Friday, May 29, 2009


So, here in the great state of Michigan, we have had a wet spring.  That means, the mosquitos are out in force.  They pretty much are the state bird here.  Usually, you have some kind of reprieve until the end of June, but alas, no.  My children are covered in big old red spots.  I tell them not to scratch to no avail.

So what is your best mosquito repellant that won't poison my children?  Some swear by Skin So Soft by Avon.  Some swear by "bug" bracelets (these are my personal favorite).  Some swear by citronella candles.  I know too much deet is really, really bad for you, but it really, really works.  So what to do?  Try everything and then use benedryl spray on the bug bites?

I do have a home remedy that absolutely works for taking the itch out of the bites.  All kinds of bites, mosquito, ant bites, whatever.  Spit and Salt.  Okay, you don't have to use saliva, you can use plain old water, but get the bite wet enough to hold some salt.  Sprinkle on the salt and don't touch the bite until the salt is dry.  It takes the bug poison out of the bite, no itch.  That one is from my mother.  Who was right.  Scary.

I do know that Burt's Bees makes an excellent, all natural, no deet, bug repellant that actually works.  I tested it in bug infested Tennessee and it worked wonders.  The problem with bug repellant is you actually have to remember to put it on, which I usually forget to do, so I still get bug bites.

Again, I appeal to you, what is your remedy to get rid of the pesky little critters, and I have no objections to just squishing them, but it is kind of gross after awhile.

God bless you and yours, happy scratching.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What does Summer mean to you?

So, Linda Goldfarb, an amazing speaker and writer, sent out her newsletter and asked that everyone tell her "You know it's summer when......."  It got me thinking.  What does summer mean to me?

When we lived in Arizona, it meant that we would be hitting our water park in Anthem and grilling out just about every night.  That's it.  A Fourth of July in the scorching heat and loving it.  There is something about actually feeling the heat coming off the sidewalk that just screams summer in Arizona.

Now that we live in Michigan, there is much more meaning.  It means you survived a winter.  Spring has sprung and the grass is green.  It still gets a little chilly at night and rain is a weekly event.  Grilling out and barbeques are an event to be celebrated.  Mosquitos are horrible and usually referred to as the state bird.  As you look down the street, the trees offer so many different shades of green, it stuns you.  People open their pools.  Here, only brave souls are setting foot in the pools, they are still freezing cold.  Kids are still in school at this point and counting the days.

Summer here in Michigan is like a reward for living through the snow.  People go to the Lake, the go up north, they go camping.  It's almost as if you have to fit everything in before it gets cold again.  The sun on your face and the shade of a tree are truly, truly appreciated.  

I plan almost nothing in the summer.  I do not put my kids in programs, summer is for freedom.  Free to play at your friends house, free to go to a bonfire, just free to run around and have fun.  We do have a "hang time" for the high school youth group in July, but other than that, just a whole bunch of summer time fun without schedules.

What is your summer plan or lack thereof?  Let me know, share the plans.

God bless you and yours.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two Places at Once

As a mother of very active children who are in various activities, I have had to master the art of being in two places at once.  This usually involves my mother-in-law or my husband being "me" for an activity.  Today, I have lost my substitute moms and must go forth and multiply myself to make it to all the stuff we have to do today.  Yikes.

Sometimes we must choose what is most important at the risk of alienating a child.  Tonight, Grant has a baseball game at 6:30, it is one of many, most of which I have attended in some fashion.  Tyler has his honors ceremony.  It is the only one he will have for his freshman year, so which do I go to?  This was not a hard decision, but I still am freaking out that I will just drop Grant off with his coaches and then race to Eppler Jr. High and then race back to pick him up.  

We cannot forget the Youth Group's fundraiser at Salsarita's tonight, before the chaos or the fact that there is a dress rehearsal for the talent show and Tatum, her little friend Sara and Cooper have to be picked up at Magahay at 4:30.  Should be an interesting afternoon.  Poor Cooper, so out of his comfort zone, but it's okay, we only have one baseball game this week and this is the one day we are running like crazy.  Oh yeah, I have to work too, but that is before the chaos. 

I imagine falling into bed sometime around midnight.  Oh well, such is life.  Does anyone remember the movie Mulitplicity with Michael Keaton?  He created these clones of himself to do what he could not, kind of funny.  They each took on different parts of his personality, none were perfect, but it worked for awhile.  I especially liked the dopey one.  That is the one of me I would send to the PTA meetings.  Huh??????

