Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Here is the latest on Ethan in notes from his mother...


"A doctor just met with me to tell me that they want to transfer Ethan to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia tomorrow (today, Wednesday the 28th). The reason being is that they want to put Ethan on the transplant list asap.

The doctors here have to confer again tomorrow but the Doctor I spoke with this evening said that they are strongly leaning towards the transfer tomorrow because they feel that this would be Ethan's best chance.

Unfortunately transferring a child on ECMO is very risky and there is a chance that Ethan will not survive the transfer. The doctor I spoke to this evening feels though it is risky, the benefits out weigh the risks at this time.

Right now I am in shock to say the least, But I do having a feeling of peace that I know God is providing for me at this time. Please keep Ethan in your prayers tonight and tomorrow as he gets transferred.

Ethan is ultimately in God's care and there is no safer place to be."


February 28, 2007 at 12:30 PM EST

"We spoke again to doctors this morning regarding transferring Ethan. As of right now there is no beds available for Ethan at CHOP. (Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia) The doctors at CHOP and here at St. Christophers are discussing putting him on the transplant list.

Transferring Ethan is not an easy thing to do, and they want to be very careful. They are hoping to transfer him sooner than later, but it could be as late as Friday at this point.

They are still hopeful that Ethan's heart will start working again, but they want to be careful to give Ethan every option available. If he is transferred he will still be on ECMO until the transplant takes place.

As far as the transplant goes, Ethan is still not on the transplant list. He has to be qualified by the doctors of the hospital he is transferred to first. They havn't told us yet what the chances of finding a heart for Ethan are.

I know this seems confusing. At least it is for us. Last night it seemed like they wanted to transfer him right away, and today it seems as though it is not as urgent.

Please continue to pray for our little boy. Our hope and prayer at this point is that Ethan's heart comes back and that he doesn't need a transplant. God is in full control, and we are resting as much as we can on that. He has the power to heal Ethan,and we are praying that He does choose to heal our son.

Thanks so much for all your prayers!!!!"

Toasted Manna from Heaven

The Lord provides, even sometimes when it is a want and not necessarily a need. I need not tell most of you this, but he certainly does it in a variety of ways!

For the last three or fours years I have wanted a toaster oven. I put in on my Christmas wish list and to date have not gotten one as it was not really a necessity and Mr. Clean does not think of a toaster oven as being a great Christmas present ("they" have gotten to him; you know the "they" that tell husbands that buying a household appliance as a gift for his wife will forever banish him to the doghouse).

Quite a few months ago I got into a conversation with a fellow MOMS Clubber and sister in Christ about toaster ovens. I have no idea how we got into this conversation, but we did. She has limited counter space and had a toaster oven with no home. I told her if she ever needed a new home for it, I would gladly provide one! It caused a laugh and the conversation was over. A few weeks ago we chatted and she asked if I was still interested in the toaster oven. I had completely forgotten all about it! I told her yes and that I would swing by to get it, which was my sincere intention, I just had to figure out when to pencil it in!

A day or two after the conversation a toaster oven sat in a bag on my front porch. It was if the toaster oven fairy had put it out there overnight. You would never even know that it had been used (and it may never have been) it was so brand spankin' new looking with not a crumb in sight.


By the way, do you know that leftover pizza toasted in a toaster oven is better than when it is fresh? Ahhh... Manna from Heaven!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"And the June Cleaver Award Goes To..."

..."anyone but that crazy Angel chick!"

Mr. Clean flew to Indiana today for a couple days. Last night he was gracious enough to hit the grocery store for me to pick up a couple things for the week as I was not feeling so sporty. We had just got back from 5 days at my in-laws in the Adirondacks and the cupboards were quite bare. So I made a menu for the next few days and sent him off with a precise list.

Speed ahead to today. I decided that this was a school holiday and that the kids needed to run and jump and it would NOT be in my house. So off we went to the play place on steroids again. And once again, it was lovely to just sit, chat with other moms and let the kids go nuts with their friends. We came home and I was going to make fish (of the "stick" variety), green beans and steamed rice. A nice wholesome meal fit for the three little members of royalty that live in my house (help, I am getting delusional again!). Open the freezer and well, the one (and only) thing that my hubby forgot on the list just had to be the fish sticks. I do believe I sucked all the oxygen out of the room through my clenched teeth. Not out of anger for the hubby, just out of the frustration of lack of a back-up. Every other dinner on my menu demanded preparation and I was simply not in the mood.

