Sunday, December 14, 2008

Double Digits!

You are my 3rd son, my baby boy. Your name suits you since you arrived just in time to meet St. Nicholas! You kept your mommy on her knees your first year but got stronger and decided to stick around and challenge me later on. I love you baby boy - may you have many MANY more birthdays.

And baby look at you now! My handsome guy. You have a quick wit and when you decide to share your smile, you light up the room. You have talents beyond your years and have always had an inner 'old soul' about you. I love your humor, and a hug from you can cheer me up all day. Happy 10th birthday sweetie. You will ALWAYS be my baby boy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Angels Too Soon - A Remembrance

December 1, 1958 - Our Lady of The Angels fire where 92 children and 3 nuns perished.

My sister was in 3rd grade and escaped with her class unscathed. We are attending the 50th anniversary mass today in remembrance.

Tomorrow at 2:20 pm (time the fire broke out) there will be a moment of silence observed at all Chicago schools.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pieces or Peace?

A dear Internet friend of mine was recently hurt by the words of a loved one. Her situation brought to mind the following story that is a favorite of mine and reminds us all to, not only choose our words carefully, but to use them to 'build up' and not to 'tear apart'. Our mouth can be a lethal weapon if used recklessly. Let us be mindful this holiday season to slow down and simply be kind to one another. And if we've hurt someone with our mouth, to mend our 'hurt' fences.


Did you hear the story of the little boy with a bad temper? Handing his son a bag of nails, the boy's father explains each time his son loses his temper and shouts angry hurtful words he must hammer a nail into the back of the wooden fence in their yard. On that first day 37 nails went into the fence. Over the next few weeks the boy began discovering it was easier to hold his temper and his tongue than trek all the way out to the back fence and pound those nails into the fence.

After some time the boy proudly approached his father and announced he had not lost temper at all for several days. His wise father suggested his son pull out one nail for each temper-free day. Finally, boasting that all the nails were gone, the boy takes his dad's hand and leads him to the fence without nails. "You have done well, my son. Now look at the holes in the fence. It will never be the same. When you say things in anger your words leave scars, just like these holes."
I've heard some people try to justify, rationalize or excuse their harsh words and disrespectful attitudes by proclaiming "You're just too sensitive, don't take it so seriously!" or "This is get over it." "What's the big deal anyway?"

Anger itself is not evil, but unchecked angry and aggressive words can cause paralyzing fear, painful hurt, distancing and loss of intimacy. The truth is, harsh, harmful and hateful words can be just as deadly to our spirit as weapons of mass destruction are to our lives.
In Eph. 4:19 Paul reminds us it is okay to be angry, but don't sin--don't use damaging words, condemn or tear down someone's self-esteem. The sin doesn't lie in the expression of anger, but in the way we use it. We can choose to express anger in healthy or unhealthy ways--in ways that heal or hurt. There is a difference between getting angry and being an angry person. When the expression of anger dominates our life and personality we are no longer a person with anger, but an angry person.

A study, by Mary K. Biaggious, discovered students who were quick to express anger had less self-control, less tolerance and less flexibility than those who were able to keep their anger in check. Students who were slow to anger demonstrated more dependability and social maturity. Maybe that is why James 1:19 tells us to "be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger."
As a child I remember my mother telling me, "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all." This is not about stuffing or repressing anger, it is simply about respect and self-control. A word search in my Bible software found 2,315 references to "respect." One reference--the golden rule--to treat others as we want to be treated (Matt. 7:12), is truly about respecting others as well as loving them with honor and respect.
Galatians 5:14-15 states "...Love your neighbor as yourself. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." Paul is clear, "biting and devouring" is not how we are to treat others, not in the church, not in the home, not anywhere. Some verses later Paul provides us with a list of guideline for our actions. He calls them "fruits of the spirit." His list includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindess, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Words are powerful. They can tear down or build up those closest to us. In the story above, the boy's wise father gently, but effectively pointed out the destruction angry words produce, and the permanency of their scars. Maybe now is a good time to look at your own words and actions. Is your talk and walk matching? Have you left holes in someone's fence? Are you still leaving holes? Is it time for a change? Choosing words to build up and not tear down requires a conscious choice and a commitment to change. Change may require asking for forgiveness and the willingness to give up power, control and intimidation that accompanies harmful, hurtful words. Change can be an incredible act of vulnerability as well as love. Do people refer to you as an "out of control angry person" or as one who is "respectful and respected"? There is incredible strength in "self-control"-- not weakness. Be careful. Don't fall into the trap of "biting and devouring" one another. Proverbs 12:18 says, "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Reckless words can rip the ones we love into pieces. Words that build up and are patient, kind, good, gentle and loving create peace. Which is it? Pieces or peace?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Be Quiet!!!

