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

Monday, December 29, 2008

First Loves

Hollywood, America, girlfriends...all point to this syndrome, at one time or another, of "first love" and especially "the one that got away." It seems everyone has a skeleton in their closet of someone they loved from afar, or someone they loved who never returned it, or maybe they returned it but then left, whatever. Most of the people I know who have one of these have them from back in the teens or early 20s, before husbands and children and mortgages, and reality! Thus the lost love then takes on this fantasy-like quality, putting the person on way more of a pedestal than he/she ever would deserve in real life! I have one of these, from eighth grade. Went with him for 9 months (that's a long time in eighth grade!) and he broke up with me after cheating one me (which back then was he kissed someone else) and I was DEVESTATED. Anyone else have a story like that? First love, first breakup? Have you seen them since?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hoosier Arctic

"Brrrrr" doesn't begin to describe it. Seven was the high yesterday and it got to zero. ZERO. Those of you who live here know what I mean when I say it's possible for cold to burn you. Those of you who've moved are grateful to forget. Those of you who live somewhere warm and don't know what I'm talking about: you suck! Today it's supposed to warm up (I say with a smirk) to fifteen but the windchill is still negative 25. Quick, somebody check my countdown to summer and remind me of how many more days...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just Call Me Amish-boy


In an episode of Friends (my all-time favorite show) Chandler talks about his cool new laptop and how he can make lists with cool fonts, and Ross asks can't you just use pencil and paper; to which Chandler replies "No, Amish boy." This is how I feel. I've been on blogspot for awhile now and love it for staying in touch with my friends, but I've been accused of lagging behind the rest of the world by not having a myspace page. Especially for my business. So, reluctantly I allowed one of my employees and my brother to construct and instruct... and now you can see me and my store stuff on myspace.com/bridehelper. Mind you I'm not sure I'll know how to respond to you or post or do any of that stuff, at least not yet; myspace seems much harder in that you have to request and invite and stuff...rather than blogspot where anyone can post a response to me and it doesn't require any effort on my part:) Lazy lazy lazy I am! Wish me luck, there's a million brides on myspace who will hopefully find me now! Of course I'll still be here, blogspot is my first love:)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Home Alone


When I was in middle school my mom worked 3-11's so we were home alone after school for literally the whole afternoon and night, and I hated it. But my kids love the idea of being home alone, and because they're only in 3rd grade and 5th grade we limit it; but because of single mom working (just like my mom was) the schedule dictates that they are alone for 30 minutes twice a week til I get home. They love it! There are lots of rules for safety of course, and phonenumbers in case of an emergency, etc etc. Well for the first time we've been faced with the idea of the oldest home totally alone, for about an hour and a half, and she's totally excited she's big enough to be trusted with something this huge. Of course mommy's less excited. And yet I was babysitting OTHER PEOPLE'S kids by 6th grade, so I'm preparing her (and me!) for that by allowing her small amounts of freedom, little by little. What do you guys think? Is eleven too young?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kouts HoHoHo

Well this is it! My first Kouts Christmas as a business owner. Not sure if you've heard it on Indiana 105 or if you've read about it in the Post Tribune, but we're having the annual Kouts Open HOuses this weekend Saturday and Sunday both. It's unique because HOMES are open with decorations to look at and goodies to buy! How neat is that! I have the maps if anyone wants one:) Plus downtown Kouts is having its outdoor celebration Saturday, with Santa coming into town on a firetruck at 2 and the town tree-lighting at 4:45, with carolers out on the sidewalks and Mary and Joseph in the tent downtown. I'll be open 8:30-6 (yikes!!!) Saturday and 10-4 Sunday. No day off for me! But how fun...my cousin came in today with lots of his woodworking for the store, trunks and hopechests and stuff, and cute home-made ornaments, along with the purses and jewelry I usually have. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Porn for Women


My mom sent me this email today entitled "Porn for Women." Included were pictures of gorgeous men, doing the following:
--Bringing home flowers for no reason
--Holding a baby
--Vaccuuming
--Washing dishes
--Standing over a stove in an apron reciting the upcoming evening's dinner
We don't need nudity, we don't need money, we don't even need presents. Just be cute and vaccuum. When my sister had her baby my girlfriend sent her a book with a similar theme: artsy photos of different beautiful men holding different beautiful newborns.

Yum.

;)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gobbles and Gluttonies

I saw Chris Rock do a stand-up one time on all-you-can-eat buffets, and how only in America do you ever hear the phrase "All You Can Eat." I was thinking of that yesterday at my sister's, who hosted Thanksgiving for the first time, and how because of deaths and divorces our crowd was "smaller" this year (only 12 people instead of like 22) and so mom only made three desserts (instead of like 22). Geez louise, we still ate so much I almost made Skylar drive home--lol-- you know you're full when the snaps on your jeans and the steering wheel are BOTH in the way of your stomach and you're NOT months away from delivering a baby. And I'm not embarrassed to say it here cuz I know I"m not the only one :)

So Happy Turkey Day a day late, and happy shopping! Go be patriotic and shop for things we don't need!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down...

I. Hate. American Medicine. Hannah has been fighting increasingly severe headaches for about two weeks now. Long story short she went to the school nurse and we've ruled out eye trouble or sinus trouble. So I have two choices in my arsenal, wonderful Dr. McGuckin who's our naturopath that keeps us healthy on a day-to-day basis, and wonderful Dr. Raelson who's our western medicine doctor who helps us the big stuff. Except the big stuff happens rarely, so we don't see Dr. Raelson that often...and when I called his office today to try to get Hannah in I had to talk to FOUR gatekeepers who gave me the third degree about not having a pediatrician, not visiting the doctor for well-child visits, not vaccinating, etc. The thing is Dr. Raelson himself knows my philosophies and basically laughs at me, stating "We'll just have to agree to disagree." Meanwhile he loves me and my kids and has never had a problem treating us. It's the 16 other people I have to get through first that give me the hassle! Just let me talk to my flippin doctor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As of right now I've been on and off the phone for two hours between the school and three calls back and forth to Raelson's office, and still no appointment... maybe if I'd just be a good girl and do what I'm told without asking anything they'd make it easier on me....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Freecycle


Our good friend E has gotten me hooked on Freecycle. For those of you who don't know what that is, type in Freecycle.com and then go to your ZIP code. It's a Yahoo group so you'll have to make a password if you don't already have any kind of a Yahoo account, but then you get to participate in this cool online free garage sale. Well I've been doing it for awhile and I get email alerts whenever something new is posted (like 40 a day, but fun not spam!) Well. Today there were like 5-6 asking for used toys for their kids for Christmas. Y O U G U Y S. I know Christmas will be tight this year for all of us, but omg that broke my heart. One was asking for books, one was asking for snowpants, one was asking for gently used toys for three kids, one was a grandma who just got custody of her grandkids and needs Christmas presents, etc. So I'm going home tonight and going through the Barbies we don't play with, the baby dolls we have doubles of, the Dora books we don't read anymore, and last years snowpants. We may not have money but you know what, we've got STUFF. More stuff than we need! And to pass that stuff on to people who really DO need it...especially with winter coming...makes me cry!!!!

