Monthly Archives: November 2006

“I’m not a woman anymore. I’m a mom!”

Thanks for all the reassurance that, indeed, there is life after the minivan 🙂  We got her.  I think another difference for me this time in buying a car was it was very much a “head” decision.  It’s very logical.  However, after I test-drove it, the guy’s like “How do you like her?!?!?!?”  “Um… it’s nice for a minivan.  I’m not too keen on it, but if we have to get a van, it’s ok.”  (MAybe that’s why we got such a good deal.)  Unlike the past 2 cars we’ve bought, I was ONE with them from the moment I dropped myself into the driver seat.  So, it’s a volitional decision for me to get behind the steering wheel, and someday, we will become one, I’m sure.  But as we were driving home, I was thinking about this funny SNL skit I’d seen, and thought while I’m driving a minivan, looks like I need a pair of “mom jeans.”

This is the hard thing about xanga–sometimes I’m not sure how to explain things or how they’ll be taken, so I’m taking this paragraph out about hating to sell our VW convertible–sorry if you missed it, but if you read it, it could’ve been easily misinterpreted.  This was a God-send of a car–came when we only had 1 car and seriously had the cash in hand when the car came along for $1000 (which we’d profited from another car sale), so anyhow it was an amazing blessing in a hard time of life.  I remember the 1st time driving it–I hadn’t smiled like that in a long time.  I’d never ridden in a convertible, and it was raining, and I was so stoked I didn’t care.  Anyhow, those who know us, know this story.  But I hate being misunderstood–and didn’t want to come across as having this fancy car I can’t part with.  Again, it’s more the sentiment than fancy for sure 🙂


This could be it folks…
Andy’s making plans to pick up our new ride tomorrow.  I can’t believe this is happening to me–I thought I could hold on strong until I was 30–I did hold out for a sunroof though.  Anyhow, if all goes through, I could be driving a minivan tomorrow.  Insane.  Anyone want to buy a jeep?  Ok, I have major cold feet now…  I don’t know if my hesitation is at doing the SUV to minivan switch anymore as it is I’m super-sentimental.  It’s annoying at times.  The other day when Andy drove down to check it out and was considering trading the jeep in, it occurred to me I hadn’t said goodbye yet.               
            We’ve been through alot together–When we found out we were pregnant with Jack and had a 4 mo. old.  She brought us through some doozy blizzards.  The drives to Miles’ surgeries when he couldn’t eat anything and was so little and hungry and couldn’t understand so I’d sit in the back with him to comfort him.  Bringing Jack home from the hospital.  Mutliple trips between Indiana and Ohio.  Roadtrips.  Daytrips to Brandywine Falls or Cuyahoga Valley Nat’l Park.  Driving down to Columbus to leave for Cambodia without our kids for 2 weeks.  Moving to Indiana.  Getting broken into and robbed on my way to Ohio alone with both kids.  Toting our bikes for many family bike trips.  If our car could talk – It probably has Clifford and the Wiggles memorized, dreads another dr. visit, has major hearing loss from long trips when our kids get restless, and can’t understand why we’re trading her in.  Sniff, sniff…She’s been good to us, and I only hope new Maz can be half the car…

Funny Jack quote of the day.  I started to make dinner, and didn’t realize I was pretty loud banging around some pans.  He comes in the kitchen and says “WHAT is GOING on in HERE?”  (Wonder where he’s heard that…)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Editing original post…I got ahead of myself decorating for Christmas
and didn’t “wrap up” Thanksgiving first.  Tuesday we made Indian hats
while Miles was at school–to match the one he has worn nonstop until
we left it at a friends’ house 😦
Ok, the last picture got a little scary, so I stopped with the pictures.
Thanksgiving Day, we went to my brother Jeff’s, in Columbus.  Miles’
favorite was turkey and Jack’s favorite was “hot red bread” (rolls with
homemade strawberry jam).  It’s very rare that my entire family is all
together (my brother came in from NYC too), and I can’t believe we
didn’t get pictures of it…but here’s some I did take.  Then we went
up to Woo-town and stayed at my parents’ until Saturday.  We got to see
Chris and Julie Mantegna (I’m so glad we got to see you guys.  Sorry if
we got you hooked 🙂  Hope to see you in warmer weather soon!!!)
Well, it’s official.  I get to listen to Christmas music, unbothered
for the next month.  Not just Sarah MacLachlan and Over the Rhine
Christmas…Harry Connick too now.  Woot woot!!  We’re getting our tree
this afternoon, so I’ll be sure to get some good pics on here from it. 
While I grumble and mumble on the inside about winter weather coming
(and really, it’s been a beautiful week), this is one part of the year
I think would be hard in warmer climates.  There’s just something
special and nostalgic about getting bundled up, driving out in a snowy
forest, chopping down a tree and coming home to decorate it and drink
something warm. 

