Thursday, April 30, 2009

America's Got Talent 2

Lizzy sings "Happy Birt-day Matt-mew"

Move over Susan Boyle!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I could have missed it all.

This is Matthew's Birthday week. He will be 17 ......It takes my breath to say that. I can't believe this is the baby that had to be revived twice the night of his birth. This is the baby Doctor after Doctor told us he surely would die because of the sever reflux he suffered from.

This is the baby that changed everything for me, for us. When he came into our lives we where married 10 months and 15 days. In total honesty, I was a little put out about it all. I wasn't going to be one of those mom's that stayed home and got bored all the time doing nothing but watching kids. I was going to work and have a life. That was until April 30 midnight when the nurse came into check his vital signs. I got up to go into the bathroom and I herd the nurse swear. I can still hear and see it all clear today "Damn it, Damn it" as she hit him with the palm of her hand on his tiny back......then throwing him into the cradle, his feet flopping up into the air and then down......she took my baby in the cradle and ran out of the room. I ran into the bathroom and watched it all through the crack I left in the door..............I then heard "Code Red, Code Red" not knowing what else to do I stayed where I was..... hiding........hoping it was not for him.

By the time I came out an hour must have gone by...........the hospital floor was quite.......I went out to the nurses’ desk asking where he was.........for we still had not named him yet. The nurse was so smart that night in her thinking.........she said and I remember it so well..........."Oh! He is just the prettiest baby we have seen and all the nurses are taking turns holding him.........They just want to keep him for a while."..........."Oh .......Okay" I said.........She told me to get some rest........She knew he was my first baby and I was young.....I bought it..........I went into the room and I called Mark to tell him what was going on. I told him what the nurse said..... He said okay.......try to get some I did. The next morning I was up early and ready for my new son...........The doctor came in and told me there where problems..........."He" had to be revived twice that night.........."He" was being transferred to another hospital right away. "He" had been baptized because the hospital saw I wrote Catholic in the religion box............and "He" may not make it............What?

"He" stayed in the hospital for 10 more days.......... We brought him home with a heart and lung monitor and medication that had to be given to him 9 times a day. We where not allowed to leave the hospital without CPR lessons and anyone that would care for this child had to know CPR ...........We were scared to death of this tiny little baby. We had named him Matthew Joseph............and he stole our hearts.

We were told we should hold him for at least 30 minutes after every meal.........I never put him down.......We were told how to give him his medication.......I never missed a dose.........We took him to a Doctor in Charleston, SC who told me , Matthew would surely die and there was nothing I could do.......... We took him to another doctor.

At four weeks old we where back in the hospital for an ear infection.........Mark looked at me and asked if I quit my job and was I going to stay home with him.............I said, Yes......and it was done.........I never looked back. We never looked back.
Now, I look at that time with him and I think........What a Blessing..........I could have missed so much if I went back to work...........If I wasn't so scared........If I trusted just anyone to give him his medication.......or just to hold him......I could have missed it all.

Now he will be 17 April 30 and I am so happy God sent us a reflux baby.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fashion Sense

Remeber when you could wear anything and it looked good on you?
NO? Me either.

She is laughing now..........But, how about in 30+ years?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Need Inspiration?

There are some days I really just don't want to workout. I can come up with a million and one excuses of why I can't or why I shouldn't; There is always the kids. I like the martial arts and I don't have a punching bag. I LOVE! the old it is raining excuse. I have to clean the house. School is too get the idea.
But then there are these simple facts; I love the way I feel when everything on my body does not feel fat! I hate! tight clothes. When I have to buy larger clothing I take it really hard....... Exercise gives me energy. I eat better. It is good for my heart, head and my family if I get a workout in.
The biggest fact of all!
My Father! Or sometimes known as my GUILT!
This is the gym my dad has worked out in for decades. It is his gym. It is our gym. It is a room off the side of his house that he has turned into a place of fitness. In this room we could spend time with him; doing sit ups, jumping rope, get on the rowing machine he use to have or simply do an aerobics tape. I remember many nights going out for a run with my dad and then going into this room to have a sit up competition or watch him do his push ups with his toes placed high on a stool he made to get the job done.
See the punching bag?
We had great times in this room.
We still do.

