Friday, December 30, 2005

Ten Things You May (or may not) Know About Me

1. I have been in many mosh pits, crowd surfed and even stage dived.
2. I have a VERY shy side to me.
3. I have stage fright & get dizzy while speaking publicly.
4. I met Kip Winger at Borders and bought him a bran muffin.
5. I was class president in 8th grade. I ran again as a senior and lost.
6. I have a tattoo of a dove on the back of my ankle.
7. I don't have a middle name.
8. I don't watch soap operas but I do "read" 'Days of our Lives' enough to keep up with the story line.
9. I used to have a pet snake. I got rid of it then I married Jake, who had a pet snake. He gave it away.
10. I know how to change my own oil and filet a fish.

I know you guys aren't big on commenting but tell me something suprising about yourself. Everyone would love to hear.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Saturday, December 29, 2001...

I coordinated a wedding. It was crazy. Where do I begin? Have you ever done something like this? Well, the craziness started earlier in the week with wedding favours and programs. I made them myself. The programs were so cool. They said Love, Honor & Cherish on the front, in black and white. The 0's were hearts, I hand colored each of the hearts with a red sparkley gel pen. After all that, with the help of some others, I tied a silver ribbon around the spine of the program. It looked beautiful. Did I mention I did 200 of them? That week, we wrapped candy and little packages of sparklers that would be used in the place of rice or bubbles. The night before the wedding, I finally got into that reception hall. It really needed a lot of work. Did I mention it was a "barn". Not like a barn with animals but it is called a looks like an enclosed barn. "Oh what were they thinking". The floor plan that had been given to me wasn't close to being correct. All the tables would not fit the way that was planned. Yikes what do you do? Well, we worked it out but there was so much other stuff to do. We (my helpers and I) folded napkins, layed out table cloths, hung ceramic hearts from each perfectly folded napkin, arranged flowers, set centerpeices, and decorated tables. I went home that night and made bouquets: one for the bride and one for the matron of honor. The next morning was even crazier. I still needed to get the drinks, go finish decorating, pick up the flowers for the others to pin on and so on and so on. Finally the time has arrived. Guests were arriving. I spoke with the band, they said they had it covered. They had played many weddings in their time so I shouldn't worry. Suddenly someone came to me and said, "Uh, the wedding cake is leaning, what should we do?" I told them to grab the photographer...take a picture. If it falls take another picture. What else can you do? Either way, the guests are seated and the parents of the bride and groom are being ushered in...the band is playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". The maid of honor waits for her cue...and waits....and waits. I think people thought the bride one really thought she would go through with the wedding in the first place. I sent the maid of honor in...Finally she walks out to clip clop, clip clop. The band forgot to play the music. They were very old. She gets up there and lets the piano player know, he needs to play the wedding march. DUHHHHH. I thought he had done this before. Have you ever been to a wedding where the bride cries the whole way down the isle? Does that make sense? You are getting married. This is the fairy tale you have wanted since you were a little girl, WHY DO THEY CRY? Not this particular way...I think she would have ran down the isle (if she could have managed) and would have jumped right into the arms of her groom. She smiled the whole way. Paul Miller, yes my father in law, preformed the wedding ceremony. It was his first so I was a little worried about how it would go. He started to read. He paused. He took off his glasses. He was sweating. I swear, I thought he was a goner. But he pulled through. The service was short and sweet...just like the bride requested. After the eating, pictures, dancing and drinking...the bride and groom went sledding. It seems so simple to put it into words, when it is a was really so much more complicated. You see, I was the bride. Jake and I had only known each other for 8 months and had been dating for 5. We decided after dating for 2 months that we would get married. Although, I told my sister I was going to marry him before we had even had our first official date. Imagine what our friends and family thought...many people tried to talk us into waiting a little longer. No one thought I would actually do it. No one thought it would last. But here we are...four years and 2 kids later. I love my husband more now than I did then...Heck, I barely knew him then. I tell him all the time, we are lucky we liked each other when we really got to know one another. He is the perfect man. Sure, he gets on my nerves some times but I bet I get on his more that the other way around. I try to tell him all the time how great he is but I don't think he beleives me. He is such a good dad. He is a hero to the kids. He washes the dishes. Isn't that nice? So anyhow...I wanted you all to know how much I love my husband and to tell you it is our aniversary.

Have a good day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Is The Gag Reflect Hereditary????

My son is a gagger. He gags and throws up so easily. I am going to give you a couple of examples from today. Let me start by saying Jude woke up last night with an ear ache and was screaming almost every half hour. None of us (except Elise, who is a very sound sleeper) got any sleep. Jude has a runny nose and a little fever. Because he was over tired and feeling sick he really upped his "flare for the dramatic". He came to me and in a whine-cry combo said, "Mom, the snot is going into my mouth...Gag...Gag...Get it mom....Gag....Gag...It is touchin' my lip...Gag...Gag." It was the clear water like snot. I agree, it would be gross but I wasn't going to let it get in his mouth. I was running for the tissues as he gagged.

We left Tennessee around 10 A.M. Jake, Jude and I all felt pretty bad. Jude and Elise slept most of the way. We made a few stops: bathroom breaks and such. During our last stop Jude walked through the grass and got a little mud on his boots. When Jake put him back in his car seat he saw the mud. He said "Daddy, there is mud on my boot...Gag...Barf." Yes, my son threw up over mud on his boots.

The crazy part is...he comes by it honestly. Paul Miller is a gagger himself. He gags very easily. Once,when he was much younger, Jude choked on some food and started spitting up. Paul ran from the table in a gagging fury toward the bathroom. I am beginning to think it is hereditary. A couple of summers ago, we went on a camping trip in the eastern part of West Virginia. Jude was about 6 months old. He had a bottle and spit up a little. Miles and Ashely were riding with us. Miles saw Jude spit up (just milk) and threw up in the van. He had eaten a banana...he threw up in the cup holder. We hadn't seen a store for miles and miles. As luck would have it we came upon a Family Dollar. Jake pulled over and went inside to get some "throw up cleaning supplies". We were all out of the car by the time he got back. Boldly with a latex gloved hand, Jake reached into the cup holder and scooped out a handful of banana barf. He started gagging. At this point I was getting tired of all the queasiness, so I pulled a glove on, took a huge pile of paper towels and I started gagging. Yes, here we were on the side of the road in a very rural town...gagging. It was something out of the movies. We finally got it cleaned up but barely made it to the camp site without Ashely puking due to car sickness.

I used to be grossed out by barf. Now it doesn't bother me. I can catch it in my hand and I don't even flinch. I guess it is part of being a mom.

See you tommorow.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Day After....

...always feels so anti-climatic. Doesn't it? I've always hated the day after Christmas because you work and prepare for this big day for a month or so...then the next day, it is over. Just like that. This year is different because we have 2 weeks more of celebrating. We are having Christmas with Heather's family on Sunday (New Year's Day) and Jake's family on January 7th. We also have New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and our Anniversary to celebrate.
I've been thinking a lot about my blog. I daydream about what I will write and how I will say it. I have found that the things I plan to write never come out the way I want to say them. The spontaneous stuff is better. I would love to say my life is an open book and nothing is off limits but that isn't the truth. Some people are easily offended or very sensative about things so I am careful in my discussions concerning them. I don't want to hurt someone's feelings. I tease Jake daily, I threaten, "I am going to put that in my blog." He says he is going to write stuff in his blog as well, but never does.

So, last night Jake and I went to the movies. You know, I don't miss being single and childless but I do miss going to the movies. I used to go a couple of times a week. I would go to the movies by myself. I have watched movies where I am the ONLY person in the theater. Yes, just me and the big screen. If you go during the day it is pretty desolate. It is nice. I love all types of movies...comedy, drama, chick flicks, horror, etc... It is not the same on a television. I also like to read. I have found if I read the book first, the movie is NEVER good enough. If I watch the movie first, the book doesn't seem that much different. Last year, I went to see Cold Mountain (or two years ago). I read the book afterwords hoping for a different was the same. I cried. We don't go to the movies often for two reasons...1. It is so expensive. 2. Babysitters are expensive. We received movie tickets for Christmas last year. They are still in my purse. We have only gone to the discount theaters for the last year. Wow. I need to get out more. What are some of your favorite movies? Mine are listed on my "profile" but I am going to list a few here (no particular order).
  • Notting Hill
  • The Never Ending Story
  • Bridget Jone's Diary
  • Pretty Woman
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Love Actually
  • The Program
  • Fight Club
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Where the Heart Is
  • The Christmas Story
  • Sixth Sense
Don't forget to tell me yours. Not enough people comment on here.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Ken for Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone. You know it is a National Holiday so you don't have to be a Christian to celebrate Christmas, although that is the original intent. Christmas is for all Americans. Anti-Christmas is Anti-American.

Either way, it is Christmas and I probably shouldn't be blogging...this is going to be short.

My mom got Jude a Ken doll for Christmas. When Indy plays with her Barbies, Jude likes to play. My mom wanted him to have a "guy" doll so she got him a Surfing Ken Doll. He has real hair and sunglasses. He is also equiped with a beach bum type necklace. Jake hates it. He says it is a doll for girls. He wants to accidentally leave it in Tennessee. Jude also got a fireman Barbie type doll - not made by Matel or sold in the Barbie isle of the toy store. I guess it is okay. Jude likes them both although he did say he doesn't like Ken's hair. I think it is fine. I don't think it is going to affect his "masculinity"...he is only THREE. Not a big deal. Jake isn't the macho type either (no he is not whimpy), I am just suprised.

What do you think?

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

My Family

A couple of posts ago an anonymous poster said they wanted to know more about my family. I thought I would dedicate this post to them.

My parents are Larry and Deanna Wright. They were born and raised in Robbins, Tennessee. It is a very small, rural town in Scott County, Tennessee. My dad has 8 brothers and sisters and was raised by his mother, after his father passed away when he was 9 years old. He is the second to youngest of the group. My Aunt Debbie, who posts comments, is the youngest. My mom has 3 brothers and sisters. They grew up on a farm, doing farm work and living off the land.