Yay Freecycle!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Divison of Labor


And I don't mean labor like baby labor, although that feat alone should excuse all women from any other kind of work in my opinion:) No, I mean the labor around your house. As a single mom I do everything from laundry to climbing on the roof cleaning the gutters. Most married SAHMs I know, since they work in the home, do the work of the home: laundry, food prep, scrubbing floors, etc; but many of them also mow the grass and clean the garage. I also know several hubbies who work outside the home but cook many of the family meals. So our generation definitely has a crossover, which I think is GREAT. But. I have a grampa and grampa who've been married 55 years, and he doesn't know how to do laundry. In 55 years the man has NEVER. DONE. LAUNDRY. He doesn't know how to put a tv dinner into a preheated oven. She doesn't know how to work a checkbook. She's never mowed the lawn, and she's pretty much not even ALLOWED in the garage:) Their division is very very rigid...but they've been married forever and so it has obviously worked for them. Do you guys think there's a right or wrong way? Or does it just vary from family to family? Should each person just go by their strengths rather than their gender? What if their partner disagrees?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting Virgin

Ok ok ok...now that November 4th has arrived and I went and voted this morning I'll admit it to the world. Or at least my good friends who read this blog:) I've never voted before!!!!!! ISN'T THAT AWFUL? But I did today, and it was sooooo fun you guys. Just feeling like I'm a part of something so much bigger. Regardless of who we vote for there's such a unity, standing in line with fellow citizens, preparing to color in the little circles. And this year it's exciting because of something I heard George Stephanopolis say: whether a woman wins vice-president or a black man wins president, there's this feeling in all of us that wow, maybe the American Dream really is real. Maybe when I tell my 8 year old daughter she can be president someday I can say it without crossing my fingers behind my back. Maybe the desire to vote and be a citizen of the best country in the world isn't dead. Maybe my generation is patriotic after all. Maybe maybe maybe! I'll be glued to the news tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hilltop--Heaven Sent

Most of you who have lived in Northwest Indiana for any length of time have probably heard about Hilltop. But maybe you've never been there, and maybe you don't know how NICE it is. Well. I own my own business and am a single mom on a limited income for the time being, and don't have health insurance. So I went there to see if I qualified for help with dental work that I DESPERATELY NEED DONE... and was scared because I'd never been there before and didn't know what to expect. I know when I've had to go to the welfare office before to get Hoosier Healthwise for the girls (health insurance for kids) I feel weird because I'm often going after work, which means I'm dressed up. I don't want people there who are legitimately in need to think that somehow I'm taking advantage of the system...and although no one there has ever made me feel that way I still sometimes feel self-conscious. I DID NOT feel this way at Hilltop! The room was a cheery bright yellow, the ladies at the front desk were super nice, there were pretty mums outside the front door. I don't know why cosmetics make such a big difference; it seems so shallow; but they do make a difference! I was very happy with my experience there-- and oh yeah I did qualify for the dental work:)

Monday, October 20, 2008

House for Sale


For those of you who haven't heard, the Wallace girls have found a super cute apartment with a pool in Parkview's school district and are READY TO MOVE. There's just a tiny step of selling the house first! So here are the stats:
2 Bedrooms
1 Bath
1 Car Attached Garage
Full Basement with walk-in storage closet
Schools: Parkview, TJ Middle, Valpo High
Taxes: $1130 with Exemptions
Appliances Stay (stove, fridge, washer and dryer, dehumidifier, lawnmower, window ac)
Updates: New roof 2008, new gutters 2007, new tub and plumbing 2007, new kitchen faucet 2007, new windows 2004
Other features: Hardwood floors, ceiling fans, updated decor/colors, ceramic tile trim around bathtub, Nafco floor in bathroom. Swingset also stays. Nice patio in backyard.
Price: $92,500
Address: 1003 Beech St, seven houses west of Roosevelt Rd, about 6 blocks north of the hospital. Walking distance to school, Kirchoff Park, Banta Center.
TELL PEOPLE! THEN WE'LL HAVE A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE NEW APARTMENT!!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Flourishers" Do It Better


Life, that is. Just read an article on Longevity, with 13 things that you may already do, that help us live longer. One is to eat purple food (grapes, grape juice, blueberries, raspberries, wine). Another is to drink green or black tea. Another is to have friends (awww). But one that stuck with me is the line between what they call Languishers and Flourishers. Kind of the "Glass is Half-Full" vs "Half-Empty" kinda thing. I mostly am a flourisher, in that I'm passionate and know what makes me happy and I laugh a lot and have great family and friends. I have my weeks tho when I'm a languisher, and I can feel it and I hate it! You know when you turn into a whiner and you know you're a whiner and you don't like it about yourself but you do it anyway?! Yeahhhh. Sooo, in spite of the crazy weekend I have ahead of me I'm gonna take two minutes and think about things that make me happy.

Candles.
Good strong flavorful coffee.
The beach.
Books.
Homemade soup.
Reading in bed at the end of the day with my kids.
Cooking.

There. I feel flourished already:) What little goodies make you happy?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Halloween: To Do or Not To Do?



That is the question. We definitely do. The girls aren't allowed to wear icky costumes--Hannah's gonna be Princess Leah and Sky's gonna be a Cubs player--but other than that we trick or treat and decorate and do candy and goodie bags with spider rings and all of it. I know one of our sweet friends southeast of here has to "cloak" her Halloween celebrations with her kids in order to not be labelled a heretic:) Fortunately in northwest Hoosier land I've not been accused of being a Pagan because we carve our pumpkins rather than paint them, but hey there's a first time for everything...

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Body Shop

Wow. That title could really make you curious now that I look at it:) Cars? Hair volume? Porn? What? Alas this post will be very innocent, as it actually refers to a new product line whose philosophy I REALLY like. The Body Shop is a line of skin care and makeup that is totally pro-animal pro-environment pro-fairtrade pro-everywomanisbeautiful and anti-chemical. Go to mistydemarco.com and read their About Us and Our Values. The founder has apparently passed away (really young at that) and I don't know that story, nor had I heard of them before, but my friend Cas in Indy says they do home parties and book shows (she's doing a book show now). Seems really affordable, might be good for Christmas gifts and stuff (the check from my Christmas Club comes the first week of November every year, glory hallelujah!) Cas knows how much I'm into the "naturale" philosophies and once I saw the website I liked it so much I wanted to share it with my fellow tree-hugging mommy friends!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Altogether Now...


Here's a strange phenomenon I've noticed. As an event planner I have weekends every 3 months or so with 4-5 things. As if humans have gotten together and intentionally gravitated toward one particular weekend and planned EVERYTHING at once. Or even unintentionally, whatever. I know we're all busy and we all have the occasional busy weekend, but it's not even that. It's as if we all subconsciously navigate ourselves to particular times/days/gatherings ALL AT ONCE. This has not only occurred one time! Next weekend for example, is one of those that after scheduling two things people would say they needed something for the weekend of the 18-19th and I'd say "Of COURSE you do. Of course." I have a bridal shower, a wedding rehearsal and ceremony, a 3 day church conference, a bridal expo at the Expo Center, and the kids have a cheerleading competition in Danville, IN. I don't even know where that is! So I have a schedule HOUR BY HOUR next Saturday for me, the kids, Dave and Alexis who are keeping the kids and doing the cheerleading, the church, and then Megan who is running the store for me for a couple hours after I leave on Saturday and then doing the reception so I can do the ceremony and then get to the church for the conference we're doing. That's just Saturday! Then there's a different schedule Sunday for each of us as well. It's just one of those weekends where you feel like you'd like to perfect the cloning process so you can clone YOU.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Adultery and the White House

Ok ok ok. I've been trying to educate myself, seriously, in an attempt to really understand who to hire to run my country. After all, I'm paying this guy to be trusted and from day to day I change my mind about who that's gonna be! So a couple weeks back I had the fun of posting about my love of Bill Clinton on The View one morning (cuz I like to get you guys all riled up!!!) and heard both online and by phone all about his adulterous exploits and how we as Christians shouldn't elect someone like that. But. No one talks about John McCain divorcing his first wife Carol in 1980 and marrying Cindy one month later. He'd met Cindy while still married to Carol, at a party during a political function, and is quoted as saying "By the end of the night, I was in love."

I'm not saying what Bill Clinton did was ok...but I know a lot of Christians who didn't like Bill because of his moral character and ability to deceive; is it ok though for a Republican candidate to have shady moral character? I don't want to hear about a guy's moral character while in a POW camp for 5 years and how he turned down the offer to come home, if once he got home he cheated on his wife (who'd been in a disfiguring car accident by the way) and married someone else 30 days after the divorce was final.

