Friday, November 30, 2007


1) A year ago today, we had a massive ice storm, and many people in our area lost power for well over a week. Forecast for today? High of 42 degrees and no precipitation.

2) I got to have lunch with my husband

3) We have friends coming over for dinner tonight - after the kids go to bed, we will probably play a game and I'll laugh so hard that my cheeks will hurt

4) I have a pork roast in the slow cooker so that is one less thing I have to worry about when I get home

5) I am going to a conference up north next week for a few days in which I will be 20 minutes away from Woodfield Mall and Oakbrook Mall.

6) I am wearing jeans and tennis shoes at work today.

7) I bought a few Christmas presents on my way back to the office after lunch today while I was downtown

8) I found out today that I will get to see a cousin in a few weeks that I haven't seen in a very long time, as well as meet his wife and daughter for the first time

9) Chris and I agreed to buy a new TV for our house this year instead of buying each other Christmas presents, so I don't have to go crazy trying to figure out what to get him

10) Maggie's class has been working on a play in which she has one line. Instead of memorizing Bible verses this week, her assignment was to make sure they knew their part for the play. Done!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


OK - I just have to go on the record here as saying, "PEOPLE!! USE YOUR HEADS!"

I can not believe the number of email forwards I get every day. I will occassionally forward an email to a select few people - - those who I think will find something especially amusing or pertinent - - but I have never forwarded ANYTHING to everyone in my email address book. Most of my forwarded emails are carefully screened to ensure that anyone who I think will find something offensive or not applicable to them does not get on the "send to" list. There are things I have snickered at and sent on to two or three friends that I would never dream of sending to my mother. But I must say, you will not open your inbox and find 13 messages from me that have been forwarded to you.

There are two categories of email forwards that especially set me off. Now keep in mind, I am not talking email spam here. . .and yes, I get plenty of those with people promising me to send me a fortune from a Nigerian bank account or offering me cheap Viagra. No, I am talking about email forward that people I actually know send on to me.

The first kind is the ones where someone actually believes that they are going to get something if they forward that email to a certain number of people. WAKE UP PEOPLE!! There is no way to track that stuff! Do you really think Bill Gates is going to send you a few thousand dollars for bothering the people on your email list with a stupid forward? Get a clue! TGI Fridays and Applebee's are not chomping at the bit to send you a gift card. There is no school project where you have to add your name to a list and then forward it to everyone you know! No one is going to send you a free computer! Quit sending the one to me about how something funny will pop up on your screen in two minutes if you send this to seven people.....c'mon, we're smarter than this, right?

The other kind of email forward that really gets to me are the ones that promise eternal damnation if I don't forward on to everyone I know how much I really love Jesus. I am a Christian. I go to church. I teach Sunday School. I try my best to raise my kids to be good people and live a life that is pleasing to God. However, I don't believe for a minute that God is going to send me to hell if I don't bother everyone I know with some sappy email about how someone read this email and prayed this prayer and three minutes later their dad came home from the war. . .complete with cartoon angels and a polyphonic version of Amazing Grace playing in the background. Call me crazy, but I think God speaks to me in other ways besides "Fwd. Fwd. Fwd. Fwd. Jesus says you better read this!!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Great Illinois Smoke Out

The other night, I was talking with a few out-of-state family members about the fact that in January in Illinois, there would be a smoking ban going into effect that will prohibit smoking in all public places. We discussed the effects of this ban and what it may mean for some businesses. I don’t agree with the ban (in my opinion, if I choose to go to an establishment that allows smoking, then I am choosing to breathe that air and get all smoky – no one is forcing me to go there.) However, in spite of the fact that I think this is too much governmental interference into the private lives of citizens, perhaps I shouldn’t admit that I am actually also excited about it because I do look forward to going to eat at certain restaurants without coming out smelling like an ashtray. For instance, I love to go eat at The Wharf, but I seldom do because it just gets so smoky in there. I just hope this new law doesn’t end up hurting Illinois businesses in the long run.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Morning car conversation between Maggie and myself:

Maggie: Mommy, when you were seven, did you have a boyfriend?
Me: No.
Maggie: How old were you when you got a boyfriend?
Me: A lot older than seven.
Maggie: I don’t have a boyfriend. I don’t want one either.
Me: Why do you think people become boyfriend and a girlfriend?
Maggie: I don’t know. . .’cause they like each other, I guess.
Me: Well what do you think a boyfriend and girlfriend do?
Maggie: They kiss and hug. And eat dinner. And go shopping. . .they wear matching clothes and stuff.
Me: Is that how you can tell they are boyfriend and girlfriend? From their matching clothes?
Maggie: That and they always hold hands and whisper.
Me: I see.
Maggie: I don’t think I ever want to have a boyfriend. I don’t want to get married either.
Me: That’s ok – it’s your choice.
Maggie: Can I have a baby if I don’t get married?
Me: I prefer that you be married if you are going to have a baby.
Maggie: OK – then I’ll just get a cat. And a guinea pig. I’d rather have a guinea pig than a husband anyway.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Yesterday morning I dropped Aleita off at daycare before work. Just as I was leaving, another parent pulled in the parking space beside me in his larger-than-life Hummer. You could have fit about two of my little car inside his enormous vehicle. He caught me looking at the Hummer as he lifted his daughter out of the car and started into the daycare. He gave me a small smile and a nod, obviously jazzed that I was checking out his man-machine.

