Posted in Me


Why is it, do you think, that when Jim works from home I get next to nothing done? He’s at his own desk, facing away from me even, and not seeking my attention or my time. Yet, the fact remains that when he’s here I’m very unproductive!

Posted in Christian, Church, God

What They See

When we started going to our church 5 1/2 years ago, Jim and I were really struggling with God. We believed in Him–that never stopped–but didn’t really want to have much to do with Him. He had LET US DOWN. One of our children was dead, one was blind and on a feeding tube, one had bowel issues….the list went on and on. We were Christians and had prayed with our whole hearts for these babies and GOD SAID NO.

How dare He???

5 1/2 years later, Jim is an elder and the worship leader at our church. I’m a deacon, a worship leader and the de facto secretary. Things are, well, rather different! In a very good way. We were refined by fire, if I can use a little “christianese”.

Our church has just hired a new pastor. He and his wife and two little ones just moved up from Texas to lead our little flock. (And I’m not kidding about little!) These two very nice people do not know us. We do not know them. We can and will tell them about our lives and our journey to the present, but they will only get to know the people that we are now–the leaders.

It’s kind of weird.

Posted in Addiction


1.  We admitted that we were powerless over lust — that our lives had become unmanageable.

2.  Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3.  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4.  Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5.  Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6.  Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7.  Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8.  Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9.  Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to sexaholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

That first step is a powerful one. Powerful in that you have to admit that you are POWERLESS. The addiction will–no matter how hard you try, how much you want otherwise–CONTROL you.

The second step is just as crucial. Humbly asking God to do what you cannot do–to go a day, a hour, a minute without giving in to what is screaming at you. Or, sometimes, whispering, jeering, suggesting, seducing.

I wouldn’t wish this addiction on anyone. But since I’m stuck with it, I think I’d better start remember Step 1 and Step 2 again.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes Friday

Amazingly, this is my 50th 7 Quick Takes Friday. I rather surprised–for someone not that great with sticking with something, I’ve stuck with this.

1. Speaking of sticking with something, I want to send out a Happy Anniversary to 2 very special couples. My sister and brother in law, who have been married for 22 years and my parents, who are celebrating 56!

2. My online friend, Kate, is actually over in the Ukraine right now, has met her two daughters-to-be, and is just killing me with her stories. I will probably never meet her or her children this side of heaven, but it is such a blessing to follow their story.

3. Yesterday morning I had a friend over for tea and apple crisp. We talked for over four hours. It was SO AMAZING to do that–no children, no housework, even no husbands. Just the two of us sharing, laughing, commiserating, you name it. Women friendships are such a blessing.

4. Two days ago I took every scrap of paper and junk off my desk and went through it. It took the better part of the day. I’m left with a small pile to file (after I finish posting this!) and about a dozen things on my “to do” list. My desk looks terrific and it’s so much nicer to work here instead of surrounded by crap, er…stuff.

5. Bennett’s BSC (behavioral specialist something–consultant?) came over yesterday to talk to him. I left the room to give them some privacy. They covered a lot of topics, but narrowed in on bullying. Apparently, without saying anything to anyone, he’s being bullied on the bus (e.g. punched in the stomach)! Thankfully he told her and she encouraged him to tell me. I called the bus company and told them I wanted his assigned seat changed. Mr. Bully can have the the back seat all to himself. It’s so hard having a child with a target on his back. We’re seriously considering having him take karate (or something like it). I have a call into a friend to find out where she goes with her kids. I don’t want him to go through life being bullied when he can learn to stand up for himself.

6. On a lighter note, having recently had them, I’ve decided I don’t like cupcakes. I want muffins. Muffins are dense, full of flavor, delicious, and have DEPTH. Cupcakes, OTOH, are fluffy and light. I know this is not a Bad Thing to some, but people, I just want a muffin. One more nail in the cake coffin. Honestly, if I never had cake again–with the SOLE possible exception being spice cake (although I’ll bet I could make spice muffins that had some oomf to them–it would not bother me at all. Now PIE, that’s a different story!

7. Did you know that both Barnes and Noble and Amazon have free e-book downloads? Yup. Amazon has a gazillion “classics” for free. I downloaded most of Jane Austen’s, having never actually READ one of them, although the movies are great. Amazon you just search Free Kindle and B&N I think you have to do a bit more work with free e-book and then search a little. Happy Reading!

Posted in Church, Me, Money, Parenting

Where Things Stand September 2010

So I haven’t do this in a really long time.

Getting Healthy: I would classify this as so-so. I’m struggling with snacking. Not healthy ones, either. The weight has crept up again, which I am SO not happy about. I want to get it down to the low 150’s (well, ok, I’d love to be 135,  but I live in the real world!)

Education: We’re into the 3rd week of school and things are starting to become routine. The kids know they come home, get a snack and do homework. So far, no major problems with it. Everyone seems to like their teachers, which is a good thing.

Finances: In a word, TIGHT. Very tight. I need to pick up some work and maybe have Jim do some on-call time or something. Seriously, TIGHT.