Now. Before a bunch of people start quoting books at me I need to read or sources I need to check let me say this. I've been on the receiving end of adultery, and no matter how you spin it or what book you write it's wrong. So I guess the only "source" I'd like to read is Carol McCains, and if anyone can find that please let me know! I want her story, and maybe it's out there and I just haven't found it?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Motherhood


Let me preface this by saying that I've obviously never been a father. And my kids' father is actually really good with them and to them, in spite of the flaws in his relationship with me. However. We've had a very difficult week in our home, some stuff with Skylar and lots of financial issues, not to mention the ongoing single mom take care of the kids take care of the house take care of the store try to be at the school once in awhile and oh yeah then there's church. So here's the thing. No matter how sad or tired or disgusted or angry I've been this week, I don't get to just STOP. And yet (and this is not to gender bash so correct me if I'm wrong) it seems like dads get to. Daddy's tired don't bug him. Daddy feels helpless so let mom fix it. Daddy worked all day so let's try to figure it out instead. It SEEMS like fatherhood sometimes...gets to stop. Motherhood NEVER STOPS. Never. If I have a wedding this weekend that takes all night Friday and all day and night Saturday it's up to me to figure out childcare. If daddy's gonna be gone for the weekend it's still somehow up to me to figure out childcare. Even in my wonderful sweet brother's case, who is an EXCELLENT daddy, if my mom or I can't babysit his son he just takes the day off cuz he "can't find a sitter." It seems like moms--at least the moms I know--just don't have the luxury of giving up that easily.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Playing the Game, Part Deux


Ok today it really is about the Cubs, so sorry 'bout your bad luck girlies if you're not into sports! HOLY COW (to quote the late Harry the Great) they had the Cubs rally at Daly Plaza today at noon and it was all over the tv. Seriously right up there with the economic bailout. And who can blame us? We've got to have SOMETHING to cheer about, and right now it's all about the red and blue baby:) I wanted to be there so bad (in spite of the windy city cold...it's only 60 in Kouts today, I can't imagine Chi-town) with my Skylar who is SO INTO THE CUBS this year. She gets on their website to check the score! Sa-weet, that's all I'm sayin. She's gonna be a Cubs player for Halloween!!!!!! That's my girl!!!!!! Alas we did not make it to the rally today; but not all was lost. When they had Harry Carry on the jumbo screen leading the Daly Plaza crowd in an old-school rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," I was able to shed a tear here in my store in front of the tv just as easily as I would have in Chicago. So I did. Seriously. s e r i o u s l y.

Monday, September 29, 2008

To Eat or not To Eat... Use or not To Use...

There's a documentary by Lisa Ling on ABC about a family (FAMILY.) addicted to heroine. Mom, dad, two teen boys all addicted. Started with dad who had a great job and beautiful home, getting hurt at work and being put on legal pain pills, became addicted to the pain pills but after so many days the perscription ran out so couldn't get them, so he went to the street. Where they were CHEAP. Cheaper still was heroine, and it was stronger. So he switched, and brought it home, and now his family lives in a homeless shelter and the kids are even addicted. This was such a sad story to me; I grew up in the home of an addict who almost died from bad choices. And yet when that family member of mine finally did get help the doctors gave a wonderful example of who's "to blame" with addiction: The disease of addiction is like diabetes. You're born with it, it's in your brain and in your body and you can't help it. But a diabetic chooses whether or not to eat a brownie after dinner he/she knows is forbidden...and the addict chooses whether to reach for the forbidden substance. So there is the "No this is not your fault" aspect, but there's also the responsibility factor of "But you can have some control over it, let us teach you how." What a beautiful way to enable people who feel helpless and hopeless. After all, couldn't we all be addicted to something? What if doritos or pepsi or biting our fingernails or drinking coffee were illegal and we had to sell our possessions to do those things anyway? Would we then be any different? Would we be on Lisa Ling's next documentary?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Great Guinea Pig Debate

Ok I would joke about how we haven't had a good vax/unvax debate in awhile, but I just had a guy in my store who reminded me that this topic is SOO serious. He sat here for an hour and told me his story about how his daughter died as a result of complications from the smallpox vaccine, and how now he's on the bandwagon about vaccine education. He's WAY LESS politically correct about it than I am; I'm one of those "I don't tell parents not to do it I just say be educated." Of course I've never had a child die either, and this guy has way more reasons than I do to be way more educated than I am. He had names and dates for scientists, government officials, and lab tests. He had the names of politicians and who's for/ who's against. Perhaps most pertinent to the readers of this blog here, he had an article on the eighteen kids who've died from the Gardasil vaccine and the other 8000 reported adverse reactions just in the couple years it's been on the market. (Couple years is like, 600-700 days? Even if you add another 100 days it's been on the market for a conservative estimate of 800 days, you've got 10 reports EVERY DAY of a kid hurt because of this shot.)

Sooo... as usual my advice is this. Read the ingredients, research those ingredients. Then decide.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Playing the Game

In spite of the title, this post will not talk about the political game of Bush-bashing (I know you all are surprised). Nor will it talk about the Cubs games that, in case you live in a cave and don't know, get better every day and have them with the best record in the National League and are their Division Champs. No, the game I'm referring to is the dating game. That's a fun post! I have lots of guys that I hang out with, or have hung out with since the divorce. I had one actual relationship that lasted about 7 months, have guy friends that I talk to or who come visit me at the store (hi Bryan and Eric!), have guys that I liked that didn't like me or said they did but never called (Mike and Rick), several that I've dated once or twice, and one that I liked a lot and dated a couple of times and then he just quit calling. Seriously. Just quit.

Soooo.... here are a couple of rules I've learned so far. If a guy calls right away the next day after a date, he's in a hurry to get to the next date. Sometimes too much of a hurry. If a guy says "Come over so I can cook for you" he really means he's ready to make out. If a guy says he'd like to go out in a group, he's really saying he's ready for his friends to meet you so they can tell him later if they think you're hot or not. Just to name a few examples!

So now I'm in the situation of yet another guy that I've only been out with twice and it's been with another couple, but he does have my number now and we're in the middle of the countdown "how many days til he calls?" (FYI it's been three days and, in my experience, three to five days seems to be the rule). So it's that ambiguous period where, if anyone asks if you're in a relationship you say no. If anyone asks if you're seeing anyone you still say no, but there's a "No, but..." If anyone asks you if you've dated anyone lately you say yes, but it's a "Yes, but." Oy!

Any weird dating "rules" you guys ever had to learn along the way?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Beware of Dog...and Christian Liberals:)


I can say that because I am one. A Christian Liberal that is-- not a dog. (At least I don't think I'm a dog...A little heavier and frumpier than high school maybe but not a dog)! Anyway, here goes and consider yourself forwarned. Bill Clinton was on The View this morning, and despite the fact that we all hated him and his flirtatious shananigans (did I spell that right?) while he was in office, and while we complained that gas at the time was a ridiculous $1.34 a gallon and it was all his fault, and his economic policies were selling us out to China and all that, he talked this morning in a way that made me want to marry him. I. Love. Bill Clinton. He talked for the whole hour in an informed articulate manner that was KIND, philosophical, and well thought out. His ideas on humanitarian and global relief are brilliant. He spoke in complete sentences--without a speech writer!--and was funny in the right places but was also reverent and serious when necessary. I was so impressed I yearned to have him back. I know he's "slick Willy" and can deliver a line and all that, but we had a budget surplus and we weren't at war with anyone and unemployment was down and welfare was down and schools were better. I sat there this morning feeling like HE LISTENS TO PEOPLE. Niether candidate right now seems to be listening...just talking and mudslinging.

To wrap up my rant, consider his reply when Barbara Walters asked him who he thought was going to win the election: "I hate it that we live in an ideology that says you have to dislike the person you're not voting for." Accuse him of dodging the question if you like...(he did say he wanted Obama to win, of course) but he went on to say how many beautiful conversations he's had one on one with both candidates and how considers each of them friends. Sigh...

Ugh!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let there be water...




Pics. Of the "trickling" stream in my backyard, the "ditch" near my house that climbed a 12 foot concrete slope and almost covered the arched culvert that tried to contain it, and the parking lot at church (the stream broke over the banks for the first time since we moved into that building 13 years ago. You can't tell where the parking lot stops and the stream begins)!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wait...What's a Cubit?!


By this time yesterday I was ready to take up Ark-building. If you're in northwest Indiana right now you were probably contemplating the same thing sometime this past weekend! I'll post pics in the next day or so, but to give you an example of how much rain was in my backyard: there's a drainage ditch that runs along the north side of my property that usually trickles pleasantly by, that the girls and I occasionally walk alongside in the summer time looking for tadpoles. Yesterday it was raging by our houses like the Amazon...to the point that my neighbor girlfriend's teenage boys put their BOAT in it. Dave came to pick up the girls for the afternoon and questioned, "Anyone see any animals marching two by two?" Apparently not; no one could figure out how to build the Ark after all and as a result, the kids don't even have school today. Can anyone remember northwest Indiana schools being shut down for FLOODING?!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fallacies of Adultery

This was on Oprah today, so women all over America will be confronting their husbands at dinner tonight on those grounds alone!!! Having been through it though, I thought one particular segment on the show was particularly important. There was one couple on there who were best friends, had sex every day, had been married for decades, laughed and had hobbies together. He still had an affair. So that's the fallacy: they said on the show there is a misconception that affairs only happen in marriages where couples fight a lot or don't have sex anymore. THIS IS NOT TRUE. It's also a misconception that men who have affairs are bad guys, or that an affair is always premeditated. In fact a man may be a great guy with a great marriage and still cheat. There are hundreds of reasons for this, and hundreds of books explaining those reasons! I'm not here to talk about what the reasons are; I'm here to point out what the reasons AREN'T. I was in a good marriage with a good sex life; we were best friends, didn't fight, and not only did we just "never fight" but we held hands and laughed and tickled and all those things that are friends envied. He still cheated. So Oprah says this: no one is immune! That's a scary thought...but a true one.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Baseball, Apple Pie, and Offshore Drilling... ?

