Friday, December 31, 2010

The View In Front Of Me...

A very dear friend has been posting pictures during this week of
miserable weather in the 48, from a tropical location. She has titled them, "The view in front of me." On New Years Eve, that is a blog post!

I've spent some time this last week, as I am sure many of us have, reviewing the last year in my mind. I've read over my blog, my journal, chatted with friends and the kids. I've curled up with my man and tripped down memory lane, sometimes in stitches over the adventures we have had. Glory to God for all He has accomplished in us this year. Who knew on the eve of 2011 we would be where we are? Right, He did.

We have prayed like crazy this year for Belle Malone. She continues her fight with little change in her health. Her mom, Kim, has become my dear friend. After five years in church together, it took Facebook to make us friends. How blessed I am to love her.

John and I learned to not spend and to give Him our first fruits. I still have my refrigerator and I may just give her a good cleaning today as a symbol of all we have been through. How amazing to learn a want from a need...and to trust Him with what our needs are. Truly Matthew 6:25-34 has become a way of life to us. I got to read it last night with our middlest daughter, Brennan.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

We found that, at times, we were way more pagan than we realized. We worried often...until we didn't. He met us every dime of the way.

I watched as John fell head over heals in love with our God this year. With every ounce, John trusted Him and we have fallen deeper in love with each other because of Him. He is the reason we are who we are. a nation, we stood together to declare "WE THE PEOPLE!" in a voice we had long forgotten. Look at us! We remembered that Washington works for us and we surround them. We are still the greatest nation on earth and if the FCC does not take down my post, I will rest a little easier knowing freedom still exists...and we remember that as a Christian nation, freedom has never come free.

I learned that Red Bull and vodka can turn even the most well intentioned woman of faith into "that girl at the party"...don't ask how I know that. Just trust me. Witnesses? I will not let you find them! There is no reason to go any deeper into this discussion. I have no desire. So stop asking. You may think I am just trying to fill up space next to my very nice picture. While that may be true, I will not regard your presence about this subject matter any more. Time for me to hit the Enter key and scroll down....

I have found my faith grew deeper. My insecurity is less~thank you Beth Moore. If you do nothing else for yourself in 2011, dear ones, read "So Long Insecurity" this year. It is a game changer and you will never be the same for it. It grew me to know that other people's insecurities are not my own. There is a standing with out apology...not in arrogance but rather in the humbled righteousness of one who knows that I am nothing with out Him. He is my all and all. Sometimes, I forget...but not for long. He always reminds me who I am in Him. The Truth really will set you free...

To the New Year! I get to look forward to February 25, 2011. House Me from the Wind Ministries presents: HouseWyne. An evening of wine, woman and song with a whole new meaning. God has orchestrated this woman's event with the ease of the Creator of the universe. Given that I know nothing about event planning, it is blast watching the miracles happen. He has organized a team of woman who all know what they are doing and all with the same heart: to show woman that we are invited to sit at the banquet table of Jesus and He desires to give us our fill. And gift of all gifts, He has arranged it so the event is free. We will take up an offering with the proceeds given to a local charity...Who gets to play hostess to over a hundred woman for free? Honestly, can you even stand His goodness to us? Details to follow in the next couple of weeks and watch for our fliers and ads on Cablevision if you are local...

I may wind up with roads that look more like this: I know I can't see around that curve. I have no promise of tomorrow. None of us do. But look at the VIEW IN FRONT OF ME! Can't you just see the very Glory of God? I have no doubt the curves are what will keep me alert. I enter this new year a little lighter (yes, I lost ten pounds but that is not what I mean and you know it) in my spirit. The past is in the behind now...or something like that. I think I know where it is written better..."Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. "( Pillippians 3:12-4:)

See you next year, dear ones...Oh! And I have turned off comment moderation. So if you haven't left a comment in the past, feel free. No hoops to jump through any longer. Just another little something I am leaving behind this year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Car keys, ice skates and sunshine...

Someone, anyone, please bring back global warming. Baby it is cold outside. I like a good snow storm as much as the next guy, but the cold is unreal. When the girls asked for a ride to the mall last night I was not a happy mommy.

"It is too cold." I said.
"Target is IN the mall mom. Please?" A chorus of teen/tween voices harmonized together.
"Fine." I said with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. It wasn't much.

And on the way there, in John's truck, we had 77WABC radio on. That is talk radio for the person pinging to South Korea. Anyway, some lady was on the Mark Lavine show and she was talking about saying no to our kids.

It happens to all of us she said. There are sometimes, weeks on end, when all we say is "No." No, because it is easier to say that. If we say yes, we have to pull out the glitter, the glue, the paint, the snow shoes, the cookie dough, or in the case of my teens, the car keys.

Life is easier with least in theory.

Sometimes we all fall into the totalitarian parent mode. No is the quickest way to not have to serve...but we end up with kids who are constantly annoyed and rebellious. Totalitarianism works that way you see. The no only works temporarily when it is a lifestyle.

I got a taste of it on Christmas Eve. The town my husband retired from needs all kinds of documentation for us to switch health care plans...important things like marriage John would put up with me if he didn't have that piece of paper!

Someone should have told Sr. Helene, the nun who told me to become a secretary and learn steno, that office work and ADD don't go well together. I am no secretary, but I sure could use one. You see a good secretary would know exactly where all that paper work is. Yeah, can you picture me, pulling out boxes and drawers looking for all the paper work to prove we are citizens and that we all belong to John? Yeah, that's me with my upper body in the attic, moving mice traps, trying to reach that box...the one from the move five years ago that never got unpacked from the last house...that never got unpacked from the move eleven years ago....Sigh.

So Christmas Eve. Papers have to be in the town hall by December 30th. The right thing to do would be to get all the paper work needed for our health insurance. The kids were good sports but I could see they were sad. I stopped the hunt and we went ice skating.

I went ice skating. I was the fun mom. The paper work would get done, another day would be stressful, but not Christmas Eve. For the record, all the kids fell a lot...I however, did not. And yes, I did actually skate the entire session. Wisenheimer.

Instead of being the cranky mom in Target last night, I went with the relaxed mom. I asked the girls to pray I would find one last paper so I didn't have to drive to the capital to get the records I would need. They promised, we shopped somewhat quickly and went home. First place I looked, I found the papers. Thanks Lord.

Sometimes, when we stop telling the Lord how bad things will be if we don't get something done, He is just waiting for us to shut up because He already got it done. Sometimes, we need to say "Yes" to the kids, just so we can bless them for no seemingly good reason. And sometimes that yes requires ice skates or car keys.

Yesterday, Maggie asked to paint...she painted about ten paper plates and made them into know because we have all this snow and maybe I would like a little extra sunshine in my kitchen to help keep me warm.

What can you say yes to today?

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Traditional Jewish Christmas for the clan...

That is our plan for Christmas Day this year. As I may have mentioned, we spent the week after Thanksgiving in Florida. Since we got back we have all have suffered from The Disney Flu~Strep, stomach viruses, upper respiratory stuff, laryngitis, etc, etc, etc...The kids have run ragged getting ready for the big day: shopping, cleaning, baking. Wait a minute, that was me.

So when John asked how I wanted to spend the day I told him in the Traditional Jewish Way: A movie and Chinese food. We are going to see the new Narnia movie so I am not so sure it counts anyway. Besides, I still plan to have some kind of dessert ready for us all...that should count in the good gentile way for something.

While today we plan to have fun and later go to church, I would like to spend Christmas Day like the holy family did, a couple of thousand years ago. Lets face, Mary did not make a ham, Joseph did not clean up the family. I am also pretty sure they didn't go to the movies or eat fried dumplings either. But I do know they spent the day in awe at the birth of the Savior. Mary surely cuddled that baby and Joseph must have held the hand of his beloved wife. Jesus cried and settled in on His mommies breast. They were just together.

Now if some shepherds should stop by, I shall have some extra fried rice and death by chocolate waiting for them.

