Wednesday, February 28, 2007

shoveling is for the birds...

I busted the zipper on my ski pants, but I decided to jimmy them well enough to wear outside. I let the kids out first and they trampled all the snow to make it even more fun to shovel. I decided stupidly to scoop the sidewalks first so I had hardly any energy saved for the driveway. My pants were around my knees and I was pushing and pushing and got only the very edge done when Mr. John Deere farmer comes and pushes most of the driveway out(thank you very much you saved me an hour of scooping :)), which I try, unsuccessfully, to finish it up perfectly and meanwhile slip and crack my head on the cement. I look like a tomato and my I think my double chin has frostbite. Oh, and I peed my pants. I'm done shoveling, forever.

Whatever happened to a carefree snowday?

It started a little after 9 this morning and it really hasn't stopped yet. The weather man says it's falling at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour. I pushed open the screen door on the deck and measured about 3 and a half inches of the white fluffy stuff already. Pastor called and Lenten services are cancelled for tonight. There is a funeral on Friday and the family would like me to sing, the person in charge of the funeral lives a few miles out in the country and since the snow isn't supposed to stop until this weekend, they need my help once again at the church. Of course, I was scheduled to host an oral interp festival tomorrow; that has since been postponed and I am supposed to sub on Friday at the high school, too. No wonder the snow makes everybody crazy around here. I lead a study group on Wednesday mornings and the cell phones were a ringing this morning with preschool cancellations and early school releases. I think our school in town let out at 12:30. I went to pick up my kids at the daycare and they were short staff due to the weather so I stayed for a bit and I could feel the energy thick as soup in the air. The kids were antsy, the staff was busy, and the phone was ringing off the hook. I got home after 1 and I had 4 frantic messages on my machine wondering about the festival and 16 emails. It's no wonder I feel like I have OCD. It took me an hour to get everyone answered and then, exhausted, I made a pot of coffee and ate some biscotti and took a nap with my kids for an hour. I just got off the phone with dh and he is probably staying at the hospital tonight and picking up another shift tomorrow, so I am putting on the snow pants and going out to shovel...happy snow day to you!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

a riddle

What do you get when you combine an Italian heritage with a love for chocolate and peanut butter and a day off?

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Biscotti from recipe #199123 - special thanks to my lovely sis for turning me on to this was super easy and so so so so so so yummy dipped in milk for the kids and coffee for me!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Breaking it down for ya

30 minutes on the treadmill today! (special thanks to CG for helping me get stronger:))
20 places to choose from for lunch next time. We always have such a time choosing where to go and my dear friend forwarded me this site so we will never have to make the decision alone again. The first time I spun the wheel I got Skip Lunch, the second time Schlotzsky's, which is now closed. Things are not looking good for the future of the wheel of lunch.
10 family members in church on Saturday night. The pew was packed and the reserved for small children sign was greatly missed. My sister showed up on Friday night from Aberdeen with her 4 beautiful children and we spent the weekend enjoying each others company. We cooked and ate and she made fun of me for trying to keep the toy room clean...luv you sis. btw, I know there are only nine in the photo, my dh had to take the picture and that makes ten.9 people posing while the kids screamed "CHEEEEESE".
8 pieces of chocolate to get me through today, so much for the treadmill...
5-7 inches of snow in the backyard this weekend.4 nieces and nephews I am missing today.
3 trips to the school today to get the job done. PHEW!
2 cute pigtails on my adorable niece.1 cent still missing. Ds came out of the bathroom today and asked for a plastic knife. "I gotta cut up my poop and look for my money." he stated, matter of factly as he held out his hand. Daddy helped him dissect the specimen and when they were finished Super Boy said, "Mom, we didn't find a penny but we found some gum!" What a treasure hunt this has turned out to be.

Inspiration for this post provided by my wonderful bloggirlfriends, Susan and Karen!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ahem, I think we have a mouse

with toddler sized teeth.

pooping pennies

Conversation at the lunch table today.

Son, "Mom, I ate the money 'cuz I couldn't reach my money bank."

Mom, "Oh, no. Did you really eat the penny?"

Son, "Yep, I did, I couldn't reach it."

Dad, "Now you have to look for it when you poop, and if you don't find it we have to call the doctor."

Son, "I will see it in the toilet and I will tell you daddy, I will poop that money out."

no photo for this one, yet...jk!

what really happens when daddy is sleeping...