So as I run off in a cloud of dust, I hope you have a blessed day.

God bless you and yours and all your running around today.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Kool-Aid Mom

Remember that commercial where all the kids are in one backyard, and someone says, "your the Kool-Aid mom"?  Being the Kool-Aid mom meant that your house was were every kid in the neighborhood wanted to be.  Cool.  In the commercial, it also meant that you gave everyone Kool-Aid to quench their thirst and everyone smiles.  Really Cool.  I did not grow up on Kool-Aid, no fun little packets at our house.  But I do like Kool-Aid.  I admit at our church Carnival last year, being in charge of Kool-Aid, it was so hot, I drank a huge glass of it, and it tasted awesome.  Too sweet or not, it was good.  Yeah for Kool-Aid!

I was never the Kool-Aid mom in Arizona.  I attribute this to the fact that we did not have a pool. In order to be the Kool-Aid mom in a state where the you get at least 100 days of 100 degrees or higher, you have to have a pool.  Period.  Even your own kids don't want to be at your house, they are at the neighbor's with the pool.  That is just how the raft floats in good old AZ.  That being said, I could usually show up with my kids to the Kool-Aid house and hang out with my friends while our kids all swam.  There were usually belly flop contests and definitely water fights and running and jumping and pandemonium and fun.  Love it and miss it.

Yesterday, with the volleyball net up and kids running amok in the yard, the grill smoking and everyone having a good time, I was the Kool-Aid mom for awhile.  I loved it.  I love all the kiddos over.  From the eighteen year old, to the smallest five year old, we had it all.  Everyone was having a great time and I got to feed everyone.  There was no Kool-Aid, but we had a cooler full of pop and Capri Suns and waters, and that was good enough.

As a mom, having a houseful can be total chaos.  You may want to avoid it.  And if the boss is coming for dinner, and you need to clean, you can kick all these kids out.  That being the chaos of our lives, don't forget to welcome your child's friends into your home.  Feed them, listen to their conversations and make them say please and thank you.  You can always find some more hot dogs or sloppy joes to go around.  Be welcoming and embrace these kids.  Time goes by so fast, you blink and your "baby" is taking driver's training.  Their friends can change over time, but always, always let them know you care.  You never know what some kindness and words of encouragement can mean to one of them.  You may be the only mom who talks to them, so listen with open hearts and a plate full of cookies.  You can slice and bake, they really don't care.

Who is sitting at your dinner table today?  Let me know.

God bless you and yours.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Yesterday we had a houseful.  I loved it.  Tyler's friends were over, Jake brought a volleyball net and the cousins were over and our friends with their kids and it was on.  Hot dogs, potato salad, man beans (bacon and burger and wonderfulness), chips and cookies and brownie surprise.  The brownie surprise is the only thing we have nothing left of.  We will be eating beans and potato salad for a couple days, but those things taste better the next day anyways.

As I sat there on the deck with some iced tea and surrounded by teenagers, I had to say, it does not get much better than that.  Kids playing volleyball and screaming and so on.  Getting my tan on ( a little) and just relaxing.  Even the volleyball hitting the table was fun.  I cannot complain.  I do have to work today, but only for four hours.  And really, I don't have to cook or anything, just warm up stuff or eat it out of a carton.  Yeah for me.

What did you do yesterday?  I mean after church.  Barbeque or inside?  In the pool or in the backyard?  Let me know.

God bless you and yours.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Small Pleasures in Life are Free

We have all heard the phrase, "Don't sweat the small stuff".  I have adopted this as a daily life affirming mantra.  Pretty much, it's all small stuff.  Hand it over to God, do your part and keep on keeping on.  I want to celebrate the small stuff.  It sounds trite, but in challenging economic times, when we cannot afford to amuse ourselves, we need to get back to basics.

It is May in Michigan, and for our soft maple trees, this is helicopter season.  These little seed pods fall off a tree and twirl all the way down to the ground.  Simply put, it is something that is small, but wonderful to watch.  It is peaceful to sit on the front porch and watch nature.  We have a bird feeder out front that attracts robins, sparrows, blue jays, cardinals and squirrels of all kinds.  Between us and the neighbors, the animal population eat very well in our neck of the woods.  We throw everything from old cereal to moldy bread, to stuff we are sick of looking at in there and by the end of a couple of days, it is all gone.  Looks a little empty, might have to let the one year old wheat chex go today.  It is fun to watch the blue jays chase off the other birds and the sparrows hang in there for the little pieces. 

