About Me

I am a crazy woman, funny and carefree but type A and anal all at the same time. I have two daughters and a Father who's a King...what more do I need?! My goal on this planet is to help His bride: literally (I plan weddings for a living!) and spiritually (I occasionally offer words of wisdom to loved ones...) Bless us all on this journey!

Jesus and His Girl

Jesus and His Girl

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


How's this for an explanation of Freedom in the Christian walk? Chew on the following idea: Satan did not put the fruity temptation in the Garden, God did. Because without choices (even bad ones) there's no true freedom; God loved us enough and wants us to choose Him so badly that He's even willing to deal with our bad choices if it means they'll bring us closer to Him...which is where true freedom really lies. Huh. God put temptation there, on purpose. I've been chewing on that for 2 weeks now...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Anyone know what this is? Say it to yourself first and then keep reading. It's a ladder, which is the second thing you see, that we put up at our church for a Jacob's Ladder Prayer Storm. We did not put the angel there...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Kids in Pain

A friend of mine is having trouble with her 14 year old daughter being emotionally bullied at her middle school. My heart broke for the mom and the kid, and I asked the mom if she was interfering at all. She said absolutely not; she and her husband pour into their daughter and love her and encourage her, hoping that by doing so they've given her the tools to cope with pain. HOW ADMIRABLE! I remember a counselor friend of mine telling me when we were going through the divorce, that it's every mom's temptation to shelter their children from pain, anger, fear, or sadness. And yet by doing so we're denying them the chance to practice how to deal with those things...especially while they're still in the safety of our home and care, rather than as adults in the real world and dealing with it for the first time. It's so hard to see our kids hurt, but especially now that my kids are bigger I'm trying to let them learn to deal with disappointment rather than rescue them from it...Danny Silk (pastor who did a really good parenting series on teaching your children to make good choices without our help!) calls it the "helicopter mom," hovering hovering hovering... leaving our kids to their own devices --- as long as theyr'e not in any danger of course--- is easier said than done!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving one and all! I love this day; I'm not one of those who goes straight from Halloween to Christmas without camping for awhile at Thanksgiving. And here's a cute recipe Hannah brought home from school for a tasty pre-turkey snack mix:

Bugles- Shaped like a cornucopia or Horn of Plenty, a symbol of our Nation's abundance.
Mini Pretzels- Arms folded in reflection, a freedom sought by the founders of our country.
Candy Corn- Sacrifices of the Pilgrim's first winter. Food was so scarce that the settlers survived on just a few kernels of corn per day.
Nuts/Seeds- Promise of a future harvest; we reap only if seeds are planted and tended to with diligence.
Dried fruits- Harves gifts from our abundant land.
M&Ms- Memories of those who came before us, to guide us to a future of freedom.
Mini Hershey's kisses- The love of family and friends who sweeten our lives.

Isn't that cute? And it's DELICIOUS... perfect combo of salty sweet...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Birthday Ramblings

Ok ladies, tell me what you think. I'll be 33 tomorrow and tonight is Friday night, so my munchkins and I are gonna do something together tonight and then we're doing some extended family going-out-to-dinner-stuff tomorrow night. I've been told (by some who acted like they were joking but I'm not sure) about how sad that is; "poor Jen is single so she has to go out with her kids." I disagree! My kids are so much fun now it's like they're my girlfriends; they're old enough to enjoy shopping, they're good in restaurants, and they make me laugh. Is that so bad?! Second, I've been told (by the same people) that I tend to be intimidating to men, I'm "too confident" blah blah blah and that's perhaps why I don't have a date for my birthday. What?! I'm supposed to pretend to be needy so some guy with low self esteen can muster up the courage to ask me out, all so I can feel "good about myself" that I have a date for my birthday?! I'd rather hang out with my kids.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ghosts, Ghouls and Demonic Chocolate

I understand Halloween is somewhat controversial, and to those of you who don't celebrate it I'll try not to step on your toes at all. But we love it! We hang stuff in the yard, we carve pumpkins, we watch The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and crack up at Snoopy playing the War Pilot on top of his doghouse. We do have the rule that no one can dress as anything "yucky," but other than that we do it up baby. I've posted a pic of our cute autumn house and my cute autumn kids:) (I also dressed up, as a baseball player from my beloved Cubbies, though I was the one taking all the pics so alas you all have to go without seeing mommy in a baseball jersey...) It's hard to see in these pics but once a year these 2 girlies are allowed to wear mascara and let me say, unbelievable are the EYELASHES on my children. Good grief Charlie Brown.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kid Cleaning

Last week the girls had fall break and before we busted out the fun stuff we had to clean. "Mawwwwmmmmm..." they whined. Til they got cool jobs. Hannah got to take the couch cushions off (which she loves to do anyway) and vaccuum the couch and the cushions, any way she liked in any order she liked, as long as the cushions got put back the right way. Skylar got a spray bottle full of vinegar (my new favorite non toxic cleaning product, by the way) and got to do all windows and mirrors. Every mom on the planet knows how much fun a spray bottle is, and when you're 10 and get the big kid responsibility of having a real job with the spray bottle, well that's all the better. While they HAPPILY did these chores I cleaned out the entire refrigerator and washed and PUT AWAY (that's always the hard part) two loads of laundry. Then the girls made their beds and did their regular morning chores and the rest of the weekend was fun. Yay!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Not Really Swearing...

Let me preface this by saying there are certain things we don't say in our house: stupid, shut up, hate, just to name a few. We also obviously don't use "cuss words" because those are words that hurt people's feelings. Having said that, I heard from Hannah's sunday school teacher that they were discussing wisdom last week and he asked if any of the kids knew what that was. My Hannah, who herself is very wise for her age, raised her hand and said "That's what all the stupid people don't have but everyone else does." The teacher was laughing so hard he almost had to leave the room...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

To Clean or Not To Clean...

