Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy Birthday CAROL DECKER!

I've never met someone so crazy, fun, sincere and honest in my entire life. She will give you the shirt off her back or buy you one that is even better at the thrift store! She loves to sing, create on the computer, clean(if you can believe it), organize anything, study the Bible, spend time with friends, and most of all LOVES being a mom to three beautiful boys.

She is filled with courage, compassion, and overflows with the Holy Spirit.

And no one makes me laugh more!

Happy Birthday Carol!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Hope this makes you smile

I hope this picture makes you smile and want to give your kids a hug!

I hate being a cliche'

So it's new years and guess what I am thinking about along with every other 30 or 40 somethin' mom in this country? Yes, that's right...I'm thinking my ass is too big for my jeans and I don't want to celebrate in such a big fat suite next year. And I'm really feeling motivated to do it now...excuse me I need to take a hit off my brownine...this time will be different, this time I will attack this seriously and really do what I set my mind on. Oh, what ever...the worst part about this new longing to be thin is that it is so darn cliche"ish" I mean me and every other fat butt will be at the gym next week...we will all be telling ourselves this is the last time we are going to "start" working out...we will all be telling ourselves that this time is different...we will all be telling ourselves that "we are the biggest loser!"

Part of me doesn't even want to go to the gym next week because all those people who were working out in November will be looking at me wondering when I will quit and stop coming and taking their machines. And, I don't blame them...dang...I used to be one of them.

Oh, I wonder how many blogs are talking about the same thing right now? Anyway, I told Laura, aka Hot Momma, that instead of doing Taco Bell with her at lunchtime, we should meet at the gym and work out together instead. I think that is brilliant! We still get to be together and talk but now we will be decreasing our girth instead of increasing it. Here's hoping this works.

It doesn't start until January 2 and then on January 3 I leave for a long weekend I'm getting a slow start...but really, shouldn't a woman be proud of what she sees in the mirror. Shouldn't a woman want her husband to see her naked during sex instead of insisting that the lights be turned way down. Shouldn't I like clean jeans instead of cursing the fact that they are gonna be so uncomforatable until I break them in. No ice cream or candy bar or browinie can taste so good that I would be willing to sacrafice my happiness should it? It's a cliche', I've been here before, BUT maybe this time is different?

So hum along with me..."Let's get physical, physical. I wanna get physical, physical."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Watching laptop...sick kids...etc

I'm watching the movie Annie with my daughter. I know every word of every song...every harmony...and I confess that I tear up at just about every scene. I LOVE this movie and the idea of watching it with Emily...well it's just too good.

The only thing I don't like about this movie is trying to explain Ms. Hannigan, and Carol Burnet really goes over the top in this role. When I saw the broadway version Ms. Hannigan was just strange...but not a falling over drunk.

Something else that is too good is the fact that I can watch TV and blog in my living room all at the same time on my new laptop! It took me all day to set up the $@!*^ing router...but after I returned the first one and bought a more expensive worked! Yeh!

So this is a perfect ending to a very frustrating day. Wesley is still sick, Doug is still sick. The computer wasn't working and it seemed that every other minute someone was crying or arguing or asking for something to eat. Do you ever find yourself ingrossed in a project and just wish that the kids would leave you alone so that you could think? I tend turn in MT. Momma at those times. A big thank you to Carol who drove all the way out her just to have a cup of coffee with me and keep me from falling off the edge...Thank you!

Well, look for me to post more often now...because I have no excuses. This is too fun!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Twas the day after Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house
Not a thing was left clean not even the spouse
The stockings were ripped down from the mantle with care
Leftovers that St. Nicholoas had left there

The children were coughing and sneezing in their beds
While visions of Cherry Robitussin danced in their heads
And Mamma in her Bears shirt and I in my cap
Had just finished the Brandy and eggnog in search of a long winter's nap

When out on the lawn ther arose such a clatter
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon tried to shine through the clouds and the fog
But all I could see was the neighbor's big dog
The garbage was flying from the christmas present rush
The tinsil, the styrofoam, the paper and such

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
but a miniture media player and a fuzzy stuffed deer.
With a little Lighting McQueen so lively and quick
I knew in a moment these toys were quite slick.

More rapid than the balance on my credit cards rise
The kids stood to attention and all heard their cries
Now PSP! Now MP3!
Now Thomas and Mac!
On Bead Dazzeler! On Hummer!
On electric racetrack!
Stacked to the top of the stairs!
Stacked to the top of the walls!
Now put away! Put away!

Jed's eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His screams of delight for some were quite scarry!
Wesely's small little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the teeth in his smile were as white as snow.
Christian's dear little smirk as he opened his game
Told he knew his future present by name.
Emily wished and wanted for a media player so mini
Whose sound was astoundingly not at all tin-y.

When all the wrappings were ripped and the presents were told
A laptop was left for Momma to hold
She laughed and yelled with delight!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dr. Beautiful's latest publish

Dr. Beautiful was featured on the front page of the Body & Soul section in our local Herald News last week. I'm so proud of him! I think the reporter used his name 6 or 7 times!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Will I ever be done?

Don't you hate it when you think you are finished shopping and then you're not! Each time I click the button "process my order" I cringe now ...not knowing what kind of damage I've done...and not really wanting to know either...better to save that pain until January...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Test Results

I'm not sure how to link the test results so I'll just list them.

Question #1 What is my middle name?

Question #2 I have been to...
both A & B Correct!

Question #3 Who gave me my first kiss?

Question #4 There's nothing better than...
A beer on the pool deck.

Question #5 What is my favorite color?


Question #6 My dream vacation would be...
A cruise in the Bahamas

Question #7 My favorite TV show this season is...
Grey\'s Anatomy

Question #8 What is my favorite comfort food?

Chicken Pot Pie Correct!

Question #9 What is my favorite flower?
Gerber Daisy
Question #10 If I could I would drive a...

There they are the little secrets of my mind...thanks for playing.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What is really true?

Look carefully at the white dots on the grid. How many black, grey and white dots do you see?

There really are no grey or black dots. Your eyes are deceiving you.

Sometimes my communication with people seems like this to me. Even if I know the truth, I still see grey dots and they just keep dancing and changing shape????????????????????????????????????????

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Da Bears LOST!

I apologize to all you Bears fans...Doug was personally responsible for the loss this afternoon. Doug was invited to spend the afternoon in a skybox at Soldier field for da Bears game and I'm afraid that it was his presence that must have put Rex into shock, had the special teams shaking and made the offense just plain ineffective. Although you wouldn't have know that they had lost by the stories of the skybox that Doug told. It seems that even though things suck on the field things up in the boxes are still quite wonderful. More food than you could possibly eat, more drinks than you could possibly consume and he said something about a raspberry cheesecake for the fourth quarter. So even though da Bears were getting slaghtered on the field the guys up in the skyboxes were still having fun...wish I had been there!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Last Night Pics

Emily was a biker chick, Christian, a zombie, Colin, a pumkin head ghost, Owen, a White Sox player Kenerko or somebody???, Wesley, a super-fan "Da Bears", Jed, Lightning McQueen...aka Flash!" I was the wicked witch of the west, yep painted my face green and was AWESOME...sorry no pictures! We collected almost a pillow case full of candy and handed out 6 bags...Hope you all had fun last night and felt like a kid yourself for just a little while!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat

T - 1 hour and counting...

