Saturday, February 28, 2009

2009 Book #5

I went with a "classic" this time around The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. I have read this book before, but it has been a couple of years (after the movies were released.) The first time I read it, I mostly noticed how different it was from the movie, since the movies were fresh in my mind at the time. It has now been several years since I have seen any of the movies so I felt like it was a good time to read this series again without the movie story stuck in my head.

I have also decided to watch each movie after I finish each story, but I have found this to be a bit frustrating thus far with this first book only because there are so many differences. I really just need to keep them separated in my head, I believe, & view them as their own separate individual stories instead of trying to compare!

As far as the book goes, it is a great story & it is full of many rich details (that you won't get in the movies.) Of course, I don't really have to tell anyone this because it has already been discussed among many other (much more qualified) literary authorities than myself :) I can honestly say that I have enjoyed it much more this 2nd time around than I did the 1st time & can't wait to join Frodo & the gang for the rest of their adventures!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Enjoy! :)

At the moment, I feel that I am lacking any creative ideas for a post so let's all put the blame on 'Blogger's block' (because it couldn't be my fault) & I apologize in advance for this lame attempt at a post! :)

Enjoy this video of one of my favorite songs ;) You can take comfort in knowing that I can sing every single word with a few extra sound effects & actions too! Good times, good times...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday...so it begins

Lent is upon us once again here in the Faith, Hope & Poop household. I can honestly say that it is not one of favorite times of the church year. It is also always tied in with the month of March, which is definitely not one of my favorite months-warm enough to make you think spring, yet still damp/rainy/cold, most years it is the longest month in the school year too (I know, I know, poor teachers-no days off in March-it's rough! :)

Each year I must decide what I am going to give up/do extra for the duration of the season & this year I have decided it will be soda. I have done chocolate the last 4-5 years, which has been tough, but it does seem to get a bit easier with each passing year so I figured that I had better change it up this year. I have noticed an increase in my soda intake over the last couple of months so now would be a great time to try to nip this habit in the bud!

I am also going to attempt to make this Lent a "progressive" Lent where I give up/do extra an additional thing each week. Of course, I am hoping that my 'suffering' will bring me closer to Jesus, but also that it will help me to continue to build a healthier lifestyle & soul. [Check back next week for my next 'sacrifice' & (hopefully) a Wordless Wednesday post.]

So, farewell soda pop...let's hope this goodbye will be for longer than just the next several weeks! :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Think, therefore...

I should have been a Philosopher!

Scott & really any one of my closest friends can tell you that I think about everything all of the time. Honestly, I think about stuff WAY too much.

When something is going on in my life, I think about it, I analyze it, then I proceed to discuss it & overanalyze it & not just with one person, but with lots of people. I also like to hear many different people's opinions on the same topic. As I like to say, I just like to get ALL sides of the story before I make my decisions.

It doesn't really matter to me if I agree or disagree with you. I just want to know what you think & why you think it, occasionally, it may lead me to change my opinion, but not usually. Does it make me a more well rounded person & more able empathize with other people? Yes, I believe so. But does it wear out those around me? Again, yes, I believe it does sometimes.

I am also sure that this is most definitely the root of my great fondness for the blogging world-where else can you find so many varying opinions on so many different topics. It has also made for a great release for a small chunk of my "thinking" too. (Much to the relief of my dear husband's & closest friends ears! :)

Do I look for me to change my ways anytime soon? Probably not, actually, I don't really ever remember a time where I wasn't like this. Growing up & still now, there are some who would label me as "quiet". Those closest to me would probably disagree with this statement, but around people I don't know that well-it is true.

And one thing that is almost always certain whether you know me well or not...

You can probably bet that at any given time-I am thinking about something "important" to me & am just waiting for someone to "discuss" it with :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Good Morning...I wish :)

Luke is (almost) 18 months old & learning lots of new words.
In fact, lately we have been hearing him say at least 1-2 new words each day.
Yes, it is all very exciting.
Am I asking too much that he might greet me with a "Good Morning!"? Probably.
But I would settle for "Mama" or "Nena" (which is something he seems to have been calling me recently-I hope he isn't going to be one of those kids who call their parents by their 1st names all of the time!~no offense intended to any families who do this)-I would even settle for "Daddy Da Da".
All of which we know that he can say, but instead I am left with this...

