Friday, October 31, 2008

Scaredy Cat

I decided I needed to get Oliver some exercise, so I took him to a dog park. Now, I need exercise too, but I thought he would enjoy running with other dogs more than walking with me. When we walked through the gates, he took one look around and tried to climb up my leg. I walked him further in and he literally hid between my legs. When ever I moved, he was right there moving with me. Other dogs came over to visit, he couldn't get any lower to the ground. His poor little tail was curled up under his belly. I moved across the park to a bench where it was empty and he hid under the bench.

He is so friendly with people and little dogs, but when it comes to bigger dogs, well lets just say, he is a scaredy cat.

I will take him again soon.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

As I watched my DVR'ed program this morning, I started thinking that there are certain things I wickedly enjoy. Yes, I am admitting to some guilty pleasures, please don't judge.

I really, really enjoy "Pushing Daisies", this program makes me laugh out loud even when I am alone. (Which is the only time I watch it, because Brigette isn't close by to watch it with me and Kevin doesn't care for it)

I sneak a Snicker's bar every so often when stressed (thanks Tina).

Janet Evanovich novels (thanks Lisa and Mom).

Watching reality TV (Biggest Loser, Survivor, Jon & Kate plus 8 and Little People, Big World, which I also DVR because Kevin doesn't enjoy them).

I absolutely love watching a fight break out on the ice while the Red Wings are playing. (Kevin does watch the Wings with me and probably enjoys the fights even more than I do).

A grande peppermint mocha latte with whip, thank you.

Looking in people's windows at night when their shades are up (only because I want to see how they decorate their house).

Organizing my pantry so all the labels are facing forward and the cans and jars lined up exactly (my whole family thinks that this is a bit of OCD, okay, a lot of OCD, so I try not to do this too often!).

Singing or humming to myself in public (it's amazing how many looks I get, so I don't do this too often either).

And last but not least, chips with french onion dip.

There I confessed, so now you know. What are your guilty pleasures?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chilly Morning

Last night we had a few wet snow flakes fall for the first time this year and we woke to a very chilly morning. We have been diehards and haven't wanted to turn on the furnace, the floors were cold and we all had goosebumps. When it was time to send Lance to school, I bundled him up in a sweatshirt and winter coat and sent him out to the driveway to wait for the bus. In the mean time I had on my big fluffy bathrobe and warm socks and I was fine. Both Kevin and Lance are gone by 6:30 a.m. so this morning I decided to climb back into bed and curl up under the comforter for another hour.

When I got back up, I realized it was even colder yet and finally broke down and turned on the furnace. After about ten minutes I began to wonder where Oliver went to, I couldn't find him anywhere and that's when I discovered that he was partway under the front of the couch. We have a register behind the couch and you can feel the heat radiating from underneath it. He found the perfect spot to warm up.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Good Day

We had a beautiful day yesterday. We traveled a little over three hours to visit Maranatha family vacation/conference center in Muskegon, it is right between Lake Michigan and a small lake named Mono Lake. Even though it was rainy at times it was also lovely with the fall colors and falling leaves and what beautiful facilities they have!! We were there to check out the site for the summer Joni and Friends Family Retreat. It will be able to hold approximately 95 families. (truly amazing!!) I wrote about our summer experience this past August in upper MI, in an earlier post. It is such a necessary break for many families who have who have loved ones with special needs. This facility has condos, hotel rooms, apartments and houses, they have a beautiful pool, tennis courts, a climbing wall and a zip line. There will be horseback riding, a gorgeous beach and trails to wander as well as fishing and boating. There is an amazing gym with a workout room and a fully staffed cafeteria (believe it or not, the food was very good!) There are also plenty of meeting rooms and a huge chapel for services. The people who plan this event were so excited and can't wait!!

Now comes the hard part...we have to find Short Term Missionaries or STM's for short. We are going to have start recruiting area churches to look for people who want to serve. It is a great way to experience a mission trip without having to pay so much and travel out of the country. Everyone who serves love the experience and want to go back, our problem is we always need to find more people because there are so many new families each year.