Guys. I was so excited to hear about the choice of Sara Palin, and wanted to listen to the speeches at the Republican convention last week hoping that the Christian in me who is basicly a pro-life Democrat would hear something NEW to cling to with the conservatives. N O P E. When Giulliani started the chant of "Drill Baby Drill" I had to turn the channel. More drilling, more money poured into nuclear power...these ARE NOT THE ANSWER. My sister, for example, has a natural gas pipeline running through her backyard right here in Kouts THAT IS A GOVERNMENT PIPE, and that IS NOT USED. It's for "an emergency." We have oil refineries all over this nation that already exist and do not drill...because we're "saving them for an emergency." THIS IS AN EMERGENCY! Let's take advantage of the resources we already have; not elect people who are gonna hurt our planet even more researching "new" ways to create independence. In a nutshell: Jenny is still a democrat! If only I could find a politician who is a democrat that doesn't kill babies. That'd be great.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

WPF



World Pulse Festival is held in South Bend every year, and was a Christian festival I'd never heard of until a few weeks ago. Several people at our church had free tickets, and Toby Mac and Mandisa (in addition to Skillet who I LOVE and also Casting Crowns) were playing. I have children who are big enough to have their own CDs--and have music in their DNA anyway!--and they were VERY IMPRESSED that I trusted them in their big-girl-ness to embark on an adventure like this. 50,000 people descended on this Indiana town to mark the last weekend of summer before school started, and it was amazing!!! Sunny and hot and crowded, but we loved it! And all you girlfriends who know me know that a day of cutie tattooed musicians screaming onstage about how much they love Jesus is just about as good a Saturday as you can get:) The best parts: going through the World Vision tent called "The African Experience" and having my Hannah writing notes to these forgotten African babies about how Jesus hasn't forgotten them. And my Skylar, watching her dance and worship and sing these loud songs, just like the preteen she is, excited about being big and being at a concert. People may think I"m lame for just wanting to hang out with my kids all the time, but I know I'll look back on these days with them THANKFUL that the three of us have created so many good memories!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Prayer Request Alert! I've been researching my options as far as selling my house and getting an apartment, or refinancing, etc to lower my monthly payments at home. Some serious financial changes are set to occur in November for me and the girls and I'm just trying to be wise about how to handle it all. Well...miraculously came across this mortgage guy who got me preapproved for a refi that I could afford, no out-of-pocket, nothing shady. Then he calls me this morning and says oops, maybe not, I need to have had my business for at least two years, etc. Now he's asking for a co-signer. This was not ever part of the discussion! So back to the drawing board as far as me asking for wisdom about my options, asking for my business to be successful enough quickly enough that I don't even have to worry about it, for the mortgage guy to find a lender who will take a chance on me after all, etc. The girls and I are fine for now, and of course my Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills so I now we will continue to be... I just want to make the right decisions!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Confrontation and Riding Offense

Or riding "a fence," whichever you prefer because both apply here. Between Danny Silk's Culture of Honor stuff we've been studying at church this last year, and learning to navigate the waters of really, really being hurt and how do I properly as a Christian deal with that, here's what I've decided. It's easier for me to be offended, and tell everyone in the world about who has hurt me... but never go to that person kindly and in love to tell them they've hurt me and we need to fix it. That's unfair in several unhealthy ways: unfair to the person who hurt me because they're now being gossiped about. Unfair to me because the person who hurt me won't stop hurting me if I never tell them they've hurt me. Unfair to the listeners of the "woe is me story" because there's no resolution so they're now in the middle of a story with no end.

I bring all this up because I had an instance this weekend where I was really hurt and offended by someone I love and who loves me. I had the choice between going to my mom and sister and friends first to say "Guess what so and so did to me", or going to that person as the source of the pain and saying "Hey you hurt me and I know you didn't mean to but it hurt anyway so can we please fix it." Well, I took the second option and BOY DID THAT PHONECALL SUCK. But you know what? Having come from a family of people with either tempers or passive-agressive silent treatments, I was so RELIEVED when the phonecall was over to have dealt with it. Now instead of things being weird with this cousin everything's fine, and Satan can't hold that spirit of offense over me anymore.

Small victory but big rewards!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

5th Grade?

Yesterday was the first day of school, my kiddos are now in 3rd and 5th. I of course am not nearly old enough to have children that age (lol) yet somehow Parkview Elementary tells me that's where Skylar (almost 11) and Hannah (8) should indeed be. So... in spite of their assurances that they did NOT want to go back to school, the girls were up and dressed way before I was yesterday! They also went out to wait for the bus about 25 minutes early, bustling with the anticipation of seeing long lost friends. Of course their dorky mother took pictures and--yes--cried when they got on the bus..."geez mom." Because in spite of the fact that Skylar started leaving me at the age of THREE, on a bus, to go to SELF school every day for developmental preschool, I'm in denial that my children are capable of functioning without my advice for 7 hours or so each and every day. Sniff sniff...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ay...Boo-Boo?

I love old cartoons. Yogi Bear, the Flintstones, Woody Woodpecker. We watched a couple of episodes of Tom and Jerry tonight, and there's nothing like a mouse pulling a stick of dynamite out of his butt and hurling it toward his feline nemesis to end the work week. I also love the fact that when they're happy they walk with their eyes closed. Ever notice that? Or when they get hurt and the bump grows on their head into a big triangle? Ahhh...they don't make em like that anymore... What are your favorites?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fatigue Syndrome, Baseball Style



Yawn, I say. Double yawn. Thought I was tired Monday after the storm?! This past weekend I did a wedding AND Hannah's golden birthday (8 on 8/8/08). Geez Louise I for real may never recover. So much fun decorating and planning-- but within a 13 hour period went from decorating in greens and calla lillies for the wedding, to switching gears into red roses with black and white color theme for Hannah's party. We had a limo come surprise her (I gotta guy in Kouts who gave me a deal...very cool mommy I must say!) and drove her and her friends to a gymnastics pizza party, then home for backyard presents and cake. Yeah. Then I worked the next day. So here's the funny part: I'm a H U G E baseball fan and heard on a game yesterday some pitcher was on the 15 day DL for "fatigue syndrome." WHAT THE HELL? I'm a mommy who's constantly suffering from fatigue syndrome; not only do I not get 15 days off of anything, but I also don't have the $2 million a year salary this guy does. G E E Z

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sky Splitter


Of course you've all heard by now (or you experienced first hand!) the storms Monday night. It was like the Wrath of God hit the skies of northwest Indiana and decided to break them open. It was like WW2 bombers were releasing their cargo in my backyard. I've never heard thunder, never seen lightning, never had it LAST SO LONG as this storm that hit this week. For the first hour or so it was a novelty; the first bad sweep had gone through and knocked a tree down over my street, taking wires with it. So the electricity was out, the candles were on, and at one "calm" point all the neighbors were out in the road with their flashlights, comparing stories. This sense of adventure went sour though, and after 7 HOURS of lightning so bad I was afraid of the strobe effect leading to seizures for Skylar (not an unjustified paranoia for those of you who know her history,) the electricity finally came on at 3am and we were at least able to turn the air and some fans on to block out some of the noise. With that the girls finally fell asleep...to wake up 5 hours later and come to the store for the day! I'm so tired this week I may never recover:)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Victors

Are you the type that wants to be rescued? When circumstances get bad you cry for the cavalry to charge in? I do, and am sorely disappointed when the cavalry never arrives! But I learned a lesson (correction: am learning a lesson!) from a 3 year old little girl at the Y last Sunday night, at the parenting class our church is offering the public. (That of course I"m helping to run!!) This little cutie had never been to the nursery before, and SCREAMED for mommy. Mommy warned us this might happen, and after 10 minutes or so daddy couldn't stand it anymore and started to leave his seat and go get the child. "Please. Just 5 more minutes. She can do it," mom whispered. This was SO uncomfortable for the other people trying to watch the DVD we were showing, hard on the nursery workers, and hard on the little girl!!! B U T. After another 5 minutes that little girl started to interact with the other kids, started to sing some songs in the circle, and started to interact with the other workers in the room. An HOUR AND A HALF later when that sweet little thing was released to her parents, she ran to her mom and squealed "I did it mommy! I did it!"

