Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Very Merry......Friendship(s)

This has been a very long break. Way too long. Not only due to my computer making a crash landing, but my mind did as well.
Each time I would sit down to journal there was this _______. (blank)
I could think of nothing. Those who know me would say this is a first. Me without words is like Mickey Mouse without Minnie. Like a fine wine without the richest cheese.

I've experienced this once before but this time I think my lack of words- my conversations with Him have stood still like water in a puddle. Most of the time my mind flows like a fast moving stream along the side of a meadow. I can see the water racing along the rocks and broken branches from pines. I can smell the wild flowers and grasses that grow throughout the meadow. And that is what brings the words to my mind. What happened? Why does this happen?
Why do I feel as if my compass has broken?

I'm surrounded by wonders. My husband, my children and friends. My job is secure, my future looks bright. But what makes us (me) lose focus- or direction?

The other night I opened my journal..... again.......nothing. I prayed.

This morning I decided to log onto my blog. I noticed two comments from November.
Shame on me.
And here I mind racing again like the river along the meadow. My (blogging) friends who I not only appreciate but respect and admire. When I read your words- it not only gives me inspiration but I know it is reality. Your own spiritual journey. One day I hope our paths cross. And for those who I have met.....I hope to meet with you again.

What's next? For this new season......this new year that is approaching........I will stay connected. I must. This is what races through my mind. The river flows.
I want to smell the meadow.......

Happy New Year to you all.
And thanks for not giving up on my blog! : )


Friday, November 25, 2011

Computer Crashing! {pout}

Hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Giving thanks with your family and friends.......

I'm out of the loop once again...
my computer made a crash....not a crash landing.
So until it's up and running.....or one is purchased. I will be checking in on my blogging friends wonderful stories....
but I will not be posting until I can get my computer back- I'm using my hubby's lap top now and then. : )


Friday, October 21, 2011

Lessons from a Forgiving Child

She was sitting on a bench - little legs dangling. All I could see was blonde hair and a rather large ice bag covering most of her face. She knew I was approaching because a few of her classmates were reporting each step I made. As I looked down at my sweet little girls face- all I could see was dried blood and tear stained cheeks. Her mouth was swollen - almost shut.
Her eyes opened wide when she finally noticed I was there. As I hugged her, she wanted to shout out words, but the injury to her mouth was not cooperating. The important message she had was for me to understand her injury was an accident. And she forgives "B" and "E" for pushing her -which made her fall into a chair leg causing a rather large laceration on her upper left lip.

As a mommy the first thing we want to do is comfort our children. To give them all the TLC we can.
But I also felt guilt- anger- frustration and sadness.
When Apple Cheeks told me the story, she not only told her daddy and sissy, but she wanted the entire medical staff that treated her in the ER to know that she "forgives" them.


What a lesson from my forgiving 5 year old!
My baby. My youngest. My little gift of sunshine.
As I sat with Football Superstar my emotions rolled into one. What I wanted to do was to approach the school /kids/parents- to give them a small fraction of my mind. (you know all those thoughts that tend to run through our mind- well my mind)
Don't worry....I didn't do anything. But I did learn something.

I learned that if a child could sit through pain- and walk out of the ER 4 hours later {well actually get carried by daddy} and still forgive- then what was I thinking? Where was my grace? Where was my forgiveness?

6 stitches=forgiveness


Friday, September 30, 2011

Rule of Life

Rule of Life. I hear this come out of Olivia's mouth over and over again- Olivia as in Olivia the hyper active piglet who test her mother and Mrs. Hogenmoller {teacher} patience.
Olivia's one liner comes either at the beginning or end of each show: Rule of Life #......

One rainy morning before I bravely headed out to grocery shop, I hear those words ringing in the background.....Apple Cheeks is watching....... Rule of Life #55..... ugh!!!
As I quickly make an exit to my car I couldn't help but hear Olivia..... her irritating little squealing pig voice...... rule of life.... rule of life.... rule of life!!!!
* * * * * * * *
The week is in full tilt. Wednesday evenings Football Superstar and I go to a prayer class hosted by our church. I must say I was apprehensive in the beginning- I felt prayer was private- only for me- only between God and myself- why would I want to share my prayers with others(?). complete strangers?
I'm learning there are a bazillion sorry ways to pray. I won't get in to the why's, how's, when and should we pray...... but something hit me this past Wednesday as I admitted to Esther our instructor/prayer leader that I did not do my homework! As we begin session #3- Model for Prayer- part 2, I'm listening to Esther yet I hear Olivia in the background. Yes, the pig.
Rules. Rules to live by. Ruling. Our Ruler.
To declare who God is. Jehovah-Rohi. Jehovah-Shalom. Jehovah-Shammah.
We are told to think on the implications of these names and you'll have plenty to praise God for! and there are more

I lived under certain "rules of life" for a very long time in my early Christian years. As a Roman Catholic I thought only our patron saints- the holy saints could pray successfully. Our rulers in the church had the monopoly on praying.
Rulers. Rule of Life.

God talked with man. I can talk with God.
God was in the garden with man. God is everywhere with me.
So why wouldn't we be able to talk with God? Anytime- anywhere?
To be real. To be ourselves. He already knows us.... so why not be revealing-- honest.

Prayer has some true power. I've learned recently
The Incredible POWER of Prayer.

"Prayer changes things....... and US!"
Ronald Dunn

Rule of Life #1. pray

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Meet Megan

Today I wanted to play catch up on here. I wanted to grab my journal and tell the world about my wonderful news. the position I've been waiting for!
As I was checking my facebook status last evening I noticed a message on my wall from a high school classmate- Megan Pierce-Sheibner. It sparked my interest because of the message she posted- along with the youtube video. excitement was difficult to cap.... but I watched the video.

Megan and I were in a few classes together- not many. Geez, I'm getting too old to really remember who was in my high school class! We were in band front marching in skimpy Trojan attire with Peter Pan hats. We did our routine with fake ridiculous swords. As any Trojan would. Sorry Megan!
Sadly, I never really knew Megan.

Graduation- lives go in different directions. Years pass.

Then facebook comes into the lives of many. We are friends again. Thanks to facebook.
Megan is probably the only Boston Red Sox fan that I like.

