Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Tonight I have an appointment with a Marine recruiter.

I had read that they were having trouble meeting their quota of overweight middle aged housewives so, for love of country, I decided to enlist.

I'm going to paint my helmet mauve.

Actually, Blake has been meeting with this recruiter for quite some time so Paul and I told Blake that we wanted to meet with him ourselves before we gave our final okay on Blake's plan to enlist.

I asked Blake if Sergeant Gibson has seen combat. Has he been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan?

He said yes, yes he had.

And I said that was good because then he might be somewhat prepared for me. My goal is to make the recruiter cry.

Oh! I kid.

My friend told me to act real crazy while he's here, then they won't want Blake. I said that wouldn't work because they would feel the need to rescue him. You know, that "never leave a man behind" business.

Blah, blah, blah.

So I decided I'm going to tease my hair real big and put on lots of black eyeliner. Then I'm going to greet him at the door in my Daisy Dukes and clear stiletto heels, smacking my chewing gum, while waving a cigarette around as I talked.

Hi. I'm Bubbles. I can't stay long because I'm working a double shift at the biker bar tonight. But, my oh my, aren't you a big strapping young man. *wink, wink*

Oh, stop. That's not true either.

I did, however, warn Blake that I probably would embarrass him because I intend to serve up a plate of homemade cookies and a pitcher of lemonade. Because that's the kind of thing we do in this house when we have a guest (even if that guest IS trying to steal my baby boy away from me.)

You wouldn't believe how that kind of thing embarrasses a teenage boy. You know - hospitality.

But he said that would be fine and he wouldn't be embarrassed. He said he already "warned" Sergeant Gibson that his mom could easily be the president of Mothers of America (whatever that means) which I think was a reference to the fact that Blake thinks I've approached this parenting job with a, well, um...ferocity? But that's okay. I think it's okay for a Marine to be a little bit afraid of me.

Moms? Can I get an Amen on that?

So I need to get busy jotting down my questions for Sergeant Gibson.

My first one? "Will the United States Marine Corps provide a cot for ME or should I bring my own sleeping bag?" Oh. and "Should I bring a lawn chair to sit in while I watch Blake in PT?" And finally, "Do they have a special menu for moms?"

See, Blake has nothing to worry about tonight.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


The W house finally got a satellite dish and somebody's not too happy about her role in making sure we have 600 channels.....

Look, Cookie, I'm sorry you're humiliated. But if you'd stop eating away the flesh on your legs we wouldn't have to do this. Maybe that Benadryl the vet suggested will help.

Until then please make sure your head is always facing southeast.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


This is my daughter.

Isn't she lovely? When she was a baby, she looked like me. Now, though, she looks like her dad and his sister. But see that dimple? It's just like mine. So, anyway, in about 13 months, she will get to start dating and, like all proud mamas, I imagine we'll have a few boys knocking at our door wanting to spend time with her. And that's fine with me.

Because this is what will be waiting for them once that door is opened:

Welcome to the gun show fellas.

Sorry Kayla.


One of my favorite books is O Rugged Land of Gold by Martha Martin.

It is the true story of a woman who, in the early 1950's, is stranded on an Alaskan island for an entire winter.

She is stranded alone, in a little cabin, because her husband left on a fishing trip and a severe storm set in, making it impossible for him to return for her.

She actually gave birth on the island.


With no epidural.

Without her husband. She couldn't squeeze his hand. She couldn't threaten him with things like "You will NOT touch me again!" She didn't get to eat green jell-o after she gave birth and send the baby to the nursery for the nurses to tend to.

All of you should try to read this book. It is truly inspiring.

The reason I am thinking about this story today is that I can totally relate to this brave woman right now.

See, Blake's car wouldn't start this morning.

So he took Paul's Jeep to school and Paul took my van for the day.

I'm stranded here, people.

I'm stranded in my suburban home with central heat and air, a pantry full of food (including chocolate and coffee) one cat, and a dog who is trying her best to chew her front paws clean off.

All I have to look forward to is lunch tomorrow with my dear friend, a weekend with my sweet husband and two healthy kids, sleeping late in my clean bed Saturday morning, eating Chinese food sometime in the next few days, and attending church services on Sunday morning.

