Friday, May 28, 2010


I am: completely annoyed at my husband's healthcare "team" (I use that word loosely) for a) bouncing him from partner to partner and providing no continuity of care. b) telling us they can no longer see him as our new insurance is now out of network two minutes after telling him he needs surgery and c) being wrong about the out of network part, which we didn't find out until we were already set up with a new doc...which I had to orchestrate as his "team" didn't deem it necessary to refer us even with the surgical need! Grrr!!

I am: secretly planning a Disney vacation...without my my head. Hey! A girl has to have a fantasy right?? I grew up in Orlando, my parents both worked there and I worked there in high school. I miss it in a way I can't describe without making myself look like a total dork. The only time I'm not planning a vacation back is when I'm actually there :)

I am: allergic to putting clean, folded clothes into the dresser. I can walk them all the way in the bedroom and place them ON TOP of the dresser they belong in yet never seem to be able to get them where they belong. I have no idea why...just something I know about myself.

I am: so short that my feet don't touch the carpet when I sit on my own couch.

I am: watching Bill Murray in Groundhog's Day for the second time today, owing to the fact that Hubby missed it when the kids saw it this afternoon. Yes, I am laughing at all the same parts again. No, it does not feel like deja vu.

I am: really thankful for Chap Stick. I think I might be addicted.

I am: done now.

Thank You :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Free-Range in Alabama

So, I found a new blog that I like and it got me thinking, as these things sometimes do.
The blog is called FreeRange Kids and the author is Lenore Skenazy. Apparently, her idea of parenting is causing major backlash and creating national attention. Her radial idea?? Let your kids go outside and play. Don't hover. Leave the Purell in your purse, or (gasp) you stay inside and let them go outside BY THEMSELVES.
I know. Pull yourself together. She advocates unstructured, unsupervised free time for kids. She lets her son, who is 9, ride the subway to school. They live in New York City. She advocates letting your child ride his/her bike around the neighborhood, to the park or library, walk to school, etc. She recommends letting kids over the age of 8 stay at home by themselves while mom runs to get some milk, or even while waiting for mom or dad to come home from work....didn't we used to call that "latch key"? Lenore goes on to explain that in other countries children over the age of 6 or 7 walk to school, which is sometimes miles away, as well as take the subway and sometimes a ferry to school. Her ideas have caused some problems. I read about her in the Christian Science Monitor, but apparently (according to her blog) has had to give interviews with all major media outlets to defend herself. Of course she has her supporters...a lot of them. So many people echo the same response on her comments section, " I played outside when I was a kids and I'm fine!"

I must admit that I am a free-range parent. I didn't know there was a name for it until now. In fact, I really sort of saw myself as a little bit of a mixture of relaxed and lazy when it came to parenting because I tend to compare myself to the other moms I know. In my circle of peers children are well-behaved, clean, never making messes and if they do it's never a problem for the mom to clean up after them. I live in the land of June Cleaver. So, I am actually thrilled to have a word for my parenting style: I am a Free-Range parent. I force my boys to go outside and threaten bodily harm if they come back in "one more time!" I meanly insist that they play basktball or ride the doggone bikes we spent good money on instead of playing another Wii game or having 10 more minutes on the internet. I went back to work this year and just could not force myself to allow them to return to the local public school due to the escalating gang violence, so I did what I thought at the time was the only thing I could do, I decided to continue homeschooling. My 15 yr old son supervises and assists my 10 and 8 yr old while I am gone. It helps that I don't work in the mornings. They each have a list of chores that have to be done when their father comes home from work. If their work or chores do not get completed my children will be punished. Yes, I spank my children. The older they get the less they get spanked because obviously they catch on pretty fast so spanking isn't really a common occurance, but I think the fact that it could happen is enough. In fact I think it's been like a once a year occurance for my teenager for the last couple of years. This year it was because of a spiteful sassy remark he gave me within earshot of his father (big mistake) and last year because we found him playing with matches, burning paper in his room...both highly worthy of corporal punishment in my opinion. Do I apologize for my parenting, certainly not, however I can be made to feel like I don't have it all together. Today I feel better about myself. Today I have learned what I knew all along, now I have backup, that kids who are given independance and expected to fend for themselves to a certain degree grow up to be self-sufficient, well-rounded and happy individuals. Like I said, I already knew that, but it certainly helps to hear it from another mom. Thanks, Lenore!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Ongoing Evolution of Me

Well, this post ain't what it used to be.

