In the dark..........

Tuesday I took Mark for his 15-month check up. I had my list of questions and warned the nurse on the phone last week that this appointment would be a counseling session as well as a check up.

As soon as our doctor came in we got right down to it. I shared Mark’s symptoms back in August. To make the situation more confusing, the allergen test (RAST) came back positive for a milk allergy, which by the way, is not 100% accurate. Considering Mark has not reacted to milk-base formula or dairy products, we are ruling that out for now. His celiac panel came back negative too, but when I limited gluten for a few days his bowels improved. Again - more confusion!!!

When I received the lab results over the phone I called U of C’s Celiac Hotline and spoke to their nurse. She mentioned celiac blood screening may not be accurate in toddlers as young as Mark and to come in for an initial visit and Dr. Guandalini will perform the intestinal biopsy the same day (the only 100% accurate way to test for celiac disease).

So I am left without answers as of yet. Mark’s growth chart is still climbing and consistent with “the curve”: 24lb 10oz and in the 90% range in height and head circumference. Stunted growth is a common symptom of celiac disease; however he gained 2 pounds since his last check up in June.

His bowels are normal some days, but when they seem loose, etc, I have to ask, “What if this is celiac?” Mark has been waking in the middle of the night again. Is he experiencing cramping or going through the usual sleep problems toddlers go through? The “what ifs” are driving me crazy!!!

After talking to the pediatrician, we have to get answers. We need to rule out everything and move on. October 10th at 9:45am Mark will have the biopsy done. It is not a fun appointment because he can only have clear liquids that morning until 8:30am. Try telling a toddler he cannot eat or drink. YUCK! And I won’t even begin to discuss how a toddler comes out of anesthesia. It is grueling. I am prepared since Matthew went through the procedure when he was diagnosed. Please pray for a smooth day. Pray everything goes quickly.

We will get through this. We will get answers and move on. Only for a season....

I hope all of you have a great weekend.



When does chaos strike?

Do you have a time of day when everything is crazy? When everyone needs something all at once? You wish you had an extra set of hands?

In our home that time is after school. The moment we walk in the door chaos is about to happen.

Matt attends half day kindergarten. As the van enters the garage he is ready to use his built up energy and ride his bike. Of course Mark cannot be left out, so he follows after Matt with his mini big wheel trying to keep up. Mark has only mastered how to push backwards, but he feels accomplished.

So there I am. Outside. Watching my boys yell, laugh, fight over who gets what and run around. Until...........

“Ok, boys, time to go in!”

Mark is already upset that he has to go inside. He is an outdoor kid through and through. As I carry Mark, Matt wants to start his homework. He grabs his school folder and everything falls out. I need to sort what needs to go back and what stays home. While this is going on Mark is doing his typical I-need-something-now yell letting me know he wants lunch......not later, but now.

Matt thinks he can start his homework right then without reading the directions first.

“Hold on.......put your name on the paper and wait for me to help you read the directions.”

I quickly prepare Mark’s lunch which usually consists of some type of canned veggie with Easy Mac or PB&J. I finally have him settled! Now back to Matt.........

“Ok, it says here........”

Matt starts his homework. Done in 5 minutes. Yes, only 5 minutes! Then he proceeds to read me his "Letter of the Week" book over and over again. Don't get me wrong, I love my son reading, but I am being pulled in so many directions at that very moment. He reminds me again and again that I am not paying attention. I start to feel guilty.

“Mom, I want lunch now.”

So I am back in the kitchen making lunch for Matt while Mark is already done. He wants out to play.

Mark is released. Matt eats lunch. Wait, Mark isn’t quite done because since his brother is eating, he has to........again! Back in the highchair Mark goes.

In a matter of seconds my countertop is cluttered with Matt’s crafts/worksheets. For those who know me, clutter and I do not have a good relationship. Lunch stuff is scattered every which way . I am going through everything from Market Day forms to PTO newletters. There is always something to read and fill out. Information overload!

Everyone is done eating. Clean up time. Wash Mark’s face and hands. Gather all the forms. Pile up Matt’s work for Daddy to see when he comes home. Wipe off the kitchen table. Load the dishwasher. Nag Matt to put his stuff away. Listen to the boys run around and literally screech at one another. Need I go on???

There I am. Longing for Mark’s afternoon nap. Anticipating Matt’s “down time” when I allow him to watch TV or play on the computer. Waiting for MY TIME! It is just around the corner................

And then I prepare to do it all over again tomorrow.


Our Weekend

Today I stayed home from church with the boys. Steve attended since he had a youth leaders meeting after the early service. Usually he gives me the opportunity to get out when the boys are sick. Love that!

My boys are getting over a nasty cold/cough. Matt started on Wednesday and it took a couple days for Mark to catch it. He had a horrible croup attack late Friday night. Thank God over and over again for our nebulizer machine!!!

