good works.  Get busy!

Anonymity

Believe it or not, this post is not about AA. I've been thinking about the anonymity of my kids here. I'm not prepared to put their names out there, but I've been thinking about changing the nicknames I use for them. I do actually often call them those nicknames when I refer to them. But, I just feel like I would rather use more positive titles for them. I also get tired of putting 'the' before their title. And really, like you needed this much explanation about this??
My daughter is my little Princess, but I don't ever want to imply anything snotty or pretentious about her by calling her a princess. She is an amazing gift in my life, and I want to convey that. Her middle name is Grace, and we call her Gracie on occasion. So I considered using that.
The Boy isn't a negative name that I can see, but it doesn't convey his awesomeness either. He is hilarious and adventurous and really creative. He loves cars & trucks, and I'm sure he's going to be a motorhead just like the Man. Mack? The Boy originally came from The Simpsons, since that's often what Homer refers to Bart as (a la, 'don't be the boy, don't be the boy', when he hears of a kid causing trouble).
The Tyrant. Yeah, I need to find something way better for him. Don't get me wrong, the kid is 4 years old and he lives up to that title on a daily basis. On a loud daily basis. But I love him with a take your breath away kind of crazy love, and I want people to know that. I wonder now if I have ever told my fertility story on here? I don't think I have, but I'll save that topic for another day. Anyhow, I was considering Scooter, which is what my mother-in-law calls him. Or Ducky, as I have always called him, but I don't want to have to change his name again when he becomes a hulking teenager and no longer seems like a Ducky.
I read a lot of blogs, and I can tell you right now that the ones who give their kids super-cute-nauseating nicknames, I rarely go back to. If you want to call your kid Snoogie or Poopsie or whatever, that's your call.  Just know that it makes me not want to read your blog.  So having thought this all through, I decided to just do what Kate does, and use their initials.  It's way easier.  Therefore....
The Princess is A.
The Boy is E.
The Tyrant is T.
Did you notice that I can spell EAT with their initials?  Not that I would ever eat my young, mind you.... *ahem*
Oh, and the Man is Tom. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chreasters

{I was editing the blog and found some old posts that never made it out of draft.  So this was originally something I wrote last April. And yes, it has my old signature at the bottom, lol. I'm too lazy to edit the html to update it.}

A friend of mine had this to say on her Facebook status yesterday...
....thinks that those who are upset because all of the "holiday" people come to church on Easter should go to their own church and name it "The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Salvation that we aren't gonna share with you because we are so much better than you".... hmmm, doesn't sound very Christian, does it? (you might wanna check in with the Risen Lord on that one)

Now, I am the first to admit that I have crabbed a time or two when visitors have made their annual pilgrimage into my holy land. I get it, I do. You go to church every Sunday to worship, you're there for Bible study and for social events. You volunteer to help in the nursery, and on various committees. You put in all of this time and love and effort and suddenly, twice a year, these very loud people come in with their noisy children and their cell phones that they forgot to put on vibrate, and they sit in the place where you always sit. They don't know the songs and they don't know the rules. It's quite like an Invasion. Dent Dent Dennnnn.

But this, Sally Super Christian, is where you need to shut up and get over yourself. These people aren't any more undeserving of God's mercy and grace than you are. None of us in the church have arrived, and we certainly don't need to think any less of those who only show up twice a year.

Think about this opportunity. All year long, we witness to our friends and loved ones, hoping to share Jesus with them. We send shoeboxes overseas with messages of God's love. We feed families at our church partner in the inner-city at an Italian dinner once a month. We go here and we go there, in our little efforts to spread the Gospel. But a few times a year, they come to us. Think about that. They come to our door, and maybe it is out of a feeling of guilt or obligation, but so what? Do we not have enough of His love to share?

There are so many lost and hurting people in this world. When I think about the worst days of my life, and how Jesus rescued me from them, my heart aches for those who don't know Him. I can't imagine facing life without the knowledge of His saving grace.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BookSneeze

I'm starting something new with the blog that I'm excited about.  BookSneeze is a site where bloggers can request books to review.  They provide the book at no cost as long as you write a review of it on your blog.  Sounds like a perfect deal to me! I just requested my first book, Slave by John MacArthur. Since I'm new to this, I don't know how long it will take for the book to arrive, but look for this in the future.

