Saturday, January 31, 2009


p.s. Thanks, Lucy, for adding a playlist to your blog. I got one on mine, too, by clicking on yours :-)

exerpt from expecting adam

KLEENEX WARNING -- get a box! This is parts of one page from the book Expecting Adam (the book I'm reading about a child with Down syndrome -- if anyone's offended by my copying this section, I'll gladly edit the page with all the proper citations :-):

When Adam was three years old, I began to lose hope that he would ever communicate verbally . . . One day . . . I took my children to the grocery store and offered them all bribes to keep quiet -- I was too tired and discouraged to enforce discipline any other way. I told them they could each pick out a treat from the candy stands next to the checkout counter. When we got there, Katie chose a roll of Life Savers and Lizzie a chocolate bar. Adam, who seemed to understand everything I had said even though he couldn't speak in return, went over to a basket of red rosebuds and pulled one out.
"This is what you want?" I asked incredulously.
He nodded.
"No, honey, this isn't candy," I said, putting it back and turning him toward the rows of sweets. "Don't you want candy?"
Adam shook his small head, walked back to the bucket, picked out the rose, and put it on the counter. I was baffled, but I paid for it. Adam took it gravely as the girls unwrapped their candy. He held the flower with both hands all the way home. When we got there, I was immediately engrossed in putting away the groceries and forgot all about his strange request.
The next morning I awoke to find sunlight streaming through my bedroom window . . . As I yawned and stretched, I heard Adam's small feet padding down the hallway toward my bedroom. He appeared at the door with the rose, which he had put in a small crystal bud vase. I looked at him in surprise. I didn't realize that he knew what vases were for, let alone how to get one down from the cupboard, fill it with water, and put a flower in it.
Adam walked over to the bed and handed the rose to me. As he held it out, he said, in a clear, calm voice, "Here."

Now if you're not at LEAST getting tears in your eyes, you might want to check if you have a human heart beating in your chest.

driving lesson

I HAVE to get this off my chest! I'm NOT a good driver, but there's one driving "rule" that I try my best to always follow: STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE!!!! It is SO very annoying to be trying to turn left when someone on the opposite side of the road is turning right and the other driver DOESN'T stay in his or her own lane! We can save time, irritation, confusion, and possible accidents by staying in our own lanes when we turn. WE CAN BOTH TURN AT THE SAME TIME, for crying out loud!

k -- i'm done now

Friday, January 30, 2009

a bunch of little stuff

The book I just started today is SO interesting. A little too pro-choice, but I think that might change. Maybe that's why she's stressing the point so much -- to show how wrong she was before she had a child with Down syndrome who made her recognize how sacred human life is. The author writes a lot like Rachelle -- funny, sarcastic. It makes me laugh, but then sober up when she starts writing about her son.

The heat is fixed, thank God and Mountain Mechanical! It took almost ten hours to get back up to 72 degrees, but we finally made it :-) I had to miss lunch with Luke and Makenzie, but I made it to the very end of their lunch to hug and kiss them and then work at the computer for my 20-minute job.

MAC POWELL HAS ONE OF THE GREATEST VOICES EVER AND IS SUCH A TALENTED SONG-WRITER! I know that everyone else in this house is getting tired of hearing the same cd's over and over, but Seth and I LOVE hearing them!

I've gotten two comments from "anonymous" on here, and I'm a little worried. The comments are very nice, so I'm not complaining about them. I'm just wondering if whoever it is could e-mail me and identify himself or herself so I don't get paranoid about stalkers: Or put your name and picture on your profile. Thanks for the encouraging comments, too!

I was asleep by 9:00 last night, but woke up at about 12:30 a.m. and had a little trouble going back to sleep. That made it VERY difficult to get up at 5 a.m.! I thought I was really doing an amazing thing -- going to bed at NINE O'CLOCK! But it didn't help much. And it won't be repeated tonight because I'm still on the computer, still have my little nighttime computer game/Third Day ritual to do and then read until my eyes start blurring.

Jason didn't feel like taking the kids to church for the Veggie Tales Family Fun Night, so we had our own family fun night -- pizza, popcorn, movie. It went very well for once! There were no major fights, no yelling, no crying. AMAZING! Maybe the kids are "growing up?" I can hope :-)
What kind of mother tells her five-year-old mischief maker to take care of her three-year-old? Let's just leave that unanswered! He did a good job, and I got the laundry finished. "All's well that ends well," right?

I can't figure out how to re-charge my mp3 player, and it's about to die. How annoying.

books and heat

I try to match the color of my typing to how I'm feeling or what I'm writing about. So is this the color of FREEZING????!!!!! Sometime in the night, our furnace stopped working. It is now down to 57 degrees. I'm used to 72! Seth is sleeping right through it, even though he always wakes up when I come in his room and start the computer. Someone's supposed to be calling sometime today to come fix it -- I HOPE! It's about 25 degrees outside, so I'll be getting a space heater right after work today! Even if they fix the heat before then, it's best to be prepared -- and at this exact point in time, I'm NOT prepared and suffering the consequences of that.

I finished one book and started another. The book I finished was Bella. I got the movie for my birthday and the book for Christmas. The book is better in my opinion because there's more detail and less Spanish. The movie is good, too, but I'm not a big fan of subtitles (I think that's the correct term for translating the Spanish to English in lines on the bottom of the screen -- someone educate me here if I'm incorrect). Lisa Samson (one of my favorite authors) wrote the book from the screenplay, and she did a great job! It's a very sad story with a pretty much happier ending, but not the kind of ending that makes the reader say, "Oh, good, I'm glad everyone will live happily ever after." It's more like "Well, that's better, at least." The book was hard to put down, so I finished it in less than a week, I think. The book that I started is Expecting Adam. It's another book about a child with Down syndrome. These kinds of books are very interesting, but absolutely heart wrenching for me. The first one I read (Beyond the Clouds by Karen Kingsbury) almost left me in a balled up heap of tears; but the author is a Christian, so the whole message of the story was about seeing this type of situation as one of God's many workings in human life. The second one was The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards, which I wrote about on here extensively already. Only the first chapter was really difficult in that one; but it wasn't (as far as I know) written from a Christian perspective, so it was a little difficult to see everything as a happy ending. This third one is about a couple of Harvard post-grad students who have a son with Down syndrome. I've only read two chapters so far, but the philosophy of these people seems to be that only highly intelligent people deserve to live and that abortion is a good idea for people who would be inconvenienced by a child of any health or ability. Obviously, they didn't follow that philosophy themselves because they had their baby, knowing that he had Down syndrome. It amazes me that people can be so wrapped up in themselves that they can honestly believe those kinds of things with no thought whatever for the sacredness of human life.

ok -- all this typing has finally gotten Seth to start waking up, so it's time to get his clothes on (he refuses to wear pj's, so he's in a onesie only -- thank goodness he didn't move when I put a blanket on him this morning!).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Joel's checkup

Every year sometime close to birthdays, I take the kids to the pediatrician for a checkup. Today was Joel's turn. Just a warning here -- possible inappropriate information coming up. Everything was going normal until the doctor asked Joel if he had any stomach problems. Joel didn't really know what the doctor was asking, so the doctor reworded the question to be more to the point.

dr: "Do you poop every day ok?"
joel: "no"
dr: "Well how often then?"
joel: "ummm, once a week?"
dr: "WHAT????!!!!!!"