This moment was HUGE for me. Why doesn't my Heavenly Father rescue me? Doesn't he hear me crying? Doesn't He see how little strength I have left? OF COURSE HE DOES. But oh how He'll rejoice with me, at the end of this situation and every crappy situation after, when I'm able to run to him in victory and cry "I did it Daddy, I did it!"

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pics!!



Ok, an adult picture of mommy dressed up (gasp! no peanut butter, no spongebob or drake & josh, no frumpy jeans and t-shirt!) Also my kiddos, in their cheerleading uniforms. Both of these events were a very big deal, for very different reasons:) P.S. The day of the cheerleading event I was back to frumpy jeans and T-shirt, and very well may have had some peanut butter and jelly fingerprints on me somewhere...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lack of Pics, Lack of Time

I am regularly away from my home for 8-12 hours at a time. Today was Saturday and I still worked and then went to our first cheerleading competition and got home 12 hours after we left this morning! Thus the lack of blogging and pic posting this week. Alas we won first place ANDDD my Hannah won her own trophy for being the best flyer on top of the pyramid!!!! (Daddy's girlfriend is the coach and daddy's parents WHOM I LOVE came to see the competition but daddy had to work; so it was me, Dave's kids, Dave's parents, and Dave's girlfriend. Who thinks I should get a trophy?!) All in all it was a fabulous day though, I will post pics. I'll also post some of the gala last weekend mentioned in the previous post; my dress was too cute not to share with the blogosphere :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Blast from the Past




I'm in the middle of a high school reunion weekend and pulled out some old pics from the teams I was on. Those of you who know me now will not be surprised to learn that I was in Speech, and Debate, and was very successful at both! So 40 years worth of Chesterton S&Ders are getting together this weekend; tonight was an informal reception that was a HOOT. Tomorrow is the Gala; I"ll post pics when we're done. Here are some from 1992 and 1993! Nice and skinny but BADDD clothes:)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Save! The!...Batteries?

I was cleaning out a closet this morning and in one of the corners was a bag full of old batteries I need to take to the recycling bin at the store. I had mentioned this to a family member recently, who didn't know you can't throw them in the trash. Other no-nos include old fingernail polish bottles, aerosol cans, and oil-based paint cans. In Valpo, fortunately, there are lots of places to discard these things! The courthouse (the "new" one) has several bins in their lobby for old VHS tapes, old cell phones, and batteries. Walmart has several bins as well. And on hwy 130 heading west out of town, on the right side is a hill with a gate, that you can drive up and leave your electronics. They have a shed, and a little old man sits at the gate and asks what you're bringing. They then recycle the electronics when the shed is full. Did you guys know that?! One last tidbit: the city takes all their trees there, from excavating projects, etc. The humungo wood-chipper there chews the trees into mulch... piles and piles... each WAY bigger than my house; and it's free to the public! It's not pretty mulch, not treated or dyed, but if you have projects around your trees or under a swingset in the backyard, grab a pitchfork:) Save the Earth! Save your Batteries! Use free mulch! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Damn Liberals


And I'm one of em:) Except can you be a Pro-Life Liberal? That's my question for the day. Cuz here's why I couldn't be a politician. I want a Bible-believing Bible PRACTICING president. That means don't kill unborn children. It means "Blessed are the peacemakers" and "Thou shalt not kill" so let's not go to war. It means being an environmentalist because we're called to be good stewards fo the Gifts God gives us...and the earth is one of those. It means women's rights because in God's eyes there's "neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male nor female." As in, we're all equal. It means hate the sin love the sinner--so no homosexual couples probably shouldn't get married but they should be treated with respect because they were knitted together in their mothers womb just like I was. It means judge not lest I be judged. It means take care of the widow, the poor, the meek. It means don't lie to the people who elected you. It means be loyal to your spouse, for real. So.... I WANT AN EQUAL RIGHTS PRO LIFE PRO ENVIRONMENT CONSERVATIVE MORALIST LIBERAL ECONOMIST WHO IS PRO FAMILY AND ANTI WAR. Anyone? :) (Oh yeah they have to be ok with me not vaccinating my kids, so I guess they better not have the CDC in their back pocket either. Or any other big lobbying whatever, either. Ok now I"m done. I think).........

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mmmmmmmmm...Berries......

My mom has a billion black raspberries, which are small dark purple little things, like the size of your nail on your index finger (as opposed to mulberries which are purple but oval and grow on trees, or blackberries which are oval and grow on bushes but come out later in July). Black raspberry pie is my favorite dessert ever. Even better than Dove's dark chocolate, which seriously runs a very close 2nd:) Anyway, black raspberries are only ripe for like 2-3 weeks in late June-early July, and to pick them you have to: wear jeans and a sweatshirt to protect yourself from thorns, wear bugspray to protect yourself from the misquitos that live in the thick bushes, and you can't be squeamish about the usually-friendly little spider fellas (mostly daddy-longlegs) that like the berries too and need to just be friendly flicked out of the way! Sounds like a lot of work but I promise it's worth it if you can find the good patches of berries. Wild berries that grow in vines along the road are the best; be careful because they smash easily! Wash gently with cool water in a collander, and let them air dry without handling them too much (they squish very easily!) Once they're dry transfer them to freezer bags quickly; the longer they sit out the squishier they get:) But SO WORTH IT to pull out a baggie of summer goodness from the freezer in January!!!!!!! So good for cobbler, jam, and pies. I'm hungry just talkin about it

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Food--Pioneer Style


Yesterday was my day off, which is a euphemism for "do laundry change the oil mow the grass get groceries get kid stuff done" day. Well, yesterday I did none of that! Instead Aldi had bi-color sweet corn on sale for 10 cents an ear (10 cents! At Walmart it's 25, at fruit stands it's 25-35). My mom and I bought 150 (!) and spent the day shucking and boiling. Actually it wasn't all day, we had it done in about 3 hours and had spent $16 on what ended up being 50 quart-sized bags of corn to freeze! Yay! Then we went out and picked raspberries; I'll save the berry-picking post for another day:) But here's how you do the corn:
--Shuck it--preferably outside, it's messy!--by removing all the green leaves, and the "stringy" corn-silk. Break the stems off cobs as well.
--Soak the ears in a sinkful of cold water for a few minutes to rinse them off and "shock" them
--Put ears in pot of boiling water, but just for 1-2 minutes. You don't want it fully cooked.
--Pull ears out of boiling water with tongs, let cool on cookie sheets thoroughly
--With SHARP knife, hold one ear of corn vertically with one hand and carefully slice corn kernels off cob with other hand.
--Let the kernels continue to cool off in a big bowl or on another cookie sheet; any steam will result in ice crystals once you bag the corn and put it in the freezer.
--Once the corn kernels are totally cooled, use a measuring cup and measure 2 to 2 1/2 cups into each once quart freezer baggie. This is perfect for a meal; pull out 1 baggie for 2-3 people, two baggies for 4-6 people (or corn lovers who could eat 3 baggies all by themselves!)
--extra tip: before sealing baggies lie them flat on the table, squashing corn into a flat rectangle. Seal the baggie and then stack them on top of each other; lots more room in the freezer!

HAPPY CORN-ING!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Toiletries... From the Kitchen?

