Friday, November 30, 2007

French Fries

I want the old french fries back. The ones with the bad fat. I don't eat them very often, but when I do, I don't want the taste of wax in my mouth! Can't we decide if we want to eat the bad fat?

Thanksgiving Reflections...

I haven't been in the mood to blog since Thanksgiving....been quietly contemplating the changes in our family since my dad was diagnosed with leukemia. At our family gatherings, he is usually the center of fun. Playing with the grandkids, teasing, joking, saying something super positive that just bugs the melancholy in me, but loving it still the same.

This year, my dad was quiet, weak and frail. He took my grandpa's spot in the corner lounge chair and dozed while we all bustled around him. He sat and watched the kids play the tv games...just to be near them.

We sat around the table like always, to say what we were thankful for. It was different this year. We all said what we were thankful for about my dad. He was visibly humbled and emotional. My 16 year old nephews had to hide their head in their arms because they were crying so hard. We did a lot of "craffing". That's where you're crying and then you start laughing. After 23 of us shared, it came down to my dad. He broke the ice, and for a moment, the twinkle was back in his eyes and he said, "I feel like I'm dead already!". More craffing.

He told us, if we only remembered two a student of the Word and prayer. The words of a dying man. Read my Bible and cry out to God. Life boiled down to the important things.

I love you, Dad.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Clean Queen...

So, my two year old, Faith, is quite the Clean Queen. She loves to use the vacuum that her auntie bought for her. She is constantly wiping her place off at the table, or claiming that her cup is "sticky sticky" (every phrase is in two's). Well, tonight, my little Clean Queen shocked the pants off me, you might say.

The girls and I were in the bathroom and Bethany was standing on a stool while I trimmed her nails over the sink. All of a sudden, I felt this little soft rubbing motion on my bum.

It so happens that the Clean Queen had grabbed a wad of toilet paper and was helping her Mama out. I think I'll live with her when I'm old.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007...

Today my sweet Bethany used the pronoun "I" in a sentence for the first time. She is delayed in language and speaking of herself is a new concept. I asked her to go potty and she said, "Maaaaaoooummmmmm......I already did that." Hands in the air for emphasis. The cool part, Caleb was there to see it. We both looked at each other in astonishment.

Second milestone of the day: She tucked Faith (our 2 year old) into her big bed and I heard these words as she closed the door, "Goodnight, Honey." Pretend's coming.

Since we heard about the big "D" in March, (diagnosis of autism), I've lamented to God about our little girl and wondered, prayed, petitioned for things like, will she ever play? Will she get go to college, will she get a job, get married, have children? I still don't know the answers to all of those questions. But for now, I am so thankful and celebrate our two milestones today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oh, my goodness...

Friends....if you've ever wondered how to experience the power of God in your every day life...listen to and choose Nov. 18th sermon by Pastor Gregg Heinsch. I listened to it yesterday and it reminded me so much of what he taught me during the season in my life when I was grieving for our daughter. Hope is dripping all over the place in this sermon....deep, abounding hope and love. Listen!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007


My family surprised me with a birthday present Saturday night when I got home from Rochester. My husband said after I opened it, I did the girly squeal/scream thing. I didn't even know that it came out of my mouth. Here's what I opened...a hot pink FINEPIX Z, small, pocket-sized digital camera! I've been wanting a small one that I can throw in my diaper bag and take with me everywhere! Here's the best part..when my husband looked online for reiviews, the only complaint was..."It's too simple." Perfect! I love simple.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

II Chronicles 16:9

"For the eyes of the Lord range througout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."

Here is a story of God's gentle love and grace. First a little mom just started putting gas in her own car. My dad has taken such good care of her. She went through a drive through car wash a couple of weeks ago for the first time. My dad sat in the passenger seat to coach her through it. It would seem that God is gently preparing my mom in the smallest of details, to be independent.

Today, my mom and I left the hospital parking ramp to go and eat lunch. As we pulled onto the street, we heard a scraping noise. I jumped out of the van and the passenger rear tire was flatter than flat. Metal on the street. She didn't know what to do, we didn't even know where the spare tire was at! I called my AAA (Triple A) number and because I was with her, they came out to change her tire for free! They were there within 15 minutes. We then proceeded to the Honda dealer where they patched the tire (had some huge metal thing lodged into it).

