Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My Inspiration

My dear friend Betsy is my inspiration to blog today! I wanted to check my last blog and see if anyone left a post, and by golly, Betsy did. And her posts are always charming and witty and make me smile. So, of course, I thought, "I should check Betsy's blog and see if she has posted recently?" I checked and she had. She posted yesterday, when I know she had many other things to do--spend all morning on the phone with me and visiting at my house, as well as edit my article for the Worhip Team Newsletter at 11:00pm. (Thanks Bets! You are a love). Furthermore, her post was about blogging when not in the mood to blog. Yikes! She really guilted me into it. But I need that, you know!

Anyway, Betsy is my inspiration in many ways, not just in blogging. For some reason, I feel particularly drawn to her lately. I have grown in so many ways since meeting her. I have known her for many years. I think Danielle was only two when we first met at the Christian and Missionary Alliance church in Cambridge Springs. I always respected her as an upright Christian woman, but did not really know her that well--just well enough to know she was special. As the years have gone by, we stayed in contact, but not on a regular basis.

Fortunately, Nick was renting a home they owned when we first began dating, and that brought us back into contact again. But it wasn't really until Chloe was born that we really began to nurture a relationship. I was anxious and she wanted to write, so a friendship blossomed. Who would have thought? Oh! and of course, I wanted to write, as well.

Which brings me to another point of inspiration. She has kept me on track with my writing. I have published many articles on the internet, begun writing for my church newsletter, and am even going to be taking over the Worhip Team Newletter at my church. Where would I be right now without Betsy? We get together once a week to encourage and inspire and hold each other accountable.

What's even more, is that she has taught me so much about what it is to be a Christian woman--not that I am always, but I sure do try. Well, anyway, Bets, I love ya! Thanks for the inspiration! Maybe I'll go check out some discount tires!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Time Slips Away

I can't believe it has really been so long since my last blog. There are so many things going on that sometimes I don't realize how fast time really does fly.

The last few weeks have been packed full of interesting and fun events--I can't say too much for the housework, but carpe diem, right? Perhaps the most interesting thing we have done since last I wrote was take a road trip to Benezette. It is a small town a bit south of St. Marys. Nick and I went last year and had a great time. This year, Nick's, mom, dad, and brother wanted to go with us. The more the merrier, right?

What makes Benezette so unique and interesting is the fact that there are elk there. Nick tells me that over a hundred years ago elk roamed freely in these parts but were weeded out by hunters. Fairly recently, and I don't know exactly how recently, the Game Commission began reintroducing them to that area. Now there are quite a few. When driving around, all you have to do is watch for stopped cars alongside the road in order to see one.

The trip is about three hours long and it is well worth the ride this time of the year. The leaves are glorious with all their bright and colorful foliage. It truly makes me appreciate what beauty God has put in this world. Anyway, when we arrived in Benezette, we drove for a little while, all wondering whether we would see our subject, the Elk. We drove for some time and low and behold there were the cars alongside the road, and three elk standing in someone's back yard--right by their garage--right by their house! Imagine walking out of your house to see such a huge creature standing next to your car, as if to say, "Where do you think you are going?" They are rather large animals, and can be a little intimidating. But they really don't seem bothered at all by their admirerers.

We drove a little farther and saw more cars, so of course, we pulled over that time, as well. This time there were two; one relatively small, and the other gigantic! Its rack--not that I really care about such things, but this was very impressive--was huge. Now when I say huge, I mean huge. If you killed it and wanted to mount it on your wall--which I also don't particularly care about, but just to make my point--you would have to have a very big home to accomodate it. I know it would not fit anywhere in our cozy little home.

So that was our little road trip. We stopped at a gift shop there, and drove a few extra miles to Sharon, PA to eat at an Italian restaurant called Combine Brothers. They serve yummy food, in huge portions, and at very reasonable prices. I like the huge portions because everthing we have ever brought home reheats nicely and makes a great dinner the following day. It's one of my father-in-laws favorite places to eat.

Well, it's late so I am going to bed. I will try not to be a stranger. Take care!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Untitled Hymn

I joined the choir at my church last week, and the Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) is the name of my favorite song for the Harvest Choir. We sang this past Sunday, and will be singing again in November. I can't wait and am so excited about the music. We will be accompanied by an orchestra and I am sure it will be quite lovely.

