Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Busy, Busy, Busy
Life has been really crazy around her, I can't believe I havn't updated my blog since last week. I am sorry to those of you who were worried and emailed me. Life is just about back to normal and we finally have a little fresh air to breathe.

All of the boys in my family were gone last weekend. Zach had a baseball tournament in Arizona so Dave drove him down there and took Garrett with him. Tyler was still in Washington until late Friday night and then slept most of Saturday.

This meant my girls and I had almost a whole weekend together, just for us girls. We went out to dinner to a nice restaurant and, of course, did lots of shopping.

Samantha worked on her halloween costume. She is going to be the Queen bee and her lil sis Paige is going to be her worker bee. Paige had fun helping her put the gold glitter on her costume.

We made sugar cookies. Have you ever seen a cuter baker? She just melts my heart.

We like lots of sprinkles on our cookies.

I really missed my boys, but sometimes its nice just to have girl time. Without anyone burping or farting and thinking it is the funniest thing EVER.

I know, I know, hard to believe, but it really was nice. Well, atleast for a few days anyway.

  posted at 9:57 PM  

Friday, October 26, 2007
Temper Tantrum Morning
Garrett (9) and Paige (4) sound really awful. They have both had numerous bloody noses, their chests are tight and they just generally sound awful. The rest of us just have the sore throat that comes from breathing yukky air.

This morning the air smelled like a very large ashtray. I sent the kids back into the house and told them NO SCHOOL TODAY. I just didn't want to send them out into that muck again.

Cheers and hoots of happiness went out all around....except for one very disappointed 9 year old boy. He insisted he was fine and the air didn't bother him at all (wheezing and coughing through his protestations).

He cried. He pleaded. He wanted to go to school.

The other kids looked at him like he was an alien from another planet.

Mom was giving them a pass day. They could play games, watch movies, make cookies, do what ever they wanted.

What is wrong with that kid?

I felt like I was in that Cell phone commercial where the Dad is arguing with the daughter telling her "I WILL BUY YOU THAT NEW CELL PHONE, DON'T ARGUE WITH ME"!!!!

This is how our conversation went:

Me: Garrett, you sound awful. I don't think you should go to school.

Garrett: PLEASE MOM I JUST CANT MISS SCHOOL WHAT ABOUT MY FRIENDS WHAT ABOUT MY TEACHER SHE WILL MISS ME OH PLEASE MOM PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME MISS SCHOOL (the child did not take a breath through this long and arduous plea, he did have to stop to cough up a lung every few words though)

Me: I am so glad you love school but it just wouldn't be good for you to go today. I'm sorry the answer is no, you may not go to school.

Garrett: Throws himself onto the ground and cries for 15 minutes.

He is refusing to have anything to do with me.

I am the meanest mom ever.

I am making him eat pancakes and bacon and play dominoes with his sister.

Someone better call social services. It is unclear whether he will be able to survive this torture for very long.

Update on the Fire: It is closer to us but we are in no danger. Just lots of smoke and soot all around. We found my sister Stacey. They had been up in their Mountain house and lost power for 3 days so had no way to contact anyone. The firefighters are doing a great job and hopefully this little nightmare will be over soon. Several of the kids teachers had to leave school yesterday as they were told their homes would have to be evacuated. Please continue to pray for all those affected by the fires.

  posted at 9:01 AM  

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Game One, A New Recipe, and Sun Down
Well, my morning post was premature as the heat got up to a whopping 94 degrees today and the smoke returned when the winds shifted.

Here is a picture of the sun going down and the light reflecting off the smoke. You can go here to see what it looks like from my bedroom without all the smoke.

This picture doesn't really do it justice. Their is lots of black and white smoke coming over the hills. The kids had a little fun watching the water dropping helicopters go by earlier in the evening. It's really hard to tell where the fire actually is, the news doesn't always give us a real good idea. My neighbor went to Target this afternoon and she said the flames were cresting the hills over there. That is about 2 miles southeast of us. I guess that's where all the new smoke is coming from.

If you are wondering the fire behind us would be the Santiago Fire in Orange County.

The fires seem to be laying down, and all the air support that has been sent in has really helped. I feel so sorry for all those people who have lost their homes.

Well now, on to some good news. The Red Sox scored four in the first inning of the World Series and it looks like they have the game well in hand. This makes Zach very happy. Anyone else with a 16 year old knows that when they are happy everyone else is happy.

Tyler called from D.C. today and he sounded like he was having a blast. They toured the White House today, went to the National Monument and the National Cathedral, and laid a wreath at The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier. They are going from dawn to dusk and I am sure he will sleep for two days when they get home. So much for all my worrying, he is doing just fine on his own. It is so hard to let go and realize they CAN survive without you.

Tonight I made some comfort food. My favorite Pork Chop recipe that my sis Stacey gave me a few years ago (who I still have not heard from, ugh). I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

Baked Pork Chops with Apples:

1 lb. of carrots
2 large yellow onions
6-8 pork chops (cut approximately 1" thick)
1 1/2 tsp. dried sage
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. tart cooking apples (I usually use granny smith)
1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed down)

Preheat oven to 350. Wash carrots and cut diagonally into 1/2" thick slices (I usually cheat and just use the baby carrots you can buy ready to eat). Place carrots into the bottom of a 3 quart casserole or into a shallow baking dish.

