This is a favorite of mine. The theme for my first week playing is "pets" and out of all the kitty pictures I take, this remains a favorite. You can get the whole story here but just let me say that Jonah did this to himself. He's crazy that way.
We are actually taking off for Cape May tomorrow after church! YAY! I'll only be gone until Tuesday evening, but it's still ocean time and I plan to make the most of it! I'm almost packed. It's funny, I really don't need much until you get into my travelling hobbies: knitting and photography! So, though my packed clothes don't amount to much, once I add a knitting bag, my 35mm camera with all its accessories, and my digital camers, for blog purposes, it looks like I'm going away for a week!
Have a great couple of days, Blogland! I'll catch up with you on Wednesday!
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
I aspire to have a blog like CAP which has many readers and she can write an amusing entry about traffic. The problem is that she lives in California in the Valley and I live in the little town of Hagerstown. I was pondering this tonight when I came to the realization that here in this little town, that has done some growing up since I first arrived in 1979, we have our own special kind of stupid. You can drive down a few given streets anytime of the day or night, in any kind of weather, and find people sitting outside, in some of the most unflattering clothing known to man. We could be having a hail storm, and there they are, chatting up their neighbors, in skin tight clothing on a plus size figure, with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth.
We also have this little gem of a column in our local newspaper called "Mail Call/You said it". Basically, anyone who can speak can call in to give their opinion on whatever has ticked them off for the day. We had a lengthy discussion in Mail Call a few months ago about the meaning of the word "harangue". Callers were giving recipes for "lemon harangue pie". I kid you not. We also address big issues in this column, such as:
"I'm calling in response to the person from Smithsburg who wants to know what to do about a groundhog. Put moth balls down the hole. They won't come back."
"To the caller who says we should have year-round schools, I believe we should, too - completely year-round, every day but two days off, Thanksgiving and Christmas."
Yup. We're solving the big issues of the world right here in Hagerstown.
"I've got to tell you just how proud I am of our little church. After everything we've been through, we have put on one heck of a VBS this week! The children have been happy and delighted, we have had so many people come forward to help us this week and it has run quite smoothly.
Happy and delighted children.
Our interim pastor is awesome and has brought out his guitar each night to teach the kids a song. It's right out of "The Sound of Music" I tell ya!
In addition to the adults in our congregation that have helped out, our youth have been invaluable to us during this week.
Here's just two of our youth. Amanda is a nut.
So, in retrospect, with only one night left, I can honestly say (and I even get a bit teary) that I am so proud of our church and now I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we did make the right decision with staying as we have been so blessed.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Hello to Suzanne and Robin! I always love new commentors (and my old faithful crowd as well!). I was not going to update tonight because it has been such an exhausting week, but then I hate to start picking up a few new readers and then lose them because of lack of posts!
My days this week have pretty much gone like this:
1) Wake up at 7:30, shower, wake up kids, dress, do hair, makeup, yada, yada, yada.
2) Leave house by 8:45, destination, the church, for work.
3) Leave church at 1:00, go home, try to straighten up house, do laundry, catch up in general.
4) Start dinner by 4:00, so we can eat by 5:00. Inhale food in order to try to do at least a few dishes, but some things need to be left out for the Brit's dinner, as he doesn't make it home to eat with us.
5) Head back to church for VBS. Get there early in order to turn on air conditioners in the rooms and in the sanctuary.
6) VBS begins at 6:30, and all sanity is lost until it is over at 8:30.
7) Go home, download pictures taken from VBS, finish up dinner dishes, check email, try not to fall asleep at the computer.
8) Go to bed and sleep like the dead until 7:30 when it all starts all over again.
So, that is why I have a lack of posting this week! VBS is going extremely well however! Twenty kids on Monday, by Tuesday, we were up to twenty-five kids! But still, I'll be glad when the week is over and then I'll just be like "thank you, Lord! Now, if you could just get me to the first day of school, I swear, I won't ask for anything more!"
