Monday, August 31, 2009


Today is Mark's birthday.  Who is Mark you ask?  Mark lives next door to us.  To say that it is a miracle that he is here would be a complete understatement.  You don't need to know the why but the how is most certainly because God has great, great plans for this young man.  God has placed him in the most loving care of the best parents he could find for him.  Now he is 18 and the world is his to explore and improve upon.  To say that Mark has a good heart would also be an understatement.  He is giving and loving and always has a way of making people laugh.  He walks with God and it is obvious.  Mark, you have figured out how to live everyday with a smile on your face, God's hand in your hand taking one step at a time.  Something most people don't learn until they are much older.  I hope this year brings you continued happiness, fun, laughter, great memories and good health.   Happy Birthday Mark!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wouldn't you know....

Last night my car was broken into and my purse was stolen.   Good thing there were just "things" in there.....   Maybe I was a purse snatcher in another life, this is the 3rd time this has happened to me.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Indian Summer

This is Julia rescuing Bugz from the heat and putting him in the bathtub for the day.  She found him this morning at 9am hyperventilating and he wouldn't move.  He is fine now.  Temps will probably get up to almost 100 degrees today.

This was Ben a week ago.  It was foggy and cold and he didn't mind that we put this blanket on top of him while he was napping in Julia's bed.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Tonight we had dinner with friends celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary.  Wow.... 27 years.  That is a long time.   John and I celebrate our 15th this month and I think that is a long time.  I think it is funny that we as humans document moments in time like this.  How our lives are so structured into centuries, decades, years and months.  We go about our lives with this big checklist.  27 years married - check.  40 years old - check.  7 years with the company - check.  How different would it be if we didn't have these markers.  We must need them.  We must want to have this structure.  I guess God wants us to climb each rung of the ladder to get to heaven so we know how far we've come.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sentiment, remembrance and regret

When I was much younger I used to get quite attached to things.  Knickknacks mostly.  Little treasures from other people.  A Christmas gift from someone special or a neat rock I found on one of our Sunday picnics.  After my Mom died I had one of her bracelets - it reminded me of her so much and I would play with it on my wrist when I thought of her.  I did this so often that one day the clasp broke.  I put the bracelet in my purse so I could get it fixed.  Around the same time this happened the ring that John proposed to me with (a beautiful ring that had been his family for a long time) had a loose diamond.  I put this ring in my purse too until I could get to a jeweler to have it fixed.  One day at work I realized my purse was missing.  It was in the same place I always kept it - secure in my office.  I knew someone I worked with had stolen it.  I searched and searched the entire building getting more frantic with each step not wanting to admit that these treasures were gone.  When it finally hit me I collapsed on the floor in a heaving bundle of tears.  

The loss of those items tore me apart for a long time but it was the moment I started to live a different life.  I realized eventually that they were indeed just things and to this day I can still remember exactly what they looked like.   It was a defining moment because I started to not care about items anymore.  I am not a pack rat.  I tend to throw things out rather than keep them.  I started to value the people in my life and the moment I am in more than the memories.  I have a very bad memory.  I think it is because I have learned to not dwell on the past - I prefer to enjoy the present.  That doesn't mean that I don't miss my Mom sometimes or wish that I had that ring to give to Julia someday.  I do.  I have a few choice items locked away in the garage to share with my children someday but for the most part life is about today - I live mostly in the now - forgetting the past and not worrying about the future (maybe to a fault).  I try to love the people I am with now and I don't walk around with regret that I didn't do things differently.  I try to learn from my mistakes and move on.  If anything I hold onto the people in my life too much rather  than the things.  I probably hold them too tight to my heart.  I guess this blog is an item that records and remembers for me so I can move on.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to School