Cut onions into thin slices and arrange half of them over the carrots.

Wipe Pork Chops with damp paper towels, trim and discard excess fat. On waxed paper or shallow dish combine sage, salt and pepper. Dip both sides of pork chops into seasoning. Save any remaining seasoning mixture.

Arrange seasoned Pork Chops on top of carrots and onions, overlapping each chop slightly. Sprinkle chops with any remaining sage seasoning mix. Arrange remaining sliced onions on top of chops.

Peel and core apples. I love my pampered chef apple slicer corer machine for this. Slice apples into thin pieces if you don't have a slicer. When done arrange apples on top of chops and sprinkle with the brown sugar.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours at 350. Uncover, baste with juices, and cook uncovered for an additional 1/2 hour. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Skim off fat and discard. Bast chops again and serve with cooked apples and vegetables. I usually make rice or noodles for a side dish.

To end the evening I am going to send you here. My sister in law (thanks Cheryl) sent this link to me today and it is hysterical. Make sure your sound is on and call your kids around the computer.

I promise it will make you smile.

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  posted at 6:57 PM  

A Quick Update
I just went outside and the air is crisp and cool, you can feel a little moisture in the air. This should help get the fires under control.

Yesterday it was 92 degrees and windy. I don't feel any wind and hopefully it will be a little cooler today.

The fire has now left our area and headed west. It is so nice to have some fresh air to breath outside.

Please continue to pray. We still have several families staying on our street that have been evacuated. They have been here several days and still have no news on their homes.

Still no word on my sister. We are pretty sure she and her husband are at Qualcom Stadium helping out with all the evacuees.

Have a great day!

Have a great day.


  posted at 6:41 AM  

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The Fires, Part 4
Hi All, its still smokey here but we are hanging in there.

I took a picture of the mountains behind us from my upstairs bedroom to give you some perspective on where the fire is coming from.

If you were to climb over those mountains to the other side that is where the big fire is right now, and also where my niece lives.

She called me earlier to say the winds had shifted and the fire was headed back up our way.

As you can see from the picture it was fairly clear this morning when I took it. Yesterday we could barely see those mountains it was so smokey.

My niece was right, the winds did shift, because right about the time I went to get the kids from school you could see big billows of white smoke coming from behind the mountain again. The smell has gotten worse also.

It is dark here now and the kids are watching the mountain for signs of flames.

I don't believe our home would be in any danger because we are about 4 blocks from where the Forest starts. However, we have good friends who live at the top and we are concerned for them.

We are all praying they can stop it before it crests the top.

No word still from my other sister. I am sure they are busy helping someone evacuate and just haven't been able to reach us. However, I know my mom will feel a lot better when we hear their voices.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and kind words. I will try and post some more pictures later if we see any action on the mountain.


  posted at 7:32 PM  

The Fires, Part 3
Imagine being on the phone with your daughter while she and her family are being evacuated from their home as fire is quickly approaching. Your daughter tells you not to worry, they are all packed and leaving. A firefighter is stationed at every other house on your block trying to save your neighborhood. You quickly tell your mom, "I have to go, the front yard is on fire" and the line goes dead.

This happened to my sister. It was three long hours before she would hear from her daughter again.

They were in their RV in the local Target parking lot with some other evacuees.

Large pieces of ash had rained down on them as huge flames were coming at them from the end of the street.

The firefighters saved all the housed on there block.

I just talked with her and she said their is a layer of ash 6" thick all over everything.

However, they are safe.

We are currently worried about my other sister. She and her husband live in an area threatened by the fires. All the phone lines are out so we have no way of knowing what is going on with them. Cell phones are not working as all the circuits are busy.

I'm sure they are safe but would like some word just to know what is going on. Hopefully someone will hear from them soon.


  posted at 9:43 AM  

The Fires, Continued
The fires are worse. Smoke and ash are flying around everywhere. The kids can't go outside and play so they are grumpy.

So, whats a mom to do?

Why play twister, of course. Nothing beats an all out, knock down, drag out game of twister.

Here's Hubby hiding his face from me.

Poor Samantha, she is trapped under her brother. You can barely see her in this pic.

This is what happens when you fall down. You become the spinner and wait for the next game.

Paige (4) getting in on the action. She most enjoyed trying to make everyone fall down.

The face after you are told that was the last game and it is time for bed.

They did have a good time, and it was great for getting some energy out of their system.

I let Garrett (9) and a friend go outside and play hand ball against the garage for about 15 minutes. Within seconds my yard was filled with kids so glad to get out of the house for a few moments. After 15 minutes Garrett was wheezing and not sounding very good. Back inside we went.

Our little neighborhood has become a refugee camp of sorts. Several neighbors have relatives waiting out the fire here. Their were so many cars parked on our little culdesac that we thought for sure someone was having a party. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. My neighbors mother keeps calling her house to see if the answering machine picks up. We assume that if it does it means the house is still in one piece. As of this morning it was still picking up. They are so very thankful.

I heard this morning that 265,000 people have been evacuated. That number is just staggering.

