Saturday, September 30, 2006

100th post - 100 things about me

  1. I was born in Barberton Ohio, on August 20th 1967

  2. I have 3 sisters

  3. I have no brothers

  4. I am the baby

  5. I didn't hate being the baby of the family until someone outside of the family pointed it out to me.

  6. I remember a dream I had when I was 4.

  7. I remember exactly where I was and what I was wearing when my grandmother called my mom to tell her my grandfather died. I was 4.

  8. I remember doing some really bad things as a kid

  9. Among the worst was using my mom's brand new laundry basket as a toilet

  10. My mom believed in spanking

  11. I deserved every spanking she gave me.

  12. I had an invisible friend named Trixie Marie.

  13. Now I think that sounds like a name for a.... Lady of the Evening.

  14. I always sat behind my mom in the car

  15. Once I almost caused her to have an accident by grabbing her hair, pulling her head back and saying “Mommy, you know you could be beautiful... if you let me brush your hair...”

  16. I threw my shoes and socks out the car window once. On the freeway. Before the 55 mile per hour speed limit.

  17. Did I mention I deserved every spanking my mom gave me?

  18. My sister Vonda was probably worse than me.

  19. She got me in trouble a LOT.

  20. I had very bad eczema as a child and used to get teased a lot.

  21. My mom died when I was 10

  22. She was only 36.

  23. I've already outlived my mom.

  24. She died 3 days after Christmas

  25. I had to give my Christmas presents that year to cousins who were in from out of town because my mom was so sick.

  26. They were all eventually replaced, but it wasn't the same.

  27. I got Donnie and Marie dolls that year.

  28. My dog chewed up Donnie shortly after Christmas.

  29. I didn't much care.

  30. I didn't cry after my mom died. I don't think I really understood.

  31. I've cried about my mom dying a lot as an adult.

  32. I didn't tell anybody at school that my mom died. It was during Christmas break, so I went back to school after New Years and didn't say anything to anybody.

  33. My teacher didn't know until the end of the school year.

  34. I loved school.

  35. I pretended I hated school.

  36. I never did my homework, but always did exceptionally well on tests.

  37. I was a flag twirler with the marching band in high school.

  38. I studied Italian in high school.

  39. I went to a foster home in the middle of my junior year, and went to a new school.

  40. I met my very best friend in the whole world at the new school.

  41. She is still my very best friend.

  42. I became a mom at 17.

  43. I graduated from high school in January, but got my diploma with the rest of my class in June.

  44. My daughter was 3 weeks old at my graduation.

  45. She graduated from the same high school in the same auditorium.

  46. I earned a scholarship to Lake Erie College in Painesville Ohio.

  47. I didn't take it.

  48. Not taking it has been one of my biggest regrets.

  49. Being a mom was the first thing that I came across that I thought I did well.

  50. I've done it 4 more times since then.

  51. I've worked in a laundromat.

  52. I've worked at a beauty shop (I was the receptionist, my sister owned it.)

  53. I've worked in a bed and bath shop

  54. A fabric shop

  55. A frame shop

  56. I've done day care out of my home.

  57. I've worked at an answering service.

  58. I've worked for a software duplication company.

  59. I loved the people there.

  60. I've worked for Uhaul in their emergency road service assistance call center.

  61. I count that as the worst job I've ever had.

  62. I've worked as a teacher's aide at a preschool.

  63. I was going to college to become a respiratory therapist but changed my mind when I witnessed a man die from emphysema.

  64. Plus, watching them intubate people made me gag.

  65. I did get to help do CPR on someone while in the program.

  66. The guy lived! And recovered enough to go home. When someone gets CPR in the hospital, it's not extremely common for them to recover that much.

  67. If I could have any job I wanted, I'd be a midwife.

  68. I think I'd be good at it.

  69. I think I am pretty good at the job I have now.

  70. Now I wish I would have studied Spanish in high school instead of Italian.

  71. I have picked up some Spanish at work. Now I can understand “they stole my car” and “the music is too loud.”

  72. I moved to Arizona from Ohio in 1999.

  73. My last child was born at home, in this home where I live now.

  74. It was on purpose.

  75. If I were to have another baby, which I REALLY don't want to do, I'd have a homebirth again.

  76. My oldest daughter is 21. I can wait for grandkids.

  77. I have 2 cats.

  78. I don't really like cats.

  79. I'm more of a dog person.

  80. I had hamsters and dogs growing up.

  81. I had a dog named Ugly.

  82. I had a dog named Lady.

  83. These two cats are different.

  84. They are both amazing.

  85. Zorro is really my 17 year old's cat. He found the cat at school and his algebra teacher thought of the name.

  86. Chloe is the only one of the cats that hangs out on my laptop.

  87. I do really like my lappy.

  88. I don't think I can go back to sharing a computer with the kids.

  89. My 17 year old has far surpassed me in technogeekiness. Is that even a word?

  90. I love to sing, but I make dogs cry and babies howl when I do.

  91. I think I've always believed in God.

  92. I used God and faith as a crutch for a lot of years.

  93. The biggest lesson I've learned is that God is faithful even when we are not.

  94. I need to be more disciplined about reading the Bible and praying.

  95. I've figured out that a lot of the biggest mistakes I have made in my life (and honey there have been PLENTY!) have been because I didn't understand my value to God.