Just last week, our crab apple tree was full of light pink blossoms.  So beautiful that just coming around the corner and seeing it made you smile.  Then, a cool breeze and the air was full of small pink leaves just floating down.  It was like a scene from a movie.  Peaceful.  

Don't we all want a little peace in our hectic lives.  God made this earth with purpose.  Some of that purpose is to slow down and watch His magical creation renew itself.  Small, but wonderful miracles happen every day and we are blessed enough to be witness to it.  The trees are back with leaves after a hard, hard winter.  Our lives are always in a different season, and we need to appreciate where we are and what is around us.  The world around us, that we so frequently ignore, is made to be enjoyed.  What could be better than laying on the grass with your kids and watching the clouds go by?  

Take some time today and watch a flower bloom or watch the grass grow (even though you have to mow it tomorrow).  What miracle awaits you in your backyard?  Even in the desert, you can find life and wonderfulness, I know, I lived there.  Find some sunshine and laugh a little.  Cooper found a four leaf clover at a baseball game the other night.  How many people walked right over that little miracle and never saw it?  Go four leaf clover hunting, that is some kind of fun with your kids.  Find a something to celebrate today, in the small wonders around you.  Teach your kids to celebrate the wonders of nature.

God bless you and yours.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Holiday Weekends

So, here in Michigan, all the schools have figured out that everyone takes friday off anyways on Memorial day weekend, so tomorrow, the kids have no school.  You see, just about everyone here in the great state of Michigan has a "place up north".  It could be a double-wide on an acre of nothing, but chances are it is by a lake or in the forest.  Heaven on earth.  So everyone and their mother is going up north tomorrow.  Actually saw someone taking off today with boat in tow.  Go for it.

I shall sit at home and not be in traffic.  I will grill out and spend my time doing a lot of sitting in the sun.  It is supposed to be about 70 degrees this weekend, perfect.  Not too hot, not too cold.  I don't know what I would do if we had a cottage up north (even double wides are "cottages").  It seems that everyone has to "open" up their cottages, which takes a lot of work.  Then at the end of summer, they have to "close" their cottages, which is also a lot of work.  There is the whole travel time and all that jazz.  That being said, everyone seems to love to go "up north".  They actually have t-shirts that just say "UP North", go figure.  I don't know if this is a phenomenon any where else, but here, we go up north.

So I embrace the "home" vacation.  A whole bunch of nothing.  That is my idea of a great weekend.  I will marinate some kind of meat and throw together some kind of salad and there will be cookies and fruit salad.  I may get motivated and make some brownie kind of thing with ice cream.  I believe in watermelon and grapes eaten on a blanket on the grass.  There will be some kind of pick-up baseball game in the neighborhood and there is nothing better than watching little girls turn cart-wheels in the back yard.  I love it.  And I have saved myself at least five hours in the car with my kids asking "when are we going to get there".  I may paint my toes, but that will be the extent of my getting motivated.

What are you doing this Memorial Day?  Share the love.

God bless you and yours.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I don't wanna go

How many times a day do we here this phrase?  "I don't wanna go to.........fill in the blank.  As all of you know, it is baseball season in the Klebba Clan.  Tyler has games tuesday and thursday and Grant has games monday and wednesday.  We do baseball just about every day with practices and stuff.  

Yesterday was a picture perfect day in Michigan.  It was 75 degrees, a mild breeze and sunny.  What a great day to watch a baseball game.  Not for Grant.  "Tyler never comes to my games", says Grant.  Well, Tyler is in advanced classes and has baseball practice on the days of Grant's games.  Not fair.  And maybe it isn't, but guess what, we are all going to the game.  Don't feel sorry for my kids, they got McDonald's from Grandma on the way to and from the game.  Happy meals before and ice cream after.  Does it really get any better than this?  Apparently for Grant, it can be so much better if he was just at home and doing nothing in his room.  "Why did you have to drag me to this stupid place, I have nothing to do".  After the second complaint, as I sat in the sun to watch baseball, with a nice cool breeze at my back, snacks at my feet and my toes on the grandstands, I simply replied, "Complain one more time and you are grounded for a month".  I then watched our team lose, but only by two and it was a great game. 