I keep telling myself to stop coughing but I'm not listening.
THIS stuff however, will do the trick.
If you've ever had a cough that just won't quiet and you think none of the OTC syrups work?
You've NEVER tried Buckley's

Note their slogan?
'It Tastes Awful. And It Works.'
Here is truth in advertising at it's very best.
Do not, I repeat DO NOT try to coax anyone into taking this by reading them this blurb.
You may also want to leave out my own personal opinion of the taste...
...think Vick's Vaporub (yes the stuff you are NOT supposed to ingest)...
okay, have that smell in your memory bank?
now imagine it melted down into a syrup, poured into an entire teaspoon
Now DRINK it!
What? It tastes Awful?
Didn't I warn you?
But you were able to say 'It tastes Awful' without coughing, right?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Found a new blog and wanted to share! Come take a look and see how you can win her giveaways right here!

You can also check out her site by clicking on the 'Mom-Preneur Shop-a-Thon' button on your right (sponsored by Tip Junkie).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Quilt Giveaway

Click on the quilt giveaway on the right and see how you can win one of THREE great quilts!

Friday, November 07, 2008


I had this odd phone conversation yesterday with an older and obviously confused woman who thought she was calling 'Home Depot' (figured out later she meant Office Depot but the fact that she used the wrong store name only strengthens my argument). This is the nice thing about blogging. When odd things happen, I now have a forum to vent about them. Okay, so the phone call went something like this:

ME: Hello?

HER: Is this Home Depot?

ME: No, you must have dialed the wrong number.

HER: She repeats my phone number and asks again if this is the HOME DEPOT? Then goes on about whether or not I carry printer ink.

ME: Maam, you've dialed the wrong number, you're reaching a home residence. As soon as the word 'Home' left my lips I realized she stopped listening after that and assumed she had, in fact, reached the 'HOME DEPOT' (aka known as OFFICE DEPOT) who ironically are located right next to each other on the same street in our town so when she insisted on repeating the address and town location my explanation to her fell on deaf ears...............literally perhaps.

HER: I'm looking at the yellow pages and it says the number is (she repeats my number again). By now, I'm online looking up the number for Home Depot for her but it's no where close to my number so I'm thinking maybe she's got an ancient book of yellow pages that really DOES have my number listed in it so I don't offer her Robin's Directory Assistance.

ME: Maam I would re-check that number again because you are calling a HOME residence.

HER: What did you say to me? (seriously, in a tone that would have implied I had said something very rude and inappropriate). I repeated it again and this time hung up on her to fend for her (bewildered) self.

......................about 2 minutes later my phone rings again and my caller ID reveals that Emily is calling back. I feel like I know her well enough by now to be on a first name basis. Besides, I forgot to mention before that she introduced herself by name (first and last) along with her request for printer ink. As though that would somehow miraculously transform my kitchen into a brick and mortar mecca for office supplies and put her frantic search to an end. It didn't....

The beginning of this conversation was almost verbatim to the one above so I won't bother retyping it here. Just think Shampoo, condition, rinse and repeat...

...and finally

ME: Ma'am you are reaching a house -- a HOME RESIDENCE, not a store.

HER: (Rambling) A house? What? A house? You're NOT Home Depot? Oh dear...... maybe I'd better look at those yellow pages again. I'm sure I wrote it down right. Hold on for a minute while I look again {me thinking: oh sure because THAT will change the fact that you HAVE THE WRONG NUMBER} ...........rifling through pages and then I hear - Oh, never mind, click -

Only after this exchange did I think of the Office Depot confusion and looked them up this morning to discover that their phone number is only one digit off of ours. Surprised this hasn't happened before. I'm almost tempted to call her back today and see if she found what she was looking for. I hope she has a daughter to help her out with this stuff - this SO could have been my own confused mom making the call.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Motivate Me List

I'm feeling a little un-motivated lately so this is my TO DO list for the day. Don't expect anything exciting here - this makes ME feel good to cross things off of my list and I need this today.