I came across an article from Sept. 14 on the MSNBC site talking about all the Superbugs that make our kids sick nowadays. One theory is that we're "too clean." Yes germs cause illness, but often so do the chemicals we use to get rid of those germs. I struggle with this because I LOVE TO CLEAN. It's an illness, I know! But I love when new cleaning products come out, new cleaning gadgets, and although you can't always tell this is an obsession of mine because my 2 girls and I live in a small house that dirties easily, there's nothing better than a rainy day and the kids at school so I can scrub stuff. Seriously. And remember my sewage issues from a few months ago? I was so happy to bleach my basement when that was over! And yet... I want to be green, we don't do shots or antibiotics in our home, we don't even really do perscriptions (I literally think the kids have had 2 perscriptions TOTAL, between the 2 of them, in the last 10 years). So why subject my kids and myself to the crap in cleaning products when plain old soap and water is probably just as good?! I need to be delivered:)

Saturday, October 6, 2007


First of all, I'm not like other moms and I get that. I'm perfectly able to accept the fact that when my children go to other people's houses they may hear or see some things that they wouldn't hear or see here; it's like I have to "deprogram" the kids when they come back to me! That's fine and I don't freak out about it. But last night one of them went to a little girls house and came home this morning after I'd dropped her off last night, met the mom, did a quick once over of the house to make sure it didn't look or smell wierd, etc:) She gets home this morning and over the course of the morning I learn that "Her mom let us jump on all the beds." And "We didn't have breakfast, we just ate popcorn and fruit snacks." And "No, we didn't brush our teeth last night or this morning." And "Yeah, we were awake at 5:30 this morning and played and pretty much ran the house with no adult supervision." NOW. I realize it's Saturday morning, I realize it's fun time because it's like a little slumber party, and if just one or two of these little things occur that's normal under the circumstances. But after hearing this list of 5-6 things in just the last half hour I'm thinking perhaps that's the way they run their house! Again, fairly innocent things, no one's in danger or anything, but it doesn't sound like there are too many boundaries. In my house the kids have a say and a voice and all that, but the grown ups are still in charge. What do you guys think? I'm hitting the "Tweens" and I'm starting to panic:)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Jen Should Be A Guy

I've been called many things, but this was a new one. I was recently told by a guy friend of mine I should be a guy, because I know so much "guy stuff." For example, I've seen all the Star Wars AND Lord of the Rings movies, and I like 'em. I like heavy music. I just got done reading Dune. I like Stanley Kubric movies. And more to the point, I GET INSANE ABOUT THE IDEA OF MY BELOVED CUBS GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS! LIKE JUMPING UP AND DOWN ON MY COUCH C R A Z Y. My friend Brandi and I were saying Saturday there's no amount of money we wouldn't spend to see a Cubs World Series game live at Wrigley Field. Seriously. S E R I O U S L Y :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Flu

When I was a kid the flu lasted 2 days and was spent having a 102 degree fever and getting to stay on the couch watching cartoons. This was a GOOD thing! One on one time with my mommy, who'd snuggle with me and make me soup. I'd fall asleep without realizing it, wake up groggily without realizing it, all during an episode of the Flintstones. Know what the flu is today? Something to fear and (uh oh, here she goes) be vaccinated against. In fact one of the only immunizations to still (in most cases) carry thimerasol is the flu vaccine. Go to the vaccine awareness blog here on my list off to the right for more info, but basically beware of Prevnar specifically and flu vaccines in general. I always say "I'd never tell families to stop vaccinating altogether, I just say be educated." Ok that's true for the biggies like polio, etc. The flu is not a biggie, so I'm gonna be bossy after all! The flu doesn't count. Let your kids get sick for a day, let them stay home and strengthen their little immune systems, let them watch an old episode of Flintstones if you can find it:) Snuggle them and don't let their fever get TOO high. Other than that, LET'S CHILL OUT!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Ok so he IS my nephew but OH MY GOSH have you EVER seen a boy this cute? (Yeah yeah yeah I know some of you have sons so I"m sorry I'm sure they're cute too, ha-ha). But you gotta admit: those are the bluest eyes and biggest cheeks you've ever seen, right? My brother's little guy. He calls Hannah "Nanna." S O S T I N K I N

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I love Target

Ok, Elizabeth is doing a giveaway to celebrate her 2 year anniversary in the blogosphere! Go visit her at thewholefamily1.blogspot.com to enter for a $10 Target gift card! Except I want it more than you do:)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jenny McCarthy

I'm watching Oprah as we speak, and Jenny McCarthy (whom I've hated in the past) is a celebrity mom dealing with an autistic child. When her little boy was two he started having seizures, doctors misdiagnosed epilepsy/fevers/mom's crazy/whatever. Finally a diagnosis of autism. Doctor said "Sorry," and sent them home. Guess what? When Sky was 13 months old she started having seizures, doctors misdiagnosed, "mom's crazy," finally a dignosis of autism. Doctors said "Sorry," sent us home. That was 9 years ago. NOW, FINALLY, I CAN WATCH OPRAH AND SEE THESE RICH FAMOUS MOMS AND KNOW THEY'RE NOT CRAZY, AND I'M NOT CRAZY! They're talking about the danger in our nations One Size Fits All vaccination program, the danger in our processed foods, the idea that SO MANY OF OUR CHILDRENS BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS CAN BE CHANGED WITH DIET...NOT MEDS. So attention moms: even if you're not dealing with this in you home, join those of us who are: MAKE DOCTORS ACCOUNTABLE. Do your homework. Our bodies are like computers, Garbage In Garbage Out. Ask questions, protect your families, and be willing to go against the grain. Go mommies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! P.S. Jenny McCarthy has a book called Louder Than Words, about her story that is obviously specific to autism but that applies to EVERY mom's struggle to fight for her family. I'm getting mine today!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

10 on the 10th!