My sister, Heather, is younger than me - she turned 30 this year. She is a dental hygenist. She has been married to Ivan for 8 years. They have 2 kids (the same age as mine) Indy & Reichen. Heather and I have always - well since high school - been close. We had one of those piviotal moments back in the day... She was sitting at her lunch table and 3 older girls came up and started yelling at her for something she said. Danny Tran ran to me and said, "dude, some girls are trying to beat up your sister." I went right over and asked them what the problem was...apparently they decided there wasn't one. I know, I am so tough. From that point on, Heather and I have been pretty close. Her first boyfriend was a friend of mine from college. He wasn't a nice guy - sorry Heather. Oh, did I mention, Heather was a cheerleader in High School. A football cheerleader. And she was the captain. She is very pretty with blond hair and blue eyes. Yes, I grew up with Barbie. That's okay.

I get along well with my parents, although that has not always been the case. My mom and I fought a lot while I was a teen. I think it was all pretty normal stuff. My mom was pretty protective and suspicious of my actions. The truth is she was smart to be... We started getting along when I was around 24ish. Things have been great ever since. We still disagree about things but it doesn't turn out to be this big drama like it used to.

My mom and dad love the kids. My mom spoils them every chance she me - tommorow is a big day. If Jude wants something he tells me to call Nana and tell her. Not Santa...Nana.

My grandparents have all passed away. My Grandma Wright was an amazing woman that touched so many lives. I always pray and ask God to make me a little bit like her. She was dirt poor but would give anything she owned away to help another person. We always joked that if someone broke into her house she would make them sit down and eat a meal before they left. She was a very good Christain woman. She loved God. I have one of her old Bibles and she always wrote stuff in it that happened. She wrote this paragraph about how she always lifted her hands and laughed during church. Someone asked her why she always did that. She told them it was because she loved the Lord. Simple enough??? She wasn't a great singer but I can't think of anything sweeter than my Grandma Wright singing Amazing Grace. I still cry when I hear that song because in my mind I hear her old weary voice singing it. She never judged a soul. Oh, and something else about her...She LOVED Bill Clinton. When his mother passed away, she sent him a card. When she turned 90 he sent her a card (it is a standard thing). She thought he was for the people and that is why she liked him. A couple of other things about my grandmother. She knew all these natural remedies for things. She knew which mushrooms were okay to eat and what herbs did what. She loved to pick blackberries. She always lit a candle on Christmas eve for her daughter, Amy, who passed away back in the 50's. My grandma was always old to me. She was 70 when I was born. She died on Thanksgiving day when she was almost 96. I found a story about her online. She is the "Miss Wright" referred to in the passage.

My mothers parents, Hurshel and Eva Norman, both passed away last year. My grandfather (Papaw), was a farmer. He worked outside on his tractor until he just couldn't anymore. He died a month later. He was also a good Christain man, who read his Bible each day. He fought in World War II. He was stationed in Guam. My Granny, she liked to sew. She made my sister and I lots of clothes when we were kids. She macramaed purses and quilted for us. She loved to go fishing. She and her friend, Derida, went fishing all the time. There is one thing you didn't have to worry about with my Granny - her telling you what she thought. If she thought it she said it. Sometimes it was very funny...other times not so funny. I sat there and listen to her tell my cousin he better wear a condom with the girl he was living with because she would get pregnant! Imagine hearing that from your Grandmother. She passed away on New Year's Day last year. She had been sick for a very long time.

I have lots of cousins, 28 including my sister and myself. I could tell you LOTS of stories about them but I will have to save those stories for another time.

Well, have a Happy Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Catching Shooting Stars, Smelling Skunks & Singing About Sexy Tractors

We made it. We are in Tennessee. It was a crazy trip. We weren't going to start until 8 P.M. We figured it would be better for the kids. You know...they'd sleep the whole way. Jake got off work at 2:30 P.M. We had a lot to do before we left. I tried to make beef jerky during the day. That was going to be my home-made gift for the guys. Well, let me tell you...I will be buying gifts for them this year. The beef jerky tasted like pressed wood with seasoning on it. I wasted A LOT of meat. Either way, I smelled like a big stick of beef jerky. YUCK. So, I needed to stop at the mall, post office and we had to eat. We decided it was best to start the trip earlier. I am not sure what time we headed out but it was daylight still. I ran in the mall while Jake took the van and filled it up with gas. We swung by Burger King and got some food to go. It really was much more complicated that it sounds but I don't have time to give you all the details because I want to get to the good stuff.

We were driving for some time when I looked at my husband. He was driving and I swear he was asleep. I was like...pull over, I'll drive. He said OK. We have been married for almost (in one week) 4 years and he has only ever let me drive ONCE. And that time I scared him and he insisted I pull over to let him drive. I have horrible night vision and I will admit am a little scary behind the wheel in the dark. But he was that tired! We weren't even in Columbus yet. The next 4 hours were horrible. We stopped every half hour. Jude had to go to the bathroom. Elise was crying. Jude was crying. Jude dropped his sippy cup. We couldn't find the binky. The kids were crying. Jake was way too tired to see the humor in the situation. It was not fun. At one point (we were in Cinncinati) Jake said, turn around...we are going home. I told him he was crazy. Finally, at 11 P.M. my family went to sleep. All of them. Relief. I was driving along...just me and the radio. I had a complete steam of consciencous (sp????) moment. My head was filled with the most random thoughts. I guarentee there isn't one person (who I know), that reads my blog that I didn't think about. It was crazy. If I had a secretary taking notes straight from my thoughts they would make a book. I wanted to give you a small glimpse.

I was on I75 travelling south. I was quickly approaching the Corbin exit in Kentucky. It was like 2 in the morning. I was just driving along and I saw ANOTHER shooting star (see previous posts). It was enormous. Seriously. I actually saw a big ball of fire. It looked like it was coming at me. I did make a wish but of course I can't tell you. It wasn't for me though. It was one wish for two people. I'll let you know what happens. Either way, it was a very surreal experience. Shortly after I smelled a skunk. Every single time I smell a skunk I think of my friend Melanie. Not because she stinks but because one time we were going somewhere and we smelled a skunk. She told me she liked the smell of skunks. She is odd, but I guess some people do like that smell. So, now I always think of her when I smell skunks. If you want someone to always remember you...tell them you like to smell skunks. Well, I am still driving and all of a sudden I see this HUGE bird (parrot size) coming at our van. It was like dive bombing us. I hit it. I couldn't avoid it. It was brown and very big. My dad said it was probably an owl. Either way...I think it is a dead bird now. I made a little scream and it made a loud noise when it hit. That woke Jake up. By then he was pretty well rested and we started talking about crazy stuff. We were in Tennessee and at this point there wasn't anything coming in on the radio. So, I put in the Kenny Chesney CD. I love him. He has a great voice. I know you may be surprised that a girl who has been in numerous mosh pits and even staged dived would like country...but I do. Kenny is the man. He has a song called "She thinks my tractor's sexy". It is really funny. Each time I hear that song I think about he first time I saw my husband on a tractor. It was a couple of summers ago and my grandfather had been diagnosed with cancer. He was unable to take in the hay from his fields. My dad had taken over the work. While Jake and I were visiting he helped...and really enjoyed it. I saw the Amish in him for the first time. He looked so happy. My dad and uncle's joked that Jake was a real farmer. He really is (just like Paul Miller...sorry honey). The tractor did make him look sexy. So, when the song comes on I turn it up and sing it to him. He should be singing it to me but it is funnier this way. " She thinks my tractor's really turns her on...She is staring at me....something something something....She's even kinda crazy 'bout my farmers tan...."

Have a good one.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Over the River and Through the Woods....

That is what we are doing today. We are going to Tennessee to visit my parents. I have a lot to do before we leave at 8 PM. I need to finish the laundry, pack the clothes, clean the house, change the cat litter and feed the cat. I have to clean out the fridge, wrap gifts...oh wait, I still need to make 2 gifts. My kids need baths and so do I. I was up most of the night with Elise, who is still congested and apparently has her days and nights mixed up. So, my point is...I am procrastinating. Shocker. I will try to post while I am in Tennessee.

Our friends came over last night and gave us a very nice Christmas gift...way better than we deserve. Thank you. They stayed over for a while and we talked about couples fighting...isn't that funny. We basically found out that couples (at least the two of us), fight the same. Fight starts, man wants to walk away, woman wants to hash it out, man gets mad, woman gets sad (but still mad). It sounds entertaining when you put it that way. Not when it is happening.

I am not sure if anyone noticed but I added a counter to the bottom of my page. It tells me how many people visit and where they are from. I have noticed there are people who watch my blog from states that I don't think I know anyone from. If you are a loyal reader please let me know. You should be on my Christmas card list! I took the moderation thing off so your comments will be on right away...please don't write stuff that doesn't belong in a blog. If you don't want me to know, I can respect that but I'd really like to know.

Oh one more blog... It is a new one from my cousin Kelly. I read it. He is funny.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Days of Christmas...

Christmas is one of those significant days that you may actually remember what you did that particular day. I don't know...maybe I am weird but I can remember what I did for almost the last 10 years on Christmas. It is not always pretty....

2004- We had our "Christmas" with my family a week early and didn't celebrate with Jake's family until sometime after the 25th. So on the legal holiday, I cooked some food (I don't remember that part) and Eric came over. We basically sat around and did nothing all day. We did give Jude his Christmas gifts, which I really can't even remember what we got him. Jake bought me a camera and I got him a portable XM radio thing and some Xbox games.

2003- We stayed home. We celebrated on other days again.

2002- Jude's first Christmas. He was only 7 weeks old so it wasn't all that much fun. We went to Tennessee a few days earlier but decided to stay so we had Christmas in Tennessee with my family but didn't have our gifts with us. We did have a nice time.

