Monday, September 24, 2012

Say What?

A good friend of mine once told me that when her son was little she started praying for his future spouse.  I had never heard of doing this before.  I liked the idea, but put it in the back corner of my mind.  Until recently.

I was in a department store shopping for the kid's back to school clothes.  While I was with the boys outside the dressing room there was a family of four there - a mom, a dad, a son who I'm guessing was about 15, and a daughter around age 12.  The son was trying on suits and his mom was helping him figure out best fit, best style, etc.  They had decided on a particular suit and the mom said, "Ok, go take your pants off."  The son's reply,

 "You're not the first girl to ever say that to me."

It was at this point I looked up, anxiously anticipating being able to witness the dad slap his kid upside the head for the remark he just made.  Only, he didn't.  In fact,  he not only didn't reprimand his son but said,

"Was it Julie?"

Did I hear that right? Did that dad just let his son get away with disrespecting his mother?  Did he practically "high five" his son for speaking such trash talk?  I know it's wrong to judge, but c'mon.  Is this what we're up against?  I think my job just got a lot harder.  I thought the evils of TV, movies, and social media were going to be my biggest challenge.  But I guess sometimes it might just be dopey parents.

So, thank you my friend.  I will indeed start praying for my children's future spouses.  I will pray that the Holy Spirit will keep them safe from harm, both physically and spiritually.

HOLY FAMILY OF NAZARETH, make our family one with you. Help us to be instruments of peace. Grant that love, strengthened by grace, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass. May we always have God at the center of our hearts and homes until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with you. Amen.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Today would have been my Mom's 73rd birthday.

 I have this list full of quotes that she would often say.  I was planning on sharing some of them on this post.  I went to the drawer where I keep it, sat down in front of my computer, and started to read them.

How can a bunch of phrases she used to say get me so emotional?  I think it's because there's a story behind each one.  A memory of where she stood when she said it.  The look on her face.  The sound of her voice.  It's all there with this list.  The love and the laughs.  It's all there.

Personal Maxims:
*Less is more.
*This too shall pass.
*To thine own self be true.
*Is it really worth it? (while sitting on the couch watching elaborate cooking shows)

*Let me do the worrying.
*Can't keep a good girl down.
*Plenty of life left in the ol' gal.
*I'll see you when I see you.
*Time to do my exercises. (during commercials, she'd get up and do stretches)
*HEL lo (answering the phone)
*Home again, home again, jigity jig
*All back in the same day.
*You stinker. (while playing someone in double solitaire)

The Children:
*Jimmy, Bob, Mary Grace, John......time to come in.  It's bath night. (yelled up the street)
*Hiya Pumpkins! (to me)
*Hi Beautiful ( to Mary Grace)
*Bob's got nice hair.
*Last minute John.

*Hiya Pop!
*Hi Honey, How ya doin'?
*What can I get 'cha?

The Uncles:
*How are you, my brother?

*Would you like a snack?
*How about a nice banana?
*Can I get you anything else?

*Six in one, half dozen of the other.
*Crash, bang, allaka zam (when she would drop pots or pans in the kitchen)

Needless to say, we teased her a lot.  I don't think she minded.  But she would always come back with, "You'll miss me when I'm gone."

And she was right.  I really do miss her; more so now than ever.  I've often thought that if I could just have five minutes with her......but then again, no.

Someone once said, "The time we have with our loved ones here on earth is just a small fraction of the time we will be with them in eternity."  That is such a comforting thought. (as long as I can get myself there, that is).  So, rather than miss her and be sad today I'm going to try to look forward to spending another lifetime with her in Heaven.  So Happy Birthday Mom......

                                                    "Til we meet again."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who is Atticus Finch?

Do you know?  I didn't until recently.  He's one of the characters in the book "To Kill A Mockingbird."

I just finished reading it.  Since then, I've heard the name Atticus Finch mentioned twice in a way that seemed to assume everyone knows who he is.

For example, "He's my Atticus Finch."