Spirit: Um, well…um…now that the kids are back to their schedule, I need to get back to mine. I have two good bible study books that I’d like to do. I just need to “Just Do It”. Prayer is going well, though–Kate and Charlie have been constantly in my thoughts and therefore in my prayers. In church news, on Sunday we voted on a new pastor. Difficult, hard, but wonderful. We’re hoping that we don’t lose anyone from the decision. It was majority, not unanimous.

Family:  Still struggling with that one certain child right now. Bennett is still very snuggly. 🙂 Ethan is taking a break from in-home therapy while they try to find another one. Jim still has his job and I’m working a little as well. I’d like to get better control of the house, but that will come as the time goes on and the kids stay in school.

How are you doing? I miss hearing from you all!

Posted in Kids, Me, Parenting

Being In Love

Bennett has fallen in love. Before you say “Awww”, let me assure you it’s not some cute, little 9 year old girl in pigtails. It’s his mother.

Yes, Me.

If I’m in a room, he’s there. If I’m sitting down, he’s leaning over to kiss me and hug me and climb on me. If I’m standing up, he’s hugging me.

Which is sweet. The first few times. After that, not so much. And trust me, although on the BMI scale he’s low in percentages, he’s still NINE and therefore not a little baby or toddler. He’s big and bony and heavy.

I know this stage will end. And I’m of two minds with that. 1. Relief. 2. Awwww. Because I also know that in just a few, short years I will be low man on the totem pole in terms of favorite people. So I think I’m going to try to savor this a little.

Posted in Me

Layers of Meme

Please feel free to join in!

The layers of me

Layer One

name: Proper name is Christina, I go by Tina
birth date: November 13
birthplace: Pennsylvania
current location: Pennsylvania
eye color: brown
hair color: brown, ColorSilk #33
height: 5’ 1 ½”
righty or lefty: right
zodiac sign: Scorpio

Layer Two

your heritage: Mutt–English, Scottish, German
the shoes you wore today: Clogs
your weakness: Chocolate and candy
your fears: something happening to Jim or the kids, money
your perfect pizza: mushroom or plain

Layer Three

your most overused phrase: according to Jim, “cut me a break”
your first waking thoughts: what’s the weather?
your best physical feature: My eyes
your favorite memory: “I now pronounce you husband and wife”

Layer Four

pepsi or coke: Diet Coke
mcdonald’s or burger king: BK’s Jr. Whopper, McD’s fries
single or group dates: one on one with hubby
adidas or nike: New Balance 7 2E (yes, freakishly wide feet!)
lipton ice tea or nestea: Homemade iced tea
cappuccino or coffee: Caramel Latte–I don’t want to taste the coffee

Layer Five

smoke: no
cuss: sometimes, it slips out when I’m alone (not in front of the kids!)
sing: All the time. All.The.Time.
do you think you’ve been in love: I know I have.
want to go to college: Graduated, um, 18 years ago!
liked high school: yes
want to get married: 15 years ago next month
believe in yourself: sometimes
get motion sickness: since having kids, YES
think you’re attractive: sometimes. Sometimes not so much.
think you’re a health freak: No way!
get along with your parents: Mom, yes. Dad, not so much.
like thunderstorms: they’re ok. I like plain rain better.
play an instrument: piano and voice

Layer Six

in the past month…
drank alcohol: yes
smoked: no
done a drug: no
made out: yes
gone on a date: no
gone to the mall: yes, to get Ethan’s pic at the Picture People.
eaten an entire box of oreos: never
eaten sushi: no.
been on stage: if you can call the platform at church a stage
been dumped: no
gone skating: no
made homemade cookies: no
gone skinny dipping: no
dyed your hair: yes
stolen anything: no

Layer Seven
played a game that required removal of clothing: yes.
if so, was it mixed company: I take the fifth
been trashed or extremely intoxicated: yes, once on my honeymoon.
been caught “doing something”: yes
been called a tease: yes
gotten beaten up: no
shoplifted: no
changed who you were to fit in: That’s a toughie. Maybe? Maybe not?

Layer Eight

age you hope to be married: almost 27 😀
numbers and names of children: Bennett, Ethan, Laura, (9) Catie (7)
describe your dream wedding: in our church, surrounded by friends and family
how do you want to die: in my sleep
where do you want to go to college: West Chester University
what do you want to be when you grow up: wife, mother, professional organizer, woman of God.
what country would you most like to visit: Scotland

Layer Nine
number of people I could trust with my life:  8
number of cds that I own: don’t know anymore, everything has been ripped to my iPod
number of piercings: two ears
number of tattoos: no way, no how!
number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: graduation, dean’s list, marriage
number of scars on my body: too many to count!
number of things in my past that I regret: Lots of things I wish I hadn’t done, but they have made me who I am today, so I wouldn’t change them.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. Fall is coming! We’ve finally hit the 70’s during the day and the kids are wearing pants instead of shorts to school. This has been both a good and a challenging week. Good because I worked, the kids were all in school, homework was done. Challenging because of #2

2. One of my children (and thankfully, it’s only one), is really being disrespectful and smart-mouthed lately. At parent’s night last night, I described it to their teacher as “when they know everything [this child is very smart], they think they know everything”. The teacher nodded in agreement. Thankfully, most of the other children are being rather ok, so we can focus on this one. I’ve threatened using the “Ralphie treatment” (from A Christmas Story). If this child smart-mouths again, they will get their mouth washed out with soap. We’ll see if it helps.