Well, this was the big bash. My oldest baby is in double digits, and it was her Golden Birthday no less! My mom made a ton of food, I put out a ton of decorations, the kids perspired a ton of sweat in the jumper (even the boys, and even though it was pink!!!) Fun was had by all, except for about 10 minutes when one child was accidently locked in a car...she's fine now but there was some drama there for a bit!

Friday, September 7, 2007

New Fave Blog

Mrs. Sara posted a few days ago her SIL had a comment on vaccines. So I went to HER blog, led to other visits to other sites, and I landed on this vaccineawareness.blogspot.com. It's on my Fave Blog list over to the right here, listed as Vaccines in the News. IT'S FABULOUS. The author leads the NVIC, National Vaccine Information Center (also an awesome website). For those of us who feel overwhelmed by the controversy, this woman has done all the work for us! She presents whatever the argument of the day is, and then her own (usually holistic) opinion on it. Every 21st century family needs to be on top of this; as opposed to when we were kids, children now are subjected to over 40 doses of 14 different vaccines by the time they're 5. People who say "well we did shots and we were fine" have not read the "new" recipes for today's vaccines, let alone the sheer NUMBER of shots we now require! I don't tell moms to cease vaccinations. I DO TELL MOMS TO BE INFORMED! READ THIS BLOG AND CHECK IT OFTEN!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Land of the Too Much

I posted recently about the obscene amount of toiletries and chemical beauty products in my house. Then Bethany recently posted about excess in general, too much space too much stuff too much too much. This reminded me of a conversation I've had with a number of girlfriends, about our homes. Only in America do we have every day dining areas and formal dining rooms, or every day family rooms and then living rooms that are just "for pretty." My daughters and I live in a very small 2 bedroom 1 bath home, so there are no "guest baths" or "parlors". In fact there is not one square inch of space that is not used to its fullest! This is a problem when we got to homes that do have rooms that are just to look at, because my girls can't fathom having a living room we don't go into! (Although mommy would LOVE some space where there are no crumbs or barbies or fingerprints....) What do you guys think?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

God Bless Roto Rooter

They're cleanin the crap as we speak and I"m done bloggin about it! On to happier things: I'm posting some pics of the wedding I did a month ago! Much prettier than the poop pics I could have gotten from the sewer dept. to post...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Poop, Part Deux

Ok so I've had the sewer dept here twice, and had a plumber here this evening tell me I can either continue to put a band-aid on the problem (which costs $135) or fix it (which costs $975). I am an educated person and I understand that this needs fixed, and in the long run I"ll be better off and save more $ blah blah blah if I fork out the big bucks now and fix it once and for all. I get that. But I'm opting for the $135 just so I can flush my frigging toilet! It'll be done in 10 minutes. I ain't goin 4 more days for the plumber to "fix it for real!" And as un-environmentally friendly as it may be I CAN'T WAIT TO BLEACH THE WHOLE FLIPPIN BASEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

It's Raining Sh--

I've done things today more disgusting than any I've ever done before. I tried to prevent the inevitable: called my insurance guy, called the sewer department, but to no avail. The storms have been so bad and incessant here that the homes in my neighborhood are floating in sewage. Yep, the sewer guy actually had to come to my house and TAKE PICTURES OF THE PILE on my basement floor (everyone together now: EEWWWW!) and, although he admitted any amount of human poop on a floor is gross, he did tell me mine wasn't that bad. There apparently are homes on the north side of Valpo with a FOOT OF FLOATING SEWAGE in their FINISHED BASEMENTS. Uggghhhh. So, I have my dehumidifier plugged in and am trying to dry the, um, liquid portion. In the meantime I rubber gloved and shovelled and dumped the, um, solid part. (I use the word "solid" loosely here). Once it's dry I'll have to bleach everything but until the water in the town's sewer lines goes down, the water around the pipe of my basement will remain. So bleaching at this point doesn't do any good, except the poop smell becomes bleachy poop smell.... again, Ugghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I LOVE BEING A SINGLE MOM...........................................................

Thursday, August 23, 2007

S C H O O L !!

Fourth grade and second grade. Geez. No idea how that happened, I don't think I can possibly be old enough to have a 7 and 10 year old! I love love love these girls though, they're so good and fun and happy. I'm very blessed.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bye Bye Summer...

The munchkins start school this week, and with that comes the beginning of the fall season (it's been raining and cloudy here for 4 days now, ugghhhh) and the end of summer (it's been raining and cloudy here for 4 days now!) So I thought I'd take this week and pay respects to this summer that's been so busy for us, with 2 roadtrips and party/wedding planning and 2 trips to the fair and some 4th of July stuff thrown in for good measure. I'd posted some Dells pics before, so I'll post pics today of the pool party I did for some clients in July. It was so much fun! (For more end of summer fun go to "The Pumpkin Patch" blog (swtbamamaof2.blogspot.com) and enter your 2007 hot weather stories!)

Sunday, August 12, 2007


American is a trip...literally. We take for granted how big our nation is, until you've gone to Europe and can do 3 countries in a day or something. Or do what I just did, which is travel 15 hours to see friends, stay 3 days, and travel 15 hours back. HAD A BLAST. But 15 hours as a single mom in a car, well, that's an adventure no matter what. My kids were good thankfully, and I saw a variety of signs/billboards that celebrate the diversity that makes up our nation. For example, I drove through a town called "Friendship" (awwww...). I saw a sign that said "Free Manure" (um, as opposed to poop I would have to pay for?)! I drove through a town in southern Ohio that is preparing to celebrate their annual Tobacco Festival (huh). I drove behind a truck in West Virginia that said "Body Piercing by Smith and Wesson" (again, huh). I saw a billboard with a picture of a coal miner in a hard hat that said "Coal. Keep the lights on" (this goes against my eco-mommy thing, trying to get away from fossil fuels, and yet aren't these people just trying to support their families too?) Anyway, we're home now and thankful for Indiana but also thankful to be a part of something...bigger. I won't break out the Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be An American" or anything but driving through the country is a good way to get the ol' thankfulness brewin' !

