Thursday, May 24, 2012

In Preparation

Memorial Day weekend is upon us.  I'm sure many of us are thankful that we get an extended weekend away from work and school, but what does it really mean to us?

I logged on to Facebook this morning and got a briefing on Memorial Day etiquette from a friend.  I am so thankful for his post that I asked to repost it on my blog.  You may remember him from a post I did a while back.  If you missed it (or even if you read it) I suggest you read it here.

This is what Nels has to say about Memorial Day:
"Memorial Day was set aside to honor the dead and decorate their graves. It is a day with special meaning to veterans. It's a free country, everybody doesn't need to mark the day in somber fashion. But here are some points of etiquette from a vets point of view:
1) memorial day is 'observed' as opposed to 'celebrated'
2) don't thank vets for their service- Veteran's day is Nov 11- my service was far less costly than my honored comrades
3) don't say 'happy Memorial Day'
Once in your life, go to the ceremony at the end of the parade. They'll explain the history of Memorial Day, read the Gettysburg Address and render funeral honors. I organized a firing detail in theatre and will never have dry eyes at Taps again.

Repost or share, if you'd like. The hardest part of coming home has been the disconnect with folks that haven't gone over. Memorial Day, at least for me, is where that disconnect is most apparent."

While I understand Nels' request for no "thank you"s on Memorial Day, because he wants the focus to be on the vets who have lost their lives serving, I can't help but take every opportunity to thank a vet any chance I get.  They may not have lost their lives serving our country, but they were willing to.  We owe all we have in this great country to our service men and women.

I hope you all have a wonderful extended weekend, and no matter what you do on Monday I hope you find time to honor the veterans who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Just Write- My Mother's Daughter, My Father's Girl

I am my mother's daughter, my father's girl.

I am stubborn and strong.  If you tell me that I have to do something I will want to rebel.  If you tell me that I can't do it, it will be done.

I have a violent streak in me.  I like to hit things.  I should have played football, or been a hunter.  But I just can't hurt anyone, or anything. 

I am not a morning person.  Please don't talk to me until I talk to you first, and then use short and direct comments.  Silence is preferred.

I am a night person.  I love my sleep, but you can not get me to bed.  I will stay up.  Late.  For no reason.

I have a quick wit and a good sense of humor.

Bullies anger me like nothing else.  Cowards.

I put God above all else, and let Him guide me. 

I am emotional.  I can cry at the drop of a hat.  I cry when I see real beauty.  I cry when something touches my heart.  I cry when I'm sad.  I cry when you cry.  I cry.  Often.  Tender hearted he called it.

The underdog always gets my support and compassion.  I will protect.

I put on a very tough front, but long after the slight was made I think about it.

I know what I know, and you can't sway me otherwise.  I'm stubborn.

My brain works differently.  I don't always see what others see.

Nothing is black and white.

I say stupid and mean things without thinking sometimes.

I am compassionate and passionate.

I have a temper.  It is my biggest flaw.

I am artistic.  I sing and dance and pretend and play.

I am a competitive, adventurous tomboy at heart.

I am not a good judge of character.  I give people the benefit of the doubt.  And yet, I trust very few people.

I am dramatic in thought and expression.

I am strong in my convictions and will not bend to peer pressure.

I am loyal.  To a flaw.  Long after a betrayal, I am still loyal.

I love nature and appreciate it's magnificent beauty.

I am an introvert impersonating an extrovert.

I am affectionate and warm.

I am emotional and brave and strong. 

I accept all parts of myself, the good and the bad.

I am a work in progress.

I am my mother's daughter, my father's girl.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Starting Summer Early

Summer started early around here this year and I couldn't be more thrilled.

It all started on Thursday with Ben's last day of school.  One less kid in school makes me a happy momma.  The other boys have 13 days (and numerous big projects to finish) left until they are out for summer.  I think I am more excited about it than they are.   