The kids are going away for a few days and I was hoping to see the ocean for my birthday, but it doesn't look like it is going to happen. I'm such an ocean fanatic and just love being near it; smelling it, hearing it, feeling that ocean breeze on my face. It's one of the most fantastic, peaceful things in my life which I don't get to see nearly enough. I adore an ocean view room, where I can put on the AC and still leave the balcony door open in order to allow the sound of the waves on the sand lull me to sleep. Oh well, maybe next year.
Monday, July 24, 2006
So, I survived turning the big 40, but I really don't want to say too much other than that as I really don't want to be this particular age. Someone told me tonight that life begins at 40, but I gotta tell ya, it has been a rough couple of months, so I'll wait a few more months to let you know how true I think this is.
One of the speakers at the conference, Luci Swindol, talked about grabbing hold of those little "Poofs" of joy when you see them. They can be small and to others, can maybe seem insignificant. (She really made me laugh with teaching me a new word: Anticipointment. Which means anticipating something that doesn't actually happen. The joy being the anticipation and even after it winds up being disappointing, you need to hold onto your original feeling when you thought it was going to happen). I've been doing that today. Looking for those little poofs of joy and finding some! I found quite a few tonight as we kicked off our Vacation Bible School at church.
Some of you may recall, if you've been reading my drivel for awhile, that my church had a huge division in the congregation last fall. Now, we may be small, but we are faithful and tonight we had just shy of twenty kids at VBS! The best part is that the MAJORITY of these children were unchurched children! Kids from the neighborhood! It was awesome. We also increased our age range to include younger kids, as young as three years old and they had a great time! It was all a major poof of joy and reminded me of just how faithful God is. My church has remained faithful to him and he is in no way letting us down! It feels good to be validated.
Anyway, ya'll know what? Only four more weeks till school starts!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
So, this weekend in DC....Women of Faith! So many stories, so little time, still so tired, but I'll do my best.
For any of you not familar with WOF, it is a group of core speakers, who have been through different walks of life. Sheila Walsh was the co-host (I think) of The 700 Club and suffered from depression, Patsy Clairmont suffered for years as an agoraphobic, Marilyn Meberg lost both her baby daughter and her husband (not at the same time), Luci Swindol is Chuck's sister, Thelma Wells was a business woman. Nicole Johnson also travels with them as their very talented dramatist (and writes all her own stuff). All these women are published authors, they are insightful, funny, motivational and at times, painfully honest. The conference also consists of musical guests. For this year it was Sandy Patty, Avalon and Babbie Mason. We also had a hysterical performance by Christian comedian, Chonda Pierce. So this is the outline for the weekend. The way it all fits together just depends on how each woman hears and views each message. (and did I get my crazy on with the linking or what???)
So, Shell and I left Smithsburg around 7:30 Thursday night, heading to Shady Grove and the metro. The metro, for me, is the only way to get to Washington DC, as this girl is not so much about driving in the city. I have enough trouble not getting lost walking in the city, nevermind adding a very heavy vehicle and about a kabillion other horn honking cars to the mix. We made good time and as Shady Grove is the first metro stop, seating was not an issue.
However, by the time we were two stops before our exit, the car was jam packed full of people. Shell had to resort to hoisting her suitcase unto her lap and a had a gentleman's rear end pretty much in my face as it was pressed against the glass beside me. (I think Shell had told me he was cute, but hey, never saw the face.). At the Metro Center stop (and for those of you who don't know, this is pretty much the busiest stop as you can change trains there, ect) a handicapped gentleman in a scooter attempted to board and got stuck. At first the people just sort of worked their way around him, before someone finally had the idea that they should perhaps HELP him instead. Two people were pulling, two people were pushing and I had visions of the train taking off with this poor man's tailend hanging out the door. They finally heaved him inside and his basket fell over, which resulted in stuff having to be picked up in a train that was already packed as tightly as a can of sardines (or as tightly as my yarn baskets, but we won't go there). Thankfully, our exit was next and we emerged on the other side relatively unscathed.
