Saturday, December 22, 2012

Year 2

Its been 2 years since our dear Sebrena died.  There is not a day that goes by that I do no think about her.  Most of the time I think about her with out tears.. Sometimes the tears are there.

The kids are getting big.  Rocco is way too big for you to pick up and dance around with.  Cookie & Dolly are such a joy to be with and every so often Noahkeem asks about you.  Usually questions that I can't answer. 

2 days ago at work someone made hot chocolate in  a crockpot.  I didnt have any.  I was told  it was way too chocolately.  All I could think about was the time when you made that infamous hot chocolate for me.  You swore it was the best because you got the cocoa powder from Ghana.  So I drank it and it reaked havoc on my stomach!  Im laughing now but, it wasn't funny then.  It was soooo chocolately I knew the moment I drank it that it was going to upset my stomach.  It was  still  nice of you to offer me your best hot chocolate. 

I have to say, I  miss you dear Sebrena.  I wish that I could see you again, sooner rather than later.  I wish that I were shopping for an outfit to wear to your New Year's after party.  I wish the phone would ring and it would be your voice on the other end.  Every once in a while I listen to your voice message and read the last texts you sent... Just to keep you close. 

So here I sit wiping away my tears and about to start my day.. with thoughts of you. Thankyou for touching our lives.  You are so loved and missed by so many.  You will always be in my heart.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

1 month later

Its been exactly one month since my last post.  I decided not to drop off the blogsphere completely but  trying to figure out a way to blog the happiness of life at least once or twice a week. 

Thankfully, I found my camera's charger so hopefully I will be able to post some new pics of my world with all this free time I have on my hands.  Until then I'll be consulting with  Santa, packing lunches,  and  tying shoe laces.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6

I think Im all blogged out.  I dont know how long I will continue to post here-if anywhere. 

I only have only one thing to say about November 6th.  I hope that all of us that voted , voted our consciences not party lines or skin color.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Storm.

We survived  the effects of  Hurricane Sandy passing through.  I wish I could say the same thing about New Jersey & New York.  I watched the news in disbelief as I saw familiar places flash on the screen. All of which were devastated by the storm.  I couldn't believe the amount of flooding. I couldn't believe the amount of homes damaged.  I can't begin to imagine the lives  shaken by Hurricane Sandy.

Tonight my heart goes out to so many without power and now without homes.  My heart goes out to those whose lives have been turned completely upside down due to the flood waters.  My prayer tonight is that God will give direction as people begin to rebuild their lives, businesses and towns.  My prayer tonight is that  God will give hope to those who lost it and give courage and strength to all as they navigate through the aftermath of the storm.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Need Him?

As I walked Jaime tonight, I could hardly believe that November is right around the corner.  It felt good to slip on my flip flops and walk down the street and take in the fresh night air.  Everything seemed so peaceful.

There were no stars in the sky.. but there were plenty of clouds.  Often when we walk,  somewhere between random thoughts, I talk to God.  I talk to Him as if He were outside looking down on me as I walk.  I talk to Him as if He were right beside me  walking to.  I talk to Him as if  His arm is around my shoulder.  I talk to Him as if He were the only one outside.  To me He is.

Each time I walk out the door, for our early morning walk, I imagine that before I open the door, He is on the other side, waiting to walk with me.  And for those 20 or 30 minutes, as I am walking, talking, praying, confessing, crying, and sharing my dreams with Him, I feel in my heart that I have His full attention and nothing else in the world matters to Him except for me.  But He is so brilliant that while His eyes are on me and His ears are listening to me, He is holding the rest  of the world in His hands and attending to the cries of others...but not once does He look away from me.

Each time, I feel the wind gently blow, It reminds me that He is still there listening.  So I continue to walk and talk.    I talked to Him today about "healing".   How is it that healing can seem so complete and at the same time still need His touch because there is still something left behind? I thought about how I thought something must've been off  with me if  the healing that I experienced somehow seemed incomplete.

But I know that  healing is a process. Sometimes it's instant and sometimes it's not.  Regardless of  what it looks like, He will always be Healer and will show up as Healer as many times as He needs to. 

I thought about how He uses pain, in many forms to draw us to Him. I think  He uses pain as a means for us to get to know Him.   There is something about pain that allows us to experience His love and presence more deeply than we do when pain isn't pressing in on us.  There is something about pain that causes us to cry out to Him in sincerity with a loud or sometimes quiet desperation that says, "Father! I need You"

Does God long for us to say we need Him especially if we are self-reliant types?  Does He long for us to say we need Him so that He can step in and do for us what we can not do for ourselves? Does He long for us to just let Him be released of trying to do His job? Does He just long to be needed by us in the middle of our pain or while we are waiting to be healed?  Does He want to just hear us say, "I need you"?

I came in from our walk with  the lyrics of a song by Josh Wilson on my  mind.  The same song came to mind this morning.   The lines that stood out for me were: 

                                            "Why in the world did I think I could
                                             Only get to know you when my life was
                                             When everything just falls in place 
                                             The easiest thing is to give you praise

                                              Now it all seems upside down
                                             'Cause my whole life is caving in
                                              But I feel You now more than I did then
                                              How can I come to the end of me

                                              And somehow still have all I need?
                                              God, I want to know you more
                                              Maybe this is how it starts
                                              I find you when I fall apart..."

Tonight I  will rest in my safety net.  I choose to close my eyes and be still and know that He is God.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Can you read my blog from Heaven?

Dear Sweet Sebrena,

Happy Birthday.  Today we had gorgeous weather in our little part of the world.  I am sure if you were here right about now, you would be throwing some kind of shin dig to celebrate you...or someone would be throwing one for you.  The kids would have made all kinds of homemade gifts for you.  You all would have laughed and hugged  and they would hold on tight on purpose when you tried to let go.

I sometimes imagine that you are on vacation and you just haven't called because you're busy.  I sometimes imagine that you are going to call and say, "I was only joking, I really didn't die".  But I know deep down inside, that you are not here and that your not coming back.  I have always felt you  left this earth a little too soon.

I have never stopped thinking about you since you died.  Sometimes I laugh out loud with thoughts of  you.  Sometimes I'm just sad and wished you were here.   I wished you were here to see Dolly today. She was headed to a birthday party this morning.  She put on one of her Sunday dresses that she HAD TO wear, she put on her gold sparkly shoes, and a special necklace.  Before we left, she came over to me batting her lashes and  asked, "Do you like my make up?"  The girl had lavender eyeshadow on!  And lots of it.  (above her eyes and on her cheeks!).  Of course, I told her I liked it. (I had to at least take it off her cheeks).   I asked her who put her make up on and she said she did, and Noahkeem helped. I'm guessing he put the eye shadow on her cheeks.  Its funny things like that I wish you were here for.  

Every once in a while I play back my saved voice mails just to hear your voice.  As I listen, it feels as if you never left.  Every once in a while, we watch our home movies and there you are, saying something funny or doing something crazy on camera.

As time has passed the the pain of your death doesn't sting as much. Today I'm not sad, yet I still miss you.

I have stopped asking why.  I have stopped asking why you died so suddenly.  I have stopped asking  why your life was so short.  I have stopped asking if something could have been done differently.

It's okay that I don't have those answers.  What I do know is that I have never stopped loving you and never will.

Happy Birthday Sebrena. You're always in my heart.  


Thursday, October 18, 2012


Its been an entire week since my last post.  Over the last week, Dolly's tooth finally came out.. She has no idea what happened to it.  She noticed after snack time when she went to suck on her fingers, her loose tooth wasn't there.  I suspect she swallowed it during snack time.