I'm cracking up just typing this! "poop" talk shouldn't be this funny to a 36-year-old woman, but if you had heard that doctor's voice, you'd be laughing, too. He really thought he had a problem case lying there on his table. I stepped in at that point to inform the doctor that Joel was probably confused and that he does go almost every day. The doctor's look of complete relief also made me chuckle!

This is one of my favorite Joel pictures. He was concentrating on "reading" that movie box. I thought it went along nicely with this little story about "concentrating" in the bathroom:-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I promise I won't write on here every single time he does this -- this is the last time until the words are coherent. Seth said a THREE-WORD "sentence": Mom, Makenzie, dance! Actually, he signed it with his attempt at parts of each word, but THREE WORDS! He's been just saying one word for a really long time; then all in one day, he said two and then three!

And on a little side note about Seth -- here's a little piece of my bad side. I stopped cutting Seth's hair several months ago. I just couldn't handle the fight, so I gave up. And his hair is pretty long and REALLY cute now! But it's definitely NOT looking like "A.C.S. hair code." I have no problem with that first of all because his hair is kinda resembling Mac Powell's (lead singer of Third Day) and second of all because I've learned somewhere along the way to be a little more open-minded about people's appearance (as exemplified in the way I sometimes look like a hippie/gypsy). Anyway, I've gotten several comments along with "frowns" about his hair that have made me decide that Seth's going to keep his long hair. Here's a hint -- saying something to me with a judgmental or condemning attitude is a surefire way to get on my bad side! I love the people no matter what they think of my son's hair, but this little rebellious streak in me laughs at their horrified looks. I will get his hair cut, of course, if he is allowed to attend A.C.S. That's a whole two or three years away, though :-)


Seth "said" a two-word sentence today: READY ROCK!!! Yay for my Seth baby!!!!!!! I had turned off the cd player after lunch -- we always "rock" during meals when it's just Seth and me. Third Day very loud, lots of singing and dancing, some eating and drinking :-) So when I turned off the music and went to take Seth out of his high chair, he signed "ready rock" and said "ee ock." I'm SO VERY excited!!!!! and can't wait to tell his speech therapist on Monday!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Seth's eyes

Seth saw his eye doctor today (who, by the way, is a Christian -- YAY -- that's always nice to find out that someone who helps keep my baby healthy knows, loves, and serves the same God!). Seth's eyes are GREAT, he said. They go out a little far right now, but that should shape up soon. Before the surgery, Seth's glasses prescription was 3.5 (I have no idea what that means, but it wasn't too high a number, but high enough to definitely need glasses). Today, his prescription was 0.75. That's not even a high enough number to get glasses!!!! The blood is fading out of the corners of his eyes. Everything seems to be going just perfect for his eyes. Praise God!!! (and Dr. Arnold)

We had spaghetti for dinner tonight (third day in a row since I made a little too much on Sunday -- no one seems to mind, though). Seth had on a white shirt today, so he decided (and I completely agreed) to eat with no shirt on. Seth realized that he could tickle his skin :-)

I couldn't quite get the "grouchy" face that goes with the arm-crossing, which is really too bad because it's HILARIOUS!

And this is Seth giving us a thumbs-up. He always does that whole-heartedly :-)

25 little things about me

I put this list on facebook (which, by the way, I HATE!), so I decided to put it on this blog (which, by the way, I really enjoy):

1. This is the very first time I've responded to one of these survey-type things.
2. I LOVE THIRD DAY, listen to them almost constantly, and look up all the information about them I can find.
3. I grew up very close to Hannibal, MO and get a little irritated when people don't know why that's significant.
4. Before Seth was born, I didn't know even one thing about Down syndrome.
5. When no one's looking, I sneak bites of food with wheat in it even though I know it's damaging my insides (I'll stop doing that now that I've confessed).
6. I have a touch of OCD -- well, maybe more than "a touch."
7. English grammar makes sense to me, and I correct everyone's speech in my mind.
8. My childhood best friend and I were born on the same day in the same hospital, and our mothers were best friends.
9. I asked God to forgive me for sinning and asked Jesus to be my Saviour when I was four years old and understood completely what I was doing.
10. I love my four kids more than my own life, but I'd rather die than have any more.
11. I hate it when people wear pink and red, pink and orange, or red and orange together.
12. Between my wedding day (1994) and Seth's birth (2005), I gained 70 pounds.
13. Between Seth's birth (2005) and my 36th b-day (Oct. 2008), I lost 25 pounds.
14. I don't mind telling the whole world how old I am, but I'll never tell a soul exactly how much I weigh (unless I get back to what I weighed in 1994 -- then I'll probably post it on a banner on the crosswalk over Northern Lights).
15. I talk to myself.
16. I have a really bad temper, but pretty much only show it at home.
17. I can act like the ditziest blonde ever born if it'll get me out of trouble or make someone not irritated to help me with something that I absolutely can't do for myself.
18. Pretty jewelry fascinates me.
19. I'd give just about anything to be able to hire a cook.
20. Someday, I hope to work in a hospital.
21. No matter what time I go to bed at night, I try to get up at 4:54 a.m.
22. I learned to type when I was in the sixth grade and can still type pretty fast and accurately.
23. My favorite job so far was working a brainless data entry job for the post office.
24. I have written two children's books. One of them can't be published because it's too similar to something already published. The second one is waiting for an illustrator and publishing information. I started to write an adult book, but realized after two pages that I can't write descriptions well.
25. Although my IQ is average or above, Facebook is too complicated for me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm a celiac

I recently decided that maybe the skin biopsy was wrong almost twenty years ago. Maybe I don't really have celiac disease. Maybe I just needed to re-introduce gluten slowly like I did with the foods Seth used to be allergic to. So I slowly started taking a bite here and there of whatever I wanted. I didn't get sick, so I started to get excited and take a few more bites and a few more. I never did get sick, but I did break out with the stupid little blisters that are the manifestation of dermatitis herpetiformis (the horribly ugly name of the skin reaction to gluten intolerance). This means, of course, that I've been poisoning myself all these months. All the little "digesting fingers" in my small intestine are either cowering, scared out of their wits or squashed like little bugs. Thank goodness, they're like those demon pincher bugs that I always find in my downstairs -- it takes more than one "squashing" to kill them dead. This morning I tried a little bite of Joel's birthday chocolate chip cookies to make sure they were edible, but that HAS to be the last time! These blisters are irritating and sometimes painful, and the possibility of developing intestinal cancer should make me stick to my gluten-free diet.

So have I written lately how much I LOVE Third Day????!!!!! I listen to them every chance I get -- kitchen, van, computer (like right now), laundry room.

Seth actually talked for his speech therapist today -- YAY SETH!!! She was very impressed.

one down, three to go

My first child's birthday is officially finished. I took chocolate chip cookies to his lunch today. Yesterday was his family party (spaghetti, pie, ice cream, gifts), and Saturday was his friend party (wii playing, laughing, yelling, brownies, gifts). Now I'm taking the rest of today and all of tomorrow OFF! No talking of birthday planning again until Wednesday.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Joel is 10!