Here is Ben "graduating" from his 4K class.  His teachers announced, "Ben wants to be a storm chaser but he always manages to maintain a sunny attitude."  I thought that was pretty perfect for him.  My sunny boy.
After his graduation ceremony we had lunch at the Arts Center's cafe.  Every single day when we walked by the cafe on the way out of school Ben would ask if we could eat lunch there.  Every day I would tell him, "Not today."  Every. Single. Day.  This day we actually stopped and it was such a special treat for Ben on his last day.
The next day, otherwise known as Friday, was an errand day.   I ran here and there getting groceries, and potting soil, and birthday presents, and all kinds of stuff.  Laundry was done.  And kids happily played outside for the majority of the time they weren't napping, in school, or running errands with me.  It was a busy day but the weather was gorgeous so all was well.  We capped the day off with salmon on the grill, watermelon, and corn on the cob.  Perfect!

On Saturday I started my potting.  If you recall my yard last year you will understand what a project I had on my hands.   Todd was fishing so while I started on my 40 pots of flowers the kids played in the yard.  Two hours into my potting I ran out of soil just in time for a lunch break.  Just as the kids were finishing up with lunch Todd came home with more potting soil.  We rushed off to take Tommy to a birthday party and then we picked up more plants (hanging bags for the porch, tomatoes, and more perennials for the front).  By the time we were done picking out plants it was time to get Tommy. 

Soon we were all back home, the boys playing in the woods down the road, and Grace sitting on the patio watching me plant more flowers.   A couple of hours passed and before I knew it dinner time was upon us.  I finished up all my planting (though I will probably get more flowers down the road), cleaned up my mess, and then cleaned up my kids.  Each kid got a shower (playing in the woods is dirty work) and then I took a shower too (planting is dirty work).  I got a bad sunburn on my shoulders and back from all my time out in the sun.  Oops.  Funny how I slather my kids with sunscreen but completely forget about myself. 

By bedtime I was pretty exhausted but looking out at my patio makes me think the sunburn and exhaustion were worth it. 
Sunday morning I sat out on the patio with my coffee and newspaper surrounded by flowers.  It was  great way to start the day.  When Todd got up (it is unusual that he is the one to sleep in but this time I was up early) I got dressed, grabbed Molly, and headed out for a nice morning run before the day got too hot.  It was a beautiful run. 

When I came back we all hustled to get ready for church.  Immediately after church we went to Todd's folks' house for brunch.  What a treat to have such a tasty meal that I didn't have to prepare.  It was wonderful.  I did the clean up in the kitchen while Todd cut the grass and his mom put the kids to work picking rocks out of her garden.  It was an absolutely beautiful, warm day and we all enjoyed each other's company and being outside.

We got back home and since it was so hot outside we thought we would try out our new sprinkler.  It was a hit!
Gracie watched as her crazy brothers stuck their heads in the freezing water.
Not one to be upstaged she decided she could do it too.
Grace liked the sprinkler but I think she liked her new swimsuit even more. 
The wind changed course (a storm was predicted to come in a couple hours) and soon the boys were little popsicles.  The boys decided quickly that they'd had enough of the sprinkler and wanted in the house.    
I made a last minute decision to call my mom and see if she could take the kids for a few hours so Todd and I could go to a movie.  Next thing you know we were hustling the kids off and rushing to a movie.  It was the perfect way to round out a wonderful summer like weekend.  Todd and I got to relax in a cool theater and really enjoyed The Avengers.  It was so much fun.  Just like the rest of the weekend. 

This weekend had all the makings of a fun summer.  It had hot weather, lots of time outdoors, flowers, sprinklers, a nice run outside, time with family, two nights in a row of grilling out, and a big blockbuster action movie.  It was wonderful.

The weather is much cooler today, it just reached 60 now, but thanks to this past weekend I have enough warm memories to hold me over for a few weeks. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Just Write

I'm up late.  Later than I normally would be but tonight is my night.  My night to watch ridiculous and embarrassing tv as I text my best friend about how ridiculous and embarrassing the show is.  I have a cocktail in one hand and my phone in the other as I watch and relax. 

As the show comes to a close I hear footsteps on the stairs.  I freeze.  The footsteps get closer.  Now they are on the tiled hallway floor. 

I turn my head and see you stumbling toward me, the big stainless steel mixing bowl clutched to your chest. 

"Mom, I feel like I'm gonna throw up." you wearily say to me.

"Okay, Tommy.  Come with me, sweetie." I say as I set down my vices and devices.

I put my hand to your steamy forehead as we make our way to the bathroom.  We sit in front of the toilet for a few minutes until I suggest you come and lie down on the couch for a little bit.  You sip water as I text the latest development to my bestest friend and say goodnight.  I turn on some cartoons and run my fingers over your forehead into your hair, watching.