  96. I've been slowly learning that lesson over the past couple years.

  97. I'm much farther along the road than I was last year at this time.

  98. I can definitely see how God has used evil for good in the situation with my daughter and my husband. I hesitate to claim that too loudly, because she may not feel the same way.

  99. I pray one day my daughter will be able to see that too.

  100. I can praise God, because we are all safer, stronger, and closer to Him.


99th post! Next is 100! For such a rocky start over a year ago, when I rarely posted, I sure did make up for lost time quickly!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Good day

Didn't get out of bed till 10.
Cooked a huge brunch and had all the kids together for a meal, which is kind of rare.
I made eggs, sausage, hash browns, and french toast with caramel sauce, banana slices, and whipped cream... oooooh!
Lounged around till 3ish, then decided to go shopping at an outlet mall about a half hour away.
Was able to get my 17 year old a pair of Levis for $14! They are really nice jeans too. I am so not good at finding good deals, so I was thrilled.
Got my 6 year old a hooded sweatshirt from Gap for $12.
Got my 9 year old a pair of pants for $8.
Got balloons shaped like worms with silly faces on them, and the kids are having a blast with them. Got each of us a chocolate mint truffle. Chocolate mint is my drug of choice - it immediately creates a calm peaceful feeling :D

Tomorrow morning I put the 17 year old and 14 year old on a plane to Ohio for a week. It will be quiet, and I'll spend a lot less at the grocery store, but I will miss them. If you feel inclined to pray for travel mercies, we'd appreciate it. :)

So I see this is going to be an ongoing problem

I'm telling you what - she's lucky she's cute, cuz nobody messes with LAPPY!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday: What I am thankful for this week

I'm thankful for VACATION!!!!!!!! I haven't done a heck of a lot, but I've enjoyed not doing it!

I'm thankful that the kids are on vacation too. Even though they did start school ridiculously early, now they have a 2 week break, which is really nice I have to say. I'm also thankful for good report cards and good behavior reports all around. I was somewhat worried about my 6 year old, but his teacher had nothing but good things to say.

I'm thankful for men in my church who take the time out of their busy schedules to be there on Wednesday nights for the Awana's program. Today I saw my 6 year old walk up to one of the leaders and give him a hug. That man is making a difference in my son's life. Reminds me of that Ray Boltz song from a long time ago... sometimes you don't know the impact you have on someone till you get to Heaven.

I'm thankful that the city did a job study for my job and decided that they aren't paying us enough, so very soon here I will be getting a 5% raise. I'm so thankful for my job, I know it's straight from God's hand. Before I got my job, I had no idea how I'd ever make enought to support my family, but God had an idea. I hope it doesn't sound like bragging, but for someone who didn't finish college and didn't have a whole lot of marketable skills when I was looking for a job, I'm always amazed when I look at my pay stub! Amazed and thankful, because I KNOW it is because of Him that I have my job.

I'm thankful for cooler temps, at least at night. And for the resulting lower electric bills :)

(Oh yeah, I'm also thankful that silly cat finally got off my laptop!!)

Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

Click here for Chrixean's blog

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Forgive me if I don't respond to posts today...

But I seem to be having a little problem....................

Wordless Wednesday

See more at 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Selling Veggies?

As I've mentioned before, I love Veggie Tales! I was excited to hear several weeks ago that Veggie Tales was coming to TV for the first time ever! But now, some people aren't happy about that because NBC apparently won't let them even include the signature Veggie line "God made you special, and He loves you very much!" There was even an article about it on The article says in part:

"VeggieTales" creator Phil Vischer, who was responsible for readying episodes for network broadcast, said he didn't know until just weeks before the shows were to begin airing that non-historical references to God and the Bible would have to be removed.

Had he known how much he'd have to change the show — including Bob and Larry's tagline, "Remember kids, God made you special and he loves you very much," that concludes each episode — Vischer said he wouldn't have signed on for the network deal.

"I would have declined partly because I knew a lot of fans would feel like it was a sellout or it was done for money," he said, adding that "there weren't enough shows that could work well without those (religious) references."

And then in the Big Idea newsletter, it says this:
When we were presented with the opportunity to reach a mass
television audience, we knew that certain religious references
would not be allowed on a children's block under current TV network
guidelines. And we recognized that we were not going to change
the rules of network television overnight.

In light of this, "Can Big Idea continue to fulfill its mission of
enhancing the spiritual and moral fabric of society through
creative media?" became the question we had to answer. Can
VeggieTales make a difference on Saturday morning? We think

Recognizing that we are making a difference to Saturday morning
TV by bringing programming that is "absent of bad and has a
presence of good" to homes across America, would we still prefer
to air the un-edited versions of VeggieTales on TV? Absolutely!
It's there where we're able to share a Bible verse and encourage
kids by telling them God made them special and He loves them very
much. For now, we're hoping a new cross section of kids will fall in
love with Bob & Larry, go deeper into VeggieTales and eventually fall
in love with the God who made them. It's the same "big idea" we've
worked on for over 13 years.
So what do you think? Sell out? Or a good way to get good programming on TV even if some sacrifices are made?