Somewhere between homework and going to work, I forgot to leave her money under her pillow.  Strangest thing: she never asked why the tooth fairy never came.  I'll have to make sure the "tooth fairy" makes it up to her.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The smell of home made goodness

I got my new blades for my Zojirushi (Bread maker).  I was so excited to use it.  The first year that I had my bread machine I probably bought bread no more than 5 times the entire year !   I was turning out 2-3 loaves a week because no sooner than the loaves cooled, they were gone.

I was a little rusty on how to use the timer function.  There have been times where I have miscalculated what time I wanted the bread done by, only to have it  be finished at 2 in the morning.   Being the smart cookie that I am,  before leaving for work, I loaded all the ingredients in, I reread the timer section of the instruction manual, counted how many there are from 6:30-4:30, entered that in on the little screen on the maker and kept my fingers crossed.

When I got home a little  before 4:30 and opened the front door, it hit me....the smell of fresh baked bread!  My Zojirushi was here working away while I was work, Mixing the ingredients, forming the dough,  kneading it, letting it rise, kneading it again and finally baking it--all without my help.  

Thanking God this evening for the gift of modern technology.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1

I had every intention of loading up on construction paper on last Thursday to start our thankful tree project.  Instead I found myself once again in the E.R. battling what I thought was an ear infection.  Long story short,  I felt worse leaving the E.R. than I did going. I am happy to  report that  today  that  my ear is not as clogged as it was last week and voices are less muffled.  Does this mean I have to act like I really hear people  now?

And of course when we don't feel well we don't feel like doing a whole lot so blogging has not been at the top of my list.   Noahkeem has joined me in the "not feeling  100%" club and came home early today because of tummy trouble.  Dolly on the other hand is keeping busy playing with her loose tooth.  The excitement never ends.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Fall is finally here.  I'm exited to take my crew on a hay ride and buy pumpkins.  Fall used to be filled with tons of activities and school work centered around that theme when we were homeschooling.  All is not lost. There is a project/craft that I still plan on doing.

Each Fall- usually around Thanksgiving, we make what we call a "Thankful Tree"  We take construction paper of yellow, orange brown, green, and trace our hands.  After we cut out our tracings, we get a marker and write down one thing we are thankful for. These are the 'leaves' for our tree.  I then take brown construction paper and make a tree trunk and branches.  After that is tacked on a wall or the front door, we then attach our leaves to the branches.  Its become our little fall tradition over the years.  Its been a great reminder to be thankful even for the little things.

I'll have to post pictures when our project is done.  Happy Monday & Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Cookie's volley ball team had their first game of the season today.  The other 3 little people were excited about sitting in the bleachers and stomping around as they cheered.  I was just happy to be there (and yes, I drove in the  rain to get there with 5 minutes to spare).

When Cookie was  a baby, some days seemed so long.  It seemed like certain stages would never end.  Now here she is, in the 7th grade, on a volley ball team. She's hardly a baby anymore.  Where did the time go? How did it pass so quickly? 

She often reminds me how she will be driving in x amount of years, and how she will probably be going to college in x amount of years.  When she does this, we have a little laugh and joke around about how she will soon take over the grocery shopping and take me and the rest of the kids places we want to go.

We joke about how when she graduates from college, I will come to her place to see her every weekend... that probably wont happen.

Yet when she is not around, I think to myself, "have I taught her all the things she needs to know before she leaves home?", "What other things do I want her to know before she leaves home?"  "Does she know she can always return home if she needs to?" "Does she know how much I love her and how I am for her?".

"Have I been a good mom to her?"

Time is a mysterious thing.  Some days just seem to stand still. Yet at the same time the years fly by.

 What will I do with the rest of my time?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What's the Word?

I've been thinking a lot about words.  Words are powerful.  They can give hope.  They can inspire.  They can give insight and clarity.

Words can cut down, discourage, and rob.  Words can break one's spirit.

What have I been told about the words we use? 

Words are like squeezing all of the toothpaste out of the tube and trying to put it back in....if the words we use are ones we regret.

Words are like opening a goose down pillow and shaking all of the feathers out while standing on the roof of a building.  Then imagine a  a strong wind rolling through that blows all of those feathers around town. Imagine trying to gather every single one of those feathers and trying to fill the pillow case again.  That's what gossip and hurtful words are like. You can never gather all of the words back again.

Words are like a runner on the last leg of a race.  A runner who is out of breath and sore from running. A runner who is sweating and is doubting they can make it to the finish line but,  then a second wind kicks in.  The runner not only crosses the finish line, but  does 10 more laps around the track.  That's the power of words. Words that encourage and spur one on to greatness.

How will we use our words today?  Will we build up or cut down? Will we breathe life or spread death? Will our words inspire or discourage?

What will we do with the power we possess in words?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Remembering 9/11

I didn't realize that tomorrow will be September 11th until I heard someone mention it on the radio.

I thought back to how a normal 20 minute commute into Manhattan turned into an 8 hour ordeal of my husband trying to get home on that very scary day.  I remember calling him and telling him what was going on  and telling him to get near a tv @ his office.  I remember him calling me and telling me that he was going to try to come home.  I remember the next call from him telling me that he and a mass of people were trying to walk to the George Washington Bridge to get to our side but, the city shut the bridge down.  

 I remember when he finally made it home.

News broadcast after news broadcast flashed the horrific images across the screen and  each time I watched I was horrified.   I couldn't even wrap my brain around  the fact that another plane went down that day, increasing the lives lost.

I remember going to Weehawkin, NJ and standing on the pier and watching the smoke billowing even 2 weeks after the tragedy.  I remember feeling sick at the thought of how many people loss their lives.

I thought back to how my husband proposed to me at  the World Trade Center Marriott and how  it's no longer there.  For many years, I wondered whether or not  everyone made it out  of the hotel before it collapsed. Or if some loss their lives while sleeping or in the shower-unaware of what was going on around them. 

I remember the day I finally went back  into Manhattan.  I recall  seeing  so many  memorials, flowers candles, letters and cards that covered the sidewalk and  wrought iron gates of  St. Paul's Chapel near Ground Zero.

I was speechless with  grief and could not stop my tears no matter how hard I tried.

I can't even imagine the grief of those who lost someone they loved that day.  I can't imagine how they did life through the grief.

I can't imagine how some did not get a chance to say good bye or I love you.

I can't imagine how quickly or slowly the victims entered into eternity. 

I can't imagine boarding a plane, or going to work, never to return.

I can't imagine deciding to jump out of an office building window, because the thought of burning to death or dying in the collapse of a very hot, fiery, dark smoke filled building  was the lesser of the tragic ways to die.

I can't imagine being trapped and surrounded by screams for help.

I can't imagine calling my family to say goodbye and hoping that  the call doesn't go to voicemail.

This September 11th I will be thanking God, for the gift of life, praying for His continued protection for my country and those that I love. I will be  praying for those still grieving, and praying for our enemies.

This day we will never forget.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Its Official!

A pic of the house one of us took from the car window
We got an offer on the house a little over a  week ago.  Its the 2nd offer in almost a year... sounds bad right?  I was a little excited and a little not so excited.  Its been a rough year struggling to keep it clean and in order, and rushing around to tidy everything up prior to a showing.  It has stressed me out to no end trying to figure out where to move to, and what place would accommodate all of us.

Its been nothing less than emotional as I have recounted so many celebrations, first words and steps that have taken place here. I've been saddened at the possiblity that those were last celebrations here.

Part of me  has been hopeful for a new beginning somewhere. Yet the waiting game, and the stress of the last past year has worn me out.  I got sick of talking about my house, so I  stopped talking about it.  I got tired of blogging about it, so I stopped blogging about it.  But I never stopped wondering, never stopped asking God all of the questions that have seemed to have gone unanswered. When, Why, How, Where?

