Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Kids, Marriage, Me, School, Sick, Vacation

7 Quick Takes Friday


1. You know how you know something is coming up and you know you need to plan it and at some point you’ll get around to it and then life happens and you keep putting it off until it’s only a week away and then you freak out and do massive research on the internet and email your husband a bunch of ideas all at once (which of course he can’t look at because he’s at work) and then you freak out some more because you used to be such a great planner and life is just changing around you and you can’t plan anymore and …

Yes. This was me yesterday about our anniversary getaway next week.

2. I happily stumbled onto this website about tours  and relaxed. They do guided ones (for a pretty decent fee), self-guided free ones and then ones where you download an audio guide onto your iPod and use it to walk around. Door #3 sounds like a winner to me! The audio guide is something like $15 (much cheaper than the guided tour) and will let you go at your own pace (and sneak in a side trip to Elfreth’s Alley which is right near Betsy Ross’s house). For those of you who have never heard of Elfreth’s Alley, It is the oldest residential street in America. Dating back to 1702, it has been continuously lived in for more than 300 years now.

3. Finishing up our 4th week of cyber school and fine arts school. Monday morning the gal that I share carpooling with (she does mornings and I do afternoons) called and said that just as she got to the parking lot of the fine arts school Laura threw up. She took her in and cleaned her up as best as she could and then brought her back home (L threw up 3 more times on the way home). 1) Thank goodness she had leather seats! 2) What a nice woman! Having your own kid throw up and dealing with it is just not pleasant. With someone else’s kid (and I’ve dealt with that personally!) is just grosser. Laura’s fine and we’re left wondering what in the world THAT was?

4. Are your kids into Minecraft? Holy cow, do Bennett and Laura love it! We got it for their birthday and they have spent any and every allowable moment on their computers playing it. I love hearing their conversations–they regularly use the word “smelt” in conversation, and I heard obsidian the other day. If nothing else, it’s teaching some excellent vocabulary! 🙂

5. I’m halfway through the Great Wardrobe Changeover. Except for winter boots, Laura and Catie have all the clothes they will need for the winter, and they are all put away in their drawers. Today I’m hoping to finish the boys’ clothes. Ethan still doesn’t care what he wears as long as it fits comfortably, but the other three have all developed tastes in clothing. Laura, especially, has changed dramatically in the last 6-8 months. Her taste…grew up, for lack of a better phrase. I bought several shirts for her that she pooh-poohed and when we went to Goodwill (because, COME ON, they have all the popular teen clothes there and for $3!) she picked several that I would never have guessed she would have liked. So no more shopping for Laura–she has to come with me.

6. I was reading another blogger talk about her “new normal”. I think we’re at that place as well. Huh. When they were really young, I often used that term with regards to medical issues. (e.g.: Ethan has a g-tube. Dealing with that was our new normal). Nowadays we are in a much better place, albeit busy. Last September I would have stumbled out of bed at 5:30 to get Bennett and Laura up, followed by Ethan at 6:15, followed by Catie at 7. All would be gone by 8:35, and start coming home at 2:35. Finances didn’t allow for extra-curricular stuff, except for band and chorus which were provided through the school. So my driving was mostly pleasure-oriented, with the occasional band practice or concert.

This year, wow. Our “New Normal”:

Monday: Me up at 6, Wake Laura as soon as I can.  Ethan’s bus comes at 7:30 on Mondays (team mtg at school), so he gets up at 6:45. Wake Catie and Bennett at 7 after Laura leaves. Ethan leaves at 7:30 and Catie out the door at 8:35. Bennett starts schoolwork whenever he wants as long as it’s before 8. Make him have breakfast around 9-9:30. Leave the house at 2 to pick up Laura at school. Something really easy for dinner because Catie has horseback riding lessons and we leave at 6:15.

Tuesday: Ethan up at 6:15, everyone else at 7. Nice, easy day.  At night , make sure Laura has clothes picked out and lunch made for next day.

Wednesday: Ethan and Laura both up by 6:15 to both be out the door at 7. Catie and Bennett up. Catie drum lessons at school so I will need to both drive her and pick her up, which will be challenging. Leave at 2 to get Laura. Drop carpool gal off at home. Drop Laura off if i have time, otherwise drive to Catie’s school and pick her up.

