The cross is the greatest example of humility and devotion in the universe. Jesus put your needs ahead of His own. He considered you more valuable than Himself. - Chip Ingram

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Takin' The Good With The Bad

Round three of the flu has entered our house. Yesterday, Austin was home with a sick stomache. In the afternoon I received a call from the St. Paul school nurse to come and pick up Trent. He was vomiting at school. Oh yeah....good times.

But, I do (as usual) have a somewhat warped perception of all of this. I am not the regular mother. I do not dread it when my kids are home sick. I am not the mom that is overjoyed when summer is over and the kids head back to school. I never really understood date night with my husband. Thank goodness, he isn't that big on it either. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like his company. We just enjoy the company of our kids as well. So, for is a treat.

Trent has stayed in his jammies and he isn't as interested in re-runs of Little House On The Prairie, as I am. Therefore, he is totally absorbed in Kids Sports Illustrated. And my heartstrings are a fluttering. I LOVE the look of him in his little flannel pajama bottoms, scrunched in the lounge chair, knees pointed together, enjoying the written word. Trent loves to read and pretty much taught it to himself. Combine that with his love of sports and sports statistics and we have another sports-aholic.

So today, along with taking temperatures and cleaning up....well, you know.....I get to snuggle my little NBA wanna-be. I can't keep my hands off of his little butt in those flannels. Before long I won't be able to enjoy this anymore. So I plan on spending my day taking the good with the bad.
P.S. Did I mention that he hums the Ohio State Fight Song while he reads Sports Illustrated. I could eat him up!!!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Satan In A Can

Okay, well I admit it. I have an addiction. Well, isn't everyone allowed ONE vice? Mine would be the lovely item in the photo. I call it "Satan In A Can." Austin refers to it as my best friend. It is otherwise known as Diet Pepsi. I WISH I NEVER STARTED DRINKING THIS JUNK. I am forever trying to give it up. Obviously I have no willpower.

Sometimes I can go a few days and suffer through the headaches, but I either wind up back in McDonald's Drive-Thru or at Giant Eagle purchasing a case. What bugs me the most is that I know it makes me MORE hungry and I don't need that when I would like to lose some weight.

This past weekend, I decided to try once again to give up the juice. Today, I glance into the garage and my wonderful husband (the enabler) placed another case in there. I don't know whether to kiss him or give him a good slug. Its probably easier to buy it than to listen to all my complaining.....poor guy.

So, here is the plan. I'm going to finish off this newest case and then quit.


Hugs to all my fellow addicts!

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Silent Monster In The Room

If you are reading this blog, you are full aware that we have a silent monster existing in our house. Our monster is called OCD. This is not your neighbor who must keep his garage clean or your co-worker that likes his desk in order. Some call it the doubter's disease. It is often thought of as the "perfectionist" disease. Its greatest tool is fear. It is a biochemical disorder in the brain. Basically, your brain skips like a broken record. It will play a phrase, question or picture repeatedly in the brain. The victim does absolutely nothing to bring about the disease. They are not crazy. They are not dangerous. They do not WISH to have these thoughts. Usually the thoughts are disgusting or scary. They are not associated with the true personality and feelings of the victim.

In order for the victims of OCD to alleviate their fear, they often turn to compusions or rituals. The rituals vary from person to person. EVERYONE WITH OCD DOES NOT WASH THEIR HANDS. (I had to put that in all caps, so that I didn't have to answer it yet another 1000 times!)

OCD can be co-morbid (in conjunction with) other disorders such as depression, social anxiety, etc. IT CAN BE CONTROLLED through medication and cognative behavior therapy. It is life-long for most but it will come and go in intensity. The obsessions and compulsions can change.

Please understand, victims of OCD want the same things out of life that you want. They desire to have friendships, marriage, children, fufilling careers and enjoyment. This disorder spills into their school work, social lives and the lives of their families.

On the brighter side, OCD does NOT have control at our house, because we have one strong little fighter. I have nothing but pride in all three of my children. But I swell with pride at the thought of the battle that has been fought against OCD by our daughter. She takes her medicine daily which is a MUST, whether she thinks she needs it or not. She goes to all her doctor appointments and most of all..........she does her therapy work. She didn't give in to the monster. THAT is hard work, especially at 13 years old.

Now, we will work to see how this war with OCD can be used to glorify God. It is to God that we go whenever we wage our battle. He will be the one we will glorify with each victory. We know that he does not leave us, when we are working to fulfill his plan.

The Open Window

This past Saturday, Mike, Paige, Trent and I went to see The Bridge Over Tarabithia. It is a new children's movie based on a classic children's novel. The movie was good. Sad, but good. It reminded me of the movie My Girl. The kind of sadness in a movie that sticks with you for a few days.

Anyhow, one of the best parts about going to this movie was we saw Dad, Vera and Cindy buying tickets to see a different movie. It was a pleasant surprise.

When we were seated in the dark, waiting for the movie to start I began thinking about Dad and Vera. I really like Vera. She reminds me so much of my mom that I find I am tickled when I see her. Does that sound childish? I also noticed how much my kids hugged her when they hugged her. It was as if they felt the same thing too. Paige has even said, "Vera reminds me so much of Cookie."