My heart broke last spring when Noahkeem came home from school with a branch from a Dogwood tree that he was given to plant.  Week after week, he would beg me to plant it. I told him I would.  He eventually told me that it was going to die and was angry at me. When he wasn't around I burst into tears because I wanted to plant the little tree for him, but, felt like the yard was no longer mine, because the house was on the market and I couldn't plant a tree not knowing when we would move.  I couldn't bear the thought that the tree would blossom every Spring and he nor I  would be here to enjoy it.  I couldn't bear the fact that whoever was going to buy the house would be able to see this tree, that my son and I planted and probably could care less about it  and think that it was just an ordinary tree and not a tree that my little boy rushed home to give to me during a low point when my life was falling apart quicker than I could hold it together.

With  an ongoing  conversation with God, tears, requests for prayer, consultation & deep conversations over the last past year, we have made a major decision.  We have decided to start over again. With faith in one hand, and a paint brush in the other we are staying  in our house.

Friday, September 7, 2012

First week update

  • We got  the first week of school down.  One full week to come starting Monday. 
  •  Each day this week my feet hurt.  I spent plenty of time running and "capturing" my little students that have a habit of  running away.  So not used to this since I have been working with middle-schoolers for the most part since I began working. 
  • The chickadees had a great first week of school.  Noahkeem keeps begging to go to aftercare.  And he wont stop asking about it!
  • I bought 3 "packages" of Chips Ahoy cookies- because they were on sale and I lost  all 3 of them!
  • I have to figure out how to balance chores, dinner, activities, and work.
  • I was just notified that Monday is Grandparents Day @ the kids school (for Dolly & Nicole).  If you don't have a grandparent  you can bring a parent or special person. They both have their own ideas about who they want there. Unfortunately, I'll be @  work.
  • I now understand why Noahkeem always wanted to bring lunch from home.  School lunch looks nasty. (Not to mention served on styrofoam- which always has  freaked me out). 
  • Today they (my school)  served "ocean catchers" (their version of fish sticks), collard greens- looked okay but, didn't try  them and cornbread.
  • Yesterday's school lunch was a "chicken" patty.  No explanation necessary.
  • I still don't miss meat.
  • The mountain of laundry grew immensely even though all of us were gone this week. Does that mean I actually have to attack it?
Looking forward to a quiet weekend. I might even sleep late on Sunday. Wondering what the end of next week will look like.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 3

It's the third day of school. So far so good. Noakeem was a little shocked that you had to pay for lunch. The school takes orders for Hardees, Chic-fil-let and a couple other local small restaurants. (This is the school lunch program).  I guess this means that at least one of the four is looking to get a juicy hamburger with fries on the side instead of what I'm packing them. Maybe I should treat them  all  to school lunch on Friday.

Dolly told me that she likes school but, does not like aftercare. She said that it wasn't like her class, it's boring.  Usually if something is boring, (by her standards), she tells me.  I told her that because I work, and kindergarten gets out at 12:15, I couldn't pick her up.

I wished for a split second that I had someone I could pay to pick her up and keep her until the rest of us got home. For a  half a second mother-guilt rushed in, and then rushed out.  I don't have a choice but to work, and I know that she is in good hands at her new school.  I guess aftercare is just another one of those things she we both have to get used to.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

School Days

I'm proud to announce that everyone had a great 1st day of school.  I went through the back packs signed permission slips (already), signed planners, and  filled out more forms.  I'm dog tired and feel like I can crash any moment now.  Once we get used to our new schedule, things won't seem so much like a major juggling act. I'm too tired to give any details. Let's just say we had a good day and I'm one tired momma.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Light Confessions

I've said so many time before --perhaps to myself or to others that my blog has changed into something different.  I find myself blogging less about my little people and more about the the thoughts in my head.  The thoughts that run around, the thoughts that quickly pass, the thoughts that  flash across my mind, the thoughts that slowly make their way across my mind as if doing a very slow back stroke.

I have some confessions today, nothing really deep.

  • I'm hardly a stay at home mom anymore.  Working full time this school year.

  • I used to think that people that live near the beach are happier than others.  Then I realized they just live near the beach and they are just people.

  • I don't home school anymore. I'm okay with that.  The truth be told we all home school our kids by what we model or don't model.
  • I'm not sorry for not being perfect.  Please don't require me to be.
  • Christmas time usually overwhelms me.
  • I hate the time line look of Facebook, I never wanted a timeline, Its confusing to me and it looks like the time line blocks of info are swimming around on the page. Now that Facebook has officially overwhelmed me, I'm thinking that  I just might yank my Facebook page/account down and disappear from Facebook land.  That feeling might change bu tomorrow. .   I rarely update anyway.. I tend to lurk and check up on a couple of people, look at their pictures and status updates.  
  • Facebook is a strange world.  I'm starting to think that the posts and the pics are probably more fun than one's  reality really is.  Its sad that we don't call each other as much or venture to snail mail. We facebook each other.  I'm beginning to feel its to much for me. I sad.
  • Ive started giving out my home number. This way if my cell phone rings, I know its someone I want to talk to. My special people have a special ring,  that probably will never change.
  • I can go  through the day without lipstick or lip gloss and still have a good day.

  •  I miss Sunday Morning coffee. I sometimes want to sneak out of service and go down the hall and get a cup and comeback when Ive finished the very  last drop. 

  • If its raining and I'm driving, I'm either trying to get home or going the extra mile for someone I love. People that know me know I hate driving in the rain.

  • I have no interest in Pinterest.  As a matter of fact Pinterest and magazines like Pottery Barn, make me wish for a perfect life and house that doesn't exist.  And it only leads me down a path of wanting stuff that I don't need but, want anyway because I think it would look great in my house but, deep down I know that its overpriced and is not built as well as they would have you think but,  what the heck? Its pottery barn.  Still  plan on using my mega Pottery Barn store credit sometime before Christmas.

  • I wish someone told us that we are not our possessions before we started accumulating them.
  • Sometimes when given the choice between  paper or plastic@ the store, I opt for paper just to  change things up for the baggers.

  • I probably won't ever make everyone happy.   I'm okay with that.  Are they?
  • I haven't eaten meat in 1 month.  I don't miss it.

  • I flip my pillow to get to the cold side.  There are many people who do this. Through a series of random conversations, Im slowly finding out I'm not the only one.
  •  I waited my whole life being mother.  I loved being pregnant, but, I don't miss it - at least not today. 
  • Butterflies are the only insects that make me smile.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


After college, I had no intention of returning home. I was done with being at home and ready to be an adult (so I thought) and get far away from where I grew up.   I got a job working  at the corporate headquarters of a bank, as a credit rep processing retail credit card applications.  I banked every paycheck  and found a great apartment a month before my last semester in college ended. 

I was so proud of myself.  I felt so accomplished, so free and so full of myself! Not a single care in the world.  My plan was on point and I made it out of school with zero student loans (thanks to my hard working mother).  I was happy to be 20 minutes outside the buzz of Manhattan and not  back in my hometown where I felt there was nothing for me.

But now many years and 500 miles later, I want to go home. Just for a quick minute. Not for a super extended stay.   I cant imagine that what I feel is homesickness because it hasn't been home for me for so many years. Does that really matter?

Does time and distance erase the connection that we have with a place that was such a huge part of us? With a place that helped shape us into who we are today? Does time and distance make us forget the negative experiences, the places that gave us a sense of peace, people that made us laugh, people that disappointed  us, people that took care of us?

Will going home make me appreciate where I am from and where I am now? Will going home make me want to hurry back to the place I now call home?  Will going home answer my questions or create new ones? 