2001- 4 days before our wedding. Jake and I exchanged gifts in the morning. He bought me a Bible & bath salts. I am sure there was more but I can't remember. And I can't recall what I got him. Either way, we headed over to Safe Landing and worked with the boys that day. They woke up and we let them open thier gifts. We had made stockings earlier in the week with them and we had stuffed them full of stuff that I bought, including a corny joke book. They had all kinds of other gifts that Dawn and Lisa had went out shopping for earlier. If my memory is correct Jake and I worked on Christmas Eve as well.

2000-I was single. I had spent the previous evening with some neighbors drinking a lot of wine, probably feeling sorry for myself. I spent Christmas alone puking and nursing a hangover.

1999-I worked at the Girls Safe Landing. It was fun. I had also been there Christmas Eve so I got to put out their Christmas gifts for them. There was only 2 girls there. I still remember them very well. I bought them teddy bears from Target and a whole bunch of other stuff...not that they needed anything because they had lots of gifts donated. I guess I just wanted to spend my money or spoil them. Ha. Later in the day, I tried to cook a turkey but it ended up in the trash. It wasn't pretty.

1998-My last Christmas in Vermilion. I went home to my parents house. We exchanged gifts and ate a lot of food. That evening Melanie and I went out to Uncle Vics (a big dance club/bar). I ran into this guy I used to know. He asked me out. I gave him my number and we agreed he would call. Can you believe he never did! Instead he gave my number to this other guy, who I had been friends with back in high school. That set off a series of unfortunate events in my life that I may or may not talk about in a later blog post.

1997- Had Christmas in Vermilion with my family. I returned to Peninsula that evening and my boyfriend, Luke the Polish man, came over and we exchanged gifts. I bought him this stupid movie he loved...I forget the name of it now, but I had to special order it. He bought me the game, Therapy. Yes...laugh all you want. He bought it because he was so facinated with me and my other Psychology major friends. He was an accountant. Every Tuesday we would all get together and hang out. He would just take it all in. So...he thought the game was a great idea. The worst part, for me was - he was not the first boyfriend to buy that game for me. Yikes. Yes, Mitch bought it for me in High School. I was really into Psychology early on...I would check out Psych text books from the library. I would make up personality tests to give to my friends. Hmmmm. I wonder what happened to that passion? Either way, I played Therapy and drank wine with Amanda (who bought me socks), Tiffany and Luke. It was the only time I ended up playing the game. I love it but after playing it once people would run in sheer terror if I mentioned the game. When Jake met Tiffany and my sister they advised him never to play it. I gave the game away on Freecycle this past summer to a girl who's brother is a Psych major. It was going to be a Birthday gift. By the way, Luke and I broke up before I even took my Christmas tree down. I guess I should have known with that gift.

1996- I had to ride home to Vermilion with Tiffany because I had lost my drivers license (another blog...another day). Mitch was in town and came over to visit, hoping to reunite. It didn't happen.

1995- I went home to Vermilion for Christmas break. I worked at Toys R Us and some clothing store at the mall. D.L. (see drove from Barberton to Vermilion, in snowy weather, to give me a gift and visit me on Christmas. I was pretty rude to him. I don't think he stayed very long. I told him he couldn't stay or something. I don't remember. Isn't that mean? I think I spent a lot of time with Duane and Guy that Christmas. I do remember Straight Edge Matt drove to Elyria to go to Toys R Us and ran into me. I had seen him at Kent but never talked to him. I gave him my number and we became good friends. He is a prosecuting attorney now, but we don't talk anymore.

1994- I was dating D.S. He proposed to me. I thought he bought me a coat but instead he gave me a diamond. I said yes but we broke up before he had the ring paid off. We never set a date. I have a theory...if you don't set a date within a don't get married. It is a sign you aren't really interested in actually getting married.

Do you have any good Christmas stories? Can you remember? Hopefully you will make some good rememorable ones this year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Lost Man Found & The Art of Geocaching

Do you know what Geocaching is???? It is this game of sorts. You need a GPS (Global Positioning System) and a computer to play the game. You go to the geocaching website ( and you look up "caches". People go on line and give you little hints and provide coordinates for the secret location. So you take that information and go find the cache, a hidden box with goodies inside. It is a treasure hunt for tech-geeks. I must admit, it is fun. There is another game that is similar but not as technical. It is called Letterboxing. You use online clues to find a hidden box. Inside the box is a little book that you stamp in and you have your own book that you stamp with their stamp. You carve your own stamps and have a "trail" name. I have come to realize there are thousands of hidden boxes among us.

Are you wondering how I found out about this? Well, I was reading a magazine. I LOVE magazines and read everything from Child to Mother Earth News. They are full of useful information. That is where I first read about Letterboxing. Then from letterboxing I learned about Geocaching. There are more Geocaches than Letterboxes.

Last year, my parents, my sisters family and our family went to Maine for a vacation. Jake and I brought our Letterboxing stuff and before you know it Heather and Ivan were hooked. So, when we discovered Geocaching, Ivan was so excited. He loves it. He has found about 500 caches. It is crazy. We have only found about 40.

So, we know this other couple, who shall rename nameless, who really likes to Geocache. One day they drove a pretty good distance to a town they weren't really familiar with to collect the caches that are hidden there. They made a day of it and it sounded like they had fun. By the end of the day, the wife was tired and didn't want to find more boxes. Her husband said he wanted to get one last one and said he had one you could practically drive up to. He drove there and she said she was going to stay in the car and just read her book. He told her he would be right back. That was at 5:00 P.M. Well, an hour or so went by and he hadn't come back. His wife figured it was typical behavior and was really into her book so she didn't fret. Finally her cell phone rang and it was her husband. He said he was lost. It was getting dark. He had wandered into the woods, in a pair of sandals, with no water, no flashlight (except for a little LED light on his key chain) and a GPS. Well, his wife, concerned at this point decided to flag down a police officer or park ranger person (I hope I am remembering this correctly). She explained the situation and asked for their help. By time they called in the troops there were police, firemen and park rangers all searching for this man. They were talking to him on his cell phone and trying to figure out where in the heck he was! Well, they finally found him & he had to be treated for dehydration. His feet were all cut up. What a mess. So, the officers were talking to him afterwords and the one man said..."What is that you have?" The man said, "Oh it is a GPS." The officer said, "You had a GPS the whole time????" and rolled his eyes. Later the man's son said to him "Dad, why didn't you tell them you had a GPS and give them your coordinates?" He said, "Like they would know what that is!". Oh my. So the next week there was an article in the local paper titled "Lost Man Found". He will never live down the time he got lost with a GPS in hand.

Jake loves to Geocache. He would like to do it more. We just don't have time.

Just to update everyone...Elise is sick. She has RSV. So does Reichen (Heather's son). Poor babies.

Have a good day.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Wrap

That was the name of the sermon from church yesterday. The pastor basically talked about getting "wrapped up" in things during the Christmas season. I am sure everyone is guilty of that. This year has been really nice. Last year I went out on a search for an Aquadoodle. It was this toy that was featured on the Today Show. They tested all sorts of toys on kids and it was a hit. Jude had to have it. So, I went out on the day after Thanksgiving (DUH) to do my shopping. It was a mad house. Traffic. People. Lines. Pushing. Dirty Looks. What are people thinking? It is Christmas. So I get to Walmart and I see 2 Aquadoodles on the shelf. I was elated. Just as I went to reach for one this lady runs up and grabs both of them. Can you believe the nerve? I wanted to punch her out. I felt rage in my viens. Seriously. So I thought I should probably go home. I did and eventually I did obtain an Aquadoodle, which Jude rarely plays with. Either way, that single event led me to try to have a more meaningful Christmas (see previous posts). It has been great. I think my gifts are probably better than ever. I did buy a few things but they are well thought out and meaningful gifts. I will admit, the guys have been a little more difficult. Guys just aren't into homemade stuff. I did come up with something I think will please the men in my life. Also, when I would go shopping for stuff it didn't really involve the kids...other than actually being at the store, which usually they would stay with their dad. This year Jude is completely involved and excited about everything. He is so cute. I wish I had more time because I keep thinking of new things to make for more people. Jake's Aunt Nancy made her Christmas gifts this year as well. I can't say what it was because the Millers & Appleton's haven't got theirs yet. I was so excited. I loved it. Of course it is right up my alley...hint hint!? I know not everyone has time to make everything and homemade does not mean cheap or free. It can still be pricey, although I think I have saved a bundle. Either way, I am having fun this Christmas. We had a dinner for Milestone on Saturday at our house. It was fun. We had a White Elephant Gift exchange. Here are some of the gifts that were given.
  • Cereal Bowls complete with spoons.
  • CD & Book
  • Pooping Santa & I love dorks magnet
  • 3 boxes of Cherry Frosted PopTarts
  • Happy Friends (?) DVD
  • Popcorn, Pop & Left Behind II DVD
  • 8x10 framed picture of Ryan (one of the group) in a bikini top at a car wash
  • Hot cocoa mugs with hot chocolate mixes
  • Hand mixer

Isn't that fun? Can you guess which gift I gave? Jake? I ended up with the movie night pack & Jake ended up with the Cereal Bowls.

Tonight I am having a Birthday Party for Jesus at the church for the kids. We are having cupcakes, milk, story time, Santa and crafts. The kids get to make an ornament for themselves and then they will each make an extra one to take to the nursing home. We'll sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Doesn't it sound like fun? I think so. A lot of people are coming.

Well, have a good day. Don't forget to check out the other blogs. By the way, if you tried to leave uakrongirl a message and couldn't...she did change it so anyone can leave a message.

And...only one more day until I am able to win another prize on WNIR! You have to wait 30 days. I will keep you updated.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas Card Conundrum

I know this lady. We talk. I think you might even say we are friends. She sent a couple of other people I know a Christmas card. She didn't send me one. Hmmmmmmm. What do I do???

a. Call her up and ask her why I didn't get a Christmas Card.
b. Pretend like it didn't happen.
c. Politely inform her my card must have been lost by the postal service.
d. Ignore her from now on.

