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.