I have to admit-- music is and always has been my truest passion. Growing up it was my whole life. My little Emerson radio was always on. I could not wait until night would come so that I could sit upstairs in my makeshift bedroom and listen and sing. I could not wait for my mother and grandmother to leave on the weekends to run errands. I would turn up my radio as loud as I pleased and would sing at the top of my lungs. Oh what a high! I feel the music as deep down in my heart and soul as I can reach. When I sang, my pain was gone. I no longer had to think about my cruel father. I wonder what masks his pain.

Anyway, I am thrilled to be a part of the choir. I expect there will be a lot of social and spiritual growth for me. I also hope to continue to grow and fulfill a dream. And how exciting would it be to fulfill a dream and glorify Jesus at the same time!

Wel, I guess this is all for tonight. It is late--past 11:30 already! Wow! Time flies. The problem with me is that I want to do so much. I have lofty goals, ideas, and dreams. How will I ever reach them. I don't even know where to start. Start somewhere, right?

I will try to blog again tomorrow. Until then, good night!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Up and Running Again!

I am back and more enthusiastic than ever! What a crazy summer it was. We moved and I babysat all summer. But that's not really why I haven't been blogging. Toward the end of July, Nick, the girls, and I went for an extended weekend getaway at a friend's cabin in Tidioute.

Before we left, we had all been busy doing various things. I, of course, spent a great deal of time preparing to move, babysitting, taking care of my own children, and housetraining a puppyl. Nickwas busy doing what he always does, which of course is work, work, work (I'm so proud of my dear husband). But even throughout all that I had plenty of time to think about my writing. I had gotten very inspired and determined to publish an article somewhere. I began to craft my first independent query letter (I wrote one in college for a magazine writing class that I took). I aimed high and wrote three query letters to parenting magazines. I was so excited to be leaving Cambridge Springs with three envelopes addressed to editors in New York City. I really felt that I could enjoy my little getaway--with one cloud looming over my head.

When I finished printing out my letters I turned off my computer. Right before we left, I decided to turn the computer back on just to check something real quick, but much to my disappointment Windows would not come back. Something appeared to be seriously wrong and it was. According to my 21-year-old little brother, who is a computer whiz, my computer was very broke. He told me I would need to buy a whole new system. Let me just tell, ya, I was downright sad. Fortunately, my older little brother, who is also a computer genius looked at it and said, "Oh, don't worry! It just needs (blah, blah, blah, and yada, yada, yada) and it will be just fine." Forgive me, as I'm not real up on the computer lingo. Anyway, he lives in Pittsburgh, but came up as soon as he could to fix it for me. Hence, the marvelous technological piece of equipment that I am enjoying right now. Thanks, Matt!

So now I am gung ho again and am working hard every day to learn how to become a published writer. That's my goal and with a little effort and the help of my Lord, I plan to achieve it!

Other than that, life has slowed down considerably for me. The house is fairly settled, with the exception of the remodeling that needs completed, and I no longer babysit during the day, as the children are back to school. The girls and I have established a wonderful afternoon and evening routine. As for Nick, he started a new job a GE and is working like a mad dag. He is so excited to be there that he is putting in all sorts of crazy hours, often working 12 hours a day. His philosophy is to take it while its there. It might not be tomorrow. Good thinking, I suppose, as long as he doesn't fall asleep driving home. That's my worry. I love him and am thankful for the job and benefits, but I also miss him. He is truly my best friend.

Well, I am not getting much writing done sitting here blogging, so I guess I will go for the evening. I will try to blog on a refular basis again, but am sure it won't be daily. It's hard enough to do everything I want to in a day, and often I don't. But, hey, it's great to be back!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Fun in the Sun

Well, once again we have had a pretty busy week. I guess Monday we didn't really do anything too exciting--at least not that I can remember, but if the days get too far behind me, they just become a blur. That is why I really enjoy this blogging business. It is a nice way to remember what we did and when we did it. Of course, it is also a fantastic way to exercise my writing skills. It keeps me inspired and in the habit of writing.

Tuesday was a pretty fun day for the children. Every Tuesday, as part of the library's summer read program, there is a fun activity that goes along with the theme--which happens to be "Dragons, Dreams, & Daring Deeds." As you might guess, the topic is medieval stuff: knights, round tables etc... Tuesday's fun activity was on Archery. Dave Birchard, who is very involved with hunter safety courses (and I suspect much more) in our area, taught the lesson. Every child there who wanted to was able to shoot a bow. There were lots of children present and they seemed to have a good time. Danielle loved it. She even said she would enjoy doing it for a fun hobby.

