Monday, June 22, 2015

A Valuable Lesson

I haven't written in a while… when you throw kid #4 into the mix and new jobs, things get set aside.

But today I felt the urge to write.  So here goes.

We've reached the end of the JBQ Quiz Season this year.  This has been a difficult year as far as quizzing goes, because all 3 of my older kids were quizzing.  While my husband worked almost full time out of town.  It left a lot on my plate.

EE picked things up naturally.  She's extremely shy and quiet, but fiercely competitive.  It is quite the combination.

SJ did it this year so EE would have a beginner team to compete with, she didn't want to go up to juniors just yet.

SB on the other hand… She's a unique soul, not competitive, but wants to do her best.  She actually does better in a smaller setting than a larger one, but that's an article for another day.

This weekend was the State Finals.  Both teams qualified to compete at the National Tournament this summer.  I'm very proud of the hard work they've done the last 9 months, only 1 left!

At the end of the tournament, each year the team goes out to lunch.  It was pouring down rain, and I had kids and diaper bags in my hand.  I'm 99.9% sure I locked my car, but since the viper keyless entry doesn't beep, without going back and checking, I had to trust that it worked.

We enjoyed a decent meal at Macaroni Grille.  Not the best, but I tried to keep costs low, knowing I've got a trip to Nationals to save up for in a month.During the meal, I started to feel like it was time to go.  I didn't want to be rude - the food wasn't even there yet - and the kids were having fun.  Part of me now realized I probably should have just gone.  Because 30 or so minutes later, when we left, I found that my car had been broken into, and my stereo was stollen.

It had been a Christmas gift from my husband, and inside was a CD that belonged to my girls.  I was thankful for my husband's cousins' being there to help me; this was the last thing I would have thought to have happened.  I mean, it was POURING BUCKETS!

EE took it really hard.  None of our personal belongings were taken, even my computer was left alone (PRAISE GOD!!!!!).  But she felt so violated, and found herself not trusting anyone or anything.

Our cousin and BQ coach prayed with her before we left the restaurant parking lot.  As we were driving to see daddy at work, I asked them to think of verses they'd learned that would fit this situation: to help calm the fear, the actions of the person who committed the crime, how we should move on… I was proud.  Here are the verses they gave me, and their explanations:

Proverbs 13:11 - Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.  Kids - Vanity is being selfish, and stealing is selfish, and so they will be punished.

Proverbs 18:10 - The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Kids - we don't have to be afraid, Jesus is taking care of us.  But we still have to be smart and careful with important things.  Family is the most important!

Proverbs 10:1 - The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.  Kids - I bet this guys mom is really disappointed that he does stuff like this.  

But my favorite:
Proverbs 1:7 -The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Kids - They were probably told it's wrong to steal, so they're being naughty and not listening to what they were taught when they were kids.  Unless they were taught it's ok to steal, which is bad.  They should go to church and meet Jesus.

I'm so mad at myself.  I should have gone back to check, or left when I got the feeling like it was time to go.  I try to do everything myself, and it's hard when you've got 4 kids, things fall through the cracks.  My family's safety shouldn't be one of them.  

But I KNOW I hit the button.  It never beeps when it locks,  which is a feature I don't like.  And in the rain, I thought I did see the front lights flash.  It doesn't look like a slim-jim was used, but with all the rain, maybe evidence washed away?  

I know that God had His hand over my family today.  It may seem silly, but even out of this awful and violating experience, life lessons were learned, teaching moments happened, and my kids saw me turn to God instead of freaking out. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hair Donations

I saw Facebook posts from La Luna Salon & Spa, of the ladies who donated their hair.  It got me thinking...

Over the last 7 1/2 years, I've donated over 50 INCHES to be made into wigs for cancer patients through Pantene Beautiful Lengths!

I'm thankful to be able to give something, even as simple as my hair, to those who are going through a difficult time.  If my tiny gesture, small sacrifice, can bring a smile to someone's face, than it was all worth it.

17in, Oct. 2007 (at La Luna),

18in, Spring 2009 (Thank you Cara)


17in, summer 2011 (Thank you Jenn)…

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Two Teeth in One Day

My youngest child (for now), my little man, my premie baby.  He's all grown up now, he's lost his 2 front teeth.   Less than 10 hours apart.