Megan- this woman who I now know as a christian, wife, mother, educator, friend of many.
I felt my world stop while watching the video she posted on my wall.
That is Megan's husband! This was their life!
Tears. Sadness. Selfish relief.

I wanted to reach out through my computer and embrace Megan and Steve.

I learned a lesson while listening and watching their video.

This morning I had Football Superstar watch. He had no words. I could see emotion in his eyes. How fortunate we are each day. Each moment of our life is a gift from God.
Our God is so amazing. And God's purpose. What about that?

Thank you Megan for sharing your story...... for bringing your family into my home. Into our lives.
PS.....this does not change my mind how I feel about the Red Sox! giggling.


I would like to encourage everyone to link onto

Steve and Megan Scheibner

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Have I ever regifted? yes

Much thought goes into purchasing gifts. No matter the occasion.... the gift can be a difficult decision. Depends on the person and the occasion.... my passion or thought process usually determines who gets what. Or what gets who. Oh, I've given Regift some passionate thought!

Does God ReGift?

I have been under a pressure cooker with my job. I'm about to explode....but there are these gentle- yet firm hands on my shoulders telling me to stay calm...don't go back the not put these issues on your priority list....who gets what gift is on his priority list -> His method of keeping me focused<
My gift from God is always a regifted one. He gives me what I need every day of the week.
And my thankless days are building. I know it. I see it. And I feel it. But I lack the discipline that I need to thank Him back the gift.

Just when I think I have it in me to not stumble and fall..... I do. Just when I think I'm willing and able to walk away from temptation....I can't. People will drag and pull you into the vortex and without a safety harness it's almost impossible to free yourself.
I'm tempted by idol chatter in the work place. I find myself wanting to "correct" these women who are chattering.... then I find myself listening....falling. I am angered by feeling "taken advantage of". At times I listen and watch as if I'm an innocent child being given a gift beyond gifts. And I know better than this! I hear this voice talk to me every time these "events" take place. I know not to listen or to respond. And if I do the voice immediately shouts "why"!

I've tried to regift what God has given me to my coworkers. Gently. Unannounced. Are they accepting the gift? No...and that is okay. But I know they see me pulling away. They can not place their red ink pens on what is happening with this teacher who smiles and places herself in the back row, not the jury nor the judge.

Regifting at the work place is very hard to's a challenge. But I'm called to do so.
For the time I remain at the academy I will place passionate thought behind each and every gift I hand out. Prayers...this will be very hard.

The Gift of Grace.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Room with a View

I've been missing out on my favorite blogs......
Been busy. I have a lot of nerve saying that....who hasn't been busy!!

This is my week of vacation time.

Today, I'm sitting by our sliding glass door that exits to our balcony. It's a tad warm no make that hot to be sitting on the balcony drinking coffee and typing. However, I have a room with a view!
My cat, September~ has decided to join me and watch a red throat hummingbird drink from the fresh batch of home made nectar Apple Cheeks and I made yesterday after breakfast.

A pair of chicka-dee's continue to stop by- to see if just maybe the bright red bird feeder that contains liquid- may have been changed to solid seeds. Nope...sorry birdies...I'll stick with the hummingbirds. You need to go over to the next complex there is a woman who is so kind she feeds song birds of every color and size. I'm glad I am not her neighbor- bird phobia!

My view this morning also captures a line trees and in the far far distance I think I can see the Potomac mountain area. It's so hazy .... but I'm sure that is what I'm looking at. In the winter when the trees are not full we can see clearly across the VA- MD boarder.

It's so cool to sit here typing with the bright sunshine pouring into our home.
I feel like this is a vacation home.....

Well, now all I can see is a face with fur. September decided to walk onto my lap and investigate the keyboard. Her hint. It's time for some full attention before everyone else wakes up and smells the short bread baking. Ahhh..... life is good.

I must catch up before the end of my vacation..... I have so many awesome blogs to read and friends to connect with!
Until then..... I hope everyone is enjoying their summer..... vacations..... down time....... and view.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stop Hunger Now

More than 25,000 people outside of the United States die each day from hunger and hunger-related causes.
A child dies every 15 seconds because they are severely underweight or lack essential nutrients.

China Doll and I became a part of Stop Hunger Now. This vision is part of our church. CFC in Ashburn used both services as a part of this process. CFC is like a lot of contemporary churches today, we see plenty of casual wear. But today was completely different. We arrived in jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sneakers.... the most comfortable attire to prepare meals to be sent to Nicaragua. Our outreach team is already in Nicaragua working. As the congregation gathered in two separate parts of church today- some were guided into the Gathering Place coffee cafe others were guided into the school gym. There were stations. Each station held 30 pound bags of rice, soy meal and a vitamin packet. Each bag was filled in layers by a team of 4, the bags were placed in shoe box style bins and a "runner" would bring the bins over to another table where there were teams of "weighers" weighed out the bags and handed them off to the "sealer" team. Which this was where China Doll and myself worked using a sealer timing it for about 3 seconds making sure the food packet was secured and ready to be packed into large boxes by yet another team of strong teens and men. Tomorrow the food will head out to be flown to orphanages in Nicaragua. We were told today that 700+ children will eat for one full year!! The goal for today was 285,120 meals.

I've never been a part of something this huge. China Doll and I participated together last Christmas with LW church in wrapping gifts for children of families who were in need. Most of these families were in the city. Since I was no longer a part of the services of displaced families and abused children within the city I felt a calling to help and I recruited my oldest daughter to help. We enjoyed our job and I knew by having my daughter there by my side, she was able to see with her own eyes what type of families/people I was talking about when I worked at the shelter as a caseworker.
And now this year she is older..... more in tune with what is surrounding us not just here in the states but world wide. China Doll even suggested we stay longer to get more meal bags sealed and packed before we headed out for our own food at a local grocery store. We talked about feeling guilty..... complaining about what we don't have in the frig...... or not being able to afford the fresh catch of the day this week. Perhaps she felt a guilty twinge because I did not give her an extra $5 for Starbucks before the "free" concert at Youthfest last evening. MMmmmmm.
No matter what went through her young mind..... I couldn't help but feel good about our work.
Not about me.... not about us.... not about her. But the work we all put into making our goal..... working as a very large team......laughing, shouting at the drum roll......giggles from the kids and cheers at the end of our service. What an awesome service it was!
Pastor P. said as we finished up..... God is looking down with one very large smile.