Tell Big Idea what you think.

Who am I? Part 2

I am secure --
I am free from condemnation - Romans 8:1-2
I am assured that ALL things work together for good - Romans 8:28
I am free from any condemning charges against me - Romans 8:31-34
I cannot be separated from the love of God - Romans 8:35-39
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God - 2 Cor 1:21-22
I am hidden with Christ in God - Col 3:1-4
I am confident that God will complete His work in me - Phil 1:6
I am a citizen of Heaven - Phil 3:20
I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind - 2 Tim 1:7
I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need - Heb 4:16
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me - 1 John :18

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Another one of those stories of God's provision and goodness

On a Wednesday in July 2004, the detective working on my ex-husband's case called me and asked me to come down to look at pictures to see if I recognized the child in them, because they had been sent from our computer. I did not recognize her, but on my way out the detective told me something that meant that my husband had taken my daughter to meet a pedophile from the internet in person. He had told me she was not there when they met, so this meant that he lied to me again. I verified the information with my daughter on Friday at her counseling appointment, and on Saturday morning my husband called me on the phone from jail (we were still on somewhat good terms at that point.) The first thing I said to him was "Did you take my daughter to meet that guy in Tucson?" At first he said no, and then when I confronted him with the information I had, he said "Well, he never touched her..." I was SO ANGRY and SO HURT, this man had spent the previous 4 months telling me how honest and upfront he had been with me. This information sent me into a tailspin. I felt like the world had been ripped from under my feet. My two younger kids were the only ones home that day, they were 7 and 4 at the time. I knew I could not stay in the house all day because I would only sit there and cry, and it would not be good for the kids. So finally I decided to take them to the mall, even though I had no money, no job, no prospects, we just needed to get out of the house. My van was low on gas, and I was planning to go to a gas station by the mall, but as I approached, the police had that way blocked off due to an accident. I was running on vapors. There was only one road I could take, and that led into the road around the mall, where there was no gas station, but there was a car wash with a gas pump. I pulled in there, explained I was desperate for gas, and to please let me get gas even though I could not afford a car wash. It was one of those full service car wash places. The attendant agreed to let me get gas, and as I was inside paying, he came up to me and said "We're going to wash your van for you today. No charge." I protested but he would have none of it. He took my keys and said "it will just be a few minutes." Maybe it was obvious that I was in a bad way that day (I hadn't been crying though, so I didn't think it was THAT obvious) or maybe he was an angel. They washed the outside and cleaned and vacuumed the inside, washed the windows, shined up the chrome. I have 5 kids, and so my van did desperately need cleaning. Getting back in that clean van did wonders for my frame of mind, it was such a blessing. In the face of what we were dealing with, a clean van may not sound like much, but you know, it felt like a message straight from God saying "I'm taking care of you, even the little things."

That little thing was so big to me that day, I will never forget the kindness of that attendant, and the goodness of God. And you know what? He definitely HAS taken care of us, in a most awesome way.


Sorry, didn't mean to hurt your ears... yes, I was screaming it! I AM SO GLAD!!!!

Last night was another of those nights. I don't plan on using this space for work stories (and there ARE some interesting ones out there!!!) but this one might give you a clue as to my frame of mind when I left work this morning knowing I DON'T HAVE TO BE BACK FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS!!!!!

Things that crossed my mind, I'll put in [brackets.] This story is of course edited for language that should not be heard by human ears.
Me: 911, what is your emergency?
Caller: Yeah, there are people in a black Expedition or Explorer shooting at cars.
M: Ok, where?
Caller gives the intersection and name of fine upstanding liquor establishment in rough part of town
M: Ok, are they shooting right now?
C: YEAH MAN! They just shot a hole in a black Honda Civic!
M: So they're still there?
C: YEAH MAN!! They're SHOOTING man! You guys need to get here man!

So I question him further, and he says that these people robbed him, pistol whipped him, and shot a hole is his car. His car was the Honda. At first he told me he was still there, then I asked where he would meet the police.

C: NO WAY MAN! I'm not talking to the cops! I don't want to get arrested!
M: Why would you get arrested, they robbed you at gun point.
C: Cuz I'm driving drunk man!
[Oh good grief!]

So I convince him he needs to talk to police, and I ask him where he's going to pull over.
C: Man, I'll just go back to the bar! There better be a cop there when I get there!
M: I don't want you to go to the bar! I want you to find a Circle K or somewhere else where the officers can meet you.
C: No Man [ok, I am decidedly NOT a man!] I'm going back there, and if he's there, man, he's gonna pay for my car! I want my money back!
M: Sir, THEY HAVE GUNS! Do you have a weapon?
C: No man! But I gotta get my money back! They shot my car!!!!
M: But your life is worth more than your money or your car. DO NOT GO BACK THERE!
C: I don't care about my life man! They shot my car! They took my money!
M: I said do not go back there! (as firm and as calm as I could possibly be)
C: I'm already here! There they are!!! They're in a white Expedition....
M: I thought you said they were in a black Expedition
C: They were. Now they're in a white Expedition. Man, I'm going to get my money back!

