Posted in 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. As of this morning, there are 31 days left until school. That would be precisely 35 days too much. They are ready to go back and get out of each other’s way–familiarity breeds contempt, especially in summer!

2. We’ll be painting the baseboard this weekend. Once it’s installed we can bring up the washer and dryer from the basement. I’m SLIGHTLY excited about the idea of not going down to the basement for laundry. It’s the little things that make life easier. And less forgotten. Basement laundry is forgotten laundry. Frequently.

3. I’m just started a new series of books by Mercedes Lackey. The first one is about a girl becoming a Fairy Godmother. So far it seems pretty good. Ms. Lackey is all over the place with her books–although most fall in the “fantasy” category. The first series by her that I read was about Herald Mages, and the main character was gay. That was a first for me, I think. Now we’re in a world about fairy tales. As long as it makes the summer go faster, I’m good with it!

4. Two and 1/2 weeks until Hershey. At this point I’m not excited or happy or upset or anything. There’s a lot between now and then and I’ll have to get closer to feel something.

5. Shall I tell you how little we play cards in this house? VERY LITTLE. Jim wanted to play “go fish” with the kids with a regular deck of cards and I had to google the rules for him. Because neither of us remembered!

6. For all you Piers Anthony Xanth fans, one of our children has been let in on “The Adult Conspiracy”. One of the kids is starting down the puberty path (Oh. My. Goodness!) and I took her for a walk around the neighborhood to talk about the facts of life. It was, um, not what I expected. She was rather grossed out and freaked out. We used the God’s Design For Sex 2nd book for the procreation part of it. I highly recommend them–they are well written and it definitely helps to have the words instead of having to come up with them yourself!

7. For the first time in awhile we have the air off and the windows open. This has been a BRUTAL summer here in Pennsylvania. Between the weather and the construction, our energy bill is one of the highest I’ve seen since living here. UGH! Fall come quickly!

Posted in Addiction, Christian, Misc.

Thoughts on Ending It All

No, not me. I’m fine. Really.

But friends of ours aren’t. Late winter 2009 our friends’ father committed suicide. He was a strong believer and lover of God. What they are assuming (or at least, what they are telling people) is that the medications he was on came together in such a way as to cause him to do it.

I can buy that. He was on a LOT of meds.

It was a heart wrenching funeral. ANY funeral is difficult, but this was devastating. Our friends were grief-stricken. Their mother was…numb. She hasn’t processed it yet.

One and one half years passed. The mother, who had been married to the man for 38 years and also loved the Lord, never seemed to get past his death. She was a shadow of her self–seemingly cheery at parties, but never quite right.

This past weekend she, too, took her own life.

I don’t even know what sentence to write after that.

As a side note, and this is NOT bragging so please don’t read it as such, I had to make that choice at one point. I have been in deep, seemingly unending pain. I contemplated ending it. Seriously. When I started Recovery, it was beyond overwhelming.  But in the end I perservered. And chose life.

I knew another Christian, years ago, who took their own life. She suffered from depression so profound that she either laid on the couch in a lethargy or slept all day from the side-effects of the meds. She left behind a husband and young daughter.

And that’s the devastation of suicide–what it does to those left behind.  It’s the ultimate in selfishness–ending my difficulties and pain and causing you more. Because even if they have the hope of heaven, the pain just cuts you off at the knees.

The funeral is on Saturday. I’m not looking forward to it.

Posted in Hershey Feeding Clinic, House, Kids, To Do List

We Have a Date

Hershey emailed this morning and gave me the date that Ethan will start at the feeding clinic–August 16th. We’ll have five days that week and four the next (missing Friday due to the triplet’s 9yr check up).

I’m happy to have a date, finally, but starting to get a tiny bit overwhelmed at school starting in five weeks and being gone pretty much all of the two right before it starts. I’m opting to try and drive up and back each day instead of staying at the Ronald McDonald house. I just don’t want to be away that long–10 hours is enough each day, thankyouverymuch.

In construction news, we painted and put flooring down in the mud and laundry rooms. They look very nice, but still need trim and doors and appliances (from the basement). The guys are working on the east wall today–windows and siding. The insulation got blown into the ceiling of the garage. Things are starting to get finished. It’s WONDERFUL!

Posted in To Do List


We are more than halfway through summer vacation! (11 weeks total, 6 down, 5 to go).

We’re surviving, but I’ll be glad when:

1. The contractors are gone.

2. Hershey is over with.

3. School starts again.

4. Oh, and Ethan gets over Strep. That showed up this afternoon. Just another little thing to add to the mix!

Posted in House, Me

Progress on the House

This morning the guys (Todd, John and Ron) put up the last of the siding on the front of the house. When I walked down to the car (parked on the street) I marveled at how amazing it looked. The east side and the back weren’t finished, but the front (which is what everyone mostly sees anyway!) looked DONE. And awesome! We went with a grayish tan (more tan than gray) and white windows but no shutters. It’s a very crisp look–very clean lines and just WOW. I love it!

One thing that has been made very clear during this process (and has been teased about) is how concrete I am. I do not have the capacity to imagine how something is going to look…i.e. WALLS…when it isn’t there. I was questioned about where I wanted the wall to go between the mudroom and laundry room. When there was just a floor down. Yeah, good luck with that. Once it was studded I could hazard a guess–with a little help with some more wood. Even then, it wasn’t until the drywall was up that I thought “oh! that looks good!”

Concrete. Literal. Down to earth. Pragmatic. You look those words up in the dictionary and you’ll see something like “adj. describes Tina”

Posted in Kids

Swimming Breakthrough

It’s funny how things work. We had two weeks of 2-4 lessons each of swimming lessons for Bennett, Laura and Catie. From the get go, Catie just took to it. She “got it” and really has not struggled. Laura has done fairly well–about what I expected for all of them. Bennett, though, has just STRUGGLED. He has been nervous and uncomfortable and really just having a tough time. I know the instructor has been extremely patient with him, but I’ve been a little nervous that he would continue this way.

The instructor had a two-week camp to attend, so we’ve had a two-week break. We don’t currently have a pool, so there’s not even an opportunity to practice. Except for last Friday, when we had the 2nd get together of five families (each having two parents and four kids, minus the eldest teenager). 29 people hanging out, talking, eating, visiting, laughing, having a great time. We were at our friends’ house (which, by the way, is also where we’re having the swimming lessons) from 4-10. Except for eating and going to the bathroom, the kids were in the pool literally the WHOLE TIME.

Bennett blossomed. In a guy kind of way, of course! He got over his fear and just enjoyed the water. He put his face under, he jumped off the side, he played and just had FUN.

Fast forward to yesterday, which was rather an amazing swimming lesson. The instructor (who is almost 15) and her mom were just completely amazed at how different Bennett was. He almost caught up to Laura with advancing and strokes and everything. I was SO THRILLED! And you know what? He was too! He KNEW how well he was doing, which only furthered his confidence level. It was so NEAT!

Posted in House

Construction Update

Work continues. The garage has siding on the West and North sides, and 3/4 of the East side. The front (South) side still isn’t even Tyveked. The stairs to the storage area are up and right this second having their treads installed by Jim. Electric and Plumbing were here. Plumbing is finished, but electric still needs to finish up some things. This week will be insulation and drywall (halleluia!), which will make things look so much better. The contractor is hoping to finish around the end of the month, but I’m betting more on the first week or even 2nd of August. Here’s what things look like from the outside!