Saturday, June 16, 2012

I'm Not Scared of You

So, as promised, I'm going to be bare naked honest about something that is very difficult for me.


Just the word causes a part of me to immediately go into hiding.

When I was really young I had a close knit little family. My Nana, Uncle John and my Mom. These three people were everything to me. I learned how to give good back and foot rubs for my mom who was a career waitress. I learned how to sit quietly and "enjoy" Lawrence Welk with my Nana on Sunday Nights so she wouldn't feel alone. I learned to be completely open and affectionate with Uncle john because there was something in his eyes that was always so guarded and sad, but it would melt away when I sat on his lap and hugged him. Serving is a way of life for me. It's my personality type, my love language. These people were my foundation. My happiness was completely wrapped up in loving them and being loved by them.

When I was 4, I found out Nana was sick. She couldn't come down and watch TV with me as often. She didn't go play penny poker with her sisters anymore. She had to drink this horrible "milk shake" medicine to keep her strength up after the trips to the hospital with Mom. She hated that medicine. Sometimes she would have me drink half of it so Mom wouldn't fuss at her about taking care of herself. (It was iron fortified meal shake stuff...nasty!)

When I was 5, I didn't get to visit her much anymore. She was dying. She was so weak she couldn't come out to the hallway early in the morning and call me into her room to snuggle with her while she told me stories about the family. Uncle John was always stressed. He and Mom fought allot about things I just didn't understand. Before long Nana wasn't strong enough to sit up in bed anymore, to hug me, to talk...then she was gone.

My first Irish wake. Nana was in the dining room....the one where we had celebrated my 5th birthday just a few months before. Where Uncle John had taken my new knee socks and put them on his ears as "ear warmers" making Nana laugh and Mom fume. I couldn't go see her. I was too afraid. I understood what it meant that she was dead...I just couldn't stand it. Aunt Sheila, our family's backbone, was there. I can still remember the image of her in the dining room doorway, with the dark brown casket behind her, asking me if I was going to come say goodbye. I ran back upstairs to the room I used when we were at Nana's house in Leominster. I hid in the closet. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't make anyone happy. I couldn't make it better. I couldn't cry.

Uncle John found me. Mom was mad, scared really. They thought I was actually missing for a while. I had stayed in there for a long time. Mom was so sad and broken up about losing Nana...she wasn't thinking clearly. When Uncle John found me I finally cried. I was scared. I didn't want to lose the Nana that had loved me. I couldn't remember sitting with her while she read to me or having dinner with her. All I could remember was her small, frail body, weakened by the sickness, unable to move more than to wave me away and tell me to get my mother for her. All I could see in my mind was her dying. I didn't want it to be like that forever.

Nana had thyroid cancer. Curable now but back in '76, not so much. She suffered, she withered, she died at 64. Mom died of liver cancer in '91, she was 40. It was excruciating to watch her suffer. The tests, the pain. I was 5 months pregnant with Laurana when we found out. Laurana was 4 months old when Mom died, I was 18. My wonderful Uncle died of a combination of pneumonia, lung cancer and AIDS. My father in law died of Lunch cancer. My godmother died of brain cancer, my favorite cousin has fought a battle with breast cancer, two of my dear friends both lost their battles when they were in their early 40s one to bone cancer and the other to liver cancer. This disease haunts me.

When Moose was admitted this past January to the hospital for croup I had to do the typical "family history" questionnaire with the head nurse. I remember standing there giving her the information and she's shaking her head and muttering "Not good, not good." then she asked "And you've been checked for cancer, yes?" "No." "Why not?" the question came in such an accusatory tone. My defenses went up immediately and I practically sneered at her "Because I've been pregnant 10 times in the past 23 years...I haven't had much time for tests.". It was a good enough excuse for her, but it wasn't the truth. Truth is, I'm afraid. (I HAVE been pregnant 10 times in the past 24 years...that just wasn't the reason I avoided getting tested)

I'm so excruciatingly frightened of leaving my children without a mother. It's a horrible feeling to live without a mom. There are so many days of my life, so many things and circumstances, pictures experiences I desperately want to share with her. Losing a mother leaves a hole....and God can fill it, but the desire to be loved, as only a mother can, never leaves you. I asked my Uncle Jim "How long will it hurt like this?" when Mom died. He had lost his mother when he was 18 to cancer as well, he just looked at me. "When does it stop?" I pressed, "Never.". He was 38 then.

