Thursday, March 29, 2007

When the Clock Ticks Too Fast

Mr Clean took a call today I am glad I missed. I think. Xena and I had gone to the grocery store after her t-ball practice for a bit of "Momma Time" (I try and get a chance to take each kid out individually every once and a while for some one-on-one). Mr. Clean had taken K.Z. and C'sa to K.Z.'s baseball (coach pitch) practice and beaten Xena and I home.

My mother called to tell me that things are worse and my Grandmother has been given a couple weeks at best. I know she is ready spiritually and that she and I will get to spend Eternity praising our Creator together, so why do I feel like I just want to throw up?

The kids know what is going on and two days ago K.Z. said to me, "I will be happy when Great Grandma dies so she can get her new body in Heaven and won't be sick." Then Xena asked if she would have a kid's body or a Grandma body. In my limited human mind, I could not even fathom an answer to that question, but I hope she is one of the first faces that I get to see, whatever "body" she has.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's Only 13:00 Hours, but...

The birds are singing and I do believe I saw butterflies fly in formation to spell out K.Z.'s name in full out the window! It has been a fantastic day. Lest you think my ds is just rotten all the time, I assure you that is not the case, but boy do my fingers fly on that keyboard when he is being a typical 7 year old boy, so you get a lot of the frustrations and not all of the good stuff.

Today thus far has been full of good stuff. School was done obediently without a second of rolling eyes or mighty sighs (from either of us!) and in record time. Which is phenomenal in itself since I doubled up on the Sonlight curriculum this week to get school done by my desired date. K.Z.'s attitude was "bragging Mom" perfect and we all even sat around the lunch table discussing Christ's sacrifice (the children initiated it!). Xena started singing, "Our God is An Awesome God" which none of us could resist joining in, including C'sa. It has been picture perfect.

I might just put the kids to bed for the night as to not let anything spoil this so far extraordinary day! They might protest however since it is 7 hours too early...

Quote of the Day

Last night Mr. Clean told the girls that he wanted them to clean up their room today. Knowing that C'sa made most of the mess, I told her she absolutely had to help her older sister
(she gets off easy sometimes).

Xena was diligently working away and I heard C'sa whining that she wanted to be done. I enthusiastically told her that if she did not pick up her toys I would have to take them all away. This encouraged her for all of a minute when she yelled down to me as sweet as can be,
"Can you take away all my toys please!"


Once upon a time in a land far far away a young woman named Angel used to power lift. And she was good at it. A bad evil drunk lady driving her menacing car hit the young Angel's car causing much damage to the car and slight damage to the young Angel. The young Angel's very wise old doctor advised her to stop lifting for 6-8 weeks. Quite a few years later...

Here I sit. Now instead of lifting, I need things lifted (bring on the surgical gown!). So I figured, why not start up again? I used to be obsessed with weight lifting and I was in the gym for hours at a time when I was there, back in my high school and college days. Seeing that it has been just slightly more than the recommended 6-8 weeks since I have last seriously power lifted (ummm, like 700 weeks?), I knew I had to start out slowly. As a result, I am moving a tad slowly today as well. Ask me to pick up a pen and I might just have to kill you; once my arms stop hurting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Discipline... Ain't It Grand?

Today is a beautiful 77 degrees, low humidity with clear sunny skies and a slight breeze. Quite idyllic. Anticipating this I had planned to hit the park after school and let the offspring play until they simply could not play anymore.

All that changed when school got off to a hinky (the technical term) start. K.Z. was being a bit too silly and then his attitude changed to complete annoyance at the task at hand and the teacher. The annoyance soon became mine. Eyes were rolled (his and mine; how does a 7 year old know how to roll this eyes in that manner? Maybe watching his mother?), whines were produced (his) and eventually ends of ropes were reached (mine). So instead of spending the afternoon at the park, K.Z. will be spending it in his room. Fortunately I have a friend who offered to take the girls out with her to spare them from the "in house" punishment.