At this point, he quits talking to me and starts arguing with someone, but leaves the line open so I can hear everything. Oh my poor innocent ears! After a few minutes he gets back on the phone and says:
C: They just pulled a gun on me again!
[Ok, duh, you are calling someone's girlfriend bad names and you know these people have weapons!!! Is it ROCKET SCIENCE?!?]

So he says the suspects left and after a few more minutes the call disconnects. I am NOT calling him back.

About a half hour later....
M: 911, what is your emergency?
C: Yeah, my car was shot at earlier, now I'm following the people that did it. They're in a brown Bronco, and man, they got a rifle! They pistol whipped me and stole my money man! (yes, that's right, it's the same guy.... Can I go home sick now?)
So he's chasing these people, who may or may not be the people that shot his car, but he probably would never know because he's way too drunk! He would ***NOT*** listen to my instructions not to chase, or anything else I had to say. He was deterimined to take it out of someone's hide, and he literally did not care about his own. They finally park, get out of their car, and yes, point a gun at him, because again, he's yelling at them insulting their girlfriends.
[Must. Not. Hope. They. Shoot. Him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]

Now, can you see why I need a vacation?! :D

Note: As one of the officers put it, 80% of the people out there are perfectly nice, responsible human beings. Those people make up about 20% of our callers. The other 20% of the people are the ones who are out there being stupid and failing to recognize their own responsibility for the drama in their lives, and those people make up 80% of our callers. It's the 80% from the 20% that keeps so many of us employed, and the 20% from the 80% that make it worthwhile. And it really is worthwhile.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Link: National Novel Writing Month

Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month? The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel between November 1st and November 30th. What happens if you don't succeed? Nothing. What happens if you do? The thrill of victory, the sense of accomplishment, and all that comes along with knowing you did it! So, I think I'm going to give it a shot!

Anybody want to play along?

Take your Child to Blog day

This weeks Take your Child to Blog Day features my 17 year old son to whom we affectionately call W00t.

He took this picture a couple weeks ago at Colossal Cave. It's one of my favorites from that day.

He also made this awesome mother's day animated card for me a couple years ago. Yes, it's a couple years old, but my heart smiles whenever I look at it again. He's still a 17 year old boy and all that goes along with that place in life, but he's also pretty awesome, he loves the Lord, and I'm so proud of him.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday: What I am thankful for this week

Today, I'm thankful that in 3 days, I will be on vacation for two weeks!

I'm extremely thankful for the resolution of my divorce procedings. As of yesterday, I am officially single again, and it's such a relief. After all that's happened with my daughter's abuse by my husband, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It's a calm and a peace, and a hope, that I haven't felt in a long time. I know God hates divorce, but sometimes He understands.

I'm thankful for my children, who really are wonderful, even if I do yell at them a little too much, and sometimes expect too much. Sometimes I only get 3-4 hours of sleep in any given 24 hour period and that makes me very hard to deal with at times. These kids really do so much more than should be expected of them, and I'm thankful they don't seem to hate me for being such a tyrant at times!

Oh, and did I mention? I'm thankful for VACATION!!!!! VACATION!!!! I'm not excited AT ALL!!!

Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

Click here for Chrixean's blog

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

See more at 5 Minutes for Mom

Monday, September 18, 2006

Another 9/11 memorial project

I thought this was kind of cool, my 9 year old brought it home from school today. It's huge. The stripes are made of cutouts of hands, and on each hand, names of victims of 9/11 are written.

kid brag

My 9 year old is amazing. She just really is. Do you know what this child did over the weekend, without being asked? She cleaned up the yard, pretty much by herself. She pulled weeds, she raked up palm tree mess, she raked up pine needles, she redistributed rocks (gotta love desert landscaping :P) and aside from the 6 year old pulling a weed or two, she did it alone. Without being asked! She took it upon herself to do what needed to be done! I start to wonder what alien abducted my child and replaced her with this... freak of nature... but no, you know what? This is totally something this child would do. Every now and then, she just knocks my socks off with something above and beyond anything I expect from her. She rocks.

Of course, her clothes are still sitting unfolded in the laundry basket I asked her to take care of... But she's not an alien after all :P

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I'm such a junkie...

LOST!!!! I can't wait!!!! This is the ONLY show I watch, but man, I'm hooked :P

But who is Carl?!?!

Who am I?

Sometimes the hardest thing is remembering who I am...

I am accepted---
I am God's child - John 1:12
As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ - John 15:15
I have been justified - Romans 5:1
I am united with the Lord, I am one with Him in spirit - 1 Cor. 6:17
I have been bought with a price and I belong to God - 1 Cor. 6:19,20
I am a member of Christ's body - 1 Cor. 12:27
I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child - Eph. 1:3-8
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins - Col. 1:13-14
I am complete in Christ - Col 2:9-10

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dinner options... or not...

In the middle of making dinner, I realized that someone had broken the bottle of soy sauce that I had, so I had to quickly improvise to make use of the pork and rice I had already cooked for fried rice. As I was pondering this dilemma, sweet wonderful 6 year old Snugglebutt says:

"I know! Lets go out for pizza!"
"Sure, if you are paying for it" I tell him.
He gets all excited and says "Ok! But we have to use your money..."