We all have to do things we don't want to.  As  mothers, we get up in the middle of the night countless times.  We help with school projects, we walk dogs, we cook and clean and do any number of menial tasks every day.  We don't grumble much and we take our lumps.  Well, sitting outside on a beautiful day with the grass tickling your toes, watching high school baseball is not torture.  Get over it.  And no, I will not drive back home to get a soccer ball, you should have thought of that before we left.  Yes, there are snacks in the bag.  No, you are not starving, you just ate.  

So where are you dragging your kids off to today.   Kicking and screaming or happily running along?

God bless you and yours.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pick Your Battles

So, yesterday I shared that my fifteen year old son had cut his hair into a mohawk.  This brings up a great point.  Pick your battles with your children.  Doesn't matter if they are two or fifteen, you will have battles.  When they are little, it is that they want to dress themselves.  Or pick their clothes or whatever.  I used to get the "look" from the other mothers at parent pick-up at school.  I replied, "She dresses herself".  After many battles in my home, you have to choose what is really important.  What they wear to school, as long as it is not "hoochie mamma" revealing, is not a battle worth fighting.

Neither is eating broccoli or spinach.  Give them a chewy vitamin.  Seriously, you can sit there and fight or give them a vitamin.  Why?  Our lives are going to be full of battles with these little creatures, so we must choose wisely.  Otherwise, we are in constant battle mode.

So, you are asking, what do you choose?  The important stuff.  Smart mouths and talking back should never be accepted, it will only get worse.  Think I am exaggerating?  Check out one episode of Nanny 911 or the other tragic shows that just make me angrier and angrier the longer I watch them.  We are not put on this earth to be our children's friends, we are their parents.  The important rules usually involve who is in charge.  It may be curfew if your child is older.  Anything that is worth the fight is always about respect and who is in charge.  You could go on forever about what is important and what is not.  What they eat for breakfast is not really that important, as long as they are eating breakfast.  I used to eat leftover chinese food for breakfast all the time, I turned out okay.  I never, and I mean never, talked back to my mother or father without consequences, period.  I said please and thank you, I asked my parents if I could do something, I never "told" them.  That is important.

Our children are facing challenges today at younger ages than we could even imagine when we were coming up.  They need a constant in the chaos.  We are their constant.  They need black and white options about the important stuff, there are no shades of gray necessary.  Your family has to decide what is the important stuff.  Haircuts and clothes (again, not inappropriate hoochie momma stuff) and what is for breakfast is not that important.  Who they are hanging out with, what they are doing or not doing, and where they are....these are important.  Talk to your kids, have their friends over, listen to their conversations.  Let your kids know what is  and what is not acceptable in your house.  Black and white, no shades of gray in the raising of children.

So what are the battles going on in your house?  Let me know, I know we can share the love.

God bless you and yours.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Good Tired

So, even after sleeping around ten hours last night, I am still tired from Saturday.  The Spaghetti Dinner/Silent Auction was awesome.  Awesomeness comes at a price.  The price was all the adults involved are exhausted emotionally and physically.  God bless whoever was doing the dishes that night, they rocked.

I guess that is my point.  Whenever I have gone to these types of events, I never noticed all the behind the scenes stuff.  In running one, I can say, there is more behind the scenes than in the scenes.  Mine and JoAnn's husbands boiling pasta outside on special burners.  Don and Kim running the kitchen with precision and excellence that fed 500 people in twenty minutes.  All the volunteers that helped in the kitchen, whether cutting cucumbers or bread or doing dishes.  Amazing.  All the kids and parents that set up tables, set up the stage, set the tables, served the food.  Setting up the auction tables, everything in it's place and a place for everything.  The announcements, the youth band rocked.  My son shaved his hair into a mohawk.  He rocks the Hawk (I got a complete eye roll when I said that yesterday).  The live auction where we sold the youth for babysitting or yardwork or cleaning went well.  Dinner at the pastor's homes went amazing.  Our lead pastor sold for $500.00.  Rock on, that is one child going on the Mission trip with gravy.  Clean up was done and getting ready for church the next day.  All volunteers, totally amazing.

