I say a lot of silly things sometimes.  Okay, a lot of times.  Sometimes my brain works better than my mouth.  I am thinking one thing, but somehow what pops out of my mouth is totally different from what I meant to say.  Reminds me of a childhood game I used to deplore playing at school and at slumber parties.  I think it was either called, ‘Operator’ or ‘Telephone’.  The first person starts with a line and whispers it to the person next to them, and so on down the line until the last person hears it and says outloud what the line was.  Usually it is so off course from the original line that it makes everyone roll around on the ground laughing hysterically.  Especially when you have a jokester who intentionally goofs it up.  And I, of course, almost always got the line mixed up.  I fret until it was my turn, dreading what was going to be said.  Oh, the terrors of grade school! 

Anyway, I’m getting off course again.  My family calls these ‘cute’ sayings, ‘Mom-isms’.  Most of them are just mispronunciations of familiar words.  For example:  ‘turnado’ for ‘tornado’.  I always seem to swear whenever I say the state where Boston is located in.  I think you know what that word might be. 

I was raised by two parents from Europe and think I ‘inherited’ a bit of their accent while growing up.  I get ridiculed by my wonderful family when I say the following words:  jogging, book, museum.  I think I sound just fine, but my family thinks it’s a hoot the way I say those words.  Oh well.

A real popular saying is, “A swing and a miss!”  Unfortunately for me, my husband and two sons caught me exchanging one of those words with another one that didn’t quit fit.  “Oh, it’s a hit and a miss!”  What???

Earlier this month, I gave my younger son some more fuel for the fire.  We were driving home from work and passing by our city’s lake and I noticed a police boat out on the water.  My son remarked that he didn’t know we had them out here on the lake, and of course I had to add my two-cents by saying,”Oh, they have to have police cops out there on the lake to protect people.”  What???  Okay, what I meant to say was ‘Police Boats’.

Years ago, while being passionate with my husband one morning, I was snuggling up to him, and stroking his chest.  Huskily I whispered, “Oh honey, you’ve got such a well deformed body!”  Oops!  What I meant to say is that he had a well formed body.  My poor husband’s ego took an unintentional hit. Talk abut killing the mood!

One time I smelled something really strong outside our car’s window while driving somewhere and I ask my husband if he smelled anything ‘pugnant.’  He smiled at me, shaking his head and said,”Don’t you mean something ‘pungent’?”  There I go again. 

I guess that’s why I enjoy writing so much more than I do speaking.  That way I don’t have has many chances of saying something silly that will haunt me for years to come.  I’m glad that I have such a good sense of humor and not so easily offended.  My family should be thankful too!  So the next time I do slip up and spout a new Mom-ism, I can already hear my younger son smiling, and shaking his head.  Hit and a miss, mom, he’ll say.  Hit and a miss!


The Lost Art of Letter Writing

I am a huge fan of writing, as you can tell by my blogs, and not only do I enjoy sending out cards and letters to friends and loved ones, I also love receiving them.  Something about a hand-written note from a friend or relative makes my day even better.  Seeing how their life is going and seeing their signature in their own unique handwriting makes me smile. 

Especially with my birthday coming up, I enjoy receiving birthday wishes.  As a child, I looked forward to those cards because most of them contained a check or cash and, as a child, I would dream about what I could do with all that free money.  But now being, ah, older, I am touched deeply by a simple card sent by mail.  It tells me that the person thought about me and remembered my special day.  It makes it even more important because I was actually born on my own mother’s birthday.  And to top it all off, I was actually born on Labor Day.  You can imagine the jokes the doctors told my poor, exhausted mother. 

But I digress…I even have three penpals that I’ve been writing to since Joshua was an infant.  Now he’s going on 16, so you can imagine how long I’ve been writing to these women.  These are ladies that I will probably never meet but I am thankful to be part of their lives through letters.  I can pray for them when their lives are going bad, I can cheer them up when they are down, and share in their joys and happiness when something great happens.  I’ve had penpals since I was a child watching a show on PBS called The Big Blue Marble.  Anyone remember that show?  They had a penpal exhange on that show and that’s how I got hooked.

