Prom Weekend

Saturday I accompanied Steve to his high school’s prom. (Let me remind those of you that are new to my blog that he is a high school principal. We aren’t going through some strange midlife crisis!) I usually sit with the other administrators’ wives as we judge the gowns and call out our favorites. Even though the loud music is still ringing in my ears, I can’t complain about eating a served meal that I didn’t cook or have to clean up. How many of you enjoy a night out without the kids even though it may not be a fun dinner/movie or an event of your choosing? It’s still getting out of the house, dressed up, with Steve.....alone! When we came home he surprised me with flowers (a bouquet left on a table by a couple). Still, it's the thought that counts. Aren't they beautiful?

This week the grocery store is calling my name. Or should I say screaming my name? We are practically out of everything. The boys eating habits were horrible last week. Steve was out of town for two nights, plus other scheduled events and baseball practice/games made is easier for me to grab McD’s than cook a meal. Call me lazy, but guilt started to set in serving the clown's burgers or microwaving hotdogs -- GROSS!! So, this week I pledge to stock my fridge with fruits and veggies. The pantry with healthy snacks. The freezer with good grilling meats. Ok, I am motivated. Gotta get my van's keys!

UPDATE: We are back from the store. Fruits and vegetables fill my refrigerator's bins. Got the healthy snacks stored away. And 4 ribeyes are ready for grilling tonight. GOOD EATS!!!


Just Outta Bed

Stephanie is asking us to bare all and reveal a no-makeup photo. I admit using the good ole "black/white" button, but the rest is au natural. Join in and you may win something special!


We All Fail

“They enjoyed the sweet taste of wickedness, letting it melt under their tongue. They savored it, holding it long in their mouths. But suddenly the food in their bellies turns sour, a poisonous venom in their stomach. They will vomit the wealth they swallowed. God won’t let them keep it down. They will suck the poison of cobras. The viper will kill them." Job 20:12-16

From Alec Baldwin's harsh cell phone message to Imus being labeled a racist to NBC getting flack for airing the VT's mass murderer's manifesto (which all other media tapped into as well), America is getting stirred up. A sick decline in our society? Well, our nation focuses more on celebrity gossip than our world's hunger problem. Our selfish desires matter more than how God calls us to live. We talk about treating others with kindness but are quick to roll our eyes and get bent outta shape when we wait too long in a check-out line. I try to maintain a good attitude towards my kids, but fall short when I lose my temper. I try to view humanity as equal but sometimes get snatched into a sterotyping trap. Instead of pointing fingers, let's evaluate our own character and allow God to be the Potter. Our actions can cause a postitive reaction in our neighborhood, church, community and worldwide!

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8


Lost and Unfortunately Found

As I was emptying our dishwasher today I recalled a moment in my life:

One day I went outside to clean out our van. I scanned every nook and cranny searching for gum wrappers or a stale cracker. And then I came across a sippy cup under the passenger’s seat. This is the same sippy cup I was scratching my head about wondering, “Where the heck did that go??” Let me further say that Matt was well over 4 and not using sippy cups anymore.

What was in that cup? Milk? Or, please God, water? Juice? Dare I open this sippy cup that has been camping in this van for probably a year or longer?

Curiosity got the better of me and I opened it.

I assumed white grape juice was the culprit. There was hardly anything left but a sugary powder on the sides. However, growing off the “valve” was this black, hard matter that resembled a stalagmite measuring a few inches. It wasn’t worth keeping this science experiment –- off in the trash it went.

Recalling this moment made me wonder what science experiments you’ve found as a mother. Some cheese left under a sofa? A half eaten sandwich hid under a table? Or a new unwanted pet? The winner will receive a year supply of sanity and a pat on the back!


RBI with Some DQ on the Side

How many of you experienced perfect weather this weekend? We sure did. 70’s and sunny. Puts a smile on my face no matter how crazy the boys are acting or how much dirt they track in the house. Fresh air –- ah, so nice!

I survived Matt’s baseball team’s opening day.....and so did Mark. I realized I may miss 90% of the season chasing Mark until Lauren from Baseballs and Bows suggested bubbles. Why didn’t I think of that? I am buying a Costco-size supply soon! Thanks, Lauren!

Matt played catcher in the first inning and complained about how “boring it was”. He said his feet hurt and he was sick of squatting for such a long time. If you ask me, I couldn’t help but say over and over again how cute he looked in all that gear. Matt learned first hand how to be a good team player.

