Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year :)

Seriously, it is!  Christmas is over.  New Years is just around the corner.  The presents have been opened and are being enjoyed.  It SNOWED - starting Christmas night and for more than 24 hours afterwards.  Everyone is healthy (for the most part) and happy.  What more can a girl (mom, wife) ask for?  :)

I'll tell you what "more" I am asking for....some Gevalia German Chocolate Cake Coffee.  I keep forgetting to order it.  It's a seasonal thing, so there is a time frame in which it must be ordered.  It's not a flavor I drink often, but when I want it, I WANT IT.  I'm out.  Need I say more?  :)  If this was my only "more" to want, I'd be doing just fine, wouldn't I?  Time to get on the phone and order a few boxes....tomorrow.  LOL

What else can I ask for?  How about children who don't yell at each other to "SHUT UP!!!"  That is high on my list.  If I hear that once more today.......  I don't know what I will do, but I will do something.  Something they will not enjoy.  Like, assign chores for tomorrow instead of letting them play video games undisturbed. 

What?  There are other things I want? Yup. Lots of them.  Like where we are going to live after hubby leaves the Navy...not to mention what his job will be.  Other things like when will Justin leave for Air Force Boot Camp....or will he change his mind and go to college?  And how difficult or easy will this next transition be for our family? 

Woah, where did all that come from?  I planned to write about our wonderful Christmas and went down a slippery slope of uncertainty that I usually manage to avoid.  But, it is what it is...and it is our life at the moment.

Back on topic - this year we had a GREAT Christmas.  Hubby did FABULOUS buying presents for me this year.  Went way overboard (in my opinion, but not his) and bought things I loved and wanted.  No returns, exchanges or regifting this year at all!! And, all of it was age appropriate.  Nothing for a 10 year old (or younger) little girl.  LOL

The boys were all very pleased with their stash under the tree.  We even managed some wonderful surprises for them....like game systems they had NO IDEA we would purchase along with games.  Not to mention, we even fulfilled wishes from their lists.  Matthew was only able to guess ONE present this year (his swim fins).  It was pretty obvious.  At least he didn't tell me till the day after Christmas that he had figured out that gift. 

Hubby was pleased with his presents also.  I'm so glad.  And, now he's got almost everything he needs for his planned backpacking trip this Spring.  Still not sure I'm excited about him going alone....but I am sure I will get over that eventually - like when he's safely back home.  :)


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Has it really been (almost) six months??

Yes, yes, it has.  It has been a busy six months, filled with anxiety, anger, and acceptance. It's too much to try to put into words here, so I will attempt to highlight the times that effected our family most.

August....I finally went for my mammogram.  Finally.  After rescheduling numerous times over the past 3 years, I got an appointment that was actually convenient.  It was not a pleasant experience.  Even worse was the phone call I got 2 days later telling me there was a problem and that I needed to go for a follow up immediately.  Two days later, I went in.  The tech made many trips in (to squish me) and out (to talk with the radiologist) and after an hour they finally decided all was okay.  So, one week of great anxiety and fear.  And, a year to wait until I get to repeat the process again. 

Finally get the word from the Navy.  Hubby will NOT be allowed to re-enlist due to his back issues. Thus beginning the scramble to get everything done to extend his enlistment until his 20 year mark so he can retire.  Find out he will not be able to extend.  WHAT???  Great fear and anxiety....and then they say "okay, we will let you re-enlist, but you have to retire."  This buys us 9 months to get our affairs in order and for him to find a new job.  SCARY!

September....  The kids go back to school.  Justin begins his senior year.  Hubby re-enlists.  We begin the process of leaving the military.  Lists, lists, lists.  Unknown.  I do not deal well with unknown.  Grudging acceptance.  Very grudging.  Lots of disbelief.  Hubby very upset/angry at situation.  New Thursday morning Bible study begins.  Really enjoying it and spending time with the ladies again.  I really missed that over the summer.