While we waited for the tired to get fixed, my mom called and signed up for AAA for her and dad. It was only $74.95 for the two of them per year...and the tire fix would've cost $50. (Randy also loves it for the hotel discounts..AND...if you lock yourself out of the car, or the person that you're with does..they will come and get it open for free....shameless commercial). While my mom was on the phone the AAA lady asked if she was a widow or divorced. My sweet exhausted mom blurted out that she was probably going to be a widow soon..and then the tears and horrible reality that she is facing smacked her in the face.

Today was more than just a flat tire. My dad was back in the hospital, nauteous because he couldn't take care of my mom, and I'm sure he was thinking about her future alone. My mom was sickened and sad at the thought of being alone. They have sacrifically loved each other for over 50 years.

Here's the cool part. God allowed me to be there. I walked beside her, we took out the stupid car manual to see where the spare tire was. I was able to call Dad and assure him that all was well. We did it together. We were so thankful that it wasn't 9 o'clock at night, when she would've been alone on the highway returning to my brother's house.

Some people might think that this just happened by chance. I don't believe it for a second. I know that God, my father, knows my mom's most inmost being. He knows what she needs and He gently loved her today through a flat tire.

Friday, November 16, 2007


You won't believe has literally taken me two days to make lasagna. Well, three if you count the day that I couldn't make it past getting the cans out of the cupboard (that perimenopausal day and no I don't feel like figuring out the link button thing) I made the homemade sauce yesterday and after it was simmering, scorched the first pan, and into the second heavier one, I realized it had to simmer for 45 minutes, then assemble, then cook for two hours. I wasn't going to make it in time for dinner. Threw it in the fridge.

Day two (or three depending on how you look at it). It has taken me an hour and a half to cook the noodles, mix the cheese thing, slice the mozz., realized that I added the oregano and parsley to the red sauce instead of the white cheesy stuff...laugh..oh well...finally, get it all together. Can't think straight on what to layer where, so write it out in vertical fashion in my cookbook...Oh, and I made two pans, one to give away or throw in the freezer. Put the parchment paper on first (so the cheese doesn't stick), throw on the aluminim foil. Done!

Look in the sink and find 6 noodles in my drainer. My lasagnas are both light on the noodles..I missed the whole stinkin layer.

I think I'm going to go for easier fare from now on. Can't wait until this fuzziness goes away! Think I should be driving?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fitness advice....

Okay..this is for all of you who have an opinion...there..that should narrow it down nicely (evil laugh...)

I need to lose 20lbs. I will turn 40 next year..and no, I'm not telling you my nickname. I want to be fit by this time next year. Here's what's in my basement for equipment. I have enough hand weights (up to 50 lbs.), a workbench, a NordicTrack, a mini-trampoline, and a stationery bike. The NT hurts my knees..and I was thinking of getting rid of it. Oh..and I have a Kettle Bell, that I'd really like to use.

Trainer Pat....maybe RZ could give you a bonus if you came up with a workout plan for this middle aged, tired mama.

Then, there's the whole eating needs to be a simple plan. I'm sinking into a body that I don't like. I think they call it middle age. I think I'll just go eat the last piece of my birthday cake while you all ponder...

Monday, November 12, 2007

November 12, 2007

Three posts in one day...good grief.

I am finding myself not wanting to go to bed. In an hour and a half, November 12th, 2007 will be over. It may be just a day on your calendar, but it's my dad's 69th birthday today. I don't know if he will be here with me or with Jesus on November 12, 2008.

39 years ago mom had a 30th birthday party for my dad. She went into labor the very next day and I was born. November 13, 1968. When the nurse came out into the waiting room, only two hours after my mom was admitted, my dad didn't believe that she had the right father. He told her she had the wrong man, because HIS wife is usually in labor for hours. I've never had much patience. It was me. My dad named me..and chose the spelling of my name...I never did find any stickers or mugs with my name spelled with one r and an i. I don't care. My mom wanted to name me Julie. After three boys and two miscarriages..they were pretty happy to have a healthy baby girl. I never once doubted their love for me.

My dad and I have always celebrated our birthdays together.

Dad...I'm going to need you when I turn 40 next year. This year is our "9"s...let's do the next decade together.

I love you.
(I'm not typing your nickname for me....too embarrassing....that's our secret.)


A special friend of mine taught me this trick this summer. It makes me so happy and it is so quick. Try it!

