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Life Happens

>> Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life happens and the blog suffers, so it seems.

In the last few weeks, I’ve:

-joined Curves. This has been a good thing for me. I’m getting out of the house and doing some much-needed exercise.
-attended an IEP for DSGuy. Thankfully, it was a painless, productive meeting.
-watched DSGuy in the Memorial Day parade.
-tried line dancing and found I wasn’t too horribly bad at it! At least, I’m better at it than I am at doing the cha-cha, which isn’t saying much.
-watched a handful of movies. I finally got to see Iron Man 2 and Thor, which filled in the back story I was missing when I watched (and loved!) The Avengers. The Man and I also watched The Vow, which was bittersweet and strangely haunting. I’m still thinking about it a couple days later.
-rekindled the genealogy bug. I have found myself spending quality time with ancestry.com, digging up whatever I can find.
-rejoined the children’s ministry team at church. Some conflicts with Monkey Boy’s therapy schedule had kept me out of the loop for awhile, but I’m back.

I list all of this just to say, I haven’t been here in awhile, and I think I’m OK with that. Sometimes life happens, and I just have to go with it. No sense stressing out. (I have to remind myself of that.)

So that’s where I’ve been. What’s new with you?


The Avengers

>> Friday, May 4, 2012

It’s opening night for Marvel’s The Avengers—and I am stoked! Yeah, I’m a geek, and I’m totally OK with that. The Man humors me by taking me to the superhero flicks. He’s awesome.

Hollywood has been leading up to this movie for awhile. They’ve been preparing us with films like Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and Iron Man 2. We got to see Captain America for my birthday. (See? Geek!) It was well done. Iron Man was also a good one. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet seen Iron Man 2 (which introduces us to the character Black Widow) or Thor, which would have been nice prior to seeing The Avengers. I got pretty close to seeing Thor. A friend and I were going to meet and see it, but we ended up in different theaters. I was in the wrong one. Rats.

Anyway…all that to say I’m pretty excited. I’ll get back to you after I’ve consumed some superhero goodness.


I'm at Jewels!

>> Friday, April 20, 2012


Hopping Interviews

>> Thursday, April 19, 2012

Today I’m taking part in a blog hop called a progressive interview. You know, like a progressive dinner, only you’re asking people questions instead of showing up at their house ready to chow down.

Each of the hop participants asks a question, and all the rest of the participants get a chance to answer it. Questions can be about anything—serious or goofy. Mine was, “If you had to compete on a reality/game show, which would you choose and why?”

My answer would probably be American Idol. I like singing, and since Simon Cowell is gone, it doesn’t seem quite as daunting as it did before. I don’t kid myself into thinking I would win, but I would sure have a good time trying! Alas, I am too old for American Idol, so I will have to live vicariously through my TV set. There’s some great talent on the show this year. Anybody have any current favorites? I’m really liking Colton, Joshua, and Jessica.

Here’s what some other blog hoppers had to say:

Yvonne Blake I don't like the reality shows, but I think I'd like to try "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader" or some sort of trivia game like "Millionaire Show" or even "Jeopardy." (Of course, I'd probably panic and bomb out on the first question, but it would be fun to try.)

Joanne Sher I LOVE Jeopardy, but I would lose TERRIBLY (hubby and I watch every night). I've NEVER watched any of the reality shows (shocking, eh??). I think I'd do pretty well on Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader, though - and I'd like to meet Jeff Foxworthy.

Valerie Friesen Comer I'd make up my own reality show and call it...hmmmm...Farmer. Everyone would be given some basic tools, seeds, and land. Oh, they'd need some animals, too. We'd see who could actually figure out how to feed themselves!

Christina Rich Got to be the Amazing Race so I can travel.

Donna Winters I'd have loved being on the PBS miniseries reality show called 1900 House. I could have learned a lot about the historic period I often use for my writing.

Diana Lesire Brandmeyer Dancing with the Stars! I would love to learn how to ballroom dance like that.