There is nothing to occupy my time except a tiny little computer, another historical novel, and a book about London which I'm supposed to be reading so we can plan our upcoming trip. I might have to do a few loads of laundry before I prepare a sparse supper of chicken casserole, green beans and Sister Schubert's rolls.

The weather is dreadful. While the wind is quite chilly, the sun is shining and a few daffodils have bloomed in the front flower bed. Every now and then I watch the Canadian geese fly over our house. And, lately, I've been visited by a few pairs of mallards who have taken to waddling through the yard, perhaps looking for a suitable nest.

Conditions here are truly harsh.

Yeah, I can relate.

Monday, March 09, 2009


I have just returned from a visitation.

To protect the privacy of the grieving family, I will not write my feelings tonight. Of course, I am too tired to write anything but this one thought anyway:

With every ounce of my being, I wish there would never again be the need for such a tiny casket.

Sadly, I do not believe my wish will come true.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


But first, a Facebook thingee update.

We had dinner with my BFF and her husband last night. She once again pointed out to me that I need a Facebook account. And I got all excited and said "OH! I've been thinking. I'll open a facebook account, if YOU will open a Google account so you can comment on my blog 'cause your comments will be so funny."

And she was all like "I don't know how to comment" and I was all like "Well I don't know how to do Facebook." And she was all like "Okay, I'll do it." And I was all like "YAY!"

Notice how I was unwilling to do something for my friend without first being assured that she would do something for me in return.

Yeah, I'm like that - I try to never, never, never, never give anything without getting something in return. That's my motto "NEVER GIVE WITHOUT GETTIN'."

In other news....

We were Ding Dong Ditched on Thursday night.

Now I can picture my BFF holding up two fingers to tell me this will be the second time she's heard that story*

So anyway. We got Ding Dong Ditched on Thursday night. Ding Dong Ditching is when a hooligan rings your doorbell late at night and then runs away.

I know.

It's great fun to be the Ding Dong Ditchee.

So this happened at about 11:45 Thursday night. Now, since we are very lax parents who have no values at all, we had given Blake permission to go to a midnight movie; he had left 30 minutes before our little wake-up call. So when somebody started pounding on our door and the dog started barking her "Somebody's on the porch!" bark, my heart squeezed into a tiny little ball because I was afraid it was a police officer telling me there had been an accident.

Of course when we got downstairs, there was nobody at the door. Paul went outside to make sure the mustang and Cody's truck were locked. Well the truck wasn't locked, so Paul locked it, prompting Cody to have to wake his dad in the middle of the night, when they returned from the movie, to come unlock the truck because he had left the keys in it. Paul had checked to see if the keys were in it but couldn't find them. That's probably because they were IN THE IGNITION!! And Paul didn't think to look there. So last night, I couldn't help but ask Cody if it wouldn't be easier for him to put a big ole sign on his truck that says "STEAL ME."

No, my kids aren't embarrassed by my sarcasm to their friends. They are used to it. Besides it builds character.

Plus we have good snacks, so the kids just can't stay away.

Anyway, while Paul was out locking the cars, our next door neighbor was also out looking for the Ding Dong Ditchers because they had been DDD'd too. We also noticed that our other neighbors had been out for a while, and then I got really mad, because they,our across-the-street neighbors, are a retired couple and should just be left alone. If our house is targeted because we have high school kids, then I can live with that. If some girls want to draw little hearts all over Blake's car windows in the middle of the night (hypothetically of course) or if the adolescent boys who live a block over want to play a joke on us because Kayla lives here I can live with that. I much prefer it be on a Summer night or at the very least a weekend, however. The fact that this was a Thursday night and they totally ruined my sleep PLUS the fact that they Ding Dong Ditched a retired couple who have totally done their time in Teenage-dom REALLY bothers me.

Please understand me, people. I've VERY open minded about Ding Dong Ditching. Let's face it there are much worse things a couple of hooligans...I mean teenagers, could be doing. But now I've got my dander up because these kids broke the rules of Ding Dong Ditching Etiquette.

So, here's my plan. I'm going to set a booby trap (heh! I said booby) and string some fishing line across the steps of our porch. That way when they fall and bloody their nose on my porch, they will be down long enough for us to fling open the door and say "AHA!" and scare them half to death. Then I will tell them to leave retired people alone. And then I will hand them a copy of DING DONG DITCHING ETIQUETTE - WHAT EVERY HOOLIGAN SHOULD KNOW.
Then I'm going to fall to my knees and pray that I don't forget about the fishing line and trip on my own steps and break a hip.