I woke up to my kids screaming; I thought something was wrong.  Pregnant women don't usually move as quickly as I did.  So they came running to me.  And there it was, my little guy, holding his first baby tooth.

When his sisters lost their teeth, they were loose for over a month.  The adult teeth were actually growing in behind the baby teeth (it was actually kinds weird, I'd never seen that before.)  And they lost their first (and second) tooth just around their 6th birthdays

But for him, a few days of wigglers, and it was out.  He said he touched it with his tongue and it just fell out.  A whole month earlier than his sisters did.

At dinner that night, I asked him how his other tooth felt.  It was barely hanging on.  So I told him to get me a tissue.  I didn't even have to pull.  It just fell out.  

So now, my baby boy, my sickly little premie, my first child to need stitches and surgery, is without his front teeth.  


Friday, March 21, 2014

Dealing With Mean Girls

Third Grade

That's when it really started for me.  Something about 8 and 9 year old kids, especially girls, that this age is when they try to test the power of control over others.

I'd experienced it for myself, and now I'm starting to see it affecting my daughter.

I'd been made fun of for the clothes that I wore, how long my hair was, my slight Boston accent, stupid petty things.  And yet, it really affected me.  No matter how hard I'd try to ignore it, I couldn't avoid it.  It continued through junior high and high school; I couldn't avoid it.

And now it's my daughter's turn.  She was telling us about a situation, and she told us she tried to talk to the girl, but it sounded like she was trying to dish it back, and failing at it.  She was being made fun of because of how she wears her hair, and because she did Bible Quizzing.

I sat and talked with her, trying not to cry.  I told her that just because that girl might like the headbands with lots of sparkles and big bows, doesn't mean she has to.  They don't stay in her hair very well.  And if it's "too long" (as I was often teased for), maybe she's jealous because her mom cuts her hair short.  My daughter has hair that most women swoon over, asking to borrow her for a little while to take to their colorist so they can get color just like hers.

My daughter is not athletic… she's tried sports, but they're just not her thing.  She's not a bad runner though, but she doesn't want to be a runner.  She likes music and reading.  I'm not going to force her into team sports unless she wants to try it.  But she loves Bible Quizzing.  She's proud of the work that she's done.  But in a public school, she doesn't get an opportunity to share her experiences and talents.  Other kids who aren't active in a church don't see this as a real activity.  She should be proud of her hard work, and even if the kids at school don't recognize her accomplishments, I know many parents who are.

As she was getting ready for school today, I told her that if someone is trying to say something to bring you down, just walk away.  If they continue bothering you, and it's hard to ignore them, just pray for them; because even if they don't seem likable at that moment, Jesus still loves them.

As a mom, who was in her shoes, I just want to protect her.  But most importantly, I need to let her grow and handle things on her own.

Have you had to deal with mean girls?  How did you deal with it?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kindness of Strangers

Over the last few weeks, my family has been blessed by the kindness of complete strangers.

Joni from had coordinated a meal sign up for my family for a few weeks.  With the exception of 3 people, we knew none of the families who had signed up to bring dinners.

I know the weather made things difficult and prevented some families from being able to help, but their  kindness is still very much appreciated.

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!  We look forward to being able to pass the blessing forward.

Thanks to:

The Bryan Family
The Cain Family
The Cavin Family
The Charles Family
The Crawford Family
The Crothers Family
The Cutre Family
The Dillingham Family
The Hicks Family
The Hill Family
The Hough Family
The Kryminski Family
The Rasor Family
The Reau Family
The Vogt Family
The Szyperski Family
The Thompson Family
The Vogt Family
The Wilcox Family


Friday, February 28, 2014

Our First Surgery

My little guy was the first of my kids to need a procedure done.

He had his adenoids out a few days ago, though we've been planning for this for a couple of months (delayed due to weather and pregnancy issues.)

Aside from his awful snoring, and possible sleep apnea, his speech and hearing was greatly affected by the 85% blockage his adenoids had caused.  We'd been slowly preparing him for this day, calling it a procedure, and not a surgery.  I don't know why, that just sounded better to us.  When we did use the word "surgery," it was our daughters who freaked out, not him.