I know I can't say anything. That would be dumb. And I know this isn't a big deal but it really does bother me. If you know me, you know I do not take ANYTHING for face value. I have studied human behavior long enough to know there HAS to be an explaination. Here are my ideas.

a. She is mad at me for something and this is passive aggressive behavior.
b. She is jealous of my cool blog.
c. She doesn't have my new address and thought she would just give me a card when she sees me the next time.
d. She ran out of cards and decided I wasn't important enough for a card.

Well, I doubt it is about the blog because she doesn't even read it. If it was the address thing...we have our mail forwarded. I am pretty sure I won't be seeing her before Christmas. Hmmmm.

Either way, I am annoyed.

By the way...just a little update on the Christmas gift Stats.
# of Gifts completed - 9
# of Gifts waiting to be completed - 11
# of Christmas cards mailed - 70
Bedtime Last Night (I was working on Christmas gifts) - 1:30 A.M.

Have a good day.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Two Steps Back...

Don't you love when you go to check a blog and when it comes up it is a title you haven't read yet!? I love it. I wish I had more time to write and read. Right now I have 5 blogs that I keep up with. I want to share those with you so you can enjoy them too. Check them out. I know all of these people pretty well. - toys r us kid(s) - I have been friends with her for 11 years. We have been through so much. We could probably write a movie and become famous like Ben Afflect & Matt Damon. Only ours would be "based on a true story!". - My brother-in-law (applehead). He's funny. His posts are short but funny. He will keep you up to date on the West Virginia situation. - (justiene) - A friend of mine who needs some good advice. Go talk to her. - (isunshine)- A cheese loving, first grade teacher with tatoos and a two year old daughter with the middle name Sunshine. - (jake) - The hubby's blog. He barely posts on it because he doesn't think anyone is reading it.

So today I feel like nothing is going smoothly. It started when I couldn't get out of the driveway to get to the dentist on time today. Our uphill drive was a sheet of ice. Then I tried to call my friend and something is wrong with her phone. It says it is "being checked for problems". Grrrrr. Then I stopped by to see my friend, Lisa and her baby Noah. I could only stay ten minutes because Jake had to get to work early...but I hit a snow storm on the way home and Jake ended up being late...which was actually on time but they wanted him to get there a little early. oops. They didn't tell him until about an hour before. It ended up being okay. Oh, and Jude told Jake what I got him for Christmas. Nice. He won't tell me what Jake got me. I tried. He said "a secret". We are having a party for Jake's Sunday school class tommorow so I have to get going. I have cleaning, cooking and spazzing out to do!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Week at a Glance...

Can you believe it has been a week already? It really flew by. I have been working diligently on my Christmas gifts. I am really enjoying it. If you don't know, I am a creator. I am having fun with this. I got the Christmas cards done last Thursday but I haven't put them in the mail yet! I just need to go to the post office! I am going to attempt to stop by today. I hope they aren't out of Christmas stamps. I didn't really work on much this week-end. We were busy as always. We went to Heather's on Saturday and took the kids to get their pictures taken. We went to Sears and it took FOREVER! The kids were perfect while waiting. They watched the entire Finding Nemo movie. By time they got in to have the pics taken no one was in the mood to smile. Jude's cheeks were very red because it was so hot in the waiting area. We weren't thrilled with them. I ran into a girl from High School. I don't think we were going to talk to each other but our kids started playing together so we didn't have a choice. It is not that I have something against the girl but I just didn't have any interest in talking. It was a little uncomfortable. The truth is, we talked more on Saturday than we did throughout all of our High School career. In elementary school we were kinda friends. She came over once and we went "snake hunting" in the woods behind my house. I don't have a clue what we were going to do if we found a snake. I am just thankful I never found out. The snake hunting was her idea. I think I was in fourth or fifth grade. Either way, our conversation, on Saturday was brief. We talked about who we still talked to from Vermilion. She talked to her old "gang". To be honest, I don't talk to many people from High School and this is why...In H.S. I talked to everyone. I was friends with all the different groups. My mom said if there was a wierdo anywhere around I attracted them but I was on the May Day court (kinda like the homecoming court). So, I was friendly and talked to a lot of people but I really only had one friend, Stephanie. I did get to know Kirstina my senior year. The reason I never really developed closer friends is because I had a boyfriend. An older boyfriend. A much older boyfriend. I was 15 and he was 19. I lied to my mom about his age at first. She liked him. My dad referred to him as "that a**hole". Well, I ended up dating that guy my sophomore, junior and most of my senior year. He always lied to me and cheated on me. He slept with several other girls during our relationship. He smoked. And he drank. I didn't do any of those things. I don't even know why I dated him but that fact is, I did and he consumed all my time and energy. I broke up with him because he was trying to get me to lie to my mom (who has a built in lie detector) and tell her I was staying the night with someone and then stay with him. I kept telling him no but he insisted. So I dumped him. He tried to get me back for years. In fact I have some letters to post on my blog sometime. They are very personal so I haven't got up the nerve yet but I think I will. So, back to the whole H.S. thing...during those years I seriously didn't have any confidence. I thought I was fat and ugly. I was dumb. I weighed 128. I often wonder how other people saw me then. About 6 years ago I dated this other guy from Vermilion and I ran into a lot of people from the past. One guy told me I was his first true love. HE HAD NEVER EVEN ASKED ME OUT! Isn't that funny. I went to my class reunion and the next week received a dozen roses from an old classmate, who claimed he only came to see me. I had just started dating Jake at that time and you all know how that story ended. Jake and I married four months later. About a month after we were married this guy from Vermilion called me to ask me out....Ha ha ha. Isn't that funny. Anyways...I wasn't planning on going down memory lane with this blog but that is the beauty of typing while the thoughts are flowing.

By the way, to update you on the Christmas gifts...I have finished 2 scarves, a cookbook and am almost done with Jude's robe. I have a lot to do. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Hand Made Christmas...

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I am attempting to make my Christmas cards this year...which means you may get them by Easter. We haven't had our Christmas pics taken yet so here are a few to enjoy. I must say...I have a very cute family.

Jake and Jude cutting down our Christmas tree.
Daddy & son dragging the tree.
Right before the tree fell.
J being silly. He won't take a serious picture anymore.
Little E....she got her first tooth this week.
J and E in front of the tree.
Another picture in front of the tree. Because we took the time to take these pictures we didn't get a seat at the pageant on Saturday. We got all dress up for nothing. Bummer. At least we got cute pics.
E. Isn't she the cutest thing ever?
Jake & his "Daddy's Girl". She really is one.
Have a great day.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Happy Sacher Torte Day!!!!

Yes, it is National Sacher Torte Day. What's that??? You don't know what a sacher torte is? You don't celebrate Sacher Torte Day? Well, are you offended that I told you to have a HAPPY Sacher Torte day? No. Do you think I am being weird? I am making a point.
You have probably already heard the whole Merry Christmas v. Happy Holidays contriversy. If you haven't noticed many national, chain stores are no longer advertising for Christmas but for the Holidays. They don't want to offend someone who doesn't celebrate Christmas. I have been thinking about this so much. At first I thought it wasn't a big deal. We live in the United States and the first amendment states the government should not establish a "national" religion. So, for the right to have my own religion I can deal with Happy Holidays. Not a big deal, right? Well, it really is so much more than just a little advertising. Christmas has been removed from most retail establishments. Christmas trees? No they are called Holiday Trees. Didn't you see the White House even has a Holiday Tree. What President Bush doesn't celebrate Christmas...I thought he was a Christian. He has a right to express his religion, right? So why did he cave? And these stores...what the heck? Target doesn't use the word Christmas for anything except on cards. They don't mind making money from a Christian holiday but they won't use the proper words? Did you know schools aren't allowed to say Christmas break? They have to say, Holiday break. Some schools have banned Christmas decorations but allow symbols that are traditionally Jewish in the schools. The fact is 90% of all American homes celebrate Christmas. Not all those families are Christian. Some families celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanza as well as Christmas. But there are a handful of people who complained and this is the result. These people are crazy. What would you say if someone came up to you and said Happy Hanukkah? I think I'd say it right back. I don't have to celebrate a holiday to share in the spirit of the occassion. I may even say Thank you and say Merry Christmas to them. Should you be offended if someone says Happy Hanukkah? Or even Happy Holidays? I don't think so, chances are they are just trying to cover all bases. If I say Merry Christmas does that mean I am trying to PUSH my religion on you? No. Don't be dumb or so sensitive. But these stores...something has to be done. Here are your options.
  • Call & Complain.
  • Write a letter.
  • Shop at other stores.
  • Do Nothing.

I think most people will do nothing. I bet there are people out there who complain about the issue, yet never do anything about it. If it is should be ashamed. It only takes a few minutes to write a letter. There is an organization that typed up some form letters and provides address and all that for you. All you have to do is copy and sign the letter and mail it. Even if you aren't a Christian you should be offended that a retailer is trying to control our right to religious may be your religion next. And those of you that don't celebrate Christmas, why don't you write these stores and ask them why they aren't open on December 25th?

So, everyone please...Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanza and a Happy New Year. And, oh yeah, Have a Great Sacher Torte Day!