I have always been a believer in that statement "When God Closes A Door, He Opens A Window." Well, I think Vera could be our "open window." She stepped quietly and gracefully into our lives at a time that was perfect. Plus, it all started in church of all places! And she never came in to replace mom. Instead, she came in to fill a hole in us all.

I know mom is really happy that someone like Vera is here for all of us. I am thankful that Vera has been so patient with all of us getting used to the fact that she is friends with Dad. More than that, I am thankful that God has place a wonderful lady like Vera in our lives at this moment.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Well, he looks harmless...doesn't he? Yes, this is my baby. Actually he would say that he isn't a baby and perhaps he is right. This is my favorite first-grader and my youngest....Trent. This is the earliest riser in our house, the master of the Wii, the chess champion and lover of hot dogs and pizza.

Trent is at a really cool age. He has discovered his love for Jesus and to be honest, it cracks me up. For example, he often brings home a religion workbook from school that has a cartoon image of Jesus on the front. Last week he asked what I do with those books after he brings them home. I tried to gently tell him that I review his work and then throw the workbook away. Trents response? " are a SINNER." Uummmm....yeah, I kind of already knew that, but when it comes from a 7-year old it does put a different spin on it.

This brings me to Lent. This is one of my favorite times of the church year. And today is Ash Wednesday. For the first time, I think Trent is really starting to understand the depth of this time of year. You see, Trent came home from school and announced that he is giving up chips for Lent. Of course he puffed out his chest when nobody else knew what they were giving up. As luck would have it, I was planning the grocery list when this subject came up. I blurted out, "I have to put chips on the grocery list." Trent's jaw dropped open. The conversation continued as follows:

Trent: "Well, you can't have chips, Mom!"
Mom: "Why not?"
Trent: "I'm giving them up for Lent."
Mom: "Yes, you are Trent. But the rest of us are not."

::insert stunned silence::

Trent was a little shaken. The look on his face conveyed "How can you guys do this to me?" Needless to say, I had to do a little more explanation of Lent before Trent fully understood what he had committed to. And of course I had to have the final word.

Mom: "Trent, Lent isn't for wimps, ya know!"

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

On the Silly Side......

Off to the other side of my split personality! No more tears about angry moms. Today I belly-laughed continuously. You see, I have this 16 year old friend who keeps me in stitches. Well, really he is my oldest kid, but sometimes he is just a buddy.

This morning the two of us started off to see the doctor. It is a fairly long drive to Chagrin Falls, so often the conversations can become a LOT of fun. But today......I was busting a gut! He tells funny stories and does great impressions. Being with him is like being at a personal party. And today I saw a glimpse of EXACTLY the kind of man I was hoping he would become.

This kid of mine has a GREAT sense of humor. You know, some of the teachers say he has a need to be the center of attention. Of course, there is the endless desire to be the one speaking. Okay, and he can be a little distracted too. But I never want him to lose his personality or sense of humor. He can light up a room and everyone in it!

On the softer side, he really does understand people and care about them. Sometimes his stubborness doesn't let that show, but he is a really cool guy. He really knows himself, too. He can see his strengths (which I'm sure he would say are many) and his weaknesses and puts them into perspective. He loves his family and stands behind them. And he has this girl who he is pretty crazy about. I can tell in his eyes how he feels. I'm so proud of him.

So, with my hat is off to my oldest kid. He makes me laugh, cry, pull my hair out and do laundry at 6:00 a.m. But he has his mom's heart.
By the way, he calls this his "badonkadonk" picture. See what I mean?

Have a fun day......................

Monday, February 19, 2007

The New Addition To Our Family......

This is our new son, Aaron. Okay, really he isn't ours but we like to claim him every Monday around 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. I try to feed him. He typically comes in, looks at what food is available, complains that I need to clean more and then entertains the whole family for a few hours.

If you must know the truth, this is the HIGHLIGHT of Trent's Monday! He loves a visit by Aaron. Usually Aaron will play Wii Video games with him. Trent's Heaven.

So Aaron, you are on the blog.

(As a public service announcement, Aaron needs a girlfriend. I will accept any applications for consideration! )

Mother Of The Year

You've had these days. We all have. Okay, for me, maybe they are coming all too regularly lately. Actually up until a year or so ago, I was a rather stoic kinda girl. I didn't cry toooo much and could be a tough cookie. Well, I am in a new phase. I cry way more, but it's probably because there is way more to deal with at our house.

Moving on, yesterday was a banner day. Paige has been struggling socially and at these times I doubt my parenting WAY more than usual. The usuals ...."why can't I help her?" or "what am I doing wrong?" Well, as luck would have it I received a phone call from a woman whom I am SURE considers herself Mother Of The Year. Apparently she thinks I parent my daughter WAY wrong. Yep. And apparently she has deemed herself the one to tell me exactly what my daughters faults are and how I should be changing them. I guess I should consider myself lucky. And, of course, she has no idea of what a typical day for Paige would mean.