God bless all and Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Margaret Colleen turns seven today...

Dear Margaret Colleen,

You arrived seven years ago today shooting me a look that still gives me quivers when I reflect on it. I knew Margaret suited you perfectly. While your impending arrival was quite a schock, you are a constant reminder that God blesses us with infinitely more than we even know to ask. And you are also a reminder that God truly does desire to give us the desires of our hearts. I had always wanted a Margaret Colleen, but it was many years, a few sisters, and a wonderful brother later that you would bless our world in ways we never imagined.

Before we go bowling and eat cheese burgers for your meal request, I just had to share what I pondered in this heart of mine all day.

Jesus was born to a mommy too. Given the awe that you have inspired in my heart, I can only imagine what she must have felt like that day. You were wrapped up and kept warm, just like His mommy did for Him...but did she have any idea that the prince she just delivered would one day wear a crown of thorns? Oh Maggie, I have no idea the future God has in store for you. I do know it is a future with a hope...if it is lived for Him. You will do great things for Him dear child. Always be in awe, that God was just a little boy...He was once seven years old too. I think you are perfect just the way He made you to be...He was just simply perfect.

You help me remember the awe of His birth. Thanks for coming. It is my great joy to be your mommy.

Your sister~in~Christ,

PS You said when you saw this picture, "I got to meet Poppy?" Yes, yes you did. And Poppy was as wild about you as he was your sisters, brother and cousin. Trust me when I say that while Christmas may be easier with out him, I still miss Christmas with out him. God bless little lady. Love you all the way to the Heavens and back.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How many kings?

Something that struck my heart in Disney was the Christmas music. In between the jingle bells and the baby it's cold outsides, there were three kings and little towns of Bethlehem. It was extraordinary to me at first: How often can you be in Disney and hear The Name above all names, right? I actually got emotional at one point contemplating that...and then I had to go have our picture taken with Snow White. No time for contemplation while there is fun to be had!

Someone just told me it wasn't the real Snow White. Yeah right. And the Santa at the mall isn't real either. What kind of chump do they think I am? Silly.

Where was I? Right, Christmas music...We went to see Mr. Peterman (you remember from Seinfeld...Elane's boss...can't remember his real name!) and an amazing choir. Each song was Christ centered on the birth of our Savior and Mr. Peterman read the Gospel of Luke...may I just say: Glory.

But that is when you saw the contrast. It was all about Him. There was no Micky or Mini to distract you. There was no Santa or tree. Just Jesus in the middle of Epcot. And that is when it all came together so clearly in my heart.

I am not against the "ho-hoing" or the figgy pudding in anyway shape of form. But a study was just done on the Christmas stories reported on the major networks. Out of the 589 stories about Christmas, only seven of them even mentioned Jesus. Seven.

There are only seven days left until Christmas day. Enjoy the fa-la-la-la-la-ing. And if you have a little one, by all means, put them on Santa's lap. But won't you remember Him, maybe just seven times? Even just once per day? Don't let the crazy world we live in make you forget why we celebrate. Take a look at that creche' and remember Him.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another day, it should mean something....

"Teach me to number my days, Oh Lord..." David was wise enough to cry out. Wish I was that wise some days. I am not always a good steward of my time. Honestly, it's easier to tithe my 10% into the basket than it is to tithe my time...

Hmmm...what would happen if I gave Him just that, 10% of my time? I mean, my life belongs to Him, but what would happen if I made sure I had that fraction of time carved out each day for Him? Not in a legalistic way like a Muslim call to prayer or anything. Just made sure I gave Him that time, alone each day. What would that work out to be? Math teachers?

Let's see: 10% of 24 hours would be 2.4 hours a day. Wow. That would be some chunk of time. What if I gave Him just the hours I am awake? That is something like 23 hours a day right? No, it just feels that way. In actuality I am up for about 16 hours a day. That would make it 1.6 hours of face time with Him. I willing to give Him that?
In reality, no. I have to give at least that to Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. Duh...He understands I have a busy social networking life. Right?

We give Him the first fruits of what we produce...FIRST. Okay, I tithe after taxes and make up for it in April. At least that is how we did it this year. So can I justify not spending time with Him in the morning? I tend to give Him the fruit of my time, after everyone leaves the house in the mornings. Again, not trying to play legalistic girl here, just adding things up in front of you all. And you don't mind, do you? No of course not. If you did, you would not come back!

I got up this morning with a heavy heart over some things that are going on in my world right now. One of them is the woman's event House is throwing in February. Everything is falling into place...including the finances. I have trusted Him every step of the way until I didn't. I started to get ahead of Him in one area and He pulled the back of my scruffy hair, ever so gentle and said:"Knock it off. I've got it." And got it, He does. Hmmm. Trust. It would be a lot easier if I had spent some of that 10% with Him this morning. Conviction of my heart...once again.
No matter how much I adore Him, no matter how amazing my time with Him is, I too get lazy in my prayer time. Shocking, I know.

But sometimes, He allows a sifting or two in a season to get our attention. He has one going on in my world right now, that came out of the blue. It won't end our world, but it hurts.
The thing is I know for a fact that no situation, good or bad, can touch my life with out first passing through His hands. That means that He has a plan. That means I don't have to get ahead of Him or figure the whole thing out alone...but of course that brings me back to numbering my days.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I love the way my girls look in this picture way more than I love the way I look, but wanted to show them off anyway.

And I feel like I look skinny in this one, so even though there is some guys shoulder in it, I am showing it off! And the girls look awful pretty to meet my friends Johnny and Tina. I never did mention we were going to surprise them for their anniversary did I? Of course not, it was a surprise, silly. We combined the visit to them with a trip to Disney...

Never mind that Jack is squinting or that Maggie may or may not have her eyes is our Christmas picture this year. I am so not going to try and get everyone to pose again. Besides, I look skinny in this one. Good hair day too!

I love Bell too girls but she married a beast and just because he wound up looking like this:

does not make him a prince charming. Or maybe it does. Charm is rather deceitful isn't it? Jack, don't ever be a beast.

That concludes my Disney Parenting for the day.

It was a wonderful trip with my family. I could live with out the "RUN!" of it all but it was very good to be together. John and I are so much more "beach with a book" people. The kids are too. They would rather hit Ocean City than Disney next year. That is going to work out real well since we spent their inheritance on this trip.

More pictures to come after we get over the latest rotten cold we have here in the house. Be blessed all.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Queen for a day...

Being the Queen Mum of a large family has quite a few of them is to wear my tiara in public when ever I darn well feel like it. Of course, this shot was taken at Epcot and I didn't take home the scepter or the tiara...and I couldn't finish the beer either. But that is another story for another day.

Let's face, I look great in a tiara. I do. Go on and think about how great I look. I know it may distract you for the rest of the day, but it is a chance I had to take.

Are you back? Great. I don't want to cause you to stumble. Stay focused here. Not easy, I know, but I believe in you.

That tiara got me to thinking a lot about my real life crowns. The ones I wear in the course of any given day. We all have them. Some of mine really do sparkle, just as I am sure you have sparkly ones too.

The one that I wear to do housework gets all dusty and I found some mold on one corner the other day...what do you expect? Half the time it is hanging over a toilet, dishwasher, or washing machine. It gets all moist under that dust...okay, let us just say together...EWWW! But it shines right back up with a little elbow grease.

But I always wear my best crown to church. When I take it out to put it on....Oh boy does it sparkle and gleam like crazy! When I place it on my head and start to get the fam out the door to church...that is when it always turns black as coal. It is ugly with the words of sin I tend to let slip from my lips to the kids, dripping from each point. As I threaten each child and glare at the husband we make our way to church. The combs on the crown seem to dig a little deeper into my hair and poke at my head as we make the last turn onto the street our church sits. As we pull into our parking spot (yes, it is ours. I get a little annoyed when no one leaves us a spot in front of the play ground. It's a Yonkers thing. If someone took your spot in front of your house, you rang the bell and told them to move it. No, we didn't use our driveway. I don't know why. Why are you getting off topic?) and we start to exit the clown car.