This morning, before we even got out of jammies, the kids played dress up and the super boy got a makeover by his 5 year old glam sister. In his defense, he was pretending to be an old man getting beautiful for the party. I don't know many old men who wear yellow dresses, lipstick and beads, but who knows?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It's a party, blogger style.

I just signed up for a Family Game Give Away on 5 Minutes for mom, a blog I was recently turned on to. This week they are giving away Rhyme -n-Tyme.

They are also hosting a party and I thought it would be fun to join in, too. Meet other bloggers and get a chance to win prizes, too. Consider yourself personally invited!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

But where are the sleeping lady's feet, mom?

On Friday a woman from my congregation passed away. I had bought her a card and just never got around to sending it. She was in the hospital for a few weeks and then they moved her into a nursing home and I kept telling myself to get the address, but I never did. Today was her funeral. Don't know what your church does on funeral day, but in ours the tradition is the ladies bust their bum working all morning preparing a hot meal, after working all evening the night before preparing sandwiches and cake for the prayer service. When I was a working woman, I rarely experienced this unique gathering of women who are dedicated to providing the entire extended family and hundreds of guests a great homemade meal. One lady was there before I left the house this morning to drop my dd off at preschool. So I hurried home and dressed and cleaned up the spilt grape juice off the carpet and got super boy ready and headed across the street to the fellowship hall. By this time there were three women, in full force, cackling and laughing, cutting cake and unwrapping the biggest hams I had ever seen. I jumped right in and got the electric knife out to coax my arthritic wrists into slicing the hams. At least a ham and a half into the cubing, my son comes up to me and says, "mom, who is that man sleeping in the church?" At first, I had no idea what he was alluding to, I thought perhaps the funeral director was power napping before the family arrived and I kept right on cutting and chopping. Until I realized that he was talking about the body. She was a thin woman with short, straight, white hair and he had mistaken her for a male. I couldn't believe the casket was open and that I had let my son stumble upon something so foreign without any explanation at all. We have the tradition of cremation in my family and it is not very often that we see the body after death. My son, in his three short years, had never seen anyone in a casket. Thinking as fast as I could I proceeded to tell my son about this woman and how she got sick and died, just like Grandpa T. Her soul is in heaven now, I explained and we are throwing her a goodbye party, called a funeral. He listened intently and asked a few other questions about where heaven was and if all grandparents go there and finally after a few seconds of silence he said, "But where are her shoes?" He thought that the body was only half there and with good reason. The bottom half of her body was completely hidden by a tiny curtain and a lid. I washed my hands and lifted him up and we came and looked at the body and I explained how she was lying down and there were two doors on her casket and one was open and one was closed. Satisfied, he hopped down and continued driving his motorcycle in to the hall. I sighed and my brain relaxed and I felt glad to have had this little lesson in life, although I was completely unprepared to teach it.

You don't know what you have until it's gone and back again.

I shaved today. I have shaved since chemo ended, but not for awhile because I actually had to search for my razor this morning. Ask the girls who went to the concert with me the other night, it was due time. How would they know? Well, I have never been one to be real private. I think I showed my augmentation scars to anyone who would look. Anyhow, it was time. The hair is back and in full force. I really did not miss the leg hair, armpit hair or those pesky mustache whiskers. They are all back now along with the hair on top of my head. It took me almost 15 minutes in the shower today to clean my legs off. I let it go way too long. So I guess that's the end of it. I am pretty much back to normal. Except for my big toe nails. They just aren't healing. I am so anxious for summer, but how will I wear open toed shoes with toe nails that look like they are disgusting and fungicidal. I have a little while yet and I hope they hurry up and look normal again. My immune system is not what it used to be. I don't bounce back like I used to, but I think even that will get better as time goes by. I have my PET scheduled for the third week in March and that is when I will be able to say for sure that I am in complete remission. Can't wait.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

we interrupt this blog to bring you a very important message

This is the best time of the year to buy chocolate!

Elizabeth, at Money for the Rest of Us, reports about it in this post. Read about other great frugal ideas at Lazy Man and Money's Festival of Frugality. My personal favorites, besides the chocolate one are;

Sugar and Spice?

