Thursday, January 31, 2008

Get to know me...

Today in the Rockford Register Star is this article featuring my daughter! The only glitch is....the article features Stephanie with Kristina's picture. They corrected it online, so when you pull it online it is Stephanie. The editor contacted me though and said that he will rerun it again tomorrow with Stephaie's picture. Be sure to check out 'what's something about the world that really bugs you' {I am having a very proud democratic mom moment here:)} But it'll be interesting to see if she gets any heat for that comment!

The kids all went to High School Musical on Ice last night with their Grandma, Aunt Teresa and cousin Arissa. They had a GREAT time and were so excited when they got home at 10:00! I wasn't sure if they would ever wind down to go to bed, but after sharing their excitment with me, they were off to dream land.

One thing I don't think I've shared yet is that Kristina's hamster, Chloe, has been sick this week. She came down with wet tail (the rodent form of severe diarrhea) this weekend. We went to the pet store to purchase the antibiotic and have been trying to nurse her along this week. We have been feeding her water and medicine with an eye dropper all week. She is now super thin after not eating for a few days, but began eating again yesterday. Hopefully between the eating and the meds she'll make it. I think we'll know in the next day or two how this is going to turn out. Over the course of my 30 or 40 hamsters that I've had (when I used to breed them for the pet store) I've only ever had a few die. Chloe is maybe the cutest hamster of all time, so I'd really like to see her make it, not to mention how sad Kristina will be if she dies. So...time will tell.

Mom had her test in the hospital yesterday and they still don't know what's up with her heart and why it is not working as it should. At last check they will continue with more tests, and Larry said that perhaps she will go the the Heart Institute in Phoenix to see what can be learned there. As always, please keep her in your prayers.

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Grateful for coziness

Last night the wind was howling so loud! I was very very grateful to be inside my warm and cozy house with my warm and cozy family. I canceled my 6:30 client in anticipation of the 'snow disaster' we were expecting....and of course, not one flake of snow fell! It was a bit icy when I came home at 6:00, but really the weather wasn't nearly as bad as anticipated. Every time I heard that wind blow and my house creak I was so glad to have a home. It's times like these that the homeless (especially the children) weigh heavy on my heart and I hope they are in a warm place. I will not go into the fact that America spends so much money on other countries but cannot possibly seem to feed the hungry in our own country, get the homeless off the streets, and fund the mental health needs. Hopefully a change in administration will help us to focus on our own problems here at home. {Did I say I wasn't going to go into it?} Today the actual temp is -2 with wind chills at -20. I had to wake my dear husband and ask him to take the kids to the bus stop. Since it's now a block from home, I think it's just too cold to stand outside for 15 minutes in this wind. I am not sure what was creaking on my house so badly last night, but I sure hope all of my shingles are in tack today! I was also grateful that my car was in the garage so I really didn't have to be exposed to the elements at all today :)

I talked to my mom last night after her unsettling post on her blog from yesterday. She is scheduled for more heart tests today at 12:00 our time since the other procedure they have done either didn't work, or had a malfunction, or something. So, please keep my mama in your prayers today so they can get her heart working properly. Also, they changed the pageant date to May 3rd instead of March 1st. (Mom joked that they didn't change it cuz they knew she was sick but it sure worked out well!) God be with you today Mom and send His healing grace your way.

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All in a Day's Work...

I was ready to leave work yesterday when I got a call that a child had his head stuck in the chair. Yes, stuck in the chair, between the seat and the back rung. And really, we could not get his head out!! So, I ended up taking the seat off of the chair to get his head out. Ahhhh, yes....all in a day's work.

Sandi Johnson had her mastectomy surgery yesterday and is recovering at OSF. The register star has this video on their website, showing the Harlem game dedicated to the Sandi Johnson Scholarship fund. Please continue to keep her family and Sandi in your prayers as she continues on this most difficult road.