It was fun and wonderful and we are gearing up for next year.  Maybe by then, we adults will have recovered.  The kids were all fine, it's the old folks who need a week in the Bahamas to recover.  That is not in our budget by the way.  

It is humbling to be a part of something that will impact our world.  Sending these kids out of their comfort zone to do good in another place is a God thing and a good thing.  These trips change lives, not only of our youth, but of those they help.  One word, one gesture, one hand reaching out in love can change someone's life.  I am blessed to know these kids and their parents.  What a great group, and each and every one of them worked their bottoms off Saturday. 

What about you?  Anything going on in your woods that requires you to lose sleep and just keep going?  Share the love and the tiredness.

God bless you and yours.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Taking a Small Break

As the fundraiser looms ever closer this weekend, I realize I am totally out of time.  I am not going to blog again until monday, sorry folks.  I hope God bless you this week and I will chat again on Monday.

God bless you and yours.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Coveting Stuff

Okay, we all know, Ye Shall Not Covet thy neighbors............, but we all do.  Case in point.  We had to make baskets for the Silent Auction and I had to go over to one of the ladies' homes to sort stuff and get it all together.  I knew it would be a nice home.  Nice does not come close to the majesty of this home.  I loved it and could not have designed the kitchen better.  Oh my gosh, I just wanted to move into a small corner somewhere, they never would have know I was there. That being said, I choose to celebrate that a friend has a wonderful home (in which the house I am currently living in could fit in the basement.)  

I have been on the other side, the jealous side, the "I deserve that" side.  It's not pretty.  In fact, it makes you pretty miserable.  Always wanting what you cannot have.  I used to want the perfect big house, the perfect yard, the perfect purse with matching shoes.  See, Satan does not want you to be content with what you have, he wants to keep you so busy working towards more stuff that you forget to take time for God.  When we fill our lives with stuff, we have very little room for change or growth or God.  I had to learn that the hard way.  God had to change my heart about a lot of things and I had to learn to be content no matter what my circumstances.

So many times through the years, I would say to God, "if you get me to this point, then I will have time to serve, then I will have time to be with You, then I will make time for You."  "I don't have time now because........."  I had to learn that first you come to God.  First you serve.  First you make time.  Then all things fall into place, and not necessarily the way we think it should be, but definitely the way God needs it to be.  

So what "thing" has you bogged down in "I want"  Is it a Coach purse (me too a little bit)?  Is it your friends brand new gorgeous home?  Is it that blouse you just have to have?  Is it even as small as a new pair of flip flops that you just don't need, but have to have.  When you say the words, "I have to have that" try to make it about your God time.   I have to be with God in the morning.  I have to read my bible.  I have to fast and pray.  I must do these things so that all the busy times are manageable.  Passionately pursue your Creator and watch the blessings pour out.  

No one is perfect and we all want pretty things, they just should not become our soul focus.  

Let me know what's going on in your "want" life.  

God bless you and yours.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What Mother's Day

So yesterday, in honor of Mother's Day, I worked like a dog.  Seriously.  I had to set my alarm, which should be a big no-no on Mother's Day.  I got up early, did not get my wonderful breakfast, loaded up three of my children and headed off to church.  There I proceeded to sell tickets (it was the last day to buy tickets) for the Youth Mission Trip Silent Auction and Spaghetti Dinner.  We did very well, praise God.  I also sat in second service and saw the best illustration of living your life for God I had ever seen.  If you are curious, give me a call, it was fabulous.  Then home again, home again.  Had to plant some flowers for my mother-in-law, time to get dirty.  Then I had to water said flowers.  Then I had to type up our item list for the silent auction so Pastor Tim can make up the bid sheets.  Then we went out of a simple dinner and then I went the heck to bed.

