Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm Better Now

Well, after reading my last post again, I should gave given more time to the fact that, even though I'm a blubbering mess...I have the best kids in the world (thank you Lord!). Zack has become such a wonderful young man. I think another part of the reason I'm so emotional about him is that I'm so eternally grateful that he's turned out so well. So many friends have experienced the heartache of children walking away from their faith. There comes a time when our child must make his faith his own... he can't continue to "ride" his parents' belief. They must choose for themselves. It is the epitome of letting go for mom and dad...we can't force them to believe. We can only hope to walk through the uncertainty with them. My heart is full of thankfulness that Zack is walking with the Lord. I wish I could bottle some magic potion that would guarantee he never walks away... So, sometimes I'm overcome with a heart of thankfulness that he is such a good boy, and acknowledging that only God could have accomplished this. Of course, I wonder if he'll be able to keep his room clean when he goes to college, because he sure doesn't keep it clean here.
Thanks friends for your sweet comments and encouragements. I'm sure that once I get through with this one, I'll be an expert and won't have any problems with the other four. Right....? Right? :-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Here we go...

Can it really have been that long since I've written. The last post was lamenting the end of summer. Now, Christmas is just 3 days away. I'm sitting in my cozy living room with a toasty fire in the fireplace, the lights shining on the Christmas tree, and the family is asleep...all but me. My head tells me that I really don't have anything new to say, and who would really want to read about me anyway? But, I know that there are just a couple of you that might like to know what my heart is feeling. And, these recent feelings are new for me.
I'm a relatively down to earth, get 'r done kind of gal. I don't really like to get all mushy or cry much. I'm pretty analytical about things and tend to see a problem and will look at it from all angles and then make a decision. However, I've become a blubbering idiot over these last several months. I have been second guessing my decisions and completely unsure about things. I must say that I don't like feeling this way. The root of all this anxiety? My son. My 18 year-old son. Do you understand what I'm saying? I HAVE AN 18 YEAR-OLD SON! How is this possible. Even as I write that, my throat is stinging a little. What is wrong with me?!
This child of mine is now old enough to vote, has been driving for almost 2 years, and Lord help me...he has a girlfriend. He's applied to, and been accepted, at several colleges. It's coming people. Now my nose is starting to sting a little. This child has become an older young man. I can't bring myself to say he's an adult man yet. He is still in high school, still lives under our roof, still asks if he can borrow the car, still has chores and gets and "allowance". He has a curfew, has a limited amount of computer time, and I've even found him, from time to time, sitting at the Lego table putting something together. These remnants of youth keep me from feeling like I've completely lost him to "adulthood". He's so sweet and has never really caused us a moment of know what I'm talking about. He has had his moments here and there, but really, no Trouble with a capital T. Even with all that is happening to him, there are deeper feelings I have that cause me grief. The cause of my emotional meltdown is because the sweet mother/son relationship has changed. (Throat and eyes tingling now...) He's still so sweet to me and very loving, but something's different. He is much more introspective...not a lot of sharing. He answers my questions, but there's no real deep conversation... He's making his own decisions about when/if to study. He spoke to us about having a girlfriend, got counsel from a few others, and then made a decision. He's 18. It's not like we can stop him. Roger says that this is a good thing, and in my head I know he's right. Roger tells me that Zack's beginning the early stages of "leaving and cleaving". And, he says that Zack will continue to need to feel like he's becoming independent of us (me?) and that eventually, he will realize the blessing of our relationship and will come back to the deeper parts of it. Really? Why do I feel such loss? I feel like there's some strange unwritten rule that says I need to keep my mouth shut. if I offer guidance, counsel, or even an opinion that it's viewed as a mother that's trying to be controlling...who won't let her son grow up. The tears are flowing now. It's emotionally exhausting. I feel such extremes. I'm so very proud of him and thankful to God for helping Zack to be such a fine young man. But I miss him. I miss that little boy that needed me. I miss knowing what he's thinking. If this is the way God intended for boys to become men, why is it so hard for me? I have several friends that have been through this and they assure me it's completely normal. But good heavens! I have 3 more boys coming up right behind Zack. Does it get any easier? And what about his future wife. What if she doesn't like me? It makes me wish that I'd encouraged Roger to call his mother every once in a while...just to tell her about his day.
In my effort to be analytical about all this, I remind myself that the first one is always the hardest in respect to the unknown. If I can get through this, the others will probably be a piece of cake. Of course, we can't forget about Katie. She deserves her own blog post.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