Joel's 10th birthday was an overall success. With four children in one house, there were little problems throughout the whole thing. Joel's little "attitude" didn't help matters, either, but he was very pleased with all of his gifts, so we ended with a smile. Now it's time to slow down for a few days before starting planning Makenzie's birthday. I'm so tired! Staying up too late, getting up so early -- and apparently I'm not getting any younger, so those are not two smart things to do.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

good time

No picture of the party -- I took one, but I forgot to ask the kids' parents if they minded my putting it on here. Seven boys in my family room = a lot of noise and a lot of stink. They played the wii, threw toys around, shot some baskets with Luke's door basketball hoop, and yelled. I don't think I heard one child just speak with a normal volume -- it was always yelling. I don't get that one, but anyway -- they had fun and that's the point of a party. Personally, I'm glad it's over. I'm a schedule person. Digressing from the normal schedule makes me a little nutso -- mostly just on the inside, but I'm sure it sometimes leaks out. There's a slight possibility that I'm learning to keep it inside and just be quiet, get through the schedule break, and maybe even enjoy something about it. Today, I enjoyed Joel's smiles and excitement and talking to a couple other moms. After everyone left, I got Seth's and my coats on to go get dinner from Taco Bell. We didn't actually get to leave, though, because Seth fell down the stairs. He got a big bump on his forehead and seemed to be really dazed and shaky, so Jason got dinner after he got done working. That was the latest we've ever had dinner, I think. More schedule breaks -- I'm too tired, though, to really care. One more little party, not nearly as wild or long as today's. Spaghetti sauce is made, pie crust is mixed and chilling (Joel chose to have a birthday PIE instead of a cake, which is fine by me -- I like pie and there won't be any leftovers for me to eat all week and gain more pounds). Joel was pretty amazing to me today. He really helped this morning and this afternoon cleaning up the stuff in the family room, and he was very well-behaved all day. I was impressed with my son :-)

"let's rock"

I forgot to write about Seth's lunchtime request yesterday. After I got him in Gavin's high chair and Gavin in a regular chair (since the other way around was a risk -- my kids only sit still if they're strapped down and have no choice but to sit still), Seth signed "rock!" HE REMEMBERED!!!! What a great kid! I was a little worried, though, because I was at Darryl and Amanda's house, not mine. Their house is MUCH more technologically advanced than mine. I have a simple cd player/radio mounted under my kitchen cabinet. They have this whole system that I think is all run with one remote. But I figured it out enough so that we could "rock" through lunch. Seth was satisfied and Gavin loved it, too. (p.s. I apologize, Darryl and Amanda, if I messed up your tv/cd/dvd stuff in any way!!!)

Last night, I finished The Memory Keeper's Daughter. What a sad story! I didn't cry anymore or even get angry, but it was very sad. It's the kind of story that makes you keep saying, "If only . . . " In a little interview printed at the end of the book, the author stated that she got this idea from a REAL LIFE situation -- someone put their baby in an institution because he was born with Down syndrome. People are CRAZY!!!!!!! So anyway, now I have to decide on my next book to read -- hmmmmm . . . . . . choices, choices, choices.

Friday, January 23, 2009

McDonalds Day

Friday is a great day because it's McDonalds Day! I started out the school year with happy meals being an incentive for good behavior. But then I realized that I don't care how good or bad the kids behave, we're having happy meals on Friday. I know that no "good mother" would say these words, but I HATE planning meals, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up the mess of cooking and eating. If I could find some way to get rich, we'd eat out every single day. Actually, to make myself at least resemble a "good mother," I'd buy the food and put it all out on plates as if I'd made it. I guess the cleanup isn't what I really hate because this really sounds like a great plan to me. And nutrition? I give the kids liquid minerals every morning for breakfast and pray that that counts for all their nutrition for the day. The rest is just keeping them from being hungry.

Seth and I spent today with Gavin again -- and I remembered the camera this time :-) They were so cute and sweet and well-behaved. I was amazed at how smart and cooperative Gavin is. He's almost two and can talk well and follow directions very well. I've gotten used to the older kids who either ignore or disobey directions and Seth who doesn't understand how to follow directions much yet. Gavin was a nice change. After lunch, before naptime, I put on Elmocize and got out the camera. I had to hold my breath to keep from laughing long enough to snap each picture. After awhile, they got tired out apparently from all that elmocizing. Gavin got two chairs for them to sit on to watch the rest (SO sweet of him to know to get one for Seth, too!).

(Thanks, Rachelle, for filling me in on how to put pictures in different places instead of dumping them all at the top :-)

I was reminded today that I'm really lacking in the "good mother" department (more than just my dislike for and laziness in nutrition). Sunday is Joel's birthday, but I completely forgot about bringing anything to the school to celebrate today. I remembered to get his gifts, plan a little party for him and his friends on Saturday, plan his special meals for Sunday, and even do most of the shopping for all that. But I forgot about celebrating at school. How did that dawn on me? When I heard everyone singing "Happy Birthday" to him in the cafeteria today and saw him coming over to me and saying "you missed it, Mom." A little boy in Luke's class had brought in cupcakes today for his birthday. There were extras that his mom didn't want to take home, so she'd left them with me to give to Joel's class. They used them as Joel's birthday celebration. I wanted to crawl in a hole and disappear! But that's all over and I need to move on to tomorrow's party, Sunday's meals and gifts, and Monday's school treat (I MUST take something more special than some other kid's leftover cupcakes!).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

forgot my camera :-(

I'm SO irritated with myself! Seth and I got to spend the day with Gavin, but I forgot my camera! And they were SO very cute standing next to each other after lunch -- topless :-) I'm not one of those "oh, it's all right, I don't mind cleaning that up" kind of moms. I'll do just about anything to avoid a mess. So Gavin and Seth ate lunch with no shirts since I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with two boys and their pbj's. They did a really great job of eating and not making messes. I was quite impressed with both of them. And earlier in the day, they were just ADORABLE sitting on the couch together watching "Signing Time." Gavin kept scooting closer and closer to Seth until he was almost on top of him. Seth didn't say anything until Gavin tried to share a blanket with him. Then he growled, but Gavin just laughed. After our failed attempt at naptime, Seth and Gavin played ball together -- another cute picture that I didn't get to take. Oh well, I'll try to remember my camera next time!

The pictures on here today are from Tuesday, I think. Seth brought in the pillow and blanket to take a nap on the kitchen floor because that was where the music and Mom were :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seth can catch!

