Posted in 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. I will have one child sleeping in my home this evening. One. Uno. Un. Bennett, Laura and Catie are all sleeping over Aunt Robin’s house. They’ve never (outside of hospital stays) slept away from us before. I’m half excited and half sad. Bedtime will be a LOT more peaceful, but there won’t be four sweet kids to pray with and hug and kiss goodnight. Or yell at 30 minutes later “Are you in bed?” “Girls, stop talking!”. Hmmm. Maybe that half excited is actually 3/4.

2. One of our goals this summer was to night-train the children who were capable of it. Bennett was first, in June. Overnight. Without thinking about it. 1 down, 3 to go. Laura was dry one night and then had an accident the next. Ok, you’re not ready. Catie just started last week. Dry three days in pull ups, dry three days on the special pad, dry ever since. 2 done, 2 to go. I think that got into Laura’s brain and really bugged her that her little sister was before her. Something changed and she started being dry in her pullups as well. Three days in the pullups, and this morning was the third day on the special pad. However, due to #1, she’ll wear a pull up JUST IN CASE (Aunt Robin doesn’t need to be woken at 3 in the morning with “I wet the bed”). But once home it looks like 3 down and only Ethan to go and that’s in God’s good timing. Halleluia!

3. I went over my mom and dad’s house to hang out and help clean out and organize their linen closet. We worked hard and got rid of a surprising amount. It won’t stay that way–I know my parents too well!–but it’s a good feeling knowing that I was able to help them.

4. Summer’s heat has finally hit. Up until this week it’s been unseasonably cool. Our a/c bill is WAY lower than normal. But even now, it’s not hit the 90’s yet, which by now we usually have.

5. Can I tell you how proud I am of my SIL and BIL? Their company won the Best of Philly in its category for the 2nd time in three years. They run a terrific company and are truly amazing at what they do.

6. I had worship practice last night with the new worship team. That would be Emma and me. And the piano. We basically sang through a lot of songs–getting to know which ones she knew and giving her a chance to hear the new ones. By now I’m fine playing piano at the practices, but man, I was nervous last night.

7. I was introduced to a new website: Cheap Today, which is really neat. It goes and finds a lot of free or greatly reduced deals on the internet and links to them. Reputable companies, as well, so it’s not going to put you on a lot of mailing lists. So far I’ve only partaken of the free things, but there have been some good sales on other things I was interested in as well.

Happy Last Day of July. One month left until school!!

Posted in Me


Why is it, on the night you stay up an extra hour late to watch two DVR’d episodes of Torchwood, that:

1. Your sopping wet body wakes you at 2 or 3? I was so wet I thought I’d actually wet the bed! Thankfully, NO. And I wouldn’t have told you even if I had, but I didn’t so you can believe me.

2. Once awake your bladder demands attention, and you actually pay it attention (something you never do)?

3. It takes you a LONG time to get back to sleep?

4. At 5:30 in the morning you hear the pitter pat of little feet and the slamming (why, oh, why must they slam??) of the bathroom door. The flushing. And then “Mommy, I had a bad dream” Your alarm will go off at 6:30, so you pat her a bit and send her to snuggle with her sister. Because I’m a selfish wretch when I’m tired.

Now, everyone knows that if it had only been ONE episode of Torchwood and bedtime had been regular, all of this would not have happened.

Posted in Cleaning, Clutter


So I was a FlyLady follower a few years ago. I tried to follow her stuff perfectly, because that’s the way I try to do thing. Except the amount of emails eventually got to me. So I unsubscribed and have been fine ever since. I did continue to set my timer for 15 minutes and work uninterrupted for those time periods–that I will probably use for the rest of my life. But the rest of it went by the wayside.

As did my house.

Jim and I had quite the talk a few days ago about the house. I’ve been slacking off. I know I have. Right now it’s straightened, but that will disintegrate within a few days. So last night I checked out Flylady again. Instead of getting her overwhelming emails–seriously dozens each day!–I’m going to print out her stuff and follow it that way. I don’t know if a particular system is better for me or not, but it’s worth a try.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. Another week almost done. While each day has it’s challenging times, it hasn’t been so terrible that I’m calling 1800RubberRoom yet. Ethan has two weeks left of school. After that, well, we’ll see how the hotline goes.

2. I’m getting overwhelmed with the clutter around here again. Between kids stuff, toys and paperwork I just want to take a trash can and start going around the house. Living in the cabin makes you take a serious look at “Do I really need this?” I just threw something away after typing that and it felt very good.

3. I got my business cards and talked to our personal hosting company about adding my business domain to our account. Get this–it’s FREE. Even including an email. WooHoo! Free is one of my favorite words in the English language.

4. I’m babysitting today. I’m not thrilled about it. This is one of those “I’ll obey God because I love him and not because I want to.” I think I need to pray that God will change my heart and give me a GOOD attitude about it. The only silver lining I can see is that, since the kids are off school we are all staying up an hour later so the ending time of 11:30 isn’t going to knock me for a loop quite so much as it normally does.