30 (Plus) Things

Here's another Facebook post for your enjoyment. I was tagged & asked to post 30 random facts about myself. I ended up with more than 30 once I read what some of my friends had posted.

1. My middle name is Lynn, which is the middle name of MANY girls born in the 70s. But my folks picked it not because it was popular, but because that is my aunt's name.

2. The second sentence of #1 is awkward and I want to rewrite it, but I'm really tired and am trying to be better about not obsessing about stuff like that.

3. I am a huge Garth Brooks fan, and have a portrait of him hanging in my office.

4. I have a holiday birthday, which led to me having weird hang-ups about birthday parties.

5. I am super OCD and organized about a lot of things, but am still unable to maintain a clean kitchen counter. It is the bane of my existence.

6. It's about my husband, not me, but I think it's pretty cool..... his date of birth was the same as his birth weight: 3-11, 3lbs. 11oz.

7. I love to hear my husband laugh. It makes my day.

8. I never imagined that I would have had the fertility issues that we had. They weren't as dire as some people, but it was a rough road. I always assumed I would have 4 kids, and it is strange that we barely made it to 3.

9. I am a middle child. My brother is 4 years older than me and my sister is 8 years younger.

10. Ruth said she has a strange passion for music, and I feel the same. I need music to process things emotionally. If I am having a good or bad day, I need corresponding music or I feel like it isn't real somehow.

11. I really hate it when they make animals talk in commercials. That stupid groundhog for the PA lottery disturbs me.

12. I love books & reading, but rarely make time to read these days. I have piles of books waiting to be read.

13. I would rather be hiking in the mountains more than any other activity.

14. I do not eat chocolate & mint together. It bothers me.

15. I could eat bagels & cream cheese for three meals a day. I have gone on a bagel run when the person assigned them didn't show up at MOPS.

16. I pace when I talk on the phone.

17. I'm lactose intolerant.

18. My parents were both schoolteachers, which is how they met. I attended the high school my father taught at, but was never his student.

19. Because we had our summers free, we would camp everywhere, sometimes for weeks or months at a time across the country. I have been to many National Parks and Landmarks including: the Grand Canyon (2x), Washington DC (2 or 3x), Craters of the Moon, Yellowstone, Blue Ridge Parkway, Carlsbad Caverns, Mt. Rushmore, Devil's Tower, Mesa Verde, Four Corners, Acadia, and the list goes on & on.

20. I hate to wear dresses and avoid them as much as possible.

21. I'm a country girl at heart and have no idea how I ended up living in the suburbs. I dream of moving up county where we can have room around us, and TREES. We have one tiny tree on our property and it's just not enough. Being under the trees at our campground is BLISS.

22. My siblings and I all had a daughter first and a son second.

23. I'm mildly allergic to nickel and cannot wear cheap earrings. They have to be stainless steel or nickel-free.

24. I'm a church librarian.

25. I get allergy shots every week so my daughter can keep the cat that I hate.

26. When I got married I was so sure I was taking on an easier last name that people wouldn't screw up. LOL.

27. I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Having kids seems to have put that on hold indefinately.

28. I saw the Passion of the Christ on Good Friday while it was still in theaters. It completely devastated me, and I have never watched it again. I am in awe of His sacrifice.

29. I cannot watch tv with nothing in my hands. I need my laptop or a magazine or knitting or something or I can't sit still to watch.