"Puhpees, Papaw"

First thing in the morning every single day & then all day long! Maybe one of these days Scott & I will beat out Grandpa & his little puppy, but I'm not going to hold my breath that it will be anytime soon! :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday 2/22/09


That's right, after a couple of weeks off, it's back! :)

This person is very thoughtful.
This person is a good cook.
This person would do just about anything her kids asked of her.
This person enjoys her Sunday afternoon naps after the grandkids leave. :)
She is a great mother & grandmother.
She is a great neighbor to have too.
She loves to garden & helps to keep her kids stocked with homemade canned goods.
She is a wonderful babysitter!
She loves to read & is always offering me some kind of book to read.
She is a good wife to her husband.

So here's to my mother-in-law, Debra~I love ya!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Where was the Papparazi?

What do you get when you combine a movie/rock star, a bottomless pit & a never resting organizer/hair stylist/eye checker together?

Answer: US, this weekend attempting to go to church with 3 toddlers on Saturday night!

The weekend as a whole with all of the kids went very smoothly, but we had no idea that the hardest part of the whole weekend would be taking these kids to Mass! Let me give you the rundown.

We arrived at one of the neighboring churches about 10 mins early where we then met up with my sister, Beth, & her husband. It was agreed that we would all try to sit together in order to help with all of the kids (4 adults against 3 kids-we thought for sure that we had them beat~little did we know just how tough our opposition was!) :)

We all sat together Beth & Neil in one pew & the rest of us sitting behind them in then next pew.
We thought that we were prepared with the best of weapons-drinks & crackers, but then the 1 1/2 year old bottomless pit made her first move with a polite sounding "Dink?" (drink)
So I gave it to her-she then proceeded to CHUG down the drink at which point the almost 3 year old movie/rock star asked for a drink (Oh no, I realized at this point we might be up against tougher odds than I initially thought!) & I forced the bottomless pit to share her drink. She then proceeded to get upset so I distracted her with a cracker-pheeewww, 2 happy toddlers. Until I realized that now the movie/rock star was chugging the drink like there was no tomorrow! I got her distracted with a cracker too & hid the cup, just in time for church to start (that's right-our weapons of "Mass" distraction were down to almost no drinks left & a few crackers BEFORE church had even started!)

Church starts-I notice that all of the readings were very short this week-God forgive me, but I was thankful because I knew that church might be shorter this way-little did I know that God had other plans in mind. The priest announced that he wouldn't have a homily, but instead that we would be watching a video sent from the bishop (I knew we were in for it then because there was NO way that would be short!) After about 20-30 mins of viewing that, the priest then conducted a baptism before going on with Mass. Meanwhile, during all of these activities, I was trying to ration the crackers between the movie star & the bottomless pit while Scott was trying to wrangle the 1 1/2 year old never resting organizer/hair stylist/eyechecker who couldn't decide whether the books should be IN or OUT of the book holder.

I somehow managed to get the bottomless pit distracted AND handed off to Beth, where she remained for the rest of church wonderfully distracted by all of the activity going on in the pew behind her (us!) Scott passes the never resting organizer to me who then morphs into the hair stylist/eyechecker. He proceeds to try to poke my eyes out with his fingers while saying "Eyes" & then pull/mess up my hair to give me some very intense hugs all while the bottomless pit in the pew in front of us giggles away. The movie star pulls her sunglasses out of the diaper bag & puts them on just in time for communion, you betcha, she walked up the aisle in true movie star fashion with her sunglasses on & one lens missing~classy :)

The priest gave me a glance & just smiled (somehow I think he knew we had our hands full & were losing the battle) & the movie star enjoyed her adoring audience as we walked back to our pew in the middle of church. Thank heavens, church had finally ended & we still had a few swallows left in the sippy cups & some cracker crumbs left in my coat pocket (where I had tried to hide them at some point during all of this chaos.) We soon realized that our normal 45 mins Mass was actually 1 hour & 15 mins long! No wonder we lost the fight ;) (yeah right, who am I kidding-we would have lost no matter what!)