Printed from COOKS.COM
This is probably the most high-toned chocolate cake in the world. It has character, a strong bitter chocolate flavor and slightly dry texture. 3/4 c. sugar 6 eggs, separated 6 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted 1 c. sifted flour 1/4 c. apricot jam
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter with 1/4 cup of the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in chocolate. Beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff meringue is formed. Fold the meringue into chocolate batter until no white shows. Fold in flour.
Pour into greased and floured 8 inch springform pan. Bake 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes and remove rim. Cool on base. Cut torte in half crosswise to make 2 layers. Spread apricot jam between layers. Replace top layer and frost with chocolate icing.
To serve, slice the torte into thin wedges and top with whipped cream.
9 oz. milk chocolate3 tbsp. milk1/4 tsp. vanilla
Break chocolate into top part of double boiler. Place over simmering water and cook, covered, until chocolate is melted. Stir in milk and vanilla. Reheat. When smooth and shiny, remove from heat and spoon it, all at once, on top of torte. Smooth over top and sides of cake.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Miller Dream...Thanksgiving in the Woods (Part 3, The Final Chapter)

Jake and I have been so busy we barely get to go down to West Virginia. The property is only four(ish) hours away. When we were doing respite we only had one week-end a month off and since we left that job we've been moving and running in 5 different directions. Either way, we get to hear all the crazy stories from the others. There is always something going on. We decided we would spend Thanksgiving down there with the family. To be real honest for a moment...we had our reservations about going. Since Paul and Linda just had thier mobile home moved out to the property, we were going to all be staying in the double wide. Paul, Linda, Eric, Stephanie, Tim, Kellen, Lydia, Nolan, Jake, Jude, Elise and myself. Twelve. That is how many, in case you didn't go back and count. Twelve people in a trailer in West Virginia. Sounds like the start of a joke doesn't it? You have no idea...the Millers love to try to fit as many people as possible in small spaces for long periods of time. We once drove the blue van to florida with 8 people in it (not fun). I guess our biggest thing was up until a few days before we went down, there wasn't real heat. They had electricity with space heaters but nothing central. It reminded me of a time we went camping when Jude was 6 months old. It was the end of June but oddly enough, it was VERY cold (40's at night). We did not pack anything for cold weather. Why would I???? It rained the entire 3 days. Finally after the 3rd night I said we had to go. Jude ended up very sick. It was awful. So call me crazy but I am a little leary of cold nights with a small baby. Either way, they got the heat and we were happy.
To begin the journey over the river and through the woods, Thursday morning we woke up to a mini snow storm. It had snowed 4-5 inches and the wind was pretty gusty. Our driveway is on a hill. We have to go UP to get out. We almost didn't make it. We had to open the garage, back all the way into and get a running start. We still barely made it out. The roads were bad and we didn't eat before we left (duh) to save time. We figured we'd get something on the way. NOTHING is open on Thanksgiving. Well, except Dunkin' we need that!? The rest of the trip went smoothly. The kids were great. I don't think either of them cried during the whole trip. So, we get to the property. The driveway actually has a name, so I guess it is technically a road but because the county doesn't take care of it maybe it is still a driveway. It is called Blackberry Lane. In the summer there are blackberries everywhere. There is one very big hill in the driveway. Like I said the drive is a work in progress. Our van almost didn't make it up the hill. Two driveways in one day that we struggled to get our van up. Does this happen to normal people? We finally got there and had a great time. The food was delicious. We used fancy plates and drank wine. Indulgence. We cleaned up the dishes and when things were almost done, the water line froze. WHAT? Yes, the water line froze. You see...the water they have is from a temporary source. Hopefully someday soon they will have city water. They dug and layed the pipe but now they have some legal stuff to sort out before they get permission to finish it up. So, for now, they have a huge tank up the hill and the actual pipe is laying out on the ground. It had been warm enough, up until then, that they didn't have to worry about it. But it was cold on Thanksgiving. So it froze. Here we go...The Miller Way. ARGGGGG. Imagine life without water. We did have water to drink and brush our teeth with. I did wash my hands and face. But other than water. Paul assured me it would come back on when the sun came up. A few days earlier he had referred to this freezing and thawing process as "kinda neat". That is when I preceeded to call him "Amsih". He loves roughing it. I, however, do not. I used to think I was adventurous until I met the Millers. Well, the next morning came and no water. The afternoon passed by and still no water. Let me take a moment to talk about going to the bathroom with no water. You can't flush. We had to pee and not flush. I know that is what people do to conserve water but I am sensitive to smells and gag just thinking about it. There was a little water, in jugs, that could be used to flush if absolutely necessary. I have to get a little personal here. I HATE pooping anywhere other than my own bathroom. In fact when I move I have a little difficulty adjusting. I don't poop at Walmart. I don't poop at McDonald's or at work. I can't. While in college and living in the dorms I would use the guest bathroom because it was always private. I am often constipated while on vacation. I especially did not want to poop in a mobile home with 12 others around. I really didn't want to poop and then have to ask someone for water to flush it down. So, I just held it. I was getting pretty grumpy. Jake, Paul & Tim were outside trying to bury the water line until they broke the ditch witch they rented from Home Depot. They are always breaking the heavy equipment. I think they just like working on the stuff. So I tied on my hiking boots and I was off to tell Jake he had to take me into town so I could go poop ANYWHERE besides where I was. I was even considering a hole and a bucket. I did see Tim walking outside with a roll of toilet paper. But the Millers are backpackers. They are used to pooping in holes in the woods. I am not. When I get outside (to talk to Jake), I see Tim and Paul sitting on the ground with the water line. Tim had a blow dryer and Paul had a torch. They were trying to thaw the water line. It took a while but they finally got things flowing. And yes I went to the bathroom. I know you were wondering. They were too, and everyone kept asking, "Did you go yet?" I have lost all dignity. I was happy to take a shower and feel clean. All the dishes got washed and they started the laundry. I am not sure what happened, but the washer died. It wasn't draining water. They had to switch it with another washer. I don't think it worked either. We ended the night by all piling into the living room and watched "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" while listening to Paul snore. It (the snoring part) is kind of a Miller tradition.
The next day we went on a hike around the property. I had Elise in a sling and you can't believe what they had me hiking up. It was crazy. It felt good though. It was nice to be outside. I don't go outside enough. We usually hike at least once while we are down there. It does give me the itch to join the family in West Virginia. It is really beautiful. I think we will wait until they get all the kinks worked out. Ha.

Some people have asked me a few questions about my series. I wanted to try to answer them. First of all, I did initiate the idea of us all living on the same property but I can't take credit for what has transpired. I think Paul and Linda had toyed with a similar idea before. I just brought up the notion. Paul really ran with the idea. We go along with him. Jake and I aren't in West Virginia yet for a few reasons. We didn't have much luck in the job search, not that we weren't trying, Jake actually found Tim's job for him. Maybe we were afraid to make such a huge change. I don't know...maybe someday. Also...I know 3 almost 4 kids aren't really A LOT of kids but it sounded funny to say it that way. I don't think there is anything wrong with many children. I want to have a few more myself. And lastly, I want to Thank the Millers for being good sports about my blog. I love you guys very much and I don't consider myself an outsider at all. I wouldn't trade you or the free entertainment for anything. By the way, we'll see you for an Amish Christmas (Jan. 7th).

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 help paint the picture

Here is the driveway in various stages. Also a picture of the Blue Bomb & everyone pitching in with the water line. Doesn't it look like fun?

A Miller Dream...West Virginia - Almost Heaven (Part 2)

In April of 2004 I read an article in Mother Earth News magazine about an extended family in Louisiana that went together and purchased 30 acres of land. The parents moved into the existing house and the children builts houses for thier families. They had a farm they shared. They had a few animals. Enough to make cheese, have eggs and meat for the 3 families. They shared one community garden. I was sold. I wanted to do this too. My parents live in Tennessee. Jake and I talked about moving closer to them and buying a farm. We toyed with the idea of starting a program where troubled youth would come and work on the farm. It really is theraputic. Either way, one Sunday afternoon, the Millers were all at our house for lunch. I didn't mention it before but we Millers also like to eat. Before all the moving we used to get together (all 13 of us) and have a lunch each Sunday. After each meal, we would sit in our living room and chat about stuff (all leading to sex, poop or SC - see previous posts). The particular Sunday I am talking about I shared with everyone the article I read and told them I thought we should do it. I think everyone jumped on board immediately. Paul & Linda were working in North Carolina, at the time, with 8 girls living with them. They were already thinking about retiring from the houseparenting field. And remember Paul has the Amish Way deep in his soul (you can't get rid of that)...he was happy. Linda really just wanted the family all together again. Tim & Stephanie were living in a rather shady part of Akron. Tim wasn't happy with his job and to make it worse he was looking for a second job to make ends meet. They liked the idea but said it would probably be 5 years or so before they would move. We were feeling unhappy with our job at the time and were ready to go ASAP.
Everyone agreed we wanted to go South. We had two guidelines to meet. 1. To be closer to Tennessee and my parents. 2. Keep Eric within the same distance of his kids that live south of Columbus. We were talking about Kentucky. Well, when we started looking Paul found land was much cheaper in West Virginia. Paul and Linda went back to North Carolina the next day. They stopped and looked at a property on the way home. The next trip up they looked at another. That is were they live today. Paul took the idea and ran with it. That is what we love about him. He is a mover. By July, 100 acres of West Virginia hills belonged to the Millers. We went out and hiked the land several times. After a trip or two we were camping on it. There were no existing buildings on the land. There never had been. There was a logging road into the property but it wasn't a good road. They neighbors let us use a road from their property to get to a more place we could drive in. I remember the first time Paul took out the chain saw and started cutting logs that were laying across the lane, so we could drive back. I had never seen him like that...truely in his glory. It still wasn't a good road by any standards. During one of the first camping trips we decided to get up on Sunday morning and go to church. There wasn't running water. To go to the bathroom we had to sit on this bucket covering a hole in the gound. The rule was, if you went poop you had to cover the hole with some dirt. When the hole is filled up you dig a new hole for the 5 gallon bucket (with the bottom cut out) to sit over. Our "bathroom" was just over the hill...out in the open but away from camp. We didn't have a shower so Paul hung a tarp up by the canopy where we ate, etc... That morning while Linda cooked breakfast we took turns going behind the tarp and sponge bathed. No one could see you but I will admit, it was weird to be naked and cleaning my body while I talked to the others. It is awful to be that so exposed but there is probably some life lesson in trust/ honesty in a situation like that. Either way we piled into 2 vehicles and off we went to church. I can't recall for sure but I think it was Tim & Steph's van and Paul & Linda's brown van (the nicer of their two vans). I was in the 2nd van. So as we are driving the van bottoms out (we had A LOT of people crammed in the van) and the road was rough. It broke the brake line. That same trip the blue van had a tire popped down the lane. It is always something with the Millers. We did make it to church. I think we all pooped while we were there. It was nice to have a real bathroom with seats and running water. That church will probably shut the doors if they see us coming again.
Since the beginning things have progressed nicely. Paul and Linda moved to West Virginia last spring. They bought a mobile home that was just moved to the land last week. Tim and Steph moved in August. They live in a double wide mobile home (it's nicer than where we live now). Tim got a job that suits him well. The kids are happy to play outside (most of the time). Eric lives there part of the time. After his 3 week long bad marriage, he moved in with Paul and Linda to "get away". He still works in Akron but looking for something closer. The land has a driveway (almost a mile long...a work in progress - trust me) and electricity (a lot of trees and one crushed chain saw later). Linda tried to burn the forest down once (we have a few black trees to proove it). They do have running water (we will talk about that tommorow). Paul has some very big toys; an excavator, tractor, bull dozer & dump truck. He bought most or all of them on e-bay. Linda works for the power company and Paul digs holes.
Tommorow I am going to tell you about our Thanksgiving with the Millers. It's gonna be a good one. See you then!