Ok this sounds nuts but you guys are used to my crazy ideas so here goes. In an effort to #1 save money, and #2 help the environment, and #3 reduce the chemicals we use in/on our bodies I've begun researching ways to clean our house and ourselves with things we already have. For example, have you ever brushed your teeth with a paste of baking soda and peroxide? Your teeth will SQUEAK when you're done, I swear. (Do follow up with regular toothpaste occasionally, for the flouride your enamel needs). Also try cleaning your bathroom with vinegar; no streaks, cheap, disinfects. Or how about olive oil as eye makeup remover ? (I love that one). Olive oil is also a good earwax remover; put in with an eyedropper, lie down for 10 minutes to let it soak, put in a cottonball for a half hour as you go about your activites, remove cottonball. Yuck and Yay! all at the same time. Safe and cheap; I'm all about safe and cheap:)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hannah the Sweetie


Ok the last post was about Sky (and her hormones!) this time it's Hannah's turn. She is the most tender little person for her age--and of course acts and talks older than she actually is too! For example, she was reading a library book last night about cavemen and she acts me if it was true or not. Trying to explain to her the concept of a fictional story being about a true idea but still being a "false" story had me stumbling a bit; she caught on and said "Oh. You mean it falls under the category of Realistic Fiction." She's 7. OMG. On a more spiritual note, I'd lost my keys last week (I do that often) and was running late to the store and she wisely suggested "Mom, why don't you lie on the couch with your eyes closed and ask Jesus to show you a picture of where they might be, and I'll load up the truck." Are you kidding me?!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pre-teen Angst

Skylar is 10. Eleven in September. Going on 18. This is cute and frightening all at the same time; autism has kept her in a fog somewhat in her verbal and social skills. They're emerging, along with hormones, at interesting moments! It's hard for her because she often acts like she's 8, is actually 10, and looks like she's
14. Seriously. Restaurants that have kids meals up to age 12 don't give me one for her unless I ask, and then they give me the eye like I"m lying! In addition, the boys are starting to notice (gasp with me, won't you?!) At those moments I'm thankful for Skylar's continued naivte, though I'm certain it won't last forever. One example: we were in Walmart a month or two ago and this boy probably 12 or so was sitting on the bench outside the hair-cutting place, watched us from check-out til we were out the door. Yikes....

Finally, Sky has taken to reminding me how big she is. Hannah (who still wants to climb back into the womb she's such a mama's girl) was trying to get me to hold her recently; she asked Skylar--who is almost 5'2--if she wanted me to try to hold her, and Sky's response (in her dry, no smiling, no inflection voice) was "Hannah, I'm tall AND I'm ten." OMG. Then Sunday she put on a new dress I'd gotten her at Target that, again, was totally cute and modest but made her look 14. I had to tie it in the back and her response was "Mawm...I can do things ya know..."

Geez Louise I'm not ready!

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Blog

Ok so I got the idea to start a business blog. So go to NWIWeddinglady.blogspot.com and see my store! Or click here off to the right on "my wedding blog"...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Time to Partay.......

Well this week didn't start out that great, but it's turning out well. I spread the word about Hannah's accident and could feel people praying for us...she was better almost immediately. I won't go into detail about the stuff that was oozing from the wounds, but I've been assured it's a good thing to have the stuff coming OUT rather than staying IN! So she's fine. Meanwhile I did a very fun July 4th Corporate Picnic last year and they've called me back to do it again...along with a WEDDING their neighbors want to have on the same day in the back yard. Um, that may be...a lot. But I'm always up to a challenge when it comes to parties!! I love this job, and am thankful every day I walk into this little shop and think "This is mine." Other parts of my life can be so hard, but this little place is such a blessing. Now if I get to make money at it too, that's just an added bonus!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cat Scratch Fever

After a day with absolutely zero customers I get home to find out Hannah was seriously attacked today by the babysitters cat. Seriously. She has a fever and her legs look like she was whipped. I emailed pics of it to my mom who's a nurse, she told me what to look for through the night so I just put her to bed. She wanted Dave so I called him and he came right over, and I sat outside on my front step crying because my kids don't deserve the life he and I have given them. Fortunately I've been abundantly blessed with family, church, awesome friends, and somehow enough money every month that the kids and I don't really want for anything. So you know what my plea for today is you guys? Go find a single mom on your block and make her smile. Anything. See if hubby can change her oil for her. See if she needs her gutters cleaned. See if she needs her kids watched for an hour so she can go to Starbucks all by herself. Then next time there's a chore that needs done around your house that hubby hasn't done, imagine if he wasn't there to do it. Imagine being home with the kids alone all day...and 5 oclock never comes. The cavalry isn't coming. There's no backup. Begin every day and end every day in bed alone. When you're done imagining that go kiss your husband that you hated 10 minutes ago and shed a tear over your kids who don't know what it's like to have to have mommy call daddy and ask him to come over. IT'S BEEN OVER 4 YEARS AND ON DAYS LIKE TODAY I FEEL LIKE IT'S N E V E R GONNA GET ANY EASIER

Friday, May 30, 2008

Weddings, and things




Some pics of the wedding I did last weekend. It was so fun! As of right now I don't have another one til August, and I'm meeting with that bride next week. Yay!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Sun!!!!!!!!!

Yeah so I know it's 50 today, BUT we got a glimpse over the weekend didn't we?! Of course with the sun--which I L O V E--comes the concern over yet another debate for us mommies (because I love to stir up debates!) over the toxicity of sunscreens. Some naturopaths actually advise against sunscreen, even the natural ones (did you guys know that?!) because even the "good ingredients" can block our skin's own natural absorption of vitamin D. Our bodies are SUPPOSED to be exposed to the sun! But there's no arguing the dangers of skin cancer either. So what's a mom to do? Research! Here's what I found: throw your sunscreen away if it has: Octyl Methoxycinnamate (also known as OMC), Dioxybenzone, or Oxybenzone. There are other bad guys too, look it up when you get an hour:) Look for sunscreen that does contain: green tea, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide. These "good ingredients" nurture your skin from the inside, so it's moisturized and absorbs vitamin D (most of us in the midwest have vitamin D deficiencies because we spend so much of the year indoors). So do your homework, comb the healthfood stores, probably spend more money than you would on sunscreen... but then ENJOY! Beach here I come... (crap it IS ONLY 50 HERE TODAY...)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Garage Sales and Cartoon Characters

First of all let it be noted that I have a love/hate relationship with Spongebob. The storylines are hilarious but the voice REALLY grates sometimes! Same with Dora; we've pretty much "outgrown" her in our house-- say the 10 and 7 year olds, until an episode comes on they haven't seen before and then they force themselves to forgive her for targeting preschoolers. (Don't tell their friends). Anway this weekend is the Kouts town garage sale, a day when cheapies and their families (of which I am the queen!!) come to search for wares they don't need--that will most likely end up in next years garage sale! Alas that's the fun of it, and we're all quilty. I am perhaps most guilty of all, in that I am taking advantage of the hordes this weekend by shamelessly showing off Spongebob and Dora IN PERSON out in front of my store. I've hooked up with a husband/wife team in Wheatfield who do kids parties for a living, and it should be a HOOT. But if you come and see my "big kids" talking to Dora, again, promise n o t t o t e l l t h e i r f r i e n d s :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ah, To Be 10 and Stay Up All Night




THis past Friday was Parkview Elementary's annual Friday Night Live, the all night lock in for 4-5th graders. The theme was Night at the Museum, and we (the grown-ups) transported the gym into a museum of native american artifacts, a real working volcano, totem poles, and Mr. Dum-dum from the movie. It was a hoot...and EXHAUSTING. And...I have 3 more to do between Sky and Hannah. I may never recover.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

" I D O N ' T K N O W !!!!!!!!!"