I can relate to Danielle's pleasure. I shot a little when I was a girl and I loved it too. There is just something rewarding about hitting that target. Maybe it has to do with the idea of instant success--as long as you hit I suppose. I wouldn't want to hit a live target though. Nick has asked me to go hunting with him, but I am just not quite sure I could end a living creature's life. But a cardboard creature would be just fine.

Wednesday and Thursday we went swimming at Betsy's house. The water felt so cool and refreshing. Although, I might add that the water temperature was at least 84 degrees both days. You know it's hot out when 84 feels cool. Oh, but it was fantastic!

I am so thankful to have such a wonderful friend as Betsy. She has been such a positive influence in my life this past year. She has been a steady encouragement to me in my writing and everything else in my life. She is a kind, patient, godly woman and has set such good examples for me as a wife, mother and friend. Anyway, her home is always open to anyone who needs it and I think that's quite commendable. If only I were so gracious.

Anyway, I have learned from this week's water fun that Chloe is quite the water baby. At first she was a little apprehensive about being in such a huge "tub," but once she realized she was safe she truly enjoyed it. The children and I were laughing because after she had been in the pool for at least a half hour, she looked up at me with delight all over her fact, pointed to the water, and said, "wahwah!" as if she was just noticing it for the first time. We thought it was funny. She is as refreshing as that pool water any day!

Then yesterday, I went to visit my good friend Brandi in Edinboro. I had not seen her in quite a while. She had a baby boy seven weeks ago--right on mother's day, I might add--and I have hardly had the chance to really visit with her since then. Oh we talk on the phone, but it's just never quite as nice as meeting face to face. And of course, I love seeing her kids. Including the baby she now has three, a boy, three, a girl, two, and of course the baby. I loved holding Baby Eric. It felt so nice to cradle an infant in my arms again. In fact, it brought back that maternal instinct to do it all over again. One more baby, God willing and we will be done. I'm already getting excited about it. Maybe this one will be a boy!

We were also able to get into our new house last night. We are going to rent for a year and then buy take out a mortgage. We are so excited to finally be able to own our own place. It's much better than renting. Hopefully, all goes well.

Well, Chloe is sleeping, as she usually is when I do this, so I had better go finish laundry and all that good stuff before she wakes up. Have a good evening!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Puppy Promotion

Well, Petey became a part of our family a month ago today. I can honestly say he has done quite well as the family "kitchen" dog. He has been an extremely good listener and only seems to have accidents when I do not get to him fast enough. We have kept him in the kitchen because, as I am sure you can guess, there is no carpet there. The entire rest of our house is carpeting and I did not particularly care for the idea of him going all over the house--especially this time of the year. I can just imagine how odiferous the house would become in this heat! LOL. Anyway, he has been so excited about his new promotion from "kitchen" dog to "household" dog that it seems we are starting all over with the housebreaking process. If you could see me, you might picture my fingers entangled in a head now only half full of hair! LOL. Ah well. It's really not that bad. In fact, he seems to be getting the idea already, I just have to be on guard at all times.

We had yet another busy weekend. Saturday was the annual garage sale days in town so Nick and I had our first official yard sale. I have to say, I dreaded it all week. To me it just seemed like a lot of work with very little payoff. My inclination was to simply give it all to charity and go camping or fishing, but we had the sale. And it was actually rather fun! Sure it was a lot of work, but not overwhelming. We got to talk to a few interesting people. I think my favorite was this couple who only garage saled for books. They appeared to be in their early twenties and were quite interesting. The guy told me that he just couldn't resist buying a good book--even if he had a copy of it already. If he didn't want to keep it, he would just pass it on for somebody else to read. Of course, he said he could never pass up a copy of The Hobbit, no matter how many copies he had. I remembered reading it as a girl and could see how it could be a favorite.

I'm not so nuts about books that I will buy several copies of the same one--although, the idea of passing them on to others is a great way to encourage others to read--but when I was younger I would never have dreamed of throwing away a book or selling one. When I was in college I vowed to myself to never get rid of my texts--they were so symbollic of that era in my life. In fact, my fantasy was to someday have a house big enough where I could have a little library of sorts. It didn't have to be huge, but I wanted it to be filled with all the books I had read. Ah, but alas, there I was on Saturday, with a big box full of college texts, and a piece of notebook paper taped to it with the word "free" written on it.