Monday, November 28, 2005

A Miller Dream....Setting the Stage (Part 1)

After spending the past week-end with Jake's family, I decided to blog a three part series based on recent events that have taken place. I want to warn you in advance...I am not a vulgar person but throughout this series, I may talk about bodily functions. My intentions are not to gross you out but to give you a true snapshot of what I am dealing with here! I would also like to preface this passage by saying...although I am about to poke fun at the Millers, I do love them very much and by all means I am not laughing at them but with them. After all, I am a character in this tale and also prescribe to the "Miller Way" of doing things. So, in essence I am also laughing with myself.

Today I am going to give you a little "background" on the Millers, hence....Setting the Stage. Let me introduce you.

Paul and Linda are the parents. Paul says he doesn't read my blog because I never talk about him. You can thank him for this series. He is the Miller Leader. Paul was born Amish. He says he decided he would leave the Amish way of life while in the fourth grade. He has lots of great stories about being Amish. Sometimes he even speaks Pennsylvania Dutch...just a word or two here or there. When he was 16 he ran away from home and lived with a family in Akron. He did keep in touch with his family and I think he even sent them money but either way...he made his break. Now is time for a little "amish" lesson. When you are Amish, you don't join the church until you are an adult (I am pretty sure that is when you are 21). If you choose not to join the church and leave the Amish, you can still talk to your family. If you join the church and then later decide this just isn't for you....well, then you are excommunicated. You will be shunned by your family and friends. At least that is the way it is supposed to be. I have learned there are good Amish, just like good Christians. Not all Amish follow all the rules. Either way, because Paul had not joined the church he was not shunned. He still talks to some of his family. Paul likes to give me a hard time. He is always saying things just to annoy me. I think he likes the attention (ha ha). We often banter back and forth. Linda was never Amish herself, but her parents were Amish and left. Linda is a special person...afterall, she has put up with Paul's ways all these years. Linda and Paul owned a insurance agency for many years but sold the buisness to work with troubled teens. They have been youth leaders and houseparents. They even started thier own non profit buisness called Adventure Plus. It is an outdoor program for teens. One teen they met by doing this line of work, is Tim (a.k.a. Applehead). I don't think he was actually troubled. I think he was in the youth group or something. Either way, Tim married Stephanie (Paul & Linda's daughter). The way I figure it, Tim spent enough of his formative years with the Millers that it is just part of him now. He is a true Miller. Tim & Stephanie have a lot of kids - Kellen, Lydia, Nolan & baby on the way. Stephanie home schools Kellen, uses cloth diapers on her babies and went backpacking in Alaska when she was 4 months pregnant with Lydia. Eric is another son of the Millers. He has very bad luck with women. He has 2 kids, Miles and Ashley. Eric is deaf. Jake is my husband. He is the youngest of the Miller children.
So here are some fun facts about the Millers. Especially, Paul Miller. He has to do everything himself for a couple of reasons. 1. To save a buck 2. Independence/ Self sufficeincy. The Millers drive vehicles until they just stop going...then they drive them some more. Paul Miller, just recently, drove a van to Ohio that no longer goes in reverse. The Millers love the outdoors. I am not talking about sitting on your back porch chatting with friends. I am talking about rooting around in caves and pooping on holes in the ground. When talking to the Millers, all conversations, if talked long enough, lead to one of three topics - Sex, Poop or Shelter Care. The Millers don't care if they have heat, water or TV... but they have to have cell phones and the internet. And last but not least - They all live in West Virginia (except for us). Stay tuned and tommorow I will tell you how they ended up there.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

An Insomniac on Thanksgiving...

That would be me the title is referring to. Yes it is almost 2 AM and I can't fall asleep. I have A LOT on my mind so I just can't relax enough to sleep. It is offically Thanksgiving. Instead of telling you all my stresses I am going to tell you what I am thankful for. Afterall, it is Thanksgiving and to be honest I don't think most people really stop to say what they are truely thankful for... So here is my list.
  • My husband.
  • Jude and Elise.
  • My other family members.
  • My friends.
  • God
  • WNIR you expected me to say those things. Here are some things you may be suprised to hear me say.

  • My Name is Earl (I LOVE that show! Funny and pretty deep all wrapped in one!)
  • Tom's of Maine toothpaste
  • Insomnia (so I can have the time to do things like type in my blog)
  • Willie Nelson
  • My Job (although I would rather be least it is meaningful & entertaining)
  • Freecycle
  • The movie "Love Actually" - I watched it tonight for about the tenth time.
  • Other people's blogs.
  • Scrapbooking
  • Nascar
  • People who challenge me to be a better person (although I'm usually not that thankful while they are actually challenging me!)
  • Baby Carrots
  • Skinny White Mocha from Arabica's
  • Cookie Exchange's
  • Magazines
  • My Pink Fuzzy slippers
  • The makes everything look pretty
  • The United States
  • For the old letters I saved
  • For the old letters I threw out a long time ago.
  • I am THANKFUL (and probably a little lucky) I am alive.
  • I am very thankful God didn't answer all my prayers (I would have married the wrong person, had the wrong job, lived in all the wrong places and would have had a lot of regrets).
  • Frosted Mini Wheats
  • One True Fit Jeans
  • My cat, Molly

I am thankful for more stuff but I may be getting tired. Maybe you guys could post a few things you are thankful for...

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


If you know me very well at all, you know I am completely addicted to talk radio. It started when I was in college and I would listen to this local radio station called WNIR. Basically, all day long they have different hosts and they talk about a variety of local topics (live and local). People call in and the host talks to them on the air. In the afternoon they have this self proclaimed "Conservative Democrat" named Howie Chizek as the host. I used to listen to him and he would make me so angry. For some reason I kept on listening. Before long I was listening to other programs on the station. I get ALL my news and local information from WNIR. I LOVE it. I have grown to love Howie. I think I grew up and now I totally agree with almost everything he says. The truth is, he is ALWAYS right. Last December Joe Finan, a long time host, retired and they replaced him with Bob Golic, former Cleveland Browns player. He is great. Everyone loves Golic. The morning crew (Stan, Steve, Maggie & Jim) are very funny. Bob Golic says they take any topic to the lowest common denominator. That is pretty much true but you know potty humor is hysterical. They used to have a show in the evening called "The Dating Show". People would call in and try to get a date. One time I went to this local costume shop (for a costume -duh) and all these freakish guys kept looking at me and trying to talk to me. I was wondering what was going on....then I hear the host of "The Dating Show". They were having a remote. I got out of there immediately.

With all that said...since I listen to the station pretty much all day long, I recognize the regular callers. Yes, I know I am a big dork. Either way...some pretty weird people call WNIR. I never called for fear of being one of the weirdos. The morning show always has contests and great prizes but I don't dare call. They do have an emailer of the day prize. Yesterday I was listening and thought...I know I can win. So I sent Stan an email. I told Jake I was going to be on the radio. He didn't believe me. But, as soon as the commercial was over, Stan says "I just recieved a very funny email from Delilah". Of course the rest of the gang all repeated my name and then one of them sang that delilah song from that radio lady. (Like I have never heard that before ha ha). Either way...I won. I crossed over. I am one of them.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


So...yesterday the Secret Sisters from our church had a Cookie Exchange. At first I wasn't going to go but Jake kinda convinced me I should. I did want to go to socialize but I didn't really want to bake nor do any of us need cookies. But, I did say I would participate so Saturday morning I got out of bed at 6:30 AM so I could run to the store to get a few things I would need to make Penny Snickerdoodles. I wanted to go without the children and Jake had a meeting he was going to and he had to leave at 7:30. So I go to the store and get back in time. About the time I get home the kids wake up and need all sorts of attention. Finally, around 9 AM I get Jude all hyped up about making these cookies. I get everything out and realize I don't have flour. WHO runs out of flour? The truth is, I have 4 (yes four) bags of self-rising flour that are all open in my cabinet but no All Purpose. The recipe specifically says "do not use self-rising for this recipe' - figures. I couldn't believe it. I decided I would get a shower and try to take the kids out and get some real flour. Luckily Jake called and I asked him to pick up some for me. He gets it home and we start making cookies. I take the time to measure everything precisely. Afterall, I am going to be in a room full of other women, who will undoubtably have perfect Betty Crocker looking cookies...I don't want to look like I can't bake. All women are supposed to bake. Honestly, I am not good at baking. I hate recipes and measuring. It is too much like following rules. If you read my previous posts you will already know, I am not good at following rules. So, back to the baking. I roll out this marble size balls and roll them in cinamon and sugar. It took me about 15 minutes to roll out enough for one sheet. That is a long time considering I had to bake 5 dozen for this exchange. They baked for 8 minutes. I pull them out and they all melted together. So I try another pan full. They looked better but something wasn't right. Hmmmmm. I made the balls smaller. They burned. Black. Charred to the cookie sheet burned. I couldn't figure it out. I threw the cookbook in the trash, it was obviously faulty since I followed the directions exact. Either way I had to make a different cookie. I ran to the store, smelling like burnt cookies, and bought stuff to make a cookie I had 1. never heard of 2. never made before. Stupid. Shouldn't every woman have a signature cookie you use for events such as this one? You know, something that has been passed down for generations? Nope, not me. At 4 PM I called Heather to ask what time the cookie fiasco was happening. Her hubby said 6 PM. WHAT???? Don't these things usually happen at 7 PM? Oh, then I remembered I had told Stephanie I would make an appetizer. What am I going to do? Get the meatballs out. Did I mention my family was very hungry by now? Get out even more meatballs. Yes, we had a meatball dinner. I finally finished the cookies. They turned out okay...nothing to blog home about. The meatballs were good. I get out the door at 5:45 but still ended up being 15 minutes late due to some paving project they are doing in Monroe Falls. Why are they paving Rte. 91 in Monroe Falls on a Saturday evening at 6 P.M.??? When I got there I was shocked to see only a few cookies that were of Martha Stewart stature. Some were downright comical. About 6-7 had completely scratched their first cookie attempts and started all over. Only 2 people brought a cookie of some significance. Next year, I swear I am taking Oreos. You watch. By the way, I did figure out I put 1 pound of butter in the first set of cookies instead of 1/2 pound. I did fish the cookbook back out, wiped the egg shells off and plan to use it again sometime. I used to be able to bake. I don't know what happened.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


So I am a little late but my little boy turned 3 at the beginning of this month. How did it go so fast? I mean it seems like he was just a baby. There is nothing "Baby" about Jude anymore.