Now, per my directions to the hotel, we were to leave the metro station, turn right and walk for two blocks. The normal person would have probably found this rather simple, but please remember you are not dealing with normal people. When we left the metro station it opens on a corner, so you could technically walk out onto two different streets and turn right. I hope you see the dilemna. Nevermind that I had purposely chosen this hotel last summer because it was so close to the Verizon Center. It was a year later, dark, and there were many people about. We chose a direction and walked two blocks. Nothing looked familar. Thankfully, Shell always has a cell phone (as I hate carrying one. My feeling is that there are just times I don't want to be reached) so I called the hotel and spoke to John, who was way helpful, though it was way hard to hear him with all the traffic and people about. John directed us to go back to the metro center and take a right.
Now, had I been smart and not dripping with sweat from the freakin' humidity, I would have by chance explained to John our original problem, with the corner. I didn't do that. Instead, we about faced and walked two blocks back and hung a right...and walked two blocks. Again, no deja vu going off for me. So, we called John again, who this time explained to us we had gone the wrong way (stupid corner!) so we walked four blocks back and lo and behold, our hotel!
So, we were finally able to check in, cool off and we didn't waste too much time getting to bed, as the pre-conference started at 9:00 the next morning.
The pre-conference consisted of Patsy Clairmont (who is one of the funniest people I have ever had the priviledge of hearing speak) and Contemporary Christian singer, Sandy Patty (and way too high for me soprano. There were moments and notes she hit that I was sure only dogs were really able to hear). It is general seating for the pre-conference and this was the first year it had ever been held at the Verizon Center. Before they always had it in a smaller theater somewhere across town, which was a headache on its own. So, we opened with worship and then Patsy spoke and I swear she was talking to me directly about this whole writing thing. But, that's another story.
Here is Friday night's crowd:
Lots of people but still empty seats all over the place.
We let out about 3:00 and we didn't need to return until 7:00, so we headed back to the hotel to chat, which allowed me to join in my second skein of yarn on the project I had brought along. We were fortunate to have a pub in our hotel that served all meals (we'd had breakfast there Friday morning) so we decided to have dinner there. So we headed down and sat at a table in the bar, listening to all the Friday night kids chatting, and the business men who had just gotten off work catching up with their buddies.
Across from us sat two older gentleman. Just your average joes really, they were probably in their sixties. About the time Shell and I started eating dinner, one of the men went to the bar and the other man....proceded to take off his sneaker AND HIS SOCK and then sit them on the third and vacant bar stool. Not sure what the issue was, but when facing this when eating and thinking about the sweaty foot in that sweaty sock that was now sitting on that bar stool.....it was so SNAKES ON A PLANE! I have to add here that I am WAY upset as Shell took a picture of this and my computer apparently ate it, plus I have already cleared the memory off my camera! I have just spent the last fifteen minutes searching for it and cannot find it! So, you are just going to have to trust me that it happened...and that it was gross.
Friday night conference we heard from Sheila Walsh and as always she was amazing. She was speaking right to Shell.
Friday night's crowd looked a bit like this:
Still empty seats, but definately more people than the morning session.
After the conference Friday night, we hit Hagen Daus....OMG. Way good! Then we headed back to the hotel. Now, if you have never been to DC, it is like most other large cities, where you have people asking you for money. We walked past a man who was sitting on a step and he asked if we could spare some change. Unfortunately, I think I have been conditioned to block a lot of these pleas out. There are so many, and the story my older sister told me about telling a homeless man in Vegas that she wouldn't give him money, but she would go over and buy him lunch. The man then yelled and cursed at her as he apparently wanted the money for something a bit less "filling".
But anyway, I kept walking and I said something to Shell and she smiled. Now, I did not hear this (as I am destined to have my mother's hearing) but the man said, "That's okay, ladies. Maybe next time. Oh, and you have a beautiful smile." That stopped Shell right in her tracks. She immediately began digging around in her wallet for some money. Looking at me, she said, "It's Jesus, you know." To which I replied, "Back there on the step or making you do this?" She said, "Yes."