We need to pray and ask God to lead us to the right place and the right people.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Forever Friday

That's what I would like it to be, forever Friday. Fridays are so expectant, they are full of plans and feel so different than a Monday or a Tuesday or Wednesday or even a Thursday and they don't have the gloom of a Sunday evening. They hold promise. On Fridays you are making plans for the weekend such as going out on Friday night or staying in and hunkering down. You plan for Saturday whether it is doing a family outing or staying home and working around the house. And of course there are the football games or a Saturday day hockey game. Family birthdays are usually planned for the weekend and best of all, Sunday morning breakfast with church service following and a family lunch or dinner planned for later that day.

So here's to you Friday!!! I am so glad you are here! I have a nice weekend planned with dinner tonight with friends, a Saturday drive out to Muskegon with Kevin and Lance and a relaxing Sunday. I will also get a hockey game or two to watch. And I will not think about Monday until Sunday evening.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Last Visage of Summer

It was a glorious weekend and we were able to finish most of the yard and outdoor work. I cut down all the hostas, astilbes and peonies, but I couldn't bring myself to cut down the last of the perennials. They survived last week's frosts and continued to bloom. Here are a few pics.

We also were able to get a some what chilly bike ride in. Here is Kevin and Lance on Lance's tandem.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rants and Raves

I had to take Oliver to have his stitches removed and do a few errands. While out, I decided to treat myself to a cup of coffee. I only had a couple of dollars in change (rant #1) so I pulled into a Burger King to get a Mocha Joe. Now, I prefer to go to Starbucks, Caribou Coffee or even an independent coffee shop but a Mocha Joe will do in a pinch. Anyway, while waiting in line in the drive through, I saw a woman in a black Cadillac Escalade very sneakily, throw her trash out the window. It infuriated me!! All the talk about the environment and keeping our planet clean, you would think that she could just hold onto it until she got home... Well now we get into the whole entitlement thinking thing and you don't want me to go there.

We went to see the new Christian movie "Fireproof" last night. I was very disappointed. I realize that Christian film makers are trying to break into the movie industry and I applaud their efforts, but you have to pick GOOD ACTORS!!! As the movie got going Kirk Cameron started to become believable as well as some of the firemen in his department, but that is where it ends. The rest of the cast just couldn't pull it off. I know there are very talented christian actors out there, please look for them. I guess it is like the music back in the eighty's and early ninety's, eventually they will get it.

What is it about staffing for the special needs or elderly? There is not a week goes by that one or more of the staff people, who work with Lance, call to cancel. I know that they are not paid well (which is another grip that I won't get into right now) but it is a job and Lance looks for forward to seeing them. He does not have friends outside of school and gets pretty lonely at times and let's face it, what 22 year old young man wants to hang out with his parents all the time. They help him with some of his chores or help him make a simple meal or dessert or they go out into the community. He treasures these times and is so disappointed when they don't show up. Also, do they realize that when we don't get the full amount of hours allotted through the county, we end up losing them?

Okay I am finished at the moment, thank you for letting me get these things off my chest. I will face my day with optimism and hope, I will also look for the good in all that is around me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Big Breath of Fresh Air

My day has been hectic. I didn't go anywhere or really do anything important.

I stayed home and vacuumed, dusted, washed the dishes. I did a couple loads of laundry. I chased Oliver up and down the stairs (he is not allowed on the second floor). I talked with my sister, brother and daughter. I cleaned up a pee and poo accident from Oliver. I made beds and tried organize Lance's closet. I had to discipline Oliver because I got too close to his food dish and he growled at me.

That's when I started to feel really overwhelmed. Why is it, when the simplest things in life don't go quite the way we think, we lose it?