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Betrayal and Star Wars

Ok I watched the third Star Wars this past weekend, as in Revenge of the Sith. Not for kids! But VERY POWERFUL: power of love ("I'll do anything for you, even giving up my soul") power of pride ("I'm the chosen one but they don't appreciate me") power of betrayal ("I give up my soul to save my wife but the Dark Side betrays me anyway"). The movie is hard to watch because---in case you've been under a rock since 1976---the bad guys win. Not in the end of course, eventually Return of the Jedi saves the day! But in this particular episode cute little Anakin grows up and gradually joins the Dark Side, kills children in the process, gets burned alive at the end and eventually puts on "the suit." And is still betrayed at the end! So here's what I was chewing on about betrayal: the reason it hurts so bad is because, by definition, it comes from the one person you trust the most to hurt you the least. Think about it. Who lives on this planet that you are absolutely safe with? Absolutely vulnerable with? Tell your deepest secrets to? It's the pain THAT person causes that hurts worse than pain from anyone else...that's what makes betrayal so evil. This movie just really made me think about that; in my family, my Christianity, my relationships with my friends, everything... I've been betrayed, and I don't EVER want to be the cause of that kind of pain to anyone!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Ok so Elizabeth has been influencing me to expand my blogosphere by visiting sites that have been giving stuff away. In all honesty I didn't get to any of them in time for the giveaways, but have had fun checking out the new blogs nonetheless. WELL. On 5 Minutes for Mom there's a drawing not for starbucks or target--which are also fabulous for all of us mommies who sorely need new clothes and/or caffeine!--but this drawing is for a flat screen tv. HUH? yep, head over there or even to the Best Buy site to check out details. Some mommies on there have claimed they want the tv for their hubbies. Well it's just us 3 chicks in my house so that tv will be GIRLLYYY!!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Eco-Friendly Mommy?

I read an article in People recently about this guy who, in an attempt to be green, wears the same clothes over and over, only showers for like 30 seconds every other day, and brushes his teeth in the shower with the same organic home-made cleansing whatever that he uses on his body. THIS GOT ME THINKING. There is something in my capitalistic brainwashed self that says that's like washing my body with Colgate or brushing my teeth with Dove. But you know what? It's not!! I just took a shower and did an inventory of my toiletries. Do I need different soap for my face than for the rest of me? Do I need handsoap that's different than soap for the rest of me? Do I need separate shaving creams/lathers/gels? Then I get out of the shower. There are feet lotions, body lotions, lotions for stretch marks (that after almost 7 years apparently aren't going away), there are firming lotions (for thighs and tummies that, also, are not going anywhere)! Then there are face lotions, hand lotions, then the hair stuff. Those of you who've seen my mane can only imagine. IT'S RIDICULOUS. There are factories who have to make this stuff, diesel fueled-trucks that have to ship it, local box trucks that have to deliver it, fork lifts that have to stock it, and my car that has to buy it and cart it home. Then I use the stuff (chemical-laden to say the least) and yes I recycle the bottles, but there are deisel-fueled trucks that have to come to my house once a week to pick up the stuff, factories that have to recycle it, and more factories that have to turn the recycled stuff into new stuff. WHAT ARE WE DOING????????????????????????????????

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Summer Vacation (Finally!) Pics

These are some of the Dells pics. The roller coaster is called Hades and, unbeknownst to me, goes below the parking lot into the dark and loud underground--somewhat overstimulating for the autistic 9 year old. Oops! Also a pic of the Wisconsin River, our hotel, and of course my cute kids

Friday, July 13, 2007

MY Way!

Is it really so wrong to just want to be in control all the time? I mean come on, I'm a good person and smart and educated so if everyone would just do what I want we'd all be happier. At least I THINK SO!!!!!!!!! Case in point: I'm doing a very elegant pool party tomorrow for a client of mine whom I've never worked with. This is a big deal! She's being fabulous fortunately; the rental company I'm working with to help me pull this thing off has also been fabulous...until today. We were (according to my meticulous phone log notes) scheduled to be at my client's house sometime between 8-12 today(kind of like the cable or phone company!) to set up her rental items. The rental company instead logged the delivery time between 12-4. So when I called them at 12 to find out where they were they told me the window had just started...they had until 4. I told them their window had just ended...they'd had since 8. So the dispute is over the notes...and I now have to call my client and explain to her that somewhere along the line the ball has been dropped, she still has another 4 hrs to wait. Again she's being wonderful THANK GOD but this MAKES ME LOOK BAD!!!!!! UGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH

Monday, July 9, 2007

Summer Modesty

Water parks are an interesting place. My girls and I went to Wisconsin Dells for 5 days (aren't you all proud of me? only grown-up, did all the packing/driving/spending thank you very much). Anyway we did a couple of different water parks, and it struck me how..."unmodest"...we all become. And you all have done it: groomed and bathed and deodorized to go out ANYWHERE ELSE. And yet at water parks people wear swimsuits that show things they'd never show. They sweat, spit, pull things out of their noses. They yell at their children and look like idiots. They go down slides they're too old to go down and look like idiots. They get wedgies. They slip on the wet tiles by the pool. They're out of shape and out of breath. And yet we all go back for more!! I love summer!! Anybody got any good/gross summer stories?

Friday, July 6, 2007


I still need to blog about the Dells, and I will when I get time to add some pics. But tomorrow is 7/7/07, and (among many other things going on in the media) a book is being released by the guy from the metal band Korn that got saved 2 years ago. His name is Head, and his website is headtochrist.com. His story is amazing, and hits so close to home in light of everything I've had to watch Dave go through the last three years. The enemy lies to musicians...especially good musicians. So much can be done for the Kingdom through music and worship...and I hate to give the devil too much credit but boy he loves to go after the artists that mights actually do somethingg through that music and worship. So do me a favor and pray for Head, for his book sales, for the teenagers who hear his story. While you're at it pray for the other musicians in Korn's world (which Head left, to pursue Christian art projects) who need a story of their own. The "counter-culture" is such a cool place to be, and such a scary one.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

We're Baaaaaaaccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkk

Back from the Dells, crazy weekend mowing and grocery-grabbing. Now finishing yard work and laundry, returning phonecalls, holiday tomorrow. Will post vacation pics later... Happy 4th!