I had a few responsibilities to perform this morning (jh oral interp practice and setting up for a study group meeting) so I dropped the kids off at daycare for a few hours. I had a minute in between errands and got to watch them sliding on the big snow hill in the school parking lot. My super boy (who loves anything even remotely dangerous) was sliding down the hill on his belly and his bottom, screaming with delight as he hit the pavement. The sun was shining and the snow was glistening and I felt the urge to climb up and slide down myself. Anyway, when we got homewe had to change his clothes; snow pants aren't exactly waterproof. I was helping the super boy get dressed and while I was holding him I asked him, "What happened to my little baby boy?" He looked at me and wrinkled his forehead like he does every time he ponders something. Then he proudly exclaimed, "Baby ____ can be your baby, now." He named his newest cousin. I laughed and said that even though I loved baby____, he could never replace my super boy. He laughed too and said, "Mom, sometimes I play baby with my sister when we play house." I just can't believe how big he is. He constantly surprises me. A bit later we were sitting at the table enjoying a snack of milk and oreos when he said, "Mom, can you tell me a Jesus story?" He went and grabbed his kids Bible story book out of his room and we read a couple of chapters. I kept thinking to myself as I was reading, I wish I had more time like this with him. A few minutes later he was tormenting his sister with a water pistol.*sigh*

Monday, February 19, 2007

if it be Your Will

So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickeness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls. James 1:21

Our soul is often defined as the mind, the will and the emotions. Each of these areas needs salvation. The Holy Spirit works relentlessly to transform the whole person into God's perfect will, otherwise known as sanctification. When our soul is renewed with His Word, we think His thoughts and not our own.

Dear Lord,

Please help us to submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to change every thought and motive. We are struggling right now, Lord and we need your help to lift us back up. Please, Lord, save our souls.


"I can only imagine"...

I have yet to see Aaron Shust perform live. The first opportunity I missed because of family obligations (his and mine), the second because I told too many stories at the supper table. Maybe next time?

I have never been that person who is a fanatic about any one artist. I know I like christian music and have since my mom bought me a walkman and an Amy Grant cassette. When I got to college I met people who had more useless information about music and artists than I could ever believe. I just listened because I liked it. (luv you KLW) My friend kept me current on the Christian music front by letting me read her magazines, and letting me sing in the practice rooms to her accompaniment on the piano. Over the years she has invited me to a concert here and then, where I am again surrounded by amazing music and worship opportunities. I can count on my hands how many concerts I have been to in my entire life and most if not all have been Christian artists. When I became sick with Hodgkin's this same consistent friend loaded up an ipod shuffle with praise and worship music for me to listen to during chemo. She has since asked me if I wanted the music changed to which I have defiantly said, "heck no". I cannot tell you what artist sings what and although many of the songs were familiar to me last night at the Mercy Me concert I wouldn't have been able to tell you who performed them if I had not had the ticket in front of me. The mo hawk and loud guitar actually scared me at first but I was quickly reminded that there is not a dress code or consistent look to a Christian. We come in all shapes, sizes, colors and some even work in bike shops. (right B?) Some of us wear combat boots and put egg whites in our hair, some of us put on a down vest and huge gaudy earrings. We both have the same purpose, to serve HIM. Warriors, the lead singer for Audio Adrenaline
called us. We are all warriors. Our defining similarity is that all of us have had an experience that has affected us in a way that we cannot deny the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The theme for last night was "only He is worth hearing". Where ever we are in our journey, whatever we are doing let us remember why we are here; because of our Lord and Savior! Who, for reasons incomprehensible to me, is in love with me. And you know what? He loves you, too.

"I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By Your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me
I can only imagine
{Chorus}:Surrounded by Your glory,
what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son
I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine"

Story behind the song
Millard's lyrics grew out of a period of tremendous personal pain. In 1991, his father died after a long battle with cancer. When people told him that his dad would choose heaven over coming back, the 18-year-old began thinking about what his dad was experiencing in heaven. After that, he found himself repeating the phrase "I can only imagine." He began writing it on napkins, paper bags, and anything he could find. The phrase resonated in his heart and gave him the strength and hope he needed to move on.

Friday, February 16, 2007

2 more glorious reasons to adore coffee

Reason #1

Starbucks, here I come.

In a small study of female college students, researchers found that a caffeine supplement seemed to lessen the muscle pain that crops up a day after a challenging workout.

Check out the article on this blog... The Cheerful Oncologist.

Reason #2

This one is almost totally unbelievable...