It was back to school night tonight and I was in hot pursuit of the principal.  Julia was suppose to have a teacher named Mrs. Luske (whom everyone said would be the perfect teacher for Julia).  On the first day of school we showed up to a substitute named Ms. Shultz who informed us that she only found out about subbing the night before.  She said she wasn't sure what was going on with Mrs. Luske but she was expected to be there through the end of September or even longer.  We like Ms. Shultz - she used to be a 4Th grade teacher at the kids school but she received a pink slip this past spring with all of the new layoffs and budget cuts.  We were happy she could possibly be Julia's teach but noticed that her belly was quite big..... pregnant in fact...... so there was no way she be there the entire year.  After 3 days of school Julia informed us that there was yet another Ms. Shoultz (notice the different spelling).  This was very confusing.  Was this another sub?  Was she permanent?   We never once received a letter home informing us of what was going on.  So as I was saying I was in hot pursuit of the principal.  We tracked her down and she explained the predicament.  We understand and I will save you the details but it looks like Julia might just be playing the teacher shuffle this year.   The lack of communication would never have happened in our previous private school and I honestly didn't expect this from their current school which is usually on top of things.   I guess she will learn to adapt to different situations better and we will encourage more home learning this year as a result.  We are trying to look at the bright side because there doesn't seem to be a better alternative option at this point.  Julia seems relatively happy - she is glad to see her friends from last year on the playground. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I attended a class today called Zumba.   It is sweeping the nation and is extremely popular.  It is a dance class that is all latin based.  You will soon see me at the club teaching it!!!  Training is on Sept. 12.  I am really excited!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Julia had a suspicious mole on her back that kept itching.  We took her to the dermatologist and he decided it needed to be removed just to be safe.  Julia was very brave but it did freak her out a bit that they were cutting her skin off.  We are hoping that it heals nicely with a very small scar.  She is only 8 ya know.  Poor baby.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I have been laboriously reading a book by Wally Lamb called "The hour I first believed".   For some reason it took me a very long time to read this 700+ page book.  I think mostly because it was full of heartache and sadness and I tend to get too involved in the characters when I read.  I walked around in a funk and my entire family noticed it.  I almost put it aside several times but was hopeful that the end would reveal some redeeming qualities.  I finally finished the book tonight and although it was thought provoking what I walked away realizing is that I am extremely blessed.  That there are people - many people - who suffer excruciatingly.  There are people effected by circumstances far beyond their control and must live the duration of their lives carrying this burden.  There are people who lack the faith to get them through to the other side of tragedy and so they live in a dark, and windowless world.  What I have come to understand is that I do not want to live in that world - nor do I want to reflect on it.  I believe we can choose to live in darkness or choose to live in light.  I am choosing the light.  So Mr. Wally Lamb, I appreciate your book but prefer to fill my thoughts with more positive things.  When tragedy strikes my life - which I am sure it will - I will look upwards for comfort and strength.  I will do my best to seek the light, to seek the goodness that we all have and I will choose to ignore the darkness.  The darkness is not worth my time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Every year we go to Mary's house to celebrate her brother's birthday by making Gnocchi for dinner.  This celebration reminds me of how things probably used to be.  It is a very long process and it starts with Mary's parents - Leonard and Josephine.  Leonard will be 87 this year - the oldest in the bunch.  He is extremely healthy and completely has his wits about him.  The two of them get things started by boiling the potatoes and making the dough (potatoes, eggs, flour and nutmeg).  The dough is rolled out into long logs and cut into one inch pieces.  The rest of us gather around them and form the gnocchi using forks.  The gnocchi is allowed to dry a bit while we work and then they are boiled and served with red sauce.  We usually never have enough - they go down super easy but usually hit you like a brick about 15 minutes after you eat them.  This year we had  quite a bit left over (we made so much).  It is so nice to have this big family gathering with everyone helping from the 87 year old down to the 8 year old.  Good times I will never forget.

Friday, August 21, 2009


We are watching the neighbors pets for a week.  Here is the inventory.....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Last day of summer

Today is the last day of summer - for the kids anyway.  We finally did get their school list...... yesterday.  Jack and I went to Wal-Mart at around 7:30 and he remarked "this is when all of the weirdos come here" - what does that make us I wonder.   The kids are looking forward to school and can't sleep because they are so excited - I hope is lasts more than one day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I tend to have a recurring nightmare every so often.  It is never exactly the same but the just of it is that I am in a car and it goes off the edge of a cliff.  The cars change - the scenery changes - even the drivers and passengers change (sometimes it is myself driving and sometimes another person).  I recently had a dream I was in a red Miata ( had one awhile ago) and John was driving.  It was snowy and very cold.  We drove up this hill rather quickly and suddenly the road was gone and we flew into a lake.  The very strange part of this dream is that I physically felt the result.  Crushing pressure on my lungs and skin tingling with shock from the cold.  I immediately woke up and felt the tail end of the physical effects.  Thoughts anyone?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Play dough and finger paints

I wish I had thought to take pictures this morning.  I was fortunate enough to watch a dear friends children - three of them - all younger than mine.  All of our children get along quite well and since I was trying to cater to the 2 year old I decided to make play dough and finger paints from scratch.  I set them up outside at a table on the grass and let them go at it.  They were laughing and creating and messy and free.  It was nice to take myself back there - if only for a morning - to the time of mothering a 2 year old.  The days of blocks and Sesame Street.  I have fond memories of these times in my own children's lives.  I don't desire to go back there except for the occasional babysitting day.  What I  can see - in my not too distant future - is the good times I hopefully will have as a grandmother - another joy I have yet to experience. 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sun Daze