The older I get the dumber I get... or it's just that today's children get smarter faster. Yeah, that's what I'm goin' with. :) Skylar had a fourth grade book report due Thursday, her last one of the year, and we finished a day early and put it in the backpack to go to school. Yay! Except she informed me 2 DAYS LATER, in the morning on her way out the door, that she lost the book report and her teacher wanted to know if I knew where it was. What?! No I don't know where it is and...um...why should I?! Then we were at the drive up ATM the other night and my brilliant Hannah sees the Braille numbers on the buttons. "Mom, why do they put Braille on the numbers of a drive through ATM if blind people can't drive?" What?! I don't have the energy at the end of the day to come up with Q U E S T I O N S, let alone A N S W E R S !! Someone smarter than I can take over this ride please, I'd like to get off of it for awhile...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Computer Geeks

It always amuses me that when you're 17 you make fun of computer geeks, and when you're 33 and your computer crashes you wish you LIVED with one. Or better yet I wish I WAS one! My computer crashed at home last week, and my good friend Pat's husband who knows seriously everything there is to know about computers came over last night and did a diagnosis. It's not good. And it's not even a virus or anything, it's just old. Like 5 years. U G H . I laughed and said "5 years is old? That SUCKSSSSS" and he said "Yes well, 5 years in dog years for a computer is like 87..." Thank God I'm not a dog, or a computer:)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bowlers and Bloggers


My kids thoroughly entertain me. I get home from the store yesterday and I"m not even in the door when Sky greets me with a HUGE GRIN on her face and says "Mom, can we go eat at a restaurant to celebrate?" (Funny part #1, our celebrations--and our mournings for that matter--always involve food). I ask my normally nonverbal fourth grader what we're celebrating, and she reminds me of her intermural bowling outing after school. She exclaims "AND I got two spares AND I got a strike!!!" (Funny part #2, I've seen Sky bowl. Two spares and a strike are seriously a big deal. Seriously). So I told them if they took a half hour and got their homework done right then and there, we'd go Mcdonalds--gasp--and take it to the park since it was finally nice out. I was mother of the year that's all I'm sayin (Funny part #3, I'd just read an article on processed meats and vowed I'd never feed my kids fast food again. Funny how that notion changes at 5:30pm when arriving home from a day that started at a school conference at 8am). Alas the Mcdonald's tasted fantastic--doesn't it always?!--and the park was packed because we haven't had a 70 degree day since last July I think:) Just another day in the life...

Friday, April 11, 2008

The pox are coming, the pox are coming!

Uh oh, when the society we live in frowns upon careless hippie mommies who don't vaccinate for every little thing, the phonecall from the school nurse announcing your kid "appears to have the chickenpox" is a dreaded phonecall indeed! This call came Tuesday afternoon, after Skylar had been on an overnight camping trip with her class to camp Tecumseh. She had a "rash" according to the nurse, who thought within a day or two they'd turn into pox. She was right; within that same day Sky's face took on the look of a 16 year old with bad acne and a sunburn. But MAN has she been a trooper! We went to Dr. McGuckin (our naturopath doc who is oh-so-fabuloso) and have been pumping her full of things like Echinacia and Zinc, and L O T S of vitamin C! And although she only broke out 3 days ago, she'll be back in school Monday she's doing so well. Fortunately the school has been great...at least til I leave the room? ;) And oh yeah, chicken pox is going around, EVEN kids who've gotten the shot. So what's the point again.... ?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Here's to Not Knowing What You're Doing:)




Ok I've learned quickly I can plan a wedding in my sleep, but I know NOTHING about running a business! At least not the right way. I've done it out of my basement, on notebook paper, as a service, in cash. Now I have to have things like tax ID numbers and retail certificates. Yikes! So fortunately I had a divine appointment with a gal at the Kouts Chamber of Commerce lunch last week who runs the H&R Block down here and is a self-proclaimed "tax geek." LET THE EARTH REJOICE! I have an appointment with her tonight to get set up properly, so I don't, like, go to jail or anything:)
Meanwhile the shop itself is gorgeous! And really, that IS the important part...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Babies Babies Babies




Here she is... couldn't resist sending pics of the hair and cheeks!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wedding Stores and Babies

Well the store is pretty well set... and I got a call at 7:04 this morning that my sister's in labor and it's "the real thing." So it's a sunny Friday morning, the end of Spring Break week, and although my kids have been in Kouts with me all week it's been good for them I think to watch their mom get ready for this opening. And today, we get a baby! Pray for Beth and her husband Dave, pushing out a human and simultaneously becoming a parent...that's a busy day:)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ex-Husbands, Urine and Cabinetry

Obviously I've been at the store non-stop the last 2 weeks, and this week I called Dave to make sure he could get the kids off the bus one day because I was busy in Kouts. What he HEARD me say was "I'm busy urinating in cabinets." Although I've done a surprising amount of unusual do-it-yourself projects this week that is not one of them! What I really said was "I'm polyurithaning cabinets." Either his mind is just that much in the gutter (!) or he's shocked and amazed at my newfound skill at cabinetry. I'm thinking it's mind in the gutter:)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fairly Odd Hannah


If you guys ever watch Nickolodeon you've seen Fairly Odd Parents, one of the funniest cartoons ever put on the screen. Well they recently had a baby, and when Hannah had strep last week she watched Nickolodeon ENTIRELY TOO MUCH while mommy attempted to organize 3 church meetings, go to 2 bank meetings, sign a lease, take care of big sister with her insane geometry homework and oh yeah like, do laundry and stuff:) SO... One of the rare moments I was sitting down with Hannah I noticed the kitty looking at us weird; I leaned over and whispered, "I wonder what that silly kitty's thinking." And without missing a beat or turning her glazed gaze from the TV my 7 year old replied "Making her plan for universal domination."
I SPIT MY DRINK CLEAR ACROSS THE LIVING ROOM. "What?!" I asked incredulously of the pint sized person on my couch who has the vocabulary of a 32 year old. "I heard it on Fairly Odd Parents" she answered. OY...... :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weddings and Livestock


I signed my lease (yay!) Saturday and unfortunately, have to paint after all. That's ok, my awesome mama volunteered (or was volunteered, depending on how you look at it!) to help today. So here's the beauty of Kouts. At lunch time we went 2 doors down to George's Coffee Cup, the town diner where the 70 year old farmers come in the bib overalls to drink coffee and complain about the government. Love it...
Then, there's the rust colored Kankakee river water that flows from all plumbing and therefore must be filtered; this honkin filter attached to the basement pipe is the size of my car. Finally, and this really is the kicker, I was reading something on my counter and looked up to see the tail end of a horse walking by my front window. Yep, a horse's patooty walked by and surprised me to the point that I asked my beloved matriarch, "uh, you saw that right?" She walked over to the window and announced that not only was there indeed a horse on the sidewalk, there actually were two (they did have people on them) and they walked over to the Family Express across the street long enough to poop a P I L E and then leave. Welcome to Porter County 46347.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Drugs N Stuff

Hannah has strep, which none of us has ever had before. So I had to take her to the dr, which we don't do very often, get a throat culture that we've never had, then go to the pharmacist where we've never gone and get a perscription for antibiotics we've never taken. ugh! The cute girl behind the pharmacy counter at CVS couldn't understand why we didn't have a file for anyone in our house: not Hannah, not Skylar, not me. I told her the last perscription we'd had was in spring of 2001, 7 years ago, when Hannah was a baby and got her one and only ever ear infection. I say all of this to make the point that I really do think all of our "hippie tree-huggin organic no-vaccine conspiracy theory stuff" works!!!!!!! And it makes me happy to know that because Hannah's not had amoxycylin in 7 years it will really work on her body! I"m also pumping her full of acidophalus of course... :) Can't go COMPLETELY western med on ya!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Twitterpated


I love spring! And although we haven't actually seen it yet, we did hit almost 50 degrees today and it was sunny. Of course after literally 67 days of snow in a row, sunny and 50 just means mud and seeping basements, but hey we'll take what we can get! We change the clocks ahead next Saturday already, which means it'll be daylight til almost 7:00, and the first day of spring is in 2 1/2 weeks (at least according to the calendar!) Easter is early this year too; according to MSN the Easter holiday is always held the first Sunday after the first full moon that follows the Spring equinox. This means that since the first of spring is March 20, then the earliest the first full moon can be is March 21, and the earliest Easter can be is March 22. It's the 23rd this year, that's pretty early! I remember Dave and I started dating 2weeks before Easter in 1990; yes, 1990!!!!!!!!! Holy moly I"m old:) Spring, Easter, Resurrection. Bambi calls springtime the time to be "twitterpated." No idea if I spelled that right, but I hope you all feel it!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

White Feathers and Weird Theology

Ok I've seen websites and heard stories about white feathers or gold glitter dust falling during worship services, and always chalked it up to New Age church services or riled up Holy Rollers; like some goofy late night movie about Pentecostles in the woods in 1849 or something. But.

Before my step dad Rob died he was a truck driver and would have to pack/unpack all the time for the road, with his feather pillow, and his feathers would get tracked all over the house and mom would yell at him. Well after he died mom would find white feathers in strange places and would cry because they were from his pillow and she'd miss him. Till they started showing up in places his pillow couldn't have put them. Then we all started getting them; to the point we all say now "Oh I got a feather today" and think of Rob. Well last year we were reading a book at church about white feathers in church services, and recently our church started seeing them fall. Last Sunday one fell while Garner was preaching. I don't know the theological possibility; I just know in Psalm 91 it says we're protected by the shadow of his wings, and it 91:4 it talks about his protective feathers.

