29 September 2008

A Message

A friend sent me an email today with the following video. It is directed at Catholics, however, I encourage you to check it out regardless of your religious affiliation. It provides some food for thought given the coming election!

25 September 2008

Apple Farm! F x 4

We took a trip to the apple farm last weekend, and the boys had a blast! This was a part of the tractor train. Michael wasn't too sure about it, but Peter was a great big brother and sat with him through it. Drew was their caboose! Today should be the day I get to make an apple pie! YUM!

Check out more fun photos at Candid Carrie!

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24 September 2008

A plug for Hope Alexander!

I think it was a couple of weeks ago that I introduced a new blogger, Hope Alexander. If you haven't checked out her blog, Reflections of Hope, you really should-she is that good! She only posts once a week, and she really had a great one this week, so check her out!

The reason I am talking about her again-besides the fact that I think her writing is FABULOUS, and I am crazy about her (even though she won't let me tell you who she is!)-is because she has started a second blog aimed at kids and teens, particularly girls. She is a mom to 7 kids, and 5 are girls! It is called "Hey Hope...What do you think?" You know how Dear Abby will answer questions that kids/teens write in about the issues they are facing-this blog is the same concept except that Hope's thoughtful responses will include, well, a Christian perspective. (Dear Abby's responses to teens usually leave me screaming at the lack of faith in them). So, if you know a kid or teen who is looking for a solution to a problem, you might want to point her there! Hope also invites parents to check in, so check it out-you won't be disappointed!

23 September 2008

Here I go again! Another political rant!

I just can't help myself...I heard an ad on the radio this morning that really made me angry!

The ad stated that John McCain doesn't support stem cell research. Once again, this is another example of the left twisting his position. The correct statement is that he does not support EMBRYONIC stem cell research and there is a HUGE difference! Stem cells can be harvested from many places-cord blood, amniotic fluid, adult fat and skin cells just to name a few! The best part of these types of stem cells is that they can be obtained without ending a life.

Of course, they had the mother of a child with type I diabetes saying how wrong it was to not support this research. This topic is one that really sets me off. My nephew also has type I diabetes. He will tell you that he does not want babies destroyed to cure his diabetes. There is promising research in the areas of amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research, and McCain supports these wholeheartedly!

I just wanted to set the record straight on this one!

An Award!

Evy over at Yes, they are all mine gave the this award. The meaning is something like this blog makes us close. I do feel close to Evy even though we have never met in real life. Her love of faith and family remind me of my Mom, and that makes me look forward to reading each and every post she writes! Thanks, Evy!
I am supposed to come up with 8 bloggers to send this to, but I am going to whittle down the list a little.
I am sending it out to Reflections of Hope, This Family of Ours, and A Blessed Life. These are new to me blogs, that I am really enjoying reading daily.

Again, Evy, thank you!!!

22 September 2008

Educational Rants

Last week, in an act of sheer desperation, the school board for Milwaukee Public Schools voted in favor of inquiring what it would take to dissolve the district. Yes, you heard me right, dissolve, close the doors. Shut. I am still in shock over this one.

Let me be clear. I don't live in the district, nor would I send my kids there if we did. It is pretty bad. A majority of the schools are failing, many of the students come from impoverished, single parent households. I know that the teachers are frustrated. I know the district is asking for more money from the state (because $12,000 per student isn't enough). To say "let's dissolve the district," though, is tantamount to saying, "We give up. We're through. There isn't any reason to try." These kids hear they are failures from the get-go. They don't need to hear that the schools-the one place that some of these kids feel safe-are giving up on them as well.

So, what would happen? Some are calling for the mayor to take over, while some say the state should do it. I am not sure what I think should happen, but I will tell you that this has been the most unbelievable story coming from a school district in a while.

19 September 2008

My son, the Goalie! F x 4

Soccer was rained out last week, but we are in the middle of the season. This was from the first game. Peter has been playing for 4 years now, and loves when soccer season rolls around! He got to play goalie last week-his favorite position!