This post is getting very long, but I had to include the ACTUAL Christmas tree-finding experience.
Get all bundled up.
Drive over the river and through the woods to the place we used to get our tree when Andy was in seminary…get there with 2 excited boys to go Christmas trick-or-treating.  (They were confused as to exactly what we were doing…)  But there’s no longer signs from the road…and there’s no longer signs at the farm.  The place appears to be no longer in the Christmas tree business!!!  I guess it’s been 4 years   At this point we have 2 very disappointed boys that they can’t get out of the car, that no one’s giving them candy and Jack is hoarse from being sick and also from screaming because he’s sick of the car… So we drive to Marsh and get a beautiful tree minus the experience of chopping it down.
Come home, make dinner, put the boys to bed, decorate the tree ourselves, gets way too late we and need some comic relief from the day.  (Andy’s always good at providing that.)
I think we’ve covered it all.  Even if I haven’t, I have a little boy who needs my attention, and has figured out when he touches the tree, he gets it…so, farewell.

Give thanks…

Give thanks to Him and praise His name.  For the Lord is good and His love endures forever!  psalm 100.4-5
Getting ready this morning, I was just overwhelmed with all I have to be thankful for.  Feel free to skip this post, but I just had to record them (without the chicken-scratch thing 🙂
1.  For a God who reigns in splendor and holiness, yet His love endures forever!
2.  A husband who is faithful and makes me feel like the prettiest woman in the world, even when I’m not.
3.  My boys.
4.  Miles – He continues to confuse the autism specialists and blow us away as he deviates from his diagnosis–thanks for so many of your prayers!  He is living out the meaning of his name, “warrior.”
5.  Jack – He never ceases to make us laugh and melt our hearts with his great joy for life and love for affection.
6.  The prayers of our moms and dads who keep us going, seriously, you will never know how much that means to us and how reassuring that is on the hard days.
7.  Our church – The Godly men my husband gets to be in ministry with and the teaching we receive–we’re truly spoiled.
8.  The students we work with–we love you guys!
9.  The line in “Not to Us” that always puts me in my place “Pour your holy fire on this offering, let our worship burn for the world to see it’s not for us, it’s all for You!”  This song constantly helps the battle to surrender my will.
10.  Our families that care so deeply for us.
11.  The friends who have enriched our lives over the years–some reading this from different countries/states, some entering our lives within a few weeks.  We’re so blessed with like-minds to share our lives with.
12.  Our home – we moved in last Thanksgiving.  I can’t believe it’s already been a year, and I’m excited to see who He’ll bring to our home this coming year…
13.  God’s constant provision.
14.  Simple pleasures–coffee, Nonni’s biscotti (thanks Will and Jo), Barnes & Noble, 8 pm – midnight (after the kids are in bed!), Blokus tournaments (currently stomping on Andy…), legos (Miles will sit for HOURS building…so nice to have a toy we can both enjoy :), Biaggi’s dressing–these are a few of my favorite things.
15.  Dare I say this?  The character He’s built in the hard times.  Some of the richest, most meaningful times of my life have been when I grapple with the idea that the God who gives is also the God who takes away.  And I’ve come to see the hard times can make the good times all the more richer.
       Andy took Miles to the dr. for more allergy testing.  We’re probably going to start shots soon.  He has some severe allergies, and every medicine he’s tried doesn’t quite work, and the stronger the doses, the more his behavior is affected.  He is such a trooper, and we constantly pray for the right decision what to/not to try.  Jack’s just been my little bud this a.m.  I need to get back to packing, but wanted to cement some of these thoughts first.
Here’s Jack talking to grandma last night:
He’s showing her the lego steps we built:
This is from a few days ago…
I will try and get a pic of the Indian hat Miles has had on for the past 2 days straight–except for his bath, but as soon as he gets out, he puts it right back on.  It’s very cute.  Happy Thanksgiving all! 