Even though he now has NON smokers lung cancer (found in the late stages in 2005) and he has been getting heavy doses of Chemo treatments for almost 4 years now; He still finds the energy and mental strength to exercise in this room. Some days he does more then most his age. Some days he may not be able to do much at all. Some days he may just do sit ups in bed. There are times he may go out to this gym and try something but he may turn around after 10 minutes or less in exhaustion. BUT! Even though he may not have felt good that day, you can bet sit ups where tried, a little walking may have been done.....or even some type of leg lifts......... something in the form of an exercise was approached.

Even through all this ...........He is always thinking of others. He wants us all to be healthy and even though we can all come up with very good excuses of why we shouldn't workout and we can all take care of our own needs........well.........mostly. He wants to take away all the obstacles and keep us all healthy.

For his 56 wedding anniversary he bought my mother a treadmill and an exercises bike to go in this room. My mother saw this gift of love for what it really was............He was saying to her; "Hey, I am going to make it and I want you around with me. So let's get to work." It seems there are no more excuses of why some type of exercise can't be done by the healthy people around him........He will often say...........You can only workout early in the morning......."Come on over. Workout in the gym."............You can't sleep and feel like hitting the bag?........"Come on over."........It's raining and you want to run?........"Come on over........No one will hear you. No one will see you......just come."

I find it all very loving..........No, because of the cancer, chemo and radiation treatments he is not what he use to be in terms of physical fitness..........I personally don't even think that matters.

To me ~ He is more of an inspiration these days then ever. If you ask me, he should be the Nike Poster Boy of the decade. He just does it........ Even if it is not what he wants it be...........He does it.

We should all take a lesson from this.


He gave me my love for physical fitness.


My mother gave me my love for chocolate cake.

See, there is a balance. I guess that is why the marriage has lasted for 56 years.


With these thoughts out there..........I really need to get it together and just do it. No more excuses!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Over Protective…Right or Wrong?

Why is it in our society that Mother’s are criticized when they are over protective?

My cousin has brought up this very same question on her blog…….. She made a decision about guns and her children and now it seems she feels the need to defend her “over protectiveness”. This got me thinking……….What’s wrong here? What happened? I, for one, am the NUMBER one over protective mother and I will not apologize for this. I am often criticized for the protective decisions I have made and make. For example; I not only home school, spend the night rarely happens in this house, we have never had a Bratz doll and I do not allow certain clothing for Barbie. After shopping for dolls one year for Christmas I made a conscious decision to buy only American Girl Dolls for Kathryn. These dolls are all clothed according to time periods; they come with history books and moral lessons. And again more protectiveness on my part; I will not leave my 2 year old daughter home alone with her soon to be (gasp, gulp and sigh) 17 year old brother.