We stayed up way too late talking on Friday night, we discussed God, and why things happen as they do, and pondering if we knew God's reasons for making things happen as they do. We talked about our kids and our husbands until after midnight, which made Saturday morning come around WAY early!
I can't go into a lot of detail from the conference because there was just too much to tell. Things may pop up in the next several weeks that I will share with you because they suddenly come to mind in a situation. But, let me just say it was wonderful and I loved every minute of it. Though still tired, I do feel spiritually renewed, though not quite ready to face tomorrow at forty!
Not the best picture, but trust me, it was packed. 15,000 women was the rough count.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
So, I have WAY much to say about the conference, but am extremely tired tonight after just getting home two hours ago. So, will say plenty tomorrow or Monday. Had a fabulous time, we are home safe and sound and all is well.
For my favorite blogger, Laurie, we saw this on Thursday night and took a picture just for you.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
So, I have taught myself a little HTML for the purpose of adding colored fonts, which I was sadly missing! Now, I am 100% happy with my new blog!
I've been battling an internal struggle now for years. Well, I've been battling several of those, but one in particular has been bothering me lately. For as long as I can remember, I have been writing. In middle school, I used to write in my spare time as well as for English projects. My favorite English teacher in middle school was Mrs. Martin and I still have her comments to this day written in my journaling assignment: "You should be a writer one day." In college, my professor for Public Speaking (whose name is escaping me at the moment) wrote in his notes after one of my speeches "You WILL be a writer one day."
I held onto remarks such as these as they were my heart and soul's desire. There is still nothing I love more than to get lost in a story in my mind. For years now, when I lay down to go to sleep at night, I imagine stories and plots and characters until I fall asleep. It keeps my mind from dwelling on much more disturbing things that would keep me awake at night, worrying. I have written things; short stories, fan fictions, but nothing serious enough for publication. So, I suppose I am already a writer, but even more than being a writer, I desire to be a published author.
My genre is Christian Fiction as it is much of what I read. Due to my schedule and kid's schedules, I often don't have time to get involved in a story that is complicated, unless I plan on taking notes. I may start a book and then not pick it up for a week or more, so for me, it is better that things not be too terribly technical or that the plot not include a web of twists and turns that I can't easily keep track of. Reading is an escape for me, so I don't want to be stressed out while doing it, afraid I don't have the time to follow the story close enough to get the most from the experience. I'm not saying that Christian Fiction is fluff or shallow. I enjoy a story with a real life plot; something the average person might encounter today. The fact that God is interwoven into the story just makes it all the better to me. That's the way my life works. Real problems, but at the center of my life is God. I believe this type of writing is a calling and I know I'm being called. Fear stands in my way.
I've had a title and a plot all worked out for over a year now and have not written one word. Writing seriously and not just for my own enjoyment terrifies me. It is overwhelming. To write a book? A whole book with lots of pages? It paralyzes me. But I'm trying to work through it. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for taking the plunge into making writing my career. I'm not sure I have what it takes, but the fact is that I will never know unless I try.
I turn forty on Monday and this number seems very significant to me.
Monday, July 17, 2006
I really hate to complain about heat. Really. I despise being cold and I am cold from October to May. As soon as Halloween is over, I literally start counting the days until spring. I hate wearing socks and coats and having to be careful to not overlook a patch of ice that I may break my neck or butt on. I hate to sit shivering in my car in the morning, while it heats up and melts the layer of frost or ice on the windshield (because it is way too cold to go out and work to scrape the ice off). I detest the tracks of dried up de-icer crystals that I continually have to mop up all winter on my hardwood floors. (Can you see what I'm doing? I'm trying to convince myself that in light of all the things I hate about winter that 100 plus degrees is not all that bad!). Anyway, it is way hot and humid...still!