Steve and I have slight symptoms, but not bad. We were itching to get out of the house yesterday so we just decided to go for a drive. No destination planned........just drive. Was that medicine for the soul or what?? We brought some snacks and soaked in some local sights.......if there is such a thing! Sorry to say our area is not that exciting. We laughed, talked, and shared while devouring Peanut Butter M&M's.

I am not sure what I enjoyed more this weekend: going for our family drive or getting McD’s for breakfast this morning and stopping by Dunkin Donuts on the way home for a latte. Oh, my latte fixation!!!

This week Mark goes in for his 15-month check up. After a good “counseling session” with my favorite pediatrician I will know what our next step is with Mark’s possible celiac test.

Man, I sure linked a lot here. I think that’s enough to read. Enjoy the rest of your weekends!!


Everyday Pumpkins

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


So warm. So cozy. Works great with a mug of hot chocolate,
coffee, or chai.


I own 3+ Old Navy Performance Fleece tops in my closet. Perfect on a crisp fall day at the park or pumpkin patch.


It keeps my children warm. Whether its pants, sweatshirts, sleepers, jackets, hats, or gloves.....it works!


In our family room I have a basket full of blankets by the fireplace. Some are green. Some have ducks on it. Some show off my hubby’s high school. They are used frequently.


It works on
sick days. To cuddle with and hide under while sleeping.

Fleece. It’s a beautiful thing and an Everyday Pumpkin through fall and winter seasons!!!


Wordless Wednesday: Sippy Success!

We came........we saw.........we conquered the bottle!!!
It took about 5 days and now we are in non-bottle bliss.
So much for a Wordless Wednesday, but I had to express my delight and Mark's shown here.


Wanna fly somewhere???

Steve came home Friday and said I had to download this to our computers: Google Earth

Not only does it give detailed driving directions and satellite imaging, but you can go anywhere around the world. Here are some places I virtually traveled to:

  • Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy
  • Disneyland and Disney World
  • New York City
  • Washington DC Memorials and even the White House
  • Maui at the exact location Steve and I spent our honeymoon!

I even took time to search close friends that live states away. How cool is it that I can visit their neighborhoods on my home computer? *WOW* This weekend while Steve absorbed college and pro football (GO BEARS!), I sat at my laptop flying from one place to the next.

So give it a try, it's free! Share places you flew to. Download it now -----> CLICK HERE!!!


Matthews T & F

Earlier this week Matthew went on his first field trip to our local apple orchard. Despite the cloudy, wet day he had fun. I was given a bag of apples picked by yours truly. I threw one away since it looked like he found it on the ground -- bruised and half eaten. *GROSS* He also added a very small apple for Mark. How sweet!

After a long morning at the orchard Matthew wanted to spend the afternoon with his best buddy in the neighborhood, Matthew (aka Matthew F.) When they get together there is always confusion who is talking to whom. It’s cute! And to boot Matthew F. has a sister, Maggie, and then there is our Mark. Talk about attack of the names beginning with the letter M!

“Hey, Matthew.......no not you Matthew, the other Matthew. Get Maggie.......ur.......I mean get Mark and grab your shoes.”

During their last time together the Matthews decided to have a Spongebob pajama party with popcorn and a movie -- and it was only 4pm. HA! To be a kid again!


Town Underwater

The rain started Monday.

It rained again Tuesday....all day.

Wednesday.....another day of rain. Five inches in one day!!!

Local schools are closed today. Basements have 3-5 feet of water. Residents were forced out of their homes and took boats to dry land. Pumps are working overtime!!! Streets turned into rivers. Memories ruined. Toys washed away. Raw sewage backed up in homes.

Today the clouds are finally breaking. The sun is planning to show his face. Residents will start the process of gathering their items and clean up. Do they have flood insurance? Pumps? Is their home’s foundation intact? Do they have enough help? Support?

Please pray for these families. That God will restore. Rebuild. Renew. Today is a new day!

PS Our home did not suffer any flood damage


Wordless Wednesday: Silliness

February 2006



I have been absent from blogland lately. After 9 months of Mark cherishing and calling his bottle “friend”, his parents did the unthinkable and took it away! It was time. We have been met with resistance and down right anger on his part. I can’t blame him.

Up until now we have used the bottle for many things:

But when he is soaking diapers and consistently asking for his “ba ba”, I knew we abused it. I take full responsibility. I am guilty. In comes the irreversible change!

Saturday was emotional for Mark and me. I knew I had to be strong, but it is difficult when your toddler refuses every type of sippy cup you own and is looking everywhere for his beloved bottle. He was searching the cabinets, toy box.....everywhere!!! It was smart to start all this on a Saturday when Steve is home.....ah....my rock!!!

Sunday was a better. We stopped at our local Babies R Us and purchased a new sippy (Platex First Sipper) that he quickly took to. Finally.....an answer!!!