**Just had to mention that the "runners" were children ages 5 yrs. to 10 yrs. of age. it was pretty awesome to watch them work with such emotion and passion.

Have an awesome week.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back In The Saddle

Hello from Lazy Town VA! I've been unmotivated to do much-loved-motivated stuff recently.
I should try to put into alphabetical order the events that have been taking place in our little world right now...... but those events do not seem so eventful now that I sit here thinking about them. They've only been keeping us busy enough to feel the wonders of falling into Lazy Town.
And now that I think about Lazy Town..... that visit only came and went way too most vacations. No we didn't go on vacation...Lazy Town happened right here in VA!

Football Superstar has been busy at work. The DC metro real estate market is keeping him on his toes- yet his career no longer rules him. smile. My summer camp days are fun....but wow am I ready to grab Apple Cheeks and drive home by 4:00! China Doll and Freckle Boy are using their summer days one at a time.
Sam the dog and September the cat are unaware that it is summer .... every moment for them is vacation. I would love to just lay around on the back of the couch all day and wait for someone to meow at because they did not scoop out my Fancy Feast quick enough. Or if I were Sam I would probably...... be in the same position when my family took off for work or the pool when they arrive home at the end of their day. I can't imagine that!

I want to cram so much in this summer. A gal pal weekend with my Gracie. A drive to NJ with my Eva to visit our sister-in-law Dori. Lazy pool days with my girls.
The zoo for Apple Cheeks birthday. Visits to family and friends. A diet. no...scratch that one.
Yoga. yeah...I will commit to getting back into yoga. Finish decorating our cozy pad.
Learning the art of baking delicious and decorating amazing cupcakes. Community outreach.
Finishing my Language Art class. ugh. Taking an art class.
And that's not all..... perhaps I should put my list in alphabetical order. ??

I'm hoping my readers and favorite bloggers are having an awesome summer!
I promise to reconnect soon...... with something worth reading. Until then...I love knowing you are still here. : )


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tapped Out

It's 6:15 AM. On this Sunday morning there is a fine mist in the air with a breeze. I'm tempted to just grab my coffee and sit on the balcony while everyone else sleeps. Oh, Football Superstar is up, but he is preparing another pot of coffee for our guest.

I haven't posted anything for quite some time. I feel "tapped out". My life journal sits in my bedroom with pages full.....but for some reason I just haven't added any words to this blog.
Last evening before I fell asleep I thought about this...... and yesterday as I sat on the balcony soaking up the early morning sun I thought about this...... and here again I think about this.


I'm thinking about my friends who are going through some very rough times.
My co-workers who struggle to find themselves.
Those family members who struggle to find a sense of peace or those who set out to conquer success- what success is it that they look for?
Those who try to find a place where they belong.

Football Superstar tells me what they need....what's important.....what matters.
of course I know this. My husband who was not tapped on the shoulder by God but was tackled to the ground as only God could do with a strong ex-football player.
But how do you watch and wait? I'm not a very patient person at times....especially when I feel there are important matters to be dealt with.

The "see-saw approach" to life must be hard. The "waiting the storm out" can not be healthy.

This is why I feel tapped. Yet, I don't want to just stand in the rain waiting with those who are in the storm. I can handle some rain, I have cute wellies to wear.... but I'm not so sure standing in the center of thunder and lightening is something I feel comfortable doing.

Last sip of coffee....I'm heading to the balcony. I think I just answered my own question.
Sometimes it takes the perfect storm to be healed. keeping my wellies by the door.
Thank you Father!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Appreciated + Appreciate = Yummy?

This week is Teacher Appreciation.
Another Hallmark moment?
I remembered this "celebration" for Apple Cheeks and I baked chocolate chip cookies and chocolate-cinnamon cookies for her teacher.
I know in the preschool field at times this career can be challenging.... but rewarding. Exhausting!
I have been working slowly on my VACDA certificate and my language arts class..... dreaming
of landing a job within the public school district which is a huge district in order to collect some extra perks. tuition reimbursement - health/medical insurance

It's Friday morning- I'm setting up my classroom. I take a good look around at all the adorable bright art work that clings to the four walls. Large daisies. "Rock Families". My little Picasso's. My little darlings who find it hysterical to attack me when my back is turned. My little darlings who can not wait for science and discovery or dramatic play. All this makes my day and makes me smile. But yet, I know my retirement will not be at The Academy.

Two hours into my day - one of my little darlings walks proudly to where I sat in the classroom with a box of cupcakes from Lola's. Lola's famous cupcakes will make a strict dieter drool!

This mother then says to me with a rather large smile .... "you have a thankless job, we appreciate you".

I felt appreciated. I felt the love. Every last delicious bite!
Happy Teachers Week to you!!
You are appreciated!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all my blogging friends!
Brenda, Lidj, Janette, Emily.....thank you for always making me smile! xoxo

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tears that water flowers

Easter weekend came and went as fast as we packed our suitcases!

It's Monday. My work day was full of crying children who have been off schedule.... too many days in between their week vacation Spring Break for all down South maybe too much Easter excitement for those who celebrate this beautiful holiday.... for those who do not.... probably just too much time away from school. The weather has been very warm.... 87 degrees and rising.
I have a bad case of laryngitis and the kids are taking full advantage of this. My assistant needs to be my voice.... and sadly she doesn't have the gusto to grab their attention like this old gal does!

And through all this, I have been thinking about my visit on Saturday with my Mother. My mother who sits in her dorm room at the nursing facility with her "friends". It has been awhile since I've posted any of my visits with my mother. My mother has Parkinson's disease - with this comes the dementia. There are times where she may know me- even if it is only for a few moments. This weekend she didn't. For my first 30 minutes she slept. Her little frame is frail....her skin so porcelain-like it almost shines......and her hair is completely silver. I know I have said this in another post, but my mother was a woman of style and flair. A polished 5 ft. Diva. Her trademark style of Victorian necklines and pencil thin skirts stick in my head- not to mention the Captivator pumps!