"It was a real Atticus Finch moment."

Well, I loved the book, loved Atticus Finch, and now am trying to find out how to rent the movie.  (I've heard of Netflix, but have no idea what it's all about.  Is that how I should go about finding an old movie?)

I think I'm a sucker for stories that have a subtle storyline, but follows the everyday life of it's characters, making that the main draw.  It's like this in a few of my favorite movies.... like Steel Magnolias and Driving Miss Daisy.

Weeks ago I started reading "The Hunger Games" on Mary's Kindle.  I'm only 10% done. How do I know?  It tells me so in the lower right hand corner.  I'm a slow reader and this just reminds me of that fact each time I turn tap the page. It's kind of annoying.  That's why I started reading To Kill A Mockingbird, in all it's page-turning, free-and-from-the-library glory.

Can you tell Bill is out of town?  That is when my most non-sensical posts come out.  It's as if my blogger dashboard is the only one who will listen to me.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Out Of The Mouth Of....


Matt and I were in the garage waving goodbye to Daddy as he left for another work trip.

As we turned to go back into the house Matt says to me,

 "He is so in love with you." 

Gosh, I sure hope he's right!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Everyday Happenings

*  Matthew seems to be enjoying his preschool, although he doesn't know I actually leave the building while he's there.  As luck would have it I've been able to get the same parking spot when I return to pick him up, so my secret remains safe....for now.

* I went to a PTA meeting on Wednesday.  Woo-hoo!  I can count on one hand (maybe even 2 fingers) how many of these I've been to. 

* On a fun note, I went to breakfast this morning with some friends.  I almost feel guilty for enjoying myself!

* Bill is traveling this month.  I'm thankful for two things....Skype so the kids can "see" Dad; and Vader, so Mom can rest easy when she hears strange noises on the porch late at night.

*  Our new neighbors have moved in.  They have four boys.....big score for Thomas who needs some "buds."

*  I'm loving this September weather.  Opening the windows is always refreshing.  Then I forget they're open and yell and scream at the kids when my patience has worn thin.  And then there's that awful moment when you realize your neighbors had to have heard that and you hope they don't call the police or child social services!

* My eggs had expired and I let Matthew practice his cracking skills.  Who'd a thunk that it would be so much fun.

* We are looking forward to a fun weekend with Dad coming home tonight, hosting our family
prayer group tomorrow, and cross country on Sunday.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 10, 2012


We did it!  We survived our first day of  Matt going to preschool.

There were no tears from either one of us.

After last week's open house and Sunday's mini class orientation, he was more than ready to go.

I asked Ann to move a bit closer to Tommy.  I had no idea that was his reaction. Nice!
 He let go of my hand, walked away, then turned back and gave me a big hug, then walked off again.  I guess I couldn't have asked for a better send off.

Are you wondering what I did for my first 2.5 hours by myself??

I went home, enjoyed the quiet, ate breakfast (and sat the whole time!) and cleaned the kitchen.  One hour in I thought it would be crazy to not do a little window shopping.  So I went to Marshall's.  I like it there.
(I may have done more than just window shop)

I read a little in my car and then it was time to pick him up.  

You could say we celebrated afterwards.
He was excited to show his brothers and sisters what he made....Bear ears and a bee hive to go with the Winnie the Pooh theme in his classroom.

Still wearing a little ice cream on his face.
Congratulations Matthew!  So proud of you today!


Friday, September 7, 2012

The Pre-Preschool Day

Two nights ago Matthew woke up at 3am crying.  He does this occasionally after a bad dream or when it is "too dark".  He climbed into bed with me (Bill was away for work) and fell back to sleep.  I, however, did not.

It finally hit me.  Next week he will start preschool.  My baby.

Eight years ago when I dropped off Billy at preschool with Mary and Tommy in tow I had been so envious of those other moms who were dropping off their youngest child.  They had those two and a half hours of free time.  Alone.  To do whatever they wanted.  It seemed like a dream.