You guessed it! I caved. With our lack of space, I felt forced to get rid of what I really did not need. I mean, what would I really do with a text on Ancient Civilizations or Organic Chemistry? I didn't get rid of anything that had any sentimental value, though. I kept all of my writing texts and literature books. I could never part with them. In fact, I have to admit that a majority of the texts were my husbands'. I think he felt the same as I, but he kept the ones that meant anything to him, as well.

We got rid of a lot of junk on Saturday. What we did not sell, which was also a lot, we took to the Salvation Army that evening. Now when we move into our new house next month there will be that much less to move.

Yesterday was Nick's birthday so we spent the day celebrating that and trying to stay cool. He picked on me because I gave him two boxes of ceramic tile and two bags of grout for his birthday. Pretty insensitive, huh? I know, but I will be making a trip to the Boot Box in Meadville pretty soon to get him something a little more fun.

I have to admit that I am thankful that all the June birthdays are done for a while. With Danielle, Nick, his brother, and sister all having June birthdays, as well as father's day, it seems as though every weekend is a party. Now it is time for a little quiet.

Well, I need to go write a query letter for an article that I want to write so I had better sign off for the day. Hope I didn't bore ya too much. Later!

Friday, June 24, 2005


Thank goodness it's Friday! It has been quite the week! As I said the last time I wrote, we celebrated Danielle's birthday with the family on Sunday. She spent the night at Nick's parents' house. I wrote her a special note on her card, and we gave her gifts. More than anything I wanted her to know how important she is to me. She and I have a very special bond. After all, for the longest time it was just Danielle and me.

Somtimes, I think it would have to be very difficult to be Danielle. Not that she has it rough or anything, but she does have some tough roles to fill. She is a big sister after being an only child for eight and a half years. I would think that would be hard. I never really thought about it when I was pregnant, but the more I see what a big sister has to do, the more I realize it is true. In the beginning I know she worried about whether I would love her or not and sometimes I think she still does. After all, babies get a lot of attention. Everything is new and exciting and just about everything they do is cute--with a few exceptions, of course (I'm not too keen on temper tantrums). I can't imagine that she doesn't feel left out at times when we are all oohing and ahhing over Chloe's cuteness.

And of course, she is also a step daughter. She and Nick do not always see eye to eye because they are quite a bit alike. It's rather funny at times because Nick will get irritated at her for doing one thing, and he does not realize he does the same thing at times. So that's tough, and if that weren't enough add the fact that her real father is rarely in the picture and that makes for even more difficult stuff. I know how that feels--when your father doesn't love you. Fortunately, she does have Nick.

Well, here I am rambling again. I just meant to give a rundown of what we did this week so I will get on with it. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Sam and Alex took gulf lessons at the Riverside Gulf course, so I did a little bit of carting around there. After lessons were over on Wednesday, I took them all swimming at Betsy's house. They had a wonderful time and really liked Betsy. They were also extremely impressed with her home. They loved the way it looked, and Betsy told them she has a secret passage in her house and that maybe next time they come she would show them. They were delighted with the idea and made sure to mention that part to their dad when he picked them up. Truth be told, I was a little excited myself. Secret passages are always cool!

Yesterday, Nick and I took them to see The Polar Express at the dollar theater. Nick kept Chloe and walked around Sears and other stores, while I stayed with the children at the theater. Afterwards, we went to Teresa's to get subs and made a stop at The Frontier Park in Erie. We indulged in yummy sandwiches and sprite and then the kids ran around and played for a while. I noticed there were mimes performing in a little dome at the bottom of the hill and when I mentioned it to them, they asked if they could go watch. They sat down there until we left. They really enjoyed it.

Nick, Chloe and I sat in the shade at the top of the hill. I was surprised how much Nick enjoyed watching too. He even told me that he thought it might be neat to be a mime. There is quite a bit more creativity in Nick than he realizes. I told him this and he laughed and said, "Yeah, wouldn't it be funny if I ended up being the writer in the family?" It would be, but it's not unrealistic at all. Maybe he and I could write a book together. That would be fun. Anyway, when we were leaving Danielle said, "Wouldn't it be fun to be a mime," as she moved her arms up and around in box-like fashion, and said,"Look! This is me, doing the box!" I couldn't help but laugh.