Extended list to do throughout the end of week and into the weekend:


Sunday, November 02, 2008







Monday, October 27, 2008

What I did over the weekend...

Took Little Missy (aka Hannah Montana) to her Halloween Party

Got into a HUGE fight with dh and gave him a black eye...

After all, he's a (gasp) White Sox Fan!

Okay, so it was really pretend for our own Halloween Party, but he better watch out for my right hook, don't you think?

Last weekend I completed that thankless task of switching over winter/summer clothes.

I hate it with a passion.

Now to fill in the wardrobe gaps with what we all need this winter.

Speaking of Gap...(how's that for a segue?)

Here's lil Miss Fancy Pants in her new Winter coat

Then I decided to pare down the boys' room by moving their IKEA toy bin shelf, AND the shelving unit that held all of their DS games/Movies -- AND their bookshelf to their new homes in the basement.

Miraculously, I didn't need any pain meds this morning.

AND the annual -- it's really cold outside and I feel like baking -- challenge

FOUR loaves of Banana Nut Bread

Well, technically TWO Banana Nut Bread and TWO Banana Bread

Actually, it's Banana Choc-Chip Nut and Banana Choc-Chip Bread

Well, You get the idea!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm 'IT'

I've been TAGGED by Tara so here goes:
  1. I love a good pedicure. I find it hard to justify spending so much on myself (I know, I know) so this is the way I get around this: My sister gives me a GC to a local trendy Salon for my birthday in June, and I (in turn) give one to her in September for her birthday. We just had our 'annual' special pedicure and my toes are sooooooo happy.
  2. Along the same topic as number 1, my pinky toes are a bit odd I think. They tuck in underneath (almost) my - uhmm whatdoyoucallit? - ring toe? My grand niece was pointing out my painted toes a few months ago (I was wearing bright green at the time) and all of a sudden she grabs my pinky toe, yanks it outward and exclaims 'what happen your toe?' (she's 2 by the way) LOL.
  3. I grew up in a very middle class type environment. Our ranch home had 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a huge basement. Mom was SAHM and volunteered at school a lot. My dad never got around to finishing the basement, but we didn't mind b/c we could roller skate down there in the winter LOL. We lived on a culdesac and there were lots of kids. We could go out in the morning and stay out until the streetlights came on (only stopping in between for meals). All of the neighbors knew each other. And I do mean ALL of them. There were always a pair of mom's eyes watching me, even if they weren't MY mom's. All the kids hated this b/c we never got away with doing anything wrong LOL.
  4. Along the same topic as number 3 (sort of) mom went through that Avocado Green stage with appliances, paint, furniture, the whole nine yards. Okay it's not exactly related to number 3, but the instructions DID say random LOL. I grew up hating green b/c I felt like I was marinated in it. Dad came home one day with a new car and I remember mom saying something like 'you picked out a car without me seeing it first?' (which is totally odd of her to say b/c she didn't make big decisions with dad ever - at least I didn't notice that she did) and Dad's reply was: 'well it's green so I knew you'd like it' - and she did!
  5. My favorite color is green. Go figure!
  6. I love my minivan. I know - IMADORK - but it's true. I never LOVED a car before. Okay, that's not true. I LOVED my Honda Prelude. My 2nd car and my 1st brand new car. I saved for an entire year for that down payment, met my dh right after I purchased it and we drove it all the way until we had our first child and then some. But I digresss, my minivan is over 3 years old and I love her. She's comfortable, roomy and tells me how to get places. Just to prove it really is a cool car, I had a young valet park it and tell me it was 'The coolest minivan ever' - High praise from a guy who looks all of 13 (gulp). It's also a Honda - hmmmmm I see a trend here.
  7. I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Not to be confused with SADD which I almost typed and then couldn't figure out what the second 'D' stood for LOL. I dislike October for this reason. Can't stand when it gets dark at 4:30 during the time change. I use a light therapy box and have done so for several years now and it really does help. I still hate cloudy/gloomy/overcast days and it makes me feel -- well -- cloudy, gloomy and overcast!