Thursday: Repeat Tuesday morning. I have bible study that night, so easy dinner that Jim can make or I can make really quickly and Jim can grab if he’s getting home late. 1x/month Laura has PT during the day.

Friday: Repeat Tuesday morning getting ready. 2x/month Laura has Orientation and Mobility lessons mid-morning. 1pm every week Bennett has guitar lessons.

Friday night: THANK YOU, GOD! We made it through another week!

I do want to say that I’m not complaining. I know we have it easy compared to you sporty parents. We are not a sporty family (for which I’m somewhat grateful!), so the whole lifestyle of living in your car and spending all Saturday at endless soccer tournaments or swim meets is completely foreign to me. All I’m saying is, this sure is different than the past few years!

7. I have had the blessing of eating lunch with my three closest girlfriends all within the past month. And this after seeing none of them all summer. Catching up, eating yummy food, just talking and sharing and laughing and crying has been WONDERFUL. (Even if I did forget Laura’s orthodontist appointment during one of them! Oops!)

Happy Fall Y’all!

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Bible Study, Health, Kids, Marriage, School

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. It’s FALL! Well, ok, IF YOU WANT TO BE TECHNICAL, it will be fall on Sunday. But here in Southeastern PA, IT’S FALL! I sleep with my windows open and the quilt on. I sometimes need a jacket if I’m going out. The sky is starting to show that amazing BLUE that only happens in the fall and winter, jeans are making an appearance. It’s WONDERFUL.

2. Except for The Great Wardrobe Changeover. That’s the one thing I dread over and over and over as the years go by. Trying on clothes, buying clothes, getting rid of clothes, putting summer clothes into bins and fall/winter clothes into drawers times four kids and two parents.

3. We are finishing up our 3rd week of cyber school and it’s still relatively easy. I keep waiting for the 6-8 hours at the computer that they warned us about this summer at orientation. So far it hasn’t happened. The kids are learning. They have projects, tests, regular lessons etc. But it’s all accomplished in WAY less time than 1) I’d been warned and 2) public school. Makes me wonder what happens all those hours that the kids are stuck in school!

4. Jim and are starting to plan our 18th anniversary weekend away. For the first time we’ll be going to historic Philadelphia. I’ve lived near it for nigh on 45 years and have NEVER EVER done the sights. How ridiculous is that? I’m looking forward to seeing the Liberty Bell and where our Constitution was signed and where Ben Franklin lived etc. And, of course, eating some amazing food. Because one of the positives of cities are their amazing plethora of food choices. Which here in the boonies we don’t get. Our here only one place delivers pizza!

5. I had my semi-annual bloodwork and appointment with my endocrinologist. She, in a nice, gentle way, yelled at me. I have high cholesterol and high triglycerides (which are going to put a little bit of a crimp in the above-mentioned eating!) and desperately need to lose some weight. Oh, yay! Because that’s SO EASY with PCOS! i’m starting two new medications (one is a fancy fish oil and the other is a weight-loss thingy). One of which my insurance point-blank refuses to cover. Because they’d rather I be overweight and out of shape?

6. I went to Bible Study last night! It’s on Brave: Honest Questions Women Ask. I’m much more used to ‘book studies” where you take a book of the bible and work your way through it. But since I haven’t been part of a bible study for several years and I really want to find a place in our new church (which we haven’t visited ALL SUMMER!), I figured I’d start here. Just meeting with other Christian gals was nice. And being reminded of Jeremiah 6:16 helped as well:

This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.

7. Have you ever done that? Been so touched by a verse and then completely forgotten about it for years and then have it hit you anew? That was me last night and this morning. Being intentional in my choices. Thinking through my actions before doing them. Counting the cost and then obeying. And finding rest for my soul, because honestly–obedience just feels GOOD!

Blessings on you today.

Posted in Addiction, Kids

Mini Me

I have told my older daughter Laura that if she wants to know what I was like as a child, just look at Catie (her younger sister). Her comment? “I feel bad for Mum Mum!” (my mother)

Catie is inquisitive, curious, nosy. She’s intelligent, bright, quick, smart, snarky, She’s positive she’s right all the time and determined to not only tell you that you are wrong, but how. She wants to be in charge. She’s bossy. She’s caring and compassionate for animals, the needy, her brother Ethan, and stuffed animals. She’s been infatuated with the same boy for the past 6 years (I’m grateful he’s moved to middle school). She’s obsessed with horses.