Wow, is all I can say...LOL

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday: What I am thankful for this week

I'm thankful that my oldest daughter seems to be ok even though the lymph nodes in her neck are swollen beyond belief. All tests have come back normal, so now it just seems to be an annoying mystery! I'm thankful that's she's 21 and pays her own medical bills! :P Umm, did I say that out loud??

I'm thankful that my 9 year old is doing well in the recovery from the abuse she suffered. For right now, she's doing well enough that she doesn't need to be in counseling. We know she will need help again at some point in the future because each new developmental stage brings new understanding and new things to deal with, but for now, she's where she should be. She no longer sees herself as worthless, this is a HUGE thing and a very big blessing.

I'm thankful that God still finds a way to get through this hard head of mine, even if it is freaky dreams that scare the daylights out of me ;)

I'm thankful for a little break today - All of the younger 4 kids are staying after school today, so I have an extra hour and a half to get my wits about me. The bad thing is that I will have to sleep before work and I won't get to see them much today, but the weekend is comming.

I'm thankful I got a little more sleep today than usual. Still not enough, but more than I have been. Working nights is a very big challenge for me right now.

I'm thankful for vacation from work coming up in a week and a half!!! I do love my job, but those vacations are desperately needed!

Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

Click here for Chrixean's blog

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A dream... or something else?

I'm going to attempt to tell this so it makes some sense, but it's a dream after all, and those rarely do...

I've been having some really odd dreams lately, but this one last night has me puzzled. I guess I was reading a book, but it was more like watching a movie. There were these two characters, one was good and the other was bad, trying to harm the good one. They were in some kind of a battle. The bad one was badly scarred from head to toe, as if he had been burned, but worse. He was so scarred, he barely resembled a human anymore. In this battle, the good guy (who was very handsome) began to cut away parts of the scars of the bad guy with his sword. When he did that, the scars were replaced by new, healthy and whole flesh. When the scarred man saw this, instead of welcoming the sight of being healed, he became even more angry. He snarled "Don't do that! I don't want to be healed, I NEED MY SCARS! They are what drive me and give me power! I NEED THEM!!!" The good guy didn't listen, and continued cut away the scars. After an epic battle, the scars were gone, and the guy who once used all his scars and hurts as weapons now had none. All he could do was weep, and admit it was time to let go of his scars. He let the good guy heal him, and was then more powerful than before.

In my dream I closed the book and wept because I knew the book was written for me.

And then when I woke up, I wept for real, as I too have resisted healing because I needed my scars.

Wordless Wednesday

See more at 5 Minutes for Mom

Monday, September 11, 2006

Snaps and snails and puppy dog tails

The 6 year old told me today that he knows how he was made. Now, I've not thought he was ready for the topic of human reproduction just yet, but I have answered whatever questions he has asked, so I was gearing up in my head for THAT conversation. But when I asked him how, he said "first, you get some sugar, because I'm really sweet..."

Hmmm. Indeed. But sometimes it's so hard not to laugh!

"...Then you take some flour, and some water..."
"Flour and water?"
"Yeah, that's for my brain." Really?! Who knew?!
"And then what?"
"Then you gotta add eggs. To hold it all together."
"Makes sense."
"But we can't forget the sour apple and the crab! Because sometimes I'm not sweet at all, and sometimes I'm crabby..."
What an astute observation!
"But those things don't go in my brain."
"No? So where do they go?"
"Remember? I'm a crabby butt!"

Hmmm, maybe this is why I had a hard time in anatomy and physiology!

The 9/11 quilt

These aren't the best pictures, but they're what I have of the September 11th Memorial Quilt. The columns represent the towers of the World Trade center, and the names of the police and fire fighters that died are embroidered on the white pieces that make up the column. You can't tell it from this, but the back drop of the whole thing is an American flag. There is also a plane on there, and the little pieces of colorful fabric on the lower right hand corner of the one picture is to represent debris, of the building, and shattered lives. It's just huge, like more than 10X20, but I don't remember for sure what the dimensions are. It was done by a group called Reap What you Sew out of First Christian Church in Phoenix. It's a quilting group that both teaches and serves - when you make the blocks that they teach, and then donate some back, they make them into quilts for ill children and adults. I'm very happy I got to be even a little part of this very special quilt. I believe it's hanging up somewhere in New York.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