Coffee could hold the cure for baldness.

Scientists have discovered caffeine stimulates the growth of tiny follicles in the scalp in men who are starting to lose their hair.

Peanut, Peanut Butter -N- Salmonella???

If you buy Peter Pan peanut butter or Great Value peanut butter you may be interested in this link.
They are recalling all jars with the code 2111 on them for fear of salmonella poisoning. Spinach is one thing...everyone eats peanut butter!

It's 80 degrees there everyday.

This morning I participated in a field trip with about 15 preschoolers and half a dozen adults. We went to the Sertoma Butterfly House. I have been there a few times already, but it is always an awesome experience to see all those butterflies fluttering around the flight room. Dd was a little frightened of all the insects and repeatedly asked me, "did one land on me, mom?" When she was two she was so totally into seeing all of them flying around. This time, she spent most of her time(as did a few others) trying to avoid the winged beauties. I tried to get a picture of her reflex as she retreated and froze every time one came into her personal space, but I was unsuccessful. It was very warm in my long sleeve tee and hooded sweatshirt, I intentionally wore no coat, and I was sweating like a pig. A lady who was trying to push past us squashed a butterfly that was on the sidewalk. The kids were so concerned I had to pick it up and put in the foilage. Their concern was justified considering the long speech the volunteer gave us about being careful while in the flight room, I just love it when we go through a lot of trouble to prepare our children for something and then it goes exactly how we did NOT want it to go. After one butterfly funeral, a few freak out close call landings on kids who did not want them and two successful landings on kids who did, we left the warm tropical environment for the freezing cold. I think the kids had just as much fun at the McDonalds playland for lunch as they did at the warm, cozy and much less germy Butterfly House. FYI, the bugs seemed to like the color white the most, either that or they are huge IRISH fans...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

This year makes 18 years.

Feb. 7th 1989; freshman year of high school. Right after the boys basketball game I stopped at the Irish Pub for a soda. An eighth grade girl walked over to me and presented me with a rose attached to a card that says, "Rani, will you go to the Sweet Hearts Dance with me?. R___." I said yes. The rest is history. We spent the rest of the evening driving around town in my mother's Chevy impala station wagon. I drove because he didn't have a licence yet.
He arrived almost a half an hour early for our first date. My dad is in the picture, too. He was inebriated and I think he scared the living daylights out of my date. We ended up going to prom that year, too. I borrowed the purple dress from a friend. We managed to make it through four more prom's including his senior year (my freshman year of college). I hated trying to find a dress after that freshman 15.

These are all the photos I can find tonight as I take a walk down memory lane. I can't believe it's been 18 years.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Working 9-5, what a wonderful way to make a living.

Dh called, he forgot to tell me that a week ago he traded his Friday shift for Thursday. He wants to pick up a Wednesday or a Thursday too, since they are short. Before he left this morning I made him swear on his life that before he made ANY schedule changes he had to call me. I have a busy week planned. Last week, when I was SURE that he had most of the week off I made plans to sub on Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon (half days are my specialty). I planned to facilitate a study group on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. I told a friend I could drive to a class on Thursday night. So now I have to take the kids to daycare on Wednesday and cancel my Thursday night plans since dh's shifts are 12 hours and he leaves at 6 am not to return until well after 8 pm. Taunting me, he says... "I thought you wanted a laptop, this would get us one step closer to getting one". Is doing it for the money always the right answer? Why are we so influenced by the extra cash? I wish I could say that this is an abnormal week, but it's not. It's like this all the time. We are constantly working out schedules, trying to make everything "fit". When I worked full time it wasn't any easier and on top of everything else we hardly saw each other. At least now, when he has his two days off during the week we can plan a family activity, not that we ever actually do that. It is nice knowing that we can, though. I am so jealous of those daddy's that work the 9-5 workweeks, Monday- Friday; home by supper most nights and Saturday mornings have an established routine. Makes me green with envy. I hate money.

I am Frugal Woman, hear my saved change jingle...