We had a McDonald's birthday party. It was okay. I am not much for loud, crowed places with lots of kids running around. But it was for Jude not me. I had prepped Jude for the event. I told him his friends would be there and he'd have a cake and candles to blow out. I told him people would bring gifts and he needed to be polite and thank them. Well, apparently he already has that ailment lovingly called "selective hearing" and all he heard was Gifts... When the Loomans came in Jude looked at his friend Jacob and said, "Where is my gift?". So it begins...

When I was pregnant and while Jude was a baby I had big IDEAS about parenting do's and don'ts. I promised my kids would not ever eat hot dogs, french fries, candy or the dreaded Chicken Nuggets. They aren't healthy. They are awful. I also said my baby would not sleep in my bed and I would NEVER think of using formula. I planned to make all my own baby food and used cloth diapers. I did most of these things and wish I did more of them for Elise. But I did say one thing that has really back fired in my face...I said NO CHARACTERS! Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Sesame Street, etc.. I wanted Jude to play with educational toys and wood blocks. Well, I realized early on it is a losing battle for a few reasons...1. Have you ever tried to buy kids clothing? It is crazy. Characters everywhere. 2. You can't control what other people buy for your kids. If you try to you will be labeled as a control freak. Hmmmmmm. So, it began when Jude was around 9 months old. He fell in love with Elmo. It was a mini obsession. It then moved to Cookie Monster. At least he was learning his ABC's, right? Last Christmas he watched to Wiggles Christmas special and he was hooked. He wakes up asking to watch the Wiggles (didn't I say no TV?) and goes to bed begging for the Wiggles CD! When Jude learned his colors he didn't call them by their name...he called them the name of the Wiggle that wears that particular color (i.e. Purple Jeff, Murray Red). But it didn't end there. He loves ALL characters. Sponge Bob, Batman, Spiderman, Dora, Higgley Town Heroes, Pooh, Elmo, Big Bird, Nemo, the list goes on and on. He hasn't even watched some of these shows before! Yet, he knows who they are. His latest obsession is Toy Story. He loves Woody, Buzz and the gang. I mean he really loves these guys. He watches the movie and has the toys. He acts out the movie with his toys. He dressed like Woody for Halloween and he asked for Woody for his birthday. He takes Woody to the grocery store and sleeps with him in his bed. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? It just did. I could make it stop but that would be so mean. I don't think there is any harm in it. I wanted him to be a little hippie that shunned all the comercial stuff but...that was before I actually had kids. HA.

Have a good day.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Crystal Meth...

...also known as Crank, Ice or Tina.

I read a book this week called Crank. I couldn't put it down (sorta ironic isn't it?). It was written by a mother of a young woman with a drug addition. It is so scary. Working with teens and watching the news I hear about this drug all the time. Do you know about it? Do you know anyone it has touched? It is so frightening. For those of you that don't know exactly what it is...I will explain. Crystal Meth is a type of speed. You could even call it super speed. It comes in a few different forms. It can be snorted, smoked or injected. I guess each way gives you a different type of high (and low). It can be made at home with fairly common household items. I have heard people use all sorts of things including rat poison, laundry detergent, drano or other poisonous substances. Everyone has their own recipe. The dealers who make is are called Chemists in the drug world. It is very tempting for teens because it is every school, in every community, rich or poor, black or white, rural or's there. Don't be naive, it is in your back yard as well. I haven't tried Crystal Meth. It wasn't really part of the "scene" when I was wild and crazy. I am thankful for that. But I do know it has effected so many people I know. From what I have read Crank gives you an amazing feeling of euphoria...well, at least the first time. You never really reach that again. A lot of teens do it to get the speed effect. It also increases sexual appetite. So you get a teen who is tweaked out on crank and chances are they are also sexually active. Very sexually active. Either way it is extremely addictive. People lose everything they have because of Meth. Others just lose their minds. Some lose thier lives. It is really awful.

If you are interested in reading the book it is called "Crank" by Ellen Hopkins.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Blogging, Doctors & Christmas Gifts

Blogging... I am finally getting back on track with my blogging. I am getting used to this jam packed schedule that I call life. It is maddening. I have been having writers block. I have a lot on my mind but nothing that I feel is material for the blog. There has been all sorts of serious stuff going on. My cousin was in an accident and broke her neck. Our nephew has been in the hospital for over a week on oxegen because he has pnemonia or an infection of some sort. Another girl, I used to be close to but no longer really know, lost her husband this week. A girl I was in the youth group with in High School was sentenced the death penalty last week. Just all kinds of serious stuff.

Doctors...Or should I say DOCTOR! I have not been feeling well, so I went to the doctor for a few tests. I have some 3 weeks ago. I suppose because they came back okay the doctor decided I was making my symptoms up. No one from his office even called to tell me they were normal. Or to schedule a follow up appointment to figure out what my problem is. So...this week I go and tell him I want more tests and want a few answers. He told me he would personally call me with the results. Do you think he did? No. I called today and he wasn't even in. I called and made an appointment with a new doctor for Monday. Adios Dr. Kedia. I have had enough. I understand I am not the only patient in the world but I want someone who will get to the bottom of my ailment.

Christmas Gifts...I vowed that I was going to have a more frugal, thus meaningful, Christmas this year. I plan to make all (or most) of my Christmas gifts. Afterall, I am a self proclaimed artist of sorts, so why shouldn't I create for those I love? Because it takes sooooo much time. And I can't find the pedal to my basically brand new sewing machine!!!!!! I hate moving. It is here somewhere...who knows when I will find it.

I am going to try to post a letter or two today.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Three Question Survey

I am on a break at school and I actually have time to blog. Unfortunately, I am not feeling well and I don't have anything profound or entertaining to say today. So, I thought I would take a survey. I am going to temporarily allow anonymous posters (as long as no one calls me profane names or starts harassing my like a fifth grade bully). Please participate.

Three Questions.
1. What was your favorite moment as a teen?
2. If you won 225 millions dollars what would you buy first?
3. What is your favorite book?

I'll give you my answers later.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Shooting Stars

Life has been so crazy. I probably say that way too much here in my blog. I really would like to blog everyday. And as you all know, I do have lots to say but I just can't find the time. I am teaching at R.B. Chamberlin Middle School in Twinsburg. It is a great school with well behaved kids and a nice racial balance. I am happy to be there. I know some of the kids are sexually active but not that many. It is easier to talk to kids who haven't actually had sex. I think prevention is just easier in general.

So after working all day I went to Wooster to do a Discovery Toys party. It was really nice. But I have HORRIBLE night vision. I was driving for an hour on these very dark country roads. I am suprised I made it there. I know Jake was worried for my safety. I called him, lost and frustrated. Either way I made it there and home in one piece. And I must admit it really stunk driving back to the city after being out in the open country air. There wasn't traffic and it was quiet. Just when I think I am content where I am...I see "the other side". So, before I left I stood outside in the dark and talked to LeAnn for a few minutes. We haven't seen each other for a long time and lots of catching up to do. I was standing there admiring the stars (the are amazingly bright in Wooster). Just then...I saw a shooting star. Have you even seen one? I remember the first time I ever had the pleasure. I was driving down a country road in Vermilion. I was 19 years old. I looked up and there it was...I made a wish. I wasted my first shooting star wish on a boy. Ahhhh youth. Anyway, last night I didn't make a wish. But later, as I was driving home I saw 3 (YES THREE) more shooting stars. That is 4 in one night! I actually saw two at the same time. Isn't that so cool? I told Jake I think it meant something serious was going to happen. Like God was trying to tell me something. Jake said to wish for money. Then we started talking about the lottery and how it is up to 225 million. The next thing I knew I was back in Akron with the traffic, bright lights and noise. I could barely see the stars...not that I stopped to look for them. Isn't that something?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Today I was driving through town and realized it was actually Halloween day. Since I took the kids trick or treating on Saturday I hadn't planned to pass out candy or anything. At the last minute Jude and I decided to turn on our light and tried to unload some misc. stuff we had left over from the pumpkin decorating party. We didn't even get ONE trick or treater. Can you believe that? Oh well. I did feel a little nostaligic thinking about Halloween when I was a kid. I grew up in Vermilion and lived on State Rt. 60. It was a heavily traveled "rural" road. The houses are not very close together so we also did not get many trick or treaters. My mom was just talking yesterday about this kid that lived by us named Chuck. Chuck was something else. I have so many stories about this guy...starting from kindergarder (he pooped his pants on the bus and Stormin' Norma made him move to the back seat and made everyone else move to the front). But I am telling you about Halloween right now... Chuck would trick or treat every night, for a week, leading up to Halloween. He would dress in costume (usually nothing fancy) and off he'd go. It still makes me laugh. I also remember going trick or treating my senior year of high school in Valley View (a housing development in Vermilion by the High School). Chuck went with us. He is very big. Big and tall. People were angry that we were trick or treating - especially about Chuck. They kept asking him if he had kids of his own at home!
When Heather and I would go trick or treating, my dad or mom would drive us from house to house. It would take us an hour to just go around our "country" block. One time we went to McCray Meade's house and we get out, run to the door and just then someone jumped from underneath the porch to scare us. I am lucky I didn't wet my pants. I think Heather actually started crying. I don't remember if we even got the candy. I don't think we did. I know for our remaining trick or treating years we were very cautious at that house. I think we secretly wanted them to scare us again. Those were the days. Oh, and let me tell you about the was the good stuff. Whole candy bars. Entire packs of gum. Candy necklaces. Homemade popcorn balls from someone you knew and trusted. And the pennies. It wasn't because the people in our neighborhood were rich. It was because we didn't have van loads of kids coming from other neighborhoods to cash in on the treats. It was just the kids from our area. I could probably name most of them for you still to this day!
When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade I was in a club. The people in the club were Heather, Tracy, Susan and myself. We would pay dues (like a quarter) and have meetings in the woods. Well, we decided to have a Halloween party. We thought we would pay for it with our dues. Afterall, we did have about $4 saved up. So we planned games, apple bobbing, music, etc... It was going to be a real bash. And then we started inviting people. I don't remember if we gave out invitations or not. All I know is that we didn't tell our moms until a few days before the party! My mom says she doesn't remember the details but I know there were a lot of kids in our basement bobbing for apples, so she must of pulled together somehow. We never had anymore club meetings after that party. But it wasn't the last Halloween party that I'd throw. We had a big one in High School. There was probably 60 kids there. We had a little Haunted Trail in the woods and a big bon fire in the back yard. I dressed up like Albert Einstien. I think I won a prize. A bunch of kids from my youth group were making out with each other by the fire and my parents weren't too happy.