I've got a zombie, a biker chick, Lighting McQueen and a two-year-old going out to dutifully collect candy for me this year...let me tell you Halloween candy x4 is to die for...I'm so excited! I haven't had a good Butterfingers in a LONG time. I only wish I could follow the rules for eating Halloween candy that I impose on my children! Ha! My mouth starts watering around 7:30 because I know the free for all starts as soon as all of the little ones are safely tucked in their beds which is around 8:00pm. So trick or treat to all of you...I will be treating myself tonight...I just love this holiday!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Yeh! Everybody got sick!

Ok, I know that sounds like a really stranged title, however, when you have as many people living in your house as I do, I am so glad when everybody has finally caught the virus because I can stop being scared of every little burp, cry or quick run to the bathroom. I become a nerotic crazy woman waiting and wondering who will be the next victim and after awhile can't stand the as much as it sucked that everybody was sick all within the same 12 was also a blessing...get and get it done with!

Today was Wednesday morning coffee and I was so thankful to be there. I drank coffee had two pieces of cake and was just really really glad to be out of the house! Thanks Carol!

Doug and I are going downtown this weekend for a overnight...sounds glamorous but really it's for the hospital. I think it will be fun to spend some quiet time just by myself window shopping and we plan to go to the art museum on Saturday afternoon which will be a blast.

Well, I need to go get the kid's pj's on and put them to bed. Jed is complaining that he can't get his "turtle top"'s to hard...that's Jed speak for turtle neck.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Spoke too soon

Jed started at 10:00, while I was holding his head over the toilet I started, Emily started at 8:00am and Christian had to get picked up from school at 8:30...thankfully Doug has this week off for "vacation"...some vacation! Please pray he makes it through today...he has a lot on his plate and a lot to clean off the floors, beds, toliets etc... What's that song in Annie I love so much, "The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun!"

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Back on two feet... cross your fingers!

First, I want to thank all of you for your encouragement and sympathy…it helps to know that other girlfriends know what I’m going through. I have to say, the blog is great when you are stuck in the house…I may not have been able to go out with girlfriends but to talk about it on the blog helps a ton!

Friday was a LONG day to say the least. After blogging, I called my mom and just started balling! It was feeling completely selfish and immature and my mom knew just what to say…until she didn’t and started telling me about this guy who is in a wheelchair for life and has a much worse life than mine…sorry mom, it was “all about me” time don’t need or want to hear about others problems…hanging up now! I told you, selfish and immature….

Well, Saturday Wesley popped right back…totally amazing! Doug is a little slower to the draw but we had to sing and play on Saturday evening so…take some Immodium and let’s go, the show MUST go on! We had greasy sandwiches for dinner, per Doug’s request and against my better judgement, so needless to say he wasn’t feeling so grand this morning…but again, the show must go on. Three service weekends can be such a killer for us…but at least I got to get out of the house!

Sickness over…we are no longer doing sick here!

Friday, October 20, 2006

I wanna cry!

Actually,I am crying...have you ever felt like all you do is play nurse maid to sick people all day it will never get you just want to go away and never come back? Doug is sick again, this time with the flu, the yucky kind. I took the kids out for lunch today because they have Thurs & Fri off for teacher convention. On the way home, Wesley puked in his car seat. Poor guy, looked so scared, I don't think he's ever really puked before. So, before I could even take him out of the car seat, I had to clean him up, yuk! Jed is crying in the back seat the whole time cause his shoes might get puke on them...whatever! Christian & Emily are holding a garbage bag open for me to launch used paper towels into...the whole time holding their noses and squirming. I finally get Wes out of the car seat, strip him down naked in the garage and get him upstairs, dress him and put him down for a nap. Now I have to go back to the car and try and get that f*@#ing car seat apart to clean it...ya right. I really just wanted to throw it away! I still might cause I don't know if I will ever get it back together! Seriously, other people must have this problem, why don't they make getting the cover off a car seat easier? So here I sit, feeling really really depressed cause I'm stuck at home yet another day with more sickness... Sometimes I hate being the mommy, the wife, the nurse. I now understand the commercial "Calgon, take me away!"

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Do you ever sit in front of your blog and type and backspace and type and backspace wondering what in th world you should blog about? Everytime I look at my blog and see yet again the same post that has been up there for 7 days...I feel an obligation to change it and yet...I've got nothing..

Woke up at 7:03...yippy skippy flapper doodles I got to sleep longer than the sun!

7:04 rescued a screaming two year old from his crib

7:05 made coffee

7:06 did dishes

7:09 welcomed child #3 & #2 back from the land of nod

7:10 started baking a coffee cake...baking on Saturday mornings makes me happy

7:11 welcomed child #1 back from the land of nod...

7:15 opened a yogurt for #2
7:15 1/2 started cleaning up yogurt off the floor and chairs swearing he would never get another cup of yogurt again!

7:20 with cup of coffee in hand thought this is the best Saturday morning one is one is in the one is fighting.........

7:21 they started fighting!

Oh that didn't last long!

7:22 someone told me the diaper stinks...

7:23 started to try to blog...I know you think I should be changing the diaper but I've heard somewhere I can let that sit a while! sorry for nothing really funny or exciting...but it is a new post so I think I should get points for that!

Have a good Saturday!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

CCHS Football research

So Jen's post got me thinking about my "glory days" back in the late 80's early 90's...I was looking through the CCHS football Hall of Fame, we're missing!, and their all time records...looking...searching for the detailed history of the years I was there and cheered...found us listed in the team history section...
Coach Mike 1982-2001 W 72 L 112

1987 W 1 L 8 think this game was won by forfeit
1988 W 0 L 9
1989 W 3 L 6
1990 W 3 L 6

Go Christian Knights!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Any Takers?

Here's your chance to get famous and show America what your made of!


Doug is still in a lot of pain...although he won't fess up to it. Comming home meant walking around a lot more than he did in the hospital and that brought on pain. I don't know what to expect these next couple of days...weeks...because we got no real instructions from the doctor because Doug is a Dr and they all just know these things. Unfortunately, the wife did not go to medical school so I'm sort of in the dark about all this...I hate that. So, I'm trying to keep everything quiet around here and let him get his rest...much tougher than it sounds! Thanks again for your prayers and support.~Christine

Thursday, September 28, 2006

He's Home!

Hey everybody~ I took Doug home this afternoon around 3:30pm. It seems as if the lining around his heart or lungs or both is inflamed because of the virus he had. I don't totally understand why or how this happened...but what I do know is that it was NOT a heart attack! He took a stress test this morning and the pain came right back and was worse...that was really scary and unexpected...but the test results came back normal so they sent him home with orders to rest and take it easy for a few weeks...we'll see...Thank you for your thoughts and prayers...I'm so grateful.

Prayer Needed

My doctor beautiful was admitted to the hospital as a patient yesterday because he was having chest pains. UGH! So far all the tests have come back that he did not have a heart attack and they also don't think he has a virus attacking his heart...praise God! We have all been quite sick here so hopefully this is just a side effect from the virus he had. But...last night was really hard...the kids are scared, I'm scared and really don't like this at all. Life has a way of catching you off guard and I'm feeling really shaken right now. Please pray.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Isn't that just the way it ALWAYS is!

I can't find my check card. I've looked high and low. I've looked for 7 straight days. I know that it is in the house...I remember Doug giving it back to me and I remember thinking, "I'll put this here so that I don't forget where it is." I forgot. So, yesterday I went to Jewel and had to write a check. They had to check my drivers license and have my phone number and the whole 9 yards. I was that person who holds up the grocery line at know the one who everybody hates and sends death rays through their eyes and body language...I was that person. So as I'm leaving Jewel I walk over the the TCF counter and tell the girls I need to cancel my card and get a new one, simple enough. I tell them, "I will probably find the stupid thing as soon as I do this, but hey, I've looked for 7's gone. They take care of the whole thing and I feel great! Problem solved! Then I drive home and walk in the door and Doug looks at me with a huge smile and says, "I found the check card!" Seriously, I hadn't even put the grocery bags down. Isn't that just how life always is!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Originally uploaded by mommybrain4.
My third child, Jacob Edward or Jed, looks at the world a little differently. When everyone else looks up he's usually looking down. He's not a trouble maker or naughty, he just dances to a different beat.