For more Friday photos, check out Candid Carrie!
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18 September 2008

Tomato Season!

I thought I would dovetail Susie's post about tomatoes and salsa with one of my own. We didn't grow tomatoes this year due to some early summer craziness we had going on, but my mother-in-law brought me a bushel of tomatoes yesterday! I shared some with my sister, and am using the rest right now. Although some might think I use them to make my own pasta sauce due to my Italian roots, I actually don't because I prefer canned tomatoes, sauce, and paste for that. If you ever have money in the budget for the ones from San Marzano, I urge you to give them a try because the are that good!

Onto my tomato task-roasting! I prefer to roast my tomatoes. It makes taking the skin off very easy, and the roasting brings out great flavor in the tomatoes. After washing them, I halve them, and place them on a cookie sheet. Then, I drizzle them with olive oil, and add dried oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. I roast them in a 300 degree oven for about 30 minutes. After they cool, I slide the skin off. Then I bag them up and freeze them for use over the winter. I throw them into stew and soups for some great added flavor! I love the opportunity to add this taste of summer into my cooking during the winter!

16 September 2008

I know, I am breaking my promise!

I know, I promised not to become a political blogger, but to me this woman's story is just amazing! Her name is Gianna Jessen, and she is an abortion survivor. That's right, I said survivor, as in she was the baby aborted! Her mother tried to have an abortion at 7 1/2 months, and Gianna was born alive. Because of the nurse on duty, Gianna was sent to the hospital. Because of the saline injection her mother received, Gianna has Cerebral Palsy. Gianna calls this a gift. This video is from her appearance on Hannity and Colmes the other night. What an absolute miracle this woman is, and what a testimony to life!

Happy Birthday to...


Yes, that's right...it is my birthday! I have to say that for a day that had few expectations, it has been pretty fabulous so far!

Andy and the boys woke me this morning with a present, and I have to say that it was one awesome gift! They gave me the Amazon Kindle. For those of you who don't know, it is a device that wirelessly allows you to download books to read. It is small, lightweight and holds up to 200 books! Add a memory card, and it holds even more. The problem? I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DOWNLOAD! I have 346 books on my to-read list on goodreads, and I can't narrow it down! I am very excited to get started reading on it!

I was also treated to lunch by my sisters, Mary and Margaret. We went to Houlihans-I love their stuffed mushrooms! It was nice being out with my sisters, and I hope we can do it soon! (OOH, wait, Mary's birthday is in 2 weeks!).

I came home to find flowers waiting for me-I think they are from my mother-in-law-she never signs the card! The birthday will continue this week-I am going out for Mexican food with my mother-in-law and her sister tomorrow, and I get to see my book buddies on Thursday! It's going to be a GREAT week!

13 September 2008

Rainy Weekend!

We are in the midst of a rainy weekend here in Wisconsin. There is a low perched over us right now, and we are supposed to see some of the remnants of Ike tomorrow (hard to believe!). Soccer was canceled (darn!), so we are having a quiet day at home.

I thought I would share some of our newest Michael-isms. He is finally attaching endings to his words-very deliberately! So, we've been getting "Yessssssss!" from him all week! This morning though, he had Andy in stitches as he proclaimed, "Daddy, your shirt is gay!" (grey) He also told him that he wanted his "piss puzzle" (fish puzzle). Thank goodness these occurred at home!

Stay dry everyone!

12 September 2008

F x 4 Soccer

Drew is taking a well-deserved break during his first soccer game! Soccer season is well underway! Four practices a week between the two boys and 2 games on Saturdays...Drew looks how I feel-TIRED!

For more great pictures, check out Candid Carrie!

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11 September 2008

Remembering 9/11

As many people are doing today, I am taking time to remember the tragedy of 9/11. Andy and I were still home when the news of the first tower being hit came on TV. Peter was our only child, and about 16 months old at the time. I had just gotten out of the shower, and walked into our room to see the image which by now is imprinted on our minds and hearts. Panic set in as I tried to remember whether or not my brother was in New York on business. Frantically, I called his house. He answered-thank God! He also reassured me that this was an accident-pilot error. After all, which of us could comprehend at that point that someone could intentionally do this? As we were talking, we saw the second plane hit the other tower. What the hell was happening?