But how much discipline is too much and when do they understand the connection between the action and the consequence? It would be so easy if we could just do the whole "shock collar thing" like some use on dogs. Go too far in the yard? ZAP! Roll your eyes and talk back to your mother? ZAP! Okay, not really, I would never actually shock my child nor my dog, but it would certainly be effective!

I told K.Z. this morning that if his attitude continued down the "hinky" path he would miss out on the park and spend the time in his room. Initially it worked. The attitude changed and he was gung-ho about finishing his school work and getting to the park. But the "shock" wore off and his attitude slid back down hill so his behind marched up the stairs.

By nature Mr. Clean and I are "cut and dry" people. You break the law, you get prosecuted for it. You hurt someone's feelings, you make it right. You spill milk, you clean it up. Wailing and gnashing of teeth are not really necessary (unless it is Mommy, then well, sometimes it is necessary...). So we set down a punishment for the kids and that's what has to happen. But what if it ceases to be effective?

K.Z. was initially told that if he does not do school properly with Mom, then he will have to do it with Dad when Dad gets home from work. Not so bad, after all Dad is pretty cool. Therefore that punishment had to be amended. Next it was that he had to do double the work with Dad. That kind of stung, but since he is usually perfect until it comes to math (our last subject of the day), double math is not that much of a hardship for him either.

So now, he has to spend the afternoon in his room until Dad gets home, do the double work and usually is assigned a room or two to clean, which he hates. He can play, read, listen to music or do whatever while he is in his room but he has to stay up there alone. K.Z. is a social creature and likes to be around people so he hates being banished. What happens if this fails to get his attention? There is not too much father we can go with this road of punishment lest stripping his room of everything he owns and then making him stay up there. I simply don't think that will work either.

Mr. Clean is so much better at this than I am most days. He can keep things calm and rational when the kids get out of hand which produces a reasonable discipline (let the punishment fit the crime, if you will). I however tend to take it personally and let emotion take over which results in a ridiculous punishment some days. I immediately usually want to take it back, but once it's out there, it's done. My credibility is at stake and I have to follow through. Oh what fun to be a parent. I just hope I don't screw them up too badly by the time they graduate. If so, I promise to pay for the therapy...

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Homeschooling Mother's Conundrum

This is one of those riddles that only can be solved by a trek to a remote country while in search of some toga wearing guru sitting cross legged on the top of a mountain.

It is currently 11:08 hours. School here usually begins somewhere between 09:00 and 09:30 hours. Since getting up I have fed the children, exercised, done two loads of laundry, instructed K.Z. to unload the dishwasher (which was done without complaint!), reloaded the dishwasher and actually showered since the kids were getting along famously.

I just went to check on the dryer and let K.Z. know that it was time to start school as he was playing near the laundry room with the girls. It is crucial to note that our washer and dryer is in the basement, one whole floor away from me! He begged me to let them have more time as, "we are not done playing". All three of them are playing together another floor away and not needing me from anything!

So, do I enjoy these fleeting moments of alone time to continue doing the chores that so desperately need attention, or break the spell and educate my child? Is there an answer to this riddle?

An Evil Genius Or A Ditsy Mom?

The weather here in PA has been quite moderate this week. Not too cold, not extremely warm, but quite tolerable. Our house is well insulated and has been very toasty without much help from the heat pump. Seeing no point in keeping the heat on while it has been semi spring, I turned it off.

I neglected to turn it back on last night when the temperature dropped into the 30s, hence causing my normally early bird children to snuggle deeper into their warm beds this morning in lieu of getting up and facing a cold house. Even the dog had no interest in braving the chill to head outside for his customary morning "trip".

The fact that I simply forgot to turn the heat on, I believe, has no bearing on my status as an evil genius. After all, I got to snuggle under my down comforter longer this morning as well. Ditsy mom? I think not!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Happy Birthday to My Boy!

I simply cannot believe it has been 7 years since K.Z. was born. It has gone so fast, yet I barely can remember a time when I was not a mother and had that DINK (double income no kids) lifestyle. I would not change a thing!