When asked, "In a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which is more important the peanut butter or the jelly?" He looked at me sideways and said, "The bread."

He has a bag full of Jed-isms...for example he loves to ride the alligator(elevator) at the mall, thinks Doug works at a hostibal, and loves the color wipe.

Yesterday, he came out of the bathroom crying and told me that he had gonorrhea!

No, honey, you have diarrhea!

That's my Jed!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My guilty viewing pleasure

I admire people who don't watch TV. I think they sound extraordinarly pious when I here people say, "Oh, I don't watch TV...don't have time."

I don't like to watch TV during the summer...can't stand reruns. But I LOVE this time of year. I get really excited about the new fall shows and can't wait for my old favorites to come back. Everytime the Grey's Anatomy commercial comes on...I have to stop what I'm doing to watch and say all the words along with the announcer. McDreamy...well...he really is McDreamy! sorry Doug... I wait on pins and needles for Desperate Housewives, love House, won't miss LOST 4,8,15,16,23,42, know all the characters on Veronica Mars and TIVO Oprah, What Not To Wear, and I'm a closet Miami Ink fan. My new favs so far are Studio 60 and Men inTrees and sort of liked Standoff. I don't have a clue when these shows air because we now TIVO everything and watch it when we can...some nights we stay up late so that we can clear the TIVO because it is too full. That's my confession...I love TV...NBC, CBS, ABC, TLC, HGTV, Food Network...oh don't get me started on Alton Brown, Rachel Ray, Iron Chef, or Paula Dean and her sons...I love Food Network too. Anyway, I'd love to stay and blog but I've got the two new epidsodes of Oprah waiting for me and only a few more minutes till nap time is over! See Ya!

Saturday, September 16, 2006


For weeks my husband and my girlfriends have been talking in whispers, having secret meetings and have stealthily planned a trist for my birthday. I have to congratulat them, they pulled it off...I did not know what was going on and they truly kept all the details from me. Here's how it went down,

Wednesday is coffee day and we had planned to go out for breakfast to celebrate. Laura came to pick up the kids to take them to the bus, she gave me one of those grins that said, "Let the games begin!" I was told that Tina was going to pick me up and drive me to breakfast. Strange... I thought something must be happening at my radar was up...way up! I sat at breakfast just waiting for something to happen but it didn't. We simply had a nice breakfast and then everybody left. Huh! Tina drove me home and we sat and talked for a while. Soon Laura was there too. We were just talking and I was planning my afternoon, I was going to take a LONG was dark and dreary outside...the perfect napping weather.

At noon, Doug walks in the door...strange! He hands me a WAD of cash and tells me that I have to go shopping and can't come back for 2 hours, strange! My birthday is a day away...why are we doing this now? Tina and Laura inform me they have work to do and that they can not come with me...strange...what the heck is going on here...what kind of work???I was completley snowed!

When I get back, my house is clean, my kids are gone, my bags are packed and my husband is ordering me back into the car....where are we going? OUT! OH, ok...strange...Turns out that the girls packed my bags while Doug took the baby to grandma's. Everything had been taken care of and I was going to be gone until SATURDAY! WOW!

We went to a beautiful hotel/timeshare at Eagle Ridge in Galena. The next morning, Doug woke me up early and told me to take a shower and get dressed in comfy clothes. I didn't need any make-up and my hair did not need to be done. Strange...he had booked me 1/2 a day at the Spa. A massage, a manicure and a pedicure was how I was going to spend my birthday...NICE! After the massage a bottle of champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries was waiting just for me...a WHOLE bottle of champagne at 10:30 in the morning...SWEET! The massage therapist had told me that I needed to learn to relax more...she should have started me with the champagne because after 1/2 a bottle I was starting to relax and after finishing the whole bottle let's just say I was WAY GIGGLY!

So, that was the story of how my husband and my girlfriend got me good! It is amazing to have so many people in my life who love me so much! Thank you to the girlfriends who helped Doug plan and took all my kids...I have a lot of them! And special thank you to Doug for working so hard to make my birthday so takes a lot of work to plan and pack for 6 people...even harder when you are trying to keep it a secret...he did a great job! It's gonna be hard to top this one...but if anyone has any ideas let me know!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering Tuesday September 11, 2001

I remember sitting on the coffee table in front of the TV just watching with disbelief at what was happening, I couldn't really even comprehend what was going on. Honestly, I saw the video of the first plane crashing into the tower, I thought it was a special didn't look real.

I needed to bring Christian to his 2nd day preschool...I didn't know if it was safe. I listened to the radio for the entire ride and kept looking outside wondering if the people around me knew what was going on??? On my way home, their was a report that there might be a plane headed to Chicago...what was happening?

I have never been so afraid.

I never thought this could happen.

Where were you??? What were you doing when you heard?? How did you feel?? How has your life changed??

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What I Learned Today

The Chinese symbol for conflict has two parts...

One side is Danger the other side is Opportunity.

Discuss amongst yourselves ...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Is it Fair?

Is it fair that I will soon be 34 years old and I still get zits? Shouldn't that time in my life be over by now? I'll spare you the pictures...but trust me if we were having a face to face conversation you would not be able to look me in the eys because you would be distracted by the enormous zit under my nose. This is just not fair!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

We are such fragile people!

Yesterday, we were invited to a Labor Day picnic with all of the families that my family used to hang out with "back in the day." It was a good time and my kids had a ball...for me it was also a time to ponder some "deep" thoughts about how fragile and forgetful people can be.

When I was growing up, my parents were very social. We went out every weekend...Friday was pizza night...Saturday was friend night, either we went there or they came to our house. A weekend wouldn't be complete unless those two nights were filled with friends, laughter and lots and lots of pizza. So needless to say, we, my brother and I, spent a lot of time with my parent's friends and their families. We "grew up" together.

Even with all that history, why is it so awkward to spend the afternoon with my "cousins?" Are we that shallow or that forgetful or that different??? It just seemed strange to me how awkward it was and that made me uncomfortable. I found myself thinking about the future for my own family...will there be a day when Ettemas, Deckers, Jacobsens and Nepkins force our children to come to a Labor Day party and our kids will act like they are surrounded by strangers? I guess it really wasn't that the end the atmosphere got more comfortable...but still it made me kind of sad when I thought of my own kids. How does the human mind forget friendships so quickly?? How do a group of kids who grew up together find themselves in such different worlds as adults? It's just strange.

If anyone of you went to a Labor Day picnic yesterday you will know that the bees were vicious! And they were everywhere! They literally swarmed around your head, buzzed in your ears and were constantly in your food. Early on in the afternoon, my mom got stung on her hand, right by her thumb knuckle. She was pretty brave about it but that really hurts. Her thumb swelled up and got really red, she couldn't bend it by the end of the evening. I too got stung. Dam bees! Right on my back! I was fishing with Christian & Jed and went to scratch my back and BAM! It hurt so bad. I was not brave like my mom...I was a baby! Got all weepy and flushed, it ruined the rest of my evening. After a while the pain got better but it was always there, mixing with my thoughts, invading my conversations and just plain making me crazy. And I thought again, how strange we humans are that a tiny bee could sting me and ruin my whole day. Sometimes we think we are so strong and in control when really all it takes is a tiny bee sting to halt everything we are doing and invade our lives.