Now here we are and that time has come for me.  Only I'm not looking forward to it nearly as much as I thought I would.  In fact, I'm pretty sad about it.

So, lying there in bed next to Matt, I cried.  I cried because for the first time in 12 years I will be alone.  I cried because, although nothing is absolute, this stage in my life may be over. 

I had to compose myself because when we woke up later that morning we were off to meet his teachers and see his classroom.  He's been very "anti" preschool and held on very tight to my hand.  But with a wonderful, talented, ice-breaker of a teacher's aide, he let go of it.

He walked away from me and it was hard to watch.  I know I should be grateful.  I know I will eventually enjoy those hours by myself.  But it always hurts a little when they need you less and less.

My, how our perspective can change.  Who'd a thunk it? 

So, here are some pictures of the open house.  I figured I might be too busy fumbling with tissues on his first official day on Monday, so I better take pics now.

Afterward we celebrated with a chocolatey treat at Wegman's.

 Stay tuned for more preschool posts.....

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cross Country

Billy and Mary Kate have started cross country.  Yesterday they had their first meet.  I had never been to one before.  I thought the whole thing was very exciting....from the adorable kindergarteners running their hearts out to the one high school boy tasked with leading every race. (a total of 8 miles for him!)

Mary Kate ran with the 5th and 6th grade girls.  It had rained early on in the meet so the grass was wet.  At the start she got cut off by someone and tried to stop, but slipped an took a big tumble.

 The other runners had to jump over her.  You could almost say she was cross country road kill!

In those few seconds  she was down my mind had many thoughts.  I wondered if she would be hurt.  Would she get up?  Would she finish?

Well, she got right up, caught up to the group, and finished her 1.5 miles in less than 13 minutes.  She wasn't even phased by what happened.  I think it was because we watched many track and field events during the Olympics and saw that even the greatest runners can fall.  She knows it happens.  I was so proud of her.  She even wanted me to post the pictures of her falling.  I think she's proud of herself too.

Mary Kate nearing the finish.

Billy did a fabulous job too.  He ran with 7th & 8th grade boys and girls.  He finished his 2 miles in 15:06.  (And his mom enjoys him running much more than him playing football, that's for sure!)

I think they both really enjoyed it.  Hopefully it will be a life long love of the sport for them. 


Sunday, September 2, 2012

A New Beginning?

The start of the school year is a lot like New Year's Day, isn't it?

Don't you find that when your children go back to school you set yourself on a mission to make this "the" year that you will become more organized?  Perhaps you will mentally arrange in your head a new schedule for yourself to fit in some exercise, or time to volunteer, or simply stay on top of that laundry pile.

I had all these thoughts last Monday on the first day of school.  However, the week consisted of unpacking from vacation, laundry galore, school supply shopping, and endless paperwork to fill out for the schools.  Then, when the kids came home from school I spent a lot of time being a referee.  Literally.  Everything was a problem. There was a lot of:

"I don't want to sit next to a girl."
"Why does she get two?"
"It's the boys turn to go first."
"He always gets what he wants."
"Do I have to eat this?"
"I'm still hungry."
"I need a cell phone."
"Why does Billy get his own room?"

This list could go on and on. 

I must be doing something wrong. 

Or maybe I'm not.  I have no idea. 

Little kids, little problems.  Big kids, big problems.  I think I'm somewhere in between.

I do know this.  I need to get out of my head that there will ever be any kind of new schedule design that goes exactly according my plan.

Matthew will start preschool next week.  Here's a list of everything I'm going to accomplish while he's there.

Repaint the upstairs hallway.
Renovate (on a budget and on my own) the powder room.
Clean out garage and have a yard sale.
Take a class.
Paint and redecorate the basement.

Funny, right?  Who am I kidding?  All I really want to do is go to Panera and have breakfast and read a good book for two hours.

I guess it's all about discipline and flexibility.  But at the rate I'm going, I'm not sure how I'm going to fit two more things in the schedule.