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

When You Just Want to Hide Under the Covers

The Lord saw to it that I had a great day today with a cherished friend and her kids, as the evening was to get very distressing. I came home to a blinking answering machine while my cell phone was ringing at the same time.

Almost a year ago my grandmother was diagnosed with primary peritoneal carcinoma, an extremely aggressive, rare and fatal cancer. The mortality rate for this cancer is currently rated at 100%. She was given 2 months to 2 years to live. She has been battling this as equally aggressively for the past year and making great strides. Now it seems that it is taking its turn on her.

She was admitted to the hospital today unable to keep anything down, which has been the norm for close to two weeks now. She is also bleeding internally. Until more tests results come back and more scans are done we won't know much more. What we do know however is that she is dying and it is killing me.

My grandmother is only 80 and in our family, where the women live well into their 90s or past 100, that is young. Cancer has never been an issue, you just die of old age after living a long healthy life. I am not ready for her earthly life to end.

I will say, as odd as it sounds, that death could not court a better candidate. She does not want to die yet, she still has things that she wants to do, but she is more than ready. She has been a believer for decades and has no qualms about life after she dies, just the fact that she won't be here. She knows the Lord's timing is perfect, but like the rest of us she is human and wants to squeeze in as much mortal time as possible.

For those of you so inclined, please pray for us. She'll be fine when her body dies and she's in the arms of her King; we will be the ones left with broken hearts.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Pursuit of Stuff

I live in a very nice community that I really like. I live in a cookie cutter house (you know the kind, it blends in with everyone else's in the neighborhood) in a cozy neighborhood within walking distance to the community library. Homeschooler's heaven right? Maybe.

I will be the first to tell you that I feel quite blessed to have all that I have. The Lord has certainly taken care of us. While I could not drop a couple hundred in Macy's for a pair of jeans without having a cardiac arrest, I certainly can party at the Goodwill like it's 1999. And maybe even Target on a day I am feeling quite flush.

I was at a local babysitting co-op meeting the other day and one of my friends told me she had placed an offer on a house. She lives in a duplicate cookie cutter neighborhood a mile or so away in a three year old gorgeous house, yet is buying another? I know what you are thinking and you are dead wrong. She has decided to down size.

This is a family of 6 who currently reside in an approximately 2400 square foot house, three levels, finished basement, yada, yada, yada. She could not be more thrilled to be moving into the 50 year old little cape code just a mile away. I could not be any more excited for her.

My friend and her husband have decided to make a bigger investment in their family instead of their stuff. Their children all go to private school and they tithe faithfully. This is more important to them than perfectly manicured lawns or brand new crown molding. They are building a legacy that will make a difference and have a lot of meaning. I applaud them with a standing ovation.

I have recently become much more convicted that my husband works to support our stuff. Although we got our house for a steal, the taxes are ridiculously high. We have a small amount of consumer credit card debt that bought items for which I probably could never account. Do I really want my husband to have the aggravation of working so hard to pay the interest on some thing that I can no longer even identify, that I had to have? Frankly, I would not mind retiring in a double wide somewhere (as long as some freakish storm does not pick it up and carry us away a la' Oz style) with a buttload of money to do with as we wished. I would like to write a check out right for my child's college education; which of course will not be necessary as all home schooled children are brilliant and go to school on full scholarships, right? I want to never have to "rob Peter to pay Paul" and cringe when we turn the heat up as it is wasted in the couple rooms we rarely use (dining room, guest room, etc.). Bottom line is that I want a fat bottom line.

So how to get there? Baby steps, to steal a term from Dave Ramsey, a money guru I adore. No more McD's runs due to laziness and buying K.Z. yet another 6 pack of socks when he cannot find the 1300 pair he already owns (I kid you not, I have done this recently). And cash. All cash. I have tried this a few times and was very successful and then got lazy. We usually use our check card, which in theory is cash, since it sucks money from our checking account. However, I still have to sit and face Quicken after I use it and decide which "cookie jar" that expenditure is coming from. It's amazing to me that something so rudimentary and basic has to be reinvented and thrown in a pretty package for my generation. If you don't have the money to pay for it, don't pay for it. It is just common sense.