The thing is, if he had known what I was thinking, I doubt he would have been quite as enthused. As I looked upon his large piece of machinery sitting in the parking spot next to mine, several thoughts crossed my mind:

- What a waste of gasoline - - I can't imagine having a gas guzzler thatn gets about 10 miles to the gallon.
- Can you imagine trying to park that thing in a crowded parking lot? How do you get that monster in a garage? It would certainly never fit in mine.
- The thought that always occurs to me when I see a guy driving a big ol' Hummer though is always the same . . . that guy must a have a little bitty. . . .self esteem. OK - self esteem isn't exactly what comes to my mind, but you get the idea. I wonder if a lot of women feel the same way? It isn't just hummers though - - I often think the same thing when I see a guy driving a big flashy sports car, like a Corvette. I always assume he's trying to overcompensate for something.

So guys - FYI - - when a women is looking a little too long at you and your Hummer, it may not be because she is so utterly impressed by your manly machine. . . she may be feeling sorry for you and your own little "lack of power."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Yesterday, Maggie and I stopped by Hobby Lobby for a minute on the way home. As we were heading out of the store, the lady who had parked next to us got out of her car and took a look at her parking job. She had done a pretty poor job and realized it, and said to us with a laugh, "I think I better try that again! I didn't park too good!"

Maggie immediately looked at her and said, "No, you didn't park too well." It was enough to almost bring a little tear to this grammar cop's eye. I am constantly correcting the children's grammar in an effort to teach them to sound like intelligent human beings. The woman, a little embarrassed, got back into her car and righted her vehicle into the parking spot. She avoided eye contact as she walked into the store. Nothing like having your grammer corrected by a 7-year old to deflate your ego just a bit.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I know, I know. . .it's been awhile. I feel like I am finally starting to get a handle on daily life once again now that moving is behind us. The house is now livable, and we have quite a bit of stuff put away. Most all of the painting is done and the main floor and upstairs rooms are relatively clutter and box free. The basement still resembles a packing plant, but time will be needed to go through all the boxes and put the "stuff" in its proper place.

This past weekend, Maggie turned seven. It is hard to believe that ready or not, time marches on. In a moment of weakness, or perhaps insanity, I decided to let Maggie have that McDonald's birthday party she's always wanted. The "good" factors - relatively inexpensive, no cleanup afterwards, no getting ready for it, and no cooking. The "not-so-good" factor? Inviting all 21 members of her first grade class.

In reality, only 14 kids showed up. Being around other people's children who were also my daughter's age for a little over an hour really helped me take stock and realize that my kid is pretty darn well behaved. For instance, when we are out somewhere and I tell my child it is time to go, she says, "ok" and we leave. I saw at least two parents who had to physically restrain their children to keep them from climbing back in the funland plaything when they told them it was time to go. My child would have got a butt smack if she would have tried that little trick, and I wouldn't have cared who saw me do it.

One thing that really made me proud of Maggie was that I told her beforehand that if we were having a birthday party for her whole class, that I was putting on the invitations, "NO GIFTS PLEASE" and she was perfectly fine with that. I just wanted the kids to be able to come and eat cheeseburgers and cake and ice cream and play in the germ-laden play thing and not worry about having to buy a gift. Quite frankly, I also didn't think Maggie needed to have all the junk that I am sure would have come from her classmates. (She did have a family party on Sunday where she got presents.)

Maggie has been invited to two birthday parties in the last month. She only attended one of them. The one she didn't attend was held at Chuck E. Cheese in Bloomington and the mom rented a school bus to take all the kids there. I thought it was a little too over-the-top for me, plus we don't really know their family, so sending my child 50 miles away via school bus just didn't seem like a good idea. The party that she did attend was held at the YMCA here in town. On the invitation, the mother had actually written: "4 - 5pM - swimming; 5 - 6PM - eat cake and open gifts." In other words, BRING A GIFT! It's not as if I wouldn't have sent Maggie with a gift, but c'mon - a little class here, please! I must say though, I responded in kind: the gift Maggie brought? A multi-pack of Play Doh and 2 bottles of fingernail polish. Enjoy, mom.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Most everyone knows we have moved, so we frequently get some variant of the same question: Are you all moved in yet?

My answer each time is the same - - all of our stuff is there. . . but I wouldn't exactly refer to it as "all moved in" just yet. The essentials are in place, but the devil is in the details. Sheets and blankets are tacked in the bedroom windows to offer some privacy until our curtains come in. The living room sits mostly vacant, save for the television and a large china cabinet until we have the chance to go look for new furniture. Anyone who calls will find that they are unable to leave a message if we're not home because I haven't yet been able to locate the box containing the phone with the answering machine.

Moving is a slow process, particularly when you have small children and you and your spouse both work full time. I told someone yesterday that I feel like my life the last month and a half has felt like someone pressed the fast forward button. I feel like I am constantly in a state of rapid movement from one thing to the next until I finally collapse into bed at the end of the day. Bear with me if I don't update my blog everyday. My plate is so full, I think I need sideboards!