Somehow I manage to gleam up that tiara once again. I make it all sparkly and pretty, paste that smile on my face and speak in loving tones to the family once again. It stays all perfect for the entire service as I sit tall in my own righteousness. How good and holy I must appear to those being hit by the rays of light shooting off of my tiara!


Truth is, all my tiaras get laid down in front of Him. I can take them off or I fear He will knock them off. I am of no position to walk in piety in front of Him.

I am glad I get to play "dress up Queen" in jest with my family...that has been way fun. In real life though, I plan to spend my day as servant. No tiara needed.

"They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Rev. 4:10-11)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A bazillion and one things to do...

It is the day before Thanksgiving. I asked that wonderful man I married if he minded fending lunch for himself today, so I could sleep in. Of course he didn't mind at all...and here I am at 5:15, coffee in hand, wide awake. Ugh.

My list is no different in length then anyone else who is playing hostess for Thanksgiving and who may not have yet bought a turkey...don't judge. There are plenty left. I will get it all done...or not.
I am determined to keep my meal under $50.00 again this year. It can be just takes a little extra thought and prep time. Time? Yeah, that's right. I am out of that. Ugh. No problem, I can get it done. Seriously. ;)

John use to take the kids turkey hunting on Thanksgiving day. But the girls are now my biggest helpers in the kitchen and Jack isn't so sure about the entire hunt thing. It seems Daddy never brings his shot gun and Mommy always catches, feathers and cooks the darn thing by the time he gets home anyway, so what is the least according to Jack. A couple of years ago, he wasn't so sure that I actually caught the turkey myself, that is until he saw the neck and the heart in the sink. That is when he believed me for good. Vindication feels good.

As I mentioned, I have a bazillion things to do and being online is not one of them. I have a Red Bull in the fridge ready to down to keep me focused. There is stuffing to make!

But first, a word from my heart: Thank you for reading here. I know there are a few other blogs out there...It's true. I've seen them. Yet, you come and visit our world. Wow. Thanks for loving me in spite of my spelling, lousy punctuation and strong opinions.

And this morning there is a tenderness towards all things family unit. I am so stinken' grateful for John. There is no good reason in Heaven or on Earth why he would love the likes of me. He is the kindest man I have ever met...and yet, he loves me. Wow.

And that makes me think of Abba. That He saw fit to know my name before He hung a single star in the sky is shocking and amazing. He gave me this family, in the greatest nation in the that still says Thank You to the one who created the nation in the first place. Glory.

Enjoy the pumpkin pie all...that reminds me, I have to cook the pumpkin!

Be thankful. Somewhere between the mashed potatoes and the stuffing and the gravy and the extra nine pounds...remember who provided the meal. We are thanking Him.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Johnny and Tina got married....

A loooooooooong time ago, twenty five years to be exact, my friends, Johnny and Tina, married. I would not meet them until almost a year later. At the time, I had no way of knowing that these two people, with the simple words, "I do" would have such an effect on my life as a young woman.
I met them at a young adult prayer meeting, in The Bronx, where they were mentors to so many of us.
Just after baby number two was on the way, Johnny and Tina moved to this strange place in "upstate" NY called Wappingers Falls. I helped haul boxes from their Bronx apartment in my mom's Chevy Cavalier...I don't think I mentioned to them that I didn't have a driver's license the first time I drove up. And somewhere between baby number two and baby number three, we became life long friends.
The "hows" of it don't matter much. It all boils down to the "why's" of it. Tina was a young mom with no one around her in the sticks after a life time in the city. She use to tease that she would hold on to my leg whenever I would be getting ready to drive home to my parents. But I would be back. They never knew when but they knew it would be soon. I made the trip North (it was only about an hour from Yonkers, but it seemed like the other end of the world to us!) at least once a week...and I don't think I ever told her when I was coming!
I would just ring her door bell and arrive most times, empty handed and often with friends too. Sometimes Tina would send me out to buy an Entenmann's chocolate chip coffee cake that we would eat out of the box with two forks...and we would chirp for hours as she cleaned and gave me assignments. Some days, when Johnny would arrive home, he would call me their girl "Hazel"...and if you don't get the joke, you are too young to read my blog. Go find something way cooler!
So what is so extraordinary about a couple in Dutchess County so long ago? Just that they loved me. Who was I to them? No one. Just a younger sister-in-Christ with a mom on life support. They were my escape from my normal. Don't get me wrong, their house was CRAZY too with all those babies in it...but it wasn't my crazy.
I got to see first hand, what the love of a family looked like. I got to be the there for meals, and clean up and put down of babies. I got to see them when they fell and when they picked themselves back up. I was there when Tina would give me the last hot dog, knowing that pay day was in a week...I had no idea what it meant to balance the food budget. All I knew was their love of a stranger.
Johnny and Tina came and met Mom once with at least three babies in tow. She was thrilled to meet the couple who loved on her girl so often. And when John and I got married, they were in our wedding along with their two oldest. Tina let me practice playing mommy on her kids and I think my own children are blessed for it. Of course, I am no Tina...she out babied my five by her eight!
I have not seen them in a decade plus...doesn't matter. Now they live in Florida and I live around the corner from where they use to. One of these days Tina and I will sit down with a coffee cake and chirp. In the meantime I get to brag on two people who let this stranger into their home. They showed me the love of Christ in every cup of coffee. I have no reasons to justify their love for me...but I carry it. That love is etched into my soul forever...and the coffee addiction is too!
Be blessed you two.

Friday, November 19, 2010

OOOOPS! The last post published the un-edited version. Don't know why. Given my computer situation, anything can happen. Sorry about that folks!
Be blessed,

Monday, November 15, 2010

All in the song....

Just to prove that a "normal" day in my life, always has a story, yesterday afternoon happened. In the coarse of 20 minutes, the dog had a grand mal seizure that was so powerful he knocked me down and into the fireplace; FedEx arrived at the same time with my new phone--needing my signature; UPS arrived with three packages for John; USPS arrived with a book I had ordered; and in the middle of it all Liz was calling because she had missed the bus. Did I mention I spent the following 20 minutes cleaning dog poo out of the rug? Of course I did.

Last night I forgot to set my alarm and realized it just as I was drifting off to sleep.

"Lord, could You please wake me up in the morning because.......ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ."
At 5:00am:


The thunder shook the house and all of Poughkeepsie for about 35 seconds.

"I am up! Any chance You have a snooze on that thunder, Lord? If it wouldn't be too much trouble, I mean." I curled back up....

20 minutes later..."KABOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!"

"I'm UP! Thanks Lord.!!!"

How awesome that the Creator of the Universe shook me awake!

He has been doing quite a bit of shaking around my heart of late so I suppose this morning is not all that different.
For about a month or so, I got way lazy in my prayer time. I know, shocking. My days would still include prayer during the day, but not any real, private devotion time to sit before Him. Spend some time studying His Word and just plain ole' be with Him.

And yet, I was still doing good things. I still had Christian music playing in the kitchen and I was still reading devotionals know. I didn't go over the dark side or anything...I just stopped living on purpose and that can get a girl in a lot of trouble...

There is a wonderful song being played on Christian radio at these days. Take a listen:

Good and God filled song right? The thing is, the enemy of our souls can use even the good things in our lives if we are not living on purpose. I started getting all pitsy with John over just about everything. He was all wrong...Why wasn't He leading me and the kids? And why had he not ever heard this song? I know, I will download it and leave it on his iPod, I thought! You know that is right around the time the computer started to not do it's download songs. Odd.

The more I marinated (notice I didn't say prayed on) on that song...the worse John got until we wound up in argument that he couldn't win...'cause I was right. The poor guy never had a chance. I was his very own, self-appointed holy spirit (notice the lower case there) and I was going to speak to his heart...Trouble is the Holy Spirit had already taken up residency in John and He was not about to receive a word from the likes of me on any of this. No wonder John walked away baffled and confused.