At his batting debut he swung at the first pitch: HIT!! I was yelling at my boy, “Way to go! You rock number 4! Yeah, Matt!” He stood on 1st base and gave me a thumbs up. Between innings he made a point to run out of the dugout and give me a hug and kiss. I asked him why and he said, “Because I want to.” Ok, so this is why I love boys so much!

Afterwards our family along with my parents indulged in DQ Blizzards. There sat Matt surrounded by people he loves on his big day. It doesn’t get any better than that!


"Count Me In!"

This weekend is special. Matt's opening day is Saturday (baseball) and he is so excited to start the season off. Stitches and all he is ready to step up to the plate and "play ball!" As for me I can't wait to see my son play, but then there is a potential obstacle: MARK!! Not sure how he will cope sitting for a couple hours watching rookie ball. My prediction is he'll want to run around and not stay in one place. I will bribe him with many suckers if I have to! So this mom will roll her sleeves up and do what she needs to do in order to witness Matt hit a line-drive.

And 5 Minutes for Mom is hosting another contest. I am not big on participating in contests, but couldn't pass up this digital frame from Philips! Steve has been hinting about wanting one for his office. A Father's Day gift??? Possibly!


The Breakfast Nazi

One morning when I asked Matt what he wanted for breakfast he answered, “Peanut butter and jelly.” At first I wanted to respond, “Matt that is for lunch. What do you want for breakfast?” But I stopped myself and thought again. PB&J is probably healthier than most of your cereals or microwave breakfast items like pancakes/waffles with syrup or for heaven's sake......a donut!! Not as much sugar and tons of protein in the peanut butter. So off I went to make him a PB&J sandwich (on gluten free bread of course). No big deal. Another morning he asked for eggs, sausage links and Lays Stax chips. Again I thought, “Lays Stax in the morning? Come on!” But what is the difference between that and eating hash browns. There I am plating scrambled eggs and Jimmie Dean links with potato chips on the side. Seems like breakfast is taking on a new spin.

This got me thinking. What do you think of your child eating a bowl of macaroni and cheese at 8am? What about you? In the morning do you prefer a bagel with cream cheese or a ham sandwich? A bowl of oatmeal v. a bowl of ravioli?

MATT'S STITCHES UPDATE: He had a friend over yesterday and they managed to knock heads together while goofing off in a tent. Yes, right on the area where Matt's stitches are! He snapped two of them, but it didn't cause much damage. The wound slightly opened but it was only on the surface (bled for a bit). Problem is he'll probably have a more pronounced scar. NICE!


Wordless Wednesday: My son.....the ham!

This is before Matt's Day of Stitches


Heal My Wounds

**Please scroll down to the previous post to read Matt's ordeal if you haven't yet**

Other than some swelling which makes Matt resemble Rocky Balboa, he is doing well. I have to remind him not to touch his stitches. He likes the prickly feeling or something! I thought about taking another photo but I figure why beat a dead horse. What's done is done and let's move on and let the healing begin.....

So we are looking forward to another busy week. Matt has two days of baseball practice and then his team photo on Thursday -- perfect timing, I know! What a memory shot that will make. I hope he gets back on the saddle and plays without fear. We'll see.

"But you, O Sovereign LORD, deal well with me for Your name's sake; out of the goodness of Your love, deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. " Psalm 109:21-22


What are the odds?

Friday night Steve and I attended an annual fundraiser for his school’s booster club -- a reverse raffle. We won $235 plus a $25 Hallmark gift card. BONUS!! We were on a high that night. Good eats. Adult conversation. The kids loved their babysitter. I mean what are the odds of everything going so well???


Saturday morning Steve took Matt to his softball practice like always. Matt loves to pal around with the big guys and play some ball. I was home with Mark when the phone rang.

“Lori, get your things ready. Matt took a ball on the head and split it wide open.”

You can imagine what thoughts ran through my head. “Where did he get hit?” “How did it happen?” “Is he bleeding a lot?” “How did Steve let this happen?” “Hope everyone is alright.” So off I went to get Mark and me ready.

Steve and Matt arrive home. I get a glimpse of the cut and it’s above his left eyebrow: little over 2 inches long and I can see straight down to his bone! It’s bleeding a lot! I make it like everything will be ok, but I motion to Steve behind Matt’s back and mouth the words, “Oh my God!!! This is really bad!!!” We high-tail it to the ER. Matt is whimpering a little, but handling himself well.

They see Matt right away. Since Steve knows many doctors in our area we demanded to see a specific plastic surgeon to handle the case. He arrived in 15 minutes and started to work. Matt was upset with the numbing shot, but during the stitches part he made great conversation with the doctor about NASCAR and baseball. All of us asked if he will play again and Matt responded, “I think so.”