Andy got ready and left for work. I remember hugging him a little longer that day, and telling him to be careful. For Peter and I, I decided we would go to my Mom's for the day. I just needed my Mama-my sister, Mary had the same idea. The three of us sat there that day in disbelief. We would see the Pentagon get hit, hear of the plane crash in Pennsylvania, and watch the towers fall. Mary and I held our babies-Tim was 16 months as well. The world as we knew it was about to change.

I remember being fearful for my father. He was a salesman, and had many clients who were from the middle-East. He went to work that day, even though my Mom asked him not to. There were some clients who had known my Dad for years who said that America was getting what it deserved. What a sad day. I am thankful he was safe.

So, seven years later, we remember. We pray for the families who lost loved ones, for the babies yet to be born that day who never knew their fathers, for the children who live with out a parent. I still am fearful as every anniversary approaches, and thankful when the day passes. My mama and my daddy may be gone as well, but I am so thankful that I had them to cling to that day and in the days and weeks to come. We will never forget.

10 September 2008


There is a new movie called, Fireproof, coming out on September 26th. I wanted to share the trailer because it looks really good, and really inspiring! Check it out!

08 September 2008

And So It Begins...

We made it through the first week of school relatively unscathed. This week will be the first full week for all of us. Peter and Drew were so tired this morning-not a good sign for a Monday! We also overslept. Michael jumped in our bed at 5 AM, and I moved to the couch because I had a sinus headache. Andy and Michael slept through the alarm (the TV turns on), and the older boys alarm didn't go off. I woke up at 6:40 with a start-I had a dream that I was taking the boys late to school. Dreams turning into reality, I guess. My poor boys had to rush, as did we, but we got to school on time!

Then Drew's teacher called at 9:40...He had shut the door on his little finger, and had a cut. He wanted his Mama to put the band-aid on! So, I traipsed back up to school, put the band-aid on, gave him a hug, and told him that a.) he would be able to do his work despite the injury, and b.) if the band-aid came off, Mrs. K would be able to put on another. He is so tired from the full-day kindergarten, soccer, and has horrible allergies right now. It makes me feel bad for my little guy!

So, I picked up after school, thankful that soccer practice was cancelled due to rain. Peter is doing his homework, and we are definitely back in the swing of things!

Trying one on...

So I am trying on this template to see how it feels. My blog was looking so busy, I wanted something plainer. This may be too plain-I haven't decided yet...need to sit with it for a while...

In the meantime, check out this new blogger: Reflections of Hope. I have to admit that I know the writer, but I am not at liberty to say who she is...Enjoy! And if any of you figure out who she is, please keep it to yourself-she wants to remain ANONYMOUS!

07 September 2008

Changes-They are a-coming!

I came to a decision today. My blog needs a makeover! It is looking too busy for my liking. So, over the next few days, be on the lookout for some changes...

05 September 2008

F X 4

We took this picture while my niece and nephews were staying with us. It is so hard to get a picture off all of them, so I am glad we have this one. We had a really good week with them!
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04 September 2008

Peaks and Valleys

Today was definitely a day with highs and lows. It was Drew's first full day of Kindergarten (the first two were half days). He needed an extra snuggle this morning of reassurance, but then ran off to his day-and had a great one.

Michael had his first gymnastics class, and let's just say it didn't go so well. He followed his teacher up the stairs to the pre-school gym, and went in. He picked his "squishy square" (green), and went to sit down. Then the reality hit. Mama wasn't staying with him. He flipped out. There is a little half door at the entrance to the area. It has no lock. He walked right out. I walked him back and then proceeded to try to get him to stay. No go. He screamed, "Don't want to. I want to hold you Mama." Broke my heart. I tried to get him to stay for about 25 minutes, and then I kissed my 45 minutes of free time good-bye.