The night before we let him stay up to hydrate and snack.  I think he outlasted daddy, who fell asleep on the couch at 10,  Steven went to bed shortly after.  The next morning, we let him stay in bed until we had to go, we didn't want to have to worry about him asking for breakfast.  But he didn't, thankfully.

He brought his favorite puppy with him, and when we were checking in, they even gave puppy a wrist band.  He hated having to put on the hospital pajamas, and when they said he couldn't wear his underwear, just incase he had an accident, he asked if he had to wear a baby diaper (so cute).

The nurses all adored him.  Anytime someone new came in the room, they'd ask "Can you tell me you're whole name?" and all giggled when he did… something about the way he said "The Third" I think.  The anesthesiologist came in to talk with us, again, he was quite impressed with how thorough the answers to his questions Steven gave him.

The anesthesiologist gave me some advice regarding the baby… he could see I was having contractions.  When I told him I was only 31 weeks he explained why the steroid shots are good, and that if I can make it past at least 32 weeks, baby will be perfectly fine.  He filled it with a lot of technical stuff, which I tried to look like I was listening to, but I was here for Steven today.

Steven started to freak out a bit after all the nurses left, and then he heard "Dr. Duck."  Dr. Merrill was absolutely fabulous, and made Steven feel so much better.  And me, for that matter.  I hated saying goodbye to my guy, but I knew he was in good hands.

And quick hands too.  The procedure was done in less than 20 minutes.  I was so anxious to see him.  I guess when it was over and they stopped the anesthesia, he woke up and freaked out.  So they gave him more "giggle gas" to calm him down.

When they brought me to him, he looked so sad.  The nurses were trying to feed him a mashed up popsicle, but he didn't want it.  He just wanted to go home.  And he was mad that there was no TV - the nurses told him in pre-op that he could watch TV.

He got sick as he was being wheeled out to the car, which I was afraid of.  But also kinda glad it didn't happen in the car.

He just relaxed and watched cartoons for a few hours, we both napped for a bit (stressful day for a pregnant mom).  When he woke up, with the exception of a raspy voice, he was almost normal.  I took the advice of friends and programed his Tylenol/Motrin doses for every 3 hours, on the dot, and that seemed to keep any pain away.  He wasn't 100%, but was playing with his toys, and looking at books and moving around just fine.

Two days later, not so much.  I really wanted to take my daughters to their JBQ tournament (Thank you Dillingham Family!), but due to my condition and Steven, hubby wouldn't let me take the almost 4 hour drive.  Which, as much as I hated it, ended up being a good thing.  Poor guy did not have a good morning, and refused to get out of bed for several hours.  I kept up with his meds, but it took a while to get him up and going.

Now, therapy foods:  Room temperature definitely worked best for him.  I had purchased PediaSure, pudding and Jell-o, as well as Go-Gurts and Ice-Pops.  He really only wanted the pudding, Jell-o and PediaSure.  Oh, and my Shakes from New-Trition (though I made him his own at home without ice).  He really wanted a grilled cheese sandwich, but I was told not to let him eat until day 4 or 5.  He didn't like that so much.

We went in to this procedure knowing that his adenoids were huge, and that was affecting the number, and severity, of his ear infections, which in turn affected hearing and speech.  Within the first day, we noticed improvements.  The first time I heard him say "Samantha" and not "Saman-ta" I almost cried.

Thanks again to Dr. Merrill for taking such amazing care of my son.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Looking For "Alternative Therapy" to Compliment Prenatal Care!

(Follow along my story at

I'm currently at 30 weeks, and cannot have any additional treatments after week 34.  They all just stop.  

Now, with the steroid and magnesium, if I deliver at 34 weeks, our NICU time is predicted to be very short, doctor doesn't think it would be more that 2 weeks.

But I don't want to go into labor the week after all my meds stop.  I'd really like to make it to at least 36 weeks this time.  I don't want the fear of NICU time.  

So I'm looking to my Northwest Ohio friends:  if you know of any "alternative therapy" providers with experience in treating high-risk pregnant women in their third trimester, please let me know.  I'd really like to stop taking the Procardia, and I'd really like to make it to AT LEAST March 25 (36 weeks)!