Even today, the morning after, my mom and I are still miserable. We are so fragile!

Hope you had a good Labor Day. Spent time with good friends. Had time to reflect on human nature and learn something about yourself!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

My fingers ache

Have you ever had anyone ask you what your biggest regret was? Mine?? I never learned to play an instrument...well. I lugged a French horn around for a couple of years and besides a backache and having the opportunity to hit many small children in the head as I walked to the back of the bus with the monstrosity it became when placed in the carrying case, that was the end of that experience. My mom, bless her heart, saved her tips for a year to buy me a piano when I was 15(when I look back on that now I see what a sacrifice she made, but at the time I was too dumb and too egocentric to notice). I took a total of 3 lessons (they were interspersed with my voice lessons) and then gave up because it was no fun to play scales and I didn't like to practice. Voice came easier, mom didn't want to fight. That was the end of that…mom sold the piano to buy my wedding gown.

So after Emily was born, Doug bought me a guitar. I had such high hopes that I would be able to teach myself how to play...everybody else seems to do it. The problem back then was I had a baby who never slept and constantly cried. When she finally grew out of that stage I was pregnant's really hard to play guitar with a swollen abdomen. And then I got pregnant again...and that brings me to today in a really fast track sort of way.

I've learned that I love to write songs and that some of them are really pretty good...they make people cry… and that is the hallmark of a “good” song in my book. The problem is that even though I hear the music in my head, I've never learned how to play an instrument well enough to get it out of my head so others can hear it. AND I want to be part of the band now. They look like they have so much fun...they are cool, they are confident and it looks like a blast. So, it's back to the guitar and the keyboard for me.

Lately, I've been practicing guitar. I have been trying to practice for 20-30 minutes a day...sounds easy enough…but it’s like exercise…get my drift? Guitar is one of those instruments that just looks easy when other people play really is not. My fingers ache so bad right now that it is painful to type this...the calluses on the fingers on my left hand make it difficult to untie knots, take out my earrings and pick up really small things like paperclips. And I think playing the guitar must be like driving a stick shift car...once you get the feel you're good to go but you have to find the magic, until then you just struggle.

So I'm struggling with the hope of finding the magic, being in the band, getting the music out of my head and into people's hearts. I guess ultimately I feel that if I got really good at 1 instrument it would make me a legitimate musician and I really want that too.

That's what I want the most.

I still hate to practice!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Need to recant...and clarify

In an earlier post, I wrote that "I was disgusted by the traditional tone" of the prayer and praise service. Somebody called me on it, although they didn't sign their name...I think that is cowardice but I'm going to address it anyhow.

I am sorry for the way I wrote that post and hope to recant my words and clarify them...I don't know why you care but I do and so I need to post this. I am not as I stated earlier "disgusted" by traditional worship. That is how I was raised and I have respect for the hymns of the faith that have endured generations and have timeless messages that will never die. I love hymns that are played on big organs and sung loudly by large groups of people. I love hymns that are sung in the quiet of a nursery while rocking a baby. And I love the words of old hymns that come to me in the midst of trial such as, It is Well with My Soul, I Surrender All, and My Jesus I Love Thee.

What I was disturbed about or disgusted as I wrote earlier...after 4 days of not sleeping so cut me some slack please, was that the style of worship that my church and other supporting churches in the area were not represented. It wasn't in my opinion even attempted. I believe that was a "judgment" call by the Christian Education community. Maybe I will never be able to explain this because there is so much history involved...but, I longed for all styles of worship to be represented. I longed to sing the songs of our fathers and the songs of today. I longed for the older people in the congregation to accept, if you will, our worship songs. I use the term "our" loosely. I feel that having a service of strictly traditional worship in a group of many traditions, schools and communities is wrong. It shows elitism and issues a judgment on others who are "not like us."

I guess I was disgusted by the unspoken but clearly heard judgment that "traditional is best and all that "we" accept." That disgusts me. I wishe "we" would entertain that there are infinite ways to praise our Savior and Lord. There is no one way that is more spiritual or biblical or more right than any other. And I am disgusted when presented with that kind of attitude.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Random Question of the Day

If you clean the baby off with that considered bathing?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

WARNING: Middle of the night nonsense ramblings...please forgive all spelling, grammar and crazy thoughts, it's just me trying to process the junk

I was talking to my brother yesterday about some of the things that have been weighing heavy on my heart. HEAVY...wake me up at night...throat tight...chest tight...heavy. The stuff that fills my prayer life and my thought life...and even invades my mind at 3:ooam. As I'm typing this I'm hearing the children's rhyme "Can't get over it, can't get under it, gotta go through it."

It turns out my little brother has grown into an amazing listener and counselor. He probably has always been these things and I am just catching on. He said something to me that really stopped me in my tracks and truthfully has my mind spinnng. He said that life is not made up of points in time but rather it's linear. It's not that an event will happen and something will "finally" be...but rather that an event will happen and then the sun will come up the next day and the next and the next. Life will continue to go on and we will continue to be players in the game. The game may get redefined by an event but as we all know, "the game will go on." Then his next question is the real tough one, "What will my life look like as the game continues after the "big event?"

I know this is very cryptic but I really don't want to go into personal details because I think there is something we all can learn from this concept w/o my details. His example was of when someone dies and you go through the wake and have the funeral and then the lunch is cleaned up and the mourners go home, the family goes to bed and the sun comes up the next morning as if nothing happened. But for the family, the game has been redefined, they must now "do" life in a different way. For me, he said, I'm focused on one event, one "finally" event, but that I need to see beyond that to dare to look at what life will be like after the sun goes down and then comes back up again. To play the movie of what, where, when and how things are going to look like and then get okay with all the scenarios.

I large part of my spirit and my thinking and my feelings just want "it" over with...done, finished. And I guess what he was saying is that life goes on and I need to see that. Having an "end game" really doesn't mean end game it really means transition strategy to someplace else, some place that's not here waking up at 3am.

I know these are the middle of the night nonsense ramblings of Mommy Brain...but if I don't get them out I will never get to sleep.

Monday, August 28, 2006

To all my blogging girlfriends...I'm sorry I've been gone for so long!

I've been in the middle of a huge project that has kept me from life in general...just ask Doug. But it ended last night and I'm so relieved. Last year, I agreed or maybe even jumped at the chance to organize, create and lead the annual "Christian Education Prayer and Praise Service" At the time, I was disgusted by the traditional tone the service had and thought it needed an update. Contemporary worship at last year's service was defined with the song "Bind Us Together!" At the time, I was even quite sure that I was the person for the job and that it would not be that difficult or that different from what I did on a weekly basis at my own church. At that time I was a fool!

This has been an enormous project that filled many hours...some constructive and others taking place at 3am just worrying about it. On Wednesday, I'm pretty convinced that I made myself physically sick with the stress of it all. Which makes me really irritated at myself...I should have more control and be better at handling things. By the end of the week, I was just a basket case...which my husband or any of my friends can attest to.

Thank you to all who put up with my moodiness, my complaining, my stress eating and my just being mentally & emotionally absent altogether. This was a project that meant a lot to me and it took a lot from me as well.

Last night was the service. It was an awesome experience that in the end was worth the work...but not the stress. I need to figure out how to "do" it better so that it doesn't consume my life. I was surrounded by my A-Team singers, Doug & Sheila, and a new band that I had rehearsed a total of 4 hours for the 30 minutes of music we did. I couldn't have asked for a better team...Doug & Sheila are the best harmony singers I've ever worked with and we hit a homerun last night. It was great!