It was definitely an eye opening experience & hopefully we'll be better prepared the next time around, but at least we were all there together which in the end was the most important part of all! :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blessed

This past week has been filled with all kinds of emotions & loads of anxiety, but one thing has shown true through all of it-our family has truly been blessed in more ways than one. Rachel is putting up a strong fight & progressing a little more each day. We're hopeful that each day will continue to bring more improvements, no matter how tiny, so that we can continue to pour our love on her in the comforts of her home sometime in the future. She still has a long road ahead of her, but she has already shown much more strength in just her few short days here on Earth than I think I have in my entire lifetime! Now I am by no means much of a poet, but occasionally I am inspired & this past week has done just that. Any professionals out there, please pardon the quality, but it does come straight from the heart :)

Blessings Abound

Blessed by one little baby's birth
Shown the power of prayer's real worth
Blessed by thoughts of people both near & far
Some don't even know who we are

Blessed by one little baby's might
We hold her dear to our hearts so tight
Hoping the power of our love she'll feel
And by God's grace she will be healed

Thanks to all of you who have been following along on this journey in blogland & in real life. Our family can never thank you enough for the support given & prayers said.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Conversation Overheard

Conversations with toddlers or kids in general can be quite entertaining In honor of my nieces staying here at our house for a couple of nights, I am going to share just a few of the conversations that you might have overheard yesterday & today if you were around :)

Yesterday in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) waiting room:

One of the adults: "We could go hang out in the Ronald McDonald house area. There would be more room in there for all of us."
Another adult: "That sounds good-we'll wait for the others to come back from Rachel's room so they know where we are."
Melissa (almost 3): "NO, I want to go to the Old MacDonald room now." :)

This morning at one of our various snack times:

Me: "Megan would you like a drink?"
Megan (age 1 1/2): shakes her head no & then takes her drink anyway
Me: (laughing) "I bet you say no to everything don't you?"
Megan: shakes her head no
Me: "Melissa, does Megan say no to everything at home?"
Melissa: "No"
Me: "Do you say no to everything?"
Melissa: "No"
Me: (smiling) "Well that's good to hear!"

So for the rest of the weekend, Scott & I are officially outnumbered! I think we'll be okay-I'm actually a lot more relaxed by them being here than I imagined I would be & things have gone fairly smoothly thus far considering it's us & an almost 3 year old & 2 1-1/2 year olds! Maybe if things get too hectic, Scott & I can just grab the 1 year olds & leave the almost 3 year old in charge. I'm sure that since she is a "mother hen" like her aunt/godmother that we would all be in very good hands & on a major sugar high from eating candy! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm off to see the baby!

Reports are that Rachel had a good night after a pretty rough day yesterday~we're all just hoping for more of the same around here. Today I will finally get to see my little niece for the first time & I can't wait. She's definitely going to feel all kinds of love today with visits from 2 of her super aunts (me & Beth, of course), her 2 sisters & Grandma & Grandpa. I know that we're all looking forward to seeing her & each other again!

Between my evenings being filled up with phone calls back & forth with family & from people checking up on things, I haven't had much time to devote to the poor blog, but I promise that there will be new posts soon. This weekend is going to be full of adventures around here...stay tuned :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Welcome to the World...

Rachel!

That's the news I've been waiting to hear all day~another niece! My initial prediction was that it would be a girl, but all of this CDH stuff threw my "baby radar" into turmoil & I started thinking maybe I would get a nephew on my side of the family. So for now, Luke stands alone as the only boy, but I'm sure those 3 little girls will keep him hoppin' :)


Rachel still has a long way to go & I am short on details, but for those of you who are praying with us after my last post~thanks so much & keep up the good work! She is going to need all of the extra help she can get.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Prayers desired...

I am going to forgo the normal routine this weekend~there will be no "You Light Up My Life" today, but I am hoping to return with it next weekend if circumstances allow.