While I backed down, there was a tension in the air...martyrdom can get pretty thick, especially when I am so busy being right. It took a few days before I could hear the Holy Spirit trying to get my attention. So with a bid of begrudging I prayed:

"You know I am right here. I am, after all, quite spiritually mature. Or maybe..Okay, Lord, search my heart. Show me my sin. Hey, do You think maybe I haven't been in prayer as I should be? Could something like a song get me off track? It is a good song. "

"Yes, Maryellen. It is a good song. It is good that it has spoken to your heart. But maybe it is not John's song...and if it was, don't you think I would have orchestrated a way for him to hear it? I know well the plans I have for you and while I love it when you and John join Me in My work, I don't need you to get it done in John." He said.

"Oh." I said. "Sorry."

"Forgiven. Now go tell John the same thing. Love you, you know."

"Glad You do. What would I do if You didn't?" I asked.

"You don't want to know." He said.

"One more thing...could You put a new song in my heart? It is a good song after all...I know it's not mine or John's now, but if You have any good ones hanging around in Glory, could You pass it my way?"

"Already done my dear. Already done."

The next day this song started to be played on the air waves. It sums us up in three minutes or less...

Sometimes, I get busy doing good things for God and forget to ask Him if it is what He wanted me to do in the first place. Duh.

I have a hot date with John later to go dancing through the minefields of our kitchen. Live on purpose and you will find you have His strength. You also may just find yourselves living His plan after all. Be blessed dear ones.

semper fi

Recently, my oldest, Liz, had career day at her high school. She checked out the important stuff like BadAss Coffee. Great. But she spent the most time at the recruiting table for the Marine Corp. She has no desire to be a part of The Few and The Proud mind you. She just loves the way they look in uniform and rightly so. Thank God she is listening to me after all!

Our home is not far from the US military recruiting center. By the grace of God, the Marines jog on our street. Sometimes they carry the Marine Corp. flag while they run and sing the Marine Corp. Hymn....I've been known to stand on my falling down balcony and just bless them with a somewhat inappropriate "Semper Fi, boys. Semper Fi." I feel a little like Mrs. Robinson when ever I watch them, but who could blame me? John has my full permission to drool should a supermodel ever jog down our street...'cause that is never going to happen!

Dirty old lady behavior aside, it has been a week of watching my children and hearing their wisdom.

John bought little Miss Maggie a ring from a train show (why they had rings, I don't know) and she could not wait to show me.

"There is nothing so special as getting a ring from your daddy, right Mommy?" She half asked and half told me.
"True Mags. I love my ring from my daddy too. And I love my ring from your daddy as well." I said smiling at John.
"You see! It is very special and important." Said with the all the wisdom of a soon-to-be seven year old.

Caity can't find her glasses (either can I) and Brennan would like help to find her iPod. Liz is almost passing math...Sounds like their mother all the way around. And they are ready to try a new youth group at a different church. Each one admitted they have no one to share their faith with of late...and so have not. It is way easy to be the "holy one" in the crowd if you are the only one who is somewhat holy. They are hungry for Him and miss Him. That is all good.

And Sir Jack. Boy, has he been getting to me. Bad enough he waves and smiles, sadly, at me from the bus in the mornings...just to break my heart I am sure, now he has taken to reading the Word to his old mom each night before bed.

"You know mom, my reading gets better everyday since I started to read the bible. You think He has something to do with it?" He asked me this morning.

"I bet He does." I answered after him, as I watched him run down our acorn covered front lawn to that bus of his.

I went back inside and opened up to psalm 116 where we left off at and I got a blessing I had not anticipated this morning.

"Truly I am your servant, LORD;
I serve you just as my mother did;
you have freed me from my chains. " (psalm116:16)

I had a praying mom and because I did, my children now do too. I hope I will serve more and maybe ogle the USMC less as I celebrate all the chains He has freed me from. Glory in the morning indeed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fresh stuff

I wonder if, just maybe, God is trying to give me fresh material for my blog.

It's not like I can ever say "nothing happened today." or anything even remotely like that. And I don't think it is the quiver full of kids we have here either. I have always had a story. Friday, last, is a perfect example of how nothing ever doesn't happen around here.

Up at 4am, make coffee, sit...fall asleep for two hours...

"Mom, it's 6am. Is there lunch for me today?"

"Um, who are you and what are you doing in my house?"

I got up, drank the coffee, made lunch times five and set the children out the door, rather un-eventful.

John's cold was way worse than you can imagine...yes. So he was home all that day. Being a medical professional that I am, I made sure he rested by giving him NyQuil at 9am that morning. He emerged from the bedroom around the same time the kids starting getting home. Interpret away dear bloggy friends but judge not, know the rest. Just being a good wife here and yes, I did go in a take a pulse around noon.

That afternoon I had to go pick up Jack from school to go to the tutor. I jumped in the Honda...dead battery. I transferred all my stuff (coffee, purse, coat, computer stuff for the computer fix it shop to look at, a book, and keys) into the Kia. I headed down the driveway and the transmission began to slip. Let us hope the warranty covers it. I pulled back up the driveway, and right back down. I needed to be able to pull the pick up truck out. I walked back up the driveway, back into the kitchen and announced I would be taking the pick up truck.

"And if anything else goes wrong, I am staying home! Someone does not want me to leave today!"

Yeah. I got out to the truck and had the wrong key.

"Gayhead School."

"Hi. This is Mrs. Schlusser. Jack's mom. Please put Jack on the bus. I am not chancing it."

"Excuse me?"

"Nothing. But thanks."

Sigh. Call to his tutor went about the same way.

How could one lady have so much in one day? Is it just me? I love when I ask someone, "What's new?" and they respond with, "Nothing." Seriously? Nothing? I can't imagine!

Maybe I just have that story teller know the one I just made up? Was it just a smooch on the Blarney Stone or something less Irish and more French?

And I fear a trend of late. There have been way more "Maryellen Stories" in my life...way less, "Look What He Did Stories." While He is always faithful, I am not.

"Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live. " (Psalm 116:2)

I can just picture Him turning His ear to me. Waiting for me. Listening closely to hear me speak to Him...nothing.

Imagine Him asking, "So Mair, what's new?"and I don't answer for a day, a week, a month.

That would make me full of nothing but blarney.

Excuse me while I tell Him about my day, my plans, my hopes, my failures. He is waiting on me and I know He has great and unsearchable things to tell me back.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

A very close call...

I know I should watch the coffee intake while I fight this cold, but the reality is, I am a coffee junkie. Gotta have my fix for crying out loud, first thing. I don't want to wait for it to be ready. I've learned to make a half of a pot in the electric percolator before bed. I come out to hot, stale, coffee in the morning. It gets me through until I can be awake enough to make a fresh pot. And who, amongst us, doesn't love Fresh Pot? These are the jokes here folks...just giggle and keep reading for crying out loud, will ya', please?

I've given up on the automatic coffee makers since the killing spree on our small appliances this past Spring. While I have no doubt that the enemy of our souls was afoot in the slaughter, there was also a bad outlet that was taking down my coffee pots. It was a perfect storm of destruction. Nothing sets off a day all wrong like a lack of coffee first thing.

Given my half-witted state of mind at the moment, I can't be blamed too harshly for the error I made last night. About half way through the CMA show, I declared I was off to bed. I kissed my man, smooched the kids and went to bed so I could prepare to sniffle another day. As I curled up I thought, about the coffee I had not prepared for the morning. Sleep took me before I could do anything about it. Eight hours later, I stumbled to the coffee pot, knowing I would have to make it first thing.

"NO." Said in the low growl of a woman confronted by a kitchen disaster.

I had never unplugged the percolator yesterday. There was burnt coffee in the bottom, surrounded by coffee sludge. Sigh. I scrubbed and cleaned the pot. I prepared the coffee. I plugged in. No perking. Nothing. Not even the usual spark I see when I plug in the pot to the outlet. It appeared to be over.