So today, I have nothing on my plate...Hallelujah! It is a great feeling! I'm exhausted...but I'm back to blogging!

Monday, August 21, 2006

More Happy Places...

So maybe it's that the kids are going back to school in just 1 mere day or maybe it's because my new cleaning lady just left and now my house looks and smells clean or maybe it's just because it's 75 and sunny, I don't know but I feel happy and want to share more happy places!

This is my oldest son's room. I love the way the three colors meet and how the glow in the dark stars look on the ceiling. This room was such a pain to paint that I told him that he will be getting married with his room looking exactly the way it does today...I will never paint it again!

Because our house was a "spec"sp? house we really didn't have that many different choices to make. We picked out cabinets, carpet and light fixtures. I loved looking for light fixtures! It became an obsession of mine.This is my bedroom light fixture...I searched the internet for 2 weeks to find this specific fixture and then even found matching bathroom ones! We haven't painted this room but it is first on the fall project list.

This is where the party always starts and ends. When the sun goes down we turn on the twinkle lights on the ceiling. This is where we have date night, where our family sits for dinner and where our friends drink wine and have long conversations that last into the night. I love the's like another room of my house.

My Most Happy Place... my bathroom with the door closed! No one is knocking, no one is crying, no one is shoving a note under the door...

Saturday, August 19, 2006


This is tour of the places in my home that make me smile, give me a sense of accomplishment or remind me of good times past and to come...I hope you enjoy your visit and that you will come back again someday.

This is our front walk. I enjoy gardening and absolutely love the way the front of our house has a "prairie" feel. The ornamental grass hedge, it's hard to see, is my favorite but the flowers take more loving care.

When JD talked about a place in her house that just makes her happy this is the view that immediately came to mind for me. The color in my family room makes me happy because it required so many Wednesday morning coffee's to pick just the right shade of brown. After I painted, I shopped at Ettema's department store for the mirror. I was so lucky because it was a manager's was almost like I stole it! This is the view from my kitchen it!

Here is my creamy custard and habanero pepper kitchen. Hot Mamma and I painted it in one great day! Doug left for work and it was white and came home to these awesome warm colors. We love to entertain and this space provides enough room for people to have a drink and mingle while we prepare dinner. You can't see the other part of the room but it is BIG, I love it...last year we had 22 people for a sit down dinner.

For some reason I can't get the rest of my happy places pictures to you will have to wait for another day. Until then, I'm so glad you dropped by...maybe next time we can have coffee.

~Mommy Brain

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Why do I wake up in the middle of the night...only to start thinking about all the things that need to be done or all the things I haven't done but should or all the people I should pray for or why I haven't gotten a babysitter yet or's not like I can fix these things at 2:29am! Sleep sweet sleep please come quickly! Does anyone else have this problem? I have NO problem falling asleep at night...just staying asleep. Once I'm up, it's at least another hour or two before I fall asleep again! I'm so tired!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Those last precious few hours

It's becoming very clear to me that I'm not sure if I am celebrating or lamenting the end of summer. Every year it is a bitter sweet change for me that is enhanced now that the children are in school. I remember when no one was in school and the change of seasons was simply that, a change of seasons. I would hate to see the warm weather go and the days get shorter but my day to day life really did not change all that much. Back in those days, there was never a change in my life as each day looked and felt exactly the same. I had no Monday blahs, no TGIF, no look forward to weekends just morning, naptime, noon, naptime, dinner, and bedtime. My measuring stick was shorter. I celebrated naptimes and trips to the mall and stressed over getting out the door on time for my 9am Coffee Break group.

As I look back on those days, I can't say that they were easier or harder, they were different. I only had a couple of cherubs to take care of so I guess those days were less busy and I didn't have to divide my attention so many ways, but my kids were smaller and they needed constant care. These days, even though I have a 1 year old, I also have 7 & 9 year olds to fetch diapers, pour milk and find lost blankets.

Now my years are divided into semesters again. August means school supply shopping and regular bedtimes and eventually back to school. Although I loathe fighting the crowds at Target and Kmart, I do love picking out new folders, spirals and pencils. It makes me feel like a kid again. I love the way it represents a fresh start. I get excited buying a clean empty spiral with a Strawberry Shortcake cover and often, I buy one for myself too.

I get less excited over the back to school routine. These last 10 days before school starts, mommy stays in bed much longer than usual. I may see the clock at 6:00 but I roll over and indulge in sleeping until 8:00 because I know that soon that luxury will be a memory. My pillow feels softer, my bed feels more luscious and I delight in the lavishness of staying in my pj's until lunch time. It is sort of like the last piece of chocolate or last bite of cheesecake before you start a diet. (My diet is a whole different post!)

I know that in the end, the routine is good and that we could never live without it. I would not survive in perpetual summer with no schedule, continual late nights and endless parties on the pool deck. Even those things after 3 months are starting to lose their appeal and are feeling more routine than special.

Time marches on and there is nothing we can do to stop it or even slow it down. But I do think it's good to mark those moments, celebrate what was good and look forward to the future. It has been one great summer, one I'm afraid we will always want to repeat but will never quite get the recipe right and so saying good-bye is a little hard. But I do have a brand new spiral notebook that I can't wait to open!

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Ok so all of you read my post from last night. Some of you cried, some of you scoffed, some of you wondered what was wrong with me. Well let me tell you. Last night I blogged in the quiet of my clean house. 3 of the children and the hubby were at VBS, one slept soundly like an angel and mommy was home alone. She sat at the computer and wasn't interupted or cried at, no one made a request of her, the TV was even turned off. And from that chair she wrote the oh so sweet words of leaving the role of mommy behind and how difficult that would be. Then, reality set in. Hubby came home from VBS angry at the kids because they lost their manners and made him look bad. #3 cried because he was too tired and didn't want to go to bed. #2 wouldn't stop talking and talking and talking and talking. #1 wanted to stay up to watch Drake and Josh and thought we were the most cruel parents in the world because we wouldn't let him. #4 continued to sleep soundly. 6am came, mommy got up and did pilates and yoga, read your mostly beautiful comments to my blog, drank coffee and made herself breakfast. She sat down to enjoy her breakfast and was promptly asked what she was giving #2 & #3 for breakfast. She got up w/o eating and made them breakfast, then #4 got up and demanded breakfast, then when that was done #1 wanted his breakfast. She tried to take a shower only to be interupted by all four at separate times, she tried to pee only to have #4 and the dog come in and watch. And at that moment in time wondered out loud..."what was I thinking?" Oh school bus you are welcome here...oh teachers you are blessed...oh summer roll, roll into fall ...mommy is tired and hungry and can't wait to sit down for a cup of coffee!

Friday, August 11, 2006

The End of Summer

I've been thinking alot about how this summer is ending and school will be starting soon. It puzzles me and frightens me how fast the years are flying. I know this sounds so cliche' and am reminded that 'there is nothing new under the sun' but this is really hitting home in my heart right now. My position, my career, my status as "mommy" is slowly being replaced with "mom" and soon to be replaced with "my mother" and what does that mean for me? Sometimes I hold my little Wesley and feel his soft cheeks and smell his wonderful baby smell and tell myself to 'remember this.'

My oldest is 9 and getting to be almost as tall as I am. He is clever and funny and smart and it is a joy to get to know him as an individual. I love seeing him discover things that interest him and things that he feels passionate about and watching him navagate his way through this world. But I feel sad knowing that my role as "mommy" is in it's final hours with this boy.