30. Like Aimee, I love photography. However, I know little about the tech side of it and only shoot in auto mode.
31. I rarely defend my faith, my sobriety, my love of country music, my blue hair or my (2x) vote for GWB. I am not cut out for apologetics, and I don't feel all that bothered anymore when someone disagrees with my views. I am who I am, and you are who you are. I would rather tell you about how awesome my Jesus is & how much He loves you, than argue with you about politics or theology.
32. Nova & I have plans to hike together in Heaven. :)
33. Chris & I have plans to picnic together in Heaven, and eat & drink all the bad things we're not supposed to have now.
34. I love pens. A lot. My daughter yells at me if I put them in the shopping cart, because she knows I already have too many.
35. Chrissy is the first friend I made online. :)
36. Chrissy & Aimee both lost their moms too soon. My heart is heavy for them. My mom has Parkinson's, and I know that I will lose her too soon too. I think it pretty much sucks for all 3 of us.
37. Phineas & Ferb can always cheer me up.
38. I would have a half sleeve tattoo if I didn't get dizzy & barfy when I get inked.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is over, let the Christmas chaos begin!  The first thing I am thankful for this year is that I'm already done with Christmas shopping, moo-ha-ha!  All I have to do is wrap & bake, yay me. :)  Christmas cards are already printed & picked up, and I'll stamp & address those later this week. I'm ridiculously pleased with myself to be this far ahead of the game, and knowing that I won't have to face any holiday crowds is one sweet reward.
We saw both sides of our family for Thanksgiving, so we ate twice as much. It was nice, but my scale hates me.

For the month of November I posted something I was thankful for on Facebook every day.  I thought I would share my list here for my non-Facebook peeps.


Day 1 -  is joining Pam in the Thankful Posts for November. :) I'm thankful for Jesus, without whom I would be lost forever.

Day 2 - November 2nd - Month of Thankfulness..... have to go with the obvious one, lol..... I'm thankful for the right to vote! :)

Day 2 - is thankful for all of our troops. May God bless you & keep you ♥

Day 3 of Thankful Posts - she beat me to it, but I am so thankful for Keri! So glad to have a good friend to walk and laugh with every day!

Day 4 of Thankful Posts: I'm so thankful for my Bible study! It's a great group of ladies and we have learned so much together.

Day 5 - I'm so thankful for MOPS! I have met some of my best friends there, and had my sanity saved multiple times there. I'm off to babysit at LPC's MOPS this morning :)

Day 6 of Thankful Posts - I am really thankful that the soccer season is ending! Taking Ethan to his final game in the morning. Not sure if I'll be back in time to make it to Barb's service, but I'll be thinking of & praying for her family ♥

Day 7 - I'm thankful for my church!

Day 8 - I am so thankful for my prayer partner Anne. It's such a blessing to spend time with a friend in prayer & conversation.

Day 9 - I am so thankful for friends who pray! ♥

Day 10 - I'm so thankful for Tyler's preschool teachers. He's entered a *ahem* delightful phase of defiance and they are so patient with him!

Day 11 - 
★★ "When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?" ~ George Canning So so thankful for all of our men & women who have served in the armed forces. ★★

Day 12 - In honor of To Write Love On Her Arms Day, I'm thankful for the family & friends who supported & loved me when I needed it most. Depression can be a silent killer, but there is hope! ♥

Day 13 - I'm thankful for all the sales & deals that retailers are coming up with! Funny to see Doorbuster deals this early!

Day 14 - I'm thankful that we can get out & enjoy this beautiful weather today. Heading to Churchville shortly :)

Day 15 - is thankful for an amazing husband! He did most of the work tonight in making two pans of chicken parm casserole and two pies! Love you baby!

Day 16 - I'm thankful for the chance to watch Keri's kids; they are hilarious and I love hanging out with them!

Day 17 - I'm so thankful for Ethan's teachers! I got to observe his class today and they are just wonderful. His whole team has done so much for him. ♥

Day 18 - I'm thankful for my sister who is my friend, and my friends who are my sisters! Love you Emily! ♥

Day 19 - I'm thankful for Facebook, reconnecting me with many old friends :)

(I missed Day 20 because Tom and I were in Maryland seeing Steven Curtis Chapman!)

Day 21 - thankful for real cheesesteaks on South Street, mmmm

Day 22 - I'm thankful that the kids have some time off this week. Looking forward to playing games & baking cookies together :)

Day 23 - I'm thankful for our cozy wood stove on chilly days.... but also thankful that it's 60° and I don't have to keep a fire going all day today, lol.

Day 24 - I'm thankful for lazy & fun days with my kids! Still in our PJs now and making plans for baking cookies & homemade pop-tarts this afternoon.