The day was completed with pizza, presents and birthday cake. Danielle had friends over from 6-9:00 to celebrate her birthday. There were ten children running around playing duck, duck goose, the limbo and other various games. What fun they had. Of course, by 8:30 Nick and I were wondering if we would survive another half hour. In order to achieve peace and quiet toward the end, he had them lined up on the ground competing in a pushup contest. But the game that topped the cake (no pun intended, lol) was the breath holding contest! He had them see who could hold their breath the longest! One girl actually held out for one minute and five seconds! LOL! What a riot! Well, it kept them quiet for a few minutes!

Anyway, let's just say I slept really well last night. I think I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow. It's good to be busy, right? We can make lots more nice memories this way and I know I won't regret that.

Well, better head off and try to get some stuff done. This will be another busy weekend, but hopefully Nick and I will be able to slip some fishing in there somewhere. Have a wonderful day--and try to keep cool on this 90 degree day!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Special Occasions

It's Sunday morning, Father's Day, and Danielle's birthday. Nick and Pete are out on a ride together, Danielle in the shower, and Chloe still sleeping. Right now, it's just the cat and I enjoying the sunshine. Ok, I take all that back except the Nick and Petey part. Danielle just brought Chloe to me.

It feels nice to be up and doing something for myself--blogging that is. Although I really should be getting ready for church. Perhaps the reason I got up so easily is because there is so much to celebrate. I can't believe I have been a mother for ten years. Danielle is an entire decade old already. I remember the moment the doctors laid her naked little vernix covered body on mine. I was awe stricken to think that God had given me this little person to love, care for, and teach. What a job! How I worried that I would not do a good job with her, that she would end up being one of those rotten brats that people glare at in grocery stores as they are having temper tantrums. Well, of course she was, but I didn't know that they all are at some point. It was my job to make sure it didn't stay that way. And it didn't. And I love her and am so proud of how she has turned out. I just hope I can keep up with the good work. Well, I pray a lot.

I remember, too after she was born how my parents did not care. It seemed so horrible to me that they could have this beautiful baby granddaughter and not be bothered to see the newest blessing. My heart was broken again when I realized that they had turned me away. As a new mother I realized I could not and would never turn my child away from me. As my love for her has grown so has this realization, making my family situation seem almost tragic.

On the lighter side, during that time of my life, when I was really just a child myself--being almost twenty and thinking when Danielle is ten I will be nearly thirty. How far away that seemed at the time. How old I thought I would be, but thankfully I'm not--a little more mature, maybe, but not old.

Oh, but life can be bittersweet. For now it is sweet because that is what I choose for it to be. Today we will celebrate Nick and Danielle, the two most important people in my life. Thank you, God.

Friday, June 17, 2005

A Few Quick Lines

It's almost lunch time. I put pizza in the oven for Sam and Alex. Danielle is at a friend's house, and Chloe still napping. However, I heard her stirring up there, so I imagine she will be getting up pretty soon.

Last night was a fun evening. Jan came to watch Chloe so Nick and I went for a quick evening run, before throwing on a change of clothes and then going to Nick's softball game. The run was outstanding--not me running mind you. I was huffing and puffing more than the little engine that could! It's amazing how quickly you can fall out of shape. We worked out hard all winter and have slacked the last month and a half. We ran out by the prison that is near our house. There is a road that is heavily wooded with pine. The birds were singing, and the smells reminded me of the wild strawberry plants of my youth. It made the run much easier without a doubt. I could easily focus my mind amidst those sights, sounds, and smells and forget about the pain. Isn't that what life is really about? Focusing on the beauty, rather than hardship.

Anyway, after the game we went shopping for Danielle's birthday. We had a nice time. I am excited to give her the gifts. They weren't anything terribly exciting, but I know she will enjoy them. She is very appreciative. I got her a couple craft kits. One had a loom to make beaded bracelets and jewelry and the other was a sewing kit. She has been begging me to teach her to sew, and I thought this would be a great way to start out. I also got her a small cross stitch kit. It has a smiley face on it and says "Just Chillin." It suits her perfectly. The fun part will be teaching her how to do all this neat stuff.