Okay that's my SEVEN - I am now TAGGING these great gals:

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Took these this morning before all the foliage says farewell...

Monday, October 13, 2008


Elizabeth is giving away a GORGEOUS fall quilt here. To win, visit her site, ooh and ahh over her quilt by leaving a comment, and post about it on your own blog if you want an extra entry.

Good luck!

Happy Fall!

We Spent a family day at the Pumpkin farm and then later downtown at the Riverwalk.
Dad, Lil Diva and the Artist at the right side playing Ring around the Rosie with 'friends'

My most coopertive subject all day

Posing at the Fox River

Just a sample of the Fall Foliage

Most of us (My teen taking the pic) at the Pumpkin farm

Saturday, October 04, 2008

To All the Moms who feel Invisible

I got this from a blog I frequent and hope she doesn't mind me 'borrowing' it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Six Absolutely Unspectacular Things About Me

Okay, so my friend Mel has been playing tag and I'm apparently 'IT' LOL. Here are my SIX (yawn) unspectacular things about me. Stay awake for it:

  1. At 5'2", I am the tallest woman in my family and PROUD of it!;
  2. I can stay wide awake at the wheel of a car no matter HOW tired I am. (My dh is another story but this isn't about HIM);
  3. I have super powers. I'm able to see good in people that others miss. This does not always fare well for me, b/c sometimes I have to endure a lot of bad in the process of waiting for the good to come, but hey - I'm not in charge of Karma (thank goodness).
  4. I hate socks. I try not to wear them, even in the winter -- something I get a lot of flack about. At work I have been forced to wear 'supportive' shoes (aka ugly) and need to wear my orthotics and (ugh) socks, but the very minute I get home, off they come - ahhhhhhh!;
  5. I notice the small things people do for me. In today's world I believe these things are vital for survival. I believe in passing it forward and am pitifully hopeful it can change the world for better! (note to self to program dh's coffee for the morning - he likes this)
  6. I love the smell of clean whites. I don't know why I'm so anal about white clothes but they must be clean -- white -- and smell great. I use clorox bleach that smells like fresh linen and add bluing to the wash for extra whitening!

I could come up with a ton of these. Unspectacular is easy - don't tag me for spectacular - that may take awhile to think about (wink).

Let's Get Political for a moment

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Picture Retake Day

Just like in school. I wish I'd take the time to really learn how to use my camera. In the meantime, I popped it onto a tripod and took these without the flash. Some day maybe I won't have to pretend I know what I'm doing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Giveaway Time

Jenny is doing a great giveaway right here!

Good luck!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Someone to watch over me...

We've been decorating for Halloween and had a lot of fun with these.
This is what I see from INSIDE my master bedroom!

View of one window from each of my daughter and son's rooms

And this is what it looks like from outside.

I need to get one without flash at dusk.

Oh and this was my little project over the weekend!

~There are purple lights inside~

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Conversations with a Diva

Miss 'N' came down this A.M. and (in typical Diva fashion) announced:

N: What's for Breakfast?

me: Whatever your little heart desires - what are YOU making?

N: Uhmmm, let me ask me and I'll get back to you

(LOUD LOL from me)

N: Well, I asked me and me doesn't know

Sooooooooooo dang funny!

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Sister ~~ My Friend

A ten year gap, yet the closest of friends

Even from day one

Me (age 6 months) with my best friend

My sister

Blessings on your Special Day

Monday, September 15, 2008


Thankfully we didn't take in any water, but some homes did. These were taken at 9am on Sunday. We had TWO days in a row of rain like this. Record rainfall in the history of since records have been kept. SIX inches fell on Saturday. We got about 3-4 inches MORE after these photos were taken. Prayers for all who have to deal with damages or clean up from flooding.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

experience list

from Sis's blog

Life Experiences (the ones I have done are in pink) Gotta warn you though, I'm pretty boring! LOL