All of this to say yesterday was my sister's baby shower, that I of course set up and decorated for at the church. I found 14 white feathers. FOURTEEN. I put them in a baggie and gave them to Beth. My mom cried and remembered Rob struggling (he came from a Baptist background) with the Holy Spirit before he died, and now she sees him playing in a pile of feathers, tossing them in the air and saying "I get it now! I get it now!" How beautiful is THAT?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

B L I Z Z A R D

There are a so many things you gotta love about winter. Like when you have so many pairs of socks on to go outside that your feet sweat, then when you get home and take the boots off the wet sweaty socks freeze in the house because your floors are so cold. Or when you go to turn the car on so it can warm up while you clean it off, and the windshield wipers knock all the snow from the windshield onto your front seat because you can't get the door closed fast enough. Or worse yet, the windshield wipers knock all the snow ON YOU, which then thaws on your way to Target so you get to walk around wet and cold. You know, people who live in Florida just don't get to experience that kinda joy...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Miracle on Kouts Street

Ok, so the retail space I really wanted was only available for sale, not for rent. I couldn't afford to buy so I considered that door closed and looked elsewhere. What I found was bigger but much more expensive; but there were few options in Kouts so that's what I decided on. Well the last 4-5 weeks I've been waiting on the bank, and my flesh would by nature be in a hurry but I've had a peace about it and haven't rushed it. Well. Good thing I didn't sign yet on the expensive place! The real estate agent who had my "Plan A" space for sale CALLED MY HOUSE last week and said when the owners heard there was a girl who wanted to do a wedding store in Kouts, they decided to reconsider, I could have it for rent after all. And the rent is HALF of what the other "Plan B" place would've been. So that's a miracle. But.... went to a store with my sister after church today, and the owner of that store HAPPENS TO BE THE OWNER OF THE PLACE THE REAL ESTATE AGENT CALLED ME ABOUT LAST WEEK. When they realized that I WAS THE WEDDING GIRL they were so excited they walked me over to look at the place, THEN said they know I don't have the money to sign anything yet but they were gonna have the painter come in this week anyway so were there any particular colors I wanted? I crossed the street to the hardware store and picked some out, and this week THEY'RE PAINTING MY STORE in my colors. They don't even know my last name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's favor. That's God:)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Feb 14 and the (Christian) Single Girl

Alas, the dreaded Valentine's Day has arrived. Besides being somewhat sick with a cold, I am going to the school to do not one but two kiddo parties this morning. Then they're coming home for a 4 day weekend, which I would be excited about sans the aforementioned cold. Instead it makes me tired. What perked me up somewhat was a list of "anti-love" songs I just read online, CRACKED ME UP. On the list were favorites like Def Leppards "Love Bites," and of course Alanis Morrisett's "You Oughtta know" (the one where she says "When I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it." Dude). But the #1, all time classic was (you're gonna laugh just thinking about the movie scene) Adam Sandler in the wedding singer, drunk and tired and sad after Linda has dumped him, singing "And when I think of you Linda, I hope you ------- choke... somebody kill me please, somebody kill me please...somebody please, pretty pretty please, killl meeeee, I want to dieeee...put a bullet in my headdddddddddd..." And John Lovitz standing like a stalker disco boy behind the curtain, watching. What genius:)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dancing with Disney

We just got back from seeing High School Musical 1 & 2 On Ice. Oooooooooh...very cool. The cute thing was that my kids ice skated themselves for the very first time last Saturday, so to have that fun but difficult experience still fresh in their minds made the professional skating we saw today even more impressive. Another cute thing: ALL the little girls in the audience knew ALL the words to the songs. And the mommies. Aannd the daddies, though fewer of them sang without looking around to make sure no one SAW them singing. Cute cute cute...The only flaw of the day--and it was a big one--was the minus one degree temp that met us smack in the face walking from the parking lot to the United Center. The wind on top of that horrific temperature absolutely STUNG my skin. Runny noses and watering eyes aside, if your face HURTS it's just too ------g ccoooooooolllldddddddddddddddddddd. But High School Musical was good:)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Alias, revisited

Ok, back in the day (like 2001 or so) Dave and I watched this little show called Alias, every Sunday night with Levi and Bethany, after Bob and Gina's cell group. So THAT seems like 150 years ago at least, considering all that's happened since then (like, all those friends moved away and my husband moved out, just to name a few). ANYWAY, I stopped watching Alias right about the time Vaugn married Lauren and Sidney came back to life; too many "Is it possible for a man to love two women?" lines for me and my rocky marriage to handle at the time. So here we are, 2008, and the world is better for me now; so I was at the library recently and saw they have the whold flippin 5 seasons on DVD!!! So for shits and giggles I got the first disk one night..... AND I'M ADDICTED ALL OVER AGAIN. That's right Sara and Des, pull up a chair for 3 cuz this show is a w e s o m e. I loved it before but it's so cool to watch it now, sans commercials, and oh yeah you can watch 4 episodes in a day rather than waiting 7 days in between episodes. Genius. There's heavy music, hot guys, cool girl fights, cool cars, good writing, and fun costume changes:) Nothing like spending cold winter nights watching a little espionage-- and if there is anything better, it's been so long I must've forgotten what it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Weddings and Things Event Design, Inc.

Ta-Da! It's official y'all, I'm incorporated. Yikes! Let me just say that anyone, absolutely anyone, can go online to pay $85 and get incorporated. Seriously. For shits and giggles you could become a corporation on a rainy day. Well, it is a little more serious than that, as far as taxes and all that grown-up boring stuff, but we don't wanna think about that; we wanna think about the pretty wedding invitations, tuxedos, and pretty jewelry I can now buy with my tax ID number WHOLESALE. Yeah baby, it's all about cheap jewelry:) I still have to get the official loan papers back from the underwriter, and I still have to sign the lease (which is a minimum of 3 years. That's the scary part). But we are strapped in and the ride has left the building. Hold on roller coaster fans, there's no getting off now...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturdays and Shrinky-Dinks

Well the high today reached 7 degrees. Sunny and 7, welcome to Northwest Indiana in January. That's not even the weird part; the weird part is that less than two weeks ago it was 62 degrees. God has a sense of humor with Hoosier weather! So it's Saturday and very cold out, and rather than watch tv ALL THE LIVELONG DAY (which is what my children would prefer) we've gotten creative. We baked cookies, played with our Heelies from Christmas(the most retarded invention ever, says the mommy), played Connect Four. The most favorite though was Shrinky Dinks! Remember those as a kid? They're right up there with Color Forms and Garbage Pail Kids for me. Color the plastic, cut it out, put it in the oven and they shrink. Of course they let off a smell as well, leading me to believe that the toxins in the melting plastic probably aren't too safe...and yet we'll pay the price for a little bit of nostalgia I guess!!! There's a cool store in Chicago in Wrigleyville on the north side called Strange Cargo, that has cool toys from when we were kids (think Brook Shield metal lunchboxes and KISS dolls). The kind of stuff that makes you go, "No! Way!" What kind of childhood memorabilia makes you guys do that?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Weddings, Risk, and Retail


Ok prayer project for the week: I turned in a loan application yesterday at my bank to see about openning a wedding store. Tuxes, invites, bridesmaid/prom dresses, photo albums, I even have a girl that paints bridal portraits and a guy who custom builds hope chests. I have the opportunity to get some retail property in Kouts, which doesn't have anything like the store I'd like to open. Of course I'd do wedding planning out of there as well, and even have a kid room to play in. I'm excited and scared and broke and hopeful all at the same time! But here's my promise: anyone who helps me pray it into being can come hang out at the store, drink coffee and look at bridal magazines all day long. It'll be the coolest estrogen filled hangout ever:)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Holidays





My holidays with my kids were fantastic! I say it all the time but they're so fun now I"ll continue to brag about them:) We did dinner and the Nutcracker one night, we took the train to Chicago to see the Macy's windows and the ice skaters at Millenium Park. They were also in a play at church, Sky was Mary and Hannah was a "Pajamma Kid" talking to her friends (and an angel!) on Christmas Eve about Jesus's birthday. It was a hoot! Of course New Year's is a gamble usually: single mom, can I get a sitter, I don't want to go to a bar...so I ended up at Sara's with Ducats (yay!) and some karaoke and some alcohol...it was all good! Hope everyone's holidays were as fun as mine!