Rice Krispie the microwave.
Get a huge plastic bowl from the dollar store. (Not bigger than your microwave.)
Place 1/4 C butter in the bowl. Nuke for 30 seconds.
Swish the melted butter all around the bowl.
Dump in a whole bag of marshmellows (not the cheap Walmart brand..uck.)
Nuke for 3 minutes on power 8. They will be all fluffy.
Spray your spatula with Butter Spray (Pam) and whip the marshmellows up with the butter.
Dump in 6 C of Rice Krispies. Stir.
Pour in a pan (that was sprayed).
In four have a great snack for the kids...quick dessert for whatever. I've eaten two whole rows already...big's cereal.

Comic Relief....

My two year old dug out the safety latch that was under the kitchen sink, guessed it. Right next to all the cleaners...and latched the two cabinet doors together. I told her thank you. Now she will be safe.

(I gave up on the latches about 6 months ago, because she is a Gizmo and figures out seatbelts, buttons, latches, etc.)

Thanks for the laugh, today, Faith!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I had a gift today...time with my dad and mom alone. We didn't really talk about much today. We were all kind of tired, sad, discouraged. My dad's fevers just keep coming and they really wipe him out. His right hand is numb from the chemo.

One thing I love about my dad, is his hands. They symbolize a gentle strength from my childhood to me. Those hands held mine when I was scared, they kept me safe while walking down the street, they held the reigns on the horse that bucked me off and Dad made me get right back on, they held my bike when I was learning to ride, they were there the day he took out the secret fifty dollar bill in the back of his wallet and he paid for an extra special prom dress...they walked me down the isle, they held my hands when I was 16 and I was baptized, they held all of my babies, they dedicated my special baby Grace in the hospital, they held my hand when I was scared after I was diagnosed with crohn's, they held my hand at my daughter's funeral, they touched the casket as he prayed over our babygirl and I was scared to leave her there in the ground, they have gently led our family through many trials..they've led singing at old fashioned tent meetings, and they've pounded the pulpit more times than I could count..... I could go on and on.

Today I did something special to those hands. I trimmed my dad's fingernails and toenails. I remember my dad doing that for me.

What an honor and a privilege to do something so seemingly insignificant...but with so much love.

I love you, Dad.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I've got it.....

Brilliant idea...if I was a woman of's what I would do. I'd hire a life coach for myself. Think of it..somebody to tell me how to do it "all". I'm lacking a schedule for exercise, healthy eating, need to know how to lose 20 lbs., how to organize my digital pictures and find time to scrapbook, spend indiviual time with my four children, love my husband the way that I should, manage the household budget (I was way over this month), find a way to go Christmas shopping, bake, time to do Latte (lots of dreams, but little time), invest in friendships, be a support for my parents, get a system that I feel good about in the area of devotions/prayer. I'd love it if at the end of the day, I could crawl into bed and breathe a prayer of thanks to God because I felt like I did my best. I wasn't surviving, I had lived the day purposeful. I had a plan to accomplish what my family needed, what God needed from me and also had a little time to myself. Isn't this what we're all trying to accomplish? And how many of us end the day in guilt over what we didn't do? I'm thinking that this type of lifestyle wasn't what God had in mind for us. He wants us to have life and have it abundantly. But, in practical terms...what does that look like?

Is this what it feels like?

In my perimenopausal state..I have one day a month where some hormone is totally whacked and I am in such a funk. Today is it. I have a hard time focusing on anything, my body literally feels heavy. I start something only to stop in the middle and start something else..or go to my email account for the 500th time, looking for what? Every little task feels like climbing a mountain, so nothing gets completed and I feel like I'm failing at every role that God would have for me. All I really want to do is crawl into my bed and wait until the day is over. Then I always think this thought...if this is what depression feels like day after a terrible feeling. I guess I'm thankful that it is only one day. I try not to make any major decisions or declarations to my family on this day. I have nothing good to say. When I go to church tonight to sell Latte tickets and people are you? What do I tell them? Hmmmm..think I'll use my therapist friend's line and say, Fine! (which stands for fragile, insecure, neurotic and emotional..which wouldn't be a lie.) Looking forward to tomorrow and praying for my friends who struggle with this daily.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Here we go again...