Okay, I need some fresh air. I went out on the balcony and took a big breath, I sat down and started thanking God for the little things in my life. (I need to remind myself of these things every so often)

We have water to wash the clothes in, there is enough food in the house to dirty the dishes. I really enjoy the way made beds look and it's not hard to do at all. I love talking with my family, I look forward to it every day. Even Oliver is a blessing, it wasn't too long ago that I cried because I thought I wouldn't see him again and to tell you the truth, it was fun watching him try to sneak up the stairs when he thought I wasn't looking. It is beautiful outside and looking at the river calms me.

I needed this.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Oliver, don't even think about it!!

Owning a beagle, I am not surprised at the determination.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Johnny Depp and Other Fun People

While talking with Brigette this morning, she informed me that Johnny Depp was staying at the hotel where she worked. Of course she hasn't seen him and probably will not get to because he is pretty well secluded and protected.

This brought on the conversation of all the famous people she and Angela have had the opportunity to meet. Brigette worked at a theater while in college and she met many celebs. Now I have to clarify that these celebrities are B rated and (sorry, her term, not mine) old. They include...

Susan Summers
Tim Conway and Harvey Korman (she loved these guys!!)
Victor Borge
The Beach Boys
Frankie Avalon
Tom Jones
Rip Taylor
The Oakridge Boys (her favorite people to work with)
Don Rickles
Bobby Vinton
Frank Sinatra Jr.
John Tesh
As well as others...

She also got to meet...
Nocole Nordeman
Twila Paris (one of the most gracious, kind and genuine people she has ever met)
Clay Cross

Now Angela has met lots of people as well, but she tends to keep it under wraps except for the chance meeting of Tom Hanks. He thought she was a sales person in a store she was visiting and anyway, he was embarrassed, blah, blah, blah.

The funny thing is, Lance thinks his sisters are best friends with all these people and it makes us laugh it also makes the girls feel important. Like the time Lance told Angela to tell Tom he said hi.

It made me think, what would our society look like if we study the Bible like we study the tabloids? Would we be as intrigued with others who know Christ? Would I get excited over my friend having a relationship with Him? Or on the flip side am I embarrassed that Angela got to meet Tom? Just some thoughts to ponder...

And in the mean time, tell Jesus I said hi.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Not a lot going on in my life right now, so here are a few tidbits from the last few days.

  • Oliver was neutered, hoping it will help the little bit of aggression he still has. I feel bad though, because he is very sore and sleepy.

  • Only watched a little of the debate and then turned it off. Couldn't stand the mudslinging.

  • Lance went to a respite home this past weekend, we were not very happy with the staffing there. I will write more about services for the special needs in a future post.

  • Went to my first meeting at the Disney store. It was okay, but I am wondering if they will be retaining all the new hires because of the constant bad news about the economy.

  • My brother and his wife moved into the house next door to us. It is nice to have him close by.

  • Enjoyed prayer with Chris and Bernice this morning. Love getting together with them every Weds. and praying for our families, churches and country.

  • Spent time reading the Word. Love the time I share with the Lord, only I need to do more of it.

  • Talked with my daughter about her new world down in Charleston. She loves school and working in the city, but has some difficulties with the changes in her life.

That's it for now...I have to go grocery shopping. Ugh...

Picture is of Kevin and Lance at a Tiger's game.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I Want to be Different

Yesterday I had the opportunity to read Margret Feinberg's blog about what kind of Christian we want to be. It was very challenging and thought provoking and I have to say, that I want to be a November 5th Christian. A Christian not in word or vote only, but one who truly makes a difference.

I don't want to be one of those who complain about my government or people or church and sit around and do nothing. I want to make a change in and around me . My hope is that I am doing that in the special needs community. Did you know that 95% of families affected by disabilities are unchurched? I want to change that and reach out to those people. I want to listen to other parents as they share the struggles they face or help the person who is unable to get around
himself by giving him a ride. What about those who, because of government cuts, can't pay rent or put food on their tables, I want to make sure they are being helped. Many of these people are unable to work because of their disabilities. I want to make a difference, I want to bring them hope, I want to bring them Jesus.