Well, I am trying to get a lot done today, so I must leave for now. I will try and write later if I have some time. Ta Ta!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy

For some reason, it seems as though these last few weeks have been jam packed with busy stuff to do. I don't know exactly what has made it so hectic, but it has been. Last week was Danielle's last week of school. Now it's time for summer break. I think that means break for her, not me. I love it though. It is so nice to have her home with me. I am also babysitting two other children, Sam and Alex, for the summer. I watch them Monday through Friday and they are a delight to have in my home. They are bright and full of energy. The last few days I have spent trying to get a decent routine going. Children need routine--Sam and Alex especially. They spent their entire lives going to a daycare where structure was very important, but the daycare was just closed down because enrollment was down. They crave daily routine, so I will try and give it to them. Perhaps this will be good for me too.

Today I took them to the local library to sign them up for the summer reading program. They enjoy reading and were all excited.

Petey the puppy is also doing great! He is adorable and very smart. I think he is almost housebroken. He had one slip-up yesterday, but I was out of the room and did not realize that he had to go out. He stays inside most of the time now. That is where he prefers to be. He knows what's good for him!

My writing? Well, it is not going so very well. I have not been doing any at all. I want to, but have not made time. Nick tells me not to say "I don't have time." After all, it is about prioritizing. I could skip the laundry or the dishes, but I don't. I do them and then feel badly about myself at the end of the day because I haven't written. If I skipped the house chores I would feel badly about that--and so would Nick. So I don't write. Poor outlook, huh? I need to just jump in and do it. That's exactly what I am going to do. Tomorrow when Chloe is sleeping I am going to start making calls for my article. I need to inform people about Postpartum Anxiety. New moms need to know they aren't going crazy, that they are suffering from something real and that they will get better. I needed that encouragement when I was going through it.

Well, my little brother's friend went into the army recently and I need to go get his address so I can send him a card. He is a wonderful young man, but doesn't have much family so he needs all the encouragement he can get. Talk to you soon--hopefully!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Rambling Thoughts

What a pleasant morning it has been, other than the heat. Of course, I really don't mind the heat. I am not real keen on 90's, unless I can go swimming in my friend's pool (thank you Bets!), but I don't mind 80's too bad. When the weather is like this you can make the most of the summer. There are way more outside activities that can be done in the sun than in rain. I realize that drought is not good though, and I don't want that at all, but it can rain at night, can't it? When we are all sleeping. Unless we are camping. No rain at night when camping. That is just a drag. Ok. So maybe I am being a little too picky. Sorry, God. I guess a little drizzle at night while camping would be acceptable.

We went camping around Memorial Day last year. It was fun and it actually rained quite a bit. We had a good sized tent. We were able to fit a queen sized air mattress, two sleeping bags, and a portable crib in our tent. I specifically remember taking my journal into the tent with me, lying on the mattress, and journaling all my thoughts and feelings. The rain pelting the roof of our tent comforted me as I wrote. I love that sound. It reminds me of when the rain hits the awnings on our house in the middle of the night, when all is still. I enjoy stillness and quiet.

This morning Petey and I woke up before Chloe and were able to enjoy the stillness of the morning. We went outside so he could do his business, but we ended up staying outside for a while so I could enjoy the peace and so he could burn off some of his energy. He has lots of that in the morning. I could but always choose a leisurely morning. It's a habit, a bad one at that. How I wish I could be different in the morning. I am not at all a grumpy morning person, nor have I ever been, but I am just not productive. I always say I am going to try to get up and bake some bread, or write, but somehow I just end up lounging in bed until Chloe wakes up, or watching Good Morning America. Why I wonder? Why can't I just get up and be productive.

Last night I prayed for God to show me what He wants for my life. I do want to do something that makes a difference in people's lives, but I don't know what. Did Jesus know what He was going to do before He did it? His real work began in his 30's. Perhaps I will be a late bloomer. I will never do what He did, but perhaps I could be a bit like him. I trust He will show me.

Chloe, Petey and I just came inside. We were going to go for a walk, but it was just too much work with Petey. He was too hot anyway, and I did not want him to overheat. On the way back we stopped at Wilda's house. She was outside working. She is one of our neighbors and last night she and her husband Bill celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Nick, the children, and I were invited and were honored to share that special day with them. It was a huge bash held at their Lutheran church. We were late, and the pews were full so we stayed in the back lobby watching and listening. Several people spoke about the two of them, their involvement in the community, and of course their relationship together. Then they renewed their vows. It was lovely and amazing that two people could share so many years and memories together. What a blessing and inspiration. How I hope and pray that will be Nick and me.