Patty Sargent Wysong Confession time: I've never seen a reality show. Sorry. Our TV is connected to the dvd player and that's all we get. BUT, if making up a reality show is allowed, I'd head for a mission field somewhere...foreign language, foreign culture, different food, none of the comforts of home... and see how we do. There's bound to be all the elements of a good show there. Oh wait! Is Dancing with the Stars an option? I'm so there. The few times I've seen that I loved it!! LoL

Sharon Clements Srock Game show. I HATE almost all of the reality shows. I haven't really seen one that looked like any reality I'm familiar with.
Linda McQuinn Carlblom I'd go on Wheel of Fortune in a heartbeat. But for a reality show, my husband and I think we'd like to be on The Amazing Race. I know I'd crash and burn in about a week, but what a week it would be! :)

Janet Sketchley Some kind of game show, Kristi, because I'm not a reality show person. Something with words or spelling and no ticking clock. I live in a sitcom, though. Does that count for anything?

How about you? Which game show or reality show would you pick? Leave a comment and let me know. And while you’re at it, click on a few (or all!) of the links below and check out some great blogs.

Happy hopping!


Erma on Dining Out

>> Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Today’s Erma-ism: “The age of your children is a key factor in how quickly you are served in a restaurant. We once had a waiter in Canada who said, ‘Could I get you your check?’ and we answered, ‘How about the menu first?’”

I think she’s got something there, but I’d take it a step further. The quality of any dining out experience is directly proportional to the rambunctious tendencies of your children. At least in our case.

Exhibit A: The Mexican Restaurant.

Monkey Boy uses a wheelchair due to his autism. It’s not that he can’t walk, it’s that he needs it for safety. Without it, he’s been known to run into the street, jump into bodies of water, or climb in inappropriate places. It’s been part of his ongoing therapy to try to get him to the point where he doesn’t need to use the wheelchair in public places anymore.

Well, on this particular occasion, the family took Monkey Boy to the Mexican restaurant without his wheelchair, just to see how he would handle it. It didn’t go well. He wriggled and squirmed right out of his chair, with one of us always in pursuit. At one point, Monkey Boy got away from us and darted right into the kitchen of the restaurant!

Exhibit B: The Exploding Chicken Incident.

We were on a medical trip for Monkey Boy and we had stopped at a modest sit-down restaurant. That was our first mistake. The four of us were seated around a small round table. As we waited for our meal, Monkey Boy impatiently thrashed around, bumping the table and sloshing water from our glasses. He doesn’t do waiting well.

The meal finally came and Monkey Boy got even more rowdy. He evidently had some sort of personal vendetta against the contents of his dinner, because things went flying. It looked like there had been an unfortunate meeting between a chicken platter and a homemade explosive device, for there, scattered all across the dining room, were chunks of meat from Monkey Boy’s plate. Waiters dodged and diners ducked. We should have brought them flak jackets.

Had the servers at either of these restaurants known what was descending on them as we walked in the door, we probably would have been handed a check before a menu, too.

We’ve become proficient apologizers and big tippers. We’ve also learned to eat take-out in the car.


Slap Happy

>> Saturday, April 7, 2012

We enjoy watching NCIS around here. The Man and DSguy walk around the house, affectionately “Gibbs-slapping” each other upside the back of the head. Monkey Boy has gotten in on the NCIS action, too.
Now Monkey Boy is non-verbal, but does sometimes come up with single words or close approximations. We noticed once that some of the things Monkey Boy was saying sounded really close to the names of some NCIS characters. He said things like happy (Abby), ma-gee (McGee), and something that resembled “Gibbs.” Do we think he was paying attention to NCIS? No, but that’s beside the point.

Figuring Monkey Boy was on a roll, The Man decided to go for a long shot. He introduced another character name, waiting to see if Monkey Boy would bite.

“DiNozzo,” The Man would say, hoping to cajole Monkey Boy into saying it. “DiNozzo. DiNozzo!”


He tried again. “DiNozzo…DiNozzo…DuhhhhNoooozzo!”

Monkey Boy finally popped his dad on the schnoz as if to say, “De nose is on your face!”

I think Monkey Boy just invented the “DiNozzo-slap.”


A Brag and Light It Up Blue

>> Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A quick brag before I go on…DSguy won the county spelling bee and will be advancing to the state spelling bee! I see a road trip in our future…

It’s almost April—and you know what that means—Autism Awareness Month! I’d like to draw your attention to it early because World Autism Awareness Day falls early in the month—April 2, to be exact. This year marks the fifth annual celebration.

Autism Advocacy group Autism Speaks sponsors a special event to mark World Autism Awareness Day. It’s called Light It Up Blue. Light It Up Blue is a global awareness initiative, meant to “shine a light on autism.” How can you help? Replace your outdoor lights with blue light bulbs for the day. When someone asks about your blue lights, tell them about autism or direct them to the Autism Speaks website.