After a while I give you some ibuprofen and a bit more water. 

More watching and calming and tender rubs on the back. 

I'm tired.  I didn't plan on staying up this late.  Especially coming off of such a sleep deprived weekend.  But here we are.  And I'm watching you. 

You toss and turn on the couch, no longer watching the cartoons you normally love. 

"Let me know when you feel like you want to be in your bed again, honey." I say to you, the child who loathes sleep.

You nod your head an let out a moan. 

I check your forehead for the twentieth time and can tell your temperature is coming down already.  Soon afterwards you tell me you want to go back to bed. 

I help you off the couch, grab the big stainless steel mixing bowl, and head up the stairs after you.  I tuck you in bed, show you where I am putting the bowl, and give you Lambie. 

You are exhausted and brave.  I lean down to kiss your hot cheek.  This is what makes me a mama. 

"Good night, Tommy.  God bless you, I love you.  Hope you feel better, angel."  I whisper to you.

"Night mom.  Love you too.  Sweet dreams."  you answer back.

I close your door as quietly as I can, turn, and walk down the dark hallway and back downstairs.  I make the coffee so it is ready when daddy gets up in the morning, I make sure each door is locked.  I blow out the candles, turn off the tv, and fold all the blankets.  I pick up all the shoes, the pillows, and the books.  I turn off the lights and make my way back upstairs to my bed. 

Slowly and quietly I creep into the room, peel back the covers, and slip in gently so I don't wake him. 

And I wait.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What A Weekend

My head is still spinning from this past weekend.  I am still riding a high.  I didn't think so many wonderful things could be crammed into one weekend but it was fabulous. 

Friday started off slowly (compared to the rest of the weekend anyway).  The kids got home from school and ran around like crazy banshees while I got supper ready.  We ate and off I went to the dress rehearsal for the concert I was performing in on Saturday.  The rehearsal ran just over three hours and I got home around ten o'clock.

Saturday was jam packed with so many events that we didn't even get to fully  participate in some of them.  First off, it was Todd and my 11th anniversary.  Yippee!  Unfortunately, we had no plans because we were TOO BUSY.  In the morning Joey and I worked on a massive project he has for school while the other kids played outside.  Then we had to bustle him off to a birthday party for his friend.  Todd's cousin was getting married and my sister in law was graduating from UW Oshkosh.  All four kids got super late naps because we were giving them a special treat to come and see the symphony concert that night, and we knew they would be up pretty late.  When they woke up we fed them, dressed them, and then quickly got ourselves ready for a fancy night out. 

The concert I was singing for was a formal event requiring long evening gowns.  I think the last time I got this dressed up was at my best friend's wedding 10 years ago.  I felt so fancy I actually wanted to capture it on film.

Then I got a little silly.

And Todd and I even got a picture together thanks to Joey.  Sure we had to take about 10 of them because most of them were blurry, but he did get a few good ones.  In this picture you can tell Todd is done.  We were getting dangerously late to getting me to the theater and he wanted to go.  Still, a nice pic.

Anyway, that night was amazing.  The crowd was so receptive.  It was all such a rush.  And knowing that my kiddos were all seeing this magic happen for the first time, a huge full orchestra, in a gorgeous theater, with a 100 person choir, all dressed up, made it even more special.  Their little minds were blown watching me up on stage singing a solo.  It was a big deal to them.  And it meant so much to me. 

I was worried how they would do sitting quietly and still for almost two hours but they were angels.  They were 4 of only 5 or 6 kids in the whole theater.  Todd said that everyone around him was awed with how good they were. 

I was so proud.  And when I walked out to greet them in the lobby after the concert they looked at me and just about exploded with excitement.  They said the sweetest and most loving things, complimenting me and hugging me.  It was awesome knowing that they got to see me in a whole new light.

I was riding a high after the concert.  Todd and I took the kids home to put them to bed and my mom (who was sitting with Todd and the kids at the concert) followed us back so that she could stay with the kids and let us go out for a little bit on our anniversary night. 

We only went out for a couple of hours but it was much needed and appreciated.  It really capped off a wonderful night.  It was perfect. 

The next day, of course, was Mother's Day.  It was the most beautiful weather I can ever remember for Mother's Day. 