"Five dollar coupon for Bed, Bath, and Beyond will get used today." I thought to myself, "All is not yet lost. I can use the coffee press this morning, and have a new coffee pot by lunch time." Life would go on in spite of me.

Two presses later and two cups as well, I discovered the percolator was not dead, just in a coma. I am proud to say, I am sipping my third cup of coffee, the last of which came from my pot, not my press. I knew you all would want to know this. God's mercy knows no bounds. Glory.

Of course none of my coffee fussing would be possible this morning, were it not for the veterans we celebrate how I worked that in? Yeah, I am so good. Thanks for noticing. Love you too.
Where was I? Right.

My dad was on a ship to Korea to fight the good fight of a Marine when the war ended. He said he all but cried. He joined to fight and defend our nation. He wound up in Japan and served the rest of his tour there. Did I mention he was only seventeen at the time? Maybe that helps explain my disgust at a nation that would allow us to keep our kids on our health plans until they are twenty-nine. Edward Brennan went into the Marine Corp a boy and came out a man.

Our vets serve to keep us safe and we will remember them today by shopping great sales, maybe a parade...and in prayer too...Prayer... Join me won't you?

Father, in the name of Jesus, Thank You! Thank You for our men and woman who have served our great nation and those who are doing so even now. Thank You for the courage that can only come from You. Give them peace as they lay down at night and remove the horrors of war from their minds. Let them walk in perfect peace, love and joy as they defend our nation. Thank You for their families who give up as much as the defenders of freedom themselves. Thank You for our Vets and the freedom they protect. Never let us forget that freedom does not come free. Amen.

Semper Fi!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Down with the most rotten of colds. Right now it is all about soup, rest, and trying not to think about the fact that Thanksgiving is in 2 weeks. NOT READY...but thankful for a boat load of stuff, like you all! Be back soon...or at least after I get another box of tissues.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I have no write...

I can't spell. If you are here often, you already know that one. Were it not for spell check, my "their" would be "thier" all the time. And just so you know, I had to spell check that to see which one was wrong. Who am I to think I have the right to write?

We all know about the "then" vs. "than" controversy. I find myself looking for other ways to express the same thought with out using "than" or "then" just to avoid the emails from angry teachers everywhere.
I had my oldest use a Post~It to remind me which one is used for when. She was so cute trying to explain that they are pronounced differently.

"Mom you don't say,'than' you say 'then'. Just think about it."

"Honey, first lets discuss 'drawer.' As in 'Drawer me a picture.' And I only use 'draw' for 'Drop your draws baby!' so I can't go by me."

Of course I use 'drawer' for the thing you put forks in too, but that is another story for another day.

Recently, a friend who is opening a vintage kitchen shop asked for ideas for her shop. I suggested she look for vintage bowels...she wasn't so sure she could dig any up.

A couple of years ago I invited about fifty people over for a desert party. Yeah, it was a teacher who asked if we wanted the Mojave or Sahara. Sigh.

Folks are still waiting for the thank you notes for our wedding gifts because I knew I would call some one "sweat" instead of "sweet." I was new to the family. Better they think I was rude than stoooped. You get it.

In case you are wondering, yes. I have been known to curl up on the coach and yell at the couch. It's how I roll.

Have you ever had someone say you can't do something because you don't have the skill? Has the Lord given you a leading to do something that makes no sense? If so, consider yourself a Moses...remember he told God to pick someone else, after all he had a lisp. Consider yourself a Paul who spent his life killing Christians...wanna' have him over for dinner? Consider yourself a Peter who was a lousy fisherman with a wholly net and a mother-in-law to look may have read some of his work.

I may have stomped on a few dreams of my girls when they were little. I don't think I meant to...but I am sure I did. Just being that practical old mom. I found myself praying this morning that I never, ever crush on their dreams. I think I have been better about encouraging Jack to follow his. If he believes God has given him a dream he should pursue it with all the heart God gives him...not because he is a boy and they are "just" girls but because he has struggled so hard with the dyslexia...way worse than (or then?) his old mom. It seems I have a prayer project to work on. May I always be an encourager and catch myself when I am a naysayer.

I am off to play nurse on the coach...I meant that one. John was Jack's football coach a few years ago. So yeah, I've been known to curl up the coach a few times. John has a rotten cold. My first hint was when I thought I heard a fog horn on the couch last night.

But it is all my fault.

John thought he heard the beginning of "The Gloria" trumpets heralding the night before but it turned out to be me blowing my nose. All this coaching/couching has given us some disease~ridden~vermin to fight off.

Be of good cheer dear ones. And by all means, dream out loud! Remember, Job's supporters are not remembered for being so supportive and off the top of our heads, we don't know any of their names.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Little play on words for the Halloween post here. Get it "Boo-Who? Yeah, okay. Lame, but it is just five in the morning here and I am awake on a Sunday with not much else to do but blog away...why I am awake, I have no idea. It is not because I am all excited for Halloween candy or anything. Yuck. Since we started living with out additives over six years ago, I've become a chocolate snob. I don't want anything that is fake. I want REAL chocolate only. It's how I roll now. We wind up donating all the kids candy to the Marines. I figure its okay for them to be aggressive anyway. ;)

So I hate Halloween. Why? Well of course there is a million reasons why. Duh.

I should play it from the angle of my strong moral core and principles...Yes. That should be why I can't stand the day. It is a pagan thing and as a strong believer, I should just simply shun the whole thing...right. I should be completely offended that a teacher can hand out a skeleton pencil but not one with a cross on it. That and a whole bunch of real, solid scriptural reasons should be why. I tried that. It would have worked too...but the truth is, that is not real reason I hate the whole mess.

Heck, loving legalism as much as I do, I could get rid of Christmas and Easter too if I tried hard enough. No Santa, no Easter bunny! I think I could even get rid of the 4th of know, pledging my allegiance to my nation instead of to my God alone. There might even be a way to get rid of birthday celebrations! We could so go down that road here...or at least I could. Life with out any holidays, real or imagined? Bliss, I tell you! Pure bliss!

Why, Mair?

I hate the pressure. I hate the disappointment that no matter how hard you work to create the perfect costume, the darn thing is getting covered in a coat...we live in NY for crying out loud. Poor Maggie was all but crushed to find out her Tinkerbell costume would have to go over her jeans and she would have to hide her wings under a warm coat. Not very Tink now is it? The good news is I don't have to take her out for trick-or-treating...she is going to the JETS game with daddy today and I am so off the hook!
As a matter of fact, Jack is going as well and the teens and tween are all with friends. I will be home alone and I hope to not answer the door...if you turn off the lights, no one comes up the great hill...too spooky I suppose! Yay me!

But back to the whole "I hate Halloween" thingy here.

I run. I run for most of August for football and now swim. I run for most of September as we acclimate ourselves to the new school year. I throw three birthday parties between September and October and have another birthday to get through at the end of this week too. The entire month of October is rough to begin with...and while the leaves are awful pretty on the tree, when they fall to the ground that means clean up. Not to mention that if it is Halloween that means Thanksgiving is only three weeks away, than it's Christmas and I have not bought a single gift yet. And did I meet all of my 2o1o goals? 'Cause New Years is right around the corner.................AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Someone please play Billy Joel's "Pressure" right about now and hand me a xanex and tell me to chill? I'll take 2.5mg please.

Sigh. I am so un-fun. Funny, extremely. Come on, you read the blog, evidently my funny is a hit in South Korea for crying out loud. Who knew I would translate well? John is fun. I am not.

John plans and executes the fun stuff, like going on hikes, and getting the kids costumes, and going on "daddy adventures" where they are bound to get lost following a "daddy shortcut." I make everyone laugh. That is how we have always been. But I think he has way more memories of fun days than I do.