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Ok so this is not one of MY weddings, but apparently it is someones:) Got it in an email. Anyway you guys know I plan weddings; and I have gotten three calls just this week, from STRANGERS which is nice because it means the word of mouth thing is working! I am even planning a 4th of July party for a very wealthy bunch, pool/deck/fireworks at their home. I told her yesterday we're not gonna do hillbilly red/white/blue; we're renting pretty white linens and white chairs, then decorating the food area with red roses and red tapers and the pool area with white lights and red/white/blue pillows on her patio furniture. She told me that sounds beautiful and if it all works out she'll hire me for her Christmas parties too. Go God! Who knows, if we get lucky maybe this couple in the pic will show up!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Things I Love

Awhile back Bethany posted some things she loves. My bedroom is one, because my mom and a bunch of friends did it for me as a surprise for my birthday WHILE I WAS OUT OF TOWN! I came home to it. Full of Eiffel towers and black&white framed pics of Paris. Love it!

Monday, June 18, 2007

July 21!!!

Ok let's stir the waters of controversy 'cuz it's fun! I LOVE HARRY POTTER BOOKS and am very excited the last installment is coming out July 21. I literally have another 32 year old girlfriend who's so excited she may camp out at Barnes and Nobles with the other 15 year olds for the midnight release. How funny. Let me first of all say that I DO NOT think this series is for young children at all. Like, kids only 10 and older maybe, depending on whether or not the child is capable of distinguishing real from pretend and all that. Having said that though, this series of literature is very thought provokin on EVERYONE'S struggle within themselves for the potential to be good or evil, and the ability we all possess to use our gifts for other's benefit or for their detriment. It's really, really good. The other praise I have is that the author has created this whole Harry Potter "universe," much as George Lucas did with Star Wars and the creator of Star Trek with the Klingon language and all that. It really is genius even just from an academic standpoint. I have strong feelings around the "controversy" of Christians reading such material, which I'll save after I read some of your opinions! I'm excited!

Friday, June 15, 2007


I've had two grandmas, both my paternal and my maternal grandmothers, diagnosed with cancer. We buried one last month, and tonight we celebrated the other at the Relay for Life Survivor's Lap. My sweet grandma Bennett is 81 and had to do the last half of her lap in the golf cart, but she smiled and waved her little pom-pom the whole time. She's the epitome of "mindful" living (see previous post). She just finished her last chemo treatment last Tuesday and is so spunky and sweet. One example: last September she and my grandpa came here for a b-day party and both were walking up my sidewalk with canes. I went out to help them in, kissed them and asked how they were doing. My grandma replied "Oh, just call us Cane and Able." I about pooped. And tonight we celebrated her wonderful attitude! When I"m 81 I wanna smile and wave pom-poms, even if it is on a golf cart. Hell I wanna be that way NOW!!! As for my grandma Bair, (pictured here) well she's in heaven now and hopefully they have golf carts and pom-poms there too... :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I've Been Tagged

5 things i was doing 10 years ago:
1. being very pregnant with skylar 2. being hot while being pregnant 3. being horny while being pregnant:) 4. being hungry while being pregnant 5. being fat while being pregnant!

5 snacks i love:
1. ice cream 2. dove dark chocolate 3. chips and salsa 4.cheeses 5. fruit (w/ cheeses or dove dark chocolate!)

5 songs i know the words to:
1. bob seger old time rock n roll 2. beatles twist and shout 3. every poison song 4. every motley crue song on girls, girls, girls or dr.feelgood 5. every bon jovi song on slippery when wet, crush, new jersey

5 things i'd do if i were a millionaire:
1. go to paris 2. put money away for kids 3. buy a bigger house 4. still shopping at target and payless! 5. garage sale even MORE

5 bad habits: 1. eating at night 2.eating salt 3. thinking about how i really need to exercise 4. blogging instead of exercising 5. eating at night instead of exercising

5 things i like to do: 1. eat at night :) 2.read 3.hang out at the beach 4.go to chicago 5.go to wrigley field (preferable at night so i can eat, read the scoreboard, be close to lake michigan and be in chicago!!!!!!!!)

5 things i won't wear again: 1.my 1994 wedding dress complete with HAT (hee-hee) 2.aqua net 3.shoulder pads 4.penny loafers without socks 5. penny loafers with socks

5 fave toys: 1.barbies 2.etch a sketch 3.atari video games (centipede baby!) 4.sit and spin 5.magna doodle

5 people i tag: 1.pat parker 2.gina morales 3.tammy ward 4.bethany fuson 5. THAT'S IT! ELIZABETH TAGGED ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE I BLOG WITH!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Garage Sales

Since my grandma died a month ago we've had the unfortunate task of going through her things, which feels very much like trespassing in the beginning, and now we're preparing to have a garage sale this weekend. I've had garage sales before certainly but they're always at my house; rarely do i have to drive my stuff elsewhere! So not only are we selling grandma's stuff but the individual family members have their stuff as well...so we hope it will go well except it's so windy tonight and supposed to storm of course. Anyone have any garage sale stories?!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

My Baby Who's Not a Baby

This is my third grade Skylar (hairy one on the left, surprise suprise huh?) having her third grade picnic this past Thursday. It was hot out but all the kids were running around in the sun, playing basketball, playing on the playground...except these little guys, the special ed kids, who tire easily or get hot easily (or, as in the case of Sam the dark little guy) just can't get down the slide in a wheelchair. So they gravitate toward each other, and Mrs. Levinhagen on the left is THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON AT PARKVIEW for my little girl! They all look so happy just being together, and this public school is so amazing for how beautifully it treats its "variety" of students. The tallest girl in the back on the right isn't even in their class, but she's one of the older students and likes to help. Thank you God that I have so much support for my special little girl who just likes to sit in the grass in the shade with her special little friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Ok I posted last week about how happy I was Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is back on NBC and it was SO GOOD TONIGHT!!!!!!!!! I laughed, cried, and am bummed I have to wait til next Thurs to see what'll happen next. I would pay people to watch this show with me so I have someone to talk to about it! It's the best drama on tv ever... and Matthew Perry is the best he's ever been. Any Matthew fans?