I know it sounds harsh, but you DON'T EVEN WANT TO KNOW what Blake's suggestion was.

*When I was in college I had a professor who had suffered from "inoperable" brain cancer and was told she would not survive. She won the battle against cancer and returned to the classroom. On our first day of class she shared her story and told us she still struggled with memory, so if she started covering a topic we had talked about the day before, we were to hold up two fingers to indicate "second time," and then she'd find her starting point again. We use the two finger signal here at the W house (which is A LOT BETTER than that one finger signal some people use). So I told that story last night.

Funny, later in the evening I started telling a story about my brother and my BFF held up not two fingers, but SEVEN!!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I ask for your prayers.

A baby has died at the hands of his father.

This precious baby's mother has had a special place in our family for years. She has a special place in the hearts of our children; she helped shape them.

I believe in a sovereign God. I believe in a God who holds us in the palm of His hand each second of each day. And yet, may He forgive me, I don't know how this family is supposed to pull themselves up out of the pit of grief into which they've just been thrown. I don't know how a family is supposed to fight a two front battle against grief and rage. How does one grieve the loss of a baby while digging into the depths of their souls to find forgiveness?

Is the human heart really made to withstand such a brutal attack?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Since this blog is meant as a record for my family - for my children - I have to record this.

We just returned from Blake's end of season wrestling banquet. It was actually a winter sports banquet so it included basketball, wrestling, cheer leading and poms.

Since we co-op with another school for wrestling, we were one of four families in attendance whose child does not attend this school. The building is a second home to Blake but we obviously don't know all the families like we would if it were a banquet being held at our own high school.

The banquet started with a nice meal and all the athletes together in the cafeteria. Each athlete was introduced and then the teams were separated into different rooms for their own awards.

The wrestling coach introduced each wrestler. Upon calling Blake's name, he called him his "Go-To" wrestler. Blake often ended up wrestling opponents he was not scheduled to wrestle because they had to move people around in weight classes (and Blake would have to wrestle UP) at the last minute or a senior would choose not to take on an opponent that was too tough for him (really!) Blake never said no. He never ran from a challenge. The coach pointed out that Blake would have had more wins to his name had he played it safe, but for the sake of the team he always took on the challenge of wrestling somebody bigger than he was. He always stepped up. The coach made sure to tell Blake tonight that his frustration at wrestling above his weight class, wrestling more experienced athletes who were often state qualifiers, and having to change his plan of attack at the last minute, were all indeed sacrifices that helped the team.

That alone was enough to make this mama proud.

Then the four main awards were given out.

Most improved wrestler went to a freshman from our school.
Most take downs went to Cody, Blake's best friend - who also goes to our school.
Best wrestler (Most Wins) went to a senior who has an astounding record.

The Coach's Award, which is voted on by the coaching staff alone, went to our son.

The award is named after a wrestler who, last year, sacrificed his spot in the state tournament to another wrestler due to a mistake made by the coach.

The plaque reads:
The Nikko Lang Award.
Awarded to Blake W
This award is based on character, sportsmanship,
leadership, unselfish acts and hard work.
Thank you for being an example to others - 2009.

I audibly gasped when they read his name. Not because I was surprised but because I was so doggone proud. Blake is lucky I did not turn into a puddle of goo right there in the cafeteria.

This is what it's all about, people. This is when you see the sleepless nights and the utter exhaustion pay off. When you see your child recognized with a plaque that includes the words Character, sportsmanship, leadership, unselfish and hard work; when you see your child being called an example to others...well, then at least for a while, you can lay your head on your pillow and rest your weary soul.


A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. Mark 5:11-13

Kayla stayed home today because she has a headache.

Because I had already planned a trip to the grocery store for this morning, I decided, while I was there, to once again use my vast pharmaceutical and medical knowledge and pick up a couple of things to help her feel better.

A half gallon of vanilla ice cream and the latest issue of Teen Vogue.

On my way home from the grocery store I realized I could also pick up an early lunch for us. So I steered the van into the healing glow of the Golden Arches.