Maybe I'm homesick...maybe not.  There's only one way to find out.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why I missed Wordless Wednesday

Yesterday I missed Wordless Wednesday. I got up a little later than usual and Jaime would not go to the bathroom  right away while on our walk and  I ran out of time to post my pic because I had to go to 'work'.  So it was her fault.   I had a really good pic to post that I took several years ago on one of my many trips up Rt 13.  I guess I'll have to save it for the next Wordless Wednesday.

Yesterday was  my last day of training before work starts next week.  After training I visited the school I'll be  working at,  to introduce myself  to my new teachers (I'll be working with 3 teachers) and to read the students plans and files that I will be working with.

This year, I will be working with elementary school age students and from what I found out, I will have some biters, kickers, punchers, & spitters.  It's better that I know this going in than to be surprised when I arrive.  I am excited and a tad bit nervous.

This year,  everyone will be out the door to school and we are shutting the doors to our "home-school". Most of the crew is happy about the transition.   I have mixed emotions but more than anything I feel  that the school we found is a great fit for our family.

I'm excited to see where this bend in the road will  lead us and who we will meet along the way.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yesterday was my first official day back to work.  8 hours of training at the convention center.  My brain was a little fried by the time I got home and now I'm preparing to do it all again.

Shortly after getting home all of us were in the car heading to orientation for Rocco,Noahkeem, and Dolly.  I found out that Dolly has to wear a "uniform" of some sort, which I thought I read the exact opposite in the student hand book.

 I kept asking myself, "Really?" 

It got to the point where I nissed some of the things that were being said during the meeting because my mind was was bent toward remembering what I read in the hand book and I knew that I did not read anything about uniforms for Kindergartners. I have yet to check my hard copy.

I don't think I had one moment yesterday to think any thoughts that belonged to me except:
  • I'm hungry.
  • I really wanted to go to another session.
  • How long til the break?
  • Is it raining outside?
  • What are the kids doing?
  • Am I going to pass the assessment test?
  • What will my new students be like?
If you asked me what I learned yesterday, I can only say I learned a lot about relationships and crisis intervention.  If you ask me in a couple days, I probably could give you more details.  Sad to say.....or maybe not so sad to say, only 2 things stood out for me the entire day.

                            "When people don't feel safe they manipulate people and places".

The other thing is what I realized on my drive home from orientation, the last thing I thought about before I went to sleep last night, and the first thing that I thought about when I woke up this morning:

                                                           I am redeemed.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shoe shopping day

The littles are back in town, and the volume in the house is cranked up again.  Of course I was happy to get all of my hugs and hear about how exciting their vacation was.  From what I heard there was some shopping, lots of laughs, and swimming. Noahkeem was sure to tell me that he swam in the pool without a noodle & he swam  in the  deep end . Huge accomplishment for him!

Dolly complained that she had nothing to drink in the car the entire ride home. She reminded me of this periodically through the day each time she would have something to drink or when she was thirsty.  Poor girl, right?  She was really milking it.

Cookie had a  belated birthday skating party/sleepover last night--even after being in the car half the day traveling back home. Pick up time is in less than one hour.  Needless to say, no guests have been downstairs today, I guess they are still knocked out. Does this mean I don't have to cook breakfast?

As soon as her friends leave we are hightailing it to a few shoe stores.  Noakeem & Dolly have the honor of being in a wedding in about 8 days and the shoes are the last thing I have to get-at least for them anyway.

  Shoe shopping is always interesting for us.  We end up trying on a whole lot of shoes, some one always wants more  pairs than we came  to get, and somewhere along the way I loose the "Mom of the Year" award because I either didn't get the cool impractical shoes they wanted or I end up having to threaten them with early bedtime or loss of privileges.

But for the most part, they usually behave when we go shopping.  I really should'nt complain.  Instead I'm keeping my fingers crossed and trying to make it back home before lunch time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A place called home

I told myself that I wouldn't blog about the saga of selling this house and so I stopped blogging about it.  Right now, I have to blog about it.  We lowered our price---again!  I can't say I have mixed emotions because I know what emotions I have and they are not mixed.

I high tailed it yesterday and cleaned and picked up the house as fast as I could for 2 hours straight (with one iced tea break).    As I was cleaning tubs and wiping down counter tops, I thought to myself "Man, its been really hard keeping the house in showable condition with four kids, and the kids aren't even here now and it's still hard".

As I wiped down the mirrors (7 in total but I forgot to clean 4 of them... do the math), I thought I really need to revisit the flylady and get back on schedule with cleaning and maintaining until we sell. 

I was hoping that since it was the first buyer to come through since we lowered our price that they would submit an offer but, no deal.  The agent texted us and said that they buyer didn't like the lay out of our house.  That was putting it nicely.. I'm sure he/she had more to say than that.

So no deal. Bummer.  People keep telling me that if the Lord wanted me to move it would have happened already.  People keep telling me that things will  work out ...somehow... someday.  Then others just listen and don't offer any consolation.. and believe it or not, I kind of like that sometimes.

I am not sad, or worried.. I actually feel at peace- despite the reality.  I still have a place to lay my head at night, a beautiful lake to enjoy, and a place to call home.  No matter where this chapter takes me, I know that somehow, God will always take care of me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pursuing peace with a book of stamps

I'm always telling the kids to say sorry to one another when they wronged the other person.  It usually goes like this " I'm sorry ___________".

Then I ask "For what?"

Then they say, "I'm sorry ________ for ___________. Please for give me".   Sometimes this is accompanied by rolling of the eyes.

The other person usually says, "I forgive you".  The other person sometimes cuts off the other and says "I forgive you",  before the apology is complete.  (which is annoying to the one who had the courage to apologize in the first place and to the mother who is facilitating the reconciliation).  I'm hoping that when they are adults that they would be quick to apologize and even quicker to apologize.

I usually don't like apologizing to people.. so I try my best to watch my mouth (Still learning that art) so I don't say things that I regret and have to go back and apologize for.

Here is today's confession:  I did something hard today. 

While doing what I did I walked away wondering whether or not I was  just a sucker for the hard way out or am I just concerned about how my Father (God) feels? Or maybe just hungry for peace.   Deep down inside I think I just want to end this year with less broken relationships than I had when the new year  rolled in.

What was the hard thing I did today?  I bought a book of stamps.  

What's the big deal about buying a book of stamps, right?  Well I bought them in hopes that I will do what I know I have to do &  write the people I need to write, forgive those that I don't think deserve it, and beat down my pride  and ask for forgiveness where necessary.

At first I thought that perhaps it's a little passive aggressive to write a letter instead of picking up the phone.  But I went ahead with the voice in my head and bought the stamps anyway.   I really  can't expect my little people to go around forgiving and asking for forgiveness if I'm  running in the opposite direction.

I don't know what the outcome will be.  But whatever the outcome I will rest  in knowing that I did all I could to make things right.

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" Romans 12:18

Monday, August 20, 2012

If its possible to measure clothes in gallons, I have to say that I packed up at least 78 gallons of clothing.   I went through Dolly's room, the boys room and my room, put tons and tons of clothes in the bags to give away.  I could not believe all the things  that we held onto-even when they no longer fit. Wow.... isn't that interesting? That we hold onto things even when they no longer fit?   I'll have to say that one for another post, another time.

Anyhow, every toy that was broken was tossed, unopened toys  and toys outgrown packed up.  I don't think any of this stuff will be missed.  I'm trying to make as much progress as I can while the kids are away.  I should go to bed since I've been at this since the crack of dawn.  I did take a break (zipping into about 8 clothing stores) in the evening but, as soon as I got back home, I started working again.  It seems I have too many projects lined up and not enough time.. I  guess I'll just have to do what I can and save the rest for the elusive tomorrow.


