Typical Weekend

It was a typical weekend. The temperatures have been climbing around here. Today the heat index is supposed to reach 110 degrees. Unless we plan on playing in the water outside, we will remain indoors with our beloved A/C.

Saturday I enjoyed another day of mowing. It was SO hot out!! I had to take frequent breaks and the grass was so tall. Four bags of clippings are ready for garbage day Wednesday. Again, my work was great if I do say so myself. A neighbor joked asking, “What lawn service do you use?” Hee hee!!

Sunday we attended church as a family. Seems like ages since we have done that. Either one of the kids was sick and the weekend before Steve was recovering from surgery. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to attending our church’s service together. Maybe it is because Mark is in the nursery and Matt is having a blast in Treasureland – ah, a nice break! Maybe it is because the messages there are life changing and my family has grown in many areas. We are always living and learning……

Monday is here and I am prepared to endure another week of Matt’s park camp chauffeuring and running usual errands. We are already purchasing school supplies for Matt’s upcoming year of kindergarten. Steve is back at work improving day by day. I have to admit; I like having things quieter around here. Last week I played the role of nurse, wife, mother, chef, and grounds keeper all in one.

So my blogging mind has been in neutral. Nothing spectacular is happening here just the same old stuff. Then again, no news is good news. Enjoy your week!


Do the Dew!!

Ok, you health nuts out there...........LOOK AWAY...............I'm hideous, I tell you...............HIDEOUS...............be afraid..................be very afraid...........................

I need my Dew!!! Especially with my overload of work lately, the caffeine jump has been a must. I feel like such a hypocrite when I tell my kids:

"That has too much sugar."

"You cannot have a second bowl of ice cream."

"Don't even ask me for candy while we check out of the grocery store!"

There I am, opening my can of Mountain Dew, loving every minute of it. I can't finish most cans of pop, but there is something about Mountain Dew that makes me lick the can empty.


I am ready to conquer the day again. Battle the kids moods -- bad moods. Survive this life called motherhood. WOO HOO!!!

So fess-up!! What junk food indulgence to you battle? Go ahead...........we won't judge!!!


Wordless Wednesday: Mornings


Mark's First Meme

Heidi's one-year old from Butterfly Mama tagged my 13-month old. Enjoy...

3 Things That Scare Me

  • My brother getting in trouble
  • When my mom grabs her purse -- oh no, she's getting ready to leave!!
  • I am pretty brave with everything else.

3 People That Make Me Laugh

  • Matthew
  • Parents
  • Grandparents

3 Things I Love

  • My bottle
  • Cuddling with my mom and dad
  • Jumping on Matthew's bed

3 Things I Hate

  • Car rides
  • Grass
  • Wearing shoes -- for now

3 Things I Don't Understand

  • Why are we always taking Matthew somewhere?
  • Mommy needs a shower? Really?
  • Why can't the square block fit in the round hole?

3 Things On My Floor

  • Puzzle sets
  • Little Tykes work bench
  • Board books

3 Things I'm Doing Right Now

  • Napping so Mommy can type my thoughts!!
  • Snoring
  • Laying on my belly -- my favorite position while sleeping

3 Things I Want to Do Someday

  • Play sports
  • Drive a car -- look out Mom and Dad!!!
  • Serve the Lord -- at least that what my parents pray over me every night.

3 Things I Can Do

  • Walk
  • Scream
  • Clap

3 Ways to Describe My Personality

  • Independent learner
  • Sweet
  • Serious

3 Things I Cannot Do

  • Dress myself
  • Swim
  • Wash my own hair

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To

  • My mom sing in the car
  • "The Wheels of the Bus Go Round and Round" on my LeapFrog Alpha-Bus
  • WAIT!! I wanna listen to "The Wheels on the Bus..." again!!!

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To

  • "That's mine!" from Matthew
  • "What are you crying about?" from Mom
  • "Don't touch that!" from EVERYONE

3 Absolute Favorite Foods

  • Blueberries
  • Honey Graham Sticks
  • Green beans -- WHOLE, not cut up!!