Saturday, May 26, 2007


I saw something on Oprah yesterday that has me thinking: in Western society everything we do is mindless. I'm so busy with what I have to do next I never focus on what I'm doing now. And even seriously mundane things: how do my legs feel as they drape over this chair? When I eat, do I think about not only how it tastes, but also how it feels? When I hold my kids do I smell them, enjoy the warmth of their skin on mine, be in the moment with them rather than going through the motions but inwardly thinking about the laundry I have to fold? When I'm driving do I marvel at the fact that not only are the trees green but that, when the sun hits them they're actually 100 different shades of green? These small things are the key to happiness. And unfortunately, the new-age Eastern religions are way better at being in the moment than we are. In this country you have to be dying before you slow down enough to smell how sweet the grass smells in the morning. You know? I want to be more mindful of things; I really think it's the key to true thankfulness.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's Baaaaaaaaack...

YAYYY! Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is the Matthew Perry show that had an awesome start on NBC, slowly lost ratings and got put on "haitus" for awhile. Tonight it was back on NBC at 9 pm and it's amazing!! I've loved this show from the beginning: excellent social commentary on the relationship between Christianity and Hollywood (the leading lady is a born again very cool Christian, they actually don't make her look like an idiot, and she is the love interest of Matthew Perry who's a non-practicing Jew. They spar a lot, but with lots of chemistry thrown in so it's smart and sexy both.) WATCH THIS SHOW!!!!! It's so smart and so fun and Matthew Perry is at his best. love it love it love it. Join me so we can chat about it!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

6 year olds

I post frequently how happy I am to be out of the baby stage, my kids are in first and third grade, we do fun big girl stuff together, etc. This is true 99% of the time. Tonight got to be part of the 1%. My Hannah, who's extremely "spirited" for lack of a better word, was given silly putty by her grammy tonight. We got in the car to come home and within probably 4 minutes she says "Mom we may only have to cut out a little of my hair..." THIS IS NOT GOOD. I repeat, this is not good! I look in the rear-view mirror to assess the damage, and yep there's a glob attached to her scalp about half the size of my palm. My mom (whom I called to THANK FOR THE SILLY PUTTY) said she thought ice would get it out. Long story short nothing worked but a pair of FLIPPIN SCIZZORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAGh!!
Sooooooooooo, she has an appointment Wednesday anyway to get her hair cut, thank God, but in the meantime she's a little...spiky...on top. Man that child makes me tired.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

No Boys Allowed (or needed?)

ok girlfriends, i'm giving bethany the day off and i'll do the controversy for once. sex toys and christians. how's that?! on my blog last week i was posting about my grandma dying and having to go through her stuff, and a girlfriend mentioned there were certain places in her bedroom that only her one relative is allowed to clean out; she and i had had that conversation b4 and laughed. here's how it started: a few years back there were a group of us girls from church (u remember who u are!) who were invited to some sex toy parties. VERY ENLIGHTENING! and while all i bought for me and dave was a book and some lotion stuff, i did leave the party feeling..."educated" about things i hadn't known b4! the funny part was, when i returned home with the girlfriend i'd gone with, the husbands laughed and said "cool, our wives are buyin porn!!!" (disclaimer: it was NOT PORN, and the sales consultant knew we were all married monogamous christians who were just...um...broadening our horizons! the husbands were pleased nonetheless). so now i'm single, and have been asked by...um...certain girlfriends...how i'm...um...taking care of things. God bless concerned girlfriends!!!!!!!!!!! what do you guys think? Discuss...................... (this should be good..........................)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Life Goes On

Well the funeral was yesterday and you know what? It was ok. The last week and a half of my grandma's life was so bad that we're just relieved THAT PART is over; the rest hasn't really hit me yet, and that's ok. We did just what she wanted with a short visitation, closed casket, same day service, short dinner. Sooooooooooo...now what? I'm trying to get this wedding business off the ground, excited about summer, I have a wedding to do in 2 weeks at church, time to spend with my mom and sister as we go through grandma's house (that'll be hard but good at the same time). This has just all been so long, and she's BETTER now. She's better now. We also have promised to stay in touch with Tom, her second husband she married after my grandpa died 7 years ago; he LOVES my kids and has been widowed twice now (can you even imagine?) so we will be visiting him at his house in Boone Grove often. Finally, I may have a date next week...but that'll have to wait for another post! Today is for my Grandma Bair, 74 years old, who doesn't have cancer in heaven. Thank God.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Priviledge of the Invisible

