Posted in Kids

Another Post on Ethan

I have talked about the challenges of Ethan before. Things are not improving, no matter how hard we try. So at this point I’m admitting we need extra help. In the house. It’s called either TSS (Therapeutic Support Staff) or Wraparound. Someone who is specially trained in autism will come and work with him on how NOT to hit and/or kick and/or be mean to his siblings. Because, honestly, we’ve tried everything in our repertoire and nothing–NOTHING–works.

I don’t want three of my children to seriously dislike the other one. I want them to like each other, to play with each other and to be able to share space with each other peacefully.

And for that, even though I hate the idea, I will ask someone into my home.

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Posted in Menu Planning Monday

Menu Planning Monday

As I’ve previously mentioned, I do much better with fall cooking. I just love hearty soups, stews and casseroles! (My SIL used to call me the Casserole Queen!)

M: Pasta and meatballs
T: Roast Chicken, brown rice, green beans
W: Easy Chicken and dumplings (mmmmm!)
R: Hot Dogs, mac’n’cheese, carrots
F: DiGiorno Pizza
S: Celebrating our anniversary at the Revere Tavern!
S: Ham and Potato Soup

Hope your eating is as good as ours, but that your health is better. I just get Catie and Laura over their colds and Ethan comes down with strep. Sigh.

Posted in Misc.

Worship Team

I led worship today in the first official time as a new worship leader of my own team. I’ve done it as Jim’s back up before, but never like this. Jim’s team has: him on lead vocals and guitar, Emma on vocals, me on vocals and piano, Noah on bass, Billy on mandolin and Ray on drums. My team is me on lead vocals and piano, with Billy and Emma on vocals. Our first real practice was this morning (!), so there hasn’t been much time to work on harmonies etc. I hope at some point to get some cool 3 part harmony going, but we’ll see.

Have I told you about my mansion in heaven? It will have 24-hour-a-day men’s acapella blasting away. 😀 I LOVE LOVE LOVE tight harmonies–especially with men’s voices. No, I don’t know why, but there it is.

So Jim’s down at NASCAR today, in Dover, Delaware (about three hours or so from our home). More power to him! I’m grateful to just have Finding Nemo on the TV instead of 500 miles of left turns and pit stops. I love you, Jim! I just don’t love NASCAR.

I finished Diana Gabaldon’s Echo in the Bone. Ummm….I have to wait three more years to find out the outcomes of at least five cliffhangers. ARRRGGGG!

I just re-read my post about worry. Still having a hard time with smelling that omnicience. We’re more than tight with money right now. Seriously. Like having to dip into our “emergency fund” because of Jim’s truck’s inspection. Because that actually constitutes an emergency. But yuck. We need to get some extra fundage going!

Posted in 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes Friday


Another week come and gone, with September almost gone as well. How fast this year is flying!

1. Laura is home today, under the weather. In the end she maybe could have gone, but I’d rather err on the side of keeping a kid home than sending one in and then wishing I hadn’t. From September until June this is the bane of my morning existence–is the child sick enough to stay home? (especially with Ethan, who’s bus comes at 6:50!)

2. She’s currently ensconced on the playroom couch, watching a DVD of George of the Jungle. No, not the movie. The old cartoons I used to watch and love as a kid. She likes it, too.

3. She and I were talking about computers and computer graphics and why something like Shrek couldn’t have been made when I was her age. My explanation? “Because computers were babies at that point!” Simplistic, but true. Her response? “You mean, they weren’t MOTHER boards yet?” Get it? (I didn’t!, but once she explained it I was rather impressed!)

4. I went to bed in Indian Summer and woke, thankfully, in fall. I mentioned earlier this week that one of the things I love about fall is the cooler weather. Having to put on the A/C in late September is just WRONG.