The other day we went out to lunch to celebrate K.Z.'s big derby win and then hit Cold Stone for ice cream. Three times now I have fretted over just what category in my budget I was going to use to cover it. Then I remembered, we used cash for both... and I had a big sigh of relief.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Quote of the Day...

I was in the, well, um... "loo", when a loud bang on the door startled me. It was C'sa. When I asked her what she needed, she replied, "NO Mommy! Pretend I am the bad guy! The girl bad guy!"

Alert the Media!


My father has discovered the internet! Now this may not seem like earth shattering news for some of you, but for those of you who know my big 'ol handsome daddy, this is quite news worthy.

My father has never had an e-mail address, sat at a keyboard nor cared, ever. While the rest of his family has been busily typing away through life (wife, daughter, sons, cats, all of us) my dad has been (gasp!) outside living it.

While my father is very intellectual and quite the history buff, he prefers to spend his time in the great "out of doors", fishing, hunting, grilling, breathing; you know all the things that us pasty faced computer geeks miss out on (by the way, he also has a great tan, although being Indian that tends to come naturally!). There has been one thing that has been nagging him however. In his office, he has this television type thing that he could never seem to get to broadcast Redskins games. It had a funny looking typewriter attached to it and he was not quite sure of it's purpose. It's important to know that my dad spends the majority of his day out of the office with clients, so the strange thing on his desk never annoyed him that much before, but since his entire family has seemed to be sucked to their similar looking machines, as if a giant magnet, he should check it out. So began the quest to conquer the World Wide Web.

Lest you think my father is some centurion still reeling from the invention of Cornflakes in 1906, I assure you he is a very young guy in his mid 50's, just way too busy to bother with all this previously. But I digress. So, Daddy-o gets my stepmom and little brother to get him started on the quest to become a pasty faced geek like the rest of us. I must say it is a proud moment in the life of a girl when her father enters the 21st century.

Rock on Dad, see you in cyberspace!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Alfredo?

Meet Alfredo "Al" Pacino, our old alley cat. Al will be turning 15 years old this year and is the love of my life (okay, after Christ Jesus, Mr. Clean, the kids, my parents, brothers and sister, some friends and a few random other people).

I got Al when he was just a few weeks old from an alley behind (I kid you not) a Chinese restaurant in Georgetown. He was from a litter of feral kittens and since I was just 18 and naive that didn't matter. No one told Al that he was either feral nor a kitten. He decided he was a dog and royalty at that (although he still wears that tough alley cat exterior on the chip on his shoulder). Al settled in straight away playing fetch, swimming in the bathtub and obsessing over the last few licks of fudge bars (now please do not tell me how bad chocolate is for cats who think they are dogs, he is 15 years old remember?). To sum it up, Al has been a pretty great pet. He loves the kids, adores me and tolerates Mr. Clean, who would like to see Al take a long walk off a short pier (I will state for the record however I did see Mr. Clean pet Al once; I believe it was 1998).

Last year Al got an eye "funk". The vet could not diagnose it, it caused a crater sized hole to form on his eye and was aggravating, to say the least, for Al and myself. It eventually healed and went away much to everyone's relief. A couple months ago Al began to lose weight. Dramatically. The once 15 pound mini panther is now quite skeletal to the touch. He has that "old man gut" that sways when he walks and going up and down the steps is getting a little tougher for him. And the eye funk is back.

I watched my stepmom agonize over the plight of her old cat when he aged and how sad it was. Her cat eventually took off one day to die. He was over 18 years old. In hindsight she wished she had put him down long before that happened, but like Al is to me, her cat was extremely special to her. I don't want to be selfish when it comes to this old cat. I want him to have a great life and not "stick it out" for my benefit. However, I am actually not a cat person, so for this feline to be so important to me means that he has to be pretty phenomenal and I would like him around for a long time.