This morning I registered my daughter for her Sophomore year. {insert panicking mom screams here} Where is the time going? And who said it could go by so quickly? Next year she will be in AP English, AP Biology, Algebra II, Choir, Consumer Science, Document Publication, Spanish II, and Art. We had to get out the Upward Bound list to make sure she was taking everything suggested. If she doesn't get her first choices, she listed graphic design and photoshop for other choices. We have been searching for colleges and she believed she wanted to go to UCLA. After further checking, it appears they do not have an MPT (Master of Physical Therapy) Program there, but they do have a good program at Cal State Long Beach, which would still be in the LA area and give her the "California" fix that she is searching for :) I'm not sure how I feel about my baby being 2000 miles away, although I surely know I would love to visit her there and that she would be in good hands with her Auntie Kim and cousins Brandon, Kimberly, and Christine :) Time will tell of course, but she surely is a bright young lady and I want to really encourage her to get that education done before life happens!

And last but not least, we are preparing for the balmy Northern Illinois Weather to take a turn for the worst. The temps are to drop from 50 to -2 today with 4 inches of snow! For all you California, Texas, and Arizona people reading this....don't you just miss it?!? Doesn't it make you want to come visit right away!! (Hmmmm, perhaps that's the draw Stephanie is feeling to Sunny California, eh?)

Until next time...

Sunday, January 27, 2008


My 7th great....Baby Elizabeth! I am so blessed to have the cutest great nieces/nephews in the whole world :) Arissa, Aubrey, Robert, Ryan, Elizabeth, Gabriel, & Dylan...How'd I get to be so lucky? I think someone upstairs must know how much I love babies!! Elizabeth has a bit of Stephanie in her, so it'll be neat to watch her grow...and to see how much they resemble each other. She is the youngest of threewith two older brothers, so Auntie will have to have a special place for her (putting up with all those brothers you know!) When I look at these three, I sure don't know how we did it, cuz our three are the exact months apart as these little ones are! Gramma was watching the babies on Saturday so we got a chance to give lots of hugs and kisses! Look at this cutie in her first Christmas outfit her GreatGramma got her :)

I'm going to have to scan in a pic of Stephanie when she was this little to compare. She sure is a cute though and I can't wait for her to get a bit bigger so we can play!

So, I had school Friday and Saturday, and Nina had a game last night. They lost by two, which was a bummer, but she cheered her heart out none the less!

Today, Sunday...Ahhhhh, Sunday's how I love them. The beginning of the week, with really nothing on the schedule but going to church. Today was #2 in the three week series Stress smashers. Today Pastor Bill focused on business. Guilty as charged for me. Although I do take Sunday's off, spend them with my family, and take a nap as recommended! I resumed WW today, so we'll see how that goes. Spent most of the day being shaky cuz my body doesn't appreciate not eating every hour or so, but I'll get over it! My husband broke the cardinal rule of our house today and made this... Since being pregnant 3 X's in three years, I had to ban the brewing of coffee in our house because it made me nauseous. Well, I guess Kevin thought since I haven't been pregnant in 12 years (thank God) that it'd be ok to brew the stinky stuff today. I got through it ok and lit some candles to cover up the aaaachy smell! So, perhaps coffee will be ok once in a while!
I got two terrific things done today...I cleaned out my car (wooooppppeeeee!) AND organized my calendar. Whew! I feel so much better having those things done! Tomorrow my washer comes and so I can begin to play catch up with the laundry. I checked tonight at the store and it does not appear that tide free comes in HE (for hi efficiency washers) Since my baby's skin is finally under control I hate to risk changing anything... I only checked at the grocery store though, so I will have to check at Walmart to be sure.
Kevin and I watched "Running with Scissors" today. Ummmmm, not recommended. If anyone has read the book, please let me know if it's any good, cuz the movie sure wasn't!
We have a sick baby at our house. Chloe (Nina's hamster) has wet-tail {almost always fatal :( } When I used to breed hamsters for the pet store, I was able to nurse a few through it, so hopefully she'll pull through. She is so cute and sweet and Nina will be so sad if she dies. Let's hope for the best.
Lastly, Sandi Johnson has a double mastectomy tomorrow. PLEEEEAAASSSEEE, pray for her, her family and her young sons. Updates are available on her caring bridge site.
I'm off to read, really, one of my greatest pleasures. If I ever retire, I think I'll read a book a day. I just really can't get enough! Until next time...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ebay stalker