I don't have a picture because I was part of the action, but Seth caught a ball for the first time today!!!!!!! He's been able to throw a ball very well for quite a while, but today he CAUGHT it, too. and not just every once in a while -- almost every time! He can't catch if the ball is thrown straight at him. It has to arc up and then fall in his hands. But he caught it like that from quite a few feet away, so this is a HUGE accomplishment for him!!

last night

THE MEMORY KEEPER'S DAUGHTER SPOILER WARNING!!!! After a few chapters of "normal life" kind of stuff in this book, the author threw in a "below-the-belt" punch. The little girl with Down syndrome got stung by a bee and started to swell up. Her adopted mom sped her to the ER where the nurse looked at the little girl and asked -- seriously -- "Are you SURE you want me to get the doctor?" WHAT????!!!!! I know in my head this is just fiction, but I'm still shaking. How could ANYONE be that horrible? The mom raised her arm to smack the nurse, but her friend stopped her and firmly said, "Get the doctor NOW." I'm wondering if this book is really possible. Back in 1970, did people really treat children with Down syndrome this badly? Not one person that I've come in contact with has even shown a HINT of treating Seth with anything but extreme care, compassion, and RESPECT! Not one person has said, "oh, poor you, you have a retarded child" or anything at all remotely close to pity. In fact, one father was EXCITED for us. His son has Down syndrome, and he was so very happy for us that we were also blessed with this angel child. I guess I'm just glad that I'm living in the 21st century with my precious Seth! After reading that chapter, there was no WAY I was going to get to sleep or sleep in peace, so I held Seth (and laughed my head off with him because he has recently discovered that his voice can make high sounds) for almost an hour to put myself back into the reality of the modern world where my child is loved and accepted.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I love to listen to music! So I put some songs on the bottom right side of this blog. If you click the play arrow, you can hear a little segment of each song (except "I Will not be Moved" and "Have you Ever?" -- those two play the full songs). If you click the white box to the right of the song title and then click "video," you'll see a little video and hear the entire song. Some of the videos are pretty lame, but at least the whole song plays. I love all kinds of music, but my favorites are songs that either have some great meaning (praising God, teaching a lesson, or something personal) or are just plain fun. I originally had the song "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow on here because that song is fun, but I took it off because the little segment of the song that played on here mentioned drinking beer and that's just not the part of the song that is the good part. Anyway -- music to me plays many different roles. It's encouragement when I'm depressed, background noise when I can't handle silence, rhythm when I need to MOVE, motivation when I need to do things I don't feel like doing (like cleaning or cooking), and stimulus for deeper thinking/personal growth/worship. Just thought I'd share that little piece of myself since nothing happened today worth writing about -- except the kids DID get to go to school and Seth did well in therapy today :-)

Monday, January 19, 2009

nothing new

Seth's still doing great with his eyes. They're still red, but they don't seem to be bothering him. This second picture just cracks me up! I thought Seth was glad to take a picture with me, but obviously he was NOT.

Today was the last vacation day (I'm hoping, anyway). I was dumb enough to think that it was a good day to go to Walmart since Jason was home to watch the kids. It would've been less stressful to take all four kids than to go shopping on a holiday! Walmart was packed! Traffic wasn't too bad, though.

It's getting harder and harder to think of good gifts for Joel and Luke. Joel's birthday is in less than a week and I have two gifts for him, and one of them is the party supplies -- that stuff is way too expensive! So he's getting two wii games, I guess, but they'll be late because I'm getting them from ebay. I have no idea what to do for Luke. We already have enough wii games (or we will after Joel's birthday), so what's left? I'm thinking maybe some kind of great outing instead of gifts.

Memory Keeper's Daughter is really interesting!!! It's so difficult to decide what to do after the kids go to bed -- play on the computer and listen to Third Day or read that book! I end up doing both longer than I should and missing out on much-needed sleep. I'm like a droopy plant -- I need more sunlight! I'm looking pretty pale -- maybe we'll have a sunny summer so that we can get some good tanning.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"fantastic" hair!

Luke and I went to Carrs today to cheer him up. Joel got peanut M&M's in Sunday School today, but wouldn't share any of them with Luke. He did, however, give one to Luke to bring in to me. That upset Luke, but he did it -- he carried that M&M that he wanted to eat all the way inside and upstairs to me and watched me eat it (I had headphones in my ears, so I didn't know he was saying that Joel hadn't shared with him until AFTER I'd eaten it or else I'd have given it to him). So I told him that when Dad got back, we'd go to Carrs and buy him a whole bag of M&M's just for him. He decided he didn't want M&M's, though -- jelly beans, instead. Anyway -- while Luke was sitting at the table eating jelly beans and looking at the Sonic comic book I'd bought him, I went to order coffee. The coffee girl gave me SUCH a nice compliment -- she said that my hair was "just fanTAStic!" And I'm shallow enough to admit that she MADE MY DAY! So the first picture today is Luke in his cutie-pie vest and me with my "fantastic" hair.

The second and third pictures are to show that Seth is feeling great. His eyes are pretty scary-looking, but they are quite obviously not bothering him. Click on the second picture to see it enlarged -- it shows the "yuckiness" pretty clearly.

I've read several chapters of Memory Keeper's Daughter, and it's not nearly as emotional as that first chapter! It's VERY interesting!!!!!

Time to vent: Jason informed me a little while ago that the inaugural ball is costing something like 200 MILLION dollars!! What sorry excuses for human beings could possibly think that it's acceptable to spend THAT much money on some STUPID PARTY when people are STARVING TO DEATH and living on the street all over the world and right here in our own country?????!!!!!! There are little children who are completely helpless that could actually USE that money to SURVIVE, but they're going to WASTE it on A STUPID PARTY!!!!!!!! I'm so angry about this, I'm shaking. I've always been irritated that hard-working people have to live from paycheck to paycheck, barely getting by when politicians make unbelievable amounts of money for doing practically nothing, or worse, for making mistakes. No government is perfect, no country is Eutopia, and I AM thankful for the many benefits of living in the U.S. BUT there is just so very much about this country that is unfair and just plain illogical. ok, I'm done -- not done being angry, but done writing about it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

our fourth Saturday

"Saturday" kinda loses its specialness when there have already been three of them in a row. I tried, though -- doughnuts from Carrs for breakfast, lots of cleaning (that wasn't a "fun" kind of special, but a "different" kind of special -- actually punishment for fighting at breakfast), happy meals for lunch, playing wii with Dad, and to top it all off . . . . . playing in the cardio room later with Dad! They love that place.

Seth's doing great! He looks awful to me, but not nearly as bad as it could be. The inside corners of his eyes are completely red, but there's no swelling. I call that blessed! I started reading Memory Keeper's Daughter last night, but could only handle one chapter. I was pretty tired, so I needed to sleep anyway, but that first chapter was a "doozy!" If you're planning on reading the book, you might want to skip ahead to the next paragraph because I'm going to write about what happened in the first chapter. This story starts out back in 1964, I think. There was a big snowstorm, so this couple couldn't make it to the hospital and the doctor got stuck in a ditch. So the husband, who was an orthopedic surgeon and had delivered babies a few times as well, had to help his wife in a little doctor's office with the help of a nurse. They didn't know it, but they were having twins. The boy was born perfect, but the girl had Down Syndrome -- except that's not how the father saw it. He saw the "telltale signs of a mongoloid." That word along with the most-hated "r" word should be BANISHED from the English language! I really do believe that I'd lay someone flat out for using that "m" word in my hearing, especially if Seth were with me. I reemed out a kid in one of Jason's classes once for using the "r" word! I just couldn't believe that he would call someone that word, knowing that his teacher's child is mentally retarded, the child was right there in the room, and the child's MOTHER was right there for crying out loud! He's lucky I didn't deck him! I can't get too terribly upset about the "r" word, though, because we've all used it -- out of sheer ignorance, of course, of how hurtful the word is to people who love someone dearly who is literally retarded. But that "m" word just sounds plain MEAN and shouldn't be allowed to come out of anyone's mouth EVER! ok, enough of that -- anyway, the father thought he would save his wife and himself a lot of hurt and had the nurse take the baby girl to an institution. I certainly hope this is not based on a true story because that's just WRONG! Although I know that was done -- sending handicapped children to institutions instead of loving them and taking care of them. The blessings and joy those people missed out on is just astounding! Life without Seth????? unimaginable! And that was just the first chapter of the book!!! Should I really be reading this book? Well, whether I should or shouldn't, I'm going to.