Please pray the winds stop and our exhausted firefighters can get a handle on these fires.

Also, go outside and smell your fresh air. Take a big whiff for me OK? I can't wait until this is all over and we can open up all the windows in the house and air out a little.


  posted at 8:36 AM  

Monday, October 22, 2007
Smokey The Bear Isn't A Happy Camper Today
87sWe have stinky, smokey air all around us today. The California wildfires are making our air quality just awful. My kids were coughing and sputtering this morning as I dropped them at school. Add the tremendous wind (gusts up to 55 miles per hour)to the picture and you have a situation where going outside is not the most pleasant of experiences.

We are getting all of our smoke from the Irvine fire. Our home is not in any danger but my nieces is. They live on the other side of the national forest that divides our two towns.

Please pray that our firefighter can get these fires under control and no more homes will be lost. Also pray for their safety as they battle these beasts with very little rest and I am sure they are all very very tired.

My blood was boiling this morning when it was announced that this particular fire was set on purpose. They found three sites where the fire was started. I just don't understand this. What kind of person sets a fire and puts in danger homes and hundred's of Innocent people without a second thought? I hope they catch him or her so they will not have the opportunity to do something like this again.

Well, I'm off to spray air freshener in my house so it won't smell so much like a fireplace. As Paige keeps saying "It stinky in here".


  posted at 10:27 AM  

Sunday, October 21, 2007
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Its Off To The East He Goes
My stomach is in Knots and it is questionable as to whether I will get a good nights sleep for the next five sundown to sunrise cycles.

You see, I sent my second born all the way across the country this morning. To Washington D.C.. Without a parent.

Yes, their are chaperone's. Yes their are tour guides. Yes, my head tells me he will be fine.

Unfortunately, it is my heart that isn't quite going along with the whole thing.

Oh, he will have a wonderful time. He and 26 other student's will be touring Amish country, visiting Civil War battlegrounds, taking a tour of the White House and Washington Monument (thanks to our local congressman for arranging those two), laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, visiting the Vietnam memorial, and the list goes on and on.

Six jam packed days of History and fun.

However, their is one minor point in this whole thing that is causing me some anxiety. The one that my husband thinks, I am sure, is ridiculous.

Who will be there to remind him?

You know, remind him to make sure he hasn't left anything in the hotel room when they pack up each morning at 6:00 a.m.. Do you have your wallet? Everything out of the bathroom?

You see, they change hotel rooms almost every day. That is a lot of picking up and packing for a 14 year old boy.

I know, I know, it will be a great learning experiencing for him. He will learn responsibility and how to take care of himself. I understand that.

I also understand that this is my child who is most like his father. We like to call them "The absent minded professors". They are both very smart. Love math and science and just learning.

At times I think that their heads are so full of important stuff, like how to solve quadratic equations (spelling?) that their brain has no room for simple things like multi tasking and remembering where you put your keys.

I know at some point we have to gently nudge our children out into the real world to sink or swim.

I would just prefer that my sweet second born wasn't sinking 3,000 miles away.

Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised and he wont leave a trail of lost items from D.C. to Pennsylvania.

This is what this poor child had to listen to from his mother this morning at 5:00am.

"Tyler, try and remember to put all your toiletries back into your suitcase right after you use them, only charge your cell phone in the bathroom so you will be sure and see it, keep twenty dollars in your pants pocket so you won't always be having to get your wallet out, don't forget to call for your wake up call so you don't oversleep" and I went on and on. My poor poor child.

At 5:45 this morning he was on his way to the airport. I laid back into my bed trying to block all the things from my mind that I thought he may have forgotten. Suddenly I had the most awful realization.


I am horrified at myself. I was so worried about all these things that really don't matter that I forgot the one thing that was the most important. Making sure my child knew how much I loved him and that I would miss him while he was gone.

Tonight when he calls after his first day of adventure I will not ask if he remembered this or that.

I will just listen to his stories of the day and tell him how much I love him.

Though I am still pretty sure I won't sleep well until my sweet boy is home in his own bed.

Have a great time, Tyler, I love you.

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  posted at 8:19 AM  

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Sixteen Years Ago Today.......................
I became a mother.

For as long as I can remember it is all I had ever wanted to be. When people would ask "What do you want to be when you grow up"? I would always answer the same way, from a young child to a young adult, "I want to be a mother".

I have no idea why I had such a strong desire to do only this. My friends could do both, have a career and be a mother, why couldn't I?

Simply, I had no desire for a career. I finally came to the realization that this was God's plan for my life. While others are sent down a different path, this is the path I chose. The one I truly believe I was born for.

I got married young by most standards. I was 20 (almost 21) and my hubby was 24.

If it had been completely up to me we would have immediately started a family. However, hubby was still in school full time working on his doctorate and their was no way I could stay home. I had a hard time leaving our dogs when I went off to work so I knew their was little chance I would want to leave my child. So, we waited.

For three long years I waited until hubby was out of school. When he finally did graduate it took another three long years for me to get pregnant.

