Thursday, April 23, 2009


As a mother, one of my most important jobs is eliciting as many eye rolls and exasperated sighs from my children as possible. It is one of the things I will be judged most harshly on when they are grown.

So, when Kayla Beth told me, about six weeks ago that she wanted an ihome for her birthday, I was able to elicit a record number of said eye rolls by continuously referring to it as an idock, ipod home, ipier, iport, ihut, i-abode, iresidence, ihouse, ishelter, ikeeper....

I simply could not remember "ihome." It is after all a really difficult word- two syllables!

So when she got her IHOME for her birthday, not only was she extremely grateful, but she was also quite impressed that we, her technologically impaired parents, were able to buy the correct i-item.

It is interesting to note that when she had four girls spend the night on her birthday, three of them had to bring their own ipods so that they would have plenty of music to play through the night.

Holy ear buds Batman!! How many songs does a girl need?

It is a good thing they all brought their own ipods; otherwise they would have have had to settle for Kayla's 500 or so songs to entertain them, but amongst the four ipods present they had well over TWO THOUSAND songs available for their listening pleasure.

Thank goodness, or the evening would have been a complete failure.

I must admit it was quite surprising that one of the girls left her ipod at home because a teenager leaving home without her ipod would be like me leaving home without my right foot.

Or my right frontal lobe.

Come to think of it, I might have done that once or twice; I can't remember.

Every cell phone, however, was present and accounted for. These girls' cell phones are as different and varied as the girls themselves. Since I did not have permission to post the girls' pictures on this blog (because I didn't want to draw up a contract and print it out in four-plicate) I did the next best thing and had them line their phones up for a group photo. This was probably a better plan, anyway, since a cell phone IS a teenager's identity, is it not?

EMBRACE the cell phone. BE the cell phone. PROTECT the cell phone at all costs.
It is also important to point out that Kayla plopped her cell phone down on the table upon my command "line up your cell phones* girls" - because she obeys really well, that girl of mine - and said "let's line them up worst to best, mine being the worst."

And it was one of the proudest moments of my life, for I strive to deprive my child of all things fun and embarrass her as often as possible. Frankly, she's lucky she doesn't have two tin cans and a really long string. What better way to recycle?

Then one of the other girls, who insists that her cell phone is a bigger piece of junk than Kayla's, ousted my girl's phone right out of the "worst cell phone" spot and plopped her own device right down in the loser's circle, saying "um...mine's the worst."

Her parents can be very proud.

*Kayla's friends - left to right - Shannon, Kayla, Hannah, Becky, Maddie.*


Evidently it's not enough that our government sees fit to admit chubby-cheeked red headed toddlers into the military; but they now think it's acceptable to give their baby sisters learner's permits and teach them to drive.

Seriously people - enough is enough!

*Kayla Beth - first birthday*

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Paul was cleaning out one of our storage closets the other day.

He came across a picture of Blake that was taken... oh...I don't know...last week, and I just have to ask: Can anybody tell me how this little boy could possibly be ready to join the Marines in a year?


Yeah, I didn't think so.


On April 18, 1994, my husband fell in love with another woman.

I was helpless to stop it and it was really quite pathetic to watch. He jumped through all sorts of hoops for this new female in his life. Every time their eyes met he turned into this puddle of goo. He called her all sorts of sugary sweet nicknames like princess and sweet pea.

He even had the nerve to talk to me about his future with her.

The first time I saw them together, my heart did a flip flop and all I could do was sit back and weep.

With joy.

Because I totally understood.

Happy 15th birthday Kayla Beth. You are our world.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


One of Kayla's friends was surprised with a trip to New York City for Spring Break.

Her parents woke her and her brother up REEEEEEAAAAAL early and drove them to the airport and didn't even tell them ahead of time.

How cool is that?

Well, being the kind of parent that can't stand to be outdone by another mom, I decided to surprise Kayla with our very own special spring break trip today.

We took her to EUREKA!!!! Illinois to walk through the Ronald Reagan library!!

I know.

What more can a teenage girl want? We were lucky enough to catch her euphoric reaction to this fantastic surprise:

I think that is supposed to be a "gun to the head" expression.