My cold is finally gone! That sucker held on for three weeks.

MAN, I love Third Day!!!!!!!!! I'm listening to a song called "Saved" from their first Offerings cd -- it's not their normal style, but WOW! It just makes me want to turn Pentecostal right here in my computer chair! Whatever the reason Satan uses to try to put me in that black pit of depression, Third Day has a song to pull me up and OUT! Thank GOD those men are using their musical talents for Him!

Friday, January 16, 2009

another day

Today was almost the same as yesterday (minus the surgery, of course). No school, crazy weather (windy, warm, rain), kids watching movies (of themselves today -- that always cracks us all up to watch them when they were babies and especially when they were between two and four!), Dad taking the boys OUT of the house for awhile (yay for Chuck-E-Cheese!!), headache, is it time for bed yet?

Seth's eyes look AWFUL (to me and Makenzie anyway -- I think they look exactly how they're supposed to look, just really bloodshot on the inside corners). He seems to be fine, except when I have to put the ointment in them. That seems to bother him quite a bit. He's fine again, though, after I wipe the excess and let him loose to play.

I finished a book today -- Julie Andrews' autobiography. It's always interesting to get a little glimpse into famous people's personal lives and pasts. Next up on the reading list: The Memory Keeper's Daughter!!!!! I've wanted to read that for a long time, but I keep putting it off. But now . . . .. . . . . . IT'S TIME!!!! I wonder if every parent of a special needs child has read this book. Or maybe every parent with a special needs child is putting off reading this book because it's so very difficult to face the reality of our situation. And that's a whole can of worms that I just can't handle opening when I have a headache.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Joel, Makenzie, and Luke were "helping" take care of Seth. They DID distract him from wanting to rub his eyes, so they were helping. They were also helping get him pretty riled up, but that's ok, I guess. Poor Seth, on top of having EYE SURGERY, he has a big open sore between two of his little toes. He's not too happy about getting antibiotic ointment and band-aids on his feet (which he definitely prefers to be just plain SKIN, no socks or shoes or band-aids or jammies!).

it's over

Seth's surgery went well, I think. We got there at about 7 a.m., and the process moved along fairly quickly. The surgery took less than a half-hour. When Seth woke up, his eyes seemed to be hurting/burning a little, so the nurse gave him some pain meds in his i.v. He's tried to rub them a few times, but generally seems to be fine. I have some ointment to put on them a few times a day to keep them moist and free of infection. The last picture looks really pathetic, but he made that face out of irritation that I kept taking his picture trying to get a good shot of his eyes. As soon as I put the camera away, he started dancing with Signing Time. We go to the eye doctor in a week to see if everything's good.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

lazy day

This picture shows the general itinerary for today. Of course, there's been quite a bit of fighting. While I was working on the laundry room (a little less than an hour today, but at least I did work on it -- STILL not finished, though), Makenzie came downstairs crying because Joel and Luke had pulled the blankets over her head and held her under them until she thought she couldn't breathe. She was really scared (not hard for the boys to accomplish that, though, since she tends to over-react). So she stayed in the laundry room with me, listening to Third Day and sorting through some junk. This time around, I'm not just re-organizing the junk. I'm trying really hard to get rid of everything that's unnecessary so that I can make room for all the things that I do need and want to be able to get to without wading through piles of junk. I've made a pretty good start, but it's just barely a start.

The eye doctor's office called this afternoon to tell me that Seth's surgery is at 7:30 tomorrow morning. I was kindof hoping they were calling to tell me that it was postponed due to the dangerous roads. No such luck. So we'll go in and get the whole thing over with early in the morning and then take the rest of the week and weekend to recuperate. I'll be putting pictures on here, so beware if you have a queasy tummy.


I'm NOT good with last minute schedule changes or surprises, and I got a BIG one this morning:


Now I have two days' worth of work to do in one day plus three extra children to keep from killing each other or making MORE work for me to do. It doesn't sound like it from what I just wrote, but I'm handling it pretty "gracefully" so far. Actually, for breakfast time, the "no school" announcement was a relief. Of all the times of the day, I like the kids' breakfast time least. Nothing I make them is ever good for all three children (I'm not counting Seth in this whole complaint because first of all, he'll eat just about anything and second of all, he doesn't usually eat breakfast until the older three are gone to school). So there's always quite a bit of whining from one or more of the children and almost CONSTANT reminders from me, "Please sit up. Please eat. No talking; just eating and drinking. Please drink your minerals. Don't forget to drink your juice. Put your glass in the sink, please. Shhhh, Seth's still sleeping." It's QUITE maddening! If it weren't for the need to drink the minerals with food in their tummies, I'd just send something with them to eat in the gym (they get to school about a half-hour before school actually starts). Maybe I should shift the mineral-drinking to dinner time. Then they could sleep until 7 a.m. and I wouldn't have the irritation of breakfast time. That's something to consider . . .

Anyway, back to the "no school" issue -- I had the day all lined up: get the kids off to school, get Seth ready, do Luke's lunch and work Joel's lunch, go play with Gavin, get Seth's hair cut, do another hour of work in the laundry room, make dinner, listen to the older kids' news from the day, eat dinner, bathe Makenzie, read a section of our book, put the kids to bed. Great schedule! All down the drain now. But Makenzie and Seth got to sleep late, there was no breakfast fighting, Makenzie and I got to read for quite a long time, Joel and Luke got to play the Wii, Joel made a nice picture that he might enter in the school's art contest, and now I'm on here since there IS NO schedule now.

Signing Time just started over -- I should at least change the dvd or get Seth out of his high chair. More to come today, I'm sure.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

two days in a row!

Yep -- I did another hour of cleaning up today! I really didn't feel like it, and it showed in the amount of work I got done -- very little. All I did was re-organize the boys' outgrown clothes in the laundry room. But I did find quite a few things that Seth could be wearing that have been sitting on the floor down there. He's already in a size 4 shirt! Still size 3 pants, though. I wonder if he'll always be oddly sized. I'll find out some time tomorrow what time Seth's surgery is on Thursday. I'm hoping for somewhere between 8 and 10 a.m., but we don't have a choice, of course. My hairdresser called today and said she really wants to help us out, so she's squeezing Seth in tomorrow! What a great lady :-) I'll try to get pictures of the adventure tomorrow. I hate the day before a big "thing." There's so much anxiety over the next day plus all the preparations. I pretty much have to do two days' work all in one day. And the sad thing is that I'll get it all done without much of a problem -- what does that say about how I spend my time on normal days?!