Did you see a massage or pedicure in there?  Did I go to the book store by myself and look around and have a cup of tea?  That would be a big fat no.  No rest for the mommy.  And this week doesn't look any better.  So I think I shall claim next Sunday another Mother's day, I shall eat chocolate and sit on my behind and expect to be waited on hand and foot.  That is only fair.  I shall sleep in and not take my son in early to church, there will be no signs put up because he is not there and no one will know where to go.  People will be milling about the outside of the building because I am claiming mother's day for me.  I shall have the breakfast of my dreams, eat it in bed and then casually and with no one banging on the door to get in, I shall take a long, hot, shower.  I will use my wonderful shower gels and scrub my calluses and everything.  I will put on my wonderful scented lotion, take my time to dress and then go to church.  After church, I will come home and not watch golf or a Red Wings game (which is all that was on at my house yesterday, I was on my computer and obviously did not care what was on TV).   I will watch a love story involving Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and no one will complain about it or ask when it will be over.  Someone in my household will make me a wonderful dinner and clean up the dishes and remember to turn the dishwasher on.  I will retire early and read a book until I fall blissfully in a dream filled wonderland of sleep.  None of my children will fight and everyone will smile and tell me what a great mother I am, even when I yell.  That is my ideal mother's day, but with a pedicure thrown in for good measure and maybe a massage.  Fabulous.

Never gonna happen, but a gal has to dream.  What is your ideal Mother's Day?  Share the love.

God bless you and yours.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

So I will not be blogging tomorrow, in honor of mother's day.  I don't know all the details, but I think some president declared this day back about 100 years ago.  If I were more ambitious, I could look all that up, when, where, who, but honestly, I am just glad someone thought of it.  A day to honor your mother.  Great Idea. 

Inevitably, every mother's day, I hear from my children, "they don't have a "kids" day."  To which I reply, "every day is kids day".  They still grumble.  I am going to be selling tickets to the Spaghetti dinner/ Silent Auction this sunday at church, so really, my day won't begin until about 1:00p.m.  I will get  breakfast and all that.  I don't know what is for dinner, I am doing the Daniel Fast, no bread, no meat, no sweets, until the Silent Auction.  I have been told by my mother-in-law that I can take Mother's day off, but I am sticking to it until 6:00p.m. the day of the dinner.  If you think I am crazy, read Jentezen Franklin's book called "fasting", it will change your prayer life and the rest of your life. 

So what do you do for Mother's day?  I find it amazing that we are usually hosting some kind of brunch or dinner and running around like crazy person making sure everyone is happy on Mother's Day.  What the heck?  I firmly sit my bottom down and get waited on.  It's my day to chill out and not worry.  I mean, whatever I am going to eat, it should be fine and if not, I will eat it and smile and worry about my digestive system later.

My funniest Mother's day moment was about five years ago.  It was in Arizona, so picture a 100 degree day.  Scott wanted to take me out to dinner (fool), and we thought we would "outsmart" everyone and go at like 3:00p.m.  We go to a nice restaurant, three hour wait, next restaurant, three hour wait, next restaurant, three hour wait.  We ended up at Denny's on the west side of town.  I actually ordered a steak at Denny's, what was I thinking?  Anyways, the sun was beating into the room we were in and all of sudden, Tyler, who is sitting in the center of our booth, tells me he does not feel well.  And he starts barfing, right in the middle of Denny's.  Being a mom, I catch the barf in his little basket that held his dinner.  He keeps on barfing and I keep catching it and using every napkin on the table (of course, at the beginning of the dinner I had asked for extras).  I literally saved the day by keeping it on the down low, wiping it up as it came out and by the time the waitress came over to see if he was okay, I had wrapped it all up in the basket.  Some other patrons who were close by did not even know he was barfing, they thought he might be choking.  See what a great mom I am?  I saved the day for all the other idiot father's who waited until the last minute to make plans and ended up at Denny's on Mother's Day.  

So I hope your Mother's Day is free of barf and has a little charm mixed in.  Nothing beats burnt toast in bed or a wonderful hand made gift from the kiddos. 

God bless you and yours.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Life in The Fastlane

Busy, busy, busy.  Life here in the spring is chaos time, as I mentioned a lot lately, we are in the middle of baseball season for two of my children.  So add to that the Spaghetti dinner/ Silent Auction fundraiser on May 16th (did I mention that I volunteered to head up this thing?) and girlscouts, the school talent show and the fact that I work and I feel as if I never get to sit down.  

I like to sit.  I need to sit.  Sitting is good.  I stand all day at work and I am too old for this stuff.  Seriously.  Sitting and reading a book or watching a little TV is truly a necessary part of my life.  Yesterday, my total sit time, not including driving and meetings, was only about half an  hour.  That is not enough sit time.  Sitting time is when no one needs anything from you that requires you to get up.  Sitting time is curled up on the couch, maybe a blanket and a dog for comfort.  Sitting is not to be taken lightly, it must be enjoyed.  