October...The grudging acceptance departs.  I was okay while hubby was stressing out over it.  Then, we switched places emotionally.  He came to accept it and started planning for our future.  I got upset.  Stepped on the scale and saw where stress had taken me.... Got a grip on the number (not going to divulge it, sorry!) and decided I was not going to let stress do this to me.  Made some changes and started slowly losing weight.  About this time, my tiredness really kicked in.  I'd been dealing with it for a while, but it got really bad.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  Went to the doctor for my yearly appointment and lab work.  Everything came back "within normal limits" but on the low side of normal for everything.  Great.  The doctor won't do ANYTHING to help me because I'm "normal" according to the labwork. Decided to up my vitamins. Praying it helps.

November.... My energy is slowly returning.  Very slowly.  Some days I can push through the tiredness and keep going.  Other days I have to nap just to be able to do what HAS to be done, like laundry and making dinner and cleaning the house.  I have discovered I am NOT superwoman...or wonder woman...or any of those super heroes.  I am merely a woman who is trying to survive.  Dealing with my anger at the military for forcing this change on us.  Have I mentioned I do not deal well with change and the unknown? I really don't.  I enjoy challenges, but this one is really difficult for me.  I think it's even harder than the transition from TX to VA.  Goodness knows, that was difficult.  This makes that time look easy.  Hopefully one day I will look back on this time and say "Wow, that was a time where I really grew." 

Justin turned 18 at the beginning of the month.  We had a great time with him celebrating and making the day really special.  Hubby turned 44 and we had fun celebrating with him too.  Thanksgiving was spent with Sandy and Bruce Kastel and their family.  It's so nice to have an "adopted" family here.
December....  Well, that's where we are now.  I am really trying to be nice to everyone.  I've been quite a grump lately.  An unemotional grump, if you can imagine that.  Maybe cold and unfeeling is a better description.  What's sad is my youngest pointed it out to me.  Things are coming together with hubby.  We had a long talk recently and I let out a lot of my feelings of frustration and anger.  A lot of it was directed at him.  I know this isn't his fault.  But, then again, it is as he was trying to "protect me" from the stress of it all, which stressed me even further because I didn't know what was going on or why.  I had enough information to worry and scare me as we progressed on this journey they call retiring from the military.  We worked through the communication disconnect and are working hard to not let it happen again.

Still dealing with tiredness, but the vitamins seem to be helping.  Still having to push thru it to get things done each day...and dealing with days where that's not possible.  It will get better.  Eventually.

On a good note, I am almost finished with Christmas shopping.  YIPPEEE!  I have such fun this time of the year.  I love giving to my family and making good memories for them.  This is going to be a great year.  Maybe not as many presents as normal under the tree.  But, the ones there are awesome.  :)

Will try to update again in a more timely fashion.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's been a LONG time....

Wow... It's been a very long time since I updated my blog.  So much has happened over the past few months.  I can't remember everything, so here are a few basics:

May.... It was a CRAZY month.  I can't begin to describe the anxiety which thinking of May causes.  So, we will skip it.

June....  School ended. However, we weren't here to enjoy the last week of the kids attending school to do absolutely nothing.  Other than watch movies (some of them rather inappropriate in my opinion) for a week.  Yippee.  (Please insert sarcasm in excessive amounts here.) 

Instead of the above, we made a rather hasty trip to Alabama to celebrate the life of my husband's grandmother who graduated to Heaven at the age of 98!  She was quite a woman.  She was a wonderful Christian and a mentor to all.  We will miss her so much.  But, I'm glad to know we will meet again one day.

The last week of June, the younger boys stayed in AL with family while the older two came home with us.  Our neice Paige came home with us also. Paige loves the beach and loves to shop and loves coffee.  Do you know how much fun I had with her?  I wish she could spend evert summer with me!  It was incredible to have a girl in the house.  Talk about "different" having one around too.  We loved every second of it. 

During that week we (hubby and I) did something I'm still in shock over.  We went with Justin (our oldest) and signed the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) paperwork for him to join the Air Force upon high school graduation.  Part of me wants him to stay home forever....or at least to live at home and go to college for the next few years.  The other part of me is so excited for him and proud of him.  As I told him, no matter what he chooses, I am proud of him.  Always. 