My son is very capable of baby sitting………However, I don’t want him too. I don’t want him to have to change her diaper. I do not want him to have to give her a bath. This is not because I don’t trust my son…..I do….I trust him very much…this decision was made simply because; I do not want to put him and my very young daughter in a position that he or she should not be in. In my eyes, things happen in the best of families. I want to do my best to keep these things from happening. I see this as protecting both parties. I do not want her comfortable around the boys without clothes on and vice versa. None of my older children have ever changed the diaper of their little sister. None of them have even given her a bath. I never leave more then 2 kids home alone at a time. I look it all as I am their mother, they are the siblings. They do help but it is our job, as the parents, to do most of the work raising Mary Elizabeth. As I have been struggling to get back to sleep tonight I watched a little TV. I watched a few minutes of Moray or one of those shows. It was about whose child is this or I’m not the dad or something stupid like that. I found myself deeply saddened ……looking at the beautiful innocent faces while the father of the children called their mother terrible names. Saying he was not the father, they don’t look like him or act like him and on and on……….Well, he was. As I turned the TV off I saw him saying to the mother of his children “I’m sorry baby.” WHAT? I was so sad for these children. Who is protecting the innocent? Who’s watching the store? Why has our culture come to except such behavior and even worse find it all entertaining? This made me think of another experience I had today; I had the chance to see a mare and her new born foal. As my mother, daughters and I walked closer, the mother became nerves……she became over protective. She walked her baby behind the barn out of our site where she felt her baby was safe. She didn’t like us being there. She didn’t like me taking pictures. Maybe she didn’t like the language……..Who knows. She nervously took her baby out of the situation. Just like a good mother should. Why do “we” find the need to apologize if one parent wants to home school and the other one does not like guns? Why are we all so offended because other GREAT mothers don’t like that show or they really worry if their kids are playing with those kids or like me are anti-spend the nighters, very picky about my daughters clothing, watch very carefully who any of my children find themselves friends with, and scared to death of my teenager driver? Why do we have to expose and throw them to the wolf because “they are going to see it one day anyway?” When has everything in our society become okay? I am often called a prude, over protective, and laughed at for being the way I am…………I really don’t care. My thoughts are more along the line of this Mare………..protect and shelter……..and don’t apologize. I just think it is our job as parents.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Married MacGyver

Last weekend Mark informed me there was something wrong with his van. He told me he had to spend Easter Sunday working on it to make sure it was ready for work Monday morning.

Not a big deal ........He can fix it.

He really can fix anything. He can just fix anything, really.

So IT began

My first thought was "BUMMER". He will spend all of Easter Sunday under a hood.

As he said, It was okay. He will fix it by dinner.

The kids and I went to my parents and we had a very nice time watching Stephen hide the Easter eggs way out of the younger children's reach. The kids played, found the eggs, came up with very inventive ways to get the eggs down, dinner came and went but there was NO Mark.

When I called him to ask him how things were going. He said, Fine, I just have more of a mess then I thought.......I said Oh, Okay see you when we get home..........knowing by tomorrow every thing would be okay. Because, he really can fix anything.

At 11:00 PM came Mark come in the house greasier then I have ever seen him before. I asked him how the problem was.......I just knew everything was okay....and I have learned at times like these it is always best to only ask questions you only know the answer too........Right?

As I stood there smiling, He stunned me with "NO! It's not fixed......I told you I have more problems then I thought."



Huuu? He still has not fixed the problem.........Now what do I do?

My mind went blank....... I thought to myself, "SELF?? How could this be? He always fixes the problem.?.?"

Oh! No! Now, this is a CONunDRUM!

He tells me not to worry........He'll have to take care of it tomorrow.


We have customers waiting. How can he fix it tomorrow?

{Just so you know; We are self-employed and if anyone hasn't heard yet........They are saying jobs are scarce everywhere .......especially in the housing sector. They are also saying the economy is bad........and let me tell you...........It IS!!}

But, I don't panic.........I'm just good like that....................Okay, I don't panic too much .........Well, just between us, I panicked where he could not see me.

Monday Morning

Mark gets up and heads out to work on the van. He comes in and says he "thinks" he has fixed problem one. But, now there is another problem.

WHAT? Another problem? What do you mean another problem?

He says "Now the alternator is down."

Down? What do you mean down? ...........He says, like I have to buy a new one.

And then he says, "But don't worry I think I can fix it."

Of course he can fix it. He can fix anything. He really can fix just anything.

He does a little of this and a little of that.............He runs the alternator down to a friends garage for a wrench for some reason we don't have. He comes home, works on the thing some more. He sprinkles a little magic dust on the part. I see bubble gum and duct tape and then he tells me...............That it should work and everything will be fine.

Yay! Of course it will be fine........Why wouldn't it be?.......We lost a job or two today but tomorrow will be better and then everything will be fine.

Everything will be just fine.........RIGHT????