Day 25 - Now more than ever, I am thankful for recovery. Without it, I wouldn't have any of the other things that I am thankful for. I'm so thankful for Dr. Bob & Bill, who paved the way to sobriety for us. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Day 26 - 
I'm thankful that we can get together with both sides of our family this week to give thanks to God. Can't wait to see my little sister!
Day 27 -  I'm thankful for my in-laws.  I know there are many who have difficult or strained relationships with their in-laws, so I really appreciate the good relationship I have with mine. They are wonderful people! ♥

Day 28 - I'm thankful that in spite of all the changes in the past few years, we can still remain close to some really amazing people. We may have set out in different directions, but God has kept us together. ♥

Day 29 - I'm thankful for 16 years today with the love of my life! (dating anniversary)

Day 30, the final day in a month of thankfulness.... I am thankful for my children, in heaven & on earth; I love you. You are amazing & beautiful, and I am so blessed to be your mom. ♥



Friday, November 19, 2010

This & That

100 Best First Lines From Novels - This list practically made me delirious.  So many amazing writers that I deeply admire.

Eminem's Sober Interview - A fellow sober blogger wrote about Marshall Mathers' recent interview in Rolling Stone, where he talks candidly about getting clean and sober. The language is rough and raw and beautiful, and I give him credit for his honesty. I'm thankful when celebrities can put humanity onto the face of addiction. Thanks for posting this Guinevere.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Overheard

"You are just glowin'.  It's like you have a golden blackness." ~ Black man talking to a black woman in the orthodontist waiting room.  Can't say I've heard such a good pick-up line, lol.

"I have magic pee."
"Oh really?"
"Yes, it disappears when I go." ~ Conversation with the Tyrant, who is 4 and still obsessed with all things related to the potty & body function, ughhh.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Operation Christmas Child



It's that most wonderful time of the year folks! Time to pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Last year 8 million children received a shoe box filled with gifts and hygiene items, along with the message of the love of Jesus.  I ♥ this organization! Please consider making up a box to send, donating your time at your local collection center or even donate online.  We have so much and it is so easy to give.
I usually pick up a sturdy, clear plastic shoe box at the dollar store at the end of the summer and start filling it as I buy back to school supplies for my kids. My kids enjoy filling it with me, and we're signed up for a time slot at our church to help pack the boxes into shipping boxes that will go onto the tractor trailers. It's a blessing to be able to bless others, and to teach this to my kids is huge in my book.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Home(group)less

I had to give up my home group, which sucks. I have been with that Wednesday night group for years, and I really love those folks. But our family schedule just doesn't work with that anymore. I couldn't even stay for the business meeting to tell them the last time I was able to make it there, because I was already late to pick the kids up from church. (I almost made it to the business meeting the month before, but Lucy rolled in something vile right before and I had to bathe my disgusting dog instead, ughh.) I had my sponsor pass it along, which is lame to me, as I wanted to do the right thing and tell them myself. I resigned as secretary and gave up my chairing commitment. It's sad but I'm trying not to dwell on it.
So now the problem is that I need to find a new meeting to attend, which I've never been good at. Even after attending meetings for six out of my nine years of sobriety, I really don't have any friends in the program. I have a lot of acquaintances, and that's it. So it's been weeks (month?) and I haven't found a new one or even tried. I'm a super fantastic procrastinator, and I just never get around to looking up meetings or calling my sponsor. I'm not in danger or anything; I have a great support network, I have constant contact with God and I'm involved in service in other ways. But I know that I will keep myself balanced if I get back to meetings. So, in the interest of telling another person so I will HAVE to follow-up on this, I share it here. Not making any time promises or anything, but I will get on this. Soon.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Diagnosis: Better Late Than Never