So now what? Yesterday we had pizza for lunch due to the lack of food in the house and there were leftovers in the fridge. But, today we had pizza for lunch as the play place on steroids had a great coupon. Is it even legal to feed kids pizza three times in two days? I do believe that just the thought can summon "Child Protective Services". Therefore pizza was out.

So in great homage to the king of rock 'n roll, we had peanut butter and banana sandwiches (forgot to put jelly on the list). And no, I did not deep fry them Elvis style, but I toasted them, as the bread was in the freezer...

The Best Movie Line Ever...

I simply could not resist posting this. I did not "see it coming" so when I heard the dialogue I almost spit my drink across the room from laughter (dangerous when you are near a computer). Much thanks to my father-in-law for sending it to me!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Update on Ethan

Here is a modified e-mail from our church with an update on Ethan (I have taken out personal details and his parents names for their privacy)...

Ethan's parents want to thank everyone for praying and for passing their news along to others for them to pray. His other said repeatedly that she can sense the prayer which is helping Ethan as well as herself. So far they are very pleased with the treatment Ethan is receiving and the hospitality they are receiving.

As of Sat. Feb.24 at 6:00 pm Ethan was in critical, but stable condition. He is still on the heart/lung machine, (ECMO) and has many iv's and monitor's attached. They have him sedated so he stays very still due to all this equipment that is attached to him; he will remain on this machine for quite a while. They had to place a tube in his lungs to drain fluid from them as well.

His heart is very weak, and if he survives the next few days, his recovery will take months. His mother was happy to report this because even yesterday they weren't talking about Ethan even having a future. Some good news is that when they were taking some tape off of Ethan's eyes, he moved his arm to brush them away. That is so encouraging as it shows he still has brain function and coordination! They are taking every moment Ethan lives as a positive sign and are very hopeful. Keep praying as Ethan must fight the virus by himself, there is no medicine for a virus, and they don't even know which virus he has.
God is in control and He knows!

Friday, February 23, 2007

When Your Heart Can't Stand It...

I just received a couple e-mails from our church with a prayer request. One of our congregant's son, a little two year old named Ethan, has been sick for a while (flu like) and no one knows why. Upon arrival at the hospital he was lethargic and his extremities were cold so they had a machine pumping his non-functioning heart. Now he is in surgery with a hole in his heart (caused by a catheter that was misrouted) as they are trying to save this little boys life. This morning no one expected Ethan to live. Now, it is touch and go and they will not even know if the surgery has been successful until Monday, provided he lives that long.

I simply cannot imagine what my sister in Christ (his mother) must be going through. My only experience losing a child was with three miscarriages and although they were very real and extremely emotionally painful, it simply cannot compare to the possibility of losing a child with whom you have held, kissed and formed a relationship. My heart hurts so badly for this young family (Ethan is one of three siblings and his mother is expecting baby number 4).

I know that we serve a sovereign King and that He held Ethan in His hands long before Ethan was a baby in his mother's womb. I also know that our Savior loves Ethan much more than any human possibly can, but this still stings and I cannot bear thinking about what his parents are feeling.

Pray for them, pray for Ethan and pray that there is edification from this situation. The thought that keeps running through my mind is, "I will praise you in this storm"...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Why Is It?

Why is it that I can take my kids to run and get out all of their pent up energy while I happily sit on my duff and watch and I still wind up needing a nap?

Today was a crucially needed day to simply get out! The community I live in has been shut down for days with snow and ice and the offspring and I have not gotten out too much. So I decided today that I would take them to a HUGE activity emporium (think fast food style play place on steroids) and let them run, climb, jump, chase each other, etc. They even got to play on the indoor soccer field and basketball course. To top it off, it is homeschool day, so they had other kids to play with. This place is just cool!

I got to sit and watch them play while engaging in some lovely conversation with the other homeschooling mothers there. We arrived about 11 am (ish) and did not leave until close to 3 pm. All I did, literally, was sit on my behind, save walking to the little restaurant they have there to buy my kids lunch and sit (again) to eat it.

