Broken Groceries

I need to start out by telling Kroger, and Jerry, who presumably works for Kroger – I’M SORRY!

I took Isaac with me to buy groceries.  It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.  He uses me to buy him food.  I use him to carry my groceries.  It works.

As we were going down aisle 20, the cereal aisle, Isaac tried to be cute and funny by tossing his box of cereal behind him into the cart.  He missed.

That wasn’t the problem, though.

As we was picking the box up off of the floor, he raised up and hit my arm, the arm that was holding a jar of apricot preserves. This sent the jar flying out of my hand.

It hit the shelf, then the cart, the then the shelf, then the cart. Each time giving us hope that it would survive the fall.

Then, the glass jar hit the concrete floor….

I had to go find a young man from the front of the store.  He followed us with a caution sign to place on top of it.

I apologized…

He was annoyed…

I understood…

As we heard the announcement, “cleanup in aisle 20”, we were heading to pick up sour cream, and I realized I needed something that we just passed.  I told Isaac to go ahead and get the sour cream while I get the pesto.

Would you believe that the small plastic container of pesto slipped right out of my hand and hit the floor!?!?!

I checked to see if there was a mess, hoping that the plastic container survived the fall.  It didn’t.

I couldn’t believe it! I don’t even know why, but I started scraping the pesto back into the cracked container, as if I was going to just put it back on the shelf.  Then I realized that wouldn’t work.

My thought process:

First – I can’t believe this happened again.

Second – I can’t tell them that I made another mess.  Maybe I should leave it.

Third – I can’t do that.  I need to find someone – anyone but the first guy I told…

Fourth – I have pesto all over my hand and my grocery list… It smells really yummy!  I’m hungry for meatballs, now…


A sweet lady came walking up.  I explained to her what happened.  She was so kind and said, “Don’t worry about it. It happens.  It’s okay.  I will tell Jerry.”

We grabbed what we needed, headed to the checkout aisle (the one the farthest from the main entry).

We very carefully placed the groceries on the conveyor belt.

Then, we left before Jerry figured out who we were and what we had done to his store.

Kroger, and more importantly, Jerry, I’m sorry.  Sometimes a girl just has a bad day…


*These events happened last week.  It just took me this long to decide to share it with you…

I stepped into the garage for a minute…

“This is why we don’t have nice things!”

Have you heard that before?  That’s an anthem we live by here.

It’s more than a house, it’s a home.  I want them to be able to live here and enjoy home, but, at times, I have had this going on in my entry way for a week at a time…


No one cares until they want to go to the gym.


If your brother throws your package of Swedish Fish on that ledge, then, things get serious. I end up walking in on this…


I give them:

10 Extra credit points for creativity

5 stars for not ending up in the ER

2 thumbs up for not leaving a mark – not a visible one, anyway.  (If there is a scratch, even the Rennert’s aren’t tall enough to see that one!)

I wouldn’t take that risk for 3 weird tasting, fruit snack looking, fish candies, but we all have priorities, I guess.




Tonight, we had the opportunity to attend Open House at Jono’s school, Mary Lillard Intermediate.


Tonight was such a refreshing, exciting time for Derek and I.  Jono didn’t want to go, but once we arrived, he was excited to show us his classrooms, talk to his teachers, and let us  know what he is involved in.


This was a 100% improvement from the first time we saw this child in this environment. He was comfortable in his classrooms.  We met some of his friends. His teachers all had good reports for us.  The faculty seemed very pleased with his schedule change and the effect it has had on him.

So, all who prayed for this kid while he struggled to adjust.  Thank you!



“Mom, I’m fine. Stop texting me!”


Do you ever find yourself really stressed out?

I have to go to physical therapy for my neck. I have these knots that tighten up in my neck and shoulders.  Those knots turn into tension headaches.  Those tension headaches turn into migraines.