Ok, I'm feeling a bit of a rush (that Sarah & Candi can relate to) because I am currently stalking items on ebay...what you ask? TICKETS!! Yes, those wonderful tickets that are my favorite type of ebay stalking. The Kenny Chesney tickets are beginning to flow and I have no other goal this year but to be on the sand bar AT SOLDIER FIELD!!!!!! For all of you non fans, this is the standing room only section right next to the stage where you have a good chance of TOUCHING him!!! Wooohoooo. Also, for my new Jonas Brothers stalker (Stephanie) I will be making a Jonas Bros purchase on Monday. Tickets have gone down about 40 each on ebay and are almost in the reasonable range :) Sorry Stephie, no front row for you, but we'll have nice seats and most importantly you'll be there!

Appliance Hell

Yes, that's where I've been living for the past week. I've been trying to get the washer to work but to no avail. Finally, I called the repair man. The appointment was between 8 - 12 yesterday. At 11 my stir crazy husband called to report that they weren't there yet. I called the place to confirm the appointment was for yesterday. Yup sometime in the morning was what they told me. Well, the dude finally showed up and graciously told him there's two things wrong with the washer and yup, you guessed it....$300 to fix it. $300? Did he really mean $300 or did me mean more like $30? Um, yes, he meant $300. $300 to repair my $349 (the price at which I purchased the darn thing!) washer. Guess what happens next... NEW WASHER SHOPPING! I for the longest time have wanted a front load washer and I can't remember how old my current washer is but I know it's at least 10 years old and I am NOT paying $300 to fix it!!! I don't pay $300 to fix my car! Well...I was way too busy (Wed is my 15 hour day) to shop for a washer, but had done some preliminary checking when I was shopping for a new fridge last week. (Very grateful that I had planned a little bit ahead) -- So I could tell my hasbeen exactly what I wanted. He went to the store and voila! the new washer will be here Tuesday. Yes, photos of the gleaming new machine will be posted then! So for now, the problem is, no clean clothes, no washer, and no time for the laundry mat (and no desire) So, my wonderful MIL came over got some clothes to wash, washed them up last night and brought them clean to work this morning!! What kind of service is that and how'd I get so lucky? So, one problem down one to go.

I began the search for Kristina's new medicine yesterday. Of course when it's new and you determine that your insurance will pay for it, then you actually have to find a place that sells it! I made lots of calls and finally...Target, yes Target (could I love that store anymore?) had her medicine. Kevin went and picked it up last night. Great problem #2 down!

After those problems were solved I headed to the Y to teach my class. I pulled the CD out of my bag and it said CDA week #2. What's wrong with that picture you ask? Mostly that I was teaching week #3! Hmmmm, I called work to check if the CD was on my desk? Nope! Called home to Steph....did I leave it on the table? Yup! Darn it! It was 6:05 and I had to teach at 6:30. So, in the super snowy, not well plowed streets, I sure did hurry home to grab the disc. I returned to the Y at 6:32 ready to teach! Ugh! My class went well, and the gals always have a lot of good questions and good discussion. Only two weeks left and then I have Wednesday night's off again for a few weeks! Yippee!

After teaching I came home after my really long day to find a really pretty valentine's bag for me! Kristina (my little gift giver) bought me some valentine socks, towels, a pen, a candle, and a new tube of chap stick. Love that little girl!

I spent about 4.2 minutes on the couch catching up with the kids, and then I was off to bed. My neck, back and head are still really achy from whatever darn virus I have, so the sleep was much needed.

PS. Only 15 weeks left of my first internship :)

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

13.5 hours and good news

Yesterday I was sick as the proverbial dog. I cancelled my clients and went home to go to bed. I slept from 3:30 til 5 this morning, with a small break in the napping to eat, lotion up Kristina and watch a minute of idol. Today, aside from the achiness I feel SO much better and am SO grateful to feel so much better! Kevin is home this morning to meet the washer repair man, cuz REALLY, we need some clean laundry at the Ruch house! Tonight I teach week 3 of my 5 week class.