And then I ask myself, sometimes with joy and sometimes with sadness, who am I? Who will I be when this daily grind is over and I don't have to pour milk, cut meat and change diapers? If I think about it too long I feel very alone. I can find myself day dreaming about what life will be like when the kids are bigger...I can sing the praises of what life will be like when I can finally go to the bathroom alone or the grocery store or anywhere...but what will it be like? What will it be like when there are no more giggles, no more baby tears, no more one piece blanket sleepers? I get this way every time summer roles into fall...

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast: The most important meal of the day. I hear this mantra in my head each morning as I try to prepare breakfast for four children, all of who have very different ideas of what is acceptable. There is added pressure to this question now that school is approaching because soon what I feed them in the morning will have a direct impact on the kinds of grades they get and how well they are able to listen in school and how well behaved they are.(Why do I read those parenting magazines anyway?!) I never know what is considered 'good' breakfast food. Waffles are easy...but not healthy. Eggs are healthy...but not easy. Nobody likes cereal in my family...I'm at a loss. I've read that smoothies are great brain food for kids, but who has time to cut up fresh fruit and get out the blender and make smoothies before 7:00? Now, I'm starting to get stressed! If anyone has good breakfast ideas, please let me know. It needs to be healthy, fast, good, and kid approved... Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Skinny Cow

I was at one time a skinny cow...however, I didn't know it. I am no longer a skinny cow...however, I'm acutly aware of it. I hate that! Four children have left my body in less than perfect condition and I've also aquired a taste for pregnant eating habits. Now that I am no longer pregnant, this is not working for me! I thought that after I had #4 I would be so motivated to get back into skinny cow body because he was my last child...that didn't work. So, I was reading Jana's 102 things and was struck by her comment that she loves to diet because she loves the discipline. What a comment! Why can't I also love the discipline? Well, I'm 4 hours into my new discipline and I hate it! I long to be the skinny cow again, but I also long for things like Dove Bars and Oreo's and Hot Wings. And here is the rub, not like a BBQ rub...which I also love, I don't like the way I look and so I either need to do something to change it or shut up. I hate that too!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The hottest date place in town...

Doug and I have discovered that sometimes the best date place is home. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to go out. I love going downtown to fancy restaurants, I love going to the new martini bars popping up all over the place, I love to go to the movies or any of the other typical date places. But as we have gotten older , acepted more responisibility and added more children to our house those types of dates aren't as easy or practical as they once were. First of all, we are hardly ever home, so going out doesn't always sound so great. Secondly, we are so blessed to have a life full of friends for this moment in time and if we are going out, we are probably with them. And thirdly, it is very expensive to pay a babysitter to watch 4 children, a lot of the time my babysitting bill is equal to my dinner bill...and that's just wrong. It costs us over $100 to do the dinner, movie, babysitter thing.

Our perfect date place is our kitchen table or our patio. This date does take more work and you do have to clean the dishes yourself but in the is perfect. We have found that we love to cook together and many times what we cook is better than anything we could order off a menu. A bottle of wine, a few steaks, good ice cream and great conversation...what could be better than that?

WARNING: you have to be committed to turning off the tv, the internet, the phone, it's too easy to fall into the dinner, TV, go to bed mode. Light a candle, get out your fancy wine glasses, use real plates, no sippy cups allowed!

If you don't have the $ to put down for a babysitter or dinner...wait until the kids are in bed, make your own special meal, sit at your table and dine together at home. It's so worth it! You might find yourself having dinner together more than once a week! It's a great way to reconnect!

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Great Blogging Girlfriends Get-Together

Well, I'm exhausted! Yesterday was the infamous Blogging Girlfriends Get-Together. Sadly, a few key players were missing. Jana's family was still sick and although we missed her we were all glad she stayed away. Kary was just AWOL! She promised to come with her cherubs but then never showed...maybe she got lost in IN somewhere, blank stare. We did meet Kim & Elise! We all agreed that Jen & Kim look sooooo much alike and when they have sunglasses on, well then you just can't tell them apart.

The BIG surprise of the afternoon was that Jen's hubby Tim came along for the ride. He made some excuse about taking a truck to a repair shop in Joliet, however, I think he just didn't want to miss the fun. So, with Tim & Dr. Beautiful there, we had the start of a party! Carrie, NonBlogging Girlfriend, invited her hubby over, Tina, NBG, invited her hubby over, Laura invited her hubby over, Carol invited her hubby over(although we never found him) and we even had a NBG, Laura, stop by for a Margarita. Soon, it was 6:00 and we had four pizzas, beer and 30 people on my patio--on a Thursday! What will my neighbors think?!?!?

The day started out cloudy and rainy but by the afternoon the sun came out and then it got HOT! I think almost all BG and NBG were in the pool at some point. Elise loved the pool as long as she was fully dressed, once Kim put her suite on she wanted nothing to do with the water! Although, new Aunt Steen tried to get her to swim she wanted none of it. Greta took a nice long nap in one of the bedrooms upstairs and when Jen went to go "check in" on her she fell asleep too. Glad you had some time to do that Jen! You deserve it after the week you've had!

So although the Great Bloggging Girlfriends Get-Together wasn't so full of bloggers we still had a great time. And don't worry Jana, Kary, Amanda, Melissa=), Lisa, Becky or any other blogging girlfriends who visit this site, we will do it again! Until next time~ Mommy Brain

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My day...

My Most Precious Gift

My husband Doug is the most precious gift God has ever given me. I know that many women would say their children are their most precious gifts, and God has given me four of those, however, they are only mine for such a short time. Doug will be with me until death do us part. There is no greater security than that. Doug is the most amazing man I have ever met. He is strong in character. His character and integrity will not waiver...I've never seen it. He will stand for the weak, speak for the child, and fight for those who can not. He will not be moved by popular opinion but will stand on biblical principles and seek God's will. One of his most valient traits is his quest to seek and understand more about God's human race. He longs to understand so that he can serve, and he serves others so humbly. Doug is faithful to God's call on his life to be a physician, healer, counselor and guide. He is a loving father who provides for his children materially, emotionally and spiritually. He is a husband that only other women could dream of. He has created for me the most wonderful marriage relationship and I am so grateful to him. He is always there for me, always seeking to learn more about me, always looking for ways to surprise me, always nurturing me, consistantly encouraging me to be a better woman, mother,wife and friend...he sees that those roles in my life are seperate and understands that they are also intricately connected, and I love him for that. His heart is BIG and his emotions are real. He cares, nurtures, provides for, protects, educates, allows, communicates, listens, plays, gives, opens, seeks, laughs and cries for me and my family. I could not and never will ask for more.
I love you Doug! I will support you in your every quest. You are my slayer of dragons.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

You Heard The Man! Thursday is OK!

The Doctor is in and he has ok'd the reschedule for, can you guys come?

Blogging Girlfriends Get-Together in DANGER

Ok, so Jen's going to a funeral on Wednesday and Jana's puking sick(the WORST kind). I just want to cry...this was suppose to be such a great day! I need to talk with Dr. Beautiful yet, but if it is possible, would you be able to come over on Thursday instead? Thursday is the Doc's day off so I hesitate to reschedule, but I will talk to him soon and then repost. Please let me know what your week looks like...Kim is only in town for the week, so let's try to make this happen.


That's all I really wanted to say...I had to go grocery shopping today and I'm so bra is house is a mess...and the girls are coming over's too hot to do anything...even the pool is too hot! I really want to pull a Laura and just stand over the fan for the rest of the day.(You will have to ask her yourself) I'm a baby I know...but it's too hot!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Girls Night Out

We had SOOOO much fun!
Originally uploaded by mommybrain4.
Last night we did what has never been done before! We went out husbands...just girls! We all got dressed up, put on some mascara and cute shoes and went Karaoke-ing.