For some reason

my 6 year old is obsessed with getting snow gear. He's been begging me everyday for the past week to get him boots, mittens, a hat, and a winter coat. He had a winter coat that he never got a chance to wear. And he's has hand-me-down boots that he's used to play in around the house. My 6 year old has never seen s*n*o*w. (Can you guess my opinion of the stuff?? It's a BAD 4 letter word that starts with S!) My 9 year old doesn't remember it, as we moved away from the s*n*o*w*belt when she was 2. So my kids are dreaming of a winter wonderland. And I suppose it is sad and pathetic that 2 of my kids have no idea what it's like to freeze certain parts of your anatomy off while building s*n*o*w people. When I worked at the preschool here, in January we'd try to teach the kids about s*n*o*w and ice, and it's kind of hard when most of them have absolutely NO clue that frozen water falls from the sky in certain places. So we have s*n*o*w*ball fights with wadded up white tissue paper. We have them step on paper plates and "ice skate" around the room. We have parents freeze large containers of water and dump them out in the water tables, put mittens on the kids, and let them play. So Snugglebutt is old enough to realize that Flagstaff isn't all that far away, and it s*n*o*w*s there in winter. Ok, there's a REASON we moved somewhere that white stuff doesn't fall from the sky! Ahhh, I think this year, I'm going to have to put myself aside and take the boy to freeze his posterior end off for a few hours. But as I've been typing this out, I think I've figured out why he wants s*n*o*w so bad. I think the boy has spent way too much time reading Calvin and Hobbes ;)

a request from a harried 911 operator

Because I didn't know this before I started working for 911...

If you dial 911, especially on a Friday or Saturday night, and you hear the recording that says "you have reached 911, all lines are busy, please do not hang up..." Please do not hang up! I think people don't realize it, but when they call and hang up, it doesn't hang up for us, and we have to call all of those hang ups back. So not only does it put the person who hangs up farther back in the queue, it also makes the hold time longer because we have to take the time to call all those hang ups back. If the hanger-upper would have just waited, they would have gotten help a lot sooner. It makes everyone else wait longer too. So that heart attack down the street from the shots fired is going to have wait to get help because of all the people calling and hanging up. And then there's the "we call back, but get a busy signal because they are calling us back, but we're so busy that they get the recording again so they hang up, and we have to call them again but get a busy signal because they're trying to call us" thing... I've seen people call 14 times before they actually spoke to someone. 14!!! And by then, we've got officers there because we had to send out the first time we got a busy signal. So for your own safety and that of your fellow citizens, please don't hang up :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

I remember...

Here is what I sent to an email list about 3 weeks after September 11th (edited for some clarification):

The alarm went off at 7am (Arizona time, 3 hours behind eastern time) with the radio playing. The song that came on was Steely Dan "Hey Nineteen." My husband was in the shower, so I just laid there for a few minutes, listening to and enjoying the song. They interrupted it halfway through to say that one of the towers collapsed. They went to CNN feed, and I was really confused. The things I got out of it at that time were that the one tower had collapsed, the pentagon was hit with something, and that all air travel was suspended. My husband came out of the shower, and I told him what happened. He thought I was joking. He listened to the radio for a few minutes, then went out into the living room to turn on the TV. I got in the shower, feeling a little sick to my stomach. A few minutes later, my husband opened the bathroom door and said that planes had crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon, that it wasn't an accident, but a deliberate attack.

I felt sick that whole day, but we've got kids to think of, and I work at a school with a bunch of little kids... so we tried to behave as normally as possible. Of course, on the way to school I had to reassure my stepson that planes were not going to smash into his school and he didn't have to worry. He said "well then, Can I worry for the people in New York?" *sob*
I worked at a preschool at the time. It was one little girl's birthday that day. We knew a lot of horrible things were going on out in the world, but in that classroom, we wished Ryan a happy birthday and sang to her, and pretended that her birthday was the most important thing going on that day.

I remember a few days later when planes started flying again, how surreal it was to see one, when just a few days before it was surreal not to see one. I had nightmares for about a year afterwards of things falling out of the sky. About a year later, I got involved in a quilting group that made a huge huge quilt that was like nothing I've ever seen. It had the names of each police officer and each firefighter who died embroirdered on it. My contribution was stitching about 3 feet of the binding down. I'll have to see if I can find a picture of it somewhere.

Today my 6 year old came home from school talking about that day that he doesn't remember. He asked "can that happen again Mom?" What a tough question for a parent to answer. And if I never hear "Hey Nineteen" again, I won't be sad.

See Rocks in my Dryer for more September 11th memorials.

Take your Child to Blog day

Jennifer at Snapshot suggested these questions to pose to children, because sometimes if you don't ask, you don't know. She also suggested it would be a good idea for Take your Child to Blog Day hosted by Blest with Sons.

So, along with this drawing from the 6 year old Snugglebutt, we have his answers to these questions:

Something I do well is beat my big brother in Super Smash Brothers.

Something I’d like to improve on is my handwriting.

My favorite food is chocolate. (Yes ma'am, that's mah boy!)

Three words that best describe me are fast, smart, lovable.

My happiest moment is hugging my mom. (AWWW!)

The most important thing in my life now is my mom. (Clearly, this boy needs some male influences in his life...)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I must be nuts

Like I need something else to care for... except I can't not care for her, soooo... meet Chloe, who is hanging out with us until/unless we find her family.

Update: Darnit all anyway, this is one of the sweetest cats I've ever seen. She's affectionate and friendly and has a great disposition. We are still a bit nervous after having one kitten die in a very frightening way about 6 months ago, and Snugglebutt had a nightmare that this kitty had a seizure too. So there is still some trauma involved, but we're hopeful that this will be a better experience.

To Let Go

To "let go" does not mean to stop caring, it means I can't
do it for someone else.

To "let go" is not to cut myself off, it's the realization
I can't control another.

To "let go" is not to enable, but to allow learning from
natural consequences.