Besides the exercises that I do, my therapist has to stretch my neck to loosen those muscles.  After I had missed a couple of weeks over the holidays, I returned to the clinic, unable to freely move my neck without pain.  As he moved my neck in all different directions, he mentioned how tight my muscles were.  He said, “Could this be stress related?”


Our household has a family group text.  This was sent to the group text this week…


Do you see that?  Do you see that little message I highlighted at the bottom of the text?  The one from the first child that I gave birth to, and have fed and clothed for close to 19 years?


Yes.  Let’s all laugh about mom’s stress.  You all are so funny…

I promptly responded with a snippy little text letting them know, that if it were not for my stress and subsequent nagging, they would all be in big trouble. This last week, I have thrown all kinds of possibilities out there.

If I were not around:

-Derek wouldn’t be home to feed the children – therefore DCFS would take them away.

-Isaac wouldn’t have paid his speeding ticket on time – therefore he would be in jail.

-Russ and Jono would not have clean laundry – therefore they will smell gross and never find someone to marry them!

I may have been a little too dramatic…

Still – you know what I mean.

Isaac flew back to IL over New Year’s weekend.  I think this is the first time he had flown with out a parent.  My brother graciously dropped him off at the airport for me, so, I wasn’t even there to make sure he knew where he was going. (I think my brother knew that I would be a little overbearing. He might have been trying to save Isaac the embarrassment.)

I still stressed out.

I texted him after he checked his bag, I texted him while he was in security,  while he was in security, while he was in security (security was really busy that day). I texted him when he was at the gate, when he was seated on the plane, when he landed at his first stop, when he found that gate, when he was about to be seated again, when he landed.


I now realize just how annoying I must have been.  I’m sorry, Isaac!

This is just one example of my many obsessive episodes.  I’m not writing this to tell anyone how to fix it, because I have no idea. I just want to know that I’m not alone.

That little meme was so true.  The only thing that it did not include is the “stress paralysis” that sometimes happens right after a stressful situation – for me, a migraine.

Later in the weekend, this happened…


Did you see that?  Did you see “thanks for caring though”?  Did you see the smiley faces and heart?  (I did see the laugh out loud emoji, but I’m going to ignore that right now.)

The reason we stress is because we care.  We love them.  We’re moms.  My mom has told me that you always worry about your kids, the worry just changes as they get older.

I know each family and each situation is different.  I also know, that we all love our families and we stress out from time to time.  It’s normal, and we all experience it.

I guess the only remedy I have found to this problem I have, is trust.  I have to trust that they are smart.  I trust that they have heard everything I have told them over, and over, and over.  I trust that their character will guide their choices.  I trust that God is in control.

So, please don’t stress about the stress that you are going to be stressed out about.  Let’s just take it one stress at a time, and know that we are not alone.


Sunshine Blogger

I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!  I am pleasantly surprised and grateful. This award is a great way for bloggers to give recognition to fellow bloggers, for being inspiring and creative with their posts. Check out the blog website to read Sharvina who, has so kindly nominated me.

This is how nominated bloggers should proceed:

1. Thank the blogger for nominating them and link back to their blog

2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you

3. Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 questions to answer

4. Notify your nominees

5. List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post

My answer to Sharvina’s questions are as follows:

1. Which country are you blogging from?

I am blogging from the United States

2. What brought you to blogging?

Since moving 750 miles from home, this is a good way to keep friends and family updated. I’ve found that I can express myself more accurately in written word than spoken word.  I have a little more confidence behind a computer screen. Maybe it’s because of the luxury of  backspace and delete keys.  Either way, it has become a fun focus and challenge for me.

3. Your driving force for regular blogging?

As humans, I think it is our natural tendency to share what is good and right in our lives.  I’m no different.  In public or on social media, we show the highlights of our lives, the good stuff that we all want to remember.  We all have struggles, though.  I love to find the humor in our misadventures, or the irony in our mishaps.  My mistakes and frustrations may give someone else comfort or hope that they are not alone.