Things that make you go Hmmm…

Anyone remember this song?  I don’t, except that line.  I don’t know if my blogs are getting too boring, or there’s just an overload of wise info that one doesn’t know what to comment on, but last week, I had a record of 600 footprints, and 5 comments…Hmmm.  Maybe it’s just too much potty-training info…hey, you’ll understand when you get there and spend most the day in the bathroom. 
       I’m listening to my new favorite Christmas album.  Although Andy just came home from youth group, and had declared last Monday that I had 1 more week until I could break out the Christmas music…I’m a little early.  I don’t know what he was thinking was magical about tomorrow…maybe he meant 2 weeks because we’re getting our tree the Monday after Thanksgiving, but he’s putting Jack down now, so I won’t ask him about it and hope he’ll let the Christmas music slide…besides, who can turn off Sarah MacLachlan? 🙂
       You know, last week when I was without an online blog, I did something I haven’t done in awhile and broke out my journal.  Although I’m very disappointed in how poor my handwriting is looking.  I’ve always taken pride in my unique mix of cursive and manuscript…but anymore, it just looks like chicken-scratch.  Is this from being in a hurry or not writing too much anymore?  Well, I’ll just hope I don’t die one day and become famous and have my journals published with this chicken-scratch.  Hmmm…
       Since you asked, Jess…Last night was very nice.  We got away for 5 hours!!!  It didn’t matter too much what we did, it more mattered that it was just the 2 of us, and we weren’t constantly keeping track of our little turkeys.  Although, it was pretty eclectic–We started off in Target looking at toys (Andy’s most interested in age-appropriate toys for the boys that he will get thrills from as well 🙂  Then went to Biaggi’s–love this place.  They have the best house dressing, and I was commenting to our waitress how good it was.  Seriously, I could drink that stuff.  She gave me a container–precious stuff.  We walked around and ended up in Starbucks to sit and chat.  The time flew, but it really gets me through.  That’s something I was impressed with at the Wknd. to Remember Conference–we always think of love affairs as the main threat, but all marriages are challenged with different affairs–activities affair, materialism affair, career affair, family affair–ours tends to be challenged most with activities and family affairs.  We can get so caught up in the week with keeping the kids safe and healthy and keeping the “ministry” running that we lose where each other is at…so, 5 hours did wonders.
       Well, the boys are in bed, shwew…  Yay for a 3 day work week!!

Back to cyperspace…our computer’s been in the shop for awhile.  How do I even summarize our week?  It’s hard for me to remember what I did yesterday, let alone fill you in on all the fun and exciting details of the week…I’ll try. 
        Monday we didn’t do a thing, except build lots of lego creatures.  It was so very nice.  We enjoyed the day off and our kids.
        Tuesday was a little rough.  Miles has been doing so well, and I’m so proud of how well he’s dealing with preschool, etc.  I don’t know if it got to be too much or some allergy meds we’re trying, but he had a hard day.  And that was a bad day to fall on, but Andy left his meetings early (7 pm), came home and I went to a gift-wrapping party a friend had for the Christmas community outreach.  That was a nice ending.
        Wednesday was a difficult day too with Miles.  I had a Bible Study in the a.m., and he didn’t want to go, but for Jack, it’s his “school.”  He has a backpack for a change of undies/pants and is so excited to get to go to school 1 day a week…so, we went.  I probably shouldn’t have, because the rest of the day Miles was very fragile and the littlest things turned to meltdowns.  But we got through and when Andy got home, he took the boys grocery shopping while I prepared for my small group.  The boys came home with “flowers to make mom happy.”  Andy had given them some quarters and had them pick out some flowers–It was so sweet and continues to make me laugh…Since then, I’ll say something and they’ll think I’m upset.  Yesterday I was saying “I’m so bummed because…”  It wasn’t anything big at all, but Miles says “Don’t be sad, mom.  Look at your flowers!” 
       Thursday Miles had speech therapy and LOVES “playing at Tammy’s house” (although Tammy is the therapist at an office), I won’t tell him differently!  Can’t really remember what else happened.  Ummm…Yes, this was the day I said “Enough is enough.  Poop goes in the potty.  Although, someone sat there for an hour as he watched sesame street, drank coffee, ate raisins–no luck…until he got up.”  I’ve decided all I want for Christmas this year is poop in the potty (sorry for the graphic content.)
       Yesterday was the best day I can remember of the week.  We had a “family movie night” and watched the Incredibles together.  Well, it went more like Andy and I were into the movie, Miles was too, but Jack just wanted us to throw ball and run around with him.  We got him to sit still for a little bit while he ate his chocolate pretzel.  (A highlight for us all 🙂  It really is a cute movie.  It made me laugh, especially the Dash character.  I won’t spoil it if you haven’t seen it, but he reminded me so much of our Jack.  “You mean run as fast as I can?”