The day I found out I was pregnant with our child was the most joyful of my life. We were both so excited. The thought of having to wait eight more months to meet our child was almost unbearable. Little did I know then how much I would really love being pregnant. I loved every minute, every kick, every little arm or leg sticking out through my stomach, it was magical and wonderful and such a blessing.

Here is a picture of me the night before going into the hospital to deliver my sweet first born.

Um, I'm really not sure what was going on with my hair? I obviously had on no makeup and that night gown was a little small. Oh well, here I am in all my glory. Obviously so happy (and a little nervous) to meet my new baby in the next few hours. I have to laugh at the little "what a site" sticker at the top of the picture. I scanned it our of our oldest's baby book. I obviously wasn't all that impressed with my hairdo even way back then.

Twenty hours of labor later I received this sweet bundle into my arms.

Yes it hurt, yes it was hard, and yes it was so so worth it.

I had asked for an epidural and thought to myself, man, if this is how much it hurts with an epidural it must really hurt with out one. My epidural line had fallen out of my back, no one noticed, I had natural child birth without ever realizing it. It made me feel much better to know I wasn't a complete wimp. lol.

Zachary Alexander came into our lives that day and life has never been the same.

He was the best baby. Slept through the night (12 hours) when he was six weeks old. He always had a smile on his little face and enjoyed going out and experiencing new things.

Here you are at your first trip to the zoo with your Dad.

A smile always met me when I would go in to pick you up after a nap.

Zach, it has been such a privilege to be your mother for these past sixteen years. Your Dad and I love you so much and are so proud of the young man you have become. You have big goals for yourself and no one will ever be able to say you didn't reach them because you didn't work hard. You work harder on your dreams than anyone I have ever met (though your room could use some of that same determination in getting it cleaned up a little).

Remember, Zach, trust God and seek his will for your life. You are a strong person, a good brother, and a great son. I have no doubts he has great things planned for your life.


  posted at 9:50 AM  

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I'm Hitting The Hay Early Tonight
Our four year old, Paige, woke up last night at 1:00am (I suppose that would actually be this morning) and would not go back to sleep. I took her downstairs to try and lull her back to sleep, however, that never worked.

I think I fell asleep on the couch off and on, until she would sweetly rub my cheek's and tell me "Wake up, Mommy, Wake Up".

Did you know that Bob the Builder is on at 2:00am? I had been wondering what happened to Bob. I hadn't seen him on any local channels since my youngest son was a toddler. We watched Jay Jay the airplane, Sesame Street, and Dragon Tales. She still would not go back to sleep.

We have both been up since 1:00am. She would not take a nap. I am exhausted.

Paige had her one year shots on Monday so I am wondering if it is a reaction to those. She has a low grade fever and a few rashes on her body. However, it doesn't really seem to be bothering her. She is happy and playing nicely with her dolls.

Yes, we are three years late on her shots. She had a really bad reaction to them as a baby so we only did two sets and then stopped. Mom has been a chicken until now to try it again. If their going to cause her not to sleep I may wait until she is 21 to finish the series.

Anyway, it is 5:30 here and we have been up for a very long time. I have already fed every one else dinner, and hubby is getting our sports kids ready for their practices.

I'm off to bed. Please pray she will finally go to sleep.

Sweet Dreams everyone.

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  posted at 5:14 PM  

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Rain, Baseball, and A Little Excercise
Last week Paige was so excited to wake up and find it raining outside. She immediately went to the closet, pulled out her umbrella, and ran outside to play. She played out there all morning in her bare feet and pajama's. Made me cold just looking at her but she had a great time.

Our poor dog wasn't quite as excited. She had been left out all night and for some reason did not go into her nice dry dog house. Instead she laid in the rain and got wet and dirty. She usually sleeps with our oldest son at night so I am unsure why she was left outside. As you can see from the picture below she wasn't very happy with me when I let her in to dry off.

Fall weather has finally arrived. I am so enjoying the cool breezes and cuddling on the couch with a big blanket and my little ones (and big ones) all around.

Right now our oldest is laying on the floor with his younger brother and sister trying to teach them his 8 minute ab routine (and also trying to forget that his Red Sox are behind 7-3 to the Indians in the 8th inning). The kid is getting pretty buff so his siblings have decided he may be on to something. I should really be on the floor with them but instead I am bundled on the couch watching last nights Dancing With the Stars. Hey, a girls got to have her priorities straight. It would be really really wrong to watch the results show tonight without having watched last nights dances.

However, I am nothing if not supportive of their efforts.

I'm going to make some popcorn so I can throw it at them while they try and exercise.

That's just the kind of wonderful mama that I am.

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  posted at 6:06 PM  

"The Crapper"
This is a public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood blogger:

One of these can be dangerous in the hands of a male 14 year old child.

If you allow him to use it you may find this on the back of your toilet seat the next time you find nature calling your name.

I realized the name "crapper" might be helpful for some who don't actually realize what this contraption is for but, for the rest of us, it is an annoyance we don't really need.

Do you see the little pillow above said toilet that says "Hope"? I keep it their so every day I can hope and pray that my three sons will mature, if just a little, to the point in their lives where they will not feel the need arise to put words such as "CRAPPER" on the back of the toilet in the guest bathroom.

I'm just sayin.