The good news is, I called the insurance company yesterday and after much searching they did determine that they will pay for Kristina's new medicine :) :) :) Hooray! Without insurance it is $280 a tube! Ugggghhh, and we have used the sample up already. So, today I will pick up the new tube and continue onward. Her skin looks miraculously better in just 2 days with the new stuff although it was itching severely and burning a bit last night, so hopefully she's not beginning a reaction to this med too.

The update on idol...I didn't really have any terrific favorites last night except for the 16 year old boy that sang the Otis Redding song. He was so super cute!

Monday, January 21, 2008

To the Dr. We Go...

Today, I made another Dr. appointment for Kristina. Her skin couldn't look any worse (or feel any worse) and I just have been feeling like a 'bad mom' because for the life of me I can't make it better! The poor girl has been on Steroid creams (3 different ones) for about the past 6 months {Yep, that's right, the ones you are not supposed to use for more than a week} with very limited results. I have bought about every kind of cream, salve, ointment, lotion, potion, chapstick, moisturizer and even bought a humidifier to add more humidity to our air and still--- MAJOR BREAKOUT! Today, it (the eczema) began to spread to her neck and reappeared on the back of her legs and I had had enough! Oh, did I mention that both {Yes BOTH!} (The booming town of Rockford evidently has 2 whole dermatologists) Anyway, both dermatologists could not see my precious girl for a month!! So, I called the old faithful pediatrician and got an appointment for today. I was really worrying that maybe she was getting an immuno something because it appears her body is attacking itself. He reassured me that it is indeed Eczema...about the worse case he had seen...and even brought the medical student in to look at it :( And prescribed yet more medicine. (Could one of these possibly work? Now would be good!) He tested it on her there in the office to be sure it doesn't burn [which it didn't] with his most tender Dr. touch :) He then showed her how to use a waterless skin cleanser and applied another new type of lotion that we need to get. He loaded us up with samples, gave me a $30 off the 'copay' coupon (never a good sign) and then advised that he wasn't too sure my insurance would pay for this med cuz it's new. WELLLLL, let me tell you if it works, I'll get a second, no wait, third, no wait I already have three, a fourth job to pay for it! So tonight, we put on the med, the cream, the cleaner, and took the two meds by mouth and sent her to bed. Oh, did I mention she is banned from bathing? Ummmm, and going outside? Yes, no baths, no recess, until the skin is under control. (Hense the waterless cleanser) [He did remind her to still wash the important parts though:) ] (Uggggghhhhh! Too much information I know!) Pray for my precious one's skin. She needs some healing and so do I! I came home tonight from my appointment and she had cleaned the kitchen top to bottom. I put all her new meds on, lotioned her up, and tucked her in bed. She laid there with most relaxed look I had seen in the past few weeks, because evidently nothing was hurting her for a change. Good night my precious one. Until next time...

Sunday, January 20, 2008


All you mom's out there, if you haven't seen this...take a moment for a good laugh~!


The 'final' update on Julian is here... Sadly there is one less boy to pray for and one more Angel in Heaven. I cannot ever imagine losing a child. God Bless Julian and his family. His mother has been such an inspiration to me. Her address is at the bottom of the post if you have been keeping up with Julian's journey and would like to send a card.

Many Many things!!