Danielle's poison oak is much better this week. Her legs are still red and itchy, but her face is almost back to normal. I can't believe how long that stuff irritates, and couldn't imagine what it would be like without the medicine.

Well, I am going to go put Chloe down for her nap, and will try to blog again sometime soon. Blog to ya later!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Puppy Love and Poison Oak

Wow! What a week! It has been crazy! I really should have titled this blog "Time for Me" because this is all I have wanted to do all day or I should say all week. I just haven't had the time. Poor Danielle got into poison oak on Memorial Day. Tuesday she woke up with a red rash all over, and by yesterday, her little face was swollen up like a balloon. She could not even open her eyes! She felt so bad. I felt bad for her. So I took her to the doctor and she gave her steroids to help. And thankfully, help it did! By last night, a good deal of the swelling went down and she seemed to be feeling much better.

Other than that, I have been busy with our new puppy, Pete. We call him Petey just because it fits him. He looks like a Petey. So far he seems to be a good dog, but definitely a lot of work. It is literally like having a baby. We are up two to three times a night or more. But we seem to be getting in to a routine already. Last night he got up at 12:30, and then not again until 6:30. I thought that was pretty good.

The girls just love him, especially Chloe. She chases him around and does the best Petey impersonation that a 17-month-old can do. Or maybe it is actually the other way around. I don't know, but they do enjoy each other so much. It is fun to watch the two babies playing. Something tells me that Petey will be listening better than Chloe before too long.

Did I mention that I am writing an article on post partum anxiety? I hope to sell it to a baby magazine like Babytalk, or American Baby. I have had my hands so busy with my chilluns that I have not worked on it this week. I did however, return a phone call to set up an interview for the article. I have not heard back from her yet. Now that we are getting a rountine established I will be able to focus more on it.

Well, I had better go for now. Petey is calling and his yip is more than I can handle right now. So long.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Spring and Sunshine

Spring and sunshine. That's what I titled today's blog. Kind of cheesy? Yes, I suppose, but I guess I am on a weather kick. The truth is, when I think of something enlightening, it always seems to relate somehow to the weather and nature. Nothing is quite so cheery as the sun. When I wake in the morning, it is so much easier to drag myself out of bed when the sun shines warm on my face (even if Chloe is getting me up at 6:00am).

Really, I don't mind getting up early anymore, at least not like I did when I was 20 or so. These days, sometimes I even wake up in the wee hours of the night eagerly anticipating the morning's arrival, (believe me, I know how strange that sounds). But there is much to look forward to--listening to the birds go wild outside my window as I lay awake in bed, watching GMA, and of course, spending time with friends and family. Every day is filled with hope. Hope for the day, hope for tomorrow and hope for all the tomorrows after that. If the day is lousy, I have grown enough to know that today's sorrows are only temporary and that with tomorrow comes renewed hope.

Today I met with my writer friend, Betsy. We had a productive day and she has renewed my inspiration. We meet once a week and it is good. I think our time together keeps us motivated and focused on our writing goals. For example, today Betsy came over with a completed article for the column that she plans to write for a Christian magazine. I, of course, had nothing completed this week. All I really did was set up this blog site, and do some research for the article that I want to get published. But Betsy's completed work inspired me anew! I feel as though I must get something done so as not to disappoint Betsy. After all, why should she be doing all the hard work. Somehow it just doesn't seem fair to her. And when you get right down to it, I am not being fair to myself. I have this great idea for an article, and I am not even giving myself a chance.

I am scared. I am fearful of making myself look a fool. I am fearful of not succeeding. I am fearful of not following through. These fears are ridiculous, I realize. I alone hold the key to my success. I must not allow fear to control me. This is part of what was reinforced in the 12 week writing course that Betsy and I completed together. So I must be brave, and I will be brave. And so will you, Bets!

Well, I can hear my little Chloe rustling through papers that somehow I don't think she should be rustling through. So I had better be off! To-do-loo!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Drizzly day

Well, here I am. Inside. Sitting at my computer desk. Blogging because I have no excuse to keep me from it. Oh I could be doing dishes or laundry, but I would rather be blogging. Anyway, I don't expect to walk out to the kitchen to find the dishes swishing around in hot sudsy water, cleansing themselves. I trust that they, along with the dirty clothes will wait for me.

