Thursday, November 30, 2006

ferie retribuite

I started my day with 100 4th graders in a small room rehearsing for a concert that my heart is not in. Later, I got a phone call from my twins' speech therapist which put me in near tears...not because they were misbehaving but because poor Drew is having such a difficult time, and a lot of his trouble is because Evan won't let him fail, thus, won't let him try anything. He is trying to help Drew so much that Drew is frustrated and upset and pouty. This is becoming an ongoing pattern with my little guys, and I hate that it seems so evident that one is brighter than the other in academic ventures. We're going to have a rough row ahead of us with them, I think. I hope God will give me some answers to my parenting questions....

My day progressed with disheartening issues, like the 3rd grade sexual predator whom I had taken under my wing in a sense...he'll probably be kicked out tomorrow because he went to the girls' restroom. He had been doing so well that all of us had been informed to begin giving him SOME freedoms, and I had such faith in him. When he asked to go to the restroom, one of his other teachers (thankfully I won't be called in about it) told him he could go unescorted. Oops. Bad decision. I was beginning to think the case worker that told us it wasn't a matter of if he acted out but when he would act out was going to be proven wrong.

Among other things that have me down the past few days, I ended my day checking my online bank account. Thus, the title of my post. Click it. Go ahead. Find out what it means and come back.....I'll wait......

Yep. That's right. Ferie retribuite means "paid vacation," and I chose the Italian language because apparently I have paid for someone in this world to go on a Roman Holiday....

They have drained my account and then some, and in the mean time, I have had to contact anyone I have written a check to and ask them to hold it...embarrassing...and I have to rush home from school tomorrow (without the kids) and get to the bank and then go all the way back out to the babysitter to get the kids.

On top of that, I have to deal with a frozen debit cards, nothing...until it is resolved.

If only that was the least of the things I face...hurry up, Lord, I need You.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Okay, if you know me, you know I pretty much dig Christmas. Seriously, I love the whole thing. The presents, the season, the music, the Gift....ALL of it. But today DEFINITELY put a damper on my holiday cheer. Chad had to work, so I had the boys all day. No big deal, that's not out of the ordinary. After all, the summer is pretty much me and the troops 24/7. After lunch, I decided, "Hey, it's the day after Thanksgiving. Time to put up the ol' Tannebaum." I put on my best Christmas music, and sprinkled in a few old faves like Air Supply's "All Out Of Love," Chicago's "Hard Habit to Break," and Journey's "Open Arms." I also downloaded Avalon's new album, so I was taking this opportunity to get out the ornaments and listen to some good music.

The boys and I worked diligently getting the boxes up from the basement. Now THAT is a task, let me tell you. Nevertheless, we made it. All of it came up without blemish and I didn't even lose any of the boys down the steep stairs. All was good. We then took the next 2 hours getting the tree put together. I know that seems a little long, but have you ever done this ritual with 4 boys in toe? 2 hours later, we were all done but the shoutin' (as my dad would say). We all were cleaning up boxes and trying to get re-organized. I found one box that had about 4 or 5 more ornaments in it, so the boys and I grabbed those out. Next thing I know, CRASH!!!! I turned around and the product of my afternoon was toppled over on the fish tank. THANKFULLY, there was no damage to the fish tank....oh my word, what would I have done? However, many ornaments were in pieces and needless to say, I was a little bit frustrated. I know the boys had nothing to do with this disaster because they were with me in the other room.

I then was trying to hold up a Christmas tree, locate the reason for the fall, shoo away four boys because of broken glass, and asking for help from the ones I had shooed away because I knew that I could not hold the tree and find the problem. With all the ornaments and lights on, it was too heavy for Luke, my oldest, to hold up on his own. Drew and Evan were not able to help, so they say. Therefore it was me and Luke - the army of 2 - to face the world...well, that's what it seemed like. I looked at the clock and realized Chad could be home at any minute which gave me a couple of thoughts:

1. oh good, some help..if I hold it long enough Chad will show up.
2. oh shoot, i really wanted to have this cleaned up when he got here so he could come home to a freshly decorated Christmas house....
3. oh crap, he called a while ago and said he was going to shop after work and didn't know when he would be home.