Monday he digressed a bit again. But it didn’t help that he was still getting a bottle before bed. He was confused.

“Where is my bottle this morning if I am getting it at night. It’s somewhere in this house!!!”

So last night we decided to make another decision: Take away the bottle for good! Cold turkey!

After Mark’s bath I brought him down for what usually is his bedtime bottle. He saw the sippy and arched his back as if to say “No way, Jose!!” After trying and trying he finally took it. However, he was up four times last night. I would just pick him up, sit with him, and he would drift back off. I put him back down -- asleep again. Talk about a huge adjustment for Little Man.

We will get through this awkward time! I will be strong! I am ready to pack these bottles up and burn them!


Where Were You 9/11?

Matthew was 10 months old and I was getting ready for bible study that morning. My parents were due over any minute. My dad planned to watch Matt while my mom and I headed to church.

I remember when I turned the television on. The exact time.

8:46am (CST)

Usually I have music playing, but what prompted me to turn on FOX News that morning I cannot remember.

There I am in the kitchen. Making coffee for my dad. Getting my things together for bible study. I hear on the news:

“It appears a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center.....”

It started to consume me.

“What was that pilot thinking? How can you miss that? UGH, not another freak jet accident! What a huge mess!”

Just shortly after 9am they announced the other tower was hit. The hair on my back was standing up. I knew at that moment this was not a freak accident. Was it another Tim McVeigh case? Terrorists? Another derange plot from a disturbed mind? My mind was cycling all the possibilities.

My parents arrive. As they are walking in I rushed to meet them at the door.

“Planes hit the World Trade Centers. BOTH! Look!”

We watched. Again, trying to absorb what had just happened. Before we knew it, my mom and I left for bible study. What will happen? Who did this? How many will die?

During bible study we were told the grave outcome.

The WTC Towers were no more.
The Pentagon was hit.
United Flight 93 was down somewhere in Pennsylvania.

As I recall these memories I am reminded how we unified. Became strong. Prayed. President Bush declared “They will all hear you!!!” We were strong! We went to God for help.

Times have changed. The unity subsided. The prayer meetings ceased. Everyone is complaining about gas prices and whether we should or shouldn’t be in Iraq. Opinions are flying every which way. Our country has allowed more smut and sin to plague our minds. God has been pushed aside. We are more concerned about seeing Suri Cruise than the state of our nation.

I admit during critical times I search for God more. Asking for help. Seeking His will. I am guilty of pushing Him aside when everything is good and I have no worries. Is that how we maintain relationships here on Earth? Of course not! We are to seek His face every day. Every minute. Always reflecting and worshipping Him in all that we say and do.

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

To share your story and read others, please visit
Rocks in My Dyer


Rub-A-Dub Dub Boys in a Tub

Bath [bahth]
A washing or immersion of something as for cleansing or medical treatment

Bath time has a lot of meanings in my daily life.

I remember giving my boys their first submersed bath when their umbilical cords fell off. I used the washcloth to clean them and to guard myself from any "unwanted spraying" (those with boys would understand). It was as if I was holding this fragile object. Could I break this little thing? That freshly washed smell an infant’s head has is priceless and I still grasp a hint of it from time to time. Their fuzzy hair. Their soft skin.

It is the place where Matthew and Mark had their first experience playing together with a red plastic ball.

“Throw it to Marky, Matt. Now throw it back to big brother.”
“Here, Peanut. Take the rings. I love you, brother Mark.”
"Aw, Mom, he just smiled at me!"

They laugh and splash all the time. Witnessing the beginning of their relationship brought an indescribable joy. One of many yet to come...

We talk about our day. What was our favorite time. Matt usually comments how “center time” is fun at school and recess is the best. Mark just smiles and says “ba ba” and “ma ma” and gives me a few gummy grins.

It is a place where I often get frustrated. Is anyone listening to me? How many times do I have to say “The toys stay IN the tub”? I could be doing so many other things right now, but I am stuck watching these two and getting wet at the same time. Oh, my knees are killing me!

“Mom, my boo boo hurts bad. OUCH! It really stings!”
“Mom, Mark got water in my eyes!”
“Mooooooom, I need a towel to wipe my face!”
“Mark won’t let me play with anything!”

URG!! In comes the knowledge that bedtime is coming soon. My day of being a mom is almost over. Soon the boys will be in sweet slumber and I can watch my TV shows -- not Power Rangers or Spongebob -- and relax on the couch without interruptions. Thank God for TiVo!!

Bath time. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I hate it. But overall, it gives our family lasting memories.


Wordless Wednesday: The Picker and a Self Portrait

**Never a dull moment with boys**


CWO: In "Other" Words

"Don't let schooling interfere with your education." Mark Twain

“Mom, did we come from apes?”

“Is the big bang theory possible?”