So much to share! First and foremost, I read the Family Access Wrong and Stephanie actually got 3 A's and 2 B's and actually no C :) :) :) So, she still ended up with a 3.5 GPA Hooray!
So....Friday and Saturday I had class. On Saturday we did simulations to experience having a learning disability. My friend Katie is trying to read as if she is visually impaired. We rotated stations for about 25 minutes. I couldn't believe how tired and frustrating it was. It sure helped me to realize what my bubba goes through every day. Once again, he's my hero. While I was gone to school, Kristina and Kevin went to the Harlem Game. Kristina sang the National Anthem with her music class and when the players came out, they all had on "Sandi's Super supporters" shirts in honor of our Board President's courageous battle with cancer. I was just bawling when I read her blog yesterday and if you haven't done so, I encourage you to read her reaction. She is just the neatest lady. As you all know, I pray daily that God is with her on this journey. Saturday morning I headed home since we got out of class a bit early. It was the big day to purchase the Jonas Brothers tickets. Unfortunately, even though we were calling and and trying to purchase on 2 computers they sold out before we could get any :( So, of course the ebay search has begun. Now I'm just irritated and am on a quest to get good tickets cheap! I ran some errands a got a lot done. I feel so good when things get accomplished. I bought the computer desk for the new computer (which is on the agenda yet this evening for assembly) stopped at Target, stopped at the pet store to replace the fish for a 2nd time (and this time they're still living) and then got KFC for the family. I was off to Sarah's for scrap night. It is always such fun to get together and I really look forward to it! We always do a little gift exchange and I got these... along with some valentine socks, napkins, and note cards. All super cute stuff from Target...couldn't wait to get home and hang up my new towels. My friend Sam (Sarah's dog) was the cutest ever acting like he was 'trapped' in the scrap room...when really he was just a bit too lazy to walk around through the kitchen to get to us! Sarah is an avid snowman collector and picked up this little guyat the flowering vine. He is so cute and stands about 5 feet tall. I didn't stay too late because I knew that baby girl would be here bright and early...We had such a fun day. We went to church and the sermon was awesome! Bill started a three week series on Stress Busters. This week's theme was worrying. Next week is busyness and the final week is procrastination. Always such a good message and I was so glad I went. Yes, it was ummmm 2 degrees outside but every bit worth the trip! We came home and I made scrambled eggs, bacon, and pancakes (oh and I had made cinnamon rolls before church). Aubrey and I had our afternoon nap, and shortly after we got up, Shana was here to take baby girl home. Today just flew by! I got the paper read, went to the grocery store, and picked up Brennan from his tournament. Uncle Tim joined us for dinner tonight (which was a great surprise!) I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, and brownies for dessert. Yumm! I am going to try to talk my washer into working to see if I can get some laundry done, but if not, the repair man REALLY needs to be here tomorrow. I have a few more things to post, but will have to get them on later.... Until next time!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Where have our minds gone?

This morning as I was leaving at 5:15, I said to Kevin, I should kiss you cuz I won't see you tonight. He replied, you already kissed me. Uh, Oh, I should kiss you twice cuz I won't see you tonight! Then Kevin was taking Kristina to school this morning when I called. He heard a cell phone ring and said to Kristina, "Hey, I used to have that ring on MY phone." Uh, Dad, that IS your phone! Ahhhhhh, never a dull moment!

Proud Mama!

Grades are out and I couldn't be more proud. Where did I get these terrific kids?!? (Thanks God :) Stephanie got all A's except for the inevitable C in Algebra. (She tried hard but those tests were kicking her butt toward the end and it sure wasn't for lack of studying!) Brennan would be the proud owner of his best report card EVER!! He got 3 B's and 1 A. WAY TO GO BRENNAN!!!!! WOOOHOOOOO!!! Way to go Kevin for making sure that homework is done! Although I don't have Kristina's report card yet, since the grade school sends home paper report cards instead of posting them on Family Access :( , she always does a great job and I'm sure this time will be no different. Me you ask? I have straight A's too :) It must run in the family! So, that is the celebration entry for today. Now, onto more somber news.

I don't know why I feel like a walking medical report lately, but here is the latest. For those of you that formerly worked at Circles, the 'baby genius's' family just found out that their new unborn baby has a chromosome defect, perhaps the same one that Mayor Morrissey's baby had :( :( :( , so please keep them in your prayers. Also, Mary was admitted to the hospital last night, they believe with a mild stroke :( :( :( AND, Sandi Johnson is still waiting for cat scan results to see if her cancer has spread to the lung wall. The point of all this? Pray without ceasing for these families. They really need it!