Dad's back in the hospital with a fever of 101.6. I'm keeping the FCC blog dad's birthday is Monday. I need help with ideas for a gift. He suggested we give money towards a new pulpit at church. I can't do it. Feels too much like a memorial. He doesn't NEED anything...but I'm trying to think of something comforting, hopeful, thoughtful..and I don't have a lot of time. Any ideas?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New Enemy....

White linoleum. Must I say more?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dad's 69th Birthday....

I am having a terrible time focusing on anything today.....went to Walmart...kept retracing my steps and it just dawned on me. I picked out a birthday card for my dad today. As I was crying in the card isle, none of them said enough...or just the right thing. I settled on one, but I think my search is not yet completed. It may be time for a homemade card. I think the thing that really sucks (there ...I said it) is that I don't know if I will find myself in the "Dad" section of Hallmark ever again.

I feel better...maybe I can figure out what to make for dinner tonight. This grief sneaks up on you, takes away your immediate attention, energy and leaves you with a heaviness that you just can't quite put your finger on. We weren't made for this thing called death. It isn't beautiful, we try to make it that..but it isn't. And, I'm not going to pretend that God needs a rose in his garden...or that he needs my dad in heaven. God doesn't need anything. That whole idea makes me sick to my stomach.

What God desires is my heart. And, I am more convinced than ever that He is good, that He loves us more than we realize...and that when I'm sad, His heart aches. I praise Him that He's helped me to turn the corner in trusting Him a little more, and believing a little more that His plans are better than my comfort. It is in facing the doubts, bringing them to the cross, that He gives living water to my soul. I am not disappointed. This, truly, is amazing grace.


I've been given (note I didn't say blessed) with an extra sensitive sense of smell. It can work to my advantage when I smelled a dead mouse and nobody else did. My nose found it, behind the fridge. My family and friends often tease me and give me a hard time..and I want to tell them that it's not an attitude (of which I know I have many), it's a nose!!! Most of the time, I find this special gift annoying. Take last night for instance.......

My boys love to fish with their dad and Uncle Dave. I'm happy for them, I really am. Up until now, they used to fry the fish over at Grandma's and I would purposefully stay home. You see, I don't eat anything that swims..I cannot stand the smell. And what's worse than fish fish frying in hot grease. Saturday this all changed. They are frying the fish, in peanut oil, in my garage. I wouldn't let them cook it in the house. Even so....last night....I seriously got nauteous at the smell that would waft in every time they would open the garage door. Now...contrary to what I normally do, I purposefully kept my mouth shut all night. I didn't complain. When it came to clean up time, I opened the dishwasher so all the stinky fish stuff could go I didn't touch it. I had candles going, windows opened (I know the heat is on....I was nauteous!)

Went to bed by 8 pm. after I sprayed sweet pea Bath and Body spray in my bedroom.....this morning I was pleasantly surprised that my house didn't smell anymore. But, when I went to get my one and only coat to run errands with my daughter this was hanging in the screams.....grease and fish. Now, I guess I've complained. Ugh.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Old Fisher Price Toys...

I started collecting these from garage sales when my 12 year old was little. I have two huge plastic bins full of them. (airport, town, people, plane, bus, I don't know...)It's the town with the smaller people that are now outdated because they are supposedly a choking hazard. I still don't know how a kids would get that thing lodged...anyway....should I get rid of them? And where...I know they are worth money..not that it really matters. I've seen them in antique stores. I'm just thinkin...could be something to create more space. Will I be sorry? Will the girls play with them? My mom has my original house and schoolhouse, so I was trying to collect a "town" and I have that. Now, do I want it? Thoughts?


I'm in the mood to get rid of stuff around my house. We are quickly outgrowing our home, four children, and lots and lots of stuff. My dream weekend would be alone in my house for three days...crank the Chiptole for at least five of the meals...and just go from room to room and sort, pitch, organize....clean. Some people dream of warm sunny vacations...and I just want to be home alone in my house organizing my life. Hello, my name is Sheri and I am an ISFJ.

I'll play my own therapist here for a minute..part of it is a desire to control some aspect of my life. When my surroundings are in order, then inside, I feel like I have order. V~ do you have a deeper analysis for me...knowing your knowledge of ISFJ's?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Lesson Learned....

It's not possible to have a clean house and great meals for your family all at the same time. It really is one or the least when you have two toddlers. This week, I've opted for making great meals (don't ask David)....unfortunately we have cell group tomorrow night....gotta get cleaning. Frozen pizza anyone?