And so I keep writing:  thank-you cards, sympathy cards, birthday cards, how-are-you-doing cards; any correspondence that I believe would brighten someone else’s day.  Because in this computer age when we sit infront of a screen and just type…well, like I’m doing now…a note is so much more intimate.  I love notes.  May I encourage you all to write a personal note to someone in your own life?  I’m sure hearing from you will definitely make their day!  Peace.

Our Family’s Day-cation

Yesterday the family and I went on a one-day excursion to Lake Geneva.  Oh, I love going there to bum around in the many fantastic tourist-traps, I mean, shops, that they have there.  T-shirts, shorts with cute sayings on them, summer dresses, jewelry.  And what did I come away with this time, you may ask?  Well, I picked up a…hamburger press.  Whoopee!  Couldn’t find one in Illinois so I had to go up to Wisconsin to find one.  Well, I guess I’d have to admit I didn’t try very hard to find one here.  But I digress…we had a great time walking around, well at least I did.  My family didn’t seem too keen on it but they did it for me.  Then we went to Jimmy John’s for lunch and then spent a couple hours on the beach.  I was too cold to dunk under but the water felt wonderful, especially after laying in the sun for a while. 

The guys played with a foam football that we purchased for .50 cents at a Lake Geneva church’s flea market we happened to stumble upon.  Lots of cute items and antiques.  So anyway, the guys played football in the water while I picked through small pretty pebbles in the water, and a few shells too.

Connie’s frozen pizza for dinner and then Roy and I went on a walk at dusk.  Just my guy and I.  We had a ‘campfire’ in our backyard and I enjoyed watching my boys roast hotdogs over it.  This was the first time either of them did something like that.  So that was our first ‘vacation’ that whole year.  But I was happy and content.  I got the chance to spend a beautiful day with my guys. 

I’m the type of person who just loves going for long drives through lush, green countrysides.  And Wisconsin has plenty of farms and rolling hills.  And their open landscape, with the exception of the ‘delightful’ cow farms, has some of the freshest air.  Well, to me anyway.  But I’m glad that we got away for at least one day this year.  

What are some of your favorite one-day excursions with either family or friends?  Maybe you’ll give me a great destination for next year.     

All in a Day’s Work

Ah.  Peace and quiet, for now.  My younger son returned to school this morning – a Sophomore – and my older son is at work.  So the house is quiet and I’m alone, except for the dog laying next to me.  No fights.  No video games or music blasting.  I can think clearly.  I can write without any interruptions. It’s almost too quiet.  No.  That’s silly.  How can the house be too quiet?  It’s only Joshua’s first day back at school.  I can’t already be missing him, can I?  

I thought when the boys got older, they would be best of friends.  Big mistake.  All they seem to do is argue.  The younger one tries to outpower the older one.  And it breaks my heart to see them this way.  My husband and I wanted the boys to close in age so they would have a close bond.  Only thing that seems to bond them together is blood.  They have the same parents.

I’ve been told that once they get into their twenties, that they will resume that brotherly love for each other that they seemed to have as young children.  Summertime is a strain when they are constantly bickering like an old married couple.  I want them to get along.  I want them to help each other achieve great things.  I want them to encourage one another, not tear each other down.

But all in all, I am blessed to be a Mom, to have two wonderful young men in my life to nurture and to love.  But I just really enjoy the solitude when no one is in the house.  Does that make me selfish?  It’s not that I want to always be alone.  I would begin to miss them after a few hours, I’m sure.    They do bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart.  I’ve been greatly blessed.  I lift a prayer to Heaven and thank God that He blessed me with two sons. 

Now as I finish up here and await the return of my older son from his job, I take a deep breath, relishing these moments.  I think I’ll get myself a cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy the sounds of nature outside my open windows.  This is the life. 


Helping Hurting People

My family and I were discussing the other week how to go about helping those in need in our community.  With the downturn of the economy, we know many people out of work, and we see many, too many, For Sale signs in our neighborhood.  Sometimes right next door to each other.  It saddens me to think that there are people out there losing their dream:  be it their home, car, or job.  We discussed how to help those in need.  And we came up with some great ideas, I think.

Of greatest importance, I believe, is making sure that hungry people are being fed.  No child should go hungry.  It’s a shame that so many food pantry supplies are rapidly diminishing.  We’re living in a pretty well-to-do community and that should not be happening.  I know, there are a lot less people out there able to help.  But I believe that we all can do something.  Even if it is a bag of groceries for a hurting family. 