HMMMM. I can't imagine why.

She did, however, do a happy dance when we said that yes, we'd probably find a mall to stop at on the way home. She did an even HAPPIER happy dance when we were able to find a new dress for her to wear to my cousin's wedding next month.

Okay, not really on the happy dance or the HAPPIER happy dance, but she did manage to smile.

Actually, it was a really fun day with our girl. We explored a couple of little towns, had lunch at a nice little diner and managed to only use the credit card one time - which caused Paul to do a happy dance.

At the end of our day, as we were headed to the car, I told her how much I'd enjoyed my time with her. I said "thanks for spending one of your spring break days with your old mom and dad."

Her response?

"Don't Expect this when I'm in college."

HMMMM. I can't imagine why.

Monday, April 06, 2009


Since it is the first day of Spring Break, Kayla and I decided to grab our sunglasses and shorts, slather on a little sunscreen and sit on the patio to enjoy the GLORIOUS spring weather:

Bwahahahahahahaha. Oh my, I crack myself up.

In reality, we bundled up in our winter clothes - Kayla even had to put on SOCKS and leave her flip flops in the closet - and went to Wal-Mart, where we bought the newest copies of People and In Touch Weekly, and a couple of spring tops and dresses (not that we can wear them any time soon). Then we picked up some Chinese food and brought it home so we could catch up on all the celebrity gossip as we ate lunch.

I have baked a batch of cookies and am getting ready to start a pot of chili.

You know. Those things you do when you're stuck inside on a cold winter day and there is snow on the ground.

In April.

Thankfully softball practice was cancelled today but the coach said to dress warm tomorrow.

As for me, I can't decide if I should wear shorts or capris...

Friday, April 03, 2009


We are one step closer to watching our son become a member of the Armed Services - not the Marines.

The Marine recruiter did not show up. When Blake called him, an hour before our appointment to give him directions to our house, he said he couldn't make it.


Now Blake is talking to an Army recruiter. Blake is ready to make a commitment.

Now before any of you tell me that you think he should go to college first, or he should choose another branch, or that he shouldn't even consider the military at all, let me just say, I don't want to hear it. We've had very few responses to Blake's plan that did NOT include some disparagement about his choice, and frankly, I'm tired of it.

I won't get on my soapbox about these comments (yet) other than to say I know people don't mean to be rude, but they are still a little hurtful.

I've decided that, with regards to Blake's plan to join the military, I can react in one of two ways.

First, I can send Blake off into the world with a sense that he's let me down. I can react negatively to his plans to the point of making his heart heavy with a feeling that he didn't live up to my expectations. I can send my son off into the world to pursue his dreams, knowing that his mother doesn't approve, causing him to live under that heavy cloud all of his life.

Or, I can be certain that Blake is a mature young man who knows his own heart and is excited about his future. I can let him know that I will put my fears aside and support him and encourage him in his choice. I can send him off into his first steps toward adulthood without the slightest taint on our relationship. I can send him off with the knowledge that his mother is proud of him, that he has not let me down, that he has exceeded my wildest dreams as to the person he has become. When I say goodbye to my son as he leaves to start his life outside of the protection of our home, I want to know that there is no shadow of doubt following him. I want him to know that we, his parents, are behind him all the way.

I choose the latter.

I will not risk my relationship with my son because I can't come to terms with his career choice.

And so I have come to terms with his career choice. And I am proud of him.

I do not look forward to the next phase in my parenting journey. I don't look forward to that day, fourteen months from now, when we will see him off to the unknown. But I wouldn't be looking forward to it if he was going off to college, either.

And yet, as I read a devotional book recently, I came across these thoughts on parenting:

This notion that our children are ours - where did we get that idea? The truth is, my children have never been mine. Not ever. No, the truth is, they are children of God Almighty and they've belonged to Him all along. He gave them to [us] to nurture for a while, but their ambitions, hopes and dreams are theirs, and only theirs to know. And as we do our best to ready them for a difficult world, we pray for them and give them our love, and finally we give them the most important gift of all - our blessing to go it on their own.
Rick Rusaw

Enough said.