Fun has been a learned skill for me. Doing fun things meant more work and I would get all kinds of freaked out by it. Fun doesn't just happen darn it! There is planning involved in fun. You can't just have fun...or can you?

I can get so caught up in the "I have to do's" around here, that I tended to miss the fun of having a large family. I've missed the forest for the trees way too often. I don't like that about me.

"The hum-drum of everyday life done well. That will be one of your biggest challenges, my dear." That was once written of me. Hmmmm. But the reality is, there are special days that need special fun and I have worked hard to remember to just enjoy the insanity way more than I do.

I'am trying.

Have a Happy Halloween and remember to let your kids eat a ton of junk tonight and rest in the fact that you shall send them off to their teachers with a hang over in the morning! You can nap after they leave...or least until the phone rings to tell you how rotten they have been all day. Now that is FUN! ;)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mary. Her name is Mary.

Have you ever tried to discuss the condition of our nation with a somewhat hysterical liberal? I highly recommend it...just for fun. I hate to see anyone have blood shoot out of their eyes that leads to a hemorrhage and all that. But given the time in our nation and where we live in our nation, finding a liberal to annoy is not all that hard.

In NYS you can now keep your kids on your health insurance until they are in their late 20's (26 or 29. I can't remember) and I find that shocking. That is not a child, that is a mooch. I get to have an opinion on that one. Why? Because I did not have health insurance from the age of 18 to the age of 25 when I started working as a nurse? Did I ever get sick? Yup...paid for it out of pocket, monthly until the bill was paid. Did I worry at times? Sure. But it was not what decided my life. I was young and healthy and I had hard work to do.

And what of my mom? We lived those last three years she was on life support with out insurance. I've told you all that before. I begged, borrowed, and well you know for whatever care I could get her. There was even one time the hat was passed at church to get her meds paid for so I didn't have to dip into the mortgage or food or whatever money we may have had. It was the hardest time in our lives and frankly, it sucked. There were years I thought about that time like I was living in Hell. It was the single most stressful situation I have ever been in. And I was in it for years and years on end...although I was a size 2 during it all and I looked fantastic from the stress and anxiety diet!

And I count my blessings that we met along the way. Mrs. Dunn who faithfully brought Mom communion EVERY DAY. Mrs. Stahl, who made sure I made it to RN. Annie's folks who made sure we stayed in our home. The respiratory therapist who threw me the left over albutoral for Mom's nebulizer treatments. Her doctor how made a couple of house visits with out pay. My brother who sent me to California to get a break during it all. Our beloved "Mommy Sitters" who did everything from keep her company to iron my blouses. Oh did I ever see the very Glory of God in the Body of Christ!

Do I wish anyone the hard times we saw? No, of course not. Not my worst enemy. But hard times will hit every individual and every family in our nation. Simply because we live in a fallen world. What I do wish them is the joy of seeing the Glory of God in the Body of Christ.

Case in point, a dear friend told me a story about her supermarket trip the other day. Mind you she wasn't bragging to me. We tend to be each other's accountability and we get to share with each other what God has done for each of us. And she was thrilled that God would even ask her to be a part of His work.

"Miss J" (name changed because she is humble) saw a homeless woman in town. She has seen the woman before and had been moved to tears when she saw the woman pushing her grocery cart in the snow last winter. Miss J saw her outside the super market the other night. She had a very real sense that she needed to go and bless her. The Holy Spirit would not let her go.

"Give her everything in your wallet."

And so Miss J left her grapes in her own shopping cart and followed the homeless woman to the bench she was sitting on, with all her worldly goods in her own cart.

"May I sit with you?" Asked Miss J.
"You don't have to." Said the homeless woman.
"I know. But I would like to. May I?"
"What is your name?"

And so the conversation went on for a while. Miss J gave her all the money she had in her wallet. She learned that Mary was the daughter of a police officer and after her parents died, she remained in the house her parents had for many years. When she could no longer pay the taxes she was evicted. Mary is in her late fifties or early sixties...or maybe the age is only the way she looks after years of being on the street.

Is Mary crazy? Maybe. Is she mentally ill? Not that Miss J could tell. But maybe. Mary's face was clean and she still has the good upbringing to be polite. Even homeless, Mary is still a lady.

When Miss J and I talked over Mary on the phone yesterday we were left in the quandary of how do we help a Mary? What is the Lord calling on us to do? How do we best serve her? Can we get her a warm shower? A job? Will she work? Where can she live this winter? Do her feet hurt from all that walking? Is there any family? Is there a government program for her?

"I don't want social services." Mary explained.

I don't know if that is her crazy showing or if she is a libertarian who wants smaller government.
Don't matter to us anyway. We are left with all this information and no idea what to do with it. So we start with prayer.

"Do you know God loves you?" Asked Miss J.
"Does He?" Mary asked back.
"Yes. Do you have a church family?" Continued Miss J.
"No. I don't go to any church."
Miss J didn't push. "Okay."

As the Body, we start with prayer. Miss J knew the voice of God and obeyed. Maybe her encounter with Mary, blessing her with some money, and some company is all God intends for Miss J to do right now in terms of hands and feet faith. But we have a God who does not just ask us to obey Him and then leaves us with the overwhelming task of fixing it. Now we do something that perhaps no one else has done. Now we pray, for that homeless lady...Her name is Mary. And He adores her. He knows her. He knew her name before He hung a single star in the sky and He asked us to join Him in His work. For now, that work is prayer.

"Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16

A non-believer won't understand that. But we serve a God who will availeth much...and we come in prayer for Mary with expectancy that our prayers will availeth much for her.

Mary. Remember her, won't you? Pray we get to watch His Glory fall on her.

Her name is Mary.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Don't step in the thing!"

That was my final salutation to each family member. After, "Have a good day!" and "Jesus is just wild about you." and "I love you." responded with a "Love you too, Mom." and answered back, "What's not to love...And don't step in the thing."
What the thing is, we don't know. It's on the back walk and everyone in the family leaves via the back, kitchen door. The thing was discovered last night as we made our way home from Sunday dinner at our friends, Vanessa and Coach Mike's...that's not his Christian name...we added in the Coach, 'cause he was Jack's coach last year. And we love them...and they feed us...another blog. You get it by now.
Anyway, the thing. Best we can tell the cat, Mr. Mittens, ate something that fought back. I am not going to describe it to you, but the eye ball staring at us was enough.
I asked everyone if they wanted to go out the front door instead of the kitchen door. Nope. We are a kitchen door kind of people. Why? 'Cause.
I like being kitchen door people. We have friends who come to the kitchen door and announce their arrival by swinging it open and yelling, "Hi!" with so much familiarity, the dog never moves from his spot on the carpet.
Most days the front door isn't even unlocked. It doesn't need to be. The kitchen door however is open all day long. It is our coming and going door.
Both doors bring us into our home. The front door opens to our foyer and leads to the living room...the kitchen door opens up to the kitchen and family room...kind of a way of life.

I have this heart for woman who have front door relationships with God. Don't get me wrong, He is so worthy of a fine entrance...but it's a kitchen door relationship I believe He is after with us, don't you think? In the coming and goings of the day, to pull up a chair at the kitchen table and spend some time with us, I think that is more what He is after. Some days, every counter is covered in flour and the remnants of a recipe gone wrong. But He has never cared. He is with me as we clean up the mess together...and there have been some messes I can't imagine trying to tackle alone. Even when I am the one who veers away from the recipe and the ruined meal is all my fault, He is there for the clean up. I imagine He has even enjoyed some of my success too.

"Thata' girl." He might just say about me.

I can't imagine telling Him to stay in the living room, where it is neat and tidy. I have a kitchen door kinda' God. How about you?

Now to wait for John to get home to clean up the thing.

"I am the door (gate); whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture." John 9:10

P.S. As of 6:43PM EST, the thing is gone....but I don't know where. Liz thinks perhaps the thing got up and walked away. Lets not find out. ;)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another suit story...