A mama can hope can't she?


  posted at 5:31 AM  

Monday, October 15, 2007
A Little To Much Excitement
Updated Below

Around Midnight last night we were awoken by lots of loud sirens and some comotion in front of our house.

It seems a young man stole a car, raced it up the hill to where we live, and then crashed. The police were in hot pursuit so when he crashed he ran and hid. In our neighborhood.

The police have been parked in front of our house all night, with their high beams on, peering through the fog for this guy. Of course they chose to park right in front of the kids bedrooms and kept them up all night talking on their radios to each other. (I realize this is not their fault)

Dawn is breaking through and it is still really foggy. We still have a police car parked out front, but no sign of the car thief.

The kids don't want to go out front to get into the car for school for fear a wild man will jump out at them.

I just remembered my Suburban is parked out front and I didn't lock it last night. Hopefully, I won't find a sleeping car thief in their when we open the doors.

Perhaps I will allow our friendly policeman to open the door first.

I'll let you all know when our neighborhood gets back to "normal".

Update: After we left for school the police came into our back yard and searched it for their suspect. My neighbor told me it was very exciting as the four policeman had their hands on their weapons ready to draw if needed. I am sure my boys will be so upset they missed that.

When we drove out of our street their were no less than ten police cars in our little community standing guard and a half a dozen officers on foot going from house to house with dogs.

I must admit the police were very thorough.

Unfortunately, their car thief seems to have slipped through their fingers. After searching all the homes he was no where in sight.

The police have left and the neighborhood still feels a little unsettled. No one is out walking and we all have our doors locked.

I just got home from taking Paige to her four year well check (where the word Autism was again thrown out their by the doctor over and over, more on that later). She was very brave when she had to get a couple of shots, but was not happy at all with their ugly bandaids. What, no Spondge Bob or Disney Princess? Poor child had to make do with an ugly brown band aide.

So, after the car thief and the ugly brown band aide ordeals I am ready for a little nap. Unfortunately, the laundry is calling my name. Dang it!


  posted at 6:47 AM  

Friday, October 12, 2007
Memories From Sixth Grade
Today as I was taking one of our morning trips through the drive thru I got a glimpse into the restaurant and saw four young boys sitting down at a table together for breakfast.

This particular fast food joint is close to the junior high so many friends meet in the am for breakfast together at this fine establishment of culinary delight.

One of the boys eating his breakfast looked just like my sixth grade crush. He had long blonde hair (to the shoulders) and it was feathered back in the front. He carried his skate board and walked with a swagger that said "Yeah, lady, I know I am hot".

For a moment I felt like I was back in sixth grade pining for Richard Zerky. All the girls liked him. He was totally cool. Not very bright, if I remember correctly, but totally cute.

My family lived by the beach at the top of a very big hill. Richard and his friends would show up on the weekends or after school to ride their skate boards down our very long hilly street.

My friends and I would sneak out to secretively watch them, though I am sure they knew we were their. I thought Richard was the dreamiest boy ever. Unfortunately, he only had eyes for Stacie Olson. I knew in my heart he was way out of my league.

One Saturday afternoon Richard showed up to skate down my street. My girlfriends went out to watch him (I was gone with my family somewhere that day) and came up with what they thought was a brilliant idea. They would write love letters to Richard and sign my name.

They scurried into the house and wrote several letters to him professing my unyielding love and admiration, signed my name, and ran outside to deliver them to him.

When I got home they were so excited to tell me what they had done. I was, of course, mortified. How could they have done this to me?

I was so sick to my stomach over the whole thing I refused to go to school on Monday. How could I face him and his friends? My mom told me to be brave and just explain to him what happened. I didn't write the notes, my friends did.

So, Tuesday morning I went to school, dreading it with every step I took. When I walked into the classroom I felt like every eye was upon me. In truth, I am sure they were, my love letters had become a thing of legend in the 48 hours since they had been written.

Our sixth grade class had been working on creating products for a store we were to hold for some of the other classes. Each group came up with a product to sell, had to plan out the design, cost, and advertising strategies for their product. Guess who's group I was in? You guessed it, Richards and Stacie Olson's. Ugh.

Our teacher told us to break into our groups to get to work. My group was sent outside to work at the picnic tables. Just Great! This meant I would be alone with Richard, Stacie and few of "their" friends. I was definitely out numbered.

Immediately upon reaching the picnic tables Richard says to me (I will never forget this) Julie, Julie, Julie, why did you write me those pathetic letters? You know I could never like you, you aren't my type.

Turning bright red with embarrassment I tried to explain that I hadn't written the letters. Lisa and Donna wrote them as a joke and signed my name. "Sure, yeah right" he said. It was no use. No one would believe I didn't write the letters and my "good" friends wouldn't admit they wrote them. I was doomed.

Years later this incident still bothers me. When I think about it I can still feel the embarrassment and pain of that 12 year old girl.

Just to look at that boy through the window could muster all this back up in my head over thirty years later.

Why is this Internets? Do you have memories of long ago that rear their ugly little heads every once in a while?

I witness this same type of drama in my own teens life and wish I could take it away. Oh, the joys of youth.

Proverbs 17:27
A man of knowledge uses words with restraint,
and a man of understanding is even-tempered.