I flip flop back and forth between taking care of myself to try and control my future and giving up, being self-destructive, because nothing I do can stop it from happening if it's my destiny. I'm controlled by this fear and it has to stop.

I told Big daddy I'm going to take some steps to conquer this fear I have. He is so understanding, so wonderful that he is behind me 100%, no matter how stupid any of it sounds. Some f it really does sound stupid but it's just because I have to fight with my own mind in order to overcome this and I'm a tad on the disorganized, over analytical, scatterbrained side...just a tad...*sigh* These are my steps

1. I have an overall wellness plan (have I mentioned that I went to school to be a personal trainer and studied nutrition and herbal medicine on the side?) It includes some eating guidelines, an exercise plan and daily scripture affirmations to enable my mind to be "changed and renewed" by God's word. My fears are all lies from my heart and from the enemy. They are designed specifically to keep me bound up and "safe" I NEED something strong and absolute to break free of that, God's word is the only weapon that fits that description.

2. Blog. This portion of my blog is my catharsis. It's my way to get out and deal with what I have been running from for the past 22 years. It's also my accountability to myself and my kids that I won't allow the disease of fear to cripple me, stealing my "now" from my family because of some twisted view of my future. I'm going to post my progress with my health as well as how I'm feeling about the whole thing every week.

3. I am going to shave my head on my 40th birthday. I know this probably sounds asinine to those of you who have actually struggled with this disease, but hear me out.This is my way of standing up physically, drastically and saying to my fears, "You can't take anything from me that will make me give up fighting." Its my "G.I. Jane" statement. The reason I'm going to do it when I'm 40 is because I lost both Uncle John and Mom when they were 40. It did something to me, twisted something inside of me that has me scared of following in those footsteps. I've broken so many of the other negative patterns from our family's past by standing up, choosing faith over fear and stepping in the opposite direction of what my "instincts" tell me, I'm going to do the same here.

4. I'm going to find a way to get involved positively. Walking to raise money and awareness are awesome things. I may even look into it for next year, but I want to do something more personal. I know what it's like to be a child whose lost their Mom to cancer, I want to find a way to help those moms who are dying leave behind something their kids can hold onto as they grow up. I don't know what yet. I have a million scattered fragments of ideas in my head and I am definitely open to suggestions, but that's how I want to get involved.

5. I'm going to take pictures, make recordings, write letters. I'm not going to leave my kids with nothing but memories. So many times, in my childhood, my mom avoided the camera, stayed in the background, kept to herself. There is so much about who she was that I will never know. I don't want that for my kids. I want them to have more, to be confident in my love for them. Regardless of when I die, I want them to know me and to know that I cared enough to know them.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Breakfast Cookie Recipe

Yes! I did NOT find I wracked my brain for about 3 hrs until I finally remembered. I only had to ask Tabby for a little help (she's my little Irish sous chef :-) So from my heart to is one of my favorite recipes:

Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast Cookies*
(*this recipe makes ALLOT of cookies. About 36-40 palm sized cookies. Feel free to halve it. It works just as well)

Preheat oven to 375

In first bowl combine

1c. Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1c. Honey
4 RIPE Mashed Bananas
1/2 c. Dark Molasses
1 Stick of butter or margarine (softened)
2 Eggs
2Tbs. Cinnamon
1Tbs. Allspice
1 Tbs. Nutmeg

Mix on low until completely incorporated.

In second bowl combine

8 C. Quick Cooking Oats
5C. Unbleached Flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder

Stir to combine.

Add 1 pkg. Semi Sweet or Dark Chocolate Chips to dry ingredients (I used Ghiradelli...yummmm)

Hand mix by 2 cupfuls at a time the dry into the wet. 

Fold in 2 c. of your favorite diced dried fruit**. (I use a mix of pineapple, mango and shaved coconut) Batter will be thick and sticky when ready.

I use a 1/3 c. measure for my cookies. Scoop, form into thick patty's and place about 1 1/2" apart on *lined cookie sheet. These cook for 15-17 minutes depending on how hot your oven runs. You could definitely do smaller cookies and less time. But even with a 1/4c. measure they still take 12-15. They are dense. They are awesome still warm but really good about 24 hrs later when they have rested. You can also pop them in the microwave on a paper towel for 20 seconds. They can be frozen in freezer bags for, up to, 3 weeks.

*I always line my cookie sheets with parchment but I grease them lightly as well.
**Bubba Does not like any kind of fruit in the cookies so we just omit that part and they taste fine.