I spent the morning out on our back patio with the kiddos, drinking my coffee and watching the birds.
(These are my non-glamorous pics.  They are sans makeup, contacts, or even a hairbrush.  You may want to avert your eyes)

We ate breakfast, got dressed, and went to church.   After church I took my mom to lunch at a favorite restaurant and then we went to a movie together.  It was so wonderful to spend time with just my mom and me.  It was a perfect Mother's Day gift for her and for me. 

After the movie my mom dropped me off at my in laws house where another Mother's Day celebration was taking place.  We spent all of our time outside, eating way too much delicious food, and hanging with family.  The kids skipped their naps and absolutely wore themselves out.

Now it is Monday morning and I am dragging a bit, but happily.  This morning is rush, rush, rush to get the kids ready for school, the grocery shopping done, my run in, and the laundry put away before it is time to pick up Ben.  I am looking forward to life slowing down soon but it really was a great weekend despite the craziness.

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Today has been a good day.  Busy, but good. 

To celebrate said good day I am writing a happy list. 

Things that make me happy:

1-  Coffee.  Coffee is the only thing that can wake me up in the morning and keep me going all day long.  Yes, I drink coffee all day long.  Mind you, it usually is the same 2 or 3 cups that I just keep reheating and reheating and sipping all day long, but it makes me happy.

2-  Bloggy friends.  Y'all give me such good advice from things like Disney World to Ben's eye issues.  Thank you so much!  I so appreciate all of your feedback.

3-  Sunshine.  After nonstop rain for almost a week today was sunny and 67 degrees.  Now the kids are playing out in the backyard while Todd cuts the grass.  Good times.

4-  Doing Your Best.  Today at school Joey got the Student of the Month award for math.  This is a big deal because recently we went through some struggles with Joey regarding his school work.  After finding out that he didn't even try on an important test (a MAPS test, no less) and finished in minutes when the rest of the class took an hour (ACK!!!) we had a long talk with him.  It was all about doing your best, working hard, and always trying to be the best you can be.  It was a really good heart to heart, and though we have spoken to him before about working hard I think it finally clicked with him.  Since then he is really taking pride in his work.  Every morning we repeat our motto, "Do your best!" before he goes to school and I can tell he really is living up to it.  Getting the Student of the Month for MATH is a big deal.  Huge.  He is very proud of himself.  And that makes me so HAPPY.

5-  Resilience.  Ben had his year end performance with his classmates today.  They did a play, they sang, they danced, did yoga, and acted silly.  It started out with each student walking out on stage (it is in a theater and everything) in any silly way they wanted (like a monkey, a bunny, on tiptoes, etc.) and introducing themselves.  Ben was so silly.  He had the whole audience laughing.  Then when he went on for his big JUMP finish his glasses flew off his face and there was a bit of a gasp from the audience.  Ben swiped them up as fast as he could, smiled, said his name (LOUDLY!) and ran off stage.  I felt really badly for him.  His big moment and those stupid, new glasses got in the way.  Still, he came back out on stage like nothing happened.  And let me tell you, he shined!  He was funny, and brave, and coordinated, and so fun to watch.  At one point they were doing a chair dance (he goes to school at an arts center and they had a dance troop come through that did this earlier in the year) and he did absolutely amazing things.  I was sweating thinking he was gonna fall, but he didn't!  At one point he turned the chair over, and stood on the edge of it on one leg!  Holy cow!  And then he turned it over again and did push ups.  So cool.  He did such a great job.  I was just so proud of him for not letting a little blip hold him back from doing his best.  Watching him ham it up on stage and be so comfortable in his skin (in front of all those people) was honestly a highlight of my week.

(going up on one foot)                                                  (the push-ups)

6-  Our neighborhood.  I am so thankful we moved to this neighborhood.  It is a perfect balance between, quiet and safe, close to school/work/church, the feel of being in the country, plenty of other kids to play with, and open spaces for playing.  Even though we are only a few minutes from everything is still feels like we are in the wild.  It sounds funny, but the other day we were playing out front and there were 20 turkey vultures flying over head.  It was crazy!  They were HUGE.  We ran to the end of the culdesac to watch them fly over the cliffs by the lake and just as we got to the field 5 deer ran out of the trees past us.  So crazy!  We've also seen turkeys, skunks, muskrats, bunnies, and all kinds of gorgeous birds.  Just the other day I had SIX bluejays in my backyard.  Happy.