For over a year now I have been saying I was gonna make my own laundry detergent. I have been researching different recipes, hearing from my friends and reading on other mommy board what works and what doesn't. But not until after a gift from my brother and his wife at Christmas, a gallon milk jug full of centsible suds made from her own kitchen, did I finally venture out on my own homemakers mission to locate the ingredients. I am cheap, CHEAP, I say. I only buy the no name laundry detergent, the $1.99 special. X-tra, Sun, White Bright, Purex; whatever is the ultra cheapest. Once, while I was sick, I asked my sister in law to pick me up some and she bought Era, I rationed that spendy stuff out so much it was any wonder how my clothes even got clean. Anyhow, I used these homemade suds on my laundry as soon as I ran out of detergent and WOW, talk about clean and bright clothes. They smelled so clean and the whites were closer to white than they had ever been. I had been living in a world where cream colored and white were interchangeable, I know all you graphic arteests are cringing right now :). I looked at the ingredients...2 bars of soap, I cup Borax, 1 cup Baking soda add to 5 gallons water. Yep, that's it. So I did the math. I got 12 bars of Irish Spring on clearance at Target: 2 bars cost me 58.3 cents, one box of Borax that has been in my laundry room for years, I am guessing I paid 2.99 for 76 oz.; 8 oz cost me 34 cents, and a box of baking soda that I paid 69 cents for at my local grocery store, one cup cost me roughly 34 cents. Drum Roll Please...$1.26 for 5 gallons of laundry detergent. I am so frugal. Maybe what I save on laundry detergent these next few months will help pay for the 40 sheets of construction paper, 8 glitter glue pens, 2 glue sticks, 5 sheets of stickers and one roll of tape we used to make valentines today. Sigh.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

almost, pretty much, as close as possible to a perfect evening, I think

It was a hot steaming decaffeinated coffee with cream and sugar, soft blanket warming, fireplace blowing, hazelnut creme candle burning, kids playing, husband cuddling, survivor watching evening. Talk about ending your day right...

inspiration for this post by b at backforty!

Will you be mine?

For God so loVed the world

That He gAve

His onLy



That whosoever

Believeth In Him

Should Not perish,

But have Everlasting life."

John 3:16

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Paraclete

par·a·clete Pronunciation[par-uh-kleet]
1. an advocate or intercessor.
2. (initial capital letter) the Holy Spirit; the Comforter.

These last 48 hours have been a blur. I returned home from a short get away to an answering machine full of messages, hundreds of emails and a ton of work to do. I love being a volunteer. It is one of the most fulfilling jobs I have besides being a mommy and a wife. But sometimes, whew, the effort required to complete a project exhausts me. I am not a person who delegates. I always think, okay well it will take me less time to do it myself rather than explain it to someone else. So I just step up to the plate and give it all I got. I spent only a few short hours sleeping last night and woke up with a sinus infection and a terrible case of the sneezes. Why is it so hard to remember to care for myself when I have a full plate of projects? I haven't taken a vitiman since Sunday and I feel like I have been hit by a bus. Today, I broke down in tears while facilitating a group. The emotions came out of nowhere. But they were real. Everything sort of culminated this afternoon in a big mess of a conflict (which I cannot stand and try to distance myself from at all times) that didn't even really directly involve me; still I feel sort of responsible.
Then it hit me. I haven't prayed. I missed my devotions. I am out of touch. I am lost. I am in need of a leader and a guide when life gets in my way. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit and His guidance. He is my Comfort and my Helper. He is here to help me understand when I am confused, to calm me when I am frightened, to teach me the Truth. I trust in the Holy Spirit to help me understand God's plan for me. Thank you God for filling me up...

"But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the Truth. For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come." John 16:13

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

We're not in KS anymore...

But, we were there most of the weekend. I met up with my college roomies and we had a blast playing games and doing art projects with the kids. It is really amazing how the years go by and we all grow up. I need to make time in my life for more weekends like this one. Thanks girls.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Gifts of Grace

I know that without God I can do nothing of value. Success comes only by His grace.My accomplishement, my abilities are not mine to take credit for - they are gifts from a loving Father.

This girl has many gifts. AMAZING!

Child Prodigy CNN Story

I am a C- revised thanks to b!

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not shouting, "I've been saved!"
I'm whispering, "I get lost! That's why I chose this way"

When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't speak with human pride
I'm confessing that I stumble-needing God to be my guide

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not trying to be strong
I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not bragging of success
I'm admitting that I've failed and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't think I know it all
I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible but God believes I'm worth it

When I say, "I am a Christian," I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His name

When I say, "I am a Christian," I do not wish to judge
I have no authority--I only know I'm loved

Copyright 1988 Carol Wimmer