Because we all know there is nothing healthier for our children than an order of Chicken McNuggets.

Along with the nuggets for Kayla, I had every intention of ordering a Southwest salad with grilled chicken for myself. Have you tried it? It's really good - and so tasty you don't even need dressing.

So I ordered a six piece McNugget with sweet and sour sauce...

And then I heard a voice say "and one Big Mac, please."

Wait. What?

I looked all around my van to see who was leaning over my shoulder to hi-jack my healthy order; but found nobody.

Clearly I have become possessed by a fast food demon and my only recourse is to throw myself down a steep bank and into one of the many large lakes found in Central Illinois.

Monday, March 02, 2009


In May Paul and I will celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary.

Now, I am not the kind of wife that expects all sorts of wining and dining on our anniversary. I don't expect an expensive vacation or an elaborate gift. I truly love and appreciate simple celebrations, living on the belief that we try to celebrate our marriage every day of the year.

This year, though, we are pulling out all the stops and are in fact leaving town for our anniversary.

We're going back to our little hometown to attend Paul's 25th class reunion.

I know.

How lucky can a girl get?

The problem lies in a statement my husband, by his own admission, made to his running buddies. Something like: "Yeah, Heidi's agreed to let my class reunion serve as our anniversary celebration."

No no no no no no no.

Heidi did not say that.

What Heidi said was that she didn't mind going to Paul's class reunion on our anniversary. I guess I just went on the assumption that some sort of simple anniversary celebration would take place on another weekend. "Assumption" is the key word, I guess.

Gentlemen, what we have here is a failure to communicate. *name that movie*

I hate to be a snob but I just can't get excited about spending my anniversary eating dinner at the local KC hall. Not that there's anything wrong with the KC hall....

To sweeten the deal Paul has offered to get us a hotel room for the night in our little hometown - our hometown with a population of 6,000. That way we can socialize and dance the night away at the KC hall without worrying about the long drive home, PLUS take in all the local culture the next day. This added bonus led to me doing a little bunny hop and clapping my hands wildly: "lucky me, lucky me, lucky me!"

The bright spot in all of this? I'm thinking that new patio furniture I've been wanting will be making it's way to our house right about the time May 23rd rolls around.

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Every now and then I have to remind Blake that his sister already has two parents and he is not one of them.

Blake, you are not the third parent around here.

This usually occurs when the subject of dating comes up for his little sister.

He has his own very clear ideas on WHEN she should be allowed to date and WHOM she should be allowed to date. The interesting thing is that these ideas keep changing.

When Kayla started high school he had a talk with us to make sure that we were indeed smart enough to forbid Kayla from dating a junior or a senior. In fact, he added, there is no reason for her to date a sophomore or anybody that can drive since she isn't allowed to car date. IS SHE?

Then he pointed out that if she were to be seen hanging out with a junior or a senior, said junior or senior boy would find himself in quite a jam because since Bronson and Andrew (our school's top wrestlers) have graduated he's pretty sure he could take anybody in our school and these upper class men would be sorry they looked at his sister.

Upon hearing this, I pictured myself jumping up and down and pumping the air with my fist - perhaps offering him money. I could totally handle having him suspended from school if it was to protect his sister's honor. But I simply said something along the lines of "Well, that's for your dad and me to handle...."

It appears, though, that Kayla and Blake have dating discussions quite often on the way to school. And although Kayla won't reveal all of their conversations (what happens in the Jeep stays in the Jeep) she has indicated that her big brother keeps changing his dating rules on her.

First the rules went something like this:

No dating juniors or seniors.
No dating any boys from another school.
No dating any boy who already had his license.

Then he added:
No dating any boy who was NOT a wrestler.

Now, evidently Blake has amended his dating rules again:

No dating wrestlers because they are too dumb - his words not mine. When Kayla pointed out that he was a wrestler. He simply said "I know."
No dating anybody that does not attend our church.
No dating ANYBODY until Blake is at least twenty and is a trained marine or soldier and highly skilled in numerous forms of combat. In other words, until Blake is able to kill somebody without leaving a mark.

Since this final list of rules sounds just about right to me, I will be having them notarized tomorrow. Then we three parents can sign off on it.

Sorry, Kayla.