The summer is flying by. I mean it! It's really flying by! One month until school starts and the glorious freedom of summer turns into the daily responsibility of school and all that goes along with that. Actually, fall is my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, the harvest, the football games, and even the excitement of a "new year". But, I really love summer vacation. Not so much the heat of it, but the freedom it brings... What will we do today? Where will we go today? So many options...or, just doing nothing.

We've enjoyed our summer thus far and are trying to savour each day we have left. We did an 8-day vacation to Florida in early June. It was a fabulous trip until we reached Birmingham, AL on our way home. Our van broke down...actually, our van died! It wasn't going to move another inch. We ended up renting a van to get us home and then had to buy a new car a week later. Bummer... We're thankful we were never in danger, and that we were able to find a used vehicle that we could afford.
My sister-in-law and our 11 year-old nephew came to AR from New Jersey for a short visit. We showed him the small town life and made a day trip to Branson. He had a great time and lamented that he didn't want to leave. He didn't know how fun AR with his cousins could be.

Now, our big boys are at New Life Ranch participating in their leadership training program. The day they left for camp, our 3 little ones went to spend 4 glorious days at Aunt Gayle's. I am so thankful for an aunt that welcomes and loves my kids. They adore her and Uncle Jimmy and think their house is one of the best places in the world to be.

The littles came home on Thursday afternoon, right after I had oral surgery to remove 3 wisdom teeth. I had contemplated having the teeth out early in the week while the kids were all away, but decided against it. This was the first time in almost 18 years I had been this home alone...4 whole days! I figured I'd like to enjoy those days, not spend them with puffy cheeks in a drug induced stupor.

So, that's what's going on around here. The big boys have another week of camp, but they get to call home today! And, I've been doing a lot of knitting... I love summer!

Here are some fingerless gloves... Thank you to my lovely model, Katie.

This is a hat that converts to a neck warmer. The bow around the top can be untied and pulled down over the face and then scrunched up again to keep your neck toasty. Again, thank you Katie.

No need to explain these... adorable.

I'm particularly happy with these slippers. I was a little nervous about them fitting, but they turned out great!

This is a scarf I made in early summer... It's a lovely brown and has red beads throughout.

Here are a few things that Zane has completed this summer.

Finally, this picture should make everyone feel really good about themselves...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Today's Harvest

This morning, the sky looked like it was seriously going to burst and we mere mortals would need to roll our pants up because of the flood waters... Ok, maybe not that bad. But it didn't look good. As the thunder got closer I got myself outside and did a little garden gathering before everything got wet. Here's what I got...
I harvested a big bowl full of lettuce and spinach. Do you see those strawberries? Yep, they're ours. We're conducting a "strawberry experiment" this year. I'll tell you more about that later...but it seems to be working. Finally, the eggs are from our girls. I hard boiled them, so one of them looks white...but it's's brown... but white on the inside... You get the picture.
Here's what I did will all of it.
Strawberry spinach salad. I'd share it with you, but it's all gone.

Monday, May 10, 2010

More Randomness...

What's goin' on here? I'm glad you asked.

--Went to a local dairy and bought 3 gallons of fresh milk...just to try it out. We let it sit overnight and then skimmed the cream off the top. Fresh butter...nice! The kids seem to like it. I'm optimistic this might work out...