Yet, I feel as if I have run a marathon today. I yawned all the way home (those deep intense yawns) and felt quite wiped out. Maybe watching them run around made me sympathetically tired. Whatever the explanation for the phenomena, I am beat and going to bed!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Are You Kidding Me?

I know better than to read headlines that confuse me. Yet, still the power of the headline is too strong to resist and I have to read the article. Please tell me if this has any logic in your brain? The questions arise in my mind, "Does this ever happen in the wild? Does some version of Franck Eggelhoffer traipse around the jungle making sure the natural habitat follows suit? While they are scratching their bums (in the zoo or the wild), do the monkeys really care? Read below to see why I am still shaking my head in pure embarrassment for the humans involved...

Zoo pays feng shui expert to aid monkeys

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Zoo paid $4,500 to an expert in the ancient Chinese art of feng shui to ensure three endangered golden monkeys on loan from China can have a strong life force.

Consulting the feng shui expert was part of the cost for a $7.4 million enclosure for the golden monkeys debuting at the zoo later his year. Feng shui focuses on balance in design to promote health and happiness.

Feng shui is in demand among high-end architects and interior designers, but Beverly Hills-based feng shui expert Simona Mainini said the Los Angeles Zoo's effort may be a first in animal enclosure design.

"It's very experimental," Mainini said. "We don't have any books on feng shui for monkeys. We just have to assume that Darwin is correct and that there is a connection and what is good for humans is good for monkeys."

The exhibit for the male and two female golden monkeys is nearing completion and they are expected to arrive by the end of the year, once China approves the export permit.

Exhibit designers from the Seattle-based Portico Group said the enclosure was designed to re-create the feel of a rural Chinese village.

"The viewing building has a Chinese character," said principal architect Charles Mays, who hire Mainini. "We thought it would be more authentic if we went that extra step and made sure it was done with good feng shui."

Mainini said she tweaked the plans to maximize the good qi (pronounced chee). For example, she recommended moving a door on the observation tower or adding a fountain or water feature to "soften, with moisture, the harsh energy" in that area of the tower.

The city will pay the Chinese government $100,000 a year for the period of the 10-year loan of the simians.

"The idea is to get people beyond just looking at the animals so they experience how the animals and people live," zoo General Manager John Lewis said. "So when people see that a species is endangered, maybe they'll feel motivated to do something to save them."

Golden monkeys, which weigh about 30 pounds, have blue faces, long hair and make a catlike meow.

Information from: (Los Angeles) Daily News,

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

I had to change my video once I saw that this one was available. It was one of the songs Mr. Clean and I danced to at our wedding and still takes me right back. So Happy Valentine's Day babe, you are my hero, my true love and my best friend!

Here is Mr. Clean (before the razor!), way back, on the day we originally danced to this song
(11 Decembers ago...).

And a bonus to Valentine's Day is that it was the day I got to bring Xena home from the hospital 5 years ago today!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What kind of reader are you?

Although I am not in the stages of finishing my PhD. (however the "making a living on reading" part would be a dream come true!), I think this poll sums up my book obsession fairly accurately! Thanks Tutor for the quiz!

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader

Literate Good Citizen

Book Snob


Fad Reader

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Monday, February 12, 2007


Today my beautiful daughter, you turned 5. At 13:00 hours to be exact, and we kept a firm eye on the clock so we would not miss the exact time, as turning 5 is a big deal you know! Looking at you today I am blown away at the changes just in the past year. My 10 pound, 11 ounce baby is now tall and skinny and only a couple pounds heavier than her little sister. You still love to sit and dream and imagine, yet are very precise about how the imaginative scenario should be played out. You are forgetful, sometimes clumsy but can dance and sing to yourself for hours and will memorize a song after hearing it once. You are a blue eyed, blonde haired, flighty little sweetheart who loves the Lord with all your heart.
You are the perfect gift.

What I still get choked up about is the fact that as much as I love you, the Lord loves you that much more. You were created to be exactly as you are and at this precise time in history. Nothing about you my sweet Xena was an accident or just circumstantial. Your Creator formed you perfectly and knew you long before Daddy or I did, even by name.