I just read through Betsy's blogs. She has been so diligent with her blogging. In fact, she has written every day since she got her account set up. Man, you're good! Me? Well, I warned you in my first entry that staying committed to this journaling thing does not always work for me. But, hey! Here I am. The truth is, weekends are usually so busy. This is family time and this past weekend was jam packed with stuff to do. Saturday we spent our day as garage sale gurus! We hit the sales and we meant business. A quick glance through prices and stuff and then on to the next one. I managed to get some brand new shirts and sweaters for Danielle for next fall. And they were cheap, cheap, cheap! I love a bargain.

After saling we stopped at Walnut Creek right next to Lake Erie. We ate subs from Teresa's Deli and then played along the shore. Danielle was thrilled because she got to go to the beach two days in a row. Friday she and I went on a field trip with her school. First we visited the Brig Ship Niagara and learned about the history of the ship. It was very interesting. Of course, I think the children knew more about it's history than our guide. Let's just say he was a little dry. But no big deal. It's amazing to think that so many years ago, there was a real war happening on our little lake, right near the shores of where we live.

Anyway, after that, we stopped and ate at McDonalds, and then went to Presque Isle for a treasure hunt. The children were given a list of things to find and a bag to put them in. They went scurrying all over the beach--each one trying to find the most interesting treasures before someone else did. Danielle and some of her friends were excited at finding beach glass--jagged edges worn down from nature's washing. Their delight was as refreshing as the waves on the shore. It was a fun day, and so was Saturday. I was as excited about my garage sale treasures as the children were at theirs.

What is that? Do I hear dishes? I think they are calling my name. Well, if they are, I guess I am either going to be rich or committed, right? Well, enjoy the day, dripy and drizzly as it is!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My First Blogging Experience

Well, here I am. Writing my first blog. What on earth is a blog, I wondered only a month ago as I read a recent edition of the Writer's Digest. Talk about behind the times, heh! From the article, I learned that you can do several things with your own blog account--from simply journaling and sharing your life and experiences with others to promoting your own books. Right now, however, I will not be doing the latter as I do not have my own book to promote. Some day I would like to publish something worth reading. In the meantime, I enjoy writing in my spare time and avoiding it all at the same time. Sometimes I think I have great ideas for articles and stories. Sometimes I think I have great ideas for procrastinating. In fact, if I were as good at the writing part as I am the avoiding counterpart, I think I might actually be a fairly good writer. Hmm. I had better do something about that--the procrastinating part that is--er I mean, not doing it anymore. You know what I mean!

Right now, my main job is raising my family. I have two daughters, Danielle, who is nine, and Chloe, who is 16 months. They, along with my husband, are the light of my life. I can honestly say, I have learned more from being a mother than from any other experience (including college) in my life.

I have forgotten what it is like to be a nine-year-old girl. Danielle reminds me all the time. Let me tell ya, it's not easy. The pressures that kids are faced with are unbelievable. And when you are that age, you have no concept that the taunting, and teasing is only temporary, and that ten years down the line none of it will matter at all. It is hard to help her know that her pain now will help her to be a stronger person--a better person. I tell her, but I am sure she does not believe. She understands today, and how long today can feel. She understands how far away ten years is.

I understand how frighteningly close it is. Only yesterday it seems, Danielle was Chloe's age. This is why I love being a mother, because some day my babies will be all grown up and I want to remember the special moments. I want to embrace them, and cherish them so I never have regrets. Last night, as Danielle and I talked about all the things that hurt her, and bother her, and worry her, she gave me the most precious compliment I have ever received. I was lying next to her on her bed, watching her lips quiver as she fought back tears that were determined to win. I told her what any mother would, that it is ok to cry, and that she would probably feel better if she did. It would give her strength to deal with these things tomorrow. So she cried. Then she looked up at me, tears still streaming, and said, "Mom, you make everyone you talk to feel so special. Like they are individuals and what they have to say is important." Wow! My heart swelled with emotion and love for this little nine-year-old who can be so sentient. I am quite sure that I do not make everyone feel special, but I do her and that is special to me.

Well, I did not mean to get so personal on my first blog. But this was what was on my mind today. I plan to try to blog at least once every day. We will see how that goes. I am not good at sticking with journaling for too long, although I have been pretty consistent with that for the last six months. Thank you, Betsy! Well, I hear my baby. She is up from her nap, so ta ta for now!