7-  Birds.  As I just mentioned I saw bluejays in my backyard.  I can't remember the last time I saw bluejays.  And I know they are a mean bird (the robins in our yard dive bombed them outta here pretty quickly) but they are just so beautiful.  Anyway, since I saw the bluejays I have been really taking note of all the birds we have in our yard.  I started taking pictures to see how many different kinds I can capture on camera.  I have been shocked at what I've seen.  It is amazing what you see when you actually take the time to stop and look.  Anyway, I am stocking up on all the pics to show you on another post.  I'm very excited about it.  And slightly obsessed (me staring at the window all day with my camera in hand has begun to annoy my hubby).

So there you have it folks.  My happy list.  Do you have a happy list today?  What's on it?

Monday, May 7, 2012


Last week I mentioned that Ben had three doctor appointments in one week but I didn't mention what they were for.  I wasn't sure I was going to talk about it, but y'all seemed genuinely concerned so I thought I would share.  Besides, I think you would have caught on when you saw Ben in pictures. 

On Wednesday Ben went to an eye specialist because we had been noticing (especially in photos) that every once in a while Ben's eyes would look like they were crossed a bit.  We originally took him to a regular eye doctor who assured us that Ben's vision was fine, but that his muscles were not working together.  Basically he was switching from eye to eye instead of focusing with both eyes.  After two separate appointments with the regular eye doctor to make sure that Ben's eyes were healthy (they were) that doctor referred us to a specialist to try and determine where to go from there.
Throughout all of the tests and uncomfortable eye drops Ben was such a trooper.  He was getting pretty sick of all the testing but he kept up his usual jovial attitude like a champ. 

The specialist did even more tests on Ben and determined pretty much the same thing the previous doctor had told us.  His vision is good, his eyes are healthy, but the muscles aren't working together (it is called Esotropia).  It seemed to affect his depth perception a tiny bit and he was slightly farsighted, but so are many kids his age.  The specialist said that sometimes glasses can help the muscles learn to work together and sometimes it doesn't help at all and surgery is needed.  Before we go on to surgery (ACK!) we are trying the glasses for a few months.

Ben was NOT happy to learn he had to get glasses.  He was NOT happy trying on all the different glasses at the store either.  Every time he tried a pair on he would say, "Everyone is gonna laugh at me."  Made me so sad.  Of course I tried to reassure him, but you know, kids are mean. 

We ordered his glasses on Wednesday and at school the next day I let his teacher know he was nervous about kids laughing at him once he got his glasses.  The teacher asked if it was okay to talk about it in class and prep the kids so that it would become something exciting for him.  It worked.  When I picked him up from school that day he said, "I wish I could get my glasses today!" 

Ben has been wearing his glasses since Friday and now he is less enthused.  He always tells me, "I don't wanna wear these stupid glasses but I know I have to so I'm just gonna try and be good about it."  He is not a fan but he is such a good boy.  I hope it is just an initial adjustment period and soon he doesn't even notice them there.  For now we are working on getting him to look through the glasses instead of over the tops of them all the time.  

His classmates were very sweet to him when he came to school wearing them today and that made him feel better.  And his brothers have been a huge support to him too, telling him how cool he looks and that they want glasses now.  That has definitely helped a bit.

Anyway, that is our medical update.  I am hoping the muscles just learn to work together and he doesn't need the glasses anymore but that is highly unlikely.  My gut feeling says that he will need the surgery which SUPER FREAKS ME OUT.  Surgery on my baby's beautiful, blueberry eyes.  *sigh*

In the grand scheme of things this is not a big deal.  I know that.  But it does make me worry.  Cause, you know, that's what I do.  I guess we all just want our kids to have carefree, easy, fun, happy lives every second of every day, but that's not life, right?  Right.  I guess that is why I've always loved the saying, Don't pray to have an easy life, pray to be a strong person.  Very wise.

Thank you all for the prayers and good wishes!  We'll definitely take 'em! 