People tell me that if you have insomnia, chances are you are worried about something.  I can't really think of anything on my radar that I am worried about... well maybe one thing  that would have me up late this night.

The crew is going to the Garden State in about 5 hours to visit their grandparents for a few days---without any parents.  They are super excited about their vacation and I'm excited about getting some projects down and getting a little break.    Even though they have been talking about how they are going to go swimming, hang out with their cousins, and watch all the cable TV they can,  Dolly and Noahkeem  broke down and cried this evening  because they are going to miss their Mommy and Daddy.  It will be the crews first trip without us. 

Nothing makes my heart sink more than to see one of the littles sad and crying-let alone 2 of the littles.  When I see the sadness on their little faces, it  just chokes me up.  I love them so much.  Is this how God feels about us?

 I hugged little Dolly and rubbed her back.  I told her how I  will miss her too and how I already miss her ( I know, real helpful, right?).  I told her how much fun she will be having and that if she is sad,  and wants to talk to me, she can call me anytime of day-or night. ( I know that this is definitely how God feels).  Noahkeem got a hug too and they both were soon off to bed laughing and excited once again about their trip.

After they left the room I prayed.  I prayed that God would keep them safe, comfort them when they are sad, help them  to feel loved & secure, help them to have a wonderful time,  and to return them safely home when their trip is over.  I guess I just need to trust that God can and  will, and perhaps then my sleep will come.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How many times do I have to say it?

Part of being a parent is repeating yourself over and over again until your little angels get the message.  I know they speak & comprehend English.  Yet I still find myself repeating the same thing day after day.

How many times do I have to say:
  • Stop!
  • Stop it!
  • Don't climb on the couch.
  • Don't sit on the arm of the couch.
  • Put the pillows back on the couch.
  • Don't sit on the dog bed.
  • Don't lay in the dog bed.
  • Brush your teeth.
  • Eat your food.
  • Come here.
  • Put your shoes away.
  • Put your shoes on.
  • Clean up your room.
  • Clean up your crumbs.
  • Turn the TV off.
  • Turn the volume up.
  • Turn the volume down.
  • Put the remote control on the shelf.
  • Buckle up.
  • Go to bed.
  • Get up.
I'm sure if I had all day there would be tons more I could add to the list.  I wonder if the kids are wondering how many times they have to say:
  • Mom
  • Mom
  • Mom
  • Mom
  • Mom
   Do they get tired of repeating themselves?  Probably not.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The more I see how quickly the summer has passed, the more I think about the new school year beginning.  

I just assumed because I was told at the end of my summer school assignment of budget cuts, and no ability to make promises for placement, I would begin the school year without an assignment for the first several weeks and then  calling into my job each day to see what substitute assignment available for that day, and continue to do that until something long term opened up. Doing that can be nerve wracking because I leave the  house a different time everyday, and come home a different time everyday.  Unless of course I work at the same school several days in a row.

Calling in every morning means that I have to be up and ready to leave out the door at 6:15am.  That also means I have to have things organized so that the little people are set for the day and that the morning has minimal interruptions. (Not an easy task with 4 kids).

But then it happened. Last night after getting home from a day filled with  driving from one end of the city and back several times, I checked the mail.  The first thing I noticed was a white envelope with a bright orange logo on it and I knew immediately, my days of calling in to find out where I would go  for the school day were over!

After telling Cookie I got the letter, I opened it up quickly as I stood in the driveway.  I had been hoping  praying  for a long term assignment for the upcoming school year for quite a while  and that is exactly what I got !   The letter extended an invitation to me to attend orientation  at the end of the month-breakfast included.

I don't know exactly what school I will be in  but I know I will be in my local district and  not some town 30 minutes away (Just saying).  Needless to say,  I am extremely excited  to be starting this new adventure. I'm so excited that God answers prayer.  I'm grateful to God for his continued faithfulness in my own little corner of the world.

"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place". 2 Corinthians 2:14

Monday, August 13, 2012

Unexpected Showers of Hope

Yesterday afternoon, I went to a Bridal shower of a dear friend.  The room was filled with women honoring one special soon to be married lady.  There were a lot of laughs, smiles, hugs and many heartfelt wishes of love and happiness. The room was filled with excitement as we celebrated the start of  a new journey for the Bride.

Over and over I heard words like happiness, joy, love, and  marriage. I heard phrases like "your new life together", "good thing" and "knight in shining armour".  As I sat and listened and watched women come to the front of the room to tell the honored guest what a blessing she has been to them and how they wished her her own "happily ever after", my heart was starting to melt.

I thought about my own marriage.  I thought about my own journey of craziness, highs and lows with the one I married.    The more talk I heard about love, the more I thought about  when I was first married and how everything was new, beautiful and exciting.  As  the guests expressed their happiness, I felt more hope for  my own covenant.

At one point, I wished that I could run home and turn back the big imaginary clock of time and do so many things over.  I wished that we could renew our vows and start all over again, without pain, without regret.  I knew in my heart, my feet would never get me home fast enough.  I knew in my heart that even if I made it home, there would be no clock whose hands I could turn back.

I used to wonder during the bad times why the *#$@ did I get married in the first place?  My answer to myself now is that entering into a covenant is committing to a process  of refining & transformation. Refining and transformation can sometimes be a hard and painful process. There are things beautiful and not so beautiful that only our partners can pull out of us.  Its the  not so beautiful things that God wants to work out of us and for whatever reason, He will use our partners to bring it to the surface...because He loves us and wants us to grow in love for Him and for each other.  That takes a life time.

After those who wanted to speak and express their feelings to the Bride were finished, the Bride then stood up and shared a little of her heart and her appreciation for her guests.  Listening to her voice, and story of where she was and  how she will soon  be walking down the aisle, my heart was  all the more excited for her and all the more hopeful for me.

Who goes to  a Bridal shower expecting to be filled with hope? Who goes expecting places in their heart to be melted toward their partner? Who goes to a shower,  expecting the Guest of Honor to say one thing and hear the Holy spirit whisper 10 other things, to  the hidden places of  your heart?  Is God so invested in our lives and so committed to our happiness, and process of change that He will quietly enter the room of women at a Bridal shower and bring unexpected showers of hope?

Today, I am holding on firmer to truth and hope as He says, "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh, is there anything to hard for me?"


Sunday, August 12, 2012


I'm back.  I will spare you the gorey details but let's say that I had a 'hiccup' in my health.  Or we could just be truthful and say that part of that hiccup had me doubled over in pain for hours on end begging God to help me and not to let me die in pain.  I pretty much felt that labor was much easier than what I was experiencing.  It was pretty bad.

I can't say my life flashed before me but, I remember saying I don't want to die a painful death.  I want to know when death is coming.  I want to be prepared.  I don't want  death to sneak up on me as it does in a sudden illness or a freak car accident or being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store-early. Sometimes I go to the grocery store very early in the morning to get what ever the little people need before they wake up or before I go to work.  Because I felt better yesterday, I ventured out to the store to grab a few things.  When it was time to check out I noticed my cashier- yes, I said my cashier, Irene's light was not on.  The first thing I said to myself was, "Where is Irene?"   I needed her to check me out. I looked around for her but, no Irene.

Irene is a short lady with dark hair, that's slightly feathered. Maybe she is about 60 or so.  She wears gold rimmed glasses and the lenses are slightly thick- but not obnoxiously magnifyingly thick.  She has a bit of an accent.  Maybe Italian? Maybe from New York?  I don't know.  I like her because she keeps the line moving, never has a bad attitude, laughs at herself on the rare occasion that she makes a mistake and she's there early and seems like she wants to be.  She is usually at register 3.