4. What are your hobbies?

Blogging is probably my hobby right now. I’m enjoying my “unemployment” after 20 years a hairstylist. I’m able to tend to the needs of my family.  Being able to support my husband, care for my boys, and help my parents is very important to me.

5. Your favourite book?

I don’t have a lot of time to read, but I am working through a Bible Study called “Discerning the Voice of God”

6. Your favourite author?

I think the author that I can relate to the most is Priscilla Shirer, the author of the above mentioned Bible Study that I am working on.

7. What makes you laugh the most?

My boys keep me laughing ALL.THE.TIME. I absolutely love to laugh. The more I laugh at their antics, the worse it gets.  It’s a vicious cycle.

8. Your time management tip?

Oh my, time management is not my strongest area. I’m really good at lists… I feel really good about myself when I am able to check off my accomplishments.  Sometimes, I put things on the lists after I do them, just so that I can check them off!!!

9. Your idea of independence?

Independence is being fully self- sufficient. The ability to be independent is valuable, but I’ve learned to appreciate the vulnerability I sometimes experience when I need help and I am humble enough to accept it.

10. Your most valuable quotation?

“Remember who you are, and whose you are.” My dad told me this as a young girl, but I’ve found that it applies well into adulthood.

11. Did you enjoy your last vacation?

I absolutely loved my last vacation. Almost any road trip with my guys and some good music is a good time. The drive is sometimes just as good (if not better) than the destination.

I’m so new to the blogging community, I haven’t become acquainted with very many bloggers. So, I will nominate these friends:

Journey Onward –

Inside The Tin Bucket –

Parentingisfunny –

Rachel Mutua –

The 11 Questions to my nominees, are as follows:

  1. What inspired you to start blogging?
  2. How long have you been blogging?
  3. What do you like the most about blogging?
  4. What kind of blogs do you prefer to read?
  5. Happiest moment in life so far?
  6. Most embarrassing moment in life so far?
  7. The biggest battle you feel like you are facing right now?
  8. Something you feel like you have overcome or at least learned to manage?
  9. What do you do in your spare time?
  10. What is your favorite thing to do with your family?
  11. What one thing in life do you roll your eyes at the most?

I hope that all my nominees will accept their award (although some may be reluctant / may choose not to), as I believe that the Sunshine Blogger Award is a wonderful event, in which bloggers are given the chance to duly honour their peers!

Please do pass it on. Cheers and take care!!

Note: For general information about awards, you may wish to visit

To Decatur with Love…

Oh, Decatur…  I’m just not sure I have the right words today, but I’m going to try.

This weekend was Homecoming for Decatur Christian School.  That’s the school that I graduated from, Isaac graduated from, and it’s the only school my other two children have ever known.

Every year at this time, I love to see my Facebook feed filled with pictures of all the students going to the dance!  In that way, this year was no different.

I saw pictures of new kids

kids I sort of know

children of former classmates

the teammates

the classmates

the ones who rode in my car on field trips, basketball games, and rides home

the ones who were at my house all the time, even when no one was home (and we loved it)

Isaac flew back on Friday so that he could go to the game, see his Queen receive her crown, and go to the dance the next evening.  I lived the weekend vicariously through Facebook, enjoying all the traditions.

You know, up until this time, I have missed many different parts of Decatur at different times.

We miss our family and not being able to be home on the holidays.

I miss my co-workers and clients.  Those are the people who have been through it all with me. They went through beauty school, marriage, babies, and broken bones! Some of them have been around since I was 6 years old!

I miss my church family.

I miss my DCS family.

I miss our wonderful neighbors.

I know that I can’t even begin to cover all the people and groups that we knew and loved back home, but you get the idea.

Like I said, until this time, I have missed many people, and I have had the opportunity to communicate with many of them, and we have even had some visit us in Texas.

But homecoming…

Before we left Decatur, I was sad to leave our family and so many great friends, but I was so ready to live with my husband, again.  We had lived apart for 9 months.  There was a home in Texas ready for us. I couldn’t wait to get here.