Here are some of the highlights:
Nancy rocked on Hit Me With Your Best Shot! Her wedding band days really paid off and she had the whole bar in the palm of her hand. Too bad you can't sing that stuff in church...she's awesome!
Carrie showed us her hidden dancing talents. Have you ever met someone who no matter what they do on the dance floor they look good? That's Carrie~ We all decided that she's got the beat! I would be remiss if I didn't tell you about Carol's awesome dancing skills too. These brought the house down~ I have never laughed so hard in my life! Carol & Nancy did an amazing recreation of Time Warp! What more can I say? Laura surprised herself and all of us with Delta Dawn...who knew that song had a verse? She pulled it off with grace and then wowed the crowd with her sweet and sultry voice. I got to relive my childhood dream and became Barbara and Olivia in one night with Sleeping Single and Hopelessly Devoted...which I can't get out of my head. We ended the evening singing Last Dance in the parking lot...harmony and all! Thanks girls for more fun than I've had in a long time, my checks hurt from laughing, my throat is sore from screaming and my legs have cramps from the high heels! You girls are the best!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Blogging Girlfriends Swim Party

My dearest blogging girlfriends...

You are invited to my house for a get-together next Wednesday, Aug 2nd at 1:00pm. Please bring your children, towels, sunscreen, snacks and let's have some fun!

Please RSVP in your comments and email me if you need directions.

Put it on your calanders...we're gonna have a blast!

Love ya,
Mommy Brain

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Down Came The Rain

Friends of Tim & Jen's, Shauni & Brian, lost their baby yesterday at 31 weeks. It was a boy. Please remember them in your prayers.

Down Came The Rain

by Christine Bierma copyright 2006

Down came the rain
And I held out my hands
I said, Lord, I know your with me
But I don’t understand
Down came the showers
And my life fell apart
Every piece of it came crashing
And it tore out my heart

I don’t want to be this broken,
This is not what I had planned
How I need your love and comfort
In this awful barren land
Down came the rain

Oh help me Jesus,
Help me to stand
I have no strength left in me
And my life is shifting sand
How can I find you
When everything is so dark?
You said you would never leave me
But I am falling apart

I am walking through the valley
And the shadow is on me
I never thought that I would be here
And I just want to leave
Oh help me Jesus

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
How can I ever live again?
Will this weight ever leave?

I see the sunrise
Yet, it is so far away
The light is peeking through the corners
For the first time in days
I see the sunrise
How can this be?
I never thought that I would laugh again
I never thought I would see

How can the night be over?
It has lasted so long
But I see the sunlight on me
And the darkness is gone
Oh thank you Jesus

Friday, July 21, 2006 close and yet sooooo far away!

Ok, so we are back from our short trip to Indiana Beach. We had a great time...although it was the hottest 4 day stretch of the year. Doug kept saying what didn't kill us made us stronger. It was really, really HOT & Sticky. Next time we try this pseudo camping stuff we are going in September!
Our cabin was great, no bugs, no mice, realy clean. Perfect for our first pseudo camping experience. Jellystone was awesome...they actually have camp director's there to schedule events for the kids every 1/2 hour! It was awesome..."hey kid's go up to the ranger station and hang for a couple of hours!" Now, I'm exagerating but really it was like they were at summer camp, they had water sponge fights, made bracelets, participated in an egg toss, watched having a built in baby sitter when we needed to clean or cook or put Wesley down for a nap.

So, while I was in Indiana, I noticed that life in Indiana is so different than life here at home. Here are a few of my observations:
#1 All the people there talk with a southern accent even though they only live two hours away from Chicago? Hey, Hoosers, you live up north!
#2 People in Indiana are really hung up on rules. While at Indiana beach I saw a sign in the restroom that read like this...

This bathroom is not a changing area
You may not change here
If you are caught you will be ejected from the park!

...if you want to change there, you should be allowed to change there.
We also had an stange experience on the tram back to the campground. A family was going to get on the tram and the operator yelled into the public address system, "Sir you must put your shirt on in order to ride this tram!" What!?!?! Aren't we at the beach?! Who cares if people have their shirts on...personally I'm in favor of all men wearing shirts to walk around, unless your the diet coke guy, but really do you have to have a rule for that?
Then there were the signs on every restaurant that said you must be 21 years old to enter the bar area, and the lady at the corn stand that said I wasn't allowed to peel the corn to see if it was good before I bought it??
It was just really strange in a twilight zone sort of way. I kept asking myself, how far away from home are we?
#3 When trying to engage the employees of Jellystone or Indiana Beach or Walmart or anywhere else we went, we were met with this open mouthed blank stare. I'd say something like, "Wow! I can't believe how hot it is...I think I'm gonna melt." open mouthed blank stare
"Isn't that cute, the kids think Yogi is a real bear!" open mouthed blank stare
I've seen this stare before on Doug's relatives from Indiana and just thought it was his family...but now I'm starting to think it might be the whole state! At one point I started talking real slow, maybe it was my accent that they couldn't understand me? no...just an open mouthed blank stare. Oh Well!
#4 The exact same radio station broadcasts at multiple places on the dial...but none of them come in clearly. I was searching the radio for something to listen to...on 89.1 heard I could sing of your love forever...on 90.8 heard the same song...on 92.4 same radio station...what is going on here? Now it's my turn for the open mouth blank stare.

We did find a country station that came in clearly and had been listening to it all week. At some point on the way home Emily asked, "Mom, are we in Illinois yet? Can we turn off Indiana and put on WBGL?"
All in all it was a nice time away with no phones, email and yes no blogs to distract me from life. We watched deer every night as we ate dinner and I was reminded that our God is good and creative and inspiring and His creation is so amazing and beautiful and inspiring and versitile...I mean look at the Hooser...To view photos of our trip please click the photo badge on the right.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

There's More Than Corn in Indiana

So we are off for a few days to good old Indiana Beach! This is our first camping adventure with all four kids...although we are not tenting it so Carol says "What ya complaining about?"

Packing for four kids, two adults, one dog and one stow-away niece is not all that much fun. So what am I doing right now...stalling on my blog. What else?

It's funny the things that come up when you are packing for the family.

1. Emily's clothes must match! And she must have a few options. plus the right underwear, the right pj's and a few changes of shoes!
2. I really only own 2 pairs of after packing Miss Emily's clothes my clothes look pathetic.
3. I have two sons that are not in diapers. One, compulsivly changes his underwear, one never changes his do you pack for that?
4. Doug only owns 2 pairs of shorts...something is wrong here!
5. How are we going to fit 4 kids, one dog, one stow away neice, our clothes, ourselves and a cooler in a Dodge Caravan...we need a bigger vehicle.

So goodbye for now...we'll be back soon. I can only handle a few days away with a 20 month-old.

The pool is open for any and all who want to use it...just don't pee in it! There are snacks in the pantry and beer in the outside fridge! Have a blast and be sure to take pictures.

We will miss you...both of us...we are kind of addicted to this blog thing and don't have a laptop.

See ya!

Christine & Doug

Friday, July 14, 2006

Girls Just Want To Have Fun!

If it wasn't pink, didn't giggle or have lace on it it probably didn't belong at our house on Thursday afternoon.

Let's see how far daddy can throw us was the game of the day. I could not believe how he launched these girls and one brother in the air!

This is Dooglas AKA "Dr. Beautiful"our party planner! "He just had soooo much fun!"

All in all, we had a great time! I loved getting to know Emily's friends and seeing her so happy. Sometimes we parents just need to endulge our children a little...and that's fun!

Happy Birthday Emily!

Happy Birthday to my only daughter Emily Nicole!