We also discussed how there are almost 180 churches around the area and there is still such a tremendous need.  Our motive as Christians should be to first provide for the needs of the poor, the widow, the orphans, according to God’s word. 

So let’s begin with loving others.  Even when we ourselves are hurting, we can still make a difference in someone else’s life.  A lift to the store or to a doctor’s appointment for a senior, school supplies for children of poor families, a bag of groceries for the food pantry, volunteering your time at a women’s shelter.  Anything is better than not doing anything at all.  We cannot remain sitting on our hands and believing that someone else will do it.  We need to take that stand and do for others.

As followers of Christ, we are to be the salt and light of this world.  No matter what your beliefs are, I think we can agree on the fact that we all need to help one another in tough times.  For you never know maybe tomorrow you may be the one who is struggling.  Wouldn’t you want someone to offer assistance to you? 

When is our job as Moms over?

My mom used to tell me when I was younger that the job of being a parent is never over.  No matter how old we got, my mom would still worry about us:  where we were, if we were healthy, if we were safe.  I used to laugh when she told me that.  How can someone worry about their child once they turn a certain age, or once they get married and off on their own?  But now that I am a parent of two teen-agers, one who is now eighteen, I find out that there is great truth in that.

The other week my older son went on a bike ride and was gone for quite a long time.  I started to worry after almost an hour and wondered if he was okay.  My mind would conjur up images of him laying on the side of the read injured or worse.  I tried calling his cell phone but he had it turned off.  My emotions ranged from fear to anger that he didn’t have his phone on and I could not reach him.  Finally he came home after an hour and said that he had stopped by some friends.  Instantly I let him know that this was not acceptable, not having his phone on.  He thought it was silly that I worried so much over him.

But I’m a mom.  How do we stop worrying over them?  He’s still living at home so it’s quite easy to keep tabs on him.  But what about when he moves out on his own?  Do I make him call me every evening to let me know he’s okay?  No.  Because that would be acting paranoid.  How do I cut the apron strings now that he’s an official adult?  How do I release him into the Lord’s hands and know that whatever happens is going to happen regardless of how much I worry. 

I want to have peace over raising two sons.  I love them so much that I think it would kill me if anything terrible happened to them.  Parenting is so hard but so worth it, I believe.  I want to stop being so afraid whenever they walk out that door.  It is out of my hands.  They are in God’s hands and He will take care of them.  All I can do is my very best, and to love them and let them know each day how much I care.  So I see myself as an eighty-year old in a rocking chair in some nursing home and fretting over where my sixty-one year old son is.  Lord, give me peace.  That’s a whole lot of years of worrying!

Still Learning

Even though I’ll be turning 48 in a few weeks, I feel that there is much more for me to learn.  I admit, I’m a late-bloomer.  I’ve always been afraid to learn new skills in fear that I’ll fail and look foolish.  I’ve let fear hold me back in a lot of ways.

Off the bat, I should’ve remained in community college when I had the chance, those many many years ago.  Back then I was taking the basic; math, English, shorthand(does anyone still do shorthand?), typing(on an electric typewriter), German, and History.  A very full schedule indeed. But I overloaded myself and dropped out.  A big regret in my life.

And secondly, getting myself mixed up with drugs and alcohol.  A very bad combination.  I thought I would be more accepted if I did these things.  I thought I’d be the life of the party and that guys would finally like me.  It only led to a lot of heartache and stupidity on my part.  So I won’t be doing that again.

There are other regrets, like not doing enough to help other people.  And wanting to learn Spanish, Sign-Language, crocheting, and sewing.   When I look around at the women I know, they seem to all have these wonderful and amazing talents that I do not possess.  And it makes me sad inside.  I am a late bloomer. 

But now I need to look ahead to the future and let God lead me where He wants to.  I need to keep my eyes wide open and savor each new opportunity that arises.  New friends.  New skills.  The beauty of a new sunrise and the birds singing outside my bedroom window during the warm weather months.  I need to read my devotionals and let the word of God sink deep into my thirsty spirit so that it can keep me nourished throughout the day.  For we all know that each day has enough troubles of its own.