Happy Birthday my love.

Xena's 1st Birthday in 2003

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Things You Simply Do Not Expect...

I live relatively close to Philadelphia and being a DC native I never thought much about certain things. Although my father and his brothers are hunters and I grew up around guns my entire life it still shocked me to see this sign on the door of a retail door (you'll have to forgive the photo quality, it was Mr. Clean's cell phone and it was dark and snowing!)...

Granted it was Cabela's, an outdoor style superstore (you know the kind, hunting, camping, fishing supplies and the like), but even then we were not THAT far off the beaten path!

Friday, February 9, 2007

In Honor of Mental Health...

Last night while Mr. Clean was on a Manhattan overnight my dear friend and fellow blogger Susie came over for an impromptu "Teacher's Mental Health Break (TMHB)" in the form of a movie night. We do this officially once a month and have been for a while now. Last night was just an added bonus. We usually watch two movies, one my pick and one hers. It started as a way to pay homage to some of our favorite movies and usually we end up chatting a bit about our pasts, present and other pertinent topics in our world. I decided it was time to change my video for the week and thought I would pay tribute to our very first TMHB (scroll down to watch or simply turn up the speakers and be ferried back to 1997 (OOPS! I meant 1987!)...

The Ultimate Irony

I read this story in World Magazine (February 10, 2007 edition) and could not stop laughing...

"The organizers of an anti-poverty summit (emphasis mine) held in posh digs in Nairobi, Kenya, turned away crowds of hungry street children who wanted nothing more than a morsel of food. As a response to rude treatment from organizers of the anti-capitalistic World Social Forum, dozens of languishing street children broke into the five-star hotel's food tent and gorged themselves on cuisine meant only for the anti-hunger elite. Each plate of food in the hotel sold for roughly $7 in a nation where many live on less than $2 every day. After a series of protests by street children as well as other locals, the organizers relented and agreed not to charge for the food."

Monday, February 5, 2007

The King and His Prince

For Christmas Xena got "Pretty Pretty Princess", which for those of you who have not played is a very girlie board game. The object of the game is simplistic. Spin the spinner to move around the board collecting all the royal jewels in an attempt to be the first to get all the jewels in your designated color and the crown. The winner is the first one with all her jewels and the royal crown properly in place.

Sensing that Xena needed a little attention a week or so ago, Mr. Clean asked if she would like to pick out a game for all of us to play as a family. Know what she picked? You got it! Out came Pretty Pretty Princess. Mr. Clean got a chuckle out of it while K.Z. was a little mortified. I settled his anxiety with the reminder that in the ancient times, great kings and their royal subjects often wore jewelry. Since we were studying Ancient Egypt at the time I likened him to King Tut. He reluctantly agreed to play.

Since the game is only for four players, Momma casually slipped out of the situation to grab a camera. The minute my boy spied that I had a device that could forever capture his "royal reign", he back peddled big time, pulling off all of his bounty. The only way I could convince him to continue in the game and let me record it was to promise that I would never let Connor or David see the pictures (he was petrified of his two buddies catching him in this most unmanly situation, although I busted him and David going through ballet positions with their little sisters, who are also friends, last month). *A note to the Melissas who are the proud mothers of said boys, please do not let David and Connor witness this post or my son will never forgive me!

So without much further ado, I present the winner of "Pretty Pretty Princess", Prince K.Z. and his father, King Clean...

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Quote of the day...

Mr. Clean and I sat down to watch a movie after the kids were in bed last night. It was Hoodwinked and ironically we were pre-screening to see if it was appropriate for the kids to watch when I heard a voice from upstairs.

K.Z. must have gotten out of bed and from the top of the stairs and completely out of the blue he asks, "are you guarding what your ears hear and what your eyes see?".

Not only our ears and eyes, but yours too my little man. Rock on son!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

My 8,536th Reason to Protect My Daughters With a Vengance

I am already convinced that wrapping my girls in bubble wrap and keeping them hidden away in the tallest tower may just be the way to go. That was reinforced today while I was on line at Old Navy waiting to make a return.