Shortly after this, I managed to locate the problem. I don't know WHY it fell, but it fell, nonetheless. The result was (other than broken spirits and ornaments) a completely shattered base and the bottom of the pole was broken as well.

So it began. I started ripping the tree apart. I was throwing ornaments in a box Evan got for me. Evan and I were ripping out pieces of the tree, limb by limb. We took lights off as we went. It went up in 2 hours, fell down in 2 seconds, and came apart in about 2 minutes. No kidding.

We bagged up most of it and put the bigger pieces back in the box. Took it all out to the trash. Tomorrow I hope the waste department of Howard County will gather it up and haul it away.

At this point, I jumped in the shower thinking this was the only thing left that could truly calm me down. 15 minutes later, the kids and I were headed to Kokomo for a new tree. We came back with a pre-lit tree that needs no set up. It's one of those skinny-looking ones. I'm sure if you look at Dan and Angie's pictures on their blog you will find one similar, since they have like 153 trees in their house....But when I picked out the tree, I completely was NOT thinking about how to get it home. It doesn't break down. So I got to the van and thought, "Great. This is exactly what I need a tree and have to leave it in the parking lot" (not that I would have). I ended up shoving it through the middle of the van over the tops of the two back seats and up between my seat and the front passenger seat from the back hatch. Anyway, it's now 6 hours after my trip to Kokomo, but the house is decorated. I'm pleased with the top of my piano. I'm also really pleased with the ol' tannenbaum. (Can you tell I'm enjoying that word? "Tannenbaum" - it's just fun. I bet some of you use it this week and think of me....)

Some other funny points from the evening:
I was clearing off the top of my piano, where I decorated with all my breakable snowmen stuff (because I love snowmen and because Gabriel is at the age where it's all a toy to him). I wanted to dust it, and I was standing up on the bench. I asked Drew to go get me the dusting stuff. He came back with a butter knife. I'm not sure where he goes in his mind, but he is definitely one that keeps me on my toes.

After the kids got in bed, Chad was telling me about the kids watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade yesterday. I was cooking or something at this point, but I had watched it with Gabriel a little before that. (He had a good time waving to the Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants, and Scooby Doo balloons.) Chad said that the kids were watching and when Hannah Montana (one of the newest characters on Disney Channel, daughter of Billy Ray Cirus and Luke's girlfriend, one of a growing list) came on the parade, they all stopped what they were doing, mouth agape and watched in silence until she was gone. When Chad noticed that, he said, "What are you doing looking at my girlfriend?" It sparked a big argument over whose girlfriend she actually was. Chad's story about it ended with him saying, "That Hannah Montana. She IS a sweet and adorable little girl." Now, "sweet" and "adorable" aren't words Chad uses often, so I turned around and just gave him this all-knowing look that I have. He said, "What? I'm not saying that in a creepy way." I didn't say anything, just kept up with the stare. He grinned, tucked his chin under, and said, "Okay, maybe I have a little crush on Hannah Montana." It may not be as funny to you as it was me, but I needed the comic relief after today's tree incident.

I'm sure my Holiday Cheer will return. I probably just need a nap.

(There you go, Jenny...was it all you hoped it would be?)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Gloomy days

I was reminded by reading through some blogs today that the weather is going to become more gloomy and gloomy until spring. Sure, we'll have occasionally sunny and crisp days once in a while, but most times, it will be like it has been lately around here. Dreary. Cold. Windy. Misty. Dark. Grey.

Then I read the blog from WhateverHeSays today, and her entry was about seeing beauty on a walk she took amidst all of that gloom of November. My first reaction was, "Man, I hate this weather, how can anyone find beauty in it?" And then I started thinking about something I haven't thought about in a long time.

I wonder if God looks down on me and my sinful life and says, "It's so dreary around there. All grey haze, no Sonshine. Everything is cold and lifeless. I can't wait until new life comes again."