I spent a good hour last night writing this post, and one second before I was finished the entire post vanished. Poof! Gone with the Wind.

The only thing left is the title.

The only thing I can say is that it makes me sad. Anyone who writes knows that writing is a purging of thoughts. Once those thoughts are out onto paper or computer screen they no longer reside in your brain. You remember the topic you wrote about, the idea you were trying to get across, but the actual words you used are a jumble. No two posts are ever alike.

Yes, I will re-write this post. Will it be the same? No. The good news is that since you didn't read the last one you have nothing to compare it to but I digress.

The point I originally set out with was this: I have decided, after about a year long dialog in my head with God, to return to school. I thought that Nursing School was my last foray into education. Apparently I was wrong, as God has informed me anyway.

Over a year ago, I had an experience that since then has pretty much changed my life. I wrote about it in A Heart Response. The 15 minutes I spent with that girl sparked something in me that I cannot for the life of me explain to other people.Believe me I've tried. The closest I can come to explaining it is by describing it like a light bulb coming on, or an alarm going off. I spoke with my friend, who also happens to be my pastor, recently about all of this and told him that it feels like Paul's Damascus Road experience in the New Testament. Paul was blinded until another Christian touched his eyes and things like scales fell off of his eyes. Then he could see and he spent the rest of his life seeking to serve the Lord. I spent about a year prior to this in counseling of sorts with my friend, the pastor, healing over my own pain and abuse. The growth was extraordinary but exquisitely painful. After that, I feel like I can see things that I could not see before. I see pain. Everywhere I look, everyone is in pain of some sort. Everyone of us has gone through something that has left it's mark...some sort of damaged idea that we carry around with us. Some lie that tells us something about ourselves that isn't true. Everyone... and I can see it. God, for some reason, has given me the ability to see past the "face" that we put on for other people and I can see for the first time just how much everyone needs him. It's staggering. Now I'm not talking about some sort of mystical "aura" or something crazy, I just mean that when I talk with someone now, I can just about pinpoint where their pain lies. What lie they believe about themselves. It's actually a little painful for me to pretend that I don't see it and continue having the conversation while restraining the urge to speak with them about it. It's a little like someone with severe OCD walking into a room with a crooked picture frame and not being able to straighten it. You can't concentrate because the whole time you want to say, "Excuse me, I'm sorry. I can't concentrate. I just need to fix this. Thanks." I feel a little retarded actually. So after about a year of God pushing, I finally decided to call his bluff. Without telling anyone, even Hubby, I applied to a local college's Undergraduate Program as a major in Psychology. This week I received my acceptance letter. Two days after that I received a Pell Grant.

Ok God, I'm listening.

Here I sit, full-time Nurse, full-time Homeschool mother of 3 boys (one of which is beginning high school in August), full-time wife, chief cook and bottle full-time student. The whole admission process is not complete yet, but close and I'm not sure if I'll start this term or next. The only thing I know is that God directed and I obeyed. Beyond that I'm lost. I have no idea what happens next. I have this hazy idea that I might become a Christian Therapist. That was good for a few days, then I started looking into what that involved. In the great state of Alabama, counselors and therapists alike require graduate studies. A Master's Degree plus a clinical component that can take another year or two to finish after the degree is completed. Here, the only difference between counselor and therapist is the amount of clinical time. Soooo, I don't know. Am I suppose to convince my family that after my Bachelor's, I have to return for my Master's? Hubby loves me and is supportive but admits that this whole things sounds crazy to him. He feels a little like I'm wasting the education I already have. I understand and respect that. So far I haven't found a college in this whole region that offers the clinical component that I would need, so I find myself wondering what God is up to. Maybe therapy is not where I'm headed. Ok, so what then? Teaching? I'm lost. So far, all I know is that I that I feel like I took the step I needed to take. Now, I just have to wait for God to tell me where the next step is.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

And the award goes to....