But how do you know when it's time?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Folsom Prison Blues

My little nephew Finn and my brother with obviously way too much time on his hands...

Go Go Speed Racer!

Today was the District Pinewood Derby Race car finals for our area Cub Scouts. All the top three finalists from each individual pack and rank got to attend and race.

K.Z. won 1st place in his pack as a Tiger Cub back in
January (7th in his pack overall) and now it was time to race against the best of the best in our district of little 1st graders. Due to the amount of Tiger Cubs racing, the race consisted of about 10-12 rounds
(my daughters were simply eye rollingly thrilled about this).

In round 1 K.Z came in second place much to his dismay, but was unbeaten for the next 7 or 8. Then there were only six racers who had not been eliminated and K.Z. was one of them. Then four racers. Then three. I was literally on the edge of my seat and so nervous for him. The final three racers had to race three times (once in all three race lanes) to determine the winner.

My boy came in 2nd in the entire division! He would have come in first but I think the other kid's dad is some Indy 500 race car designer (or not, we have not actually ever met). A proud moment in the life of a Cub Scout mom. Sigh!

A minute with his friends after the paparazzi

The trophies and "the car"
First Place for his Den and Second Place for his Division

Friday, March 16, 2007

Check mate Xena

Xena got annoyed with me tonight about something (who knows what at this point, she is easily miffed) and kept questioning my reasoning for "whatever it was". With all the grace and demeanor I could produce at the moment I simply replied, "It just is, what it is". Thinking the discussion over.

With as much indignation as her 5 year old body could muster she retorted, "It's not, what it's not!"

Defying Winter

Two days ago (literally) here is marvelous Pennsylvania it registered a high of 81 degrees, was breezy, beautiful and my son got so hot he changed into shorts in the middle of an impromptu game of street kickball.

We had an amazing day involving the park, lots of friends, rolled down car windows and the like. Even Mr. Clean soaked up the bliss by emerging from his home
office and planting himself on the front porch with his bluetooth and laptop. By supper time there were about 15 kids on my street playing kickball of all ages and abilities and it was almost Norman Rockwell perfect.

Today? Rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow and more freezing rain. In that order. It is currently 27 degrees and the birds in the neighborhood have no clue what to do with themselves.

Even the dog is depressed...

But the best snub at the weather I have ever seen was my sweet little Xena happily defying the elements...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thank you for your prayers!

I want to thank everyone who has been praying for Ethan, the little two year old that attends our church. His family is so grateful as well! Here is an update on Ethan from his mother. I will not be updating too much more on Ethan unless there is a major change. The Lord has been so faithful!

March 15, 2007 at 07:33 AM EST
Sorry that it has been so long since I wrote an update last. The computer near our room has not been working and it is harder to get away from Ethan because he is awake alot more.

Ethan is doing well. He is making a slow progress as far as physical therapy is going. As of next week we are going to a Rehab facility.

As far as Ethan's heart though, it looks normal at this time. Isn't God great? He took a heart that could not beat at all on its own and totally healed it. I can't even express my gratefulness in having such a great God.

Ethan still is on medication for his heart, but the doctors are hopeful that eventually he can be weaned off of them.

The doctors area little concerned that Ethan's brain may have been affected by all of the trauma that his body went through. He is having an MRI done this morning to see if there has been any damage. A doctor I spoke with last night told me that he would be highly surprised if there was no damage at all to Ethan's brain. But the doctors are quick to say that the brain damage is probably minimal and that Ethan's brain could recover. I am waiting and praying for good results though.

It is really hard to figure out if Ethan has been brain damaged becaus of his age at this point. He was not a big talker to begin with and since he came off ECMO he has not said one word. (except "no and ouch" to a nurse) Of course, like I said Ethan never said a whole lot especially when he did not feel good.