3 Things I'd Like to Learn

  • To run as fast as Matthew
  • Change channels using the remote
  • Use a spoon on my own instead of mommy helping me all the time

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly

  • Whole milk
  • Juice
  • Water

3 Shows I Watch

  • Whatever Matt is watching
  • Whatever Dad is watching
  • Whatever Mom is watching


Double Duty

First, my usual blogger hits will have to forgive me. I have been MIA lately.

Steve is improving with every passing day since having his gall bladder out. Mark's temperature hasn't reached 100 today without Tylenol. Looks like things are on the up swing finally!!! Sunday I had to mow the lawn. It was hard to squeeze in time for that between my other responsibilities. Thankfully Mark napped good and long that afternoon. I felt like Renee Zellweger and Nicole Kidman in Cold Mountain when they are tending Ada's farm. There I am pushing the lawn mower, bagging the clippings, and doing it just like Steve would. Even though I was exhausted it felt good to know I can do these things alone. I can maintain this house -- man's work and all!!

*DING* The dryer calls!! Gotta get the clothes out and put another load in. Keep everyone posted later........


Stress Levels on the Rise!!!

Talk about a weekend full of anxieties!

Friday Steve had his gall bladder removed. We arrived at the hospital around 6:30am. Steve was taken in for surgery around 8:45am (not 7:30am as planned) thanks to an emergency. We finally left around 3pm. Everything went well, but it was a long day. Steve usually does not take to anesthesia well, so it takes a longer period of time for him to "come out". He was nauseated for the rest of the day and night. It's amazing how the nurses are ready to kick you out once you can stand up! That's what "outpatient surgery" is all about.

When we arrived home I noticed Mark felt warmer than usual. He spiked a fever around 101 and is still hot today. He has no other symptoms, so we'll see if a trip to the doctor is necessary by Monday. Just another reason my stress level is through the roof!

The night before Steve's surgery our garage door's motor busted too. I know - AAAAHHH!!! Thankfully Steve's dad came up Saturday to help fix it and it is working again.

I was so angry Friday night because it feels I never battle one thing at a time. One thing piles on another......on another......on another......

God sustains me and embraces me!! I will come out with victory in the end as I grow in wisdom and strength. God is good and His mercy endures forever!!!


Prayer Request

This morning at 7:30am Steve is scheduled to have his gall bladder removed. Please pray for a smooth surgery and quick recovery. Thank you!!!

PS I will participate in Everyday Tomatoes next Friday.


rainy days

After several days of being in the mid-90's, sunny, and humid, today brings rain...rain...and more rain...

I am deciding wheather to relax and enjoy some time indoors or tackle projects -- organizing the pantry or cleaning out some cabinets. The choices are endless!!!

Seems like we all need days to slow down and maybe clean house or hearts! Reassess........think........slow down........

Enjoy these days as they renew the soul and the body!!!

"Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:4


Works for Me: Chores

Ok, this sounds like a real no-brainer: CHORES! Teaching your children to clear the table after they finish a meal to cleaning up their toys, chores do more than just help the child.......hello.......less work for the parents!!

Matt is starting kindergarten in a month (I know -- can't believe it either) and we told him along with becoming a "big kid" comes more responsibilities.

We already had an established routine every morning: breakfast, brush teeth, change clothes........

In comes making your bed!!!!

One morning I spent time teaching Matt the correct way and every morning since he's been diligent to do it. I can already feel our school year mornings becoming less hectic which means less stress on mommy. We need all the help we can get, right???


CWO: In "Other" Words

"When life whacks you so hard your head flies off, sew it back on and keep going." Mary Pierce

Recently I posted an entry about my youngest son starting to walk. We were overjoyed at the milestone.

Mark stood up grasping the coffee table and with confidence let go and took those first steps every parent longs for. We cheered and clapped, “Hey, Marky, good boy!!”

Soon after he attempted those first steps..................


His bottom hits the floor. Sometimes he even does a facial on the carpet. He gives me that what-happened-mom look. I encourage him that he feels no pain and to try again.