Today, it is you, my blogger friends, who I am asking to throw a few extra prayers my family's way. More specifically, my sister's family. She & her husband will be having a baby tomorrow & we are all anxious for this little one's arrival. Of course, there is all of the normal stuff-is it a boy or a girl, will I finally have a nephew on that side of the family, how big will he/she be, who will he/she look like...you may have noticed that I have left out one very important question-"Is he/she healthy?" That my friends is why we are most anxious. We already know the answer to this question & have known for 19 long weeks.
No, the baby has this~sounds scary, doesn't it? Well, I can tell you that it is VERY scary & we are all trying to do whatever we can for them-babysitting my 2 beautiful nieces, staying with them at the hospital, checking on things at home, etc-but the one thing we can't do is fix this problem, so we pray & do the things we can do!

The ironic thing is we have seen this all before & not that long ago. My dear friend, Jill, dealt with CDH (& her little man is still dealing with the effects) when her son was born just a little over a year ago. At the time, I went through all of the ups & downs of her little guy's journey by following along with her updates, listening when she needed, along with a giving her a shoulder to cry on if she needed it-when her heart broke or filled with joy, mine did as well. Little did I know, how that journey was going to be impacting my family's life very soon. I say it is ironic because the odds of CDH occurring are only 1 in 2,500 births, but in our small circle, we have now experienced two.
Because I am the oldest sister, I tend to want to be a "mother hen" when it comes to my 2 sisters. I HATE seeing either of them in pain or having to face something like this. If I could take it on myself, I would, but it IS happening to her so I will do the best I can to provide her with whatever she needs from me & we will continue to look to Jill's little guy as a hero of CDH & overcoming its obstacles, while praying that our family's impending arrival will be able to do the same.

We attended a prayer service this evening with my sister's family & I thought this prayer was beautiful & says it all. We'd appreciate it very much if you could take a moment to say it too.

Prayer for the Family
Lord Jesus, you promised that wherever two or three are gathered in your name, there you are in the midst of them. Let this family feel your presence and your deep love for them. Give them confidence that their loved ones are in your care, and give them hope in their trials. Divine Physician, pour your love on the wounds of their grief, and accept every tear as a prayer from their hearts. Come Holy Spirit, divine Comforter, and shelter this family under the safety of your wings in the difficult days ahead. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Friday, February 6, 2009

No TV for YOU!

Watching TV in our house is just not possible while Luke is awake. Why?...

Is he too loud that we can't hear it? Occasionally, but not usually...
Are his toys too noisy? Sometimes, but no that's still not it...
Is he just sooo cute that we can't take our eyes off of him? Well, of course, but not the reason for not being able to watch TV

The real answer is that he won't let the TV be left on long enough for anyone to watch it.
We use the remote to turn it on to watch the news...he beelines it for the button on the TV & turns it off.
We wait for him to get distracted & leave the room...he hears it immediately & heads back into the living room immediately to turn it off.
We just use the remote to turn it back on right away...he turns it off again right away over & over again.
We try to continue this little game one too many times so we can catch the news in 2 second increments...he just holds his hand over the button (which means he is inadvertently covering up the little spot that receives the signal from the remote too!)

Alas, maybe we should just move the TV down to the basement like we have talked about in the past. Then we wouldn't have to worry about this issue & the mess of scattered DVD's & VHS tapes because, although, he may not enjoy the TV so much, he does enjoy all of the accessories that come along with it! :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Friend or Foe?

Mommy Guilt!~I don't like it!

I try to avoid it at all costs. I try to use my best judgement when it comes to making a choice that will affect Luke. I tell myself that I have thought about my choices so I can choose not to suffer from the guilt that follows if I make the wrong choice. So far in my parenting career, I feel that I have made okay choices-Luke is turning into one fine little toddler :), I've felt some of the guilt when things have gone wrong in the moment, but overall I think that Scott & I have done the best that we can do for our little guy & we expect it to continue even if occasionally, we do (& will) mess up.