I actually just found this It looks pretty good though and has stevia instead of the honey and molasses. If you're watching sugar and gluten this might be a good recipe for you :-)

individual baked oatmeal cups

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Sound of Silence

A picture's worth a thousand words...what words does this picture inspire in you?

[ I do not own or have copywright permission for any images shown here. If the owner would like me to stop using their work please contact me and I will do so immediately.]

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

I have these awesome books, I read and clip articles, I watch every documentary about the human perspectives of war that I can find. I have mad respect for our soldiers. I commend and admire those who have the courage to stand in the face of danger, willing to do whatever is necessary to protect others and carry out their duty. My heart sinks when I read about the ambushes, the car bombs, the soldiers who are wounded or killed doing what their conscious has dictated that they do, for the good of others.

I have a deep faith in the "rightness" of our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. I believe that these ideals are worth fighting for in every arena. I believe that they are a well rounded and socially responsible grouping of standards that benefit, not just our country, but through our government and military activity, other peoples as well. While it is ridiculous to believe any people can adhere to ALL of these without fault, I believe that they are worth understanding and aspiring to as an individual, are worth teaching as absolute values to my children, are valuable as guidelines for developing a community and are right for running a government.

Because I believe this, I believe in our Military's responsibility to step in where oppression and tyranny exist and fight on behalf of the abused and exploited. Sometimes this fight consists of those things my conscience agrees with; bringing aid to the hurt and hungry, setting free innocents and rebuilding what has been destroyed by the ravages of war. Sometimes though, they must do what my conscience shutters to think of, what brings tears to my eyes; They must attack, they must wound, they must kill. The emotional stresses of war are beyond my comprehension. Mt heart and prayers go out to those who must participate in the horrors of war in order to contribute to the betterment of the societies they are trying to bring peace to. It's a hard road to hoe.

I think that, in general, most of us just don't even come close to grasping the intensity of emotional turmoil, the depth of human brokenness that accompanies our soldiers every day as they walk war torn streets and are impacted by the consequences of "doing what is right". It does not matter if you or I believe that the current war or any other war is "right". It does not matter if we agree or disagree with our governments choices and maneuvers when it comes to our military. What matters is that we choose not to forget that there are human beings, men and women, Mothers and Fathers, sisters, brothers, co-workers, friends, childhood sweethearts out there doing what we cannot or will not do.

Have we forgotten that they are doing it because they believe that everyone should be free as we here in America are free? Because they believe that everyone should have the right to disagree with their government without fear of being beaten or imprisoned, having their children murdered before their eyes or their wives and sisters kidnapped and violated. So many of us are willing to say that what happens in a country under tyranny is wrong. Most of us are pretty vehement in stating our opinion about how "someone" should do something. Why then do we pull the rug out from under those who stand up for what they believe in and say, "I will go. I will be someone."?

Today is a day that we, as a people bound together by those very ideals that send our children, our brothers and sisters, our parents and friends to other countries to do the work of freedom, remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for those ideals. We have set aside this one day a year to honor the dead, to bless their families with compassion and thankfulness, to remember that what we have here in America has cost the lives of countless young men and women. From our very beginnings as a country until today there are human beings that have fought and died to secure and preserve what we all believe is our due as human beings; personal freedom.

I am grateful for my freedom. I am honored to teach my children about our soldiers sacrifices. I am blessed to thank every man or woman in uniform I see for their willingness, their conviction. Today is a different day than all the others on our calendars. Today is a day to look into the past, to remember the atrocities of evil that lead to war and to be grateful for all of the "someones" who were willing to go in our place and to die for our ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Thank you to my friends and family members who have joined willing, fought bravely and served faithful. And to those who have lost family and friends to this and other war efforts...Thank you for the days of grief, for the years of loss, for the tears you shed on the same altar of war where you lost your loved ones. Thank you for your living sacrifice.

Happy Monday everyone.

Happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Big Daddy and me

I think I have mentioned a time or two that our anniversary is coming up. Thursday, May 25th, Big Daddy and I will have been together for 24 years. 24!!! I cannot really comprehend being with someone that long. When other people talk about being married that long I always thing, "Wow, you guys must both be pretty awesome people to be able to live with each other and still like each other after all that time!" and yet, here I am, more in love with the man I married than I was the day I met him and acted like a total dork trying to get his attention.

Our relationship hasn't been perfect. Far from it. We have struggled through homelessness, infidelity, anger issues, sickness, the loss and death of loved ones, betrayal...PLUS the pressures of having 6 children, and learning to accept and even love the differences between us as we grow from teenage sweethearts into mature adults.