*On a funny aside, during Ben's eye test the doctor put images up on the wall for Ben to call out.  When the doctor got to the airplane Ben said, "Ford tri motor!"  The doctor kind of raised his eyebrows and looked at Todd and I and we just had to laugh.  We said, "That is a type of plane.  We just visited EAA."  The nurse and doctor had a good laugh at that.  They said that was a first.  Hehe    Such a smart, funny little Ben. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

I Confess


I have a confession to make. 

To anyone who has been reading this blog for a few years this will not surprise you, but to those of you that are fairly new to this blog I must confess something. 

I confess...

when I am told that I must do something that immediately makes me opposed to it.

I confess...

that when I am told that I can't do something I will then prove that I can.

That being said, I can easily tell when I am being manipulated.  So, trying to use this knowledge to your advantage doesn't work on me.  "I bet you can't make me the BEST sandwich ever!"  Nice try. 

Where am I going with these confessions?  Well, it brings me to one more confession.

I confess...

I don't want to take my kids to Disney World.

Whew!  I said it.  It is like a weight has been lifted.  I don't want to go to Disney World!  I said it again!  Wow.  That feels good.

The hubby and I have been planning on taking the kids to Disney World this summer.  Yes, in summer.  We didn't want to go during peak time at spring break so that really just left summertime, and since we actually like stifling heat (and it is cheaper) we thought this summer would work.  But, the more I look into it the crazier it makes me.  It is just so expensive!  And for one week!  As a family of six the lodging alone is INSANE.  And the thing is, I never went when I was a kid.  And I didn't miss it.  I never felt like I was missing out.  And when I finally did go (I paid for it myself) when I was a teenager I was disappointed.  I thought, "This is it?"  Todd went when he was almost five years old and the part he loved the most was riding in his uncle's sports car when they got to Florida.  So, clearly, Disney World was not a big deal to him either. 

Still, Todd and I figured we would take our family ONCE.  We would try and pick a time when the kids would all still be young enough for it to seem magical but hopefully old enough to remember it.  But in doing that, and going this summer, most of the kids are too little to ride the really cool rides (which is what they will want to do, not all the shops and tours and stuff).  And let's be honest, Grace and Ben are probably still too young to be able to remember much of the trip yet.   

I don't know.  Every way I look at it it just doesn't seem worth it.  My kids are so easily amused and thrilled.  Just staying in a hotel overnight is enough to blow their minds.  When we went to Wisconsin Dells and stayed at an indoor waterpark hotel they thought they were in heaven.  Am I a bad parent for not wanting to spend all that money on something that won't seem any more special than a waterpark (to them)?  I'd rather take them on a bunch of small trips (camping, Six Flags, Wisconsin Dells, the zoo, start an annual tradition of visiting a handful of different states each year so that eventually they'll have been to all 50) that would be just as memorable to them. 

I don't want to take my kids to Disney just because everyone says I should or everyone else is doing it.  As I said above, that immediately makes me NOT want to do it.  Sometimes Disney just feels like a big, commercial suckhole that sucks you into going and taking all your money because you are a big enough sucker to believe the hype.  But then I hear these stories of families going and having an AMAZING time. And I don't want my kids to miss out on something that they would remember forever just because I'm being bucky.  But I also know there are more than just ONE WAY to give your kids amazing memories.

So, lay it on me, readers.  Do I have to do Disney?  Is it a must do in your mind?  Have you taken your kids?  Was it worth the money?  Was it all you hoped it would be and then some, or was it overwhelming and tiring and exhausting and not quite as magical as you wanted?  Should you ever do something just to say you did it, or is that really stupid?  What do you think?

To Disney, or Not to Disney?

**Check the comments for my conclusion!**

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

MayDay! MayDay!

Today is the first day of May and already it's not looking pretty.  I'm scared. 

Between Ben's doctor appointments (three in one week-for a possible *scary* issue which I may or may not talk about in the future), three spring concerts, five separate rehearsal times, two mandatory parent chaperoned field trips (don't get me started), graduation ceremonies (for 4K- really?), three boy scout meetings, two snack days, our anniversary, Mother's Day, a school fundraiser, and of course the usual madness that ensues with a family of six, I am seriously concerned.  If I can just get through these next three weeks I'll be a happy camper.

Until then I'll be hanging on for dear life. 

How about you?  Is your May already making you crazy?  Are you as ready for summer break as I am?  And also?  What's your favorite wine?  I'm thinking I should stock up. 

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson