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, May 28, 2008

This Is What Nine Looks Like.....

Well, FINALLY the day has arrived. Don't get me wrong. I am not the one who has biting at the bit for this day. Today is Trent's 9th birthday and he is thrilled. I, on the other hand, am happy for Trent, but sad that he is growing SO fast. I don't think my other two children grew this quickly. Is it just me? Anyhow...HAPPY 9TH BIRTHDAY, TRENT! Mike and Paige are in Washington, D.C., so this birthday may not have the usual fanfare. Tonight, Austin and I are going to Trent's baseball game and then Trent got to choose his favorite restaurant for dinner. He chose Applebees it is!

So...this is what "9" looks like:

On another note, I hope Mike gets to check the blog while he is in Washington. He may just get a laugh! I found this school project in his backpack and BUSTED up. Okay, now you all know I hate pictures of myself. Obviously, the portrait at the side of the blog isn't an actual photo, yet I love how Trent depicted me. (You know, skinny legs, etc.....) Well, now it is Mike's turn and I love it. I will keep this FOREVER, I tell you! Feast your eyes on this masterpiece:

My favorite part.....the hair! Okay, Mike's hair DOES NOT look like that, but I think it is so stinking cute! This is what he wrote about Mike:

My Dad is an amazing father. He's awesome at teaching me to get better at basketball. His spaghetti is terrific. It's so funny when he takes the dog out because my dog yanks him. My dad is really exciting when it's Brown's season because he gets tickets. He's extraordinary because every day he takes me to the batting cages. My dad is sweet.

May I state for the record, my nine-year-old is a keeper?!?!!?

We are busy rounding out Austin's senior year. He has a few year-end projects that he is busily working on. We have baccalaureate tomorrow and prom this weekend. Woo-hoo! Thought I would throw in his most recent Abercrombie Modeling Photo. HA! He is a doofus!

Have a good day!


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Let Me Answer That For You....

Okay, since I have become the "Queen of all things OCD," I have received many questions and calls about my opinions on the recent Oprah Winfrey show regarding OCD Camp. Here are my opinions.

1) ANY kind of information made public about OCD at this point is helpful. Something is always better than nothing.

2) Exposure therapy is a good thing and quite necessary for many forms of OCD. It isn't necessary and effective for ALL forms of OCD. There is also CBT (Cognative Behavior Therapy) that can work wonders for others.

3) Many people with OCD cannot be helped with therapy alone. They will need medication. Especially those in the SSRI category.

4) There is a whole spectrum of OCD compulsions and behaviors. MANY, MANY are not germ related. Since germaphobes receive the most "media attention" it tends to make the others feel insignificant or unacknowledged. If something exists on this planet, an OCD person can receive messages to fear it (i.e. air, plants, buttons, fingernails, spots on the wall, frogs). Compulsions and Obsessions DO NOT HAVE TO BE RELATED. In other words, a person can fear being a child molester but have to avoid contact with gold fish. NO ASSOCIATION. It is mental illness. It doesn't make sense no matter how you slice it.

5) Most people cannot go to a "boot camp" for a week and come home with no OCD. That being said, I do believe the therapy given to those on the Oprah show helped these people greatly. But, they did state on the show that they would continue therapy and some would need meds. Many people go through therapy for months, if not years. And, most people need therapy refereshers. Stressful situations will throw them back into the prison of OCD.

6) The sense of fear that accompanies OCD is staggering. Many OCDers cannot even function due to the fear. Yet, many do not want their OCD to show. That would ruin the whole picture of perfection. So, they melt down at home, for loved ones. That is, if they leave home. I can't tell you how many people will say to me "well, I have never seen Paige act like that." Yep. That's the point.

7) People do not "snap out of" OCD anymore than people snap out of diabetes or cancer. It is harsh but true. It is not an "attention getter." We don't "look for" disabilities in our children, nor do we "make it up." OCD can "tie up" areas of the brain so that someone is incapable of reading or math, etc. For children, it can cause serious damage to school performance. Did I mention that your obsessions and compulsions can change? Uh can get over one and move onto another.

8) OCD is OFTEN co-morbid. In other words, it is found in conjunction with other disorders such as depression, social anxiety or ADHD. So, the battle isn't against the OCD alone. They are fighting other factors as well. So, if you reject a person with social anxiety because of their OCD behaviors, well...then I am sorry. You have contributed to the social anxiety problem. I guess that's why we are asked to accept EVERYONE and always be compassionate to others, EVEN IF WE DON'T KNOW WHY THEY ACT THE WAY THEY DO.

9) OCD is expensive...when you can get health care. Can you imagine?

10) Licking your hands after they have been in a dumpster is disgusting. I don't care who you are. Then again, desperate times call for desperate measures. I won't second guess the tactics used on the show (since I wasn't in attendance), but I DO know that exposure therapy and cognative behavioral therapy is uncomfortable at least. Let's take your biggest fear and make you confront it until it no longer phases you. Does that sound attractive? NO walk in the park. It takes courage and dedication.

11) There is a whole different issue regarding OCD and children. I would love for people to understand how difficult it is to get school employees to UNDERSTAND the disorder and how difficult it can be to get accommodations. Then, of course, when you can get them to actually ATTEND school, there is always the survival of the social situations. Did I mention that you have a high absentee rate AND tardy rate? Yep, morning rituals stink and they can be difficult to complete on schedule.

12) Sleep would be another issue not mentioned on the show. Some people with OCD simply cannot sleep because they spend the night ruminating. Their thoughts do not shut off. They often use ipods or televisions to distract them until they are able to sleep. Then, of course, when the depression sets in they cannot stay awake. They sleep to avoid life situations. If you have OCD kids like I do, they like company at night. So you get sleepless nights too! Yippeee!

Fighting OCD is probably one of the most heroic things I have witnessed. Until you see it, you don't get it. People who battle this disorder deserve respect and compassion.

So....did I appreciate the Oprah show? Sure. Was it the best representation of OCD. No, but I'm not an authority on what you can accomplish on television in a measly 60 minutes. The disorder is that complex. What would I prefer? I would love a show such as 20/20 to cover IN DEPTH the impact of OCD on victims, their families and health care system. Maybe we need something like the Jerry Lewis telethon...who knows? But I think the best place to start is to educate yourself and then your children. Teach them compassion for others, irregardless of their behaviors and disabilities . And then put yourself in my place. Imagine it happening to someone you love unconditionally. What if you had to watch your kids suffer? What if it was your spouse? Could you hold on to your marriage?

Okay, this sounded WAY more depressing than I intended! I sure do appreciate that you all care enough to ask questions and understand. I have some good buddies! Just some food for thought!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

One Down..............

Well, you have all listened to me whine for months now about how busy I will be this spring/summer with confirmations, graduations and birthdays. Well, we finally have the confirmation behind us! Paige was confirmed on Sunday at St. Paul Lutheran...and she looked beautiful. Here is her confirmation class!

We had a small reception following, at our home. This is where the stress begins! I was mostly stressed about how messy my scrapbook room is, considering it is STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS. So, I did as I usually do....and I didn't touch it. Nope. I didn't clean it. I chose, instead, to divert everyones attention! HA! But, I do promise to try to have it cleaned for Austin's graduation party. Deal? Marilyn was gracious enough to come to my home while we were at the service, so that the caterers could be let inside. I received a text message from her while in church that the dog had an accident while the caterers were setting up. That's always a nice touch. HA! I'm glad she is a trooper!

Wanna see some party photos?

Trish Turay was sweet enough to let me borrow her chocolate fountain! It was a HUGE hit. As a matter of fact, I should probably just had several chocolate fountains and skipped the caterers. There wasn't ONE piece of fruit left after the party. There was a constant gathering around the fountain and I heard Paige's friends discussing putting their mouths under the fountain after the party was over! I was able to put an end to that it time, although I must admit I had the same thought!

I was also fortunate enough to use the flower arrangements created by Jen Bueck's sister. Don't they look fabulous? I always thought I was patient until I tried to recreate those arrangements.

Listen, I also have to give a note of apology. I borrowed the arrangements from Jen and I didn't give her an invitation. That's right. Tacky. I THOUGHT I gave her an invitation, but apparently it was in my scrapbooking tote and never made it's way to the mailbox (long story). Sorry Jen!!! I owe you big-time! Thank goodness she is understanding and knows how messed up I can get!

Paige created this shadow box as her confirmation project. Each confirmand is supposed to create a project using their confirmation verse. I love how Paige's turned out! She used colors that she knew would work in her room so that she can display it!

On the treats table I made a simple (emphasis on the word SIMPLE) layout that displayed her Statement of Faith. Each confirmand had to write a Statement of Faith and present it before the confirmand families. They all did an awesome job!

All in all, what a great weekend. Paige was happy and I think everyone managed to enjoy a few minutes of their time. Thank you to all of you who attended. It meant so much to Paige.

On another note....LOOKY, LOOKY! It takes me a while, but every once in awhile I complete a decorating project! I FINALLY got my photos framed and completed my foyer display. I really like it. Normally, I would criticize my project for a few months...but I actually REALLY like this! Yippee!

Well, one party down....two to go. Off to plan................


Monday, May 12, 2008

A Little Slice

Okay, so I took a small vacation! Actually, I have been busy. Perhaps I have been too busy. Nonetheless, I am back. I have been busy painting bedrooms, planning parties, going to baseball, going to volleyball......and of course, cleaning! HA! But, I must say that spring is FLYING past. I heard a quote the other day that said "Getting older is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer to the end you get the faster it goes." HOW TRUE!

Anyways, I think I have finally finished painting Trent's room. The only thing I have left to do is to hang the window treatments and to hang some shelves. I have to tell you, if you know Trent, you will know that you cannot even move his bed an inch and he cannot sleep in his room. So, when I went to make these changes, I was slightly worried that it would freak him out and he would be sleeping in my bed. Yet, alas, HE LOVES HIS ROOM! Seriously, it is his own little slice of heaven. Do you want to see the final product?

You may also be interested to know that the wall around the closet is painted in chalkboard paint. This way, Trent can draw plays on the wall. You know, ALL good football players need to remember their plays.

Next on the agenda, our FAVORITE OSU fan finally got to visit OSU Stadium. Granted, he couldn't enter (that is for another time), but he was thrilled just to walk around the outside and peek inside. And Mike and I...well, we became the best parents on the planet. (Short lived, I am sure.)

Last but not least.....a field trip on the Cuyahoga Valley Railroad. A real train. A REAL TRAIN! Does that sum it up?

Life. Is. Good.