The Tyrant, whom I was considering re-nicknaming on this blog, but changed my mind since he really has been a complete TYRANT lately, has been diagnosed with asthma.  And really, I'm pretty POed about the whole thing.  The short version is that he was on the nebulizer for his first two winters pretty much non-stop, due to bronchiolitis. Last winter he got a cold, which developed into a cough that never left.  I lost count of how many times he would cough all night, and I would take him to the pediatrician.  Every single time I was told that his lungs were clear, and that this was just 'his cough'.  After the 912th visit about this cough, I asked if I should take him to a specialist.  I was told that there was no point, since it was, again, just 'his cough'.
So for going on two years I have had to explain this to anyone who was a caregiver or parent, that it was in fact okay for my hacking son to be around other kids because he wasn't contagious, etc.  Four weeks ago he had a fever and some cold symptoms, and the dreaded cough began.  After a month of draining bottles of Mucinex and running the humidifier while he slept, I made an appointment.  I dreaded it, because I KNEW they were just going to tell me what they always tell me.  I determined in my mind that I would be firm about asking for a better answer about this.  I was pleased that I got him an appointment with one of my favorite doctors, and not with the PA who is completely useless.  And lo and behold, after listening to him breathe for several minutes, he took off his stethoscope and informed me that it was asthma.
I had a very mixed reaction to this, and actually almost laughed when he said it.  I also wanted to cry, because I KNEW something wasn't right and no one ever believed me.  I wanted to go find that stupid PA and tell her to go pound sand.  He called in prescriptions for various inhaler drugs and a 'breathing chamber'.  I gave him the treatment last night before bed, and he slept.  All night.  Not a single cough.  And yes, I'm about to cry just typing that.
He's never had an attack, and this it's quite possible that he'll outgrow it. As far as overall health he is fine and this is not a gigantic thing. I'm slowly getting over being mad & upset about it, and am so thankful that we finally have an answer and a treatment that works.

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. {Inspired by SouleMama}






















Sunday, October 31, 2010

Study: Alcohol more lethal than heroin, cocaine

A study by British experts has concluded that alcohol is more lethal than illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine.  Not sure what to say about that, really, but I can't say that I doubt it either:

Study: Alcohol more lethal than heroin, cocaine

"Experts said alcohol scored so high because it is so widely used and has devastating consequences not only for drinkers but for those around them."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Giving Technology A Rest

Last May on the National Day of Prayer, I took the day off from the internet. I wanted to be able to focus on my prayer time with God, and not be distracted.  It was an amazing day, and God really spoke to me. I've been thinking recently about making this a regular part of my life. I'm not sure how often, maybe monthly? I happened to be reading Technology: Do You Give It a Rest?  It made me think about the need to take a 'sabbath' from technology, and give my spirit time to be refreshed and in tune with Him. I really do heart the internet a lot, so it's unnatural for me to be away from it. Somehow though, whenever we are at the campground, I don't miss it a bit. I hike and I visit with friends and I read, oh I so love to read.  I just don't make time for it like I should and I don't know why.
I'm pondering doing this on a Thursday, since that's when I go to Bible study.  I spend time in prayer with the ladies from my table, and it's a nice way to start the day. I'll update about this in a week or so. :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Wee Bairn

My friend Kate had her baby, squee! We're really excited to meet the newest member of her family. I'm hoping to get over to the hospital tomorrow to meet her third son. :)

Planning to blog tomorrow, but tonight I'm hanging out with my Princess, just us. The menfolk are all camping. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Random things

I'm kind of a mess, so I haven't been blogging. I'm still feeling a bit raw from the surgery, and I'm only now at the point where I don't have a major sinus headache daily. My husband has been an excellent Mr. Mom the past few weeks. And just when he thought he could hand back the mop, I came down with a brutal stomach and intestinal virus. I'm beginning to feel like I'm being picked on.
The kids are stoked for Halloween. I just dropped the Tyrant off at school in a Yoda costume, much to his chagrin. He was supposed to be Buzz Lightyear, but we suddenly have August-like warmth and humidity, and I couldn't see putting him in a head-to-toe plastic costume. I happen to have the Yoda costume, so he can be comfortable, if not happy about it.

The Princess is grounded from the internet for a month, due to the letter the school sent us about her current grade in math. The problem now is that she is on student council, which requires email communication, and her math teacher wants them on a math web site daily to work on skills. So she has access for those things, but nothing else. It's becoming very difficult to feel like she's really being 'punished', although she can't go on her favorite site, which is Shelfari.
The Boy is having an excellent year at school so far. The work-to-contract situation that our teachers are in is working in his favor, as he only has one page of math homework every night and that's it. His teacher was his special education teacher last year, so she works extremely well with him.