I didn't see her light on so I went to another register to check out.  A woman on a scooter came up behind me and as she put her stuff up on the conveyor, I heard her say to the cashier, "I'm so sorry about Irene". I turned to the girl who was bagging my groceries and asked if Irene passed away.  She then said yes. I sighed heavily as she told me that she died on Tuesday.   I left the store in shock.  While I was begging God not to let me die on Tuesday, Irene was dying if not already dead.

How could this happen ?  She looked fine to me.  She didn't appear sick or anything.  Later I found out that although she looked young, she was about 10-12 years older than I thought she was. She had some heart issues during the year and on Tuesday, she had a heart attack and died.  Shocked and upset I found myself crying as I drove back home.  I found myself talking to God about Irene and death.  I know that we all have to die but, I hate this part of  "life".  I absolutely hate it.

I love the promise and the joy a newborn brings, and how they develop into little people with vocabulary and personality and then grow into adults.  I hate that somewhere along the time line, they die.  Some die peacefully in their sleep, others brutally, and others just unexpectedly. 

Why on earth God does death throw us for such a loop?  Why is it that we wish we showed people how much we thought of them or appreciated them or loved them after they are gone from this earth?  Why is it that we vow each time someone we know dies that we are going to be better people, love more,  forgive me, and live each day like its our last?  How is it that we quickly forget those vows when we slowly but surely get caught up in our own lives again?  Why does death and the brevity of life catch us off guard time and time again?

Why would the news of Irene's death move me to tears?  A cashier who I didn't know much about? Could it be she was just a tiny drop of normal in my life?  A smiling face I liked to see at the grocery store? Could it be that I liked the small talk at the register and that she remembered me when I came in?  Could it be that I considered myself her customer and sought her out to get on her line each time I came into the store?  Could it be that when she told me to have a good day at work or  said thank you to me that I actually believed her? 

I feel foolish telling myself each time someone dies to love people more and do better,  forgive quickly & live each day like its my last.  For me I always seem to fail at that.   Because in my heart, I feel that eventually, that voice will get softer and softer as the details of my life begin to take over again.  Only for that voice to resurface again  even louder when the next person dies. I will however ask myself, if I gave or with held love today.  Did I give the compliment I wanted to give, did I hold my tongue when the easy thing to do was to lash out?  Did I listen with my eyes? Did what I say and do today let others know how important they are to me and to our world? Did I tell others how much they bring to the table?  How much I appreciate them?  How beautiful they really are?  Will I soon forget all of this and wait for death to catch me off guard again, and wish I did life differently with those I care about the most?

My heart goes out to Irene's family, customers and co-workers.  She will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I'm taking a much needed rest. Please enjoy some of my archives located on the right hand side of the screen.  Will be back in a few days.  Please keep checking back.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I've been working my second job since the summer job I applied for when summer school ended didn't seem to take flight.  "Going to work" should be easy since there is no commute & I work from  home as an Independent Contractor.  This morning I was supposed to start my work @ home assignment @ 5:40 am, and when I looked at the clock it said 6:08 am!!!!  I didn't panic I simply got up- off of the couch, (because the dog was crying early this morning to go out prior to my shift and I let her out and stayed in my "home office" next to my alarm clock -so I wouldn't wake up late- go figure!) logged on, put my headset on, and waited for my first call. My alarm was set for 5am, I guess I just didn't hear it when it went off.  

Yesterday,  I did get up on time. I worked from 5:40a.m. till after 8:00am.  By 9:15am I was back in bed and woke up at 1:30 in the afternoon!  I had all intentions of going to the beach yesterday morning & before I knew it, half the day was gone! Maybe, just maybe, I was tired.

I keep picking this early start time because its the only time when the house is the most quiet and it gives me enough time to walk the dog and get set for my day. I thought about working at night but, my wonderful headset's ringer volume is loud, even if I set it at low. But as  I think about it, I can't deal with the dog waking up, making noise,  and prancing around for me to take her outside while I'm talking calls. I guess I could keep her in her crate and take calls and answer as soon as I hear the phone ring.  But, she's already barked one time during an assignment and I agreed with the company that I contracted with that I would have no background noise. (I wonder if people ever hear the microwave beeping or my tv in the background..I wonder).

LasagnaI was hoping to jump back into bed this morning but, being the chef that I am, I bought "stuff" last night to make lasagna for today's meal. ( I only make one gigantic meal on Sunday so people can graze from  the time we get home from church til the kitchen is shut down for the evening). The little people will be looking for food when they come home, so I have to cook but, I really don't feel like cooking! I want to take  a nap.

This morning is one of those mornings that I wish I had a clone that would whip up the food and toss it into the oven and take it out when its done, serve it, refill everyones drinks,load & run the dishwasher, empty it, and wipe down the table & countertops, sweep the floor, & then come find me, and bring me a decafe mocha latte & the sunday paper, when she is done.

Going back to bed.  Now where did I put my alarm clock?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A few things before I jump into my Saturday

  • I used to pride myself on being the grammar police and after reading over some past posts I have to give myself several citations for starting sentences with prepositions, giving way to tons of run on sentences & not spotting silly little spelling mistakes even after I "proof read" the post before publishing.
  • I took down my controversial facebook wall post.  I guess I couldn't handle the stardom,fame and popularity that accompanied the post.  Truthfully I didn't quite have adequate staff to sort through all of the fan mail that followed.   I learned from a dear friend that social media is not the best venue for "discussion".   I will leave it at that.
  • Pride (and I don't mean the kind that says, "Hey, I'm proud of you") is like a little yippy  toy dog. Most of the time we entertain it &  reward it, Sometimes we  hardly notice that its there.  The other half of the time,  when we are doing whatever it is we do, it rises up, usually when we are setting records straight or being larger than life,  biting at our ankles, jumping up and down, yipping and yapping at us and at that point without thinking we either give it a bone that reinforces its behavior or we shake our finger at it and say, "Down Pride! Down".  (Hoping that it will obey us until we can get a better handle on it).
  • I discovered this week that Wasabi is awesome with almonds, tortilla chips, crackers & mozzarella sticks.
  • I also found out that  if you're not careful Wasabi will make you feel like your nose is on fire and your eyes are about to pop out of your head.
  • Wasabi just might be the cure for the common cold.
  • I found out that the world is really small.  Last night at Jason's Deli, as I am talking about Noahkeem's JC Penny hair cut, who rolls up in the place and gets on line?  THE WOMAN WHO CUT HIS HAIR!!!!!!! We of course said, "Hi".  I watched her face as she glanced at all the people at my table. Given the look on her face,   I'm sure she was probably thinking, "Dag, I didn't know she had all those kids!"
  • I waited all winter for summer to get here and now I want the fall to come quickly so that I can wear my new boots that I got at the end of the season sale.
  • A point of progress:  I think of my Sebrena now and most of the time I smile. Thinking back to when she passed away and how it devastated me, I thought the day would never come where I would be able to smile at memories of her.  I still miss her.  I still love her. I sometimes cry but,  I'm a lot less sad. 
  • Happy Saturday... make it count.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Of God and Politics

What is it about God and Religion that gets people so revved up?   What is it about Politics that causes this passion to  rise to the surface and often reach the point of anger?

There is something about these two subjects that draw us to proclaim to whoever will listen or entertain our ideas that we are going to show, tooth & nail, that we are right. We are right about God and we are right about Politics.   As a matter of fact, we are going to exercise a self given attribute called: "The right, to be right".

God is a being that I bring up quite a bit.  Politics is a subject that I participate in  with only a few.  I give my opinion if I am asked, I sometimes initiate conversations about politics but, I never "fight" about the issues or assasinate the character of the candidate.   I just don't feel the need to. (And that is not because I do not care).