Thanks again for praying for Ethan. I will try and update this again once I hear back about his MRI.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ooooh, I'm Rich!

Well, it's official! Time to sell the house, buy the mansion and hire a nanny and private tutor! Oh, and a full time staff to serve my every whim.

Today I received not one, but two e-mails from very rich widows wanting to leave their vast fortunes to me as both of them are dying from cancer (and coincidentally both of them have had strokes as well). I will post them here for your amazement as I go search the web for new property. I wonder however if Mrs. Hamza will still send me the inheritance once she finds out I am not Muslim.

Anyone know of some ocean front property in Arizona for sale? I hear its lovely there this time of year...

"Here writes Lady Rita Mosley, suffering from cancerous ailment. I am married to Sir David Mosley an Englishman who is dead.

When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of Twenty Million Pounds (20,000,000.00 Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling)which were derived from his vast estates and investment in capital market with his
bank here in UK. Recently, my Doctor told me that I have limited days to live due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from.

Though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to the cancer. With this hard reality that has befallen my family, and me I have decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift which
comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of less priviledged and destitutes. This decision was because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy persons and I do not want this hard earned money to be misused or invested into ill perceived ventures

You can contact me through my personal email

Lady Rita Mosley"


"Wasalaam to you, and how are you doing?. My intention of contacting you is to solicit your assistance for a project, which will be mutually beneficial. Though I know my decision to contact you is to a large extent unconventional, the prevailing circumstances necessitated my action.

I am Haleema Hamza from Libya. I am married to Late Mallam Mustafa Hamza of blessed memory was an oil explorer in Libya and Kuwait for twelve years before he died in the year 2000. We were married for twelve years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both devoted Muslims. Since his death I too have been battling with both Cancer and fibroid problems. When my late Husband

was alive he made a huge deposit in millions of US dollars with a Deposit Company in oversea. (I will tell you the amount as we proceed).

Recently, my doctor told me that I have only six months to live due to cancer problem. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to either a Muslim organization or devoted Muslim individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want this Muslim organization or
individual to use this money in all sincerity to fund mosques, orphanages, widows, and also propagating the word of ALLAH and to ensure that the society upholds the views and belief of the Holy Quran.The Holy Quran emphasizes so much on ALLAH'S benevolence and this has encourage me to take the bold step. I took this decision because I don't have any child
that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are into some radical Organizations and I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an Unholy manner. Hence the reasons for this bold decision. I know that after death I will be with ALLAH the most beneficent and the most merciful. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard
because of my health, because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development.

With ALLAH all things are possible(second Sura,( verse 257) which says: "There must be no coercion in matters of faith").As soon as I receive your reply on Email:, I shall give you the contact information of the Deposit Company in oversea where the money was deposited. I will also issue a letter of authority to the Deposit Company authorizing them that the said fund Have being willed to you and a copy of such authorization will be forwarded to you.

I want you and the Muslim community where you reside to always pray for me. My happiness is that I lived a true devoted Muslims worthy of emulation. Whoever that wants to serve ALLAH must serve him in truth and in fairness. I will not stipulate any precise amount to reward you, as it will have to be on pre-negotiated terms, based on your level of involvement. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any delay in your reply will give room in sourcing for a Muslim organization or a devoted Muslim for this same purpose. Until I hear from you by email, my dreams will rest squarely on your Shoulders."

Daylight Savings Time

The good thing about Daylight Savings Time (DST)? Homeschooling!! The bad thing about DST? Homeschooling!!

My kids "slept in" this morning since their bodies have not yet adjusted to the time change and instead of their usual 07:00 hour wake up call (they are forbidden to leave their room before that time in the morning) they wandered into my room after 08:00. YEAH! It also helped that their diabolical mother decided not to change their clocks straight away, hee hee...