But this week is finally Women of Faith in Washington DC and Shelley is going with me (YAY!). I love this conference (and this year I will have my camera!). It makes me laugh until my sides ache, sometimes it makes me cry, the speakers are all just incredible. Shell is probably a bit apprehensive. She made the remark to me to "not expect her to come back a changed person." No. She won't come back changed. I don't come back changed. Going to the conference is not suddenly going to make all my difficulties with Aaron better. It won't make me skinnier. It won't make Robyn all better from cancer. What the conference does, is that it reminds me that I am SO not alone, that I am loved, that Someone else knows my heart and problems probably even way better than I do. It brings a bit of peace to my heart and renews my strength to continue to deal with the day to day battles that make up my life. It doesn't change me; it recharges me. That is what I'm hoping it does for Shell.
So, in the news with Aaron. I have taken him off the Zyprexa. He didn't have any of it today. Now, he could just be having a good day, but today was a huge improvement over the last three months. I'm going to continue to watch it and see how he does this week without it. I asked him today how the Zyprexa makes him feel and he said "Weird." I asked him weird how; like weird sad or weird angry? He says it makes him feel angry. Hmmm...this could be a hint.
The kids are going camping with their biological great grandparents Thurs-Sunday this week, which can potentially present its own problems. We recently found out that while visiting grandma, Aaron saw and spoke to his bio-dad while bio-dad was dropping off the boy's little sister for a visit. This is a huge No No and they know it! I believe the Brit is going to be having a little chat with bio-family before this camping trip. The last thing I want to do is to take away the relationships between the boys and their grandparents, however, I will do so if it they don't follow our rules and our rules are no bio-parents. I will say that these people have some gall and it makes me really angry if they are telling Aaron not to tell us that he saw his bio-dad. That's just plain not fair to Aaron. He accepts us as his parents and anyone that does something to jeopardize that we're going to have issues with. They are OUR children. I don't give a rat's rear end who they belonged to first, they don't belong to them anymore and any visitations with any bio-family is up to our discretion. Given all the problems Aaron has been having, chat with Billy (bio-dad) is not in Aaron's best interest. The only ones who gain from this is bio-family and if something is causing mental harm to your child, what do you do? Remove the problem. This is going to be a final warning. I'm not playing this game.
So, no knitting due to extreme humidity and no central air in my house. Soon! I promise!
I hate snow, I hate snow...heat is good.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
It's like a kabillion degrees outside today, which wouldn't really bother me except for the fact that it is humidity. Heat doesn't bother me. Humidity sucks the life right out of my soul, leaving me a wringing wet mess. The cats are also way unhappy with the heat as they lay sprawled out in various places around the house, looking as sleepy as the heat makes me feel.
The countdown has officially begun. On Sunday, it will be exactly four weeks until school starts. The summer has been a whole new challenge with Aaron, but I am fairly certain I have finally diagnosed him. I believe with my whole heart he has Reactive Attachment Disorder and you can read more about it here. He hits all but two of the symptoms and it would make a lot of sense given his background. So, now the fighting begins. I have found a few email support groups of RAD children and what I'm gathering is that a RAD kid needs a therapist that specializes in RAD. He currently sees two different doctors; one for his therapy (a behavioral therapist) and another doctor for his meds. The problems at the moment are that his med doc is pushing on me that Aaron may be bipolar (for which he hits very few symptoms). I don't believe for a second that this child is bipolar and I told the doctor that and asked him what the difference in the two disorders was. His response (are you ready for this?) is that bipolar disorder can be treated with medication and RAD cannot. OH! So, the bottom line is that you want him to have something so he can have more pills to take??
So, now I'm pushing. Pushing to get him a RAD therapist, pushing to get this thing officially diagnosed, pushing to get one doctor both for meds and therapy. It makes next to no sense to me to have a doctor who spends 10 times every 1-2 months prescribing my child meds, and this therapist, who sees him an hour a week and knows his behaviors, not prescribing meds. Does this seem insane to anyone else? His med doctor now has him on a bipolar med in addition to his Adderall and today the kid punched his younger brother in the nose (no damage done, thankfully). So in researching this new medicine, Zyprexa, I found this under side effects:
Always Notify Doctor:
More Common: Agitation; behavior problems; difficulty in speaking or swallowing; restlessness or need to keep moving; stiffness of arms or legs; trembling or shaking of hands and fingers.