( your ears please)

When Big Daddy and I heard this song we both knew it was about us. not that Eminem had talked to either of us and written a song about the insanity that was our relationship, but that it described us, perfectly. We have a passion for each other that borders on obsessive. We both have explosive tempers, huge amounts of baggage and personal demons that we brought into our relationship. Whether or not we belong together has never been the question. Can we be sane apart...we both know the answer to that. Even after we came to the Lord, even after we were in ministry, even with all that God did in our lives to free us of our pasts and the pain there it was still like this, just like this.

A few years ago it all came to a head and I told him it was time for a divorce. We had done everything we could, but we weren't good for each other and that wasn't good for the kids. I was angry with God for not saving my marriage. Big daddy was angry with me for going back on my promise never to leave him. The kids suffered allot during that time. I got a job so that I could support us after he left. He totally went off the deep end acting like the biggest jerk ever. We live in a suburban community. Everyone knows every one's business. The kids had to deal with the rumors about us splitting up, the whispers about his behavior with other women, the pain of seeing their only stability begin to crumble around them.

I lost hope. I lost my mind. I ran to someone else who promised to treat me like a real man should. Fortunately he lived in Arizona at the time so I couldn't do anything incredibly stupid like sleep with him but that didn't stop me from using his sweet talk as an escape from all of the pain of losing Big Daddy. I was so deeply hurt I couldn't breathe when I thought about it; Big daddy didn't even fight. He didn't even try to keep us together. He didn't think he was worth my love and I didn't think I was worth his effort but I couldn't stay away. I told him that he was my dragon; my greatest obsession and my greatest pain. It was a mess.

Our oldest daughter suffered the most. She felt responsible to protect the other kids from our insanity. She tried to be there for me and support me, but I was such a mess and I was going in the wrong direction. Her support just made the guilt worse. I blocked her out, it broke her heart. She lost control and spiraled down a path that led her to run away. I don't blame her, I can't. She is a beautiful and fiercely loyal young woman who would do anything for her family, but her family was falling apart. Who she was didn't make sense anymore. She was lost, we had taken away the beacons in her life that held her safe and left her in the dark. She was only 16.

Big Daddy and I got back together about 6 months after we separated. It took another 2 years to begin to repair the damage. There were trust issues, bad habits, personal baggage that still had to be overcome. So many days we didn't think it was going to work but we love each other so much. There's so much passion and commitment to each other between us...we just couldn't let go.

God began to reveal the roots of the problems. he began to show us how to break free individually so that we could come together and be free as the One we were intended to be. I have no doubt that Big Daddy is my soul mate. The problem was that each of us carried burdens and mistrust, pain and fear deep in our souls. God had to clear it all out. He taught us to forgive ourselves, each other and those who had hurt us in our pasts. He did a mighty work in our lives. He overcame all that we had set between us and gave us back to each other as we were meant to be, whole, pure, in love. It really was a miracle. Our miracle.

Now, when I think of all that we have been through and where we are headed, I'm dumbstruck with awe. I'm so grateful to God for what He has done and is still doing. That is first and foremost. I am also grateful to Big daddy. He had to choose to be a better man. He had to choose to allow God to reach inside him and reveal any ugliness that he had been trying to hide and "deal with" on his own. He had to admit his defeat in order to gain the victory, and he did. That is no easy thing for a man to do. They need to feel strong and invincible. They need to be able to believe that they are good for us. It's their place, their hard wiring. Provider, protector and priest, that is who a man is called to be. When God held up that proverbial mirror in front of Big Daddy and showed him who he had become, that he wasn't who he was supposed to be but instead had become what he hated; angry, hurtful, inconsiderate, unfaithful, selfish, chauvinistic and even cruel...he could have denied it. He could have turned away and chosen to continue trying to "better" himself without any "interference" from God. But he chose a different path.

To me, Big daddy stood up to all of the shame and guilt he had heaped upon himself and rather than deflecting or denying it, he said "You're worth me taking responsibility for this, no matter how much it hurts. You're worth overcoming this, no matter how embarrassing it is. You're worth it to me and I'm going to prove it.". Nothing could have blessed me more.

Big Daddy used to tell me all the time "Tell me you love me." as if I didn't say it enough or he needed reassurance. Now, he asks me "Am I good for you?' He doesn't want to know just that he does things that make me happy. he wants to know that he has become the man in my life who is strong when I'm weak, who encourages me to be who I am, who ushers me into the presence of God when I'm hurting. He wants to know if he has become that man in my life who is my everything because he has earned the right to be so. After all this time, after so many years of explosions, pain, guilt and fear, amazingly, miraculously my answer is always "Yes."