As mothers, we tend to not take care of ourselves as we should.  I find it truly amazing that the minute I sit, my kids need something.  Thankfully, they are at the age that I can usually direct them to what they need from my little corner of the couch.  When all the kids were under the age of five, I remember my wake up routine.  Scott would always ask why it took so long for me to get out of bed.  I firmly told him that I knew I would not sit down until I went to bed that night.  Those were the days of constant need from my children.  I don't remember much, except juice cups and paper plates.  All the rest is a blur.  I do remember crying when the twins gave up their naps.  I cried for a month, I used to get so much done during that time.  I actually painted a bathroom during a nap one day.  Then I firmly locked the door until the paint was dry.  Amazing.  

So as I speed through my day, Grant and Tyler both have baseball games at opposite ends of our town, of course.  I work this morning, have to pack lunches etc., check backpacks, make sure uniforms are clean and cups can be found (not the kind you drink out of).  I have to email Pastor Tim with stuff in the auction so we can get the 600 people there that we need to make this event a success.  I will attempt a sit down at 9:00p.m.  But I think I will just go the heck to bed.

What's on your schedule?  Let me know, I know I am not alone in this.

God bless you and yours.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cover Me.....

You know in all those cop shows, where two partners are pinned down and one is going to make a run for it???  He barks out, "Cover me" and his partner comes up, starts shooting and the other guy runs for it for whatever reason.  This, for whatever reason, probably a God moment, came to me when I was thinking about praying this morning.  Actually, while I was praying this morning.  I was going down my list (if I don't have a list, I may forget someone) and I felt like I was covering them in prayer.  How many of us need to shout out, "Cover Me!!!!!!" to our friends and family to pray for us. 

In so many religions prayer has become tedious or just recited by memory.  Prayer, in my most humble opinion, was never meant to be this.  Prayer is a conversation with our God, who is passionately in love with us and wants us to come to Him.  Just us showing up to talk to our God.  I pray throughout my day, in little ways, but always start my day with my bible and some alone time with God.  It just sets the mood of my day.  It's like my barometer.  Usually if my day is in the crapper, it is because I was so rushed, I forgot to converse with God.  Then I find a quiet space, calm myself and give everything over to God.  

I am not saying that with prayer every day, I don't still have hectic and crazy days.  But when God is in charge, I handle things differently and even really bad things don't seem so bad.  

At Grant's baseball game last night (they won 18 to 8) I was sitting next to a gal I just met last week.  She was on the phone and kept saying, "I cannot imagine that, Oh my gosh."  She explained when she got off the phone, she explained.  Her babysitter, who is nineteen, was driving with friends and saw someone on the railroad tracks, and the train was coming.  They drove up to yell at the person to get off the tracks, the train was coming.  She arrived just in time to recognize her father, who was committing suicide, get hit by the train.  Her mother, upon hearing the news, had a mental breakdown and had to be committed.  She has a younger, ten year old sister that she had to go to court yesterday to get custody of.  They have no real family to help them through this horrible, awful time.  It is time for her Christian family to "cover her" in prayer.  The road before this child (I don't care if she is legal, she is a child) is one most of us cannot fathom.  So I covered this girl in prayer, I ask you to do the same.

While most of us do not deal with such huge issues on a daily basis, God wants all our issues.  He wants us to rely solely on Him, and not on our own understanding.  All things great and small, we need to go to our Heavenly Father and sit on his lap and talk.  When I ask my friends to pray for me, I know they will, and there is comfort in that.

So today, Cover Me!  And I will Cover you.  We are all in this together.

God bless you and yours.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Whole Swine Flu thingy

So, our neighbor drives a school bus.  She came over yesterday after church to tell us that our high school was closed for two weeks due to possible, I'll repeat, possible, swine flu outbreak.  I am not making light of this situation, it is serious.  That being said, it's the flu and we do not live in a third world country.  It is tragic that a small child in our country has died from this, and it can be scary, but I have to wonder if we are going slightly overboard.  Over 35,000 people a year die from the flu, if the Today show is to be trusted.  As of this morning, there were 1001 cases of swine flue in the world.  Not our country, the world.