Oh Halloween, the memories I have...

Sunday, October 30, 2005


So today was the big day...learning how to "deal" with the button pushers in my life. I must admit that I was hoping Pastor Mike would stand before us today and say if someone is toxic and pushing your buttons that you should go home and type a blog stating all of that peron's flaws, lies & hurtful behaviors. To my dismay, he did not. Shocker, eh? He did however have quite a few things I did need to hear.
#1 - I have to be responsible for my own life and emotions. i.e. my own happiness. If I am unhappy it is because I choose to be, not because someone else is making me unhappy. This isn't a new concept to me but it was nice to have it reaffirmed.
#2 - You reap what you sow. This is a double edged sword. It is nice to know that the jerky people of the world with get their own someday. Revenge is so sweet. I have mixed feelings because I don't ever want to wish ill will on anyone...BUT, if I am honest I do have those ideas every now and then. Either way, I also have to accept that what goes around comes around - for me as well. Like I have mentioned before...I haven't always been the greatest person (and for the "button pushers", please do not take this as an invitation to publicly criticize me) and I have done my share of things that I will reap the consequences...that is, if I haven't suffered enough already.

There was so much more but I was called out of church to feed Elise. I will have to get the CD.

After church, we went to Lorain to Indy's birthday party. We stayed too late and now I am tired. Too much to do...

I am off to Reidinger Middle School tommorow. I have 7th & 8th graders this week. I was pondering my job and basic "role" last week. I decided that I basically spend my time talking to a room full of puberty about "hormone managment". It is so much fun. Last week I had a sixth grade boy ask me, "what is a clitoris?" I answered him but it was very clinical (Part of a woman's vagina.) Short and sweet. He didn't ask anything else. I had two boys ask me what sex feels like. Funny, they never asked me these sorts of questions unil I had children.

Okay, have a great night.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Trick or Treat

Tonight was Trick or Treat for Jude. We went over our friends house and took all the kids (4 with us, 3 running around by themselves and one in the oven!) trick or treating. It wasn't that bad but I don't think I can actually say it was FUN. Jude dressed up like Woody from Toy Story, because that is his latest obsession. He watches that movie twice a day! I just put a cat hat on Elise and she didn't beg since she is way too young for candy! We had pizza and hot cider afterwords. Jude decided Bill's name is Mr. Clean???? I am not really sure why, but on our way home I said something about Bill and Jude was all upset and demanded I call him Mr. Clean. I think it is really funny. We saw several people we know while out and about. That was kinda cool.

Basically the whole thing reminded me of Cody. Five halloween's ago I dressed up like a sailor (thanks Brynn for the old uniform) and headed out with my little werewolf. We walked for a solid two hours. By the time we were done he had a huge bag of candy. It was sooooo cold that day. Cody is eleven now! I can't believe how fast time has gone. Most of you probably already know that I haven't seen Cody in a long time. His dad couldn't handle married delilah being a part of Cody's life. What can I do?????? Nothing.

So, tommorow I learn how to deal with the difficult people in my life (next in the line of sermons). I will let you know what I learn. Stay tuned!

Monday, October 24, 2005

It's Been A Long Time...

I finally get to type. Life has been so busy. Last week was absolutely NUTS. Jake worked during the day and we had to take the kids to the babysitters. Jude freaked out. When I took him on Monday I actually cried. But how a week changes everything...he cried when I picked him up today. He wanted to stay and play with Jack. Jack is a little boy from church. His mom died two weeks ago. He is only four. Isn't that awful? I didn't know her that well. I walked past her so many times and never actually talked to her. I don't know why. I guess I was always too busy. It's pathetic, I know. But Jack is a sweet kid. Jude really likes him.

I don't really have a real topic today. It has been so long since I posted and too many things have happened. I have a lot on my mind. I think my last post struck a cord with a few people. You will have to excuse the profanity left by the anonymous commenter. I could have erased it but I wanted everyone to see it. I don't want to offend anyone, and if you are I appologize. I guess it goes to show you that even if you try to be a better person or make the world a better place there is always going to be someone who is mad or annoyed with you. What do you do????

Speaking of posts...Where did everyone go? Everyone got me hooked on thier blogs and now....nothing. It stinks. I need more!!!!! And if you are a regular reader who has a blog - please let me know. I'd love to read it.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Toxic People

Well, it is Sunday and as most of you know, I go to church. For the last few weeks, Pastor Mike has been doing a series called "Who's Pushing Your Buttons". It has been interesting, to say the least. Today's message was about Toxic Relationships/People. I sat there listening, intently, hoping he wasn't going to describe me (or my personality) as a toxic person. Allthough, I do think I can be a button pusher, I am pretty sure I am not toxic. Anyways...the whole thing has forced me to do some soul searching and step back and look at my past and present relationships. Those of you that know me well and have known me for a long time, know I suffered the loss of a very close friend some time back. For those of you that don't know...I lost my best friend, a person who I had known since I was a very young child. You know, the kind of friend that is by your side all the time and who always has your back. The shoulder you cry on after every bad break up or bad hair day. No, she didn't die. She decided she didn't want to be my freind anymore. I won't go into all the gory details but she decided, for whatever reason (she never told me why) that she could no longer talk to me. In fact, the day she severed our friendship was the same day I told her I was pregnant with Jude. For two years I beat myself up over my loss. I played it over and over in my head, trying to figure out what I did wrong and what I could have done differently. I guess I knew why she was upset. I put her on the back burner, after all, I did meet the man of my dreams, get married and get pregnant very quickly. So I felt guilty and and blamed myself. But still, I truely missed her. I cried. I mean, I cried real tears. I felt like she had died. She wouldn't return calls, emails, etc... Which meant I had no answers to my questions. I couldn't understand what I did that was so awful that she just didn't want to have anything to do with me. That she didn't even want to meet my son. To make it all worse, we work for an agency that often required us (Jake & I) to see her at her job. She would talk to Jake like nothing had ever changed but never once asked about me. That really hurt. Well, the story doesn't end there. Two years after we stopped talking, my sister decided to call this girl (Heather was friends with her too). My sister encouraged me to call her and talk to her. So, I did. We planned to meet out for coffee at a neutral location. At the last minute she changed to plans and we met in the bar of a resturaunt that was close to her house (far from mine). I was on her turf. I sat and observed as she interacted with these people she barely knew but called them her "friends". She was rude, demanding and monopolized the conversations. I don't think she can see it how I saw it that evening. I sent her an email the next day, telling her I need to talk about her 2 year absense from my life, so we could start with a clean slate. She sent me an extremely abrasive email back telling me she wasn't interested in my negativity. I felt bad for a while but I felt there was some closure in an odd sort of way. So, the point of all this is (finally) not to have eveyone read this and feel sorry for me or to even bash my old pal, but to say, our friendship was very toxic. I will admit, I was partially to blame. But, when I came to that realization, it was too late. I had changed, she wasn't willing to do the same. It has taken me a long time to even want to have friends or to be close to anyone, other than Jake or my sister (I love you Heather). A while back I started to feel like I do need friends. I have been slowly working on it. I have come a long way. I want to say, for the first time I have great friends and healthy relationships. Some of my friends are new ones and others are old friends that have grown with me.

Today, Melanie came down to visit with her girls. We spent the day at the pumkin patch. She and I don't talk as often as I'd like (she is also busy & we live an hour apart). A while ago, Melanie and I stopped talking for a couple of years. It was my fault. At the time I thought I had valid reasons. It was immature. We started talking again when her husband (she had been separted from) died of cancer. We picked up like time hadn't passed between us. I never apologized. So, I want to say (officially) I am sorry. It was awful that I did to her, what that other girl ended up doing to me. Obviously, Melanie has forgiven me but I felt I needed to make a public apology. Sorry, it took me this long to do it.

In closing I want to challenge you all to examine your own relationships. Try to make things right. But, remember you can't make a person feel the same as you do. Life is so just never know when it will be your last day or even another persons last day. You have to try. In the end your world will be a better place because of it -even if it doesn't turn out how you want it!