Thank You God for the new life You gave to our marriage. Thank You Big daddy for not giving up. Thank you for being who you were meant to be in my life and the lives of our children. You are so good for me Big Daddy. I love you.

Until forever comes My Love.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why I'm such a flake

O.K. the real answer to that question is many faceted and would take the rest of my life for me to actually put into words...this post, therefore, is just about the

It's been busy as always. I thought it was going to be slow and relaxing, but then there was the extra 5 yr old, and the wasn't all that relaxing after all. It was however peace-filled and I will take that over uneventful any day! :)

Lets see...Did I mention that I went on the Zoo field trip with Zabo last Monday? That was the start of my week. I drank 4 large coffees before 2pm...then I went to work!

No I did not eat all of this could you even think that!
 I shared...everything except my coffee...this is number 3 and I think it was 11am.
I bought nachos for the kids too :)

 But it was awesome. The kids I was with were fabulous (aren't all 1st graders fabulous? It's those 2nd graders you have to watch out for! ;) and I got to hook up with one of the moms I know already from last year so the trip was more divide and conquer than it was watch and pull my hair out! A nice change :)
<---her (Kayla)               me--->

THEM :) 

Us :-D

Of course, it wouldn't be a field trip to Lincoln Park Zoo if it didn't rain, but this face....well, it made a day at the zoo with 1st graders in the rain AND the bumpy bus ride BOTH WAYS soooooo very worth it!!

That has NOTHING to do with the weekend (In my best Rosanne Rosannadanna voice) "Nevermind"

Moving on!

Friday was the day I had Moose's best friend Isaiah over. He's a great kid. His parents aren't too shabby either.
(Actually we really like them...but don't tell them that...we'd like to keep up our image as "The weird family" keeps away the normal people...for the most part anyway...and who likes normal people...they're BORING..pshhh)

But first, we had to take my Bear to the vet. Ug! It sucks SO bad to have a pet that you adore beyond reason (he might as well be related) who is in pain. He got fixed Tuesday and just couldn't stop licking. We never imagined HE would be the "problem child", he's MY Bear...he's like the Mary Poppins of dogs. But by Friday he had nearly opened his stitches and they were infected. So we all went back to the vet (Mars cried the whole time we were gone...poor guy) and Bear came home with HUGE antibiotic pills and the cone of shame :-(

Then we had pizza.

OK...there was a little in between the cone of shame and the pizza, but I have blocked most of it out because it was just too painful...sniff..sniff.......

and funny

So this neat little 5 yr old came over and hung out with us overnight. He, Zabo and Moose played...and played...and played...THEN we had pizza! Veggie pizza if you can believe it. I put onions, red peppers and fresh sweet corn into that sauce, hid it under the cheese (and mushrooms for Moose and Zabo) and voila! Kids EATING veggie pizza :-)

Without even one single complaint! I win! Nah nah nah na nah nah! Just sayin'. (Did I mention that Boyo made the crust SOLO whilst I napped! AND it was good! His first time too...I'm so proud :)

They went to bed around 9:30 (I only threatened a little...I swear :-)
And in the morning they played...and played...and played....until it was lunch time.
(they got their own breakfast...oh how I love cereal!)

 Then they watched a movie and Isaiah went home

We all worked VERY hard to clean the house and I even made time to do the girls nails (and mine) before it was time to get dinner together.

I actually got to do my nails twice in the past week...I have NO idea how I managed it...but it happened and I'm happy about

Still reveling in my culinary victory from the night before I got adventurous. I decided, rather off the cuff, to make risotto for the first time. I have watched many cooking shows on risotto and I know the technique behind it (Thanks in no small part to Anne Burrell) so I told Bubba to run Moose a bath, because I knew it was kind of labor intensive, and I got it going.

It was FABULOUS. I don't have a picture...IDK could be because I forgot about that whole bath for Moose thing while I was swooning over my curried vegetable risotto until about an hour AFTER we had dinner...when Tabby had to go to the bathroom and got stopped by the sopping wet carpet!

 These areas of my home USED to be carpeted...that is until the flood decided to travel to brave new the girls room, the hallway and the multi-purpose room...the one with the toys and formerly clean laundry pushed into it's only not soaking wet corner.