Jesus, please help me to be an effective witness for you. Please help me to meet the need when you ask. Please allow me the opportunity to show your love to those around me.

So, for all I complained, I repent. I want to be different. I want to be a November 5th Christian. I also want to challenge you to be a source of change in the world around you. Don't just vote November 4th, make a difference November 5th.

Thank You Sarah

I, like millions of others, watched the Vice Presidential debate last night and I have to say I was riveted to the TV. Of course most of us were watching to see how Sarah Palin would handle herself and if she would be the same Sarah we saw at the GOP convention...HURRAH...she was!

I love the fact that Sarah came across as a feisty, home grown, hockey mom who has the same concerns for her family as I do for mine. She was witty, funny, firm and confident. She admitted to the fact that she had only been doing this VP thing for five weeks which gave her a vulnerability that I can appreciate. It was obvious that she worked and studied hard. She also mentioned that there were a few issues that she and McCain didn't agree on, that made her real. But I think the most important thing that came across were her values, they are values that I can relate to.

Thank you Sarah for giving me hope again. I still hate politics (see previous post) but now I feel I can vote. Whether or not McCain/Palin are voted in is up to God, but in the meantime I will will be praying, hoping, watching and believing for what I feel is the best for America.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Hate Politics

Yes, I hate politics. I can't stand the negative adds or the constant arguing or the promises that cannot be kept because the house or senate disagree. I wonder if this is because I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional home whose parents argued and fought continually.

I would prefer to hear of the changes and/or policies the candidates will bring to the table and to have the parties come together for the good of the people without the tearing down or ripping apart. I know, I live in a fantasy world.

It is interesting to watch the local news, as you know, Michigan is a battle ground state and the talk all around is about the huge undecided vote. And even more interesting is the fact that these undecideds are waiting to see the veep debate tonight. I never thought I would live to see the day that we would use our votes to elect a vice president instead of a president, but I have to admit to wanting to do the very same thing...

I am waiting to see how Sarah Palin does in this debate. I, like so many others, loved the fact than she came out and knocked the socks off of everyone at the GOP convention, but let's be honest, her performance in the Katie Couric interview was less than stellar. I am hoping it was nerves.

So, I too, am going to watch the debate tonight. I will be wringing my hands and biting my lips, rolling my eyes and disliking the fact that I am giving up my evening for it. I will also be praying because I need to see someone I can believe in to vote for. To see someone who has the same views I do and feel that these issues are important. I also know that I cannot vote for Biden.

Grrrrr...I hate politics, I wish it were December!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kevin's Day

Yesterday was Kevin's birthday, he turned 53. Because Lance had physical therapy at 7:00 p.m. we decided to wait until today to celebrate. I asked him what he wanted for his bday dinner and he told me he wanted spaghetti like our friend Jan makes. Well this is a challenge...Jan married an Italian and learned to make this meat sauce from his mother. I have never made the stuff because it is so involved. I found an old recipe and looked up another two online and meshed the recipes together. I started this last night and it is now cooking away in my kitchen. It has ribs, meatballs and Italian sausage with fresh herbs and garlic, blah, blah, blah. Well I have to admit it smells out of this world and since I don't have an Italian bone in my body, I am hoping for the best.

I asked Lance what he wanted to get for his dad, he told me a tool. Kevin is the tool king and I am sure the last thing he needs is another tool, but Lance wanted to do this. We drove to the hardware store and Lance picked out a hammer. (Kevin must have eight of these!) It made me smile because it shows he pays attention to what his dad enjoys doing. For a guy with special needs he is quite intuitive with those around him.

I have been looking for a championship locker room Red Wings cap for months for Kevin and have struck out every time. He really wanted one. (We are huge Wing nuts) I finally found one on Ebay and won it, he will be so surprised.

I think he will have a wonderful evening with us and his parents. I am so happy to do something special for this amazing man God gave me. He is faithful, loyal, has incredible integrity and is so loving and helpful. He has been a great father and husband and I pray God will bless him with all he desires.