We have started a bit of a tradition in our household.  So far we have gone on a hike 4 weeks in a row on Sunday.  We are really enjoying each other and finding these new little treasures that hide just out of view from the road.  We will see how long it lasts.  I love the conversation that comes when we are on a path and there is no where to go.  The kids can't get up from the table and the phone isn't ringing - only beauty and quiet around you - it gives your brain room to breathe.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Michael's birthday

Today is my brother Michael's birthday.  He is the baby in the family - the last of 8.  I vividly remember his birth.  I remember holding this little baby and thinking that he could actually be mine.  I was almost 18.  He was such a sweet, sweet little boy and to this day he is still sweet.  He is 22 today - a young man - but in my world he is still about 8 years old.  He has been through more than most people his age and has come through the other side of it a well rounded, loving individual with so much potential and positive energy.  With the torment the 7 of us older siblings put him through he could easily be a very messed up person but he is strong and courageous - an example of what can happen even if bad things happen to good people.  He is just starting out in his life as I approach the dead middle (if I am lucky) of mine.  I want nothing more than to see him flourish and find complete happiness.  Michael, you are so intelligent.  So kind.  So gifted.  So giving.  I hope this next year will bring you some incredible memory making moments,  some new friends, and maybe some new interests.  I hope your 20's are fun and insightful.  I hope your dreams become realities.  You have everything you need to make your life wonderful and fulfilling - don't be afraid to go get it!  I love you Mike!  Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Special tool

I watched a really dumb show on TV the other night but it got me thinking.  In the show a motivational speaker was asking the characters what their "special tool" was that they had or could use to make money.  I have been thinking a lot about that lately - wanting to supply some much needed extra income for the family.  I had thought about getting a part time job but mostly I have been looking for that grandiose idea that would lead me into a fantastic business.  Something I could make to sell.  Well, after watching this ridiculous show what I realized is that I am already doing it.  I absolutely love my job.  I can maybe count on one hand the number of times I did NOT want to go to work and teach.  Pretty good for almost 7 years.  I usually have pretty full classes and I love watching people grow.  SO - now I am in hot pursuit of more hours, more classes, more opportunities to use this tool that I have.   I may get my personal training license so I can teach Pilates or Yoga in people's homes.  I may even open my own studio some day.  I am excited about this idea - I can't believe it didn't occur to me before.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I took the Myers- Briggs personality test on Facebook the other day and this was the result.  I took it twice just to make sure and got the same result.  

ENFPs are initiators of change, keenly perceptive of possibilities. They energize and stimulate others through their contagious enthusiasm. They prefer the start-up phase of a project or relationship, and are tireless in the pursuit of new-found interests. ENFPs are able to anticipate the needs of others and to offer them needed help and appreciation. They bring zest, joy, liveliness, and fun to all aspects of their lives. They are at their best in situations that are fluid and changing, and that allow them to express their creativity and use their charisma. They tend to idealize people, and can be disappointed when reality fails to fulfill their expectations. They are easily frustrated if a project requires a great deal of follow-up or attention to detail.

Champions delight in novelty. They are optimistic, enthusiastic, and vivacious, craving expressions of strong emotion. With a dramatic flair, they share their experiences with others, hoping to reveal some universal truth or win others over in support of a cause. Attuned to possibilities, Champions scan their environment, probing the emotions, needs, and motivations of others. This sensitivity sometimes conflicts with their intense drive for personal authenticity. Spontaneous and personable, they attract others to their company.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Are you kidding me????

School starts a week from tomorrow.  The school supplies have been in the stores for over a month now.  We are now in a computer age where the Internet and websites can offer you information at a moments notice.  So, why is it that our public school system can't update their website or at the very least send out an email with our school supply list?  I will be writing a letter to this regard to let the higher ups know of my angst.  I mean come on, the $0.25 bins full of paper and folders are almost empty now.  I am going to have to hike all over town looking for the pee-Chee folders they require 24 hours before I send these kids off to school with a list I am sure I will receive in the MAIL using paper (which by the way the school ran out of last year around April - hhhmmmm ).  I know they have taken  many jobs away from very qualified teachers and have increased class sizes to accommodate lack of funds but surely there is some over qualified college student desperate for a job who could simply update electronic information and save hours of collating and stamping and envelope sealing.  Heck, let me do it - I would do it for free.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So who would have thought that Jack would actually want to go back to school or that Julia would actually get a kick out of me putting those... um.....  less than ideal shall we say pictures of her on my blog.  Apparently I don't know my kids that well.  