Well................. Mark comes into the house again and tells me the part that he was tightening broke off in his hands. "OH! That can't be good." I say. "What are you going to do?" He tells me he will see how much the new part will be and where he can find it.......... Then, he will put it back on..........He tells me he should get the thing up and running by the morning.

He goes to the computer. He searches and then says to me, "the part we need is over $1,000.00".....................$1,000.00??? are you kidding?????? He says apparently, this is a common problem with this type of car......... I really don't remember anything else he could have said................Because, that is when 'THE" headache started.

He tells me everything will be okay and not to worry. He is going to see if he can make the part...................

Well......... He can fix it. He really can fix anything........

I will be okay.

I worked with the kids in school........I did a little of this and a little of that.....I tried to work on a story for the blog.....hit the publish button by mistake..........burned dinner, went back to the computer looking for something to distract me, saw I had two comments on the new story.............. THOUGHT "OH NO! I'm so embarrassed what did I do?" .........I fixed what I could............tried to understand Matthew,s Physics.


The headache grew worse!

Mark comes back in and says.........."NOW! I have to think about this one."

Think about it? How long? What do you mean 'think' about it?

Then, I have to ask the questions all good secretaries have to ask………..I ask him if he thinks he will be able to get it done by the morning or should I call the people that are waiting for him and cancel for tomorrow?

He says "CANCEL!"


I do it ~ One lady says that's okay she understands. Yay! Nice lady! One down…One to go......The other lady says, she will call someone else and hangs up mad......GREAT!! Stupid woman!

Tuesday Morning

Mark gets up and heads out to the garage.....He comes in and tells me he has to go out and see if he can find the parts to make the part he needs.................He is gone most of the morning. My headache is a little better but it is still there…….I am still thinking......Oh No! I hope he can get this done before tomorrow.

Nothing like a supportive wife and little pressure, huh?

He comes home around noon. I hear banging in the garage and see a little magic dust, bubble gum and duct tape.............and then...........

TADAAA........... The VAN works! Better then it did before.

Of course it works!...........I wasn't worried...........Where you?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Dirty House

You know, It just doesn't seem like I have a chance in getting this place clean.
Never mind these facts; We school at home and there is someone home most of the time. We live in the South and we fight red clay, ALL the time. We are self employed and we use our home as our office. We have 2 crazy dogs running in and out of the house any chance they get looking for love. We have a rock sidewalk and a gravel drive way...........things get sandy, messy and really hard to keep up with.
BUT! Believe it or not those are not my biggest problem with dirt and grime.
There are hand prints EVERY WHERE! Yes, everywhere................I naturally, have hand prints in toddler sizes where Liz has rubbed her hands down the hall wall as she balances herself............There is also the writing on everything stage that she is in. If I am not paying close attention to her she will scribble on walls, furniture, books or just about anything she can find.
There are the little shoes running in and out of the house bringing in red clay, dirt and sand.
If she runs through the house with her shoes on it really does not matter much …….With a broom and a little scrub everything comes off easy.
This GUY!!!!!!!
Nobody is more lovable then he is..............
What a messy guy!

In his 14 year old style, as he races down the stair way he will grab on to the balcony stairs, swing and then jump into the down stairs hall..........As he amble down the hall into the kitchen he reaches up with ease and touches the low decorative part of the ceiling.

Then there is THIS………
These are HIS shoes........They are a size 15 and they are tight.
He is rough on the house, his clothes and his shoes..........
I realize some kids are just messy but this kid…………
has dirt everywhere……..As he walks down the hallway it is not unusual for him to rub his hands down the crown molding. Yes, You read that right. I said the crown molding.

Sometimes when I get the house clean I really just want to keep him out for a little while.....BUT THEN I figure I should let him in................He is good to me and even though he is messy he is my biggest helper. He knows when I need a hug, a laugh or even a piece of fudge. He is my diamond in the rough.

AND, I love him.