To "let go" is to admit powerlessness, which means the
outcome is not in may hands.

To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another, it's
to make the most of myself.

To "let go" is not to care for, but to care about.

To "let go" is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To "let go" is not to judge, but to allow another to be a
human being.

To "let go" is not to be in the middle arranging all the
outcomes, but to allow others to effect their destinies.

To "let go" is not to be protective, it's to permit another
to face reality.

To "let go" is not to deny, but to accept.

To "let go" is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to
search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires, but
to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it.

To "let go" is not to criticize and regulate anybody, but
to try to become what I dream I can be.

To "let go" is not to regret the past, but to grow and live
for the future.

To "let go" is to fear less, and love more.

-author unknown

What do you need to let go of?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

If money was no object...

and you didn't want to move, what changes would you make to your house?

I would:
Have my pool totally remodeled to make it a lot smaller and a lot safer (as it is now, it takes up the whole freakin back yard. No room for a fence. And it's old, so therefore a pain in my posterior end. A hole in the ground I throw money into.) Of course, I also wouldn't mind actually having a back yard.

Add an upstairs, with a master suite, complete with jacuzzi.

Tear down the wall between the two existing bathrooms and make it one huge bathroom (keeping in mind there would be a new bathroom in the new upstairs) with door separating the toilet from the rest of the bathroom.

Knock out the wall between the kitchen and... whatever that stupid useless room is. I'd make one huge kitchen (my kitchen is already nice size) and make an island in the middle. I'd move the sliding glass door to the side of the kitchen where the window is now, so that it would open out to the patio instead of right in front of the pool.

And darnit, I'd get rid of this ugly, hard to clean brick on the lower part of my kitchen walls.

It's fun to think about, but really, I'm sure if I had as much money as it would take, I could find a lot of other more important things to spend it on. Like helping people.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006

Such a fun day

We had a wonderful day today. I am off Sundays and Mondays so it was the perfect opportunity to do something with the kids. The oldest (21) had to work, but I took everyone else to Colossal Cave near Tucson. OMGosh we had so much fun. The cave itself was fun, but after that we had a picnic, and walked around the park for a while. The park is very very cool. They have stables so you can go horseback riding, and there is a small museum about the cave and the Civil Conservation Corp that laid the pathways inside the cave. There's a little playground, and a fun house mirror from 1939. That was a HOOT! I swear my kids spent 15 minutes howling at each other! We had ice cream, looked around in the gift shops, then decided to head back home, about little more than a 2 hour drive. The weather was wonderful, not too hot because there was some cloud cover. The cloud cover made things very interesting though, and we got some very cool pictures of the clouds and mountains, really just breathtaking (it was a GREAT day for picture taking!) On our way back, we stopped at an outlet mall, and I picked up some books for the kids. Snugglebutt got a level 3 early reader book about Seabiscuit, and I'm not even exaggerating when I tell you that precisely 17 minutes after we got in the car, he said "that was a good book but it was sad!" Sassy got a book of mad-libs, and that entertained them all the rest of the way home. That was hilarious.

I'm just so impressed with my older kids. My oldest son (I'll call him W00t, he goes around saying that all the time!) is 17 and never once said this is lame, I wanna be with my friends. (He did however occasionally look at his cell phone and sigh because there was no service where we were! :P) He laughed and had fun and helped with the picnic, and he really got into the picture taking. DQ too, she had a great time too. I wouldn't blame either of them if they didn't want to go, but I am so happy they did.

We really needed to get out of the house for a while :)

And the best part? I won't have to scrounge around for pics for Wordless Wednesdays, because now I have a *TON* of really good ones (including the pictures above.) Yes, I am that messed up, that I kept thinking "that will be a good one for the blog..."

Sweet things kids say

I don't want to divulge my kids names on my blog, or post pictures of their full faces. Part of that is because of what we went through during the abuse of my 9 year old. People were being sent pictures that were totally G rated snap shots, and making them into sexual things. As a result, I don't want my kids images or identities out there in cyberspace. So I'll come up with nicknames for them. I still have to come up with something for the oldest two, but the 14 year old is DQ, for Drama Queen. I don't mean this in a negative way, she's in theater at school, and she was the white witch last year in her school's play. She is known for her over the top performance and vocal projection *ahem*. The 9 year old, I'll call Sassy. Only because when she was a baby, that's how she said her name when she first learned to say it. And well, it DOES fit. The 6 year old boy, I'll call him Snugglebutt. He has not outgrown climbing up in my lap and snuggling with me. Praise God.

So, Snugglebutt has been listening at school, at least a little bit. Yesterday he said to me "Tomorrow is the day we celebrate the workers! We're going to celebrate you!" I thought that was very sweet :D So then he said "So mom, will you take me to the store so I can buy you a cake? And can I borrow some money?" Love that boy!

We're headed out to Colossal Cave for the day, so time to get off my posterior end... Happy Labor Day :)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

It IS enough...

Ok, so, this compassion problem of mine... I've been having a hard time praying about it, probably because I knew I was in the wrong. It was this big huge thing I couldn't get past and my attitude stunk. I was pretty much refusing to let go of this attitude, because it kinda felt good. Righteous indignation and all that. Except, it wasn't righteous.