Total stitches: 8 (We told Matt he’s a stud and all)

Steve finally told me what happened. He threw a ball to Matt from 1st to home plate (just a regular throw) and he missed it with the tip of his mitt. The ball hit a “bull’s eye” area above the eyebrow where the skin is tight and easy to split. No line drive or hard collision. Just plain bad luck! So, again, what are the odds?

On tonight’s menu: love, compassion, a little guilt, some pizza and going to a movie with a friend!


Everybody Loves A Date Night

Tonight Steve and I have an annual benefit to attend (a fun one too).

Have a nice dress to wear -- check!

Hired a sitter -- check!

Made a list for her -- check!

Stocked the pantry with snack foods -- check!

Organized the house -- check!

Remind Matt how he is responsible and to help the sitter with anything -- check!

Remind myself that the boys will survive a night without me -- check! (I think)

And all this will be worth it when I elaborate on what a great time we had.


Wordless Wednesday: My Three Men


Not that I am an expert....

....but what's all this talk about global warming and increasing temperatures? Not that I am a "think green" know-it-all, but if you told me the polar ice caps are in danger of melting I would have to slap you! In Al Gore's backyard it must be 80 because around here my nose is dripping and soon freezing to icicles. Please don't think I am against conservation. I am just frustrated to the high hills! We were in the 70's a couple weeks ago and in one day the temperature dropped 40 degrees. Snow is predicted every day and when I see the weather forecast I want to crawl in a hole and go into a deep sleep. Wake me when Spring has really sprung!

Then my glass-half-full mind reminds me: "Wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope." Psalm 130:5


Frozen Eggs

Easter Sunday I hosted my family over for eats and an egg hunt. We sported winter coats and hats -- very chilly! I was trying to decided whether we were celebrating Easter or Christmas??? Watching the kids' enthusiasm brought back memories when I was that age. Oh, to have that energy again!

Today Matt will be playing Lego Star Wars and I will relax during Mark's naptime which I pray lasts the entire afternoon.


Happy Easter

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20

While we celebrate meals with our families and enjoy treats from our children's baskets, let us remember that Jesus paid the ultimate price. He lived on this Earth as a human man like us. Walked among the hurting. Made friends with many. Opened his heart to children. Served His community. Embraced the broken. Suffered and died a horrible, sacrificial death so that we may live. My daily prayer is that my book of life reflects that of Jesus. That while my time on this Earth is short, I will do the work that He has called me to do -- to attract those to His Heavenly Father!


Airing Tonight

The other day I was talking on the phone to my dear friend Stephanie and she said something that I've been repeating in my mind over and over again:

"Lori, your life is a sitcom."

Yesterday Mark woke up in the morning playing as usual in his crib when all of the sudden everything changed to a hollering cry. I quickly went in and he managed to injure his front baby tooth. Don't ask me how -- I wasn't in his room at the time. Maybe those baby video monitors that I thought were so silly are actually a useful device? Anyway, the gumline was bleeding and you could see bruising above the tooth all over the gum and soft tissue area. I used to dental assist before I became a full-time mommy, so I knew the signs to look for in case we needed to see a dentist.

His tooth slightly shifted forward and was barely loose. So......I call our pediatric dentist that sees Matt, who I love by the way, so my mind would be put at ease.

Everything is fine. No root fracture. It'll tighten up again, but the tooth may discolor in several weeks or months. Mark is such a daredevil and so far his life is proving that again and again.....

So Stephanie's comment brought needed humor to my day. Thanks, girlfriend!


Kindness of Strangers Part II

Mondy night it was obvious Mark’s ears were bugging him and I made an appointment with our pediatrician for first thing Tuesday morning. As the boys took their baths Matt started to complain about his left ear. It didn’t seem too bad. To be on top of things I started Motrin right away and figured I’ll see how he is in the morning and go from there. I hate having him miss school.

That night was like watching a woman in hard labor. Matt’s ear pain elevated and grew stronger. Meaner. After an hour of watching him cry in agony I decided to call my pediatrician and he prescribed some numbing ear drops. Off I went to our 24-hour Walgreens around midnight. (It’s amazing how many people are out shopping at that time.)

I rushed home and gave him the drops. They would buy us an hour, maybe two, of peace, but he was back in pain yelling, “When is the pain going to stop?” It was pure torture watching my son in such pain and frustration. There was nothing I could do. Holding him wasn’t helping and my comforting words fell to the floor. I was counting the hours until morning when we were in my pediatrician’s office.