Back up and off again. Mark tries and tries while laughing and clapping.

He has been walking for weeks now and every day he improves however every day brings a new fall too. Is there something we can learn from this? ABSOLUTELY!!!

Doesn’t life do that? Either you are starting a journey (milestone) or you have been cruising along for some time then.....................


You find yourself on the floor, maybe a little hurt -- maybe a lot hurt -- trying to figure out how you got there and how to get back up again. Know this:

“My heart is steadfast, O God; I will make music with all my soul!” Psalm 108:1



Saturday Matthew and Steve went to a local minor league baseball game with Matthew's summer T-ball team to celebrate the season's end. They had a blast and................

Matthew was named MOST VALUABLE PLAYER!!!

We expect Matthew to play baseball every summer. He loved every moment of it!!!


Everyday Tomatoes

"...For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11

Seems like my recent posts dwell on health! Either thankful for good health or battling another illness with my boys. This Everyday Tomato focuses on my father.

Last February he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and started treatments in March. I can't even begin to describe what our family -- better yet, my MOM -- went through. It was terrifying,
exhausting, and sacrificing all at once. I saw my playful Dad knocked down and battling for his life. Chemo treatments were grueling and my mom was forced to drive my Dad an hour every day to receive radiation treatments.

But after his surgery my dad's labs showed NO CANCER!! He is improving with every passing day. The doctors are elated with his progress. His side effects are minimal compared to others who have gone through it. All we can say is God is so good!!!

Last Sunday I brought Mark over for a visit and it was special to see my Dad play with Mark. He makes up funny stories and games which make my boys laugh and laugh. How priceless this time is!!! I sat back and soaked this in knowing for more to come...



"Ok, honey, let's go to the wedding. Got everything? No wait! I forgot the card!"

I remember being stuck in this situation many times until I purchased a card organizer. Now I stock up on different cards for different occasions. I keep the box stored in our office's closet and grab it when a card is needed - birthdays, weddings, get-wells, new babies..........

My last minutes trips to Walgreens have decreased with the exception of milk runs!!


CWO: In "Other" Words

"Once in a while you have to take a break and visit yourself ." Audrey Giorgi

Trials. Who needs them?

When you are in the midst of a trial all you want to do is find the nearest "EXIT" sign. Haven't we all been there? A mother is agonizing over her child's diagnosis. You didn't get that job you were hoping for. Ugh, the sump pump is backing up again! Your mind is racing.

"How do I fix this?"

"Is there a quick solution?"

"God, help!!!"

How many times do we ask God, "Lord, get me through this," instead of "God, what can I learn from this?" I can admit that in my life the first prayer comes to mind more. I am consumed by the problem that has plagued my thoughts and I just want to get out of the valley.

God knows all. He is in all. He knows every hair on our heads.................and then some! So He knows exactly what trial you are facing. He understands your fear and hurt. He knew about your trial before you did.

Paul was a prisoner in Rome when he wrote Ephesians. I am sure his life in prison wasn't like prisons today. I am sure he had a lot to complain about. How interesting he does not dwell on his time in prison, but on the gospel of Christ!

Ephesians chapter 3 shows Paul's heart in the midst of his situation. He wanted nothing more than to preach the Gospel. To show the love of Jesus. For God to be glorified in all things!

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-19

Paul was executed shortly after completing Ephesians.

No matter how long your trial may seem. No matter how difficult your situation looks........

Step back. Take a break. Ask God, "Lord, teach me how to grow from this. Shape my heart. Mold me into who You want me to be. I know You will see me through!"


3 Things...

Jess from O Mama Mia shouted out, "Tag, your it!!!" Here we go...

3 Things That Scare Me:

  • Riding on a motorcycle
  • Insects
  • Being a passenger with an aggressive driver

3 People That Make Me Laugh:

  • Jeff (my brother)
  • Old Bill Cosby stand ups
  • America's Funniest Home Videos

3 Things I Love:

  • The Lord
  • My husband
  • My boys -- in that order!!!