Tonight is date night, and I can’t wait!  Our kids can’t either–we asked who they’d want to come watch them and unanimously, they yell “Kaitlyn!!!  I need Kaitlyn!”  That makes things so much easier–it was so much harder to get away when I knew our kids just wanted us to come home.  I’m starting to understand the “seasons” older moms talk about, and I’m realizing how fast time flies.  Although I joke about just wanting them to poop in the potty, I can’t believe they’re both out of diapers and pee there.  Maybe this isn’t the best example, but I so easily wish we were at the next stage…that I can miss so many of the blessings of where we are right now. 
        Miles wants to sing “Star-Spangled Banner” now before he goes to sleep.  Of all the choices for a lullaby “the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air!”  It may not seem as funny not in person, but it cracks me up.
       So, my week summary was probably all about the kids.  I can’t remember anything personally that went on–Guess it’s the season where it’s all about them anyway 🙂  Ok, Veggie Tales is almost over, and I need a shower!  Have a great rest of the weekend!

If we were trapped on a deserted island and could have only 1 box with us…

Christmas has arrived!  I don’t know if you catch this, Mike and Anne, but thank you, thank you, thank you for the clothes!  It’s always so exciting to go through what you sent.  Our boys are most excited about the spiderman boxers.  Thanks SOOOO much for thinking of us!
Someone has been sneaking out to the living room as soon as he gains an ounce of consciousness and working on making a sandcastle or tower or garage.  This morning, around 7, we woke up to the sound of a tub of legos being dumped on the living room floor.  Tonight I’m going to bed without picking them up…it won’t be that way when I wake up, so what’s the use 🙂
What a little charmer.  Dan and Becky, does this picture look like one you took around 26 years ago of a certain little boy (although he was sleeping with his hat and mittens on)  I went in to turn up Jack’s heat, found him sleeping like this, and can’t believe how much he looks like his daddy in this pic.
jack sleep2
I can’t believe it’s approaching Monday–just about an hour left to the weekend.  It has been alot of fun, but very full.  I love Mondays–it’s Andy’s day off, and after this weekend, we really need a day off.  I’m not sure what we’ll do yet–maybe hang out at Barnes and Nobles with the boys, maybe a date, maybe good ole family time at home.  Whatever, I’m just very excited to have my husband to myself (and the 2 other little moochers 🙂 

I’m still processing the sermon this morning.  It seems I keep getting hit left and right about how comfortable I’ve become in life.  It wasn’t long ago that we decided to settle down here for a few years and focus on Miles’ therapy/treatment and what God has for us here in this community and church.  This was necessary, as we had been living in a “parenthesis” (as we would refer to it) saying we’re here, but heading overseas any minute.  We can’t live in a parenthesis all our lives…  But it’s so hard to find the balance with contentment and making the most of our time here (while not a day goes by that Andy and I don’t think about going overseas) and not becoming comfortable…and then valuing or striving for my comfort.  So when the pastor this morning asked us to open to Acts 20, I groaned inwardly.  Verse 24 has always been such a challenging verse to me, but I’m so far from it.  However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish
the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of
testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. 
I want this to be true of me!  It seems the more valuable my life becomes with an amazing husband and precious children, the more I want to protect it…as if they didn’t come from God anyway. I don’t know how this looks for us right now.  I do know there are risks I’m not taking, and should.  Alot to process…maybe tomorrow.

On a lighter note, when I picked up Miles from Sunday School this morning, he turned and said to his teacher “Thanks so much for everything.  Thanks for all the miracles!”  We laughed so hard.  I want to be in that class!