5. I’m not one for product endorsement, but I wanted to give my hearty stamp of approval on Bertolli’s frozen dinners in a bag. We’ve tried three different kinds (all shrimp) and they were all DELICIOUS. On two of them I bought extra frozen shrimp to add in because, well, I love shrimp very much. I ate it by the pound (literally) when I was pregnant with Catie.

6. The kids are currently watching The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. I watched and loved this as a kid. It’s on Boomerang, where a lot of my childhood cartoons are. I just saw the main villain put PP’s railroad car on the tiptop of the “Worthwill” (get it?!) building. How very James Bond of him. Like, if a villain really hates someone, they just shoot them. But that’s not very appropriate for a children’s cartoon, is it?

7. When school let out I was very, very happy to be released from the daily routines. While not excited, per se, of the daily getting-up-early part, I am now looking forward to getting back into the routine aspect of school life. Funny how vacation does that to you.

Posted in Me

Thirsty Thursday

When I was in high school (mid 80’s) there was a rock station I loved (in my pre Christian days, people). 93.3 WMMR (Philadelphia). Each day had it’s own designation: I forget Monday’s, but the rest were Double-Shot Tuesday, Hump Day, Thirsty Thursday and Hawaiian Shirt Gonzo Friday.

In honor of Thirsty Thursday, I’d like to know what y’all like to drink. Some of mine changes with the seasons: Winter = hot tea, summer = iced tea, especially Turkey Hill Diet Honey Ginseng Green Tea. YUMMY. Then there’s Diet Twist Up, which is the cheapo WalMart version of Diet 7-Up/Sprite/Name any lemon-lime soda. Straight or with a dribble of peach schnapps. Or Mojito mix. MMMMmmm!

I’m not overly fond of milk, but I drink a glass each night with my meds. I TRY to drink water, but unless I’m intentional about it, like getting out a glass with ice and making myself, I don’t drink nearly enough of it.

I don’t do a whole lot of juice. While I love orange juice it tends to spike my blood sugar and that’s bad. I also generally prefer to get my calories from stuff I CHEW, which is ever so much more fun.

So please, comment and tell me what you like!

Posted in Kids

Not to focus on the negative, but…

This has been a challenging summer with Ethan. With him home during the day his differences are driven home time and again.

With a “regular” child, they hit milestones and then pass them. They build one skill on top of another and build on top of that until they are an adult and your job is finished. That’s not the way it is with Ethan. He is completely blind. He is “developmentally delayed”. He has “very high functioning” autism. He doesn’t chew.

I usually get him going in the morning, although he is capable of getting himself up out of bed and going downstairs on days that we sleep in. I help him get dressed. I brush his teeth (a fight each and every time). I put his shoes on. At this point I don’t ever see him wearing regular lace sneakers because of the dexterity needed. Velcro rocks, people.

Downstairs I get his food out, although he might be able to do that himself and I’m going to try that this evening. I pour his PediaSure and coax him to drink it. Fighting almost every single time. If I have the patience (and honestly, that’s rare), I help him to self-feed. Otherwise I feed him yogurt or oatmeal or pudding.

If it’s a school day, I ask him what book he wants for the bus (he reads out loud) and endure the crocodile tears and fit if I can’t find it. Having a blind child look for a lost book is somewhat on the frustrating side, and his lack of reasoning ability doesn’t allow him to understand that if he loses the book he can’t have it. That just doesn’t compute.

His “very high functioning” autism makes for a social child that interacts with his world, which always surprises people. New situations (or doctors) have him with his hands over his ears and unwilling to interact.

The biggest aspect of his autism is lack of reasoning. He is unable to answer “why” questions. Period. And reasoning with him is pointless. We have yet to find a punishment that works. Right now if he hits or kicks one of his siblings ( he has to stand in the corner. If he chants “But I wanna come out!” over and over ( he has to go to his room. If he argues with us “Ethan you can’t watch TV” “Yes I can!” he goes to his room.

At almost 8, emotionally and socially he is about 4. I babysit a girl once in awhile who is four and they get along pretty well. His siblings? Not so much. He hits them, kicks them, verbally ‘copies” them (I thought we missed that boat, but no) and constantly bothers them. All of which does not make for happy relating on their part. And again, “Ethan why did you hit Bennett?” “Because I hit Bennett” is his usual reply.

And yet….

He is a sweet, loving child. He is funny and likes to be around people. He loves to read. He loves to watch TV. He wants to participate in his world, even if he doesn’t understand it a lot of the time. For that, I am extremely grateful.

Posted in Funny

Wrong Day

I woke up this morning positive it was Monday. Ethan has school/camp today and yesterday he didn’t, my mind reasoned, so that means it’s Monday.

Only to realize–as I’m feeding him breakfast–that no, it’s TUESDAY. He only has school on Tues/Wed/Thurs.

So it’s actually a whole day closer to Friday (not that I’m wishing my summer away, but I’m starting to think about school already) and another week closer to school.

So Happy Tuesday everyone!