Thankfully Mark slept all night (thanking Motrin over and over again). I am not sure if I could manage two sick kids at that time. I had to wake him up and get us ready to head to the doctor's office. Matt wore his Spiderman PJ’s with a long-sleeve tee. I looked oh so gorgeous in jogging pants, fleece top and clipped-up hair. Matt’s face was swollen from crying all night and my no-make-up eyes were droopy from getting only a couple hours of sleep. It made for a great family portrait!

Matt’s ear started leaking on the way, which relieved the pressure and pain quickly. However, he suffered a perforated ear drum. I was shocked since he never complained about his ear until that night. His doctor said if he knew Matt’s ear was this bad he would of prescribed codeine to knock him out. Mark had so much wax build up that he couldn’t get a good look. But since his throat was red and he still had a low temp, I left with two boys and two prescriptions for antibiotics.

Here is where the real story begins.

I dropped the prescriptions off at Walgreens drive-thru. Since it was going to take 30 minutes to complete and Matt was hungry, I decided to take the boys to McD’s down the street. I place our order, grab my credit card and notice the card reader says “not available”. I ask the lady, “Are you accepting credit cards now?” She said, “The machine is down. Sorry.”

I had no cash and rarely carry it since we earn cash back on our credit card. There I am with two sick kids and I can’t pay for an $8 breakfast! All of the sudden this old man with sweet blue eyes comes up and says, “I got it. Don’t worry. It looks like you guys have been through enough.” Matt explains about his ears and that we were up all night. (He never has a problem explaining things to people.) I said many “thank yous” and took our food.

As we were finishing up our meal, the same man approached Matt and slipped him a $20! I quickly made it clear that he didn’t have to do that. In my mind I am thinking, "Steve has a great position. We live well. Someone else deserves this money, not us. Do we look that bad?" The man walks away smiling and we leave to get the prescriptions and head home.

As I told the story to my friends and family we all chuckled about it. We made comments like, “Did the man see you get into your 2004 mini van?” “Does he know your husband is a high school principal?” Then my mom said something profound -- she always does.

“Maybe it was an angel and you needed to know that everything was going to be ok.”

Not that I needed a hand out, but there was something about a stranger caring about me that comforted me. It spoke of sacrifice and love. I guess Jesus would have done the same no matter what the financial status of an individual is. I was broken and this man’s actions did something to my spirit. It felt nice.

Steve calls from work and I tell the whole story. We have a laugh and then he said, “Well, you need pay it forward now.”

So, I will keep this $20 bill in my wallet and someone out there will be blessed with it one day like I was.

Read about another stranger showing kindness.

UPDATE THIS THURSDAY: Matt and Mark are 100% better. Another mountain climbed and conquered!


Wordless Wednesday: Jumping Cousin It

Guess who is underneath all that hair?


The Keyboard Is Out

I am back after my week long break. Blogging is a great outlet for me to express my thoughts and document about my family, but hanging up the keyboard for a week was just what I needed. It allowed my family to take every advantage of the warm air and sunshine.

I did my Costco errand as well as a couple Target trips alone. Matt participated in a three-day baseball camp. Steve and I finished some home d├ęcor projects and as the boys ran in and out of the back door playing on the deck I wondered if our neighbors could hear me scream from the kitchen, “Would you just share with your brother!”

We slept in. Yes, that wonderful feeling of not setting the alarm clock. When there is no school Matt knows he is allowed to watch morning cartoons without waking us to ask. Mark blesses us by sleeping in (something Matt rarely did), so our days started around 8-9am. Refreshing.

Steve is usually out the door before Matt and I come downstairs for breakfast. It was special when everyone was home to share a bowl of Trix. We talked about articles in the paper. Matt rattled off his favorite Star Wars characters for the 100th time. Mark usually looks at us like we are all nuts!

I cannot begin to tell you how blessed I was to have Steve home. He helped with laundry, the boys, cleaning, baths...the list goes on and on. Just having him around was a comfort and my eyes are tearing thinking how much I'll miss him this week.

We visited grandparents. Played games. Ate out. Laughed. Stayed up late. Matt and I attempted an Easter craft using Mog Pogde, water balloons and tissue paper. How does it look?

Good times!

But everything came to a screeching halt when Mark spiked a temp around 100-102 last night. Another ear infection? Virus? We’ll see. So I am off to cuddle my little one and make sure I stay rested myself. A happy mom makes a happy house!