The Man and I are starting marriage counseling soon. I don't know how thrilled he will be that I'm talking about it here, but it is what it is. I don't think there's any shame in saying that we are marriage morons at times, and that we need some outside help. I love that Man more than words can say; he is totally awesome. But we have issues that need to be dealt with. Some old, some new. We weren't Christians when we first started dating, and we have baggage from that time period. We were supposed to start yesterday, but the stomach bug cancelled all life outside of my powder room for a day or so. We'll reschedule once we know his work schedule. He's supposed to go to day shift this week, but that is always subject to change.

Little Sister has been telling me about a house that she & her husband are interested in buying. The house is just your average ranch, nothing spectacular. But it sits on five acres. And has a little barn. And is completely fenced including a gate on the driveway. To say that I am jealous would be completely accurate. How did my country heart end up living in the suburbs again?
I will say this though, that at 10pm yesterday I was able to drive three minutes to Walgreens to get cough syrup for the Tyrant. Living in a shopping metropolis does have it's advantages, even if it doesn't have rolling hills and cowboys.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I...

I'm stealing this from Aimee who stole it from someone else. :)

I...

i am: always tired
i know: it's because I stay up too late
i want: more time to read
i have: lots of laundry to do
i wish: my Gram didn't live so far away
i hate: Parkinson's Disease
i miss: my Grandma
i fear: my procrastination will always rule my life
i feel: tired but glad I just walked three miles
i hear: the chainsaw the Man is using to demolish the old shed
i smell: wood smoke from our stove, coming back in the open window.  the Man is getting it ready for winter and clearing the dead sparrows out of it :(
i crave: chocolate.  forever & always.
.
i search: for a hairstyle that I will love.  I'm never happy with my hair.
i regret: my last haircut. awful.  told her to take a few inches off and redo my layers. It's crazy uneven on one side and makes me want to just go really short again and not be bothered! bah!
i love: this time of year
i care: about the old crazy lady who lives across the street that you can't go near for fear of being reamed out.
i always: have eggs & toast for breakfast.
i believe: in Jesus ♥
i dance: rarely, as I don't enjoy it
i sing: a lot, I love it!  The Princess loves to sing too, so sometimes we sing together. I don't think I'm good, but I do ok.

i don’t always: give a rip what other people think.  In fact most of the time I don't.  This is the gift of my 30s I believe.
i truly desire: to know God and serve Him all my life
i like: pie. oh pie, how I love thee.
i write: journals for my kids.  I've done this since before the Princess was conceived.
i lose: five pounds and then regain it.  a lot.  hoping to break this trend soon.


i win: at Clue pretty much never.  My daughter rocks the Clue board.
i try: to keep this house clean but I live with really dirty people.
i  never: believe anything I hear until I check it out for myself.  I can thank my father for this never-ending cynicism.
i am grateful: for my life
i listen: to a wide variety of music.  I have the 50 Greatest Hymns disc in the kitchen CD player, and Van Halen in the car player.
i am scared: of watching my mother slowly die of a terrible disease for the next 20 years.
i need: a chef
i am happy about: fall activities, planning out the holidays, enjoying the cool weather, picking pumpkins
i tag: anyone who wants to do this :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness 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)


I post about this every year, so you may recognize the above graphic & quote. This cause is precious to me for so many reasons -- my own loss along with the losses of friends & family.  We have so many children waiting to meet us in Heaven.
If you click on the Pregnancy Loss label on the right, you can see other posts that I've put up about this topic. Or click on Losing Lily to read the story of my pregnancy loss.  I've written a lot about Lily because in order to deal with my loss, I needed to talk about it.  I'm not shy about talking about pregnancy loss because, quite frankly, it's about time people got over this hush-hush mentality about it. Miscarriage is devastating and women (& men!) should be able to talk about it without other people making them feel they shouldn't. With any other issue people are encouraged to talk about their feelings and not bottle them up, but somehow this is different.
I hope, if you have suffered a loss, that you have someone to talk to about it.  I didn't have anyone at the time, so I found support online, which was a huge blessing.  There are groups & forums out there, you just have to find the right one for you.

Monday, October 11, 2010

AA Humor

Because we have to laugh at ourselves!

I finally found the one drinking game that I never tried.














From Epic Win/FTW

Friday, October 8, 2010

Amy Winehouse Sober??

Amy's Looking Sober!

Could it be true? She looks pretty amazing in these pictures! I hope she truly has gotten it this time, and is working a good program of recovery.