5. We had cider pork pot roast last night, which was (as before) YUMMY. However, the three children that tried it (Ethan being exempt) all went to bed early and presumably hungry. On their plates were: 3 pieces of pork, one carrot and one potato. Not one of the would eat everything. I am getting VERY FED UP with the drama of dinner time. SERIOUSLY FED UP. Suggestions, anyone? Right now if they try everything and then don’t like it, they may have something else that they can prepare for themselves. I know I’m not the only one in this predicament, but it’s getting very old. When they were little with feeding tubes and problems, we were just so grateful they ate anything. Now they are 8 and 6 and healthy and need to move on from it, already!

6. Diana Gabaldon, one of my all time favorite authors, finally came out with Book #7 of her series. I’ve been waiting three years for this, so I’m rather excited. If you have never heard of or read her, please go to your local library and get out “Outlander” (first in the series) and keep on going. She’s EXCELLENT. (I read the first book when it came out in 1992, so it’s been a long time!)

7. One of the new things for us this school year is Ethan is having homework. In a few weeks he will have a Braille typewriter in our home to do his homework. Until he is verbally dictating it and I’m writing it down. It’s fun!

Posted in To Do List

"Which of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?"

Do you know who said those wise words? You! You in the front, what’s your answer? Yes!

Jesus. And man, did He know what He was talking about!!

Backstory: I planned my timing carefully. I had to be done grocery shopping by A so I could get home and put groceries away and grab lunch by B, so I could be out the door by C to pick up laundry from my grandmother-in-law’s house at D to be at my MIL’s by E to get to her doctor appointment by F. However….

Yesterday morning after getting my reusable grocery bags out of the van and locking up I had that dreaded moment of “Oh No!”. Yes, I locked my keys in the van. Spare set was at home. Husband was at work. Next-door neighbor was probably home, but she doesn’t drive. I went in and got the yellow pages and called a locksmith company. They said 45 minutes to an hour. $39.99 fee to show up, $35 fee if they were able to actually get my van open. No other options (oh, if I only had a brain!), I proceed to shop.

About 15 minutes into it, I get a call from the actual locksmith guy–he’s about 45 minutes away. Ok. While not thrilled, I continue shopping. I check out. I sit down in the Subway that’s in the WalMart, call my husband to give him a status update, call my sister to tell my tale of woe, and start worrying about that perfect timing that is about to get shot to pieces.

1 hour and 20 minutes pass. I finally call the guy and he’s 10 minutes away. I’m not confident of his timing, although I go outside and wait. I call the agency and explain my disappointment with their idea of “45 minute to an hour”. I literally could have walked home and back by this time. As I wait, I see my two-doors-down-neighbors, who, although I’m not very close to them, I’m utterly thrilled to see. I explain my situation and they willingly agree to drive me home and back. I call the agency and cancel Mr. Extremely Late Locksmith (they were not happy campers, believe me) and they drive me home where I had forgotten–happily–to lock my back door. I run in, drag my groceries in and throw the perishables into the fridge and freezer. I race upstairs, Jim on the phone giving me instructions, and grab the spare key. By this time the neighbor is back. She drives me to the van and halleluia I’m on my way–eating a Snickers bar for lunch.

I call my GIL and ask about the laundry. Oh, she decided to drop it off herself this morning. So, not only am I not LATE, I’m actually EARLY and have time to drive through McDonalds for a cheapo hamburger and cup of water (95 cents total!) and get to my MIL’s! 10 minutes early.

So, God completely took care of every little detail in that little episode. He saved us $75 that we do NOT have right now, and taught me that it’s ridiculous to sit, stewing, wondering how I’m going to do what I need to do when He actually knows the whole time.

Duh, Tina. Wake up and smell the omnicience!

Posted in Fall

Top Ten Tuesday

Jenni over at One Thing hosted a top ten reasons she likes the fall. Since I love the fall (it’s my second favorite season!), I thought I would jump in!