I got an award!...I got an award!...I got an award! I just realized that you can't see the dance I'm doing in my living room. And, no it did not resemble the Cabbage Patch in any way...not that I'm old enough to remember what that is . My good friend K. over at Preachers and Horse Thieves gifted this award to me with the following rules:
1. Grab the award by right clicking it and saving it to your computer as a pic, some place you can find it later.
2. Tag 5 other bloggers with it to continue the "Circle of Friends".
3. Write a post about it and list 5 things that you like to do.
Well, sadly I can't tag 5 others because I don't have 5 other blogger-friends...yet. I'm new to blogging and unfortunately have been blogging solely by the use of my blackberry until this month, so I have a lot of catching up to do. The circle of friends will end with me....insert sad face here. Anyhow, I can post about it and list the things I like to do. First I would like to say a big ole' thank you to K.
I enjoy your blog so much! You are hilarious by the way. I frequently laugh out loud so much reading your posts, much to Hubby's annoyance, that I eventually have to read it out loud so that he gets the joke. Thanks for following me back and passing this here award along to me. I'll return the favor some day soon.
So without any further ado, here is my Top 5 list of things I like to do:
1. Read- I am chronically addicted to's a little bit scary actually. My local librarian recently commented to me that I do not read books, I consume them. Not a bad thing necessarily, just odd she said. I check out at least a 4 novel-sized books a week, borrow books from my friends, check out books from my church library, have discovered Audio books for when I'm driving, showering or otherwise engaged and at one point had memberships to three different area a junkie doctor-hopping for a fix.
2. Go to the beach- Now, I know this one is a little cliche, but bear with me. Going to the beach for me is not so much a recreational experience as it is a spiritual one. I have lived near the ocean my entire life, except for a 3 year stay in Tennessee that I hated. Its my place for silence and solitude. A perfect trip to the beach involves no children, no tourists nearby, no husband...just me, the sand, wind, waves, seagulls and God. The beach is my place to worship God. Better worship happens between God and me on the beach than in the middle of a church worship service.
3. Eat! - Ok, so I know everyone likes to eat, but I LOVE to eat! I love it! I'm an Italian/German gal married to an Italian/German guy...eating is not just physical, it's emotional. If I ever have to resort to soup and sandwiches, hotdogs or something frozen I almost feel the need to apologize to my family for feeding them crap. We have a homecooked meal almost every night, if we can help it. If I'm not home Hubby cooks like a pro and picks up the slack. You can keep your "fast" fixes... give me Chicken Parmesan, Caesar salad, mashed creamed potatoes, garlic string beans and hot that's love, baby.
4. Gardening - true confession: I am an admitted and convicted plant killer, BUT this list is of thing you LIKE to do. It doesn't necessarily have to be something you're good at...I think. I love plants and flowers. I love looking at them, planning how I'm going to pair them up, buying them and then getting dirt under my nails and planting them. So, they often die but then I get to go look at more and the cycle begins again!!
5. Crochet- I protest...this list is starting to make me sound like a little old lady. Again, let me explain. When I was a little girl, my mama taught me how to crochet. It was something we always did together. When I was all grown up I learned out to do delicate needlework like doilies. The concentration required to do that kind of thing is like nirvana for me. When I'm working a detailed piece I hear nothing, see nothing, think of nothing else. It's completely absorbing and I forget any and all current issues and problems....and I've been able to gift some wonderful gifts to friends for almost no money at all!
So, there you have it. Me in a very tiny nutshell. Hope you enjoyed!

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