Then, the first week of July we went to AL to drop off Paige and pick up the younger two before heading to TN.  Spent a week there relaxing, drinking lots of coffee and talking with my parents.  Had a GREAT time on the 3rd when we had our family picnic.  Got to see most of my extended family.  It was fabulous!  We didn't count, but I estimate about 40 people were at my parents house.  Good times!!  The only complaint?  Everyone went home too early! 

After that, we drove back to Va Beach, relaxed a couple of days and then it was VBS time.  I enjoyed the kids and our High Seas Adventure, but man was I tired afterwards.  Last week was spent recovering from the prior month.  Soon I hope to get back on track with housework, exercise, my Bible study and generally enjoying the summer with the boys. 

Some good news from our home:  Hubby will re-enlist soon and has received orders to stay in Va Beach for another 3 years.  YIPPEE!!  Even though I was ready to move on to a new adventure, I am equally ready to stay here and continue this one.  :)

Now to deal with hubby's medical issues.  Tomorrow we go to the Pain Management clinic for him to receive an epidural injection in his spine.  At the end of the week he has an appointment for a sleep study evaluation. Pray all goes well.

***Edited to add:  This blog update was written on my NEW laptop, an early birthday present from my family.  No more sharing!  I have my own computer again.  :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday....

There's just something about a good cup of coffee on a chilly morning.  It makes me smile.  It warms me.  It urges me  to write.  I can't explain why. Maybe it was the hours I spent working at the newspaper where the air was scented with newsprint and coffee.  Or the nights spent in college at our yearbook working on a deadline where the scent of coffee wafted down the hallway at 2:00 am to give us that extra push needed to complete our pages.  It doesn't matter why, or even where, the love of coffee and words began. All that matters is this particular love affair began.

Random musing time.... So much of my life and time revolves around my church and my relationship with Christ.  Join me in a brief journey thru what has been happening in both recently....

I'm so excited about the different things we have going on at church.  TheWednesday night class I am attending with my hubby and eldest son is wonderful.  We are doing a Beth Moore study - the Patriarchs.  Talk about learning!  My head almost explodes some days with knowledge.  But, I so love it. Only two weeks in and I have so many new names for God. We are getting new insights into His glorious character from the way he revealed himself to Abraham through his names.  I think my favorite at the moment is what Hagar named God (btw, she is the ONLY person who ever gave God a name in the Bible.  The rest of the names are ones He has told us!)  She called him "the God who sees me."  WOW!!  Drink a cup or two of coffee and let the thought of that name roll through your heart, mind and soul.  Incredible!  I read that on Sunday and I am still in awe.

Other things happening at church.  I got to see and meet Guy Penrod on Saturday night.  Awesome concert.  Great cd too.  My favorite song on it is "Pray about Everything."  Really really good song.  What's even better, Guy sang with our choir and orchestra Sunday during our worship services....and since I play keyboard in the orchestra, I got to play for him!!!  WOW!!  I've played for Russ Taff, Clay Crosse and Guy Penrod.  What an honor to play for such strong Christian artists.  They amaze me with their love of Christ and their commitment to spreading the Gospel thru their music.

Tomorrow morning we start a new Bible study called "Me, Myself and Lies."  I skimmed thru the book a few weeks ago but unfortunately didn't pay a lot of attention to it as we were discussing other things at the time.  So, I don't know what this class is going to delve into other than the lies we, as women, are being told and are believing.  It certainly sounds challenging.  I'm looking forward to having my spiritual muscles stretched and strenghtened. 

A last musing....  I'm in charge of refreshments for tomorrow's class.  It's less than 24 hours away and I still don't know what I'm going to make.  HELP!!!  I love a mixture of sweet and savory...and fresh.  Thinking about grapes, mini quiches....and not sure what else.  Have tossed around the idea of making my stuffed jalapenos again, but that means lots of savory and nothing sweet.  I don't really want to make a cake again - although the last one was a hit.  Guess it's time to do my Bible study for today and then go thru my recipes again.  Maybe a coffee cake......

Friday, April 9, 2010

Kids say....

We are a talkative family especially around the dinner table.  Recently, we were having a discussion about what my darling husband wants to do when he leaves the Navy - whenever that may be.  He's thinking very seriously about the Troops to Teachers program and has been researching it thoroughly.  A couple nights ago he asked the kids what they thought about this idea.  Their responses were interesting. 