In case you missed it, my spiffy dresser was all set yesterday for a night on the town with his lady. It was his department's 100th Anniversary. A policeman's ball if you will. I pulled off getting his suit, not just to the cleaners, but home, as well. And I felt so proud.

However, at the last minute, Retired Sargent Schlusser decided to wear his uniform...last time and all that. It was a Policeman's Ball, sort of...And since there is not one picture of he and I in the house with him in uniform, I put Brennan to the task of Kodachroming us. I love the way he looks in his uniform!

And we were off to the country club to visit with his old co-workers...and some of them are way old...but some of them are young enough to be our kids. Yeah, time so marches on.

We stopped to pick up his Honda (another blog post for another day. My blog, I get to decide what to post!) and of course the battery was dead. I was in luck! I didn't even have to call a cop...the one I share my bed with was right there in uniform, to rescue this damsel in distress.

"Thank you officer." I said.
"Just doin' my job." He said.

Battery was jumped, and we were on our way the hour south. The same long commute John took for fourteen years.

We didn't talk much on the way. The sun was setting over the mountains and the rays splashed on the color of the fall foliage. Honestly, I am just me centered enough to believe God painted that parkway just for me. He knows how much I love it...I am okay with sharing my blessing though. I'm big that way. Truly, the leaves of the field clapped their hands as we went forth in peace and joy. Even in silence,we can be pretty stincken' cute when we go out on a date. We get all flirty and annoy people around us bein' all in love and such....

And than we entered the can I set this up? Should I just come and tell you all that John was the only one in uniform? Should I set it up a little bit more? No? Okay.

Yeah, we left.


As we waited for the valet to bring around the car that whole lovey~dovey thing was replaced with a tension I can not bring to life on the page. Silence. SHHH. Read quietly, he might here you.
Safely in the car, my so godly man, let forth an expletive or forty...Most of which are still banned by the FCC. Some of them I didn't quite know but I think he must have learned them from the other cops on the play ground. Bad influence and all that. I didn't say a word until we were at the light.

"Do you want to just go home?" I said.
"*&*&*(&)^^&^%&%^%" He said.
"Okay." I said.
"Where am I going to get a suit now?" He said.
"Make a left." I said.

We pulled into Men's Wearhouse. I walked up to the first salesman I saw and informed him I had a situation on my hands and needed back up. This was a 1019...officer in dis-dress. Sensing mischief was afoot, my new partner in wardrobe protection and I went about to serve and protect the pride of my man. With the precision of a well trained professional (Seriously. I was a personal shopper before nursing school. You don't just shop like that without years of training.) I assessed the scene, kept it clean, and went in for the charcoal gray wool.

I was in and out, in less than 7 minutes. New shirt, tie, and sports coat in hand.
We drove around the back, where the sarge dressed and returned to his spiffy dressen' self. We returned to the party with only a few jabs at the mishap. And being retired, he doesn't have to go into the squad room on Monday and hear about it for next year.

I suspect I may just get an award at the next medal day the department has. But the truth is, I was just doin' my job. It's what I was trained to do. Now, be careful out there.

P.S. It was a few days later that I was thinking it was odd that so many of the wives were not more dressed up, like for a wedding...hmmm. Crud, they wern't all under dressed, I was over dressed. Sigh.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I am signed in, so hopefully that means you will see this, this time.
John and I have an event tonight...shocking, I know. Given that we are the couple who never gets to go any where, we have been quite the social butterflies of late. And yes, John's suit is secure...that was a stress this week, but by the grace of God, I pulled it off. Thanks for asking.

I found myself in DSW looking for another pair of shoes this week. I was convinced that there was a world wide shoe conspiracy against me. Be it the hooker shoes I walked out of at the wedding in September or the not so hooker, but still rather woman~of~a~certain~profession last weekend, I knew it had to be the shoes. It could not be me. I have perfectly fine feet...ugly toes, unless my nails are done, but great feet.

I had a doctor tell me years ago, "You pick: sneakers or real shoes. You can't really go back and forth on this one." Not the thing a nurse wants to hear. I ignored him and did what I wanted. Typical nurse.

It seems that while my Fit Flops have been great for my back, they have not been so great for the arch of my foot. Yup. Fallen arches...nothing says "Hot" like a fallen arch. So I got me some gel thingies to put into my sling backs and I think I just might make it through the night. At least I am hopeful I can keep them on all night. Last weekend I was crippled by the time I got through the parking lot to the wedding reception.

I suppose it comes down to a pride issue in me. I like the 4" heals on my feet. I like the way I walk(ed), the way I look(ed) ten pounds thinner, and they are just plain sexy for crying out loud! I have to say, I also lov(ed) hearing other woman tell me, "I love those shoes! I can't wear heals that high anymore. But look at you!" Yes, I would think, look at me...The mother of five in hooker shoes and I am hot, hot, hot. I can do all things in hooker shoes who hot me out!"

At that wedding reception, I was on my way to the car to get my flats after we were there about five minutes. A woman stopped to tell me how pretty my skirt was and I told her I was heading to the car for my flats.
"When you become a woman of a certain age, high heels just don't work for you anymore. Sorry, dear."
I kinda hated that woman. I prayed for her as I searched for the car...the one I never was a big parking lot. Don't judge. I went barefoot. Stop laughing at me.

So I have a new project: Do house work in those spectator pumps after all. Yes, I can be seen with my gel thingy arch support in a pair of heels at any given moment. I will be ready for a dinner date at the drop of a hat...or an arch. This is my new life goal. I shall walk in pride and smack my practicality in the foot.

"Not only does she serve the Lord, she does it all in high heels!" Will be heard spoken of me from women who wish they could do the same. Yes, I shall be the envy of others! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

"In his heart a a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9...and I am sure I can take those steps in hooker shoes. Right?

Think about it, a lady of ill repute washed Jesus' feet with her hair; For His first miracle, Jesus turned foot bath water into the finest wine; At the end, Jesus washed the feet of his apostles...feet are very important to feet, my happy feet are important to Him...I have biblical president to stand in 4" heels on.

Okay so the heart issue, I have to take to Him. I get it. Pride is sin...No. I should not want to be envied for hot shoes. But that doesn't mean I am not going to ask Him to direct my feet in these:

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I just finished an entire post to remember my dad. Today is five years since we said good bye and blogger ate it. Since no amount of success in ministry is worth failure at home, I am not going to re-write it. I have to get John's suit to the cleaners and now you all know that could mess up the rest of my day! Be blessed. And I am going to enjoy the sights and sounds of fall, even as I remember saying good bye today. Miss him still. I am completely blessed to look out my windows and see the Glory of God come down with each spectacular tree in all it's splendor. Enjoy this.

"You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One spiffy dresser!

Well I have finally come clean with John about the suit incidents of 2010. Incidents is plural and yes, I used spell check to make sure I had the correct spelling. The JETS just got a touch down so there is joy in Schlusserivlle at the moment and that may be the noise you hear in the background...oh, wait, that's right. You are reading this, not listening. Blond moment here.

As a matter of fact, the entire suit situation has been one blond moment after another. Actually, this red head here could effect a change in the blond to red head jokes for all eternity. My antics might have made Luci wish she had thought of them and written an episode or twelve. Yup...I am that good.

Suits and dresses are not part of our lives all that often. Or at least not the usual. This year we have attended three weddings and still have a "Policeman's Ball" to hit next. John is a new man, now that he is retired. He was not a big dancer. I use to expect him to not dance. I would find some other wife who's man didn't want to dance too and we would hit the dance floor when "SHOUT" came on. Our men were left looking somewhat uncomfortable at the table. But there are just some songs that you can't sit out for crying out loud!

Now that John has Dance Fever, his suit has to be cleaned in between events and you know that leaves me with a problem. Use to be I had a year to worry about it, now I only get five days. That is just wrong to do to a somewhat scatter brained mom of many. Not to mention the scaring my brain has already received from him doing the "start the lawn mower" move.