When we got to the van I mentioned my disappointment. He sobbed. I started to cry myself. I felt like the worst mother in the world. His brothers took this class at 3 1/2. He just turned 3. At this age, 6 months can make a huge difference. My baby boy is just not ready. And, lest you think I am just trying to hang on a bit more, I'm not. I just think that as a mother, I need to make sure he's ready. He's not, and that's OK.

I had another realization in the midst of this. He's not going to 4 year old kindergarten next year. I know a lot can happen between now and then, but I prayed for a sign, and it came to me pretty clearly. When I was in school the cut-off was November 30, now it is September 1. I know now that I need to honor that and not push him ahead just because he misses the cut off by one day. I feel at peace with this decision because I know it's what is best for Michael.

We had one other great moment today besides Drew's first full day. He had his annual eye exam which is a big deal. He has endothelial dystrophy. This means that he has tiny blisters on his corneas which may or may not remain stable. As long as they remain outside of his line of vision, we have nothing to worry about. If they develop in the center of his corneas, he would need a cornea transplant. We have to take him in every year for an eye exam for his glasses (separate, normal vision issue), and to have his corneas checked. I always get nervous when the appointment approaches. Fortunately, the news today was good. He is still stable, as is his vision. Definitely a day of highs and lows. Glad tomorrow is Friday!

03 September 2008

I am flattered

Yesterday, my bloggy friend, Shannon at Welcome to the Nut House, gave me an award that has left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. She is also one of my daily reads. If you have read her, you should check her out!

The three mommy blogs I am sending this to are:

Sydney at Diapers and Deadlines
Jennie at Far Beyond Pearls
Evy at Yes they are All Mine

These are also blogs you should check out. These women inspire me to want to be a better mother!

02 September 2008

My Birthday Boy!

Today was my Michael's 3rd birthday!
He asked for cupcakes, and normally I would have made them myself, but he saw these at the store and wanted them. With the craziness of the first day of school, I relented.

Michael got 3 brand new puzzles to feed his obsession.
Happy Birthday, Michael!
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First Day of School

Before we get onto the first day of school, I thought I would share what happened to my laptop. Here is a picture. The monitor cracked. Not one but two of my boys (who shall remain nameless) sat on it. on the end table. while it was closed.
The good news is that it is under warranty. The bad news is that it will be gone for a month. I need this computer for work-today. We ended up purchasing another laptop. Definitely not in the budget, but there was really no other viable solution. I am writing this on my new laptop.

Here are my boys!
They looked so handsome for the first day of school. Peter and Drew were both very excited to go back...

Here's Peter walking in-looks like the excitement has worn off!
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01 September 2008

In honor of labor day-wanna play?

In honor of Labor Day, there is a meme going around about, well, labor. I read it on Far Beyond Pearls, and decided to give it a go. If you have a chance, check out Jennie's blog-she is the mother of 6 with number 7 due in January, and one of my new favorite reads.

Now, the meme. And when you're done, go post a Mr. Linky over at Rocks in My Dryer, who apparently started the whole thing. :-)

1. How long were your labors?

Peter-12 hours
Drew-8 hours
Michael-4 hours

With Peter and Drew, I was induced, so I have no idea how long an actual labor would have been.

2. How did you know you were in labor?

Again, with Peter and Drew, I was induced. With Michael, I was nervous because I had not gone into labor on my own. All I wanted was to get my oldest through his first 2 days of Kindergarten. About 30 minutes after picking Peter up on that second day (the Friday before labor day), my water broke.

3. Where did you deliver?


4. Drugs?

YES! YES! AND YES! Although, I almost didn't get my epidural with Michael because he came so quickly.

5. C-section?

No, although I was about 30 seconds away from one with Drew. He was big, and his arm was stuck.

Michael was breech until about 3 days before he was born. Thankfully, he turned.

6. Who delivered you?

My OB, Michael Lasser. He is a fabulous doctor, and even came in on his day off to deliver Michael. I hope that he delivers any other children we are blessed with.

That's the whole meme. If you play along, please tell me. I would love to read it.