There was no worry about missing a bus, being late for school or the like. We do have a schedule we go by, but it is easily bendable. The bad part, however is that their mother (umm, me) is absolutely not a morning person, so forcing morning to come one hour early is just about the worst thing anyone could come up with. So, "Mommy" did not get her bones up until close to 09:00 which is when we are all supposed to be ready to start school. Sigh!

Time to get crackin'!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Here is the latest from Ethan's mom. He had surgery yesterday and they removed the canuals for the ECMO. Here is today's update...

March 06, 2007 at 12:23 PM EST

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to tell you that Ethan opened his eyes today!!!! Everyone was so excited. This shows that Ethan's brain wasn't really affected by what happened to him in the last couple weeks.

Ethan had a good night. His stats stayed within the normal ranges last night and into today.

They are giving him a feeding tube today which will (very slowly) give him some more nutrition. They have to take it very slow because his bowels are not used to seeing anything in them for over 2 weeks.

The doctor seemed concerned that Ethan could have some gallstones, so the they are going to do an ultrasound soon to see if that could be the case. The doctor told me that sometimes gallstones can appear when someone has not really moved in such a long time.

Overall, things are going wonderful, thank you so much for praying for Ethan, I know with out a doubt that God has done a miracle where Ethan is concerned.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Well Duh...

I was in my room this morning after taking my morning shower, wrapped in a towel. All three kids were safely tucked away playing in the girls room at the other end of the hallway. Even though they were so far away I still did the "drop your towel and throw on the skivvies and other foundation garments" mad dash, lest I be caught in my "all together". Then it dawned on me. Why not just close my bedroom door which was standing wide open? After all, wouldn't that be the much more obvious way to get the privacy I wanted? Now before you snicker and make fun of my obvious lack of common sense, hear the epiphany I got from this situation...

Isn't this what we do everyday? We shield our children's eyes and ears from the things we do not desire them to see nor hear when we could simply just close the door to it. I am guilty of that very thing. I monitor what they watch on certain television channels to make sure that they do not inadvertently see what we call in our house, "an unacceptable show". I make sure my "Shape" magazine with the bikini clad model on the cover is safely hidden under another periodical. I cringe when I read something in a book out loud to my children that they may not quite be ready for yet.

Why? This is MY house. No one but Mr. Clean or I have any human authority to tell us what will and will not be done in our own home. Why monitor the television instead of simply closing the door on it and shutting it off? Why hide the magazine when I can rip off the offending cover and still read the information inside (after all, I did pay for it)? Why read a certain book to my kids that they are not ready for simply because it may be part of a curriculum?

We get so caught up in protecting our children while in our homes that we forget to take the time to simply make our houses the safe refuge from the world for which it was meant. Tomorrow morning maybe I will just shut my bedroom door instead of worrying about getting caught with my "towel down".

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Race is ON...

In my mind and on my calendar there are now 10 more weeks left to finish school. My big 'ol Sonlight Curriculum Binder insists that there are 12 more weeks left. The catch is that we are going on vacation mid May and quite frankly, I would like to be done with this academic year before hitting the surf!

That being said, I previously decided that we are going to become "year round" homeschoolers from here on out and based on the reporting deadlines here in PA my school year runs from July 1st until June 30th (the last day to report, not that I have to do this yet).

So, although my school year will be done mid May, the next one will gear up again July 2nd. Time to cram a bit. I started this year in August like a lot of people so I have to keep on a strict schedule to finish when I'd prefer. Lots of praying to do!!
There is one catch however. I started First Language Lessons mid year and since it is meant to be spread out over 1st and 2nd grades (100 lessons for each year) I definitely need to keep that book going through the summer respite. I am on lesson 29 and need to start lesson 101 in July. Wish me luck! Better yet, pray for me that I keep it going and stay on track. I don't even believe in "luck"!

Friday, March 2, 2007

When Dad Heals

It's amazing what a fantastic husband can do for the soul (and the heart). Yesterday was just plain rotten. One of those days that makes you want to crawl into bed and hide from yourself under the covers. Mr. Clean was promptly kept abreast of all the day's activities and it was with quite the 'tude. My day has horrid and he was going to know about it even though he was 600 miles away and could do nothing for me.