3 Things I Hate:

  • My children whining and crying
  • Hypocrisy
  • Being late

3 Things I Don't Understand:

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Being non-hospitable

3 Things On My Desk:

  • Card organizer (everyone needs one -- maybe my WFMW!!!)
  • Roll of stamps
  • BILLS!

3 Things I'm Doing Right Now:

  • Typing (Duh!)
  • Listening to Mark play with an emptied Dunkin Donuts cup
  • Sighing while thinking

3 Things I Want to Do Before I Die:

  • Raise God-loving children
  • Have a strong marriage
  • Enjoy my family to the fullest!!!

3 Things I Can Do:

  • Assist a dentist in pulling teeth
  • Juggle
  • 2 words: MULTI-TASK!!!

3 Ways to Describe My Personality:

  • Hospitable
  • Outgoing
  • Performer

3 Things I Can't Do:

  • Play the drums
  • Do math in my head
  • Ride a motorcycle

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To:

  • God
  • Bible - the divine Word!!!
  • Criticism (I know this is hard sometimes, but it helps you grow)

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To:

  • Tabloids
  • Celebrity Moms - come on, they all have nannies, bodyguards, chefs...
  • Anything contrary to what the Bible says

3 Absolute Favorite Foods:

  • Steak
  • Seafood
  • Asian - including Chinese, Japanese, and Thai!!!

3 Things I'd Like to Learn:

  • A foreign language
  • How to be a better parent
  • More about Jesus' character

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly:

3 Shows I Watched as a Kid:

  • Tom and Jerry -- Matthew is watching it now!
  • The Monkees
  • Cosby Show

3 People I Tag:

Have fun!!


Feline Madness

WARNING: I may offend some of you, but I am not a cat lover. Their personality is annoying. Doesn't it seem like they have PMS or something? My parents and brothers are allergic to them -- no scoring there either! I am prepared for the negative comments. I am strong!!

On that note sit back and enjoy the following video of cats at their best...


Everyday Tomatoes

"...For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11

Now that Mark is over HFM Disease and Matthew is healthy as a lark, I can sit back and think of things that make my every day special. One thing that came to mind is owning two vehicles.

I know this sounds like the norm for the average American family, but back when I was in diapers, it was not common to have two forms of transportation in the garage. My mom ran errands when my dad would come home from work. I do not remember tagging along while my mom ran my brothers to preschool, grocery shopped, or went to the mall. We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at home and played with neighbors. Looking back, it gave us stability and great health -- no frequent trips to "Micky D's".

However while my husband is at work, I am thankful for the freedom to gather my boys, hop in the van, and take off. We can tackle errands during the day and when Steve arrives home, we spend that time as a family. To leave at a moments notice for whatever destination the day takes us is really something we all take for granted.

Then again, my mom made it without Starbucks' drive-thrus and Gymboree sessions. We came out ok!!!


PS All you NASCAR fans out there, my husband was able to grab two tickets for the race in Chicago and is taking Matthew. Should be a fun time for them if the little guy holds up. What a gamble!!!


Elementary, My Dear

Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing tagged me to recall events spanning my time in elementary school. Before I begin my remembrance, I will have to tag someone too: NICOLE!!!

I am shocked to think I finished my last year in elementary school 20 years ago. That just makes me feel old! However as I sit here and recall moments during that time it is as if I am there all over again. Circle times, long division, field days, milk money, mini skirts, lip synching, cool pencil boxes, MTV, Rubik's Cube.......

Throughout my school life I was always the outgoing one. "Talking too much in class" was my biggest negative teacher comment. I was the definition of drama queen -- always performing! Unfortunately my sanguine personality was not so in second grade when I got my first perm. I wanted Farrah Faucet's feather-perfect hair and thought a perm would give it needed wave. My mom took me to my Uncle Frank's barber shop where Kathy did the job. I remember her acrylic nails as long as claws as she sectioned my locks. When she took the curlers out my hair was a tight afro!!! The next day my teacher said, "Lori, you have to take your coat off, it is time to start the day." I was mortified to remove it since I used the hood to hide my "clown wig".