The only reason I bring this up is because the last two nights I have not been home to help put Luke to bed & I've really only maybe seen him (awake) a couple of hours total. Between work & other obligations, I just wasn't home much yesterday & then again today during the day, however, tonight was a different story. I chose to go to a "book club" meeting with a few of my coworkers. Yes, I was home early, but not early enough, since Luke goes to bed super early in the evenings. I told myself that I wouldn't feel guilty about it because it was something I was doing for myself & as a parent we don't always get that unless we choose to make time for it. I was looking forward to it, but had debated about whether or not to go, since I had spent all day yesterday & today at work & then last night teaching religion to kids at church & not with my son. Can you feel the guilt creeping in...? Anyway, I told myself that "no, I wasn't going to feel guilty" because I had read this book awhile back with the intention of going, but the meeting date kept getting pushed back because of the inclement weather we have been having. Basically, they were finally having the meeting & I had been waiting for 2 or 3 weeks already & I was going WITHOUT the guilt until...

I looked into those excited little eyes when I got home from work today & saw the huge smile plastered across his face when I walked in the door.

Oh, I still went, but I was definitely loaded up with HEAPS of mommy guilt as I went out the door tonight! Luke is definitely in for some quality mommy time tomorrow night & I can't wait!!! :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Space

Anytime I head out to the store, I am always on the lookout for "my space".

Over the last couple of years, I have found that my perfect parking space may be much different from other peoples' idea of the perfect space. My perfect space is not the closest space I can find to the entrance so I do not drive around the parking lot for hours waiting for someone to leave in order to be closer to the door. In fact, I can usually find my space within seconds of entering the parking lot. Why? Because my perfect space is the one closest to any cart corral I can find, most perfect is being right beside the cart corral.

Yes indeed, I will & do park "miles" away from the entrance if I spot an open space next to a cart corral. I have even been know to pass up those "choice" parking spots if I can have a space within a space or two of the corral even if it is farther down the parking lot! I decided awhile back that it is just too much of a pain to only have to walk a few feet outside of the store to unload my groceries into my car & then have to push my cart miles away to put it in the cart corral (because I am NOT one of those people who leaves it running free in the lot so that it can ram into someone else's car) before I could leave the parking lot. Adding Luke into the mix, made this even more difficult...do I buckle him in the car & leave him there while I put the cart away, do I take him with me & then carry him back, what if the weather is bad...

So, I decided that I would rather walk miles at the beginning & no longer care how far away I may have to park as long as I can be next to one of those lovely cart corrals! What's "your space" like?

Monday, February 2, 2009

My "holiday" is over, or is it...

When the alarm went off this morning, all I could think was "do I have to...?" Of course, the answer is always yes & normally, after I shake off the initial grogginess that is, I usually look forward to going into work. I like the people I work with, the students are great & they keep things interesting, etc, etc, but this morning was just a little different.
I had been out of my routine for over a whole week & frankly, I have been enjoying my time at home. After a weekend off followed by going back to work 1 day, then getting 4 snow days in a row, followed by yet another weekend off (I know how hard this all makes my job sound ;)...all I can say is "Summer break here I come!" Alas, it is not to be because it is still only January...wait...February (see what a few days off can do to a person :) So, instead, I dragged myself out of bed this morning, got ready for work & headed off to school, but little did I realize that my "holiday" was actually only beginning!

For I had forgotten a few important details as I was preparing for work...

First of all, who could forget that TODAY is a national holiday "Groundhog's Day"!!!! How can an elementary school not be a great place to work on Groundhog's Day~the kids love it. Plus, to top it all off, because all of the snow days kept us away from school, TODAY was also "The 100th Day of School"!!!! And anybody who is anybody KNOWS that this is also a major holiday in elementary schools, sooooo....

Who wouldn't want to go to work today knowing that we would be celebrating not just 1 holiday, but 2 holidays today?! :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday 2/1/09



This person is a loving husband to his wife.
This person is the only person I know that refers to his grandchildren as "little warts" or "wartheads" :)
This person has taught his eldest son really well, the wonderful art of telling a loooong story!
He has a very handy knack for being able to fix things.
This person can make a very good pie!
He has also made me an apple crisp for each of my last 2 birthdays with my age spelled out in cinnamon~yummy!
I appreciate the fact that he would do anything for his children & their wives & children.
Holiday dinners wouldn't be the same if he didn't get grumpy while cooking/helping out ;)
He is a wonderful father & grandfather.
When it comes to fishing in the summer or snowman building in the winter, you can bet that he'll be there to help out with the fun! :)

So here's to my father-in-law, Carl~I love ya!