The kids went to bed early (for their own preservation) and I tearfully set to clean up one of the messes that had been created in the three loooonnng days daddy had been gone. At about 20:30 the door opened and in rode my knight on his white horse. Bouquet of flowers in hand! He took one look at me on my knees sorting through toys and told me to bag it for the night and relax with him while giving me a big hug. I did not do one more chore last night although the house desperately needed it.

Mr. Clean is a man that hates clutter. He never faults me for it, but it drives him nuts. The best thing I can do for his spirits is have the family room and kitchen really clean when he gets home. Yet he ignored all that he hates to help soothe my wounded heart.

Just having him in the house melted away all of my frustrations. I have truly been blessed in the Lord's choice of a spouse for me. I know that this is the man that was born to be my hubby. Nothing mattered once he came home. It's hard to describe, but it was as if everything was once again right with the world, just because I was in his arms.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

A Ya-Ya Day

When it came out in the theatre, I went to see The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. There was a scene in it that struck me and I have not forgotten it yet today.

In the scene a young Vivian was raising her four (?) children and it was a night involving a calamity of errors. One child was vomiting while another was having problems from "the other end of their body". Her baby was crying I believe (its been quite a few years since I have seen the movie), her husband wasn't home and all was wrong with the world. After doing what she had to do to rectify what she could with the children she snapped. Really snapped. She eventually took off and holed up in a hotel for a few days until she finally went back.

I felt that way today. My baby was vomiting and then crying all day, I was nauseas, my boy did not have a stellar attitude and my house was whirling with chaos (dirty dishes and laundry needing my attention while every toy known to man was found and strewn in almost every room). K.Z.'s attitude was what sent me over the edge and I contemplated a "Vivi moment". I would have run away, but I would've wanted to take the van over the Volvo because the van has XM Radio, but the car seat and booster seats would have annoyed me further. So I had to stay home. Besides, Mr. Clean was not home and well, I am not that insane as to leave the kids home alone no matter how frustrated they make me.

The next best thing was to lock myself in my room during rest time and be "zombie like" and pretend I had no children. There was no way the Lord was going to let me get away with that. I turned the TV on to babble away, I could not even tell you what was on at the moment until I heard a voice on the boob tube reference scripture. I looked up to see a big football player on Oprah (not a show I ever watch much) talk about Isaiah 49. I had no clue why but I felt like I had to look up the passage. I frantically searched my room (another chaos stricken zone) and found my Bible. This is what jumped out at me...

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?"

Isaiah 49:15

I still have a lot of work to do, but the passage immediately made me go to K.Z. and reconcile since I had banished him to his room for the rest of the millennium. My baby is still crying (as I type she is mad that I am making her change out of the halter top she put on before getting in the car; since it is 45 degrees here!) and I am still nauseas, but I no longer have the urge to run away and hide. Although sticking my head in the sand might be a good alternative!


Here is the latest on Ethan from his mother. Remember that is little guy is only a toddler! Keep praying!

March 01, 2007 at 04:26 PM EST


I have GOOD news! I am so excited to finally say that! Ethan's heart is improving!!! They were able to take him off ECMO for 2 hours this afternoon. They did put him back on around 4pm so that they wouldn't overwork his heart, and they will try again to take him off for a while tommorow.

God is so GOOD!!!!!!

Ethan is still very, very sick, though. So, please still keep him in your prayers that his heart will grow stronger. The doctors aren't sure at this point if his heart can truelly support his body at this point for a long period of time. They were quick to caution that he could still need a heart transplant. However, God has brought Ethan this far and Dave and I are so thankful.

The doctors were very surprised today, in fact a couple came down from other floors because they said that they had to see it for themself. God's work is so amazing that it even confounds the wise, right?

Like I asked before, please continue to pray for our little Ethan. I truelly believe that the prayers of many availeth much!! Our God is so Great!!!