Now, did he punch JJ in the nose because he is on zyprexa? Who knows, but I am watching this situation closely. Fact is, he has been on a low dose of this med all summer and let's face it...this has been the summer from hell. I even told the doc that behaviorally, he has been WORSE since starting this med, but the doc opted to simply up the dosage. Supposedly, this is "the best" medicine for bipolar (which I don't think he is) and if it's "the best" anything, I am totally not impressed.
What I really don't understand is why it is so difficult to get anyone to really HEAR me about this kid. The med doctor even told me last week that I was "one smart lady who really knew her stuff". I simply informed him that this was my child, and it was my job to know this stuff. I hate being a silent participant in his therapy and his medications and I simply won't be.
Okay, I think that is all for today. Kind of dull really, but then again, it is rather interesting when I live it everyday.
Ya need a front row seat in this house in order to keep up!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
There are just certain times of the month *ahem* when you do not change the routine on a female. Like this morning. Granted, last night I was up a bit later, working with this blog and trying to get things to look the way I wanted them to. But it was already after 11:00 p.m. when the Brit said, "Oh, by the way, I have to go in early tomorrow so you'll need to get Aaron up for summer school." Generally, this would not be an issue, but TOM is visiting and when TOM visits, I sleep like the dead. Like the dead who have been dead for AWHILE.
So, what it all boiled down to, was me not resetting the alarm when the Brit's alarm went off, Aaron missing his bus, and me having to drive him to school while still in my pajamas. Anyone who has seen me in the morning will get a stunning mental picture. Glasses, hair all flat and frizzy, blue flowered pjs. I was a vision. A VISION, I tell ya. I could have stopped traffic and not in a good way! I'm surprised Aaron didn't request to be left out on the corner in the event anyone should see us together and assume we were related. I'm sure in a few years that will be the case!
So, no knitting today. Had a terrible headache and the thumb is giving me some pain (doctors says it is normal with healing.). The stitches came out a week ago and the incision feels good, but the nerves and tendons must still be ticked off over the surgery as OUCH.
The Brit took Aaron to a movie tonight, so I took JJ to dinner and then we went over to Shell's for a bit and I put an end to the "I don't know what to do about the dog" issue with Women of Faith. Dog is now covered and Shell is now going! YAY!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I have my own domain name!
The only thing I can find to be annoyed about is a lack of font color, but maybe I'm overlooking it. So, the Blogger blog will remain in existance as my archive, but any new enteries will now take place here. So bookmark me!
Now, about those knitting pictures I was trying to post!
This is Miss Micki who was diligently working on lining two adorable vests! She used scrap yarn to decorate them, and had I been a wiser girl, who was not in a time of crisis last weekend, I would have taken much better pictures!
This is Shari with little Annie, who was the star of the day. We knitted at a...
nunnerymodern day convent, and this was the sister's little dog.
And of course, ya'll know Kelli and the animal
whorelover she is, so she had to be getting her some Annie lovin'! (Can you tell I'm very amused with the strike out option???)
That was pretty much all the picture taking I did on Saturday, though it was a great time and a time of therapy for yours truly. I decided not to take any pictures of Lisa this time as I tend to taunt her with my camera quite frequently!
Next week is Women of Faith in Washington, DC. I usually attend this event with my mother, but she has decided she is getting too old to deal with the crowds, so I am currently in negotiations with Shell to come with me. (and really hoping to get an answer soon!) She is juggling a couple of jobs and a dog, but I'm really hoping she is able to get it worked out. I've never gotten to go to this conference before with a friend, and I just think it would be a totally awesome experience. Shell....sort it out!
Okay, I'm going to post this and see how it looks. Let me know what ya'll think!