I've had the exhausting and daunting task recently of, along with my family, aiding my grandmother on her journey to the next world. She is a believer which makes that journey easier on US, but she's suffering horribly now and that's obviously hard on HER. I was "on watch" all night last night, taking a turn as family members do in times like these, staying up with her for the night and holding her hand, giving her her meds, etc. She's completely incoherent now, and we're using hospice and their philosophy of minimal intervention which is FABULOUS. As in giving birth, THE BODY KNOWS WHAT ITS DOING. We know how to live, and as much as we don't want to hear it we also know how to die. It's been a priviledge this week to be with my grandmother as she takes these last steps into eternity, watching her withdraw and go inward, watching her begin to "see" lost loved ones from the past, even "see" Jesus as she mumbled to us this morning. I'm struck with memories of being in labor with Hannah, so focused on the inward workings of my body and so unconcerned with anything going on around me; so it is with the dying, who may look sweaty or curled up on a pillow uncomfortably but who actually don't even realize it. I was chewing on this notion this morning in the wee hours, realizing that those who die are also birthing: when we birth babies we're birthing new life, and when as Christians our mortal bodies begin to separate from their spirit we also are birthing new life. It really is miraculous, and I've been struck these days of how "un-morbid" it is. It is terrible seeing her in pain, and with the help of hospice we're doing everything possible to make her comfortable. Fortunately it really is almost over, and in the meantime I've been allowed to watch someone take their first steps into the realm of the invisible world. Pretty cool actually.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


American Idol last night (in spite of the creepy Elvis moment) was incredibly moving. Two hours of helping kids who suffer from extreme poverty and the results of it. I cried the whole time, seriously. Sitting there in my 700 square foot house feeling like it was a palace after watching one story about 14 kids in a one room house; my house with a furnace and my kids with their own room and blankets and a bathroom and 18 choices of what to have for breakfast in the morning. And when it was almost over the contestants were singing a finale and Hannah wanted picked up, so I picked her up and kinda boogied as the show ended, and as she snuggled into me I said "We're so blessed, aren't we baby?" And my sweet spirited 6-year-old says, "Yeah, but it doesn't seem fair to the Africans."

That child won't be mine for long. She's destined to save the world, whether she quits high school at 16 and joins the peace corps to save people or whether she goes to Harvard med school and makes a million dollars to then go save people. She has SUCH empathy and sensitivity for her age...unbelievably so. I've known since she was a baby she would leave me...even though she's been a mommy's girl while she's been little...but I know she has a destiny that 's not in Valpo. Bittersweet to say the least!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Foreign Bride Anyone?

Ok so I'm working hard to get this wedding business off the ground and in an attempt to begin planning a web site I looked to see if there was a www.bridehelper.com yet. There's not, so FYI that'll hopefully be the name of my site by the time Day Parker is done with me! Yay! Disturbingly enough, however, I did get a page full of "If you didn't get what you're looking for, try these" and it's web address after address of mail order brides. Some with cameras and available for your chatting pleasure before you...I don't know...SHIP HER to your address?! Russia, Yemen, blah blah blah. Huh.

Friday, April 13, 2007

My munchkins

My children inspire me every day. Hannah wants to take a Moses book to school to read to any kids who don't know God. She's 6. Then there's Skylar, my practical down to earth one (she's also mildly autistic). One night at dinner we were doing an exercise on hypotheticals (which Skylar is bad at and we therefore practice for her sake) and we were discussing what we would do if the tv broke. Hannah creatively decided we could have an UNO tournament, make up games on the computer, play with our new Barbie castle. Good, I said. Ok Sky, your turn; what could we do if the tv broke? And without a smile or a moments hesitation she states we should call the tv man and have him come fix it. I ABOUT CHOKED TO DEATH. Anyone who says a child who is "different" should somehow be "changed" has never met my beautiful spirited 9 year old. I'd never ever ever change one ounce of that little girls spirit. :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


AMERICAN IDOL SUCKS............... first time i've seen this show in 4 flippin weeks b/c of my flippin job and the ONLY person who has ANY PERSONALITY got voted off! no gina wasn't the best singer but she was unique and cute and spunky and rockin i guess i'll keep flippin working on tuesday nights after all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Saturday, March 31, 2007


I love love love going to the city. Don't want to live there but love to visit. Took the girls one day this week over spring break to the Navy Pier children's museum, EXCELLENT place to go for only $8 a person, really not bad considering all there is to do there. Tried to put in some pics of the funnest (raincoats for the "water room," I mean what kid wouldn't love that?!) but even after disabling my pop up blocker it won't let me. Sooooo I'll just let you guys use your imaginations and maybe in another 5 years or so I'll figure out how to do pics, links, and other cool blog stuff that right now I just get warnings about on my screen when I try to do them:)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

death and dying

Today is the first anniversary of my "step" dad Rob's death. My grandma Bair has battled cancer for almost 2 decades and is almost ready to move on to the next world. My grandma Bennett has recently started chemo for ovarian cancer. Sucks sucks sucks. The following is an excerpt from my journal in an attempt to remember Robbie on this day:

"Robby died of a massive coronary last Wednesday at the age of 49. I got a call from mom at work that I needed to meet her and Billy at the hospital. I was first to arrive, so they took me into a conference room (No, God, tell me we don't need a conference room) with the hospital chaplain (No, God, tell me we don't need a chaplain). Some cold little woman named Dr. Brown came in and told me his heart had stopped, they'd tried everything they could to get it going again but they couldn't, he was gone already. Nice. The universe apparently doesn't think Jenny has a breaking point...
Four hours (or four months?) later we went home to tell my kids. Fuck. I'm not normally super vulgar; I attempt to use my vocabulary to uplift and edify. But Fuck. I now get to go home and tell my 8 year old autistic child and my 5 year old drama queen that their crappy year of abandonment by the men in their lives isn't over yet. 'Remember when little Zoe's grandma died last year and even though we were so sad for us we were happy for her? Well, and this'll sound a little (little?!) scary and sad but it's ok: Papa Rob had a very bad accident at work today that hurt his heart and head, and he died. Today. At work. Yes we were at the hospital. No he's not hurting. It'll be ok.' Or something like that."
The good news is, there's a victory that comes with a one year anniversary of surviving something tragic; a sense of accomplishment. We made it. We miss you and love you like crazy Robbie, but we made it. And we're happy FOR YOU...

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Let the angels rejoice maybe this LONG ASS WINTER will eventually end after all. I'm talking spring training here people, and there is no greater joy for a Cubs fan than to have a Mesa, Arizona spring training game on the tv on a friday afternoon while it's 29 degrees here in the ol' midwest. Please God, please let it get warm soon...Wrigley Field misses me...