“When is sex allowed?”

I remember several questions like these came to mind when I was young. Information would load my brain in school and I would go home wondering if some of it was possible and right. From evolution to sex education a “tween” is a sponge absorbing thoughts, ideas, and theories. It was a time when I was scrambling to fit in. A time when an interest in boys was seeded. What an awkward moment in my history!

Thank God I had Christian parents to lead and guide. They revealed God’s Word is pure wisdom and knowledge. No matter what school books taught about controversial subject matters that the Bible is true and the final answer. I learned that we came from an Almighty Creator. I learned that sex is right, good, and intended for marriage. That I am fearfully and wonderfully made no matter what others say.

Proverbs is drenched with wisdom for daily living while Romans dwells on who we are in Christ. Ephesians hits on being a community of Christians while James stirs the pot on holy living.

Don’t get me wrong, is schooling needed. YES! You are talking to the wife of a high school principal here! We need to be educated to succeed in this world. To get a job and learn about our country’s history. But biblical truths are where it is at. Being Christ-like. Knowing Jesus and His ways. Always glorifying Him!

If you are struggling with a subject ask God. Grab a Bible. He will show you the truth!

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” Psalms 1:3


Family + Food + Games = FUN!!

The title sums it up for me.

My parents and brother, Jeff, came over to celebrate Labor Day. We expected my brother, Mike, and his family, but he was battling a nasty cold and needed some rest.

I was so excited to make brats with this new gluten free beer I found at our local grocery store. Let me tell you – DELICIOUS!!! I simmered them with onions and finished them on the grill. As Rachael Ray would say: “Yummo!” We stuffed ourselves until we were about to pop.

We spent time playing Uno and Spongebob Life. Why is it that everyone gangs up on me during
a game? Steve and Matt are so happy to “stick it to mom”. It just isn’t fair! Boo Hoo I’ll have to endure many years of this torment that’s for sure.

My dad is doing well. He enjoyed time with Matt and always is the fun storyteller when Mark is around. I heard that belly laugh many times. So sweet.

“How big is Mark? SOOOOOOOO BIG!!”

“Where is your belly?” (Mark lifts his shirt) “There it is!”

“Do you like your applesauce?” (Mark literally is drinking his bowl) “That’s our Marky!”

And then there is Uncle Jeff with Matt. I can’t even count how many times we heard.....

“Uncle Jeff...”
“Hey, Uncle Jeff...”
“Guess what, Uncle Jeff...”
“Do you know what, Uncle Jeff...”
“Uncle Jeff, watch this...”

Family time. It doesn’t get any better than this.

In Honor of Labor Day.......

This man truly needs a day off -- Happy Labor Day!!!



FYI: I have been trying to leave comments at my usual stops (see "Links" to the right) Since transferring to Blogger's Beta Version through Google they have temporarly stopped allowing me to comment on old Blogger sites. Do not fret - I am still reading!!!! Blogger says everything will be restored soon enough.

Steph: The dance video is CUTE CUTE CUTE!! And the baby wigs are too creepy!
Beck: I got the tag and posted!
Ashlee: The photo of X is too sweet!
Wendy: The elf photo is hilarious!!!

There are some comments I tried to post. Hopefully we will fully connect again!!!

A Bookish Meme

Beck over at Frog and Toad are Friends gave me a task and I will play fair sitting at my kitchen table typing this. Here is what she presented:

  • Grab the book closest to you
  • Open to page 123
  • Scroll down to the 5th sentence
  • Post the text of next 3 sentences on your blog
  • Name of the book and the author
  • Tag 3 people

Ok, let me start..................

Magazines.....no......newspaper.......no.......ah........found one!!!


"Prepare to listen. Your presence and actions are more appreciated than your words. Silence is better than meaningless chatter and platitudes."

Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields NOTE: My hubby serves in our youth group at church and this is their monthly group study


Now I tag Just the Six of Us, Butterfly Mama, and Flip Flop Mamma.


Everyday Pumpkins

“What is that crackling noise? Oh no, the food is still cold! Are you kidding me?”

Several months ago our microwave broke. Until GE came to fix our microwave, which took several days by the way, we were forced to use our oven or stovetop. I found myself putting frozen food on a plate and opening the microwave out of habit realizing it is not working.
Seriously with all the cell phones, gizmos, and gadgets I feel like we are spoiled. Times have changed since this photo that's for sure!! Should we be smiling like this preparing a meal? Does this woman have kids at her feet nearly pulling her pants down begging for dinner to be done sooner. I think not!

I use my microwave all the time. Most of Matthew’s gluten free food needs to be frozen until ready to use. It defrosts, times my stovetop cooking, melts butter/chocolate, cooks frozen meals lick-a-dee split, and pops popcorn for a family Friday night movie.

Say three cheers for our microwaves: "Hip hip...hooray!!"