God, when I am surrounded by the aftermath of my bad choices or feeling down or letting the world close in on me or get to me, deliver me from it. Help me to see the beauty in Your creation. Help me to be beautiful in Your Eyes. Forgive me when I am not.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Amazing Art

I had to get my oil changed today, and while my 3 youngest (Luke was at school) were playing at the dealership's toy table, I was flipping through a Readers Digest, and I came across this amazing artist, Guido Daniele. They were featuring him in RD, and I was thoroughly amazed by his ablity! Check these out! By clicking on this post's title, you can go to his website. (NOTICE - some of his painting on the website is BODY art, as pointed out by my friends the McEvoys - enter at your own risk...)Take a really close look, they are all painted on hands....

And then, just for amasement's sake, go here... You don't have to admit it, but I know you are all going to be rigging up lights and white sheets to try these out!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What a great weekend...

I went on a shopping trip and forgot to bring my camera. About 24 ladies or so went from my church. It was so great to get a break from life...even if for 35 was fun. I learned a LOT about some of you out there!! :) If you are reading, I promise not to let the cats out of the bags. The best part of the weekend was seeing my sister-in-law, well, technically my former sister-in-law be pampered. Imagine an entire day with friends who are there to coach you and support you and tell you how beautiful you are before re-entering the world of dating....what a boost in confidence. It was so overwhelming for the normally standing at the side (not the back), watching and supporting and serving friend that I have. I was so happy for her that I literally busted out crying in the mall. I don't even remember what store. She was looking so pretty and I was so happy for her...and so saddened that she would not be at the Christmas gatherings...I love that girl! Anyway, before it was done, we had about 4 grown women experiencing their own therapy session right there in the department store. Good memories...

The funniest point was at Kohl's in Indianapolis. One of the ladies who wears about a size itty bitty got a pink cammie that had this wrinkled, according-like look to it. I put the hanger over my head and stretched out the fabric and then squeezed in with my best according immitation. After about 12 hours of shopping, this was hysterical. We were all at that loopy point. When we were checking out, the guy working at the register said something like I needed to come back and put the lingerie back over my head and do something or other...that was a little strange... So we made enough commotion with our cackling to get noticed. Then my step-mom said I only get let out once a month (maybe twice, can't remember) and it took that many of them to watch me and keep me in control. I just answered, "I'd LOVE to get out twice a month!!!" This weekend trip was exactly what this weary mommy needed.

Today at church, I had organized (with several people's help) a Veteran's Day service. We were busting at the seams! There were tons of people there! The choir sang 3 songs, our locally famous quartet featuring Peter Heck sang a couple of songs, we had slides shows with music, the Color Guard was there (my uncle Gary was in it, and I had NO idea he would be there---it was good to see you - I know sometimes you see this), as each person left the building, they greeted and thanked all the veterans who had come to the service who lined the auditorium. I loved the whole thing. For more about my thoughts on it, see this. It was sombering, humbling, uplifting, and just an all around good service.

That's about it. (Except the fact that I can end this wonderful weekend with the last half of the piece of Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake that I got from the Cheesecake Factory..mmmmmm!!!!)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Ok - what's up with splitting the season in half? I mean...I'm not so sure my heart can handle TWO cliff-hangers in a single season.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006



Audrey, thanks for letting me advertise your blog a little...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Carefree and joyful

The idea of being carefree and joyful has been one that I have really wanted to explore musically lately...I think it's because I feel the need to let God's joy be MY joy and to let God handle the big stuff and the small stuff...Why worry? Christians are some of the gloomiest people I know. Why is that? I think the world would be full of MORE of us if we weren't so sour...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

What part of fall am I?

You Are Apple Cider
Smooth and comforting. But downright nasty when cold.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Goodbye, Eko

My heart was saddened at the passing of my favorite character last night. I hope he comes back in some ghost form of some sort as the writers of Lost have done in the past.... He was by far the most intriguing character for me. I loved the battle against flesh and spirit that he endured because it is so real...He didn't make the right decisions all the time...who among us does? He had a dirty past. Who doesn't? I actually cried.

I will miss you, Eko.