I have been in rooms with many hot political debates going on. I have seen  fairly reserved, intelligent  people break out of their mold and get down right furious, turn red, and end "conversations" by telling the opposing party affiliate what an idiot they are or how blind and dumb they are for believing what they believe. (Now that's impressive).

The truth is until we die, we will always have political and religious opinions that people will disagree with.  It isn't our job to bash people because they believe that Obama is the greatest president that ever lived or George Bush is the greatest president that ever lived.   Both of these men have had some incredible accomplishments occur during their administrations and both of these men have had some disasters.  No one president is the Messiah who will save us from the mess our country is in.

Yesterday I posted something politically driven on my Facebook page (which I'm contemplating taking down) without giving my direct opinion about it to see what kind of "conversation" it would spark.  Some  people "liked" it, others did not say anything, and a few engaged in  their feelings about the matter.  
Interestingly enough yesterday I spoke with a woman who said that sometimes hearing, reading and seeing things in the media in regards to politics sometimes gets to be too much for her.  It becomes  intense information overload.  She then shuts down every stream of  media and then chooses to focus on what she considers real issues, like the hungry family around the corner that no one pays attention to because everyone is  too busy dissecting which candidate won't turn over his tax records, which candidates birth certificate is not  valid and who doesn't care for certain lifestyles  and who feels cheated and wants equal rights. Those things to a certain degree are important. But what about the issues in front of our faces that we ignore?

The conclusion (if there is even one) that I have come to is that bashing has never convinced me or  any one  else I know to change "religions" or political party affiliations".   You showing me about how much you know about the ugliness of the Republican Party will not convince me to rally with the Democrats.  You exposing how shady the Democrat party is will not convince me to join the Junior Republican Women's League. So where do I stand ?

I have been in "seasons" (really beginning to be annoyed by that word), where I have had to vote for the lesser of 2 evils.  I have in times past  have voted for people who's names were rarely in the media, and were not one of the top two on the ballot.  I vote issues, not party. I guess I'm non-partisan.  Some would beg to differ.

What about God? Most of my readers and friends know how I feel about God.  Most know enough about me that I don't even venture to argue about God.  I have had enough experience of Him "showing up" that confirms to me His existence.  I certainly do not have all of the answers to why things are the way they are in this life but, it does not diminish the fact that there is a real God and whether or not someone believes in Him, mentioning him in debates and "conversations" evokes something within us that causes us to want to run to Him or away from Him.  I really haven't had heard of that same effect on people when they speak of other "gods". Mmmmm, why is that ?

I guess I always had an issue with people flying off at the mouth exercising their right to free speech when it comes to God/religion  and Politics in that often those same people are not involved in local politics in their own community and those same people are not involved in effecting the community spiritually in a positive way.  But they talk a good talk .

 Are we all guilty of  trash talking  exercising free speech and not  remotely trying to get involved with the issues of local government  that would impact us first before the national issues would even touch us?

Are we all guilty of practicing the freedom of religion, our right to worship God or a god, or not to worship at all so much so that we are not concerned about our neighbors who need the hope of  God or who may need a  helping hand period?   

Are we really doing what we can be doing to bring about change in our neighborhood or  our world or are we just exercising our rights?  Something I will be thinking about.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My 2:30 appointment

Today I was going to post about my experience getting Noahkeem his free hair cut @ JC Penny today.  For the month of August they are giving kids a complimentary hair cut.  As I was recanting the details of our visit, and keeping and eye on dinner at the same time, my inner voice convinced me to  change my mind and not  post our experience.

Instead I have to say:

Sorry to  my special anonymous reader who was looking forward to hearing the tale of how a reformed Jersey girl had enough self control not to flip tables or  workstations over like a New Jersey Housewife. 

A very special thank you to whoever had the idea to offer these free hair cuts in the first place.  You will bless so many people this month.

A very special thank you to James Cash Penny.  Who I was told by my former pastor-from New Jersey, that he was a God fearing, tithe paying man, and is believed to still be in business long after his death because of his commitment to give as much as he did, beyond the tithe. Now that's another post for another day.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Play Ball!

Two nights ago, I took the little people to a minor league baseball game.  I made sure I fed them before we left because I didn't want to hear them ask for every single thing that every concession stand offered.  They still asked for stuff.  I knew they would.  They had fries, popcorn, dippin' dots ice cream, funnel cake, and a mega soda.  I forgot my drink in the car and I wasn't about to spend over a dollar for a bottled water so I went without. I was good, I wasn't dying of thirst.

Last year I learned that during any one given game, "they" go through about 60-70 balls.  The number seems a little high but,  that's what I was told.  It seemed unreal because I never see that many balls being passed to the pitcher.  Then again, I usually talk and laugh during the games and don't always see all of the action. 

I hadn't planning on keeping the crew out til midnight but, the game ran into overtime and at the end of each game, kids ages 5-12 are allowed to run the bases.  Since the kids fit perfectly into that age group, why not, right?

As we were yelling, cheering for the wrong team, half paying attention, watching the balls fly into the stands, something amazing happened.  The kids were in the section in front of me, but within hollering distance and all of a sudden a ball came flying from the field into their section.  I watched as a small heard of kids charge for the ball, and I then yelled at Rocco telling him to "GET THAT BALL!"  As the heard broke up and began to walk away who but Rocco, stood up in the middle of the crowd and held up the ball high above his head?  I heard someone yell, "YEAH!! THAT'S My BOY... THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN" 'BOUT!!" It was a voice I recognized, and as I saw him coming toward my section I realized, that it was my own loud mouth  praising my Rocco! I was so so proud of him!

We (including the row of 20 somethings behind me) cheered, yelled and as if he made a home run!  Long story short, because we did this until he climbed back to our section, and maybe cheered  a little longer than what people normally do. By the time he reached me, I think he was completely embarrassed (and happy at the same time).

A couple innings later, another ball comes flying into the section.  This time Noahkeem goes running for it and some big kid got it before him and Noahkeem comes running back to me, crying.  I assumed he was just sad that he didn't get the ball. He showed me his hand and said, "He stepped on me!"  His little had was red!  I felt bad for him.  I hugged him.  I couldn't make him any promises that he will have better luck next time and get the next ball. That would be a promise I could not deliver.

What happens next? Somewhere near the 8th inning, we moved to the section to the right of the dug out and (closer to the field). Another player hits the ball and its a foul and the wonderful ref, threw it into the dug out.  The crowd moaned in disappointment, because he chose not to throw it into the stands.  Out of the corner of my eye I see a hand sticking out of the dug out shaking the dusty ball.  Some old guy-the only guy in the front row next to the dug out motioned to Rocco to come quick.  I thought to myself, "I taught the kids not to talk to strangers, what did this man want with my son?, what is he going to do to him?"

  Rocco hesitated- I'm assuming because he had the same thought process, but went over when the old guy said, " Come here quick, he wants to give you the ball".  Rocco went over quickly with a smile on his face and grabbed the ball out of the anonymous player's hand  that was sticking out of the dug out and said thank you.

I thought to myself, "TWO BALLS IN ONE NIGHT? My son got two balls in one night? "  I then silently asked God, "Is this you showing up again God?" "Is this more of your favor, that we would get 2 balls in one night?"  "Did you see that Noahkeems little hand got stepped on, and you wanted to hand deliver a ball to him?"  "Thank you, God, I think you made his night".

After Rocco got over his excitement of the second ball, and with little persuading, I kindly asked him if he would give the ball to his bro, and with out blinking an eye he did.  I thought Noahkeem was gonna jump out of the ballpark.  His eyes lit up, and he was bursting with excitement, because he too had a ball!  By this time, his hand didn't hurt and all he could think about was this ball in his hand!   He had a dusty ball that touched the field, that was actually  in play, and was hand delivered- just for him.  So happy for him!