I STILL have this cold! It is getting better, though -- VERY slowly.

Joel called from his friend's cell phone today after wrestling practice. Let me stop right there for a couple comments -- first, I know I'm going to be one of the ONLY lame, old-fashioned mothers who doesn't get cell phones for her kids. What in the world does a nine-year-old kid need with a cell phone? I guess it's safer for them to have them (if they remember to turn them on, keep them charged, keep them with them, and answer them when I call). But I'm still thinking they're unnecessary. The only reason that I have one is that I got the phone for free and only pay $5/month for 1200 minutes and I can call anywhere in Alaska at no extra charge. Anyway -- my kids will just have to ask their friends to use their cell phones if they need to call when they're out. Secondly, Joel is going to JUNIOR HIGH wrestling practice!!!! He's going to be TEN in less than two weeks! (and that reminds me -- I need to get his party put together!) Anyway -- back to the original point here: Joel called to ask if he could stay at the school for the basketball game this evening. He's only in the FOURTH GRADE and he's REALLY developing a "social life!" I'm glad -- that IS the normal thing for him to be doing. But it's weird, too! He seems like a little kid still to me, even though he's not really little anymore.

ok -- way too much thinking going on in this tired brain. Time for more Third Day videos on youtube :-)

Monday, January 12, 2009

I really did!

I have gotten into the habit of spending A LOT of time on the computer, not because I really want or need to be on the computer but because I listen to my mp3 player while I'm on the computer. And, even though I have over 40 other artists on there, I've only been listening to THIRD DAY for weeks! I tried to listen to someone else, but that only lasted for a few songs, then I switched back. I have to be honest, though. I DID find some songs by Third Day that I don't really like. Not many, though.

Sending my kids to public school in this unbelievably liberal place is out of the question, and I'm VERY thankful for Anchorage Christian Schools. I like almost every single aspect of the whole experience for my kids. Two things that irk me, though, are the dress code and the hair code. The dress code isn't a big deal at all since my kids aren't too picky about clothes and people have so generously given us their kids' uniforms when they outgrew them or when they moved out of Alaska. I do wish sometimes that the kids could just wear cute little jeans and t-shirts, but they don't care so neither do I. The hair code is really getting on my nerves, though. I know I should care more about my boys looking different from "the world," but it is SUCH a pain in the neck to cut their hair every two to four weeks! I can get away with not cutting their hair for two months, but no longer than that. If I take them to a salon, I'm spending at least $24 every other month -- that's $120/year on haircuts for boys that hate getting their hair cut (well, I guess that's a pretty dumb thing for me to say -- is there a boy anywhere that likes getting a hair cut?). They didn't complain the one time I took them to my hairdresser, so I think I'm just going to count that $120 as a dividend expense -- I'm SO thankful for those dividends! Then there's also Seth, Makenzie and I who need haircuts now and then. Makenzie and I only need to go twice a year -- but mine are more expensive since I get a perm, too. Anyway, this one little irritation is so trivial that it has no bearing at all on my gratitude for this school and everyone who works there. The pictures of Joel and Luke today are to show their haircuts -- Luke's teacher told me that we were going to get a "get your boy's hair cut now please" letter in the mail soon, so I broke out the buzzer despite the whining I heard from all three of us. And, yes, Luke really is asleep in that picture. He falls asleep in approximately five minutes every night, I think.

Seth is such a hoot! He refuses to keep his clothes on unless he is just incapable of removing them. I have to keep his hiking boots on all day because he can't get those off (YET!). If he can't get his shoes off, he can't get his socks or jeans off. That just leaves the shirt open for removal. And that's not such a problem since he still wears a onesie. So the picture of Seth is him with his pajamas half off. He can't quite get the legs off because of his brace on his left leg. And back to the hair issue -- I'm so glad that Seth doesn't have to get his hair cut yet. I did call my hairdresser today, though, because Seth's hair is almost getting in his eyes. That might not be wise with the eye surgery coming up. But I'm really liking his hippie hairdo (as Jason calls it).

So now, the title of today's post -- yesterday I mentioned that I would be starting cleaning out this pigsty, and I REALLY DID START THAT PROJECT! Yay for me!!!! I borrowed Makenzie's cd player to blast Third Day music to motivate me to keep working instead of giving up and hiding in a book. I barely made a dent in the mess, but I worked for over an hour on the laundry room. My guess is that to clean out the entire house, I'll be putting in a total of at least twenty hours of work -- and that's just to de-junk, then I'll be able to clean (vacuum, dust, etc.). Yippee -- so much to look forward to :-(

Sunday, January 11, 2009

back to normal

I don't have a picture again today (sorry Mom!). I need to remember to get that thing out and have it handy because my kids do funny things ALL the time! My brain's still a little foggy from the excitement of last night's concert, lack of sleep, and this NEVER-ENDING cold! I'm guessing that writing right now isn't very wise, but I'm going to do it anyway. It's going to be scattered, I'm sure.

Funny thing from the concert -- The bass guitarist said that he felt nervous this last year when they were getting ready to go on the USO tour because all those people over there were so heavily armed and the band is "just Georgia boys." The lead singer said that there really wasn't any need to be nervous. "Remember -- we've played DETROIT!" HA!

My kids were GREAT about the HUGE schedule change last night. They were supposed to be put to bed by 9:00 or 9:30, but ended up not going to bed until we got home after 11 p.m.! And Seth hadn't taken a nap that day. They fell asleep watching tv (except Joel, he stayed up the whole time), came home to brush their teeth and get into their jammies, and went right to sleep. They slept till a good hour this morning, got ready for church with very little conflict, and didn't even fight or whine much all day. WHAT BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN!

I'm almost 40! Jason and I were older than every person in our row at the concert last night. The opening band started playing a song that sounded like U2. We looked at each other with the same comment. It WAS a U2 song (not Christian, but a good song). We asked the people on either side of us if they recognized the song (very famous song). They didn't! One of the girls in the opening band was one of Jason's STUDENTS! One of the people in our row was one of our students -- now married, one + children. I'm two months older than the lead singer of Third Day -- and they're getting older, been making records for over sixteen years. It's kinda interesting to be around people of different ages. Last night I was around people younger than me, so I felt like I'm getting older (but not ancient -- they aren't that much younger). Sometimes I'm around people older than me and I feel like a kid -- not because they treat me like a kid, I just recognize their wisdom and experience and my lack of those things. Then I get home where there are only children and I just want to sit and hold them while they still fit in my lap.