Top Ten Reasons I Love the Fall

1. Cooler weather. I hate the heat. And humidity. In southeastern PA we get all four seasons with a vengeance and I’m ever so much grateful for the opportunity to sleep under the blankets with my windows open.

2. Leaves. Because walking through them is fun. Because they’re pretty. Because God created so many lovely colors.

3. Putting all the summer stuff away. Our summer wardrobes are smaller. While I love them, I’m thankful to have a wider variety of darker clothes (I’m a Winter in coloring). Summer clothes are not dark.

4. Shorter Days. Seriously! I’m not talking the ridiculously short days of winter, but the “it’s actually dark when you put the kids to bed” kind. Where you can actually see both the sun rise and set in the same day.

5. People burning their leaf piles. MMMMmmm! Smells very good!

6. Back to School. I’ve already stated before that I’m not a homeschooling mom and why. And this year, in particular, with my MIL…well, back to school has been nice.

7. Routines. With back to school getting up earlier, doing homework and getting to bed earlier, our lives become much more regimented. While I enjoy summer’s free flowing-ness, I also like getting back to our regularly scheduled lives.

8. Cooking. I love fall cooking! All the hearty dishes come back (Ham and Potato Soup and Cider Pork Pot Roast lose their appeal in the summer!). The house smells amazing on a regular basis!

9. Baking. This is the one time of the year I’m remotely inspired to bake. All those spices! Fall and Cinnamon just go hand in hand.

10. Sweetzels Spiced Wafers and Ginger Snaps. You can only get them for a few months out of the year (in this area, at least!). MMmmmm!

Do you like the Fall? Does it inspire you or depress you? Please let me know why!

Posted in To Do List

This Week’s Plans

As I listen to I’m Yours that I posted a few days ago (oh, I love it so much right now!), I’m pondering my upcoming week.

Before anything, I have to come up with some sort of menu and grocery list. I THINK I have food for tomorrow’s dinner, but I’m not sure. Wait. I know I have food for adults, but something that children will happily ingest? Don’t think so, outside of a frozen pizza!

Tomorrow, unless Bennett has seriously injured his ankle (jumping on trampoline and hobbled around for several hours before bed) or Catie’s cold is worse and then everything will change…and isn’t that just the way life goes with smaller children?: Dentist 9:30, quick run to cheap-0 grocery store, pick up my MIL for 1:00 appointment at interventional radiologist. take her back, run home hopefully in time for buses. Homework, dinner, laundry, bed.

Tuesday: Going to make that pork pot roast that was listed for last week. I just didn’t have enough time earlier in the day to do it. Even the orange chicken got done on the stove top instead of the crockpot. Whatever. Regular grocery shopping. Put stuff away quickly and head out to pick up my MIL for neurology. Run home hopefully in time for buses–I might be late for this one and will probably leave the door unlocked just in case! Homework, dinner, laundry, bed.

Wednesday: Kids off to school and call my mother and chat over a cup of tea. Seriously. I did this almost every day of the week before this craziness began and I cherish the time. I love my mom, although I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like. Big thing for this day is going through the whole playroom and cleaning out the toys. We’re going to try a small experiment. Other than Ethan’s toys, which are larger and younger, I’m going to take every single toy except their littlest pet shops, matchbox cars, Webkinz and DS’s. These are the items that I know, without a shred of doubt, that they play with. I want to see if there is any squawking about the lack or if they even notice it. I don’t know that they will. Laundry. Homework. Dinner. Bedtime.

Thursday: HOPEFULLY start on the church library project that I’ve been putting off for months. Regular afternoon stuff.

Friday: Oncology for a check up (Chemo in two weeks). No homework. DiGiorno. Eureka. Hang with my husband for a few minutes.

Saturday: Hopewell United Methodist outgrown sale for dresses for Laura.

Sunday: Jim to Dover for NASCAR. I’m going to lead worship with my new team. Gulp.

I got spoiled last year with being a stay at home mom with no children. This actually having to DO STUFF is ridiculous! ::grin::