Overall, the boys were supportive.  In one area they were unanimous.  They all told their Dad "do NOT teach Middle school!"  Patrick (our youngest) said to his Dad "They will kill you!  They will cut off your nose and use it as a hackey sack!  They will gouge out your eyes and use them for clackers!  Middle school kids are horrible!  Don't do it!"  Matthew and Justin think their Dad should teach NJROTC since he's been in the military for so long.  Plus, they think he'd be a good high school teacher.  Daniel thinks his Dad would be a good teacher - just please do not be HIS teacher because that would "be weird".  They all also agreed that Dad shouldn't teach Math.  "You can't even help us with our homework," said Patrick.  "So there's no way you can teach it."  But, English and Social Studies/History (the areas my hubby is most interested in teaching) would be perfect. 

Now to figure out when/if he's going to get out of the Navy, go thru the certification process and get hired.  Nothing to it....  I think I need to drink another cup of coffee.  I'm obviously delusional this afternoon.  On to a really important question.....which flavor coffee to brew??  :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Break is going to break someone....

The question is WHO is going to get broken?  It's either the boys or me....and I don't plan to break.  Bend, maybe.  But no breaking. 

Today started out great.  We slept in and  I let the boys relax most of the morning.  Then we started Spring Cleaning their rooms.  Daniel and Patrick wanted theirs rearranged.  Justin and Matthew just needed to clean.  Everyone worked together with such a wonderful spirit of cooperation.  Things got done in a timely manner.  I was so proud of them.

Then came dinner time.  Granted, they don't care for left overs, but I don't like throwing out good food.  So, we had leftovers from Easter dinner.  Ham and hashbrown casserole were the only left over foods.  I made biscuits and had a fresh pineapple that I peeled and cubed.  (Do you PEEL a pineapple?  Anyway, I got rid of the outside and the core and cubed the rest of it so we could eat it.)  Here is where the problem started.  I believe they should eat a well balanced meal.  Not just ham and bread.  So, I put a small spoon of casserole and ONE cube of pineapple on their plates.  You would think I was torturing them from the way they acted.  I  had a mutiny on my hands. They were rude, disrespectful and refusing to eat their food.  I won't go into everything that was said. Let's just say I pointed out that I did NOT appreciate how they were acting.  they were informed that the amount of enjoyment they have during Spring Break is directly affected by how they act and how they treat me.  I told them how much I had appreciated their earlier work, but that they had negated those good feelings by how they were currently acting.  Then I left them at the table until they completed their dinner...and required them to show me their plates before they could leave the table.  Then, they were sent to the kitchen together to load the dishwasher and handwash the rest of the dishes together.  The bickering started the moment they walked into the kitchen...and the ultimatum was issued:  Either cooperate or do the dishes all week long.  Hmmm...funny how they suddenly started working together - and fighting much quieter, thinking I couldn't hear them.  Oh please.  I'm sitting 20 feet away and there are NO walls separating us. 

Thus begins Spring Break.  Hopefully the rest of the week will go better.  Otherwise I will have a perfectly clean house and 3 very unhappy boys.

 BTW, Justin was the ONLY one who actually voluntarily put everything on his plate without being asked, ate it happily and is the only one not in trouble at the moment.  I should add  it was Justin's night to do dishes.  I'm sure he's quite pleased his brothers were being awful at dinner tonight. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

What a day....

Wow...what a day.

Today started off okay.  Took hubby to the bus station, cxame home and got the kids off to school and myself off to my regular Thursday morning Bible study at church.  Had a great time of fellowship today, discussing fellowship, building relationships, how to make friends, inviting people into our homes, etc.  It was a lively discussion and lots of fun.  For a change I really didn't have much to say.  It was too much fun to sit and listen.  I love spending time with the ladies every week delving into the Bible, it's truths and growing in my walk.