Of course I am thankful that my mother is living and I am able to sit with her....touch her...kiss her soft cheeks. Watch her smile or giggle like a little girl whether she knows me or not.
Or even watch her frown and snarl about the nursing staff who seem to have no manners at all- at least according to mother when she is aware of her surroundings. She would send them all to etiquette school!
What I am missing is our conversation. When I feel at a loss..... I feel my mother knows best..... and when I feel my happiest...... I can not share it with her. completely.
This week I wanted, no make that needed to share something with my mother. Only she would understand and know the exact thing to say to her youngest daughter to set my mind at ease.
Only she could give me that look.... that something she had in her green eyes that spoke volumes to me. She knew me. Of course she did I was her child.....I was the youngest and the most rebellious.
My selfishness mourns for her. I need, yes I need my mother more than she knows right now.
I need to cry to her. I need to be that little girl again having my mother tell me everything will be alright and she loves me. My tears water flowers.
I miss her terribly.
My reflection on this visit came to me today while I took a short walk outside during my lunch hour. I needed to escape those tiny little villains and even my assistant.
As my thoughts flowed into clouds above my head- just as I have typed above- it occurred to me that I just shared the very thing that was on my mind for days with someone that completely took my words and told me things are going to be okay. God has a plan for me.
God is certainly opening doors, windows, the shutters...... He has given me this person to reach out to...... to be able to pour my heart and soul out to....... and as I sat in her car on Sunday after Easter service...... it was as if I just looked into my mothers green eyes and felt her hug. God has certainly shown me time and time again things. Events. Situations that come and I just don't quite get it at the time- until recent.

Eva.... I love you. And I thank God for placing us together under that large shade tree on the 4th of July.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Do you Love?


Is this word used to express our emotion overused? I for one am guilty of using the word LOVE to express plenty of things in my life. But I feel that I do know what unconditional love means. I love my husband-unconditional love. I love my children- unconditional love. darn that can be tough during these teens years! ha ha
I love my family-unconditional love. another tough love at moments.
I love my bestest friend. no really I do and Gracie you know it!
I love puppy breath....I love daisies.....I love chocolate like no other human can.......I love the smell of spring time and the crisp autumn breeze......I love Christmastime......I love lavender and rosemary......I love the beach......I love antiques.......
Now that you had an overload of what I LOVE...... you get the picture.
My problem with this word LOVE is that I feel our society uses it entirely too much.
Of course this is only my opinon- I am not the LOVE word expert!
I listen and observe people on a daily basis. I hear "I just LOVE Tom's shoes. so do I but I can't afford them- yet. "I LOVE him, he is so funny!" "I just LOVE so-n-so, she is the nicest person on earth!" this is after the first initial meeting. "I LOVE my job". stop that!
"I LOVE doing nice things for people". truth or dare?
What pushed me to write this post is due to the amount of times a day, week, year I hear LOVE being thrown out into cyberspace.....greeting calls......conversations......etc.
Do we really feel the LOVE? Do we show it enough to that neighbor who bakes your family a casserole when you are sick? Do we show it to the elderly woman who is struggling with the grocery cart- or do you walk directly passed her without assisting? Do we show LOVE to our siblings after a disagreement regarding parents? Do we show it while sitting side by side on the metro with a Muslim? Do we show LOVE to God everyday? Or just when we need God in our lives the most?
I'm guilty of two of the above- I don't show it to my neighbor....their kids drive me crazy. I don't show it to God every single day of my life. LOVE. He was all about LOVE. He is LOVE. Unconditional LOVE.
A community garden of LOVE. I dream this....I see it.....I want to plant this garden right here in the metro community where I live and work. Where my children attend school. Where we shop, eat, walk the dog, greet the mailwoman, attend church. Isn't this what God wants from me? from us? Spread the LOVE and mean it? To show unconditional LOVE at all times.

I LOVE you. No...really I do!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Peaceful Day

Today is my day to relax. To reflect. To cherish this sense of peace that I'm feeling.

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning.
He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those
who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son....
We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.
Romans 8:29

Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all
your mind and with all your strength.
Mark 12 :30 (NIV)

Give yourselves to God....
Surrender your whole being to him
to be used for righteous purposes.
Romans 6 :13

I will stop looking back with regrets.... or looking forward with fear....
and give the best I have today.
Lance Wubbles (Dance While You Can)

I will stop getting upset when things go wrong and my world is not what I want it to be.
I will find joy in life's challenges and risks and hopes.
Lance Wubbles (Dance While You Can)

A good read: Scars Of A Chef by: Rick Tramonto
This was on my to read list since my brother has been in this career.... after learning of Tramonto's experience in a car - while listening to a Christian radio program- has changed his life.

Dance my friends..... and have a peaceful day*


Sunday, April 3, 2011

I am proof

It's been 2 years since I was given this beautiful second chance at life.
My journey has grown. And while I continue to travel.....I may find myself at a dead end....jumping over a puddle or two.....knocking down road blocks. But my dark alley exist no longer.

I have never considered my life a dead end. A horror movie. I have never thought of hanging my head in sorrow to the point of taking my own life.

In my years of walking the non-Christian path....I have found those tempting idols that rejuvenated my being. Buddha. His large balloon like belly and enormous smile captured my heart. The walk of Buddha captured my happy-go-lucky lifestyle I was known for. The reincarnation of life- a butterfly- a ladybug- a hummingbird. To continue this walk would have thrown me into the depths of hell. Purgatory would not have grabbed ahold of my ankle. Buddhism and my lifestyle was going to kill me emotionally. Socially I was given the tools. I was garnished with the grace of my mother and the social-connection of my father.
I was given tools and guidance by my Catholic background. So why did I walk away?
I ran away from Christianity because of my lack of knowledge. Fear. A fear of God.
My free spirit and my lack of obedience gave to me a life -hanging by a thread.
Oh, I have never been in jail, so my disobedience came in the package of taking life by the horns and living to the edge....carefree and in some areas careless.
I was young....I had friends by the dozens.....I had the life.
Even after a rotten marriage I managed to keep my life together. If not for me...then for those around me.

Two years ago when I became a believer, I still questioned what I was feeling. What I was truly believing in. Who was this man Jesus? How can it be possible that we can have a loving relationship with a God who we can't see? And how can He possibly love me back after all that I have done?
He did. He forgave me and I felt it. As much as I fought the emotion while listening to LW's worship team sing the lyrics "oh, no...never let go..." I completely fell apart. I didn't want to be seen....I didn't want my husband, my sister-in-law or my teens to see me break down in tears. What's wrong with me? Why was I not able to stop? What the heck just happened that my body was so out of my control. No...I wasn't failing around like a fish...I just couldn't control my tears I found hands on my shoulders and around my waist. My husband and my sister-in-law. I felt a soft touch on my back- someone I didn't know reached out to let me know - let go....let it out.....He is with you.