Yes is contagious.  Yes it can be fatal.  Yes, a bunch of high schoolers went to Mexico for Spring Break.  But wash your hands, use some sanitizer and be done with it.  I work with the public every day.  A young man I work with is seriously concerned about this, freaking out when someone coughs when paying for their latte.  So I told him to turn around and wash his hands.  He was two steps away from being rid of it.  I am keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer at the cash registers, and I use it.  My sister-in-law works in the ER of a hospital, she was actually in a room with a possible swine flu patient.  She is not freaking out, she followed protocol and is fine, so is her family.  

I am not saying to not be cautious.  But we do need to realize that we live in a country where raw sewage is not running down our streets.  We don't have piles of garbage sitting for days.  We are blessed enough to probably not have to go through said garbage for our dinner or cans to pay for dinner.  Soap and hand sanitizer and doctors are readily available to us, so are medications and anything else we may need to combat the swine flu.  All cases, with the exception of one, have been mild in this country.

If I can avoid getting the stomach flu when I am catching puke in my hands, I think I can avoid this.  We are taking some precautions.  I tell my kids not to drink from the drinking fountains at school.  But I tell them that all the time to avoid getting strep throat.  We wash our hands when we get home from school, after we have been outside to play, all that jazz.  We use hand sanitizer when necessary.

I think we are very blessed that this comes at a time when we can open our windows and air out our houses.  So can the schools.  Utica High School is spending ten days sanitizing every locker, door knob, desk, etc.  That being said, the district shares buses between schools, so if any of those kids took the bus, we need to shut down those busses to kill it there too.  Amazing the man power that will go into this, not only here, but in the rest of the country.   I guess that is why I don't fear it, I think we are taking steps to prevent it and educate people and clean it the heck up.

Didn't our mothers say all these things?  Wash your hands, clean your room, cover your mouth.

I guess I am not completely sold that this is a pandemic of epic proportions.  In today's instant news society, maybe we are too informed.  I definitely am not fearful about it, at least not in a chaotic way.  Take precautions and wash your hands and bleach your house if need be.  Wash your sheets and air your house out.  

Am I wrong or not concerned enough?  Am I not reacting enough?  Am I alone in my almost casualness of this?  Are you and your family doing anything different?  Let me know.

God bless you and yours and wash your hands.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cooper and the Talent Show

If you know me or read my blog, you know I have a son with Aspberger's Syndrome.  This is a form of autism, on the mild side of the spectrum.  Cooper is Cooper and we love him for exactly who he is.  We regulate his diet and do detox foot pads for him and all these things seem to help him immensely.  Aspberger's kids are not social butterflies.  Social situations are tough on them and they do not have the social skills to recognize many boundaries in our society.  That being said, Coop has come a long way.  He is amazing and I am blessed to be the mother of this wondrous little man.

Cooper came home yesterday and said he wanted to be in the school talent show.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  He tells jokes.  He has only done this at family get-togethers, but he is pretty funny.  He finishes his jokes with, "am I right or am I right?"  Hilarious.  Or he gives is own little drum beat, "Baddadumpda".  I love it.  I can only hope that the other kids and parents will get his little sense of humor.

The talent show may seem like no big deal for most kids.  They want to get up there, sing, play an instrument, all those "normal" things.  That this even showed up on Cooper's radar is huge.  That he wants to do it is beyond any kind of range I can think about.  This is a child, who up to three years ago, I had to force to go outside and play.  This is a child who refers to his best friend at school as his "classmate, I don't really know his name, but he is my best friend".  This is a child who would yell at other children for not playing video games the "right" way.  My Cooper is going to try out for the talent show and tell jokes.  Miracles happen in every day life. 

So as I celebrate my small miracle, I say rejoice.  We all face challenges in our children.  Some great, some small.  All challenges that our children face are huge to us.  We as adults sometimes feel we know the outcome of them reaching out and want to protect them above all else.  I know in some areas, I am overprotective of Cooper.  I have had to recognize this and let go.  Letting go allows my Coop-de-doop to fly.  He can soar if I let go.  Through my tears I will watch him conquer his world.  

If you are facing anything involving your child, I implore you to pray about everything going on.  "Knee" mail to God accomplishes so many things, the least of which is a peace in your spirit.  We cannot shield our children for all harmful things, they have to touch the stove to know what "hot" means.  We can always shelter them with prayer, love, and understanding.  We are our children's soft place to land when life is bumpy.  

So life is good and I am blessed and Cooper is hysterical......

God bless you and yours.