Afterwards I took Justin for his appointment with Dr. Gilbert about his contacts.  Got that squared away and went to lunch at the No Frill Grill.  Food was okay.  Atmosphere was interesting.  Price was crazy. Anyway....money well spent for the bonding time with my son.  It's hard to believe he graduates from high school next year.  Don't get me wrong, I've worked long and hardto ensure he is equipped to leave home when the time comes. It's just coming too soon for my Mama heart.  Once lunch was over, we stopped by the NEX to feed the van and then the commissary for some necessities.  Home again to put away the food, straighten the house, laundry and off to the races, a.k.a. picking up hubby from the bus station and Matthew from after school NJROTC practice.  Back home for dinner and an unplanned 2 hour nap.  Guess I needed the sleep. 

It all came to a head though between dinner and the nap though.  In a moment of frustration, my darling husband uttered  words we had agreed not to share with the kids just yet.  The gist of it was "we may not be here past October if the Navy kicks me out due to my medical problems."  Stopped everyone in their tracks.  We tried to gloss over it and move onto another topic.  But, the two older boys caught on quickly.  What warmed my heart was Matthew offering to get a job and help out with expenses if it meant we could stay so he can finish high school here.  What a darling son! 

After everyone went to bed, hubby and I discussed what may be in store for us over the next few months. It gave me the chance to share my feelings about the situation.  It's scary.  But, I have a peace about it that I know comes from God, which is where I'm placing my trust for our future.  I told my hubby my prayer for us is that God's will and direction for our lives be made clear  as we make choices during the next few months.  I have given my husband my complete support as he is making decisions for our family, asking that he keep me informed each step of the way as we go thru the process of him screening for sea duty and dealing with his back problems.  How that process goes directly determines his future with the Navy, which in turn determines the rest of our choices.  I also confessed to him, my human nature wants to take over and try to control our situation.  I keep thinking I should get a job and he should  put in his retirement papers and look for a GS position so we can stay here until the kids graduate.  But, is that what God wants for us?  Are these urges my desires or nudges from God?  We've always felt that my place was at home with the kids.  The few years I did work were miserable ones - the house was never clean, we ate out a LOT, and we spent little time together as a family.  It was a relief when I quit work.  We do NOT want to return to that lifestyle.

Tonight's talk also gave my husband a chance to voice what he is thinking and feeling.  I hurt for him as I see the concern in his eyes for our future.  I have no doubt he will continue to be a wonderful provider for our family, but I know right now, he has doubts and fears about what to do next.  He knows I'm 100% by his side, supporting him and his decisions.  Hopefully, this gives him some security and relief.  Sometimes I fear it makes him feel more pressured. 

I repeat, it's been quite a day.

**Edited to add - This was started late on Thursday evening, but didn't post until the wee hours of Friday morning.  Oh well, that's what happens when I edit before submitting.  :)  Probably should've had coffee instead of tea to drink.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


OUCH is the most accurate description I can give for the past two days.  I had a migraine of epic proportions.  The first day, Tuesday, was the worst.  Apparently I had a virus along with it as I had a fever complete with chills.  I would cover up with everything imaginable until I would finally warm up enough to fall asleep in my dark quiet bedroom.  An hour or so later I would awaken, burning hot and throwing everything off so I could cool down and feel better.  This cycle repeated itself for about 36 hours.  We won't discuss the nausea, other to say I had extreme nausea, barely keeping down my Gatorade and pain killers.  I also had an ear ache, sore throat, body aches and even my neck was sore/stiff.  The absolutely, positively WORST part of the day was when my husband called and said he needed me to pick him up at work.  This meant I had to drive in the crazy afternoon drive time traffic to get him.  Then I had to ride home while he drove. I KNOW he didn't really drive at 100 mph, hitting every bump and pot hole on 264, but it certainly felt like it.  By the time we got home, I was literally in tears.  It hurt beyond any pain I had ever felt before, including childbirth.

Day two was better, but only marginally.  The fever was gone as were all the aches.  Ahhhh....the relief of "only" a migraine.  What am I saying??  It was still excruciating!  At least it was a step in the right direction.  Even the drive to pick up my hubby at work was better, slightly.  This time it was only an adventure in pain, rather than the pure unadulterated torture of the previous day.  No crying this time around, merely minor moaning and groaning quietly to myself in the back of the van. 

The worst part was not being able to fulfill commitments I had at church.  I really don't like it when I'm not capable of following through on a promise.  I know I was sick, but I am supposed to be invincible, capable of handling anything that comes my way, no matter what it is.  Somehow, my Super Woman status was revoked this week. 

Thankfully, this morning I woke up with a mild headache.  I took more Tylenol. After eating brunch at Bible study and drinking a cup of coffee, I felt much better.  A second dose of Tylenol and lunch and I felt even better.  But, it was the final dose of Advil and a snack later this afternoon that finally kicked the pain to the curb!!  Praise be!!

So, finally, I am back to my life in all it's craziness.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I admit it.  I am a slacker.  Today, anyway.  Not sure why, but today I have a case of the "I don't wannas."  Apparently the cat agrees with me.  She just walked over and sat on the keyboard.  Of course, when I moved her so I can type she left.  :)  Maybe it's the weather that is getting to me.  I felt so much better when the days were bright and sunny and warm.  Overcast, cool rainy days make me want to curl up in blanket with a cup of coffee and a great book to read. 

Too bad I have things that need to be done today.  Must cook dinner.  Must do laundry (although that's almost done for the day).  Must buy a vacuum cleaner and then actually use the thing.  Must take hubby's uniform to the cleaners.  Must take a shower at some point - preferably before leaving the house. 

Guess I should get up and get moving so everything will get done before the kids come home.  *sad face* as Jusin says....

Edited to add:  I spoke too soon. I am NOT a slacker.  Headache has hit, as has nausea and chills.  It's official.  I am getting sick.  UGH..... 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Today I did something I've never ever done before.  I made corned beef and cabbage and Irish Soda bread.  How have I lived the past 42 years without making this meal?  Even more to the point...WHY have I lived this long without making this wonderful meal?  Mercy, but it was delicious.  Well, let me be precise.  The corned beef and cabbage (and onions, potatoes and carrots) were delicious.  The bread was given a thumbs down by the entire family - including me.  I had a feeling as I was kneading it that it wasn't going to be that good, but I decided to bake it anyway. I can't explain it any better than to say it just didn't FEEL right.  I've baked enough bread and spent enough time kneading dough that I know how I want it to feel...and I just never got that feeling from this loaf.  Oh well.  Next time around I will make something different.  Maybe some rye bread from scratch.  Hmmmm....that has distinct possibilities.  And, the next time I am making a much larger portion of corned beef.  We only had enough for dinner tonight.  NO left overs for sandwiches tomorrow. 

On to another thought.  The two older boys brought home their ASVAB scores today.  Oh my!!  Were we ever proud of them.  Justin (a high school junior) scored a 98 and Matthew (a high school sophomore) scored a 93.  The person interpreting the scores for them gave them some great advice for college and was super impressed with them.  In fact, he told Justin the ONLY other person he has ever seen score higher on the ASVAB was a sophomore in college!  Made Justin feel really great.  Confirmed what his Dad and I already know about him and his brother.  They are two very special young men, with lots of potential. 

Happy Birthday to my brother, David!!  Love ya!  And, special birthday wishes to all others who were born today.  May the luck of the Irish be with you.  (Not that I believe in luck, but it sounded good. LOL) 

Last thought for tonight....GREAT mid-week prayer and worship service at church tonight.  I am loving our Wednesday ngiht services.  Greg is doing such a great job teaching us about the Abundant Life from Galations 5:13-26.  Read it, study it, apply it to your life.  It will make a change in you if you do! 

Monday, March 15, 2010

I am NOT helping my husband anymore!!

Wow...What a morning.  I can't believe it's barely 10:00 am.  Seriously, it should be at least 5:00 pm.  Why?  You innocently ask.  Let me explain. It all started with the alarm going off at the insane hour of 5:15. My hubby got up and started his morning ritual of getting ready for work and at 5:30 gently woke me so I could dress and drive him to the bus station.  We are down to one vehicle, so he generously rides the bus to work each day.  We each go about our business of getting ready to get out the door by 6:00 am.  We are on schedule.... until we get in the van and he puts his cell phone in it's designated spot....the same spot where yesterday afternoon he left his military id card.  This is when the fun began.  He asks, "Where is my ID?"  I respond, "Probably on the dining table where I left it last night."  Big sigh from him.  He pulls the keys from the ignition and walks back to the house.  I sit there for a few seconds waiting when I realize I did not see his ID when I took my purse from the table.  So, I dig thru my purse in the darkness.  It's not in there.  Hmmmmm....  Back into the house I go where I see him moving things around on the table and looking frustrated.  We talk....and look....and talk....and look....and talk some more and look some more.  He sits on the sofa and watches me look.  I cry (not hard, just tears rolling down my face).  He looks angry - or maybe extremely frustrated is a better description.  But, he was wonderful.  He could've yelled at me, with good reason, but he kept control and stayed quiet.  After two very long hours of searching for his ID card and running thru the events of yesterday afternoon and evening, I once again went to the kitchen trash can where earlier I had done a frantic search thru the bag.  This time I pulled the bag from the can and systematically started searching thru everything.  Yup.  There it was in the empty cereal box next to the banana peel and some papers.  WHEW!!!  What's crazy is in the first frantic 15 minutes of searching I  looked thru the trash, all the while HOLDING this empty box which I didn't look in because I expected the card to be at the bottom of the bag. 

After the search was over, I hugged my hubby and thanked him for not losing his temper with me.  He almost made me cry again as he said "How could I yell at you?  You were trying to help me.  Besides what kind of example would I be to the boys if I read the Bible and pray with them at night and then yell at their Mother in the morning?"  My heart swelled with love and thankfulness that I am married to such a wonderful man.  And, I promised him that from now on, I am NOT helping him again - with his ID card, that is.  From now on, it stays where he puts it, no matter where that may be!! 

Isn't it interesting that yesterday's sermon was on "What to do when things go wrong."  It was the main topic of our conversation as I drove him to work. On the bright side, it was nice to eat breakfast and spend some extra time together this morning. 

But, can I just say....WHEW!! What a day!  Time to brew more coffee....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flipping the House

Last weekend Clay and Renee Crosse were at our church for a weekend conference and Sunday services.  It was a wonderful weekend of God's truth being spoken in love by two people who truly love the Lord.  Clay spoke to the men and Renee to the women on Saturday. Then they both addressed the church on Sunday morning.  One of their topics was "flipping the house" and it really spoke to my husband and me.  So much so that we are doing our own house flip.  A mere week later we have seen such a difference in our home and our children!!

What are we doing differently?  Simply sitting and reading the Bible aloud and praying with the kids.  We are trying to do it nightly.  We missed a couple nights due to our crazy schedule and all felt as if something was missing those days.  I think what surprised me most is the kids not only seem to like it but they actually want it to go longer on nights when we have a quick reading and prayer time. 

My husband and I were talking tonight about how awesome it is to see our family gathered around with  Bibles open, reading God's word and talking about it.  Discussing things that speak to us and why.  I am enjoying hearing the boys questions and comments.  Some of them are really insightful - like Justin asking if Paul was married - and some of them are simply interesting - like Patrick finding verses that are in a Superchick song.  I'm looking forward to seeing where this flip takes our family.  I know it's going to be wonderful. 

OH...and a funny Bible story from our house.  My husband and I both grew up with the KJV being THE Bible.  When our boys were all small we gave them Bibles of their own.  Over the years we've bought new ones for them.  Daniel had requested a smaller one that would be easy to take to church.  Out of habit, I bought a KJV for him.  Over the past couple of years, he has mentioned it's hard to follow along at church since we typically read from the NIV.  But, he's never made a big deal about it....until we started our daily family devotionals. Our first couple of readings were from Genesis.  The word "helpmeet" turned into a huge sticking point with him - a funny one, granted, but a sticking point nonetheless.  On Tuesday I promised him we would buy an easier to read Bible.  Well, the week was crazy busy and we didn't make it to Family Christian.  Today we went to the church bookstore after services.  He looked over the Bibles and narrowed the selection down to 3:  a plain NIV, a teen study NIV and The Message.  He cracked me up as he looked over the three.  He liked the plain NIV since there were "no helpmeets!!" He also liked the Message  because "it's easy to understand".  But, in the end he bought the teen study Bible.  It has "great cartoons" in the margins.  Gotta love the logic of a 13 year old boy.  :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010


It has been a long day and isn't over yet.  But, it soon will be.  Today was the big competition for our two eldest sons.  It was the NJROTC Area 5 Competition to determine who would go to the NJROTC Nationals Competition in Pensacola, FL on April 8 & 9.  The top 10 schools from our area competed against each other for two slots at Nationals. Our school has placed well enough to go to Nationals the past few years.  This year that was not the case. 

How do I feel about that?  Conflicted sums it up nicely.  Let me explain.

Part of me feels really sad for our kids.  They have worked hard recently preparing for this competition.  But, I didn't see a high level of commitment this year among the cadets.  I don't think they wanted it as much as the other schools.  Part of me feels upset that our cadets didn't put forth more effort all year long and especially today.  It seemed as if the cadets thought they were guaranteed a slot simply because they have gone the past few years. And, finally, part of me is relieved.  I wasn't looking forward to making the trip to FL over Spring Break.  We are having something special that weekend at church that I really want to attend.  Nationals (and being there for my sons) was competit ing for my time and attention.  Now I don't have to make the choice.  It was made for me today. 

Does that make me a bad Mom?  To want to do "my" thing more than something for my kids?  After all, I do something for them almost every day for NJROTC.  Is it okay to be a little "selfish" for a change?  Why do I struggle with that?  Should I struggle with this question?  How do I change?  Should I change? 

These questions will not be answered tonight.  Probably because I don't have my coffee with me.  In fact, I've only had one cup of coffee today - a grande skinny caramel macchiato from Starbucks.   This could explain my questions and lack of answers tonight.  Too late now.  I'm heading for bed.  Time change tonight means an early start tomorrow....  Coffee must be involved as I start my morning.  Time to set the brew cycle for tomorrow morning.  :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Goodbye Bossy

Here I go again.  New day. New site.  Fresh cup of coffee.

I'm not a novice to blogging.  I have blogged in the past, but didn't stick with it because I didn't like the site(s).  Hopefully this time around will work better.   Here's hoping....

What's going on in my mind today?  So many things....I won't try to put them all in this blog though.  It would take too much time for me to type and for you to (hopefully) read.  Top thought however is that I miss my van!  Yes, you read it right.  My van is gone.  Bossy was her name.  I don't remember how or why we called her Bossy.  Doesn't really matter.  All that matters is she is gone.  My friend, my faithful companion, my transportation over the years.....  and my first totally brand new vehicle.  She only had 15 miles on the odometer when we purchased her and most of those were put on by us during our test drive!  But, all good things must come to an end and today was the end of Bossy's time with our family.  She was towed away a short time ago by a nice guy from a local charity.  I'm glad we were able to benefit others by donating her.  Goodbye Bossy.  You served us well.  It was a great 13 years.  You will be missed.

Isn't it silly to miss a vehicle that much?   To be that upset that it is no longer a part of my life?  We bought it when our third son was only a couple months old.  We took so many family trips in that van.  So many memories are wrapped up in that van....like the projectile vomiting from the back seat to the front of the van while sitting at Sonic!  Or Daniel singing along to a song and burping at a strategic point.  Kids fighting in the back seat.  Me hitting a mailbox and shattering one of the windows.   Vacations.  Day trips.  Running around town.  Etc. 

I know what you are thinking.  You think I cried this morning.  Hate to disappoint, but I didn't.  I watched her get hooked up to the tow truck and I walked back into the house to call my husband with the news that the van is gone.  I feel sad, yes.  But, come on.  It's just a van! 

The rest of my day is going to be devoted to cleaning house.  It must be done.  Therefore, I must get off the computer and back to work.  Thus far I have managed to vacuum the downstairs (a chore I may describe another day), declutter the downstairs, wash, dry and fold the laundry, and clean the bathrooms.  Still have things to do though - like dusting and cleaning the shelves over the washer and dryer.  And, I must empty the entertainment center in my bedroom so we can get rid of it this weekend.  The entire house is going to be cleaned, reorganized and rearranged over the next couple of months. Look out local donation centers!!  I will be visiting soon!!  :)