BIG disappointment yesterday afternoon. Makenzie and I went shopping. First stop was Title Wave to look through those $1.50 racks. THEY WERE GONE! They were just clearance racks, there for only a little while. Funny part of the day, though -- we got in the van, I turned on my mp3 player (set on Third Day, of course!), Makenzie sighs and asks if we can PLEASE listen to ANYTHING else -- I guess I've been listening to Third Day A LOT lately. Makenzie wanted to hear a female singer for once. :-)

k -- i'm done, this was definitely rambling, and i'm hoping that my cleaning project starting tomorrow will get me back on track for normal life -- get some good sleep tonight (I hope I can breathe through my nose tonight!), do my morning "stuff," have lunch, then start cleaning up this disaster of a house. Maybe if there's less clutter, my brain will be a little less cluttered? I'm going to give it a try :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

THE concert

WOW!!!!! That's about all I can coherently put together right now. WOW!!!!! Third Day was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They played SO many of the songs that I was hoping they'd play. My eyes are tired, but I don't know how in the world I'm going to get to sleep.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Today, I started teaching Seth to say, "Mom -- LET'S ROCK!" He knows what happens when I stand by the cd player, so he was getting all excited and tried really hard to imitate what I was saying. It came out, "Mom -- ock!" Good enough :-) I turned on the cd, and he started dancing. Later in the afternoon, he had shut himself in his room with Makenzie. When I opened the door, he heard the Third Day cd, hurried to the kitchen, and started dancing. Then at the end of dinner, he only had two more bites when I turned on the cd player. He was almost frantic trying to get out of his high chair, saying and signing "out!" I had to shut off the cd so that he'd eat his last two bites. I got him out of the chair, turned the cd back on, and he did a little hip-shaking-head bouncing dance. HILARIOUS! I need video cameras running all the time to catch this stuff!

THANK YOU "Powers Family in Alaska" for volunteering to share your Third Day collection!!! I can't wait to hear them :-) and you're, of course, welcome to any of mine that you don't have :-)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

ANOTHER surgery

It's still REALLY cold, and Seth had an eye appointment today. The parking lot is quite a distance from the building, so I put on this snowsuit. He wouldn't cooperate with getting a picture, but I tried. The eye doctor said that the glasses aren't working for Seth or he'd be wanting to wear them. So next Thursday, Seth's having eye surgery. It's a pretty fast procedure, I think. He'll only have anesthesia for about a half-hour. When I asked the doctor if there would be any pain after surgery, he said, "Well, my back will hurt a little bit, but nothing too bad." He's a joker! Then he said seriously that Seth won't have much pain, about as much as a new tooth coming in. I don't know how to compare mouth pain to eye pain, but that's all he said about it. This poor little guy spends more time with doctors and therapists than with his brothers and sister, it seems like.

I wasn't overly impressed with the concert I watched on dvd last night. It was ok, but not as good as their Christmas dvd. I think they get better with age and maturity, so Saturday's concert should be GREAT! And I have to confess that I did NOT fix my watchband last night -- I just sat and stared at the tv screen :-( and then paid the price for that: a headache. But I was going to sleep anyway, so I didn't really mind.

So far this week, my lunch helping has gone very smoothly! I've gotten the kindergarteners' lunches on the table before they got there so that I could sit with Luke and Makenzie for the actual lunchtime. I peel some oranges and slice some apples; but other than that, I can pretty much pay attention to my own kids for a few minutes :-)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I doubt that there's ever been a question in my mind about one character trait (flaw?) that I have -- obsessiveness! When I realized that I liked Third Day's music, as with so many other things that have caught my attention, I became obsessed with it. The cd/dvd that I ordered the other day to make myself feel better about not being able to go to the concert came in the mail today. YAY! I'm going to watch it as soon as I'm done on here. But I feel a little (very little) bit guilty now about buying it since now I AM going to the real concert. Oh well -- I got it from ebay, so it didn't cost much. The list has grown from two cd's that I'd bought Jason years ago to now a total of five cd's, two dvd's, and one cd on itunes that I can't figure out how to get onto a cd or my mp3 player (I'm starting to get UPSET about this). I don't even remember ordering one of them -- it came in the mail the other day and I was surprised! I remember looking at the listing for it on ebay and thinking about bidding on it, but I didn't think that I did. Apparently, though, I did because it came in the mail and I've been listening to it (loudly!) ever since. Saturday, I'm going to Title Wave to look through their racks of $1.50 cd's to see if there are any good ones in there. A little self-justification before I go -- while I watch the concert on dvd in a few minutes (as with almost anything I watch on tv), I don't just sit and stare at the screen. I have to DO something. Tonight, I'm going to re-make one of my watchbands that keeps falling apart. I hope I can finish it so that I can wear it tomorrow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

WE'RE GOING!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason just called to tell me that Darryl just gave him two tickets to the Third Day concert this Saturday night!!!!!!!!!!!


I try to keep quiet around most people so that no one finds out how very strange I really am, but I started this journal partly to let out all my strangeness without having to see people's "you're a little weird" looks. I'm SO excited about this concert, but I have to prepare myself starting right now for the anxiety of being downtown and of being in such a large crowd and also for the let-down of seeing the band walk off the stage. At the end of something so awesome is the feeling of satisfaction and also depression -- satisfaction and even a sort of "high" from experiencing something so amazing, but also depression from knowing that it's over and I'm really just an onlooker and not part of it. My new year's resolution is going to be put to the test -- just BE THANKFUL that I got to experience it and not even allow the depression. The Bible puts it this way: "Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."
"In everything, give thanks." And there are many other parts of Scripture that instruct thankfulness instead of discontent.

Anyway, I really am sincerely sorry that Darryl and Amanda don't get to go, but I am just beside myself with excitement about this --

THANK YOU, DARRYL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

consequence of forgetfulness

This morning after Seth's speech therapy, I had an extra ten or fifteen minutes before I needed to be at the school for Luke's lunch. I knew that I needed to go to Walmart after helping Luke's class, so I wouldn't be eating anything until later. So I decided to stop by Radio Espresso for a latte. In my excitement to try a new flavor that I'd seen on their board a few weeks ago, I forgot one VERY important word in my order: DECAF!!!!!! I realized my mistake after only three sips, but it was too late. Being an EXTREME tightwad, I couldn't throw it away. I drank that entire 20 ounces of caffeine, and I'm still paying the price. My whole body, inside and out, is shaking; I'm dizzy; and I'm having a very hard time keeping focused on one task at a time. I think I need to get "decaf!" tattooed across my hand so that I don't do this to myself EVER again!!!!! I haven't had caffeine (except in chocolate, and I try very hard not to eat too much of that, either) for MONTHS! It was a little difficult for me to do that, kindof a "step of faith" that God would help me survive the migraines while my body adjusted to being caffeine-free. And now by one stupid minute of forgetfulness, it's back in my system. I wish that coffee places trained their employees to ask each customer "regular or decaf?" but I guess there aren't very many of us in this country who are so sensitive to caffeine. WHEW -- how long until this stuff wears off?????!!!!!!