Iconic landmarks around the world have lit it up blue, including the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House, Niagara Falls, and Christ the Redeemer in Brazil. I’m planning to light it up blue, too. In fact, I may do it for the entire month of April. I hope you’ll join me!


Spelling Champ

>> Thursday, March 22, 2012

Last week DSguy competed in the regional spelling bee. On the way to the event, we squeezed in a little last minute studying and said a prayer for DSguy to do his best.

He was up against about 16 other students in grades 4-6. The Man and I sat in the audience with bated breath, waiting to see if all that studying paid off. You know, it’s hard being in a spelling bee. I remember doing them when I was a kid. My Mom was never able to watch me do them—it was too nervewracking for her. Being a mom now myself, I can understand why. I think The Man and I were almost as nervous for DSguy as DSguy must have been!

As each word came, we clutched each other’s hands, our eyes boring holes into DSguy from the audience. Would he spell it correctly? Yes! We could breathe again. This went on for awhile, clutch-bore-breathe, clutch-bore-breathe, bearing a strange resemblance to Lamaze exercises. Finally, the playing field was narrowed down to three competitors.

DSguy was left on the stage with a boy and a girl, all hoping for the coveted first place. The boy went first. His word was “Albuquerque.” He spelled it, but somewhere in there he accidentally snuck in a “k.”

“I’m sorry, the correct spelling is a-l-b-u-q-u-e-r-q-u-e,” the proctor said.

DSguy’s hand went up.


“Um, that should be capitalized,” DSguy corrected. Light laughter broke out in the auditorium. Oh, to have been able to see the proctor’s face at that moment.

Perhaps they should have asked DSguy to spell “precocious” for his next word. They didn’t, but maybe they will this Saturday when he competes again at the county level.

Congratulations on your first place win, DSguy! See? Studying really does pay off!


I'm at Jewels!

>> Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Erma on Cooking

>> Monday, March 19, 2012

I love Erma Bombeck. She was truly an every-woman humorist. I love reading her takes on the day-to-day things of life, as she always knew how to see the funny in them. On occasion, I will share Erma quotes with you on this blog. Like today.

Today’s Erma-ism:

“When it comes to cooking, five years ago I felt guilty ‘just adding water.’ Now I want to bang the tube against the countertop and have a five-course meal pop out. If it comes with plastic silverware and a plate that self-destructs, all the better.”

Ain’t that the truth? Instant food, although not great for one’s health, is a busy mom’s best friend. If I had to cook everything from scratch, I fear my family would die of starvation. It’s not that I can’t cook, it’s that anything that takes more than 15 minutes or involves more than one course is asking for trouble. It’s hard enough to get a boxed side dish and a canned vegetable heated up without Monkey Boy getting into the raw ground beef that’s sitting in the skillet waiting to be browned.

It’s those convenience foods, like the biscuits in a tube that save my sorry gourmet-challenged butt.

The Man can’t stand those tubes. That “pop” noise that happens when the can is being opened freaks him out. Even if steak and lobster were popping out of that can, he wouldn’t want to be around for the unveiling. He leaves the job to me, the mighty can-hunter. Me kill biscuits.

I think Erma was on to something with those self-destructing plates. No washing dishes. What is it about my guys that they don’t rinse off their plates when they’re done eating? Don’t they know that not rinsing makes it exponentially harder to clean the gunk off the dishes later? I suppose I should be thankful that the dishes make it to the sink at all. Monkey Boy is learning to throw away what’s left on his plate when he’s finished, and sometimes the plate lands in the trash, too. That’s OK. He’s making progress. At least it’s off the table!

Maybe it’s time to make DSguy wash the dishes. We tried that once. He was a dishwasher with three speeds—slow, slower, and stop. I might be better off waiting for self-destructing plates to be invented. Either way, I’ll have a long wait on my hands.


Coffee Talk

>> Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Man and I went out to lunch yesterday. Now The Man, being the smart fellow that he is, started proofreading the menu. First he noticed that cheese was spelled as “chesse.” He gently pointed it out to the waitress, who was very gracious and replied that there were probably a number of typos in the menu.

While we were enjoying our meal, The Man found another questionable menu entry. Flagging down the waitress, he asked, “What’s togo coffee?”

“To go. Coffee to go.”

Now to be fair, it was a typo. There was no space in between to and go, but the sheepish look on his face was priceless. It was just one of those “gee I feel dumb” moments. Bless his heart. He has had coffee issues before.