My journey continues. He is not finish with me yet.
Last evening as Football Superstar and I talked about his career ....sitting like ducks waiting to hear from the VP of a he he not in?! There was emotion released from both of us that was way overdue. We talked long into the night. Promising one another we will not go back there- the place where I tend to go- "why didn't we do this....why did we do that....". Football Superstar says to me "you know...we were meant to be placed together". Placed. What plan does He have for us. I was placed with my husband. I find that word to be interesting We were not meant to be just together...we were placed together.
We have been placed in a new state to start over, yet my journey doesn't start over, it continues.

I see it life has been a journey from day one. From childhood to adult life. He was always with me. I know this now. I felt it...but never knew just what it was.
He has always been by my side...carrying me....protecting me.....correcting me.....guiding me.....loving me.
He always will.

I pray for my family&friends...for peace....and I am guilty of praying for lesser things that truly have no meaning. I listen to Football Superstar talk about eternity....and I'm in awe with his strength. this is coming from a non-believer most of his life! How he talks about seeing our Heavenly Father one day..... when I still find myself cringing hoping that I am old and wrinkled when we meet. But today I reflect on my husbands words. What an awesome feeling to know that you will have eternal life with God.

Football Superstar has it right....we were placed together. Greatness has come out of our friendship...our relationship....this marriage.

What a journey this has been.

Funny...when I think of my father telling me I was unique in a way where life just flowed for me....I now know he wasn't talking about my free spiritedness of rebelling....or bouncing back from life's arrows..... I know now my father was talking about our Heavenly Father watching over me. Making mistakes. Making funny of a moment. Making life beautiful.
Making my life full of hope and promises. Reaching for that mountain when it's difficult.
We're heading up that mountain. I'm determined to be my Heavenly Father's obedient follower. I'm determined to grow up and take His word to others. I am proof. Believe.

God of wonders.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ahh....what a day!

I feel as if I'm out of circulation with my blogging world. My blogging sisters.... my favorite blogs that I love to read and grab inspiration.... my journal and my brain is filled with spiritual thoughts....draining ideas.....weakness and gloom. yes, gloom too
Where I should be thanking God for everything I have right at this moment.... I'm behaving like a spoiled little girl who just lost her tiara.
I must re-Jesus myself. thank you Pastor B.
I must reboot my spirituality and bounce back from what isn't happening in
my own little world- and realize things are happening around me to people.... horrible things....disasters and death. And there I sit on my cozy couch with a cup of Hazelnut coffee whining and complaining in my head....why, why not, and when's it gonna happen! sigh.

Humor has always been my pain reliever. I continue to carry my bottle of humor no matter where I go. So...without boring you with what needs to happen in my husbands career change.... let's just say I'm still laughing.... we are surviving these troubled waters.
* * * * * * * *

Here is one of my laughable relievers;
During my trip to Frederick with Gracie, LeeAnn we decided to head back to the parking lot where my car was parked. We are listening to her GPS system instruct on where to turn..... when I look over at my silly friend chat about how fun this day has been for her. How she needed to be with her BFF....long overdue....when oh, my gosh there it was...crawling slowly on the side of the drivers seat.... a very large Stink Bug! As everyone knows these armored critters are everywhere in the's an epidemic. And as much as I truly dislike these insects, I have never ever reacted like I did in her vehicle that day. I let out a scream as if there were a serial killer in the backseat! I am confident that my scream would have me in the next Steven King thriller Gracie didn't scream as I did...she yelled and I mean yelled back
"WHAT...WHAT....WHAT???????" Remaining on the road...she comes to a stop sign. Breathing heavy she continues to yell at me as if she were scolding a...well...really really naughty child! but she is laughing so hard too When she learns of the serial stinker stink bug.... she let's out some more cRaZed yelling.... as we look at our surroundings we notice we are no longer in Kansas anymore.... we are in a not so nice section of Frederick. We laugh..... laugh hard and long.
As for the stink bug... I took one of my Starbuck napkins and flicked it on the back floor of her vehicle.... and yes, I made Gracie find it on her own!!

Life Lesson: Never scream while in a moving vehicle!


Saturday, March 12, 2011


Signs You're a Tuned-Out Mom

*Gaga still makes you think of a toddler instead of a woman with a zipper eye patch urging you to just dance.

*Black Eyed Peas are, alas, tragically unpopular with tweens.

*Eminem? A sheer delight, proven to inspire kids to act more politely.

*Vampire Weekend; was that time your 12-year-old saw Twilight, then
spent all her waking hours pining for Robert Pattinson (and all her bedtime hours afraid to go to sleep) my personal favorite

*The Pussycat Dolls sound like the perfect holiday presents for your 5-year-old niece

Enjoy your weekend everyone!
I'm enjoying mine with Gracie!! It's a vintage girls weekend! aka LeeAnn


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Is that child an original?!!

Is he an original Prada? I love that daughter you're carrying, she is the perfect accessory!

I'm going to attempt to write my latest experience in the industry of child care.
I'll apologize now if any of my words offend mothers that just so happen to stumble upon my post...or those of my faithful readers who are mothers, I do hope you are not offended!

During a workshop this week the topic was: RAISING OUR FUTURE.
Most of the time I will admit I'm bored restless with workshops. If they are not hands on, or if the instructor does not hold my interest, I find my head spinning in thoughts of neverever land.

However this topic led into a heated conversation about todays parenting. We parents, us gals, yo' daddy....what ever your title- heads were on the chopping block!
Why? During the short 3 1/2 months that our Academy has been servicing military, professional, political and stay at home parents....we have found some and I say this loosely-some parents have shown a side of themselves that frankly, make it awkward for teachers to communicate with. Honestly, my only barrier is my lack of Russian and horrible French.
However, now that I am becoming familiar with other classrooms Apple Cheeks for one I find parents quoting certain things that have my head spinning with the other teachers.
Now, let's be honest here.....we have all at one time or another asked ourselves where these children came from.....and why did we have so many? I did today - ha ha
But I for one know why {we} had our children. I wanted to extend my family. I wanted to be a mommy. I wanted to nurture and raise loving caring children- in a loving and caring environment.