She turned 7 years old yesterday and did it in such style. We had a pool party with all of her friends, ate fancy fruit kabobs, drank Hawian Punch and feasted on double layer cookie cake. The girls laughed, screamed, giggled and ate alot! It was so much fun to watch them, I felt like I was in second grade all over again.

Emily is turning into such a beautiful little lady and it really is so much fun to watch her. She was so graceful at her party and was wonderful a friend and hostess. It was a hoot to watch her flit from friend to friend yesterday making sure everyone felt included. She hugged each girl after opening the present they had given her and went out of her way to make each girl feel like they had given her the best present in the world.

And as I tucked her in she just hugged me as tight as she could and I wondered how my little girl had grown so much already. Time really does fly...sometimes when I'm in the thick of a "he said, she said" argument or sitting at home one more day with little ones who are sick it doesn't feel that way. But when I sit and look at my family I have to ask, "where has the time gone and how did they get so big?"

It's in moments like holding her and tucking her in at night that I truly understand the passage about Jesus' mother when it says that "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

1 2 3 Not It!

1. My home is... full of children.
2. I am listening to... SpongeBob.
3. Maybe I should... get off the phone.
4. I love it when... the house is clean, dinner's on it's way and the kids are going to bed.
5. My best Doug, Laura, Jen & Carol. Who can pick just one?
6. I don't understand...math, my DVR & why the gallon of milk is always empty.
7. I lost... you name it I've lost it. Many times my purse off the roof of the car.
8. People say...I look like my mom.
9. The meaning of .my blog name brain has never been the same since the birth of my children.
10. Love is...true love is security.
11. Right now, somewhere, someone is...getting a massage.
12. I will always...put ketchup on my bratwurst.
13. Once upon a thighs did not touch and my boobs were perky.
14. I never want alone.
15. My personal motto is...don't stay angry it takes too much energy.
16. When I wake up in the morning...I make coffee, read my email and my blogs.
17. I get annoyed when...short people get to call themselves petite and tall people have to call themselves X-LARGE! NOT FAIR YOU ARE JUST SHORT!
18. People always...want more.
19. I sing...all the time.
20. Hugs are the best when...they last a long time and take your breath away.
21. Today I...made my bed.
23. Tomorrow I will...have coffee with my girlfriends.
24. I really play an instrument well.
25. If my girls/boys were born the opposite sex, I would have named them...Samantha, Jason, Stephanie & Tara.

These are harder to answer than I first thought, maybe it's because of my Mommy Brain? I tag Laura!

Monday, July 10, 2006


This post is entirely self-serving and unashamedly self-promoting and unquestionably egotistical...that is just a warning...

Yesterday, I got 5 children up, clean, dressed, fed and to church by 8:15 am all by myself! Wow! I'm still asking myself how I did it! But we were there. We all were dressed properly, no one's face was too messy and all of our shoes were on and they even matched! (The whole shoe's a sore spot with me...)

I feel great!

I feel tired!


Join me fellow SUPERWOMEN...tell us what you've done lately!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tell me what you see

What is New Life?

Doug and I visited a new church over the weekend. It was amazing! The kids programs were incredible...each room was more outstanding than the last. Each person that greeted us was friendly, knew their job and they seemed so organized. Once we had settled all of the little ones, we stepped into an auditorium that was nothing less than a dream come true for a wanna be Christian music artist and worship planner. Huge stage, three screens with motion back grounds, lights, cameras, big sound and very talented musicians. It was truly overwhelming!

It was so hard not to sit there and envy what was around me. And I must confess I found myself thinking about what it would be like to be a part of this amazing production. And it wasn't too hard to take the next leap and wonder what was keeping us at our present church. At that moment in time, I confess, it did not feel as if there was much to tie us down to New Life.

I have been asking myself "why do I feel like we need to be so loyal to NL?" There is much there that I would really like to just walk away from right now. Much work, much frustration, much stuff. Why couldn't we just stop here and go there? People do it...why couldn't we? What is keeping us here? What is tying us down? Couldn't I find a place at this new church to be active and use my gifts?

I believe God designed the church to be more than a worship experience, more than a place to use your gifts, more than a Sunday morning service, more than 'the fields are ripe for harvest.' I believe God designed the church to be a family. And if you are blessed, you will find more than friends at will find family.

Now, it is bear with me if I get weepy or ramble. Today I was playing bean bags in my backyard at our 4th of July party and I had my loyalty question answered in one picture. I looked up at our patio and saw our 'family' eating together, drinking together, laughing together and my answer was given. I am loyal to NL because that is where God has blessed Doug and I with friends who are our family.

We have been married for 12 years and have always talked about wanting to make friends...the kind of friends that you can be yourself around, laugh till your sides hurt, call up on a Friday evening and ask over for pizza. Friends that do not require walls or masks; the kind of friends that just fit and are comfortable and are safe and the kind of friends that care about your kids and your family as much as you care about theirs.

We have those kinds of friends because we go to NL. We have a family at NL that is worth more than any big sound and light board, fancy cameras or talented musicians. We have this family that is worth the fight...worth the frustrations...worth the time it takes to make things right. Because even if we walked away from NL and all the stuff that is going on and went to this new church and replaced NL stuff with new stuff we are unaware of...we could never replace our family.

And so by God's design, I believe, we will stick it out...because we have a full life that is full of friends. And really, who could ask for more?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Time to make the donuts

So it's Saturday morning and we are out of food and coffee. When I announced we were going to Dunkin Donuts cries of "Can I go? Can I go?" were heard throughout the house. And they actually cooperated to put eachothers shoes on!!! Wow! We should go to Dunkin Donuts more often!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


"What are your goals?" It seemed like a harmless question. One I would have been able to answer 12 years ago at any job interview. My goals were to graduate, to get married, to get a job, find an apartment, keep the car running, pay the bills and have fun.

As I've gotten older my goals have gotten fuzzier. They seem to have blended into my family; so that my goals are no longer mine but my goals for my husband and family. My wishes have faded away into the background somewhere.

I know this is so typical of a stay at home mom, but I hate being typical! I've been asking myself, "what do you want...what do you really want?" Unfortunately, a lot of the answers to this question seem to focus on material things. I don't like that about myself either. I know that material things don't bring happiness, I know this first hand. Yet, I still think "I really want a couch or new porch furniture, a new car and so on. When I examine these answers I really think they are cop outs. It easier to come up with material things than to examine myself and reach deeper.

I find it easier to write goals for my husband, children and friends than to write them for myself? Why? Don't I know myself better than anyone else? Am I brave enough to look deeper and define my personal goals?? Am I brave enough to act on them?

Do you know what I mean?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Let's repeat after me, "Not a Toy!"

It is a simple sentence that is repeated over and over and over again in my house. I think I could say it in my sleep. I think I do say it in my sleep! By dinner time I am so tired of saying it that I wish very badly we could take out the batteries and put him on a shelf somewhere simply for peace of mind.

Now, I know that eventually he will learn that lip gloss is not a toy, that scissors are not a toy, that potatoes are not a toy, that DVDs although shinny...still not a toy. I know he will learn that although toothpaste tastes good and shows up really well when smeared on the walls is, not a toy. He will learn water spills when it is dumped upside down, that salt is not meant to be poured all over the floor, that the button on the computer turns it off even when mom is in the middle of blogging, and that although tampons fly really far when you throw them all these things are "Not A Toy!"

Until then, I am exhaused. I know this time is suppose to fly by and that soon he will be asking for my keys, for my car that will again be "Not a Toy."

But until then, I count the minutes from 5:00 until bedtime and pray no sounds will be heard until at least 7:00am.