This "mother" rambled on for a good twenty mintues of my life. What a waste. When she hungup, I lost it. I sobbed. Then I spoke briefly with Paige. Then my daughter sobbed. Then I do what I usually do.....I called my friend Trish.

Now, let me tell you a little about my friend Trish. We really haven't known each other that long, but I loved her almost immediately. In many ways we can be separate poles. We can have very different ideas. But you know what? That is one of the things I love the most about her. Another thing I love, is that her heart is HUGE and she acts with her heart first. Now, some may not like that but I find it to be lovely and greatly missing in society today. She genuinely cares about good. Everything good. And she appreciates life. Even the tough parts. And she always has your back. Loyal, loyal, loyal. Have I gushed enough yet? Back to my story......

So...I call Trish. I think when she answered I blurted out "Can I cry to you for five minutes and then I will stop?" (Okay, one more quick thing I love about Trish. This girl could be walking out of the house with all three kids in tow, six bags of groceries, 25 kits, a Cricut and her keys dangling in her mouth and if I needed her she would drop it all. A rare FIND, I tell ya! )
Trish talked me through my hysteria in a matter of minutes. This is what I took from the conversation.

1) The lady was a nut job and I should file harassment charges against her. (heheheheh)
2) Junior High stinks and can possibly be another form of child abuse.
3) You can be OVER involved in your kids lives.
4) I will survive this situation.
5) I have a wonderful friend.
6) I am no Mother Of The Year.....BUT.....
7) I am Mother Of The Year to three remarkable kids. Yep. My kids (all three) have come in packages that have bumps and bruises. They make their share of mistakes. But I genuinely love the quirks and personalities of all three. I wouldn't change a hair on their heads. They are mine and I love them.

I have no idea how to parent many days. I probably make more mistakes than these kids I am attempting to raise.

But in my house, all five of us love each other...A LOT! We understand how hard it is to be "us" somedays. My kids are very defensive of eachother. We know we have difficult things to deal with at times, but they are FAR out-weighed by our blessings. And you know what? No amount of parenting that lady could do, could teach my children that. That came from God, their hearts and the unending love of their parents.

So....nope....No Mother Of The Year here! But I'm okay with that.

(P.S. I do have one great Friend Of The Year, though!)

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Okay, lets just put it out there. I love dogs. I'm not sure I could run a house without one. I'm not a cat person. I'm not crazy about birds. But I LOVE dogs. Especially the one in this picture. Charlie is as good as a dog can get.

Let's see. He has eaten through two wooden doors. He has dug into our wood floors and they now need repair. He has damaged numerous window sils and has mistaken the carpet for a toilet way too many times. Yet, I can't get enough of him.

Charlie was born on the 4th of July, approximately 1 month before Paige. For the past 13 years he has been sweet, loving and a hairball of fun. We all realize he is getting older and I secretly wonder how we will go on without him. Yet, I know we will.

For now, I am going to enjoy my extra appendage. At night I will scoot aside to share my pillow with that fuzzy head with bad breath. I will thank my lucky stars to have such a friend.

Now, relax friends. I will not bombard you with pictures of my dog. I promise to post tomorrow so his picture doesn't stay up endlessly. But for today.....I LOVE MY DOG!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Well, I didn't want to leave you hanging.

This is my girlie sportin' her new style. In all truth, she HATES the bangs. They are usually in a headband first thing in the morning. I think she is lovely....and I love her guts! She totally looks forward to the day when (God help us) she can put highlights in AGAIN and the bangs grow out. I love her as is. Don't you???

Do You Recognize This Girl? you recognize the girl in this photo? If you are shaking your head no, well......
neither did I. For a FULL 24 HOURS I had no idea who this girl was and what she had done with my daughter. Let me explain it in a nutshell:

1) Semi-formal dance at school.
2) "Mom! I need highlights and a trim! I need a manicure and a pedicure" (Totally takes after
Aunt Pam in this department!)
3) " we have the cash for.............?"
4) A day-long trip to the Vanity School of Cosmotology.
5) A Stranger returns home.

So, I am told this Vanity School of Cosmotology is women about to graduate cosmotology school and work in salons about town. LORD, HELP US ALL! Needless to say, my beautiful brown-haired daughter came home a platinum blonde, with highlites and bangs! UGH! Not to mention they "didn't have time to finish" the entire cut she desired because they were closing. Not only was the color hidious, but the bangs were crooked and WAY short.

There wasn't much time to waste after returning home. Blondie literally jumped into her dress, threw on make-up and tried not to pause too long in front of a mirror. Paige cried all the way to the dance, but she pulled it off! She went into the dance anyways. Gotta love her courage. She made it through comments and stares and even had a bit of fun.

After the dance she had a few girls sleep over. They all laughed together as they called her Frenchie from the movie, Grease. I am soooo glad she learned to laugh at herself a little bit.

Fast forward a day.........An emergency trip to David Scott Salon. Three hours and $140.00 later, I have my daughter back. Yeah, her highlites are gone. Her hair is still butchered in spots, but she is mine!

Why is it that EVERY woman must suffer through a bad haircut and a bad dye job?