GEEE! I really don’t have a chance keeping this place clean.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And Now She Says Everything!

Now that Mary Elizabeth is 2 years 9 months she just says everything, CLEARLY. She understands everything......and she is just so darn smart it is amazing to me. She knows all her colors. She can count to 14 and she recognizes letters as we travel down the road. It is not unusual for her to see an E and rejoice "Oh, Mommy, Mommy look an E". For months people would ask me when is she going to talk. For a very long time she would not say anything.
Well, She would not say words............She would more or less glare at people.

Let me clarify; it was more then that. This was a judgmental glair. If someone wanted to talk to her and she didn't know them or maybe just didn't like them.........she would look at their face and without moving her head her eyes would travel slowly as she took it all in, from their face to their clothing, right to their shoes and then back up again.

It was is if she was saying "Your wearing that?" With those shoes?" "WOW!"

It was really strange at how uncomfortable everyone including me became. I would laugh my uneasy, embarrassed laugh and the checkout lady or her grandmother, or even my very own sister would say "Wow, I feel like I should not have worn this today." Now, If she really liked you, she would only say things she was sure she could "Mommy", "Nana" "M" and "up". When I would tell her to say down ...............she would say "up". As a matter of fact when I told her to say anything she didn't want to say she would say "up". She called Kathyrn "Y-O" . She would call the boys and to much of Marks displeasure........."Hey"

I remember one night Mark saying to me with alarm........"LISA! She is calling me Hey!" I couldn't help but laugh........Hey! It was funny. It was....... and............. still is........... To me. These days she seems to know everything and she says everything: She understands when her Grandpa is sick and we can't go to "Her" Nana's house to see them. She will say very sympathetically "Oh, Poor Ve-pa. He has chemo." When I am not listening to her and she is calling me she will say......."Mommy Lisa, Please listen." This always gets my attention.

She says "please and thank you" and too much of Mark's delight, when he come home at night she claps and says, "Yay, Daddy's home."

Recently one morning she woke up saying "I just love it when my nana takes me to see the monkeys." mother had told her Sunday on Tuesday she would take her to see the monkeys. It was Tuesday and she just knew it was time to see the monkeys with Nana.....

So they went.

What do you wear to the Zoo?

Friday, April 3, 2009

I only have 1 hour

It has been a busy week running here and there and everywhere. There is so much to do with school and all the end of the year "outside" programs that we are involved in. Debate is ending this weekend.........THANK GOD! There is so much to do when it comes to debate. We do it because it is a GREAT class and Matthew learns so much from it. It is a political science, economic, history and debate class rolled into one......There is always a tremendous amount of learning going on for everyone; from the debaters, to the parent judges, and the sibling timers. It really is amazing. You can't walk out of one of these debates without saying........hhhhhuuuuuu.....What did he say?

If you home school get your high school students into one of these classes and make them go. Take them kicking and screaming if you have too. It really is worth it. You will feel dumber then you ever have in your life but I tell you, they will learn so much.This program is called the National Forensic League of Debaters, it is all over the county and a remarkable class.

Next year it is Stephen's turn to start......I will be dragging, my by then 15 year old 6 ft 4 in., son all the way to get him there, but he will go.

He will be mad as anything. He will fight every Wednesday. I don't care. I will sit in the class with him if I have too. If there is one thing I am it is determined and tough. (okay that's two things).......... I believe in this class that much. We will get the job done and he will be the better for it.

Tomorrow we have a big debate tournament..........It will be all day from 8 to 8. And then, I think it is over, for this year. I hope!

I did not come here tonight to talk about debate and school.

I came to talk about working out and feeling frustrated.

I am trying to workout HARD again. Like I use too. I am trying to do a lot of things.......just for an hour. Unless that hour is in the middle of the night, it goes by so fast and it is so hard to get anything done.

You would think all I have to do is get ready and go.