On our honeymoon, we stopped at a little cafĂ© for a bite to eat. The Man ordered the au jus sandwich. He was happily munching away when he managed, “This au jus is strange.”

I watched for a moment then replied, “You’re dipping your sandwich in your coffee.”

The sandwich wasn’t the only dippy one that day.

(Disclaimer: This message has been posted with The Man’s full knowledge and approval.)


Middle Age

>> Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Once upon a long time ago, DSguy asked me a rather unremarkable question.

“Mom, what year were you born in?”

I told him.

He replied, “Is that in the Old Testament?”

Maybe it was a run-of-the-mill question, but the answer sure packed a wallop!

Sometimes I wonder what exactly constitutes being middle aged. I mean, I consider myself in that category, but what is the standard, anyway?
  • DSguy apparently once thought I was an ancient relic of Biblical proportions.
  • The Man says that I’m pretty darn close to middle aged, citing currently recognized human life expectancies as proof. Simple division. How methodical.
  • A gal pal who is a bit older than I am says I’m still a spring chicken.
Wikipedia says middle age can be anywhere from 35-65, depending on which source you ask. That’s quite a spread, and yes, I fall in that range.

Just for argument’s sake, let’s say Wikipedia and The Man are correct and I am officially middle aged. I’m OK with that. It means I’m growing in wisdom and restraint, as is evidenced by the fact that DSguy is still alive after that Old Testament comment.

Lord help me if he ever decides to ask about menopause.



>> Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How do you like the new digs? The toaster is looking pretty spiffy these days, eh?

A big thanks to Mari LaVell at Free2Be Blog Designs for the custom work she did on my blog. She’s great to work with, if you ever find yourself in need of a blog facelift. Go check out her website to see some more customized samples.


Fat Chance

>> Saturday, March 10, 2012

I was a scrawny kid. You know, one of those that could eat their weight in chocolate and cheeseburgers and not gain any poundage.

Not anymore. My super metabolism decided to hang up its cape, I guess. They tell me it’s all part of this middle-aged thing…eat just like you always did, and gain weight anyway. That’s where I find myself these days.

Even more disturbing is what has happened to my cholesterol! Would you believe my triglycerides have almost tripled in two years? I’m in a state of shock. It’s time for an overhaul.

Diet and exercise. That’s what the doctor ordered, as she should. Unfortunately, those two words hold about as much thrill to me as the words “root canal” or “pap smear.” In my sugar-craving mind, diet and exercise = self-imposed torture. I would love to completely ignore the good doc’s prescription, but will I?

Fat chance. I have two little boys and a hubby who are counting on me being around for awhile, so I need to take care of my health. I respect my doctor. She’s looking out for me.

I’m looking for some good recipes that are low fat, low cholesterol. Anybody have anything that tastes better than cardboard? I’m thinking I need to learn how to use whole foods and cut back on prepackaged (read: easy) foods. The dietary stuff is the hardest part for me.

As for exercise, I have dusted off my “Dancing with the Stars Cardio Dance” DVD. I have been spending my weekday mornings doing the cha-cha, samba, and jive. Not well mind you, but I am working up a sweat.

So in a nutshell, I’m in over my head. I need to completely unlearn everything I’ve been doing for the last 30 some years. Want to jump in and unlearn with me? How about joining me for a cha-cha workout? I assure you, you can’t butcher that dance any worse than I already have. Think I’ll be dancing in public anytime soon?

Fat chance.


Clobbering the Obstacles

>> Monday, March 5, 2012

I have a confession to make. I’ve been struggling with major depression. One of the defining symptoms of this depression is not having the desire to do anything that I previously found fun or fulfilling. Things like my writing.

I could use your prayers and encouragement…and a good, swift kick in the pants. Thankfully, I found one via Patty Wysong’s Take Flight Challenge. The Take Flight Challenge is meant to give those of us with blog fog ideas to jump start our blog posts.

On January 30, 2012, Patty posted a quote by J. Gitomer that she saw on Facebook. It said, “Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.” She went on to challenge those of us reading to grab hold of something that is holding us back and clobber it into submission!

So here I am. Confessing. There are things I enjoy that have been on the back burner because of my depression. Writing is a big one. So right here, right now, I choose to write. I choose to clobber the living daylights out of my depression-induced apathy. I choose to do what I love until I remember how much I love it.


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