I guess what I have learned from this is that Jack thrives well with structure.  The few days of summer that he was without an agenda or Jr. Lifeguards were like watching a puppy run around a 70 acre farm not knowing where home was.  He actually wants a strict teacher next year.  I guess a few more organized days would be good in his life.  He feels safer that way and isn't quite ready to trust himself yet with his own time.  I am sure it will come later.

I have also learned that my sweet daughter is not one to conform - this of course I have known for awhile.  She likes what she likes not because someone else likes it or dislikes it.  She has her own style - grunge for the most part with a few very fancy party dresses mixed in.  She doesn't think "pretty" is that important.  For this I am extremely grateful. I, of course, love "pretty" - almost too much sometimes - so it is refreshing to see her take a different road than me.  

How fun it is to watch these very unique and beautiful people become who they were intended to become.  I only hope and pray that I do a good enough job with them as their mother - God was good to me. 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Jack's corner

Today I have a guest writer.  Jack has been asking to have a posting on my blog for awhile.  So - here it is - un-edited.....


It's vary funny. As soon as February comes around you want summer to come the next day because of a bully or a teacher or you just need a break. Then after a about two weeks of summer you want it to be school time again. I think it is very weird don't you?????

Jr. lifeguard's
This is a little side note

I just wanted to tell all of you that if you want to send your child(ren) in it yes yes yes do it I love it and I bet your child(ren) will to.

thank you for reading jack's corner. 


Saturday, August 8, 2009


Rachel has been living next door to us for over a year now.  She is Suzanne's niece.  We have really come to love this young lady.  She is super nice, very funny, a great dancer and a good friend.  She watched Ben for us when we were on vacation and looked after our house.  She babysat our children.  She is a very beautiful girl and has become a fantastic waitress.  She is moving onto another chapter in her life and we are very happy for her but will miss her dearly.  She recently became engaged and we are hoping she chooses to have her wedding here in sunny California so we can see her again.  How wonderful to be just starting out with your own life with so many possibilities in front of you!  Good luck Rachel - it was so wonderful getting to know you and watch you mature into this amazing woman.  Don't forget about the neighbors you had for a short time while you were here!  We love you!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Last day of Junior Lifeguards

Jack is very, very sad.  

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ahh the days of summer

Summer really doesn't start to kick in here until around now.  We wake up to gorgeous mornings without fog and the temperatures are perfect.  There is a slight bit of fall in the air but I am ignoring it for now.  We are not ready.  The kids start back to school two weeks from today and that just seems wrong.  I feel like they just got out of school ( I am sure they agree with me ).  Christmas decorations are already in the stores - are you KIDDING ME!!!???!!!  I will turn my eyes away and enjoy every last minute of these last few lazy days.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I was lying in my bed talking to God the other night feeling guilty that we had not been to church as regularly as we normally do.  I really do love going to church.  I don't go out of obligation - I go because I want to and it gives me that time to re-align my priorities with what God wants, not what I want.  It give me a different perspective and keeps me from believing that everything I think is right is right.  I love being in church with so many other people who hopefully want to do the same thing.  I enjoy taking the focus of life off of little things and putting it where it belongs on more important matters.  Most of all I love to feel God's love all around me.  Like I said I was lying in bed feeling guilty when I realized that one of the places I feel closest to God - perhaps THE place I feel closest to God is lying in bed at night.  When it is quiet and the noises in my brain subside.  It was here that I first really started to have a relationship with him.  In the comfort of my bed when I was about 12.  I liked to think he was just outside of my window watching over me, listening to me.  This is where I have the long conversations and feel closest to him.  So, I will be happy the next time we make it to church but I no longer am going to feel guilt.  As long as my relationship is strong and He is in my heart - that is what matters most.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Birthday party

We had dinner at the Beedle's house on Sunday for John's birthday.  We had Texas sheet cake (his favorite)  and went home with half of it left.  Guess who ate the entire second half....... and it was not John.

Monday, August 3, 2009

An original by Ryan

We were sad to see Ryan go yesterday but we have this precious video to remind us of his awesomeness! 

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The one

There once was a girl who lived in Hawaii.  She was young and a bit lost, unpolished and confused.  She didn't know where her life should take her.  She met a boy.  A handsome and quick witted boy.  The boy made her laugh and challenged her thoughts.  He showed her things about life she hadn't seen before.  He would hold her in his strong arms and she felt safe.  This boy saved the girl.  Showed her all that life had to offer.  He gave her a life full of opportunity, love and laughter.  

Today is that boys birthday.  He is the love of my life.  He is my best friend.  He is the answer to my prayers and my dream come true.  He is my prince.  He is my savior.   He is my gift from God.
Happy Birthday my amazing and beautiful husband. I hope we get to spend the rest of this life and the next together.  Thank you for everything that you are.  I love you with all my heart!

Saturday, August 1, 2009