By the way, I'm still sick -- just nasal congestion and draining now, but YUCK! And it's STILL freezing cold outside. After the dark, chilly summer we had, this cold is making me want to relocate to ANYWHERE that has sun and temps above freezing! That feeling will pass, I know, as soon as I hear my mom tell me how hot and humid it is in about six months. I'll be thankful then for being able to live in this crazy state. And the cold is making me VERY thankful that Jason has a great job and can afford to keep the heat on or above 70 degrees!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

change of plans :-(

Seth woke up at 7 a.m. today, which I should've expected since I put him in bed last night at about 7:15 and he was asleep at 7:16, I think. I didn't even open my eyes until 6:55 a.m. -- odd for me, I usually wake up several times and give up on sleep no later than 6:30. So there was some "I don't know what to do with Seth" time this morning. Jason dressed him and gave him breakfast, but then I had to unload the dishwasher, get my breakfast, and make breakfast for the rest of the kids. Letting Seth run loose isn't an option without close supervision -- he's still in the "terrible twos" stage, looking for opportunities to cause disasters. I'm glad he likes his books! I didn't feel like hearing "signing time" this morning. Last night, I thought my cold was going away. But then when I woke up after seven or eight hours of sleep feeling like I'd slept for maybe an hour with a headache, sore throat, and full sinuses, I realized that this cold isn't finished with me yet. I had told the other nursery volunteer that I would definitely be there this morning, so I got ready and got everyone else ready, worked in the nursery, and then came back home for some good, warm cheese & veggie soup. It's still COOOOOOLLLLLDDDDDD outside! I'm ready to join the bear tradition right about now!

Jason and Amanda filled me on last night's celebration downtown -- it was Alaska's fiftieth year of statehood. I'm glad the kids got to experience that -- THANKS, UNCLE RICH!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I think this is such a pretty necklace and earrings. I found them on ebay (my favorite place to shop!). And the closer one kindof shows that I got another perm :-) I usually get my hair done once a year, but I'm going to have to go to twice because it grows out too fast.

Is this typing the color of skin when it "turns blue" from the cold? IT'S 20 BELOW!!!!! I don't even want to go NEAR the door -- there's cold air coming through the cracks -- let alone go OUT in this! I wish that I had taken a picture of my kids getting bundled up to go downtown with Uncle Rich. They each have on two pairs of socks, a short-sleeved shirt, a long-sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt, snowpants, boots, coat, hat, light-weight gloves, and waterproof/heavy mittens. They won't be outside for more than a few minutes at a time to walk between buildings except to watch fireworks later on. They each have a backpack to put their layers in while they're inside. I think there's an ice slide and an ice sculpture, so they'll be outside for those. I hope they come back happy, not whiny and frozen. I'm sure they'll have fun! I never did find out what event is happening -- I'll have to ask when they get home. We also went out earlier today to drop the boys off at the school with Dad so that I could take Makenzie to a birthday party. That was fun, but I sure do miss my automatic starter that I had on our old car (don't miss the car since in the end, it only started once in a while for me). Sometimes I'm reminded how nice my kids are. Makenzie was so polite and well-behaved at the birthday party -- I was really proud of her! And yesterday, Joel's friend's mom talked to me after she had Joel call to tell me goodnight (VERY thoughtful of her!!!!). She said that Joel had been so polite and good and was just a delightful child (I think those were even her exact words)! That really made my day!

I'm well enough to go to church tomorrow, or at least to work in the nursery -- not sure if I'll make it through church. I'm at the coughing/runny nose stage now. Thank God my sore throat almost completely over! Now I just have this tickling and draining causing a cough. I'll take a bottle of water and sit in the tv room probably so that I can at least hear the music and sermon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Well, 2009 did not exactly start off with perfection, but it did start off with a perfect opportunity to start right in on one of my new year's resolutions. Making new year's resolutions might be unwise, like setting myself up for failure. But I still do it almost every year. Lists make sense to the ocd mind (or at least this one), so here it is:
1. Complete each ministry that God puts me in with a smile, remembering that I'm working for God voluntarily. This doesn't just mean my ministry at church (nursery), but also my ministries at home (cooking, cleaning, laundry, picking up, organizing, teaching, disciplining, playing, listening), ministries in everyday life (listening, encouraging, helping, giving), and any other ministries that God shows me (quite probably praying for many different people and situations).
2. Follow peace and be kind. This is a "rule" that I remind the kids almost every day, but I tend to ignore. That's BAD of me, and I need to change. As I tell the kids, a lot of the time following peace means shutting my mouth. This "rule" needs to extend to my mind, not just my mouth, though. Part of this resolution, then, is to NOT yell at the kids or say any unkind word at all ever. I blew it today after trying to play a board game with the kids and having to constantly say "be nice, please" even though they were ignoring me. I yelled at them. Only once in an entire day, though, really is quite an accomplishment.
3. Be positive. "Pollyanna" is one of my all-time favorite books (series of books, actually -- the year I discovered ebay, I bought every single volume of this out-of-print series!). The main character has had a rough first ten or so years of her life. Her parents were very poor, her mother died, her father died, no one really wanted her, her aunt took her in out of obligation but wasn't very nice to her. Pollyanna still kept up her "glad game," though. In every situation, no matter how bad, she found something to be glad about. If I'm faced with a situation that has not even one tiny thing to be glad about, I need to hand it over to God, let it go, and move on to something else. And that leads me to the final resolution.
4. My peace comes first. This is the same resolution that I had last year, but I didn't do very well at it. I know that the statement sounds incredibly selfish, but I don't really mean it how it probably sounds. I just mean that I need to take care of myself, no matter what anyone else says or thinks about it. Part of this resolution involves my daily schedule. I don't know how many people that I've talked to about my daily schedule have either given me strange looks or have come right out and said that I was nuts and should re-think the way I do things. My answer is "NO." I have to do what I have to do. Some of the things that I have to do to keep peace in my own mind are do ALL of the laundry every day (not seeing an empty laundry basket causes me stress), getting up as close to 5 a.m. every day as possible (I need that quiet time when everyone else is sleeping to get myself ready without interruptions, to read my Bible without interruptions, and to get the kitchen ready for the kids to come up for breakfast -- not doing these things causes me stress), do as much cleaning on a regular basis as I can make time for (I used to have a cleaning schedule -- vacuum on Monday, clean one bathroom on Tuesday, clean the other bathroom on Wednesday, dust on Thursday, change all the sheets on Saturday -- the only thing I consistently do since Seth was born, though, is sheets on Saturday. I'd like to get back to the routine, but I can't quite find the time.), clean up as much I can without getting obsessed over it, read as much as I can without cutting into "kids" time (Bible reading in the morning, school-type reading about Down syndrome in the afternoon, Bible reading and then my own entertainment reading at night). This resolution also means having the nerve to say "no" to requests that I just can't handle or don't have time for. With all of the things I've already mentioned in just this one resolution, my time is pretty much all spent. I have to sleep sometime, and I like to leave some time now and then to do fun things with the kids (like let them have friends come over) or with friends (like going to H2Oasis with Amanda, Gavin, and Seth).

Overall, 2008 wasn't too great a year, and I'm glad it's over. I made many mistakes, but I also learned many lessons. Like I wrote last time, music is important to me. It's not just entertainment, and Christian music isn't even just worship. It's also an expression or an identification of where I am, what I feel, what I'm thinking, or what I've learned at any given time. SO many songs, especially Christian songs, fit any or all of those areas right now. But the two that I'm holding on to the most for this year are "Horses" by Margaret Becker and "No Other" by Susan Ashton/Christine Dente/Margart Becker. I couldn't figure out how to put those songs on here, but those links are to the lyrics. The first is the idea of living with no regrets, a clear conscience. The second is about making sure that nothing is above God in my heart, mind, and life. In this crazy busy life, both of those goals are rather difficult to accomplish, but not impossible.

The Hofacker Family 2008