Proverbs 21:23
He who guards his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself from calamity.

Editors Note: Several years later I saw Richard at a High School Football game. I had left my ugly duckling stage and blossomed into a swan. He came up to talk with me and asked if I would like to go and get a coke. "No thanks" I responded "Your not really my type". I don't think he knew who I was, though I heard someone told him later. I would have loved to have seen his face when he found out. Hee hee hee.


  posted at 9:26 AM  

Thursday, October 11, 2007
Fingerprinting and Shopping All In One Day, Can Life Get Any Better?
Today hubby and I ran around taking care of some adoption business. We got fingerprinted for our Home Study, ran around trying to get some paper work notarized (thanks Celeste for taking care of that for us), and generally just tried to plow our way through all the bureaucracy on our way to bringing our little girl home. When will the paper work end????

I have been thinking a lot lately about the little girl we hope to adopt. Where is she now? Is she born yet? Are her parent's sick?

I pray for both her and her birth family every day. I try not to think about the fact that our next child will have to face a tragic loss in order to join our family. In my head I understand that their is nothing I can do about this fact, however, my heart aches at times thinking of our little girls parents and the grief they must suffer to give us this wonderful gift.

I know in my heart I will never be able to forget about them.

After we ran our errands, picked up the kids at school, and hubby ran to a doctors appointment, I got this great idea to escape from it all for a while.

Tyler (14) leaves for Washington D.C. with his eighth grade class in a little over a week and their were some things I really needed to pick up for him.

Dave told me to just leave and go get what ever I needed to. He said "take your time, go shopping".

Girls, aren't those some of the sweetest words any man could say to his wife?

I took him up on it and escaped for over four hours.

Heaven, I tell you, pure Heaven.

I got to stroll the aisles of Target ALL BY MY SELF. I went to Linens and Things and nobody said "When can we leave, I don't like this store"?

I looked at every Fall and Halloween decoration that I wanted to. I looked at purses, shoes, linens, and appliances.

You know what?

I had a blast.

Thanks, honey, for my little break. It felt like a whole weekend away.

You are the best!!

p.s. I hear the spaghetti dinner you whipped up was mighty fine!

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  posted at 9:22 PM  

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
A Special Day With Grandma
Our two middle schoolers had Grandparent's Day last week at their school. This is a fun time for the grandparents (or special family friend, aunt, uncle, etc.) to come visit the school and meet the students teachers.

One of my parent's dogs is very sick so Grandpa stayed behind to keep an eye on her. I got up early and drove about 30 miles down the freeway to pick up Grandma for the morning festivities.

Here's Grandma out front with the kids. It was cold so Samantha wore a blanket around herself while we were outside. It just happened to be free dress day so the students could chose to wear a Christian Shirt and jeans if they want. I always think it is funny that Samantha would never miss a chance to wear something different but her brother could really care less. He always just wears his uniform.

Grandma was really excited that the kids put on a Worship service for them. The students did a great job of praying and leading us in songs.

Our school purchased land a few years ago to build a new facility. After much prayer and hard work the new school was finished this year and the students moved in this past September. They were all excited to show their Grandparents around their new digs.

One of the first things my kids said to me when they found out Grandma was coming was "Yeah, we finally get to ride upstairs in the new elevator". Yes, that is a big deal indeed. Only teachers are allowed in the elevators normally, so this was quite a treat. Here is Samantha taking her ride up with my mom. As you can see she is very excited.
OK, here I need to brag a little. Isn't my mom cute? She will be 88 next month (sorry, mom, I had to out you) and is still so beautiful. Her granddaughter got her love of fashion from both of her grandma's. My mom always looks so cute. I love you very much, mom, thanks so much for always being their when we need you.

Alright, I'm done with the mushy stuff (as my kids would say), on with the tour.

Samantha took Grandma into her math class where her teacher has a shrine to the Dodgers. My mom is a Dodger FANATIC! She never misses a game whether it be on radio or TV. She took a picture in front of the little shrine and picked up a baseball signed by someone (sorry, can't remember who). She figured her granddaughter must be in good hands if her teacher was a fan of the Dodgers.

After that Tyler took her in to meet his science teacher. Here they all are.

Then Tyler took a break from touring to play a "quick" game of chess with a friend.

Then off we went to see their lockers. Samantha, being a sixth grader, has a bottom locker. Her older brother has a coveted top locker. She has begged him to switch with her but he won't. Making it even more unfair, in her eyes, is that HE DOES NOT EVEN USE HIS LOCKER. She has many wonderful things in hers, it is decorated as you can see below, she would take such good care of his top locker. However, he refuses, if only to make her life a little more miserable.

After all, what are big brothers for?

Do you remember how exciting it was to get your first locker?


  posted at 8:19 PM  

Monday, October 08, 2007
An Autumn Evening
We had a beautiful day today and the evening was just to magical to stay inside.

Paige grabbed my Autumn basket that is suppose to hold napkins and went outside to hunt down pretty leaves and berries with it.

Anything in there?

The big kids had a game of softball with little sisters Dora the Explorer bat. Daddy was catcher and mom pitched

Then we got out some decorations and spruced up the tree in the front yard with some smiling ghosts and cute little pumpkins.