Finally, I have a funny to share with you compliments of Brennan. His job is to take the garbage out as most of you know, and most of the time one would think he is asked to clean the entire house top to bottom. Well, if you are lucky enough to live in Northern Illinois like me, then you know that your window washer freezes the second it hits the window because it's about 0 degrees right now. Well, the poor pitiful Brennan had to take the garbage out last night and had to come in to warm up 5 times during the effort. His Dad suggested that maybe if he ran he would not be quite so cold. His response was. "Dad if I ran, then it would be more windy, and the wind chill from me running would make me colder!" Oh Yes, that makes perfect sense! (Why didn't we think of that! :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Jo Bro Concert

OK, Yes, Well, I am looking for a willing party to go with 2 adolescent girls to this boy band concert...any takers? Candi? Shana? Anyone? It is Feb 22nd at the All State Arena and I have school that night...Sooooooo, if you'd be willing to help me out, I'd appreciate it. I will be buying tickets this Saturday (during a bathroom break from class :) --thank God for computer labs at school right?!? So, please let me know if you're interested. My first born would be most grateful :D

I got through my second week of teaching and I think things went much better than last week. (At least I remembered to give them a break this week!) We had a lot of dry material to cover, so next week I want to plan some fun hands on activities to break up the monotony ya know?

I was home to watch the last part of Idol on Tivo-- and didn't notice anything too remarkable except that there are definitely some wierdos in Texas!! (No offense Bubba)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Reading Marathon/Idol

Last night was quite the reading marathon at the Ruch house. Kristina read a book cover to cover, Kevin read quite a bit, and I finished one curriculum book and started another. I am catching up slowly but surely. I've had to take a bit of time off from the ole internship this week, but there are some topics I needed a bit more info on, so hence all the reading. This afternoon I have to prepare for my class I'm teaching tonight and found some great info on infant attachment last night in my studies. I caught up on Brothers and Sisters and also October Road the night before. The girls went to girl scouts were they are working on a photography unit (right up their alley) although I think they are finding out they're pretty smart where that is concerned. :) I registered my beeba for Middle School (VERY hard to believe isn't it?). She will have auditions in February. PLLLLLEEEEEEAAAAAASSSSSSSEEEE let her make one of the academies. Keep a good thought for her K?

Finally, the highlight of my evening was American Idol, and I came to realize how very addicted I am to that show. My favorites so far are the AA lady with the daughter with Rett's syndrome, and then there are two blonde girls...the very last one (very 'Faith Hill' ish) and then the one from Oregon that had to sell her horse to get there. I do believe the 'Princess Leigha" look alike was on the Autism spectrum, and felt a bit badly for her...but really, overall Simon was quite nice last nite! Shocking! So tonight I work til 9:30 but Tivo will be on hand to care for my Idol craving! Gotta love that Tivo--- Until next time...

Monday, January 14, 2008

What a great new computer!!

Hey, I am officially posting from my kids' new computer. It is so nice :) I am for sure picturing one for my scraproom in the near future! I especially enjoy that none of the keys stick! So, as promised I finally have pictures of my lovely new family room. All of my pictures are up, the new entertainment unit is set up, and I only have about 8 wires left to hide :) and I have this quote from upper case living... the picture is only temporarily in that frame until a new frame can be secured! Stephanie is relaxing in the new recliner :), while Bluey was feeling the need for a hug. Does anyone else out there have a 90 lb. dog that hugs them or is it just me?

Finally, I wanted to share with you my new lease on life. You see, one of my greatest joys in life is reading. The trouble is I always go to bed after Kevin and that is where I like to read. Well he highly dislikes having the light shine in his eyes while trying to sleep. So check out this nifty gadget... Look's sitting on the new book I'm reading in the dark with my new ear mounted reading light! One of the kids got this for selling 5 items from a fund raiser. It is the BEST ever!! Last night I laid in bed in the dark with no TV on and no distractions and read for 45 minutes without disturbing the hubby. It sure doesn't get any better than that! Aaaaahhhhh, you gotta love life's simple pleasures!

So much to say/do, so little time~

Where or where has this weekend gone? I am feeling great that I got so much accomplished, but also feeling WAAAAAY tired! I started out the weekend, having a quick birthday cake for Nina and gift opening, before I had to leave for school. Here she is modeling her new coat :) After I headed to Delevan I met my friend Carlene for dinner. I was almost a bit giddy, since it had been a month since we saw each other. We had so much catching up to do. We ate at Chili's and I had steak, everything mashed, and a salad. Oh, let's don't forget 2 root beers. I didn't add up the WW points, really what's the point? I am starting the WW today, refreshed, hopefully, unless the stress level goes over the top then all bets are off! Meanwhile, Kevin took the kids to Thunder Bay Grill (Nina's favorite