I forgot to clean John's suit before his best buddies wedding back over labor day know the wedding I sent him to on the wrong day? Yeah, that one. I encountered a Vietnamese woman at the counter of the dry cleaners who told me there was no way she could have it done by the morning...when I told her my husband was going to kill me (yeah, I played it up a little bit. Man is the kindest thing on earth) and she went into gear. She proclaimed that she would not have an innocent woman's blood on her hands and went about using a sticky roll on it, pressed it, and sprayed it with Fabreez...Day was saved and I sent John to a wedding in a dirty suit...twice.

Fast forward to October...I had learned my lesson. I had that suit in the way back of my very paid for mini-van for two weeks. I was ready.

I forgot until the Wednesday before the wedding.

Have I mentioned that my mini-van is slotted for a very special episode of Hoarders, Maryellen's Car Edition? Yeah, I keep my car the way I kept my bedroom as a teen, less the stack of Domino's Pizza boxes and mattress. My laundry room is usually a disaster too, but that is another blog post for another day. Back to the car...

When I got to the cleaners, I could not find the suit jacket. You see, the hatch on the way back of my van has been known to fly open once in a while. Usually it happens on our street and all is well. But since Kia is known for electrical problems (as in my windows will not go up...yeah, it's been raining so I am driving the pick-up truck) so there is no little light thingy to tell me the way back isn't latched. Best I can figure when the way back flew open that one time on Rt. 9 during rush hour, the suit and shirt must have flown out. I was pretty sure a homeless guy in the city of Poughkeepsie was walking around looking pretty sharp.

After a consult with a few girl friends as twisted as I, it was decided what to do: Lie. No, just kidding...just not tell the whole truth. John's suit was double breasted and that is out of date. A man needs a new suit at least every five years, if he is not in a career that requires a suit every day. That is the rule of thumb, I was told. John's suit was at least 7 years old...this just might work, I thought!

After an hour of sending naughty text messages, I suggested we go shopping for a new suit. Look, don't' judge. I didn't have time to pull an Ester and make him a big meal over a couple of days. Everything was working out. Suit purchased and my man was a happy man after all! Yay me!

Friday, I had to drive the pick, Kia...keep up, won't you? When I went to climb into the cab what do I see to my surprise? Yeah, the suit jacket and shirt. I have no idea why it was in there or how. Sigh.

I decided Providence was keeping John from looking out of style. Yup, that is how played this one. As a matter of fact, after the wedding on Saturday night, I came clean to John and told him the whole story...I started it with, "God even cares that we look our best. Guess what He did for you!?"

I gotta run. I have to drop John's new suit off at the cleaners for next weekend. Here is to hoping I can get this done with out a story...but that would make life boring, wouldn't it? Oh and I have to drop his old suit jacket off at Good Will...out of date but still pretty spiffy!

There is a ps to this post....

Friday, October 15, 2010

Youu gott gewd haiyr

That statement is based on a conversation heard in a bathroom around twenty plus years ago. One guidette said to another, "Youu gott gewd haiyr!" You have to sound SothEast Yonkers/Bronx to say it right. And for the record, I have to say, I am bit blessed by the shows "The Jersey Shore" and "HouseWives". Not because I've ever seen them before, but because it has brought back the age old term of guidette and made it PC again. I wonder if I could call a wife beater T-shirt a guienny-T again and get away with it?

So on to my hair. Yes, I got some good head-a-hair on me. For the kid who's mom use to have to scotch tape bows on, things have worked out well.

John pretty much doesn't care what I do with my hiar. Most of the time it is in a pony-tail anyway. Unless we are alone. I tend to keep it long because, well...let's just say it's good to have longer hair sometimes. Although I am starting to see why woman of teens tend to have way shorter hair...there is less frequency for the opportunity of long hair to be a factor...I've said to much already. And this is a family friendly blog. But if I ever show up with REALLY short hair, pray for us.

The thing is I stopped caring what style my hair is years ago. I got alota hair and hair dressers tend to like to get in there, because's good hair. It seems everyone wants to frame my face. But for me that's a bad idea.

Think about it:

As a nurse, most of the time, I spent my days looking down at people in beds. Can't have those long wispy bangs...And since that nurses cap of mine is out of style (ugh!) my hair was always pulled up.

As a mommy, I spent/spend a great deal of time looking down to little people. Hair in my face is annoying...and for a season, little people love to pull on it. So my hair was always pulled up. Besides, little girls love playing with a mommy's hair...thank God I still have a Maggie to do so!

As a housewife my head is in a toilet, over a meal, or sorting laundry...yeah, hair pulled up. Honestly, who needs my hair in their brownies!

And as a writer? I type the blog as I think. Schocking, I know...but a book is written in a notebook, in pencil...nothing worse then trying to see through my hair while I look down at the paper. Hate that!

And color? Yeah, ever try to match red hair when the gray starts to pop up like something out of one of those Discovery channel shows? You know the special about the cicada invasions. They only come out every 17 years but my grays come out about every 6 weeks. And that can be way scarier! Fortunately, I don't have to dye my hair, I just get my roots done...that should leave you confused for at least a few minutes.

I have to admit, I miss the hair of my twenties. I had two hours to fuss over it on any given day. If I had a hot date, I could spend the day getting myself all pretty and making sure the coif was perrrrrrrrrfect. But those days are gone. I've handed that vanity over to my teens. For the record, I do get annoyed at them when they take too long. Gosh, they look perfect just out of bed. Wish I had done a better job of showing them that as a woman. They will get it, it just may take longer then it should have.

Mom use to tell me my hair was my crown and glory. But the psalmist says in chapter 16:31 "A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness." So I am praying my righteousness shines through in spite of the gray being covered by a box of L'Oreal 7A.

PS I just got the hairs cut...I give you my word: John and I are just fine. I may live by the words, "Can't change your life, change your hair." but I assure everything is fine. Stop reading into it! Now go have a wonderful weekend! xoxo to all of you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To save a life...

Can you tell the two pictures apart? Can you tell which happened when? At first glance, it may be hard to tell...okay, maybe it's hard to tell all the way around. The picture on the left is from 1987. You remember. Baby Jessica? She fell down a well and was trapped for 59 hours. As a nation we all cried with joy when they pulled her out.
Last night John and I watched as they lifted the first Chilean miner out of the shaft and it was that same emotion. I pray by the end of today, they will all be out.
Baby Jessica is a grown woman, married (as far as I can tell) with children of her own now. She has her scars just as the men will...many of hers are physical but most of the Chilean men will have emotional ones that run just as deep.
After Jessica was pulled from the well, I wrote a poem (probably not very good) about her. I was struck then by the similarities between a child in peril, in a well vs. a child in peril, in the womb. She was only 18 months old when she fell into that well...she was rescued. All the resources in the nation came together to save that baby...
But the unborn? No one could hear them one was there to rescue them.
Today our federal dollars would still rescue a baby from a well...
And today our federal money is used to kill a child in the womb...can anyone tell me what the difference is between saving a child from a well and saving a child in the womb? We have a president who voted three times against the born alive act. And make no mistake, abortion is in the Obamacare bill. OUR money will be used to abort children.
As a nation, there is a 40 days of prayer and fasting going on. Last weekend, there was a life chain on our main road. People are gathering for an hour at a time to pray in front of abortion mills.
Nations came together over the past 70 days to rescue those beautiful, strong men out of that mine. Praise God for the technology we have today to do so. The timing of their rescue and remembrance of those who suffer in silence strikes me, once again. I don't think I will write a poem this time though. Nope, remember I have a blog now...and tens of tens are reading it!
So maybe two or three of us will pray. Pray like crazy for the innocent lost in a silent holocaust. Maybe the tide is turning in our nation once again. Maybe a child's life will be saved.
What have you (and I mean me in there too!) done today to save a life? Our time in prayer is just as important as the NASA technology used to rescue those miners...more so.
Let's pray...