I'm thanking God today that He leaves no one out, that he never forgets, and that every once in a while He hand delivers the goods.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hello Monday.

I woke up at 6:30 a.m. today.  The first thing I remembered was that I was supposed to be at my cycling class- obviously, that did not happen.  I still put my "work out" clothes on and  took Jaime for a walk.

'Something' told me not to wear shorts but I did anyway.  As a thank you to myself for not listening to that little voice, I am now  dealing with several lovely mosquito bites. Why didn't I listen?

Dolly is super happy that I don't have work today and that she does not have school.  She said now we can spend time together. (Insert mother guilt here, the kind that reads, I  wish I didn't have to work but, I have to and I enjoy what I do, but, during the quiet times I look at my watch and wonder what you are doing, and wish I could be home on the floor in your room playing, "Princess & Ponies" with your Barbies and My little Pony horses. But instead I am here working , loving other people's children, but I love you the most).

As quiet as the house is now,(because  everyone is still in bed) I know soon it will be loud.  And as much as I would like to Chillax the day away, my to do list is already full.  I know that in the middle of all I have to do, alot of people & projects will be vying for my attention.

Thinking about all of this makes me wonder how on earth did Mrs.Brady do this?  Then I realize, Alice cleaned her house, the kids really took care of themselves, Mike was an architect, which made it possible for her to stay home and not work,she had a couple older kids that were like adults,  and for the most part all 6 of the kids got along well.

I  know the Brady Bunch  is not real. I also know  the families that appear perfect are  only giving an "appearance of being perfect".  It still would be nice to have  everything in place and resolved in the matter of a 30 minute spot  like a sitcom family.

Today, I'm digging deep God's strength to do all I have to do, even when I don't feel like.  I'm gonna try to remember that his help and strength is available to me because sometimes I'd rather just do things my way, myself.  Knowing that I'm prone to go my own way, I'm already thanking Him that His Mercies are new every morning.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The randomness of Thursday

 Today was the last day of summer school.  I have to say it ended well.  We packed up our classroom in about an hour and bought all of the boxes to a trailer on campus.  In the 100 degree heat. I'm looking forward to spending a few days off before  figuring out work for the rest of the summer. 

Dolly and I went to a supermarket tonight to kill time before Cookie's concert.  We were surprised that the store had a second floor! So we took the very huge elevator to the second floor just for the experience even though I knew I didn't need anything up there.  We bought some snacks, drinks & Sour Patch kids and  went on our merry way.

The concert was in an amazing Episcopal church.  The stained glass windows had many depictions of Christ and his disciples and beautiful architecture. I sat and wondered how long  it took to construct such a place.  I wondered who  made and installed all of the wonderful stained glass windows.  I wondered who walked in and out of  its' doors for the last 100 years. I wondered how many people over the last 100 years found comfort and peace within its walls. I wondered how many people had prayers answered and how many did not.

The concert was long but nice.  The cathedral ceilings lent itself to great acoustics which gave both choirs a full sound.

Now that my evening out is over, I have to psych myself up for another intense early morning workout.  My new workout regime is really kicking my butt.  Wednesday, I did my first Indian run, ran the stadium stairs at a local high school about 5 times, did other stuff that I can't remember but left me dripping with sweat.  I used to pride myself on 'excersizing" but not sweating.  Now I'm pushing myself so that I can get where I want to be. And it stinks because it's hard, and cardiovascularly,  (is that a word?) I'm out of shape.  I have to fight my thoughts that keep telling me I can't do one more rep.   Most days I can't keep up with the class. My coach (bless her heart) says that  it doesn't matter that I can't "keep up" with the other people, she wants Big Momma to focus on Big Momma.

 Every time I feel like quitting, and skipping my workouts, her voice rings in my head.  I hear her saying "The only workout you're going to regret, is the one you don't do".  I'm getting up tomorrow, giving it another try and pushing myself to give myself  a little more and then some.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Where did July go?

EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION - "Hill Family," - Exterior  Picture, on  "Extreme Makeover Home Edition," Sunday, April 24th     (8:00-9:00 p.m.  ET/PT) on the ABC Television Network.

Things have been so busy around here, the days seem to run together. 2 days ago we celebrated Cookie's 12th birthday.. I  can hardly believe she's 12! I surprised her by making an appointment to get a manicure at  Beverly Hills Nail Salon. It also just so happens that the woman who owns the salon received a new home from Extreme Home Makeover last year -where the salon is. It was really a big treat.   When the episode aired, Cookie said that we should go get our nails done there.  What better time than her 12th birthday to make it happen? 
Later that evening after we got home, I had to scramble to make her ice cream cake.  Of all the flavor combinations in the world she chose a Layer of Mint Chocolate Chip, followed by a layer of crushed Oreos and a layer of Black Cherry.  Everyone that had some seemed to enjoy it.
Tomorrow I am wrapping up summer school -literally. Summer school was a Huge learning experience. I still don't know where I will be next school year but,one semester  at a time, right?  
Another busy day tomorrow. Cookie's choir is singing with a boys choir from England  in the evening. I'm really looking forward to it.  It will be a great  way to celebrate the last day of summer school and a great way to jump start our already full weekend.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

I'm no hero Part II

Here is my question for God, why  are  there people with disabilities? While trying to answer this question  I came across a Bible verse: John 9:1-7. The NIV says, "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing". 

Here is my other question for God, What if we pray and the people we care for with disabilities are not healed?  What should I make of that?  What should parent's with children with challenges make of that?  What of the feelings that they are  plagued with that leave them feeling that they  were the cause of their children's disabilities?  

How does the person with special needs navigate through all of his or her misunderstood sounds or gestures?  What do they do with the frustration they feel when trying to communicate and we  don't quite understand what they are trying to say?

As I sit here trying to string all of my thoughts together, I can only say that if  Jesus said,   "Neither this man nor his parents sinned"  I can only accept that usually it's no fault of the parents that their child is born with challenges and disabilities. 

If Jesus said, that "...this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him...As long at is day, we must do the works of him who sent me...While I am in the world, I am the light of the world", I can only believe that whether or not a child or adult with special needs is healed, God wants to show himself in them,
He gets glory out of their lives.  He gets glory when we give our time, our prayers,  our attention, and a piece of ourselves to those who are different  than us. 

What will move our hearts and motivate us to love those that experience life  in a world so different than our own?  

Some times I think we say silly things like,  " That's not my calling or I don't know any one with special needs" and then we  let ourselves off the hook.  After all, how can we reach those we don't come in contact with, right?

Do we really have to be called to love? Do we really have to be called to be the light?  I'm  beginning to think that being the light means bringing hope to those that need it the most. I keep asking myself  if Jesus said, "While I am in the world,  I am  the light of the world", how am I going to be the light while I am in the world?  How will we be the light to the less fortunate we pass by on the street, to someone who is wheelchair bound,  or to those we see in public that have special needs? Will we stare then quickly look away?  Will we whisper a prayer as we walk by them  or will we just whisper?  How will we be the light to the least of these?  If this is not normally part of our lives, what will motivate us to care? 

Jesus be the Hero to those that have no voice.  Jesus be the Hero to those that feel trapped in their very misunderstood world. Jesus be the Hero to those that have the tremendous responsibility of being Mom, Dad, Caretaker, Nurse, & Advocate for children & adult children with special needs.  Give them  strength where they need it most, insight in the middle of chaos and frustration, friends who understand, & hope when their loved one is having a good day.  I'm no hero Lord, but I know that you are.