Thank GOD for my amazing kids! The Adams Family Emergency Response Team leapt into action. Tabby read to the small ones and prayed for them so that they were out of the way while the boys and I did mop up duty. When the small ones were tucked in Tabby helped get up the leftovers we found under the carpets we had to pull up (I am truly amazed by what gets under carpet...who would know what tiny treasures we walk on all day long?) The boys helped get the laundry going, clean up from dinner and we even got the house back into such an order that by the time Big Daddy got home from work he didn't even know anything had happened...except for the missing carpets of course...but that could be explained any number of ways with me for a wife ;-)

When all was said and done the older kids were very proud of themselves, I was very proud of them and we all went out for a moment to see if we could catch sight of the "supermoon"

This picture is absolutely fabulous on my

This morning proved to be interesting. I had to have the fans on high all night in both of the bedrooms that got wet to try and dry out what we could (walls, and the girls and my carpets) so Zabo woke up with a horrible cough. We didn't think she was in the "draft" area...but it happens and she was miserable. Sad cheerleaders are a very sorry sight!

So she, I and Moose all stayed home from church. No point in sending Moose when the Sunday School teacher isn't (me) isn't going to be there.

It worked out for everyone. The worship and message were right on time for all of my guys and as for the small ones and me...well...

about 2 doughnuts after the others left for church Zabo was feeling MUCH go figure.

So we planted

It's a starter garden (I still have plans for that Pallet Garden Elle just looks SO COOL!)
Tomato's, cukes, watermelon, basil, sunflowers and vintage peppers...most of the containers are recycled..which makes me happy AND I found this cool idea for recycled watering cans

It's awesome. And it's great for the kids. I can mix up 2 gallons of plant food and they get to be Happy Hippie kids whenever they want :-)

Let's see...then what happened..Oh yeah, grocery shopping and lunch.

Sunday Dinner is always important. It's not formal at our house, but it's really the ONLY meal we get to sit down together with Big daddy for AND it's our "Sabbath Day" so it has to be something special. Today was BBQ short ribs, baked potato, garlic bread and salad! Fabulous!

There was some wrestling after true Adams Family fashion;

Me ~ Daddy, Boyo is messing with me!
Big Daddy ~ Boy, do you want me to hurt you?
Boyo~ Well, now that you mention it *pokes me*
*Big daddy goes after Boyo's hands, Boyo blocks and goes after Big Daddy's hands, Mars thinks it playtime and goes after both their hands, Moose comes up from behind and hits Big Daddy because somehow the whole wrestling match has ensued OVER in, my physical body is between Boyo and Big Daddy, Zabo tackles Moose for hitting Big Daddy and Tabby takes pictures...*

They weren't very good...too much movement....but there's a video :-)

Well, that about wraps it up. Tabby and I watched a new T.V. show on Hulu after the guys went to go see the Avengers and the small ones went to bed. It had a VERY child inappropriate scene in it..and it was episode one...we won't be watching that again. Back to Gilmore Girls it s :0

I hope you all had a wonderful and peace-filled weekend regardless of how busy or not busy you may have been.

Be well my friends.

God, I love Sundays :-D

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

To my Bubba

My dear, sweet, wonderful Son,

I'm so grateful to know you. I cannot believe that I have had the honor of being able to look into those amazingly deep, brown eyes of yours for 16 years now. From the day you were born you were like this amazing little old man who held the secrets of all the world in his soul but had the wisdom not to share them with me because I am just not wise enough to handle it...yet.

Our beginning was rocky; we both almost died but before your first breath God wanted to show you that He was there for you, that He cared and that, for you, He would move mountains, do miracles. I believe that still. I hope you do too.

You have come to a place in your life of maturity and grace that just humbles me.You have suffered so much and yet there is nothing in you that is hateful or mean spirited.  I know you are not perfect, you are no saint and your pedestal isn't so high that it will hurt you if you fall...which you get that clumsiness from your mother (just ask Laurana). Who you are though...well...all I can say is that I am proud of what God has done in your life.

I'm proud of your constant effort, your determination, your gentleness in spite of your pain. Not because it is a reflection of good parenting...I don't see it that way. I see you, overcoming, day by day the challenges that have held you back in the past, the preconceptions of those around you about what you can and cannot do because of your "disability", holding onto your dignity as a young man and choosing to not let go of your faith, even when it seems your prayers aren't answered and God just isn't listening.