So as our instructor opened up the window of opportunity for us to chat about what our experiences have been with parents- one teacher spoke of her experience(s) with parents who talk about their children as if they were a fashionable accessory. She informed us how parents are so addicted to facebook and tweeting about how their children are tiring and if they are lucky to get through the next few years, they may consider having another child. ?? I wasn't really shocked then by our instructors reaction. She claims that in a DC poll there has been a high percent of young married couples having children in order to add to the appearance and social club status of their lifestyles. I laughed so loud that the instructor looked over at me....I apologized but stated that my oldest daughter is an import and my other two kiddo's are American made. She laughed.... but quickly reminded me that the parents I come in counter with now are not looking at life the same way we have 10-20 years ago. Okay, is this instructor trying to say I'M OLD! No.... later found out she is a Christian and was merely pointing out that family values are gone. Sitting at the table having conversation is gone. Selfishness is in.
Self centeredness is chic. Asking your children to sit at the table to eat is taboo...allowing them to run around the house eating is cool. Why? Because they are an accessory. They are beautiful, adorable, long eye lashed prima donna's in their Gucci jackets and Janie & Jack jeans.
This is sad to me. As the week continued I tried to listen to my parents. To survey them quietly.
Yes, it's in my classroom too. The 4 year old with a cell phone. The 4 year old with a flat screen TV in his room....or make that in the bathroom so he can watch Spider Man over and over as he takes a bubble bath. The little 4 year old who had a birthday party at Cookology which could be mistaken for a bridal shower! I wasn't invited to this one...but I do hope to make the next just to photograph for your enjoyment!

After our session ended....I spoke with my co-teacher about her experiences. She truly believes that we are in the land of technology and it is leading to the lack of parenting. I'm not sure that she is 100% accurate....but I do stop to think about how many times I watch a parent arrive at the Academy to drop off or pick up their accessory..... the phone is plugged into their ear....fingers typing 60 words per minute texting..... and all their little one wants to do is show them the awesome painting they created today. This can be heard..." oh, great...more trash for me to deal with".

I'm not sure about you....but my kids do not make great accessories for me. China Doll cramps my style with her teenage "tude" and Freckle Boy's unique physique makes him look as if we have been adding steroids to his bowl of Cheerios. Apple Cheeks well....let's just say she is a very cute 4 year old and looks even cuter in her Hello Kitty accessories..... the only accessory I truly need to wear when I prance out and about is my wedding ring. And with that maybe a cute new pair of Tom's.

I need to post something less negative next time!
And for those of you who commented and are praying for Gracie LeeAnn is her real name thank you from the bottom of our hearts! You ladies (and Jeff) are wonderful blogging friends!

"For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy week to you all!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Friendship comes in all shapes and sizes..... race or culture.......long hair or short.....neighbor or distance matter how you describe your friend, there is nothing like having one. or 2,3, or4 Just ask the two above- that would be Samuel and September Moon. What tempted me to write about friendship and post these particular photos is due to my recent conversations with my Gracie. My dear Gracie is going through something at this time in her's's heart's not what any woman wants from her marriage.... I'm trying to keep her spirits up.....I'm trying to make her laugh as I always have done in 22 years.....I'm trying to be a friend.
Like any friendship, it takes patience and understanding. There are boundaries and there is trust. Like a marriage
There are moments of frustration and there are memories that can be made into precious stepping stones. In a friendship- the relationship is formed, molded, sewn or stitched.
I like to think of my friendship with Gracie as a tapestry that has been created over the past 22 years. In this tapestry there have been threads that came loose....we mended the torn threads....there have been new memories added to our tapestry as well. We have been able to watch this tapestry of friendship catch us when we fall, when we failed, when we traveled through some of the darkest hours of our womanhood wrapping us in comfort.....this tapestry has given us such a cozy has caught the rain for us while antiquing on an October has been used for Chinese food evenings and apple dumpling mornings.
Now, when my friend needs me the most.....I found myself running out of tapestry. I have tried so hard to say and do the "right thing" for her. For us, for our friendship
I try to avoid saying "things will get better", "look at your future"...... oh, please
What I'm trying to say to her is what helped me get through some of my hours of moments of doubt and not too long ago, my fear(s) of everything coming to a dead end after so much planning and changes that have been made.
Removing ourselves from the turmoil that we have found in our lives, whether we created it or someone has placed us in the messiness - and place our trust in Him is the only way.
I ask you.... will you place Gracie in your prayers? I love her like a sister and it hurts in my heart to see her suffer in sadness. She knows me all too well.... she knows I've been down this road a long long time ago.... and she knows I got through it. But when the "shoe is on the other foot" I dislike cliches it is much harder to digest what others are saying, advising, suggesting..... all we can do is listen.
Like a good friendship~ China Doll and her BFF are proud to be sewing their memories into the tapestry.
"Gracie & a little Apple Cheeks with me on our opening day of Simple Dimple! {5/2008}
Family tapestry is just as beautiful..... my Eva and I. Eva is not only beautiful on the outside, she is the most genuine person I think my family {as well as Gracie} has ever been blessed to have in our lives.

As you see....friendship comes when you least expect it. Apple Cheeks is posing with a band member of The Dialogue. This band member and Apple Cheeks formed a friendship from first sight..... as you can see, she became the bands official PR girl! Gracie's son is the lead singer!

Friendship. Now, I'm going to pick up the phone and call Gracie...... my friend.


Friday, February 18, 2011

What am I thinking...more importantly, what do you think?

> This was me today. Well, it's not actually me, it's Apple Cheeks- however I thought her expression could pretty much sum up how I felt during my work day.
All week!

Perhaps I could get some help here from my blogging friends. I'm feeling as if I'm all over the map with my emotions....guilt, anger, frustration, fear which then leads into exhaustion, more guilt, blame game wrapped up in a brown paper package tied up with string.........