Friday, March 9, 2007


My mom recently saw a show on cute ideas to do with kids. One was to make a bunch of blue jello and fill ziplock baggies with it and gummy fish, tie the baggie with fishing line and a plastic spoon and use it as a goodie bag at birthday parties! Another was to use paper towel rolls and plaster of paris with food coloring to make big sidewalk chalk. How cute is that?! I'm not crafty when it comes to that kind of stuff...

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Cute kids

Ok, I know everyone thinks they're kids are cute (what kind of mommy doesn't?!) but I'm so proud of mine as they get older. I was a young 22 when I had my first baby girl, and 25 when I had my 2nd. Now they're 9 and 6, big and healthy and happy. We struggle with the single parent thing some days, and Skylar's autism makes school difficult. But I wouldn't trade this season of my life for anything; my girls make me laugh, play, and remember what's important. And Hannah got her EARS PIERCED YESTERDAY!!!!!!!! What a big girl! I've said before all moms love their kids...but not all moms love motherhood. I LOVE BEING A MOM. It's hard and scary and totally fun all at the same time:)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Roughin' It?!

Northern Indiana had a horrific ice storm last night that left EVERYONE without power. I actually woke up when it happened on our street because a branch hit a box somewhere and it sounded like an explosion. Sooooo...I ended up with a 6 year old and a 9 year old in my bed, which was good because with no heat my house was a balmy 55 degrees when we woke up this morning at 7:30. Then.......to further the adventure I put my sweatshirts on the kids (good for a giggle) and closed my bedroom door with us and a bunch of candles inside. We read books, ate apples and peanut butter, lots of snuggle time on my bed. The joy of this lasted about 32 minutes when it really hit the girls that we couldn't watch tv, listen to cds, play on the computer, or use the microwave. Adventure losing its appeal! Finally I turned the oven on and opened the oven door to warm the kitchen so we could at least leave the confines of my bedroom, and I made hot chocolate on the stove with the milk that otherwise would've been spoiling in the warm refrigerator. Nice.
Alas the power came back on this morning after NIPSCO (according to their customer service recording) worked on literally 24 towns who'd lost electricity. I would've SUCKED at being a pioneer:)

Friday, February 23, 2007

John 17

John chapter 17 is the last time Jesus was with His friends before He died. He knew His message would die with Him if He didn't impart its importance to this handful of men one last time. They would be responsible for making sure I WOULD SOMEDAY HEAR IT! Thank goodness they paid attention.
Anyway heard a message last week on how the most important theme in these few chapters in the middle of John is FRIENDSHIP. If Jesus is my friend I don't worry about disobeying Him, I worry about disappointing Him. If Jesus is my friend I get excited about the fact that friends share everything; He probably has a lot of cool stuff for me to play with and learn about!! If Jesus and I are friends I want to go with Him wherever He goes...and He wants to go with me wherever I go. If we're friends I want to introduce my other friends to Him. If we're friends He wants to laugh with me, cry with me, watch chick flicks with me, watch my kids with me. All of a sudden my relationship with Him has NOTHING to do with religion. It was to do with friendship.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I love food. The problem is I eat too much of it (is there anyone who doesn't?!) Well, I heard Joyce Meyer say our biggest problem is "mindless eating." We eat without thinking about our food, then eat too much, then food becomes the enemy. Sooo... some tips I've found that work: I cut my food into really small pieces and eat one piece at a time. Chew it completely, swallow, take another bite. This LETS ME LOVE MY FOOD. Savor it. It takes longer to eat and I feel fuller quicker. Another tip: I put my food onto a smaller plate. Sounds mental I know but if I order Papa Johns and want 4 pieces, I cut 2 pieces in half and get a small plate so I can only fit one (half) piece on it. I make myself get up 4 times to go get another (half) slice. I feel like I"m eating 4 pieces but I'm only eating 2, and if I'm still hungry I eat a banana.
I'm done thinking food is the enemy. I'm done giving up bread or sugar or chocolate or whatever. I know for a fact my problem is portion control, so I eat what I want but I'm conscious of it. And I know for a fact my weakest part of the day is 9-10 at night. So I talk on the phone (to some of you!) at night or check my email or read...and go to bed so I can eat when I get up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Bathroom Humor

Remodeling is never fun but remodeling as a single mom becomes even more ridiculous. Long story short I needed my bathtub replaced so it wouldn't fall through the floor. Yeah. Packed up the children and went to my mom's for the long 4 day weekend, during which I had to work so my mom watched the kids at her house and the bathroom guy did the bathtub thing at my house. Ugh! Just hauling 3 people's worth of crap to grandma's for 4 days is a pain...let alone trying not to think of the mess that I'd have to clean up when I finally returned home. Alas the project is complete...except for some tile work my brother says he'd like to do to my floor. FYI things get done quicker when you pay a professional stranger than when you wait for well-intentioned friends and family members who say they'll do it for free but take 2 years to get around to it.
Anyone else have remodeling stories?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tired of Bein' Colddddd...

Anyone who knows me knows I HATE winter. I hate being cold. I'm the nut outside doing yard work in July when it's 99 out because I love summer that much. Beach, waterpark, zoo, lakefront in Chicago, Wrigley Field...ahhhhh. Just thinking of that stuff makes me feel better...a little! The kids only had 1 1/2 days of school this week because of the weather, went in late 2 days last week because of the weather. One morning we woke up and the temp was -9, and that was just the temp! Never in my life do I remember it being so cold out the temp actually had to warm up 41 degrees just to hit freezing. YUCK............................................................................

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Just a Bloggin' ...

Ok folks, enough of you have asked if I have a blog I'm gonna try it. Kinda proud that I'm computer literate enough to have gotten this far! Hope it works...you all have to respond so I know what the hell I'm doin'... :)