Bubba, I'm proud of who you are, in your heart and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of your life. I'm grateful to see this amazing transformation of my frail, wizened little baby into a strong and hope-filled young man. Your courage and resilience inspire me.  So many people have found peace and comfort in your presence, I am no stranger to that benefit of having you around. You have always had an innate sense, an empathy that seeks to ease peoples hearts. Don't run away from that. I know that in the past it has been a source of great heartache in your life, but you are older, you have matured. Use the discernment that comes with that empathic gift and don't be afraid to love, to give, to be used.

 Not all "using" is bad. Many things grow weak and worthless if they are not used as they were intended...our gifts, as human beings in this world, are like that. We don't lose them, but with neglect they become rusty and impotent. You were meant for more Bubba, never doubt that you were meant for more.

Best of all my son, you have finally grown tall enough to hug me without pain and after the years I waited, your hugs mean the world to me!

I love you, every moment, every day, I am grateful to be your Mother and proud that you are my son.

With all my heart,

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Eyesore

A story found on the net that I used in Sunday School class.

By Mike
Once upon a time there was a piece of land, a lot really. The lot was filled with weeds, rocks,and broken glass. More than a few people had dumped their trash in the old abandoned lot. To make matters worse, a dilapidated house sat right in the middle of the grounds. The windows had been broken out years ago. Rumor had it that the house was filled with rats and mice and other creepy things. People went out of their way to avoid this spot. It was hopeless. The only thing that could fix this lot was a bulldozer.

One beautiful spring morning, a lady known as "The Gardener" walked by the old lot. The weeds were now waist high and flies were buzzing around the trash. The poor house looked sadder than it ever had. The woman paused, then began to walk around the outside of the lot. A few of the townsfolk watched as she took down several pages of notes, then quickly walked away. The Gardner had seen enough.

Word spread quickly thorughout the town that the woman was going to demand the city clean up the lot, bulldoze the house to the ground, and plow it under. Why, how could anyone be upset with her? After all, the lot gave the whole town a bad reputation. It didn't matter if it would be very costly to clean it up, the city would just have to find the money. "It just wasn't right having an eyesore like that in our town," the people would say. "Someone had to do something!"
Several days later the Gardener walked into City Hall. The clerk behind the desk braced himself for a fight. The clerk knew the city didn't have the money that it would take to clean up the lot.

The Gardener walked up to the desk, pulled out her notes and said something the clerk would never forget. She asked, "How much is the abandoned house and lot at 371 Beacon street? I'd like to buy it."
The rumors going through the town couldn't have been further from the truth. The Gardener didn't want to destroy the lot, she wanted to buy it.

The The clerk found the few records there were for the property and looked carefully at them. "There are a lot of back taxes due. It would be quite costly to buy it, let alone the expense to clean it up."

"Never you mind that, is the property for sale or not?" the Gardener replied.

The Clerk scratched his head. "Yes Ma'am, the lot is for sale." Hearing that, the Gardener bought the worthless eyesore right then and there.

All summer long, she and her husband worked extra hard. They cleared weeds, removed trash, and made major repairs to the house. Then, they trimmed the trees and bushes, and planted many kinds of beautiful flowers. They even added a cobblestone walkway leading up to the front door. Out back, behind the house, they added a small pond with a fountain. The lot that was once such an eyesore had now become a beautiful showplace. Love, time and a little work had transformed the lot. Now, people went out of their way just to walk by and take a look at the beautiful view of the property.
What the Gardener did next also surprised the whole town. She she hung a sign out front that read:

She knew her lot could be restored because when she was younger, someone else taught her how to do it. Now, she wanted to teach others how to transform eyesores into things of beauty. And before long, the whole town was indeed a place of beauty.

Some people are like the old dilapidated house sitting in the middle of a trashy lot. They look worthless and many people go out of their way to avoid them. It may be the bully at school or the neighborhood kid that looks a little geeky. The Bible says that we all have trash in our lives. The trash in our life is called sin.

The Good News is that none of us are worthless in God's eyes. In fact, His will is that none of us should be forgotten, destroyed, lost. (2 Peter 3:9) He wants us to get rid of the sin in our lives, but we can't get rid of the sin by ourselves. We need to ask Jesus to forgive us and give us a new heart. When we do, we become "Born Again" to follow God. Then, just like the gardener, you will want to share the good news with others. You can let others know about the wonderful work God has done in your life, and that He can do the same for them.

Think about this. When you look at others do you see an eyesore or a garden?

If you give a Moose a cupcake...

Moose has been having some behavioral issues. They were pretty serious. I was frustrated, his teachers were frustrated...Moose was was all just very frustrating. Sooooo...we worked on some things, observed and adjusted and implemented a reward system. That system works pretty darn well. It consists of Moose having to not get in trouble at school x amount of days in a row so that he can obtain his prize. The prize is something he wants. The last one was a Jar-Jar Binks pen from the cheerios box. Simple, yet effective.