In short, she’s very, very much like me as a child. Except for one HUGE, GAPING, MASSIVE difference. She’s never seen pornography. By her age (10) I had seen a fair amount. By Laura’s age (12), I had seen a LOT and was physically involved with a female friend. I cringe at those facts for myself, and am so incredibly grateful that my girls are innocent. Not unaware, exactly, because they know the facts of life. They know that pornography exists. They are more knowledgeable because there is more to know: AIDS, HIV, STDs, homosexuality, bi-sexuality (and those are fairly awkward conversations!), abortion….my mother’s talk didn’t cover any of these!

I know Catie is grossed out completely at the very thought of sex (and thank goodness!). I also know that in a few short years it will be something she will be very interested in. I can only hope and pray that we are teaching her not just to wait until she’s married, but WHY.  And to keep her innocent while we can.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Addiction, Pets, School

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. Week #1 of PA Leadership Charter School (aka cyber school) is under our collective belts. I can say this at 9:02 am because, crazily enough, they are both finished for the week. Apparently all the teachers think the kids need to be eased into cyber school. I’m not complaining–I think it’s a great idea. That said, I think next week with its 6 hour days will be rather a shock to their little systems.

2. Pursuant to #1, Bennett has been so excited (EXCITED! ABOUT SCHOOL!!) about this whole cyber thing that many mornings he has started school at ….get this….6:30 in the morning. He asked me this morning if he could do it and of course I said yes. He was done by about 7:20. I know, it’s the honeymoon stage. I get it. But oh, how I’m enjoying it!

3. Another surprising thing this week is the lack of guilt I feel if I have to go out. Now, with them being finished it’s just like any other time I need to go out. They’re old enough and responsible enough to be on their own for several hours. No worries. But even during “school time” it’s been fine. This morning I had bloodwork done and left at about 7:20. Bennett was finished but Laura was just starting. I trusted her to do her work (no big deal there) and knew that if she got stuck on something she could work on something else and come back to the first thing after I got home. Cyber school is somewhat freeing!

4. This has been, hands down, one of the busiest weeks in a long time. I had something on the calendar every day and was out of the house every day. That’s a rarity around here, Today Bennett starts guitar lessons. Laura starts piano and guitar and voice next week at the fine arts school and Catie starts horseback riding lessons on Monday evening. Fall is here with a vengeance.

5. On a more serious note, we will be having a visit next week with a veterinary behavior specialist ( Dr. Spiegel specializes in animals with behavior problems and BOY, do we have one! Coco is a loving, wonderful, sweet dog. Most of the time. Unfortunately, if anyone–stranger or otherwise–steps foot onto our property she becomes hyper. Ethan’s bus driver (who comes up our driveway 2x/day) is scared of her. Coco went as far as nipping–hard–a child that was playing in our backyard over the weekend. That was the final straw. It will NOT be cheap–the first home visit is running $300, and there’s a follow up visit later on for $100 or so. I will reiterate what I have said all along. Cats are easier and cheaper to own.

6. I had lunch yesterday with one of my closest friends. We haven’t visited one-on-one since last spring. Women friends are SUCH a blessing! Just having the time of talking, sharing, unburdening and having a good, understanding, listening ear AND being able to be that for someone else. I’m at a place right now where my close women friends are a little spread out. We don’t see each other much, but, oh, how GOOD the time is when we do!

7. Addiction has been…mostly quiet. There are twinges here and there, but saying No has been good as well. And Beggar’s Daughter has been really putting my name on her posts lately. Sometimes I read and think “that’s nice.” Not now. Not lately. It seems like they have been written directly to me. Which is wonderful, because I keep needing to hear the things she keeps saying. Which, after almost 19 years, is humbling. But I’m just so grateful. It’s been 3 1/2 weeks since I picked myself off the floor again. I like adding time to that figure.

In closing, Just wanted to send a shout out to my next-door neighbor (whose house the open window above my bed faces), who thought to take out his trash at 4:45 this morning. Unfortunately, we had Labor Day on Monday, which pushed Trash Day (Friday) back to Saturday morning instead. So, yeah, Thanks for that unnecessarily early wake up call.