As years passed Teen Bop magazines were popular and Corey Haim was the man!! "21 Jump Street" introduced us to Johnny Depp. My friends and I would imagine us living in Hollywood with Judd Nelson as a boyfriend. Did you honestly know any girl that actually liked Alyssa Milano? Seriously, we were all green with envy when "Who's the Boss" came on knowing every boy was drooling over her!!

My best friend, Karly, and I would spend hours in my parents' basement lip synching to songs from Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. We were SOOOOOO cool with our neon tank tops and mis-matched earrings. Duran Duran eat your heart out and, yes, we knew the moves for "Thriller" and "Beat It"!!!

I am brought back to my living room couch listening to Matthew talk to the TV while Mark naps. Did I picture my life turning out this way when I was ten? Well Johnny Depp is a heavy smoker and Corey Haim is somewhere in California filming a new E! True Hollywood Story. I wouldn't change a thing!!!


Works for Me: Extra Gas!

I know, you are probably thinking, "What a title, Lori. How will this work for me?" Trust me, this WFMW installment is a must if you own a gas grill.

You are grilling mouthwatering beef tenderloins. You go out to flip the meat when you realize the gas grill isn't as hot as it was in the beginning. "OH NO, the gas tank is empty!!!" So you send your hubby out to fill the tank quickly while your meat sits on the grill drying out, etc. Have you been there? We have!

Easy solution: invest in an extra tank!!! We purchased another one this summer and kicked ourselves. "Why haven't we had two before?" Now we always keep one full in the garage ready for those emergencies. Our tenderloins are juicy, our ribs smokey, and our grilling experience secure.

Enjoy your summer and your grill!!!


Happy Birthday, America!!!

Did you know...

  • John Hancock is the first and largest signature on the Declaration of Independence
  • Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the future presidents who signed as well.
  • "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written by Francis Scott
  • The original US flag hoisted in June 1777 contained 13 stars symbolizing the 13 colonies.
  • New York City and Philadelphia were the US capitals before Washington DC

I hope all of you have a safe and happy 4th of July!!!!


Motherly Love

Today is one of those days. Mark is getting over his hand foot mouth disease and it feels like his illness is permanent. Have you had those feelings? Like you are in a rut and tomorrow will not be any better.

Well, this mom needed to talk to her mom! What can I say...I am blessed with wonderful parents. They support my family and I know through thick and thin they are there. They live close by and are actively part of our lives.

Today I needed the comfort and support of my mom. She lets me know everything will be ok. She lets me know I will get through this. She lets me know I can conquer anything. I couldn't ask for anything more!!!! When I hung up the phone, I felt better and was ready for what my day was going to bring.


The Party That Wasn't

Saturday we invited our families over to celebrate Mark's first birthday. That morning we woke up before 6am to Mark crying.

"Ok, something is wrong. Did he poop.......no. He feels hot........I'll take his temperature.......ok, 100.1. Great, what a way to start his big day! What is this rash all over his bottom? Looks like diaper rash........wait, he has red spots on his feet and blister marks on his fingers! He is not taking his bottle well.......what on earth..."

After researching online I figured it out: HAND FOOT MOUTH DISEASE!! So this special day that I planned for abruptly changed. One hour into the party Mark was so cranky that I ended up putting him to bed and he slept for most of his party. Even though it was nice spending time with our families it was not the party we hoped for. Mark never blew out his first candle. He never touches his wrapped gifts. I was left to ask God, "Ok, what am I learning from this circumstance?"

How many times have you made plans when the rug is pulled out from under your feet and you're found on your back? Or you are living day to day in bliss, then *BAM* a situation has slammed you in the face and you're asking yourself, "How on earth will I move on from this?"

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." James 1:2

No matter what circumstance I face, no matter what news I receive, no matter what sickness my children are battling, I know this...

"And my God will meet all my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippeans 4:19