Today was a special day. It was the first day back after spring break. A whole 10 day break in his routine had come to a close and I was worried that he needed a little extra incentive to "Be good!" in school today. So I bribed him. Yes...I did. It's not a regular thing. His rewards are hard to get and we do not bend. If he was good for 2 days and then got just 1 warning on the reward. He has to start counting over again. Today, all he had to do was not get in trouble at all and he was able to get a treat. I did not specify what the treat was...but I did specify it was a sweet treat and not a toy treat.

He was BURSTING with excitement when he got home. He had not gotten any warnings! He was good and didn't talk and did his work. Even his teacher said he had a great day. Yay! Woo Hoo! Good going Moose!

"What's my treat?"

Here's where it gets cute/funny

You can have this; one very rich, VERY chocolaty triple chocolate gourmet cupcake :)

"Can I have it NOW?"

No have to take a nap first. After nap you can have your cupcake.

He looks at the cupcake...looks at me...

and makes a BEE-Line for the bedroom. It was 10:30
 "I'm tired now mom" He calls behind him. 

The next hour and a half before the real nap time consisted of MANY "practice naps" as I dubbed them where he went to bed for 3-5 minutes then ran out saying, "I slept, I can have my cupcake now.". 

Too cute.

He did eventually get his cupcake. 

He was happy to pose for the "after" portion of this post :)

So, the moral of this story is...

If you give a Moose a Cupcake he will probably be hyper for a few hours...but the hugs are very worth it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Just because...

I saw this...lost my breath for a sec...regained it and had to

I really can't say anything about this photo..except..umm...yeah...I'm a Bears fan...lololol

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday? Really...?

It's hard to believe that it is Tuesday..and by that I mean ONLY Tuesday. Ahh well..such is life...

The last week was a crazy one. We went back and forth with; Am I working? Am I not working? Am I working from home? Can I work from home? How much goo gone does it take to get that stuff off the wall? What is that stuff anyway?

Actually only the work questions were real...last week anyway. We have been having trouble with the entire Adams household turning upside down and someone...usually Moose but Bear has had his fair share of it too...getting injured whenever I GO into work. I am Big daddy's secretary. I make phone calls, set appointments, reschedule appointments for people he wasn't able to see because the car broke an axle, screw his head on straight at the beginning (and end) of each day and pray...allot. It's not a terribly demanding job, as I have said before...unless I am getting cryptic FB messages like "He burnt his hands, what do I do?" or "I think the dog has a concussion...what do I do." (Yes, these are REAL messages I have gotten when I am at work....sigh....)

Besides the work dilemma there was a MASS miscommunication issue with the major performers for our Diverse City exhibition. Someone (A Bubba who shall remain nameless for reasons of protection) overheard a conversation I was having with our Pastor about the date...turned around and..trying to be helpful, told the Dance teacher of the group who was supposed to come dance that the date for the exhibition had changed, then turned around and, after he was yelled at for "helping", told her the right date, but the wrong was a mess. In the end, they pulled out. As did our Spanish guitarist. The guitarist was no big deal. 10 minutes...I can make up for 10 minutes. The dancers however were 30. In a show that is 1hr and 15 minutes it is nearly impossible to suddenly recover from a sudden loss of 40 minutes of performance time. So I canceled.

On the positive side...It was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL here the last week.

We took walks (2.5 miles to BK and NO ONE complained!)

, climbed trees,

Hung out in the yard

 had dinner outside

And basically behaved in true, randomly insane Adams fashion

Just fantabulous weather. It makes us all want to DO something.

That brings me to the fourth and final thing that happened last week; we, as a family (well the 4 older members anyway) decided to do the 2013 Mid-West Tough Mudder.

This I am excited about! It's a 10-12 mile run with a bunch of military style obstacles through it that you have to get over as a team. It's dangerous, it's dirty, it's tough as's totally my kind of challenge :)

 On top of that they raise money for the "wounded Warrior" project. An awesome cause that is just totally on track with who we are as a family (ie. VERY patriotic).

We chose the 2013 rather than the 2012 event because Big daddy and I are not remotely ready. There's allot of work that will have to be done to strengthen our bodies, especially our cardiovascular and musculature systems. We are mush balls...we admit it :)

Anyway...that's my week in was yours?

(Is it really Tuesday? sigh)