  1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
  2. Swam with wild dolphins
  3. Climbed a mountain
  4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
  5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
  6. Held a tarantula
  7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
  8. Said ‘I love you’ and meant it
  9. Hugged a tree
  10. Bungee jumped
  11. Visited Paris
  12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
  13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
  14. Seen the Northern Lights
  15. Gone to a huge sports game
  16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa (now closed to the public)
  17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
  18. Touched an iceberg
  19. Slept under the stars
  20. Changed a baby’s nappy
  21. Taken a trip on a hot air balloon
  22. Watched a meteor shower
  23. Got drunk on champagne
  24. Given more than you can afford to charity
  25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
  26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
  27. Had a food fight
  28. Bet on a winning horse
  29. Asked out a stranger
  30. Had a snowball fight
  31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
  32. Held a lamb
  33. Seen a total eclipse
  34. Ridden a roller coaster
  35. Hit a home run
  36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
  37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
  38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
  39. Had two hard drives for your computer
  40. Visited all 50 states
  41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
  42. Had amazing friends
  43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
  44. Watched wild whales
  45. Stolen a sign
  46. Backpacked in Europe
  47. Taken a road-trip
  48. Gone rock climbing
  49. Midnight walk on the beach
  50. Gone sky diving
  51. Visited Ireland
  52. Been heartbroken for longer than when you were in love
  53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
  54. Visited Japan
  55. Milked a cow
  56. Alphabetized your cds, and my DVD's and my spices and....
  57. Pretended to be a superhero
  58. Sung karaoke
  59. Lounged around in bed all day
  60. Posed nude in front of strangers
  61. Gone scuba diving
  62. Kissed in the rain
  63. Played in the mud
  64. Played in the rain
  65. Gone to a drive-in theater
  66. Visited the Great Wall of China
  67. Started a business
  68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
  69. Toured ancient sites
  70. Taken a martial arts class
  71. Played D and D for more than 6 hours straight
  72. Gotten married
  73. Been in a movie
  74. Crashed a party
  75. Gotten divorced
  76. Gone without food for 5 days
  77. Made cookies from scratch
  78. Won first prize in a costume contest (I was a rabbit in a hat)
  79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
  80. Gotten a tattoo
  81. Rafted the Snake River
  82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
  83. Got flowers for no reason
  84. Performed on stage
  85. Been to Las Vegas
  86. Recorded music
  87. Eaten shark
  88. Had a one-night stand
  89. Gone to Thailand
  90. Bought a house
  91. Been in a combat zone
  92. Buried one/both of your parents (both sadly)
  93. Been on a cruise ship
  94. Spoken more than one language fluently
  95. Performed in Rocky Horror
  96. Raised children (raising)
  97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour (just a local group)
  98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
  99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
  100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
  101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
  102. Sung loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
  103. Had plastic surgery
  104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
  105. Wrote articles for a large publication
  106. Lost over 100 pounds
  107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
  108. Piloted an airplane
  109. Petted a stingray - I swam right over one, but no petting
  110. Broken someone’s heart
  111. Helped an animal give birth
  112. Won money on a T.V. game show
  113. Broken a bone
  114. Gone on an African photo safari
  115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
  116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
  117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
  118. Ridden a horse
  119. Had major surgery
  120. Had a snake as a pet-it was my brother's-it got loose-enough said!
  121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
  122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
  123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
  124. Visited all 7 continents
  125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
  126. Eaten kangaroo meat
  127. Eaten sushi
  128. Had your picture in the newspaper
  129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
  130. Gone back to school
  131. Parasailed
  132. Petted a cockroach
  133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
  134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
  135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
  136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
  137. Skipped all your school reunions
  138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
  139. Been elected to public office
  140. Written your own computer language
  141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
  142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
  143. Built your own PC from parts
  144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
  145. Had a booth at a street fair
  146. Dyed your hair
  147. Been a DJ
  148. Shaved your head
  149. Caused a car accident
  150. Saved someone’s life

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

(UN) Brace Yourself!

After nearly TWO years

The official UNVEILING!

Dr. Kelly removing the appliances

Giving him one LAST cleaning!

He really CAN smile!!

His 'JOKER' retainer

A Peek at it inside his mouth

(His teeth really aren't yellow, they just look it next to the white retainer)

Dr. Kelly, Senior (his son works the practice also)

with Nathan and his parting gift.

A gourmet caramel apple from Graham's

Monday, September 01, 2008

Off To The Races

We had a family day at Arlington Racetrack yesterday.

- It was over 90 degrees -
this was towards the end of the day - feeling toasty

Who am I?

My photo
I'm a SAHM of 4 kids living in the Chicago burbs and enjoying life!

What did I say?

Flashy Thingies