Not so easy! I find getting out and staying focused very hard. There are always obstacles............such as kids, the phone or people I know stopping to say hello. I try to get up very early to get a workout in but sometimes Mary Elizabeth is up so much at night I can't move in the morning. Some nights, I wake up and find her curled up in the middle of my back.....I think how did she get in here? Then I remember...... I let her in........I know.....but we get so tired. We just roll over, pull her in......and hope for to get back to sleep.

Those are the days I try to fit a workout in after school with the kids or even sometimes at the end of the day.

When this happens:

I have to take my phone in case it rings with work for our business. I have to handle the calls and it does not matter where I am. I have to be ready to take down all the important information needed. I am the secretary in this operation and this is my job. Working out or not. Then there is always the friendly neighbor or passer bye that wants to stop me to say, "Hello". How are you? And "What are you doing out on the road?" "How far do you go?" I tell them, " I set my timer for an hour........that is all the time I can give myself." I want to tell them........"GEEE?? I really need to get going.....your holding me up.......don't you see I'm trying to get a workout in? What's wrong with you?" Then there are my kids; I don't care what time of day it is they want to come...........Yes! It is great! They want to be with me and I am "so happy". How many 16, 14 and 12 year old kids do you know that want to hang out with their mom? As Liz says "I'm so happy"........ well....... kind of. But, not so much when I want to workout. I have always taken my kids with me any were I go from the time they where very little. When I played at the Karate School, we took classes together. I also helped teach their classes. I was always there with them, they where always there with me. Now things are different, they are older and we are not at Karate right now. We as a family are running.........or trying to run. I try to get the kids out with me and make it a thing we can all do together. Maybe it is home school........I don't know. But sometimes, I just want a little run and listen to something on an I-pod....(not even mine or my music..... I wouldn't even know what to listen to if I had my own.) I just want to listen to what my kids have on their I pods and run........there have been a few times I would come home and tell my son to take this song off and I will ask him, do you really want this in your life? Stephen goes great guns in the beginning. But, then I find myself slowing "up" to drag him along. I don't want to do this.........I really just want to go. There is Elizabeth. She wants to run too. When I put her in the stroller she tries to climb out. She wants to walk. She tells me she is big now. She is 2.5. When I have her in the stroller, I worry about cars coming to close to us. I worry about having to get out of the way while the cars go rushing by. Now, I have put her in a back pack.........I'm caring 28 pounds on my back just so I can get a decent workout in...........people are telling me..........Oh! you shouldn't do will hurt this or that........But......... If your a mother then you know......these are the things we have to do. Like today, I got up early to 12 year old heard me up and around. She came down to see what I was up so early to do.....and asked me if I was going running. I told her I was and asked her if she wanted to go. She told me that is why she got up so early. GRRREAT! I thought. We started easy. I wanted to keep it kind of light.........she is only 12. BUT! I go for one hour and then I come home. She knows that. Ten minutes goes by, she says......."How long has it been? Oh, 10 minutes? It seems longer." I tell her, we can turn back and I will be happy to let her go in and wait until everyone wakes up but just be quite. Start reading your book for school. She says "No.....I'll stay." We run some more...........then start walking..........ugggggggg! I only have an hour I think to myself. We run...........she complains about her.....foot, ankle, knee, shins, elbow, nose, finger, eyelashes......we walk.......ugggg! I asked her you want to turn around and then I can finish myself.........NO! This goes on for the full hour. I say things like........are you in pain? NO. Is it an ache? NO. Do we need to go home? NO. NO. NO. NO. UUUGGGG! I only have an hour to get this done........... The hour ends.........we walk towards the house. Thinking ~ Boy that was not what I wanted today......we start to go in. As we get to the door She stops me, gives me a hug and says "THANKS MOM, I Really love going running with you." GEEEE! Now I feel bad.............It is only an hour............ For her, I should have a life time. I have to learn to stop and realize my time with her is only for a short while and most of all...........It is only a run. . One day I will have more then an hour to do whatever I want. I must remember not to rush things so much. Take my time and enjoy my hour run with my daughter.