So last night at work, I was reading a book. A fiction book, Church Ladies by Lisa Samson. (YES, I do read other authors, but I REALLY like her style of writing, it just strikes a chord with me.) So in this story, the main character, Poppy, is feeling all guilty and having a hard time letting that go. Her friend said something to her about how by taking that guilt back it was like telling Jesus that the cross was not quite enough of a sacrifice. OUCH. I've been doing the same thing by holding on to anger about certain things. Christ's cross was not just for my sins, it was for my daughter being sexually abused. It was for the guy who raped my other daughter's roommate, should he ever choose to accept it. It was for all those sins that have caused so much hurt. I've been so arrogant in my attitudes towards those people. Vengence is not mine, only I was trying to take it anyway...By holding on to these attitudes, I've made my own views on these people more important than Christ's view. I have trivialized Christ's sacrifice on the cross because of my own arrogance and pride.

That change of heart I was looking for in my last post on the subject? I think this may be it. God is SO good.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

What kind of blogger are you?

I thought this was great!

From Ragamuffin Soul :

So I have been catching a vibe lately around the blogoshphere. There are camps forming. A few camps.

The Evangelists
These are the zealots. They preach blogging like Salvation may be found. They check their stats a few times a day. They blog multiple times a day. They convert one new blogger a day. A lunch will not be had without some pitch about blogging being able to change ones life. From the very core. They know more about your life than you do. They Digg everyday. They YouTube everyday. They comment on 20 blogs at a time in order to stay in the loop. They read blogs only in RSS readers. More than likely, they have had a marital argument about blogging. I am one of these.
Hello. My name is Carlos. And I’m a Blogger.

The Believers
These are the blogging faithful. They believe that there is TRUE community in this stuff. They post almost everyday. They comment a lot. They try to grow their blogs. They try to actually have relationships. They pick up the phone and CALL other bloggers. They see the future of communication existing in a large way through blogs. Probably to their fault. But none the less, they blog. Their motto is, “Blogging is fun, Blogging is phat, Link to me, and I’ll link you back.”

The Seekers
These are the back row Baptists. They are blogging every couple of days. They look at the blogging believers like they are nuts. They play it safe and keep it pretty narrative in their posts. They wonder what is it about this blogosphere that can help them. They definitely don’t want to be like the Evangelists, but maybe becoming a believer wouldn’t be so bad. They READ blogs daily. Searching. For something. They feel involved when in “Blogging Conversations”. They don’t think blogging is fun. They still have a MySpace. It is almost a chore. But they blog.

The Lost
These are the ones who still ask…”Whats a Blog?”

The Atheists
These are the ones who feel persecuted by the bloggers. “Why must they (bloggers) ALWAYS talk about it? They must have watched You’ve Got Mail one too many times.” They will NEVER blog. They will NEVER read a blog. They make fun of all who do. They make me nervous.

Me? I'm a Believer! (why do I have a sudden urge to sing Monkee's songs?)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Take your Child to Blog day

From 14 year old DQ (Drama Queen - really, she played the White Witch in her schools production of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe) This is her very own creation - she took the picture and did the photo editing.

And from 9 year old Sassy, a poem:

I hate it I hate it I tell you
It's so boring and dull too
All subjects and predicates and things
What stupidity it brings
My teacher says it will help
But all it does is make me yelp
I hate it I hate it I tell you
But what can I say, it's my English homework

For more Take your Child to Blog posts, visit Blest with Sons

I hafta laugh!

Ok, so in this accident I was in, the damage was in the front end, and they had to replace the hood of the car. It was supposed to have been ready yesterday, then they said they had to take it to the dealership to get something with the airbag fixed that was a dealer issue. So the dealer fixed that, and fixed something else that was under warranty, and returned it to the collision repair facility with a brand new........................

Dent on the hood!

Now they have to fix the new dent and it won't be ready until Tuesday at least. Oh well, at least I'm not paying for it! Or for the rental car :)

Have you seen this?

Pretty clever!

Feels like Saturday

My kids don't have school today, so it feels like Saturday to me. The bad thing is, I didn't have the night off last night, and I don't tonight, so I need to sleep. How well do you think that will work with a 6 year old, a 9 year old, a 14 year old and a 17 year old roaming around the house? I'm thinking drugs might be helpful. For them, not me. (I'm KIDDING!) I stopped and got some ear plugs on the way home from work, so we'll see if that helps. The biggest problem is that I wake up (even without noise) look at the clock and panic because I think I'm supposed to be somewhere doing something and I've missed it because I was asleep. Repeat 3-4x a day.

Last night I was really thinking I should look for a job where I didn't have to work nights, and then I looked at my pay stub and realized that it may be rough, but they really do compensate me well. And that 4.5% cost of living raise that just took effect didn't offend me either. And I also remember that the REASON I work nights is so I can take my kids to school, pick them up from school, cook dinner for them, and help them with their homework. Any other shift, and any other job, I'd be sacrificing something in that list. Maybe when the younger ones are older, but now, I'll keep doing what I'm doing. I really do believe it's where God wants me to be.