Now that we have settled in. We’ve gotten over some of the hurdles.

We know the roads.

We know the school.

We have determined which donut shop, Kroger, and Target are our designated locations.

We have joined our church.

People have started recognizing us

We don’t feel quite as “new” as we did at first.

As I looked at those homecoming pictures, I could imagine the conversations, I could hear the laughter, I knew the feelings. It was all so familiar.

Oh, how my heart ached.  I’ve been crying all morning about my Decatur peeps. I realized that what I miss the most about Decatur is the familiarity.

I miss seeing  you all.

I miss hearing about your kids, and your family, and your jobs.

I miss hearing that my children have done something… probably unbecoming and inappropriate (and trying to apologize on their behalf).

I miss running into people I know while out shopping.

I miss people tolerating my obnoxious behavior at almost any sporting event that I went to.  I especially miss those who would be obnoxious with me.

I miss the love we felt from ALL of you.

We have only been here about 8 months.  The boys have been in school about 5 months.  Compared to the 40 years that Derek and I spent in Decatur, that’s a very short time.

We have met so many great people.  We like the schools and teachers. We love our church and our Sunday School class.  We continue to get to know more people all of the time.

Obviously, it is different from Illinois. It has become home, though. It’s just not familiar, yet.

God has shown up in our lives in so many ways through this move.  I have no doubt that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.  Yes, I miss the family, the friends, the feelings of home, but I feel so blessed to have such good memories… memories that make my heart ache.

As I am writing this unpublished blog, still crying, I just received a FB friend request from a fellow church member here in Texas.  Isn’t God funny?  Isn’t He just so good to remind us that He is Present, He is Powerful, and He has a Plan.  Most of all, He loves us, and He is more familiar to us than anyone could ever be!

Much love to you, Decatur.  We hope to see you, soon!

Who knew Lowe’s could be so dangerous?

Our oldest, Isaac, has left Texas to visit IL for the weekend.  Homecoming was this weekend and he went back to visit friends, and his Queen!

So, needless to say, it has been quiet around here… except for a leaky toilet. Apparently, plumbing in this house is good for about 11 years.  All of our shower faucets are loose, and we had 2 of them completely come off while hosting 8 boys – all who were trying to take showers.  Our kitchen sink has a drip, and 2 of our toilets are getting an overhaul.

So, you know what that means… a trip to Lowe’s.  Many times, our trips to Lowe’s can be a long drawn out affair.  Especially when Derek and I go together.  I usually run in and out knowing exactly what I need.  When Derek is with me, it means we’re making a decision or solving a problem.

Our kids are used to many years of long waits at home improvement stores.  Isaac was always very impatient.  He was ready to go, did not like waiting, and made sure to tell us.  Russ on the other hand, gets creative.

He has always had quite an imagination.  He can make any situation into a battle, a war, or a combat zone. Jono is so easy going, he just goes along with whatever stories that Russ comes up with.

After waiting for a good little bit, Derek finally got to talk to the Lowe’s employee.  While he was helping Derek, I looked down the aisle and saw this going on.


Yep, he’s guiding Jono down the aisle, threatening his life from behind with a PVC pipe – and Jono is letting him.

The Lowe’s employee was actually in the middle of the action for a bit.  He may have thought it was just a kid swinging a PVC pipe at his brother, but little did he know…  he barely escaped the wrath of whatever that PVC pipe was shooting out. It was a close one. I’m not sure he realized just how lucky he was to get out of there alive.

These are things in my life that I see on a regular basis, and they seem normal to me.  I realize, though, that few things in my life are normal…

Now for the really fun part – actually fixing the plumbing.*

*That part is actually not fun at all.  Usually, it is quite tense and frustrating.  That’s why I’m quietly writing as he is fixing.  He did not appreciate this picture being taken, but I feel you all needed to see how hard he is working.