Hard at work decorating.

A wonderful end to a beautiful day.

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  posted at 7:42 PM  

Saturday, October 06, 2007
A Plague of Old
(Warning: Some of my squeamish male readers may want to skip this post.)

Last night we had our Junior High Youth Group meeting. My good friend Kathy and I were on our own with the (wild monsters) I mean, sweet pre-teens, as her hubby (who usually does the teaching) was out of town and my hubby had to stay home with our young ones, as our regularly scheduled sitter had another engagement that evening.

So, anyway, we had already decided to let the kids watch The Prince of Egypt. We had been studying the stories of the Old Testament and thought for a fun change we would have a movie night. The local drug store had a special on giant boxes of candy, a buck a piece, and lets just say I think Kathy cleaned them out of every box.

We had a prayer time and then put the movie on. The kids all got their own boxes of candy and popcorn and settled in with pillows and blankets to watch the show.

During the movie I became a little uncomfortable. You see, a few days ago I discovered what appeared to be a pimple between my, um, bosom. This thing was really hurting, and I was becoming very annoyed.

At the end of the movie the kids played some DDR (Dance, Dance Revolution) and then we sent them home to their parents all souped up on sugar and caffeine. I am sure they were all thrilled with this sweet blessing we bestowed upon them.

When I got home I went immediately to the bathroom to check out my pimple. The thing was HUGE. I had never actually seen anything like it. I went to bed hoping it would be gone in the morning, or at least smaller and not so painful.

Well, my friends, that was not to be. This morning it hurt worse and was larger and more disgusting looking than ever. I showed it to hubby, who by the look on his face agreed with my opinion of this things disgustingness.

Hubby got on the Internet to research "my condition" I am sure hoping and praying it did not take over my entire body.

So what did he find out? Well, it seems I do not have a sweet little pimple but a DISGUSTING BOIL. I had only heard of Boils in the Old Testament as related to plagues and poor Job. Did people actually still get these things???

It seemed laughable to me that I was cursing this thing during the watching of this particular movie. As the plagues worked their way across Egypt....

So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on men and animals.
Exodus 9:9-11

It seems a boil is a hair follicle that has become infected. Who knew?

So, as we have talked about before, I seem to not only be growing unwanted hairs on my chin as I age, but now they are sprouting from my bosom.

Such an attractive thought.

As a result of my affliction I have been placing warm cloth's upon myself hoping this thing will pop, so it can drain (again, such a lovely thought) and the uncomfortableness will go away.

As a side note, I don't believe their will be a lot going on in the romance department in the laundry household this weekend.

A boil between your bosom can kind of take the fun out of things.


  posted at 11:35 AM  

Friday, October 05, 2007
Yummy Holiday Favorites

Overwhelmed with Joy is hosting this wonderful Holiday Recipe Carnival.

I am so EXCITED. I love the holidays, I love recipes, and I love to EAT.

This carnival is perfect for me.

I kept going back and forth on what recipe to share and then finally decided on my families favorite holiday cookie. If you like pumpkin you will LOVE these. They are light and fluffy and oh so YUMMY. My sister Stacey gave me this recipe a few years ago and they quickly became a family favorite.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies:

1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup solid pack pumpkin
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream butter, egg, and sugar together. Add vanilla and beat until fluffy. Sift flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Add flour mixture and pumpkin alternately to butter and sugar mixture. Drop by rounded Tablespoon fulls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Makes 3 dozen.

I always double this recipe. The neighbors looks forward to receiving these in their gift baskets each Christmas.

The second recipe is a simple one that my kids and hubby love. I usually make them for family holidays. Many of you may already make these but I had to include them. So EASY, and SO totally delicious.

Lil Smokies in the Crock Pot:

1 lb. bacon
1 pkg. lil smokies (if you buy the big package from Costco or Sams you can double the recipe)
1 box brown sugar

Cut bacon into thirds. Wrap one cut piece of bacon around 1 Lil smookie sausage and place toothpick through to hold. Place Lil smokie on baking sheet. Continue doing this until all sausages are wrapped in bacon. Cover the top of the smokies with brown sugar. I just do this by site but I would guess I use about half the box of brown sugar.

Cook smokies in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Take smookies out of oven. Turn over. Sprinkle other side with remaining brown sugar (just enough to cover them) and put back in oven for 30 minutes.

When the smokies are done place in a crock pot on low. Be sure to put all the caramelized yummy goo in their too. They will keep well in the crock pot for several hours.

These are always a huge hit at any party we have. Thanks Kathy for the recipe.

Remember, if you want to check out other family favorites, click on over to Overwhelmed for all the fun.


  posted at 6:32 AM  

Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Emergency! Emergency!!
I have a problem of monumental proportions occurring at my house right now.

The Red Sox are playing our beloved Angels in the first game of the playoffs and....


Our oldest son, the die hard Red Sox fan, may not be able to survive the evening. When his Dad gets home to find no TV reception....well, it will be bad.

Pray for me people. Pray for me.

It's the second inning and the Red Sox are up 1-0.

How will my Angels ever be able to win without the yelling support of the Laundry household?

Oh, the agony. Oh, the unfairness of it all.

Pray people. Pray. We have laid hands on the TV but unfortunately the Holly Spirit doesn't seem to be as concerned with our problem as we are.

Imagine that?

Update: My Angels lost 4-0. The TV is still acting funny, however it did come on long enough for us to see the last few innings. I am sure you are all greatly relieved. Smile.


  posted at 4:16 PM  

The Cavemen
OK, people, who saw ABC's new show last night "Cavemen"?

My teenagers really wanted to watch this show so we all sat down for a little family TV viewing. I didn't really know anything about the show but since it was on at 8:00pm I wasn't really worried. I should have known better.

Within the first few minutes of the show their were at least 4 sexual references that weren't very subtle. The content was definitely not appropriate for good fun family entertainment. We only watched those first few minutes and then switched over to a rerun of Extreme Makeover Home Addition.

My teenagers weren't happy. They thought the show was GREAT!

Friends, what ever happened to the family hour? Why can't we get networks to give us shows at 8:00pm that won't make you blush and cringe?

Our family hasn't really been watching a lot of TV lately for this very reason. High School Musical, Sponge Bob Square Pants, and lots and lots of baseball and football have been pretty much it.

After we watched Dancing With the Stars (which my best girl and I love!) I really started stewing over this whole thing.

What could I do?

After much thought (about 5 minutes worth) I decided to send ABC an email.

I asked them why they had a not so family friendly show like Cavemen on at 8:00pm and yet their very family friendly show, Dancing With The Stars, is on at 9:00? I explained my concerns and asked them to consider families when planning their schedules.

I realize this email will probably have little impact. However, it made me feel better to do something. For any of you who would like to do the same you can click here and leave your comments for ABC executives. Maybe if enough "mommies" start making some noise we can get some action.

I feel much better just knowing I have at least given them my opinion.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Proverbs 4:23-24

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  posted at 4:49 AM  

Tuesday, October 02, 2007
the rocking chair
Today hubby and I went to have physicals. We needed them for our home study agency so I decided to get the full 100,000 mile check up while we were there. Of course, the doctor looked at me like I had two heads when we told him I needed a certified letter stating we were both healthy and free from any disease, because we would be adopting another child. He then asks what kind of birth control I am on? I couldn't resist. I told him we didn't use any as we were hoping to have an even dozen some day. He didn't ask again after that.

Our blood work was all good, my blood pressure is low, and other than the nasty bladder infection I seem to have (sorry if TMI) I should be good for at least another 100,000 miles. I was actually happy to find out about the infection. I had been so tired lately and couldn't figure out why. That definitely explained it. I look forward to getting my energy back soon.

We've been busy getting ready for our home study. I am sure all will go well but I have been feeling a little stressed about some new rules that are going on with the Ethiopian adoption community.

We originally wanted to adopt a little girl that was between 2 and 3. We then found out that Ethiopia may be passing a law stating your youngest child must have a minimum of a three year age gap between him or her and the child being adopted. Some agencies are not yet applying this rule, however, our agency is. We also found out this week that the Ethiopian government will no longer be granting adoptions to families with more than five children.

I was really upset by this news. I had really wanted to adopt two children, but not necessarily at the same time. This new rule kind of forces our hand. We either adopt two at one time (there is no limit on the number of children you can adopt at one time if you have five or less children in your home) or we may only be able to adopt one.

I was open to adopting siblings but hubby really wanted to only adopt one. Now, we are having to revisit this decision. To say I have been praying fervently would be an understatement. I feel like we have hit a wall and am not really sure what to do about it. So, I am patiently (haha) waiting for God's guiding hand. I am feeling very unsettled right now and unsure of what direction we should go. I hate that feeling.

On a sweeter note. Our neighbor across the street gave us this cute little rocking chair for our new addition. All of our friends have been so supportive of our decision to adopt. We are so thankful for all of them and all of you for your sweet prayers and support.

Thanks for listening to my little rant. I need to remember the words to my favorite scripture and keep it close to my heart as we seek Gods will and his purpose for our family.

All things work together for good for those who love God and work according to his purpose. Romans 8:28


  posted at 5:06 AM  

Monday, October 01, 2007
Happy Monday!
I am so happy to finally have confirmation that other mother's say all the things I do during the course of one 24 hour period. Let me know what you think.


Thanks, Lori, for the link.


  posted at 4:00 AM  

Lilypie Countdown to Adoption tickers
About Me...


I am a spontaneous, out going, daughter of the King, who is married to a wonderful guy who is a quiet, shy, non-spontaneous, scientist who also loves the Lord. Truly a match made in heaven! We fight and argue, love and laugh, every single day. I am passionate about orphan care and love to tell our story to anyone who will listen. This blog is dedicated to that journey.

My Complete Profile

Cast Of Charachters

Me and Samantha (13)

Tyler (16) with Grandpa and Grandma

Hubby and Zach (18) at a game

Garrett (11) and Paige (6)

Waiting for a court date!

The Gang

Jo Jo


Mr. Fluffy Bottoms

People I Love To Visit

Blessed By Adoption

Homeschooling Friends

Words To Live By
"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."
~Psalm 127
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27

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