It's my job.
*Guilt has surfaced because I am now working full time- Apple Cheeks is in preschool full time-
she is adjusting "okay" for the most part~ but there are moments of frustration when she wants to be home with mommy...... like at the "old house" back in PA..... and then this is when my frustration tips the scale. I'm feeling frustrated because I don't know how to balance my work time and my home time. I did it before.... why can't I do it now? Is it because I was home for almost 6 1/2 years with my older kids and 4 of Apple Cheeks 4 1/2 years? I should be able to juggle everything....after all I'm SuperWoman! um... no I'm not
I begin to feel fear when I can't accomplish my schooling. My classes are not challenging....but I struggle to stay on task. my teens are told they will succeed in school/college when they apply themselves why am I not able to tell myself the same?
I'm exhausted by the time I get home from school. My students are draining. yes, even my precious "V" from Russia makes me feel as if I just received my first concussion
I requested a teachers aid. Was refused. I requested a part time "floater" for those hands on moments when my non-English students need my undivided attention. no can do for you
I blame myself because I wanted THIS job! I wanted to be part of a brand new ACADEMY.
Who did I become- George Bailey?
I wish I had a million dollars!

I've been eating lunch alone. I like that
I've been sneaking into a closed off classroom to hide from my co-teachers to eat in peace.
I've been texting my husband in tears- and he is unable to text me back because of his busy schedule.
I've made some decisions.

*I'm going to place my classes on the back burner. to simmer not to spoil
*I'm planning on applying for job positions within the enormous school districts throughout the DC Metro area and Northern VA. it could take 2 years or more!
**My goal is to land a position within a public school in order to match the schedules of my children. the Academy is open year round- they run a summer camp
**Once I get there....I will get back on track with my classes.

Football Superstar feels this is important not only for our kids, but for me. He sees right through me. As much as I try to not complain and whine I do. And he never once serves me a plate of cheese and crackers with my whining.
We were both in this decision to move together. And it was the best decision we made. 100% the best
I guess all this whining is due to my job. I give my sister(s) an earful..... I give Gracie earfuls too.... and now I'm giving you an earful. oh lucky readers!!!!!!
I feel as if I was given an earful during my interview and during corporate training that now those promises are not being kept. such as my class tuition reimbursement!!!
As I write in my prayer journal each night- asking for yet another chance in the work field- I feel selfish and childish. I feel perhaps I need to stop whining and be thankful for what God has given me {us} these past few months. We are here. We asked for guidance in our decision to move. We were given such an opportunity- why am I complaining? Especially when there are thousands of people out of work- in need- and lost.

Maybe I just cracked an egg on my own head. Wake up girl! I'm giggling because the Dove candy wrapper that I ate today said this: NO LIMITS FOR TODAY
Should I frame this wrapper? Or do I just frame my prayers and goals?

Care to meet me for a cup of java and chat? wouldn't that be fun!
Would love to hear your thoughts!

Have a wonderful weekend...... it feels like spring here!

*And just for the record.... Apple Cheeks was not pinched in the photo above. It was taken during one of her potty breakdowns!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Francesca Battistelli- This Is The Stuff

It's 8:45~ China Doll needs to be at her high school to catch the bus at 9:00 with the rest of her gymnastics team. Today is Districts.
As China Doll is grabbing her gym bag she says to me "oh yeah, Mom I need....." and begins to ramble a few items NOT in the gym bag! What??? Why didn't you inform us last night? You know when we said "anything else needed?"!! Okay no problem, I grab the stuff needed....we head out the door.....Apple Cheeks stops dead in her tracks because a squirrel is in her way.....OMGOSH it's a squirrel not a grizzly bear, let's go! We get into the car..... we are heading over Loudoun County Parkway when China Doll says "are we going to make it?"
I take a deep breath pretending this gorgeous living breathing daughter of mine did not just ask me this....... oh, great....traffic! I manage to get China Doll into the BR parking lot at 9:02 on the dot!
Apple Cheeks and I are heading home...... as we are I begin to make yet another mental note in my head of what I will need to do before heading to this gymnastic meet. I hit a huge pot hole!
In all areas why would a huge pot hole be here on this brand new 1 year old road?!
Football Superstar is at work and will not be pleased if I call giving him news of a blown out tire. brand new tires that is blown out tire....things are good..... what the what?! Now I know why Canadian Geese can take down a jet plane......I've never seen so many gosh darn big birds in all my life!
Coming out of the Redskins Park were and I'm not joking at least 50 Canadian Geese!
What was their plan runs through my head? They stay put but my heart was in my throat....and to top if off I then noticed that I was driving 45 in a 25 mile zone!
As I began to squabble using the words "this stuff drives me crazy!" my sweet calm 4 year old says to me "mommy, just like the song" and she begins to sing to me!!!! Laughter with a poke of tears happy tears got us home. The meet doesn't officially begin until 1:00. Ahhh.......

Enjoy your weekend.
PS: Be sure to read Ramblergirl- her latest post Hating Hope is a good read!
I have read so many awesome post this morning..... thanks for sharing!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge.
Living life with Purpose.
Sunday service message from Pastor K. Like Pastor S., he is strong willed- determined to touch the lives of the broken people- those is mass numbers in his auditorium. 2,500 at best
On this day, teens take over the auditorium. The jr.&sr. high teens from Edge. My daughter is one of them.

This was our message:

The most important thing you can do is invest your life in the next generation.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1

Bottom line is we need to be willing to change because unless you are completely turned off from society- things are changing rapidly. The church must understand the changes- there is a battle going on in the lives of our young generation. Our youth. Our future leaders.
Connecting with our youth shows that we believe in them.
No matter what your label reads- we need to invest in our young generation now. Adapt and sacrifice to touch them. Here is a story that was shared~

A 70 year old woman came to follow Christ. She asked her Pastor "what can I do to make up from the time that I did not follow Christ....that I was not living as He did.....loving, caring, giving....." Her Pastor suggested she "invest" in the college students that live in her community. She decided to make cards and walk through the college campus handing out invitations to all who passed by. Invitation to her home for tea every day beginning at noon.
The first day the woman made a pot of tea, plated scones- and waited. No students came.
The woman returned to the campus handing out invitations and even posted a few on boards in the dorm entrances. Day two. No students. After 16 days she returned to her Pastor asking rather discouraged- "do I continue". Her Pastor agreed. Day 17. The door bell rang- as the woman answered the door a young Vietnamese student stood at her door. He introduced himself explaining he was homesick. They enjoyed tea and scones with conversation that led into Christ. The next day- the young student was back with a friend. For the next 10 years this woman was hosting afternoon tea with the college students. At the age of 80, she passed away. This woman, who invested in our youth....had over 100 pallbearers {friends}. She made a difference.