--Made cards with some lovely ladies Friday night. I have fabulously creative friends.

--Went to a mini-reunion on Saturday to see several of my high school girlfriends. It's amazing how quickly a person can revert to adolescent silliness :-) It's a good thing my kids weren't with me to see me spiral downward.

--Mother's Day = Awesome Day. Awesome kids. Awesome husband. Thank you God.

--Mother's Day = Sad... Still think about my mother every day.

--Only 5 days of home schooling left! Must. Keep. Going...

--Severe weather predicted here tonight. If anyone needs a basement, you're welcome to come over. We can make cards!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I know, I know... Pick yourself up off the floor. I have been thinking lots of thoughts, but just haven't been writing. Here's a few things I've been doing or thinking about...
---I have learned to knit. And I love it! I've done a couple scarves, a hat, a couple of socks, and am working on a summer scarf.
---I've started my garden. We ate some fresh lettuce and spinach a few nights ago.
---Only 2 weeks of school left!
---Why do so many 15 year old girls show so much cleavage? Some of the prom pictures I've seen just make my eyes pop! Not in a good way.
---It's only April and I'm already getting recorded political phone calls...ugh!
---I'm planning to redo my recipe book. My current one is stuffed and too I got a new one that I love and I am looking forward to organizing it.
---The "farm"... Windmill is spinning, chickens are laying, bees are buzzing, grapes are growing... Nice.
---Baseball season is...busy.
---I would like to eat more organically. My kids would like to too, if it tastes good. Baby steps.
---Handyman and I are taking a little trip to Eureka Springs for my birthday. I always get a little nervous spreading out the kids...
---I'm looking forward to making some fun plans with the kids during summer. Zoo, parks, perhaps a little road trip here and there?

OK. That's just some of the random stuff in my head.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So good, but sooo bad....

Why is it that the recipes that sound so yummy to me are the ones that are so bad for me? Take a look at this! I particularly love the black and white pic. Yummm!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Boob Tube

You probably think I'm going to write about the television. Well...not exactly. I can write about this now because it's over. I had an MRI on Wednesday because of an increase in calcifications that showed up on my last mammogram. An MRI. It sounds serious, and it is definitely not a walk in the park. My last mammogram was 2 days before Christmas and when we compared it to the mammograms from the last 4 years, there is an obvious increase in calcifications on the right side. Sometimes, if there is a cluster of calcifications, that can indicate pre-cancerous tissue... Not good. But, it's normal for calcifications to increase as a woman gets older (joy!). So, since my mother had breast cancer, the radiologist encouraged us to find out for sure. Therefore, I allowed myself to be rolled into a long, metal tube to be x-rayed with super, duper strength stuff. I'm sure there was all kinds of radiation bouncing around the room. The days leading up to my appointment were incredibly stressful. Often, I would wonder if Wednesday was the day I'd receive a cancer diagnosis... Thankfully, everything is fine and the doctor saw no inkling of anything remotely suspicious. I slept for 2 hours after I got home...

One of my friend's grandmother passed away that evening, and as I read about her passing... and a letter from her husband, I was struck by the different feelings we had about death. She was ready to go. She spoke of wanting to go... She was ready to meet the Lord. There's a hole where she used to be, and the sadness of her absences is so fresh...but there's some comfort in knowing she longed to go home to heaven. I'm not ready to go. And, the main consideration I have is not for myself, or even Handy's my children. They need me. Is there a time in our life when we feel that we've done what we were supposed to do? We've finished the job and ready to go "home"? I don't know the answer, but I know that I still have a job to do, and it looks like I'm going to be allowed to keep at it...

I can't end on such a melancholy, here's a short video of what we did after Christmas. This is my #1 (on the drums), #2 (on the guitar), #4 (on vocals), and a brief glimpse of #5 sitting on the couch completely engrossed in his new Nintendo DS. My boys....singing Ghostsbusters. It told you I had a lot of work to do...