3. I worked 2 days this past week and had a good time both times. Each time I work I’m reminded of just how much I like doing my job. I’m going back within a few weeks after the mom does a bit more unpacking.

4. We’re having the Dreaded Birthday Party tomorrow. I know there are some moms out there who love and adore celebrating their children’s births with lots of pomp, circumstance and confetti. I, dear readers, am not one of them. I despair of entertaining other people’s children for 2 hours. I dread those moments of “well, what do we do now?”, and the coming up of ideas of things for them to do. It makes me want to call up Chuck E. Cheese and beg for their help. Except I’m too cheap for that. So we do water balloons and Frisbee golf and hope for the best.

5. Some skunk did something last night. I don’t know if she/he just walked by my window or he/she sprayed some poor animal, but MAN, did my room stink! I kept dreaming about it and waking up smelling it. Even the inside of my van (whose windows were closed) smells. I’m hoping the windy day we are having will help it to dissipate, because otherwise I’m going to sleep with the windows closed tonight!

6. I just steam cleaned my kitchen floor and was reminded again how much I love my steamer. Definitely worth the investment. The results of hands-and-knees scrubbing with the effort of mopping. WooHoo! 😀

7. Kate and Charley leave tomorrow morning for the journey of a lifetime to pick up the two girls they are adopting from the Ukraine. If you are of a praying sort, please pray for them and their family.

Posted in Kids


Can I tell you how annoying it is that we are on Wednesday, with the kids’ birthday party on Saturday and NOT ONE PARENT has called??

Posted in 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. It’s the first week of school for Bennett, Laura and Catie (Ethan starts next week). It’s been LOVELY , but also very busy. I’ve been catching up on a lot of stuff, especially house cleaning and errands–Oh, the ERRANDS! Monday Ethan and I did six and yesterday was two. Today we’re staying HOME and I’m stripping beds and doing lots of laundry. Oh, and apparently I’m blogging as well. 😉

2. I wish wordpress had better emoticons. Anyone have suggestions about them? I like using them but end up with sideways smilies instead. EDITED: Um, nevermind. When I previewed this post wordpress changed my sideways smilies to emoticons. Who knew?! 😀

3. On the good news front, Ethan’s time at Hershey was well spent. Seriously. Well. Spent. Firstly, he’s potty training! WooHoo! He’s still at the “tell him to go” stage (and may never get out of it due to his issues), but I’m thrilled he goes. Secondly, he’s chewing! Now, we’re not talking steak and potatoes, but cut up pieces of things, YES. Breakfast is dry cereal (12 pieces) and PediaSure. Lunch is 1/4 of a sandwich cut up into four pieces, probably four pieces of either banana or some other fruit and four pieces of cookie or something else and PediaSure.  Snack is 12 pieces of goldfish or crackers and PediaSure. Dinner is 12 pieces of whatever we’re having and PediaSure, which is AMAZING. And even more amazing, he likes EVERYTHING. Let me say that again.


Can I express to you how incredible it is to make something and not have him complain about anything, including vegetables? He LOVES, ADORES and EXCITEDLY EATS vegetables!

For a mother of three very-picky-in-different-ways children, Ethan is a miracle to me.

4. I’m trying to plan the kids’ 9th birthday party next Saturday and am struggling. First I came up with the great idea of a pool party. Easy Peasy, right? Well, it’s going down into the 70’s next week. Not so warm for the pool. I figure I’ll replace it with water balloons, but that’s all I’ve got so far. I STINK at this stuff. I can organize anything, but party planning is so NOT my forte!

5. Speaking of organizing, I have a call into the potential client. I emailed her my schedule (which is pretty open right now) and told her I would call her to set things up. I’m beyond excited to work again. Things are a little tight around here with back-to-school, the birthday and construction, but we’ll manage. We always do.

6. Speaking of construction, it’s been done for almost a month now and I can’t imagine the yard before we had it done anymore. Let me see if I can do before and after–I still struggle with this photo stuff!



7. Tonight Jim and I are going out with friends to a concert at a winery. I’m really looking forward to the time out with adults. Usually when we hang out with this group of people (it’s five families), it’s 20 kids, ranging in age from 14 down to 1 1/2. While we get to visit and hang out, there’s upwards of 20 kids to watch and take care of. Tonight it’s just us, food, and some hopefully great music. I’m not much of a drinker, so I don’t really care about the winery-aspect of it.

While I’ll be griping about it in a few months, I’m sure, it’s nice to get back onto a schedule again!