After listening to this story, through the tears, I thought to myself- Have I invested in our youth? I try to stay up to date with their music, {it's difficult when they change their selection month-to-month} their style of fashion, their girlfriends/boyfriends, gasp their facebook pages and their texting. However, trust comes to mind when raising teens. We have our family discussions.....they know their boundaries.....and they will know their own guilt when the boundaries and trust is broken. But knowing the youth that surround me daily, weekly, and even on weekends I'm not sure. I don't want to embarrass China Doll or Freckle Boy by asking the ice breaking question(s) to their friends in my home...... and frankly I wouldn't want to embarrass myself by conducting a "strip search" of their souls!
It's the young generation that I see outside of my home. At work. At the mall. Pulling up beside me at the traffic light in their cute little Audi.

China Doll mention to me today that she told her "boyfriend" my eyes are rolling she would rather just date and not be in a relationship. What? I'm sorry...we had no idea you were in a relationship? Did the boy? And how did you explain this to "P"? I sent a message through facebook. Oh, geez poor guy. Then again..... I remember passing a note to a friend so another friend could give it to the guy that I just wanted to "date" and not have a relationship with in school! OMGOSH!
Freckle Boy tells me he is tired of girls just wanting to "talk about dating" for a month or so before they actually begin dating! I gotta love this kids honesty....he is a lot like his father!
No matter how my teens inform me of their love interest again I gasp our job is to listen. To support - guide- and with a dash of seasoning tweak their lingo. that's guiding right?

Thoughts of the service again make me think......
Stepping off the edge for our kids today may just save their souls.
As the closing of service came there was a roar from our young teens in the auditorium.
I began to cry. I began to think there is hope. Role models who step off the edge to save this generation. I'm planning on stepping off the edge. Now, I may need to be reminded with my own kids that I'm stepping off the edge - not pushing them off the edge!

I'm worried about this generation. Their relationships with people. Their priorities.
Their need to feel loved- feeling worth- feeling accepted.

Are you with me? yes

God does not call us to live a life of comfort, but to live life on the EDGE.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Question of the week.

Lately, I've been so caught up in life....that I haven't been reading my favorite blogs, nor have I been writing from my journal or my wee thoughts.
Life seems to be flashing past me like the traffic on route 28. without a traffic jam that is
A conversation I had recently with an acquaintance triggered this post.

Three questions..... one answer? I couldn't do it. I'm not good at giving short answers and I certainly can not tell you a story without every single detail. I set the the point where you may even be able to smell, taste, see and hear! so I've been told

1. What makes you happy?

*Happiness {happy - adjective} having a sense of satisfaction/standard of: Happy with his performance.
Well, I could rattle off plenty of things that make me happy. {loving husband, healthy children,loving family members, warm home to live in, food, car, job!, my friends, my.......}
But what she was asking is what truly makes me happy.
My life. The life I was given. Would I and could I be happy without the above? If something should happen to my husband, my children, my family, my job, could I continue to live happily? Well, loaded question. Am I able to answer truthfully I ask myself. We only have 55 minutes left on the clock and I so want to finish my peanut butter sandwich! The Jeopardy tune plays in my mind....... Yes. Would I be heartbroken, would I be torn and confused, would I be angry at God and feel the selfishness of loss? YES. Would my life continue? YES.
I'm learning. I'm maturing in His Word. I find myself not thinking of a tragic moment in my life. Yet I know it's at the tip of our fingers. He can place us in the most tragic of situations -or not. I'm not in control which took me years to learn. Am I saying that I can handle anything thrown my way? Never ever- ever would I say this. I can't. I'll look for the nearest exit sign or take the alleyway just to escape the thought of loss. The {un}happy place we humans never place ourselves. The black zone we dare not visit. I've been there and blamed everyone including God. I refused to return.
Now...back to the question. The word happiness to me is overused. Way too much thought goes into What Makes Us Happy and not enough goes into what can we do to make someone else happy. What action can I do today to create happiness in the physical act. Why not a smile? Why not opening the door for the mother of 4? Why not allowing someone to step in line ahead of you?
Those small acts can and will put a smile on YOUR face. If the other person does not thank you, or shouldn't matter. It made me feel good to do it. Especially when my children are with me. They see their parents positive role in our not so positive society.

#2. So, what you are saying is that no material thing would make you happier? allowing me to eat and enjoy my brown bag lunch!!

Happier? MMmm....... maybe more door holding?! She laughed, but it was forced.
I stressed that heading out to purchase a car and not having a car payment would be great- but wouldn't make my life happier. I stressed to this young {much younger than I} woman that having a new pair of those cute Prada sneakers for work would be cool- but would not make me happier. I stressed having all 3 of my kids receive full college scholarships would be awesome- but not make my life happier. Higher pay wouldn't hurt- but certainly will not make me super duper happy and my life complete.

#3. Are you making this up?

Perhaps there is a learning experience in this question. At one time in my life, I too wanted to ride on the Happy Train. Travel, cool apartment in NYC, handsome prince, awesome sports car, $$$.....if all else fails eat chocolate. Well, I did get my handsome prince...... but it took years to get where I am today. Mountains to climb and wild roller coaster rides to endure.
My early post talk about that. As I listen to others speak of what makes them happy- what they need in their lives- what they could not endure.....I think back to my past. Before I had regret. And even though I would remove a few years from my life's journey to tweak them.....I certainly can say with all honesty that I have remained happy. Sadness crept into my life, pain and heart ache. Death and loneliness.
In pursuit of happiness.....we, our society takes large chunks of stuff to create happiness in our lives. We forget what is important. We lose perspective. We just don't bother thinking of anything outside of our own box.
Football Superstar has an Egyptian barber. He is a Christian. His stories are so awesome to hear and his life's journey is an amazing one. Hanni is young. He is married with 2 children.
He works hard and works long hours in this metropolitan shop. He always has a smile on his face. As my husband puts it- Hanni is one happy guy!

Life Lesson: Question #4. Why is Hanni so happy?