I was by myself and had the chance to "people watch" (usually I am "kid watching"). Standing in line I noticed two young girls and a motherly type walk in together. The girls had obviously just been at some sort of competition by the way they were dressed. Or shall I say, "barely dressed". Both of them wore extremely short cheerleader uniforms with their hair done up in curls and ribbons. They looked to be maybe freshmen in high school. Quite a few people took notice when they walked in.

Behind me two guys made comments under their breath, typical gawking boy style, which I dismissed until one said, "hey man, remember how old they are". They were no boys. A minute later I turned casually to see who was behind me and found two men at least in their mid to late 20's. It got worse when a pregnant woman walked up obviously with one of the men by their conversation. All I wanted to do was wag my finger in their faces and rat them out to whomever the pregnant lady was. I restrained myself.

Last year at the CHAP convention I heard Doug Phillips of Vision Forum lecture on reclaiming the virtuosity of our children. He discussed how setting a foundation for manners of dress when children are young is crucial. One point that hit home for me was the fact that our daughters even as toddlers should not be running around in bikinis and tummy revealing clothing, not because as toddlers there is anything wrong with it, but that we are setting them up to wonder what is wrong with their bodies when we scramble to cover them up during the budding "tweener" years. If we set the standard high when they are young, it stays consistent and high when they get older.

Two summers ago I had purchased a cute two piece sport style swimming suit for Xena who was three at the time. I pulled it out for her to put on at our annual pilgrimage to the beach and as hard as she tried she simply could not get the bottom and the top to meet up. I explained to her that they were not supposed to go together, it was two-piece and she looked me right in the eye and said, "I can't let me belly show!". I scooped her up, kissed her and off we went to Wally World to find a one piece suit. I did not care about the waste of money I had just spent on the two piece or the cost of the new one. My three year old had enough common sense to know that her little temple was sacred and did not need to be shared with the world. The thought of people seeing her tummy actually was appalling to her. Just as appalling as the two men gawking at the two young teens today in Old Navy.

Teach your daughters just how special their bodies are and how wonderfully they are made. Teach them to be proud of the bodies they have been given and how crucial it is to keep themselves virtuous. I wonder if they sell abayas in pink?

P.S. After typing this I went to check in with some of my favorite blog friends and found this article on Stepping Heavenward. I am digging a hole in the sand to stick my head in...

Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Key"stoned" State

"Oh Pennsylvania! How I can't stand thee"

This is my new state song for the not so great state of Pennsylvania. Now the state in general isn't so bad. Four seasons, lots of lush forests, farmland and a couple cities to romp around in and do touristy things. The people are pleasant and I have a lot of friends here. The government however.... humph!

Now I promise not to go into a tirade about the Governor or school taxes or all of the other things that make me cringe, but this I just had to pop on the soapbox about because, well, it is so stupid.

I received a 1099-G from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, which is necessary to file my Federal taxes, indicating I had gotten a $208.00 refund back from the state last year . That in itself is no big deal, except that the refund was for 2005 not 2006. It even said so on the 1099-G. Again, not a huge big deal for me, someone slipped up and sent 2005's 1099-G instead of 2006. I did not get a refund last year (I owed the state $2.00) so I ignored it and filed my taxes without it.

Out of curiosity however I went to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue website to see if they had caught the error yet. Sure enough a big press release was on the site explaining the error and the fact that the corrected forms would be in our hands no later than February 9th. Fabulous! They were on top of things! Anyone can make this kind of mistake. It's big, but they are on top of things right?

WRONG! I got my corrected form today. I opened it up and like I had said, there was a big fat zero in the right box since I did not get a refund last year. So far, so good! Reporting tax year... 2004. Once again they sent out the wrong form and now it is really incorrect and not just a duplicate of a previous year. For the tax year of 2004 I did get a refund. $208.00.

Sing with me.... "Oh Pennsylvania! How I can't stand thee".

Who Are You?

I always thought I was a cross between Wonder Woman and Sacajawea, but this quiz I took indicates otherwise. I must stop taking these internet quizzes, although they usually peg me spot on, LOL!

"Beautiful and strong-willed, Lady Marian Fitzwalter is the lady love of the dashing outlaw, Robin Hood. She is skilled with a bow, but can match the manners of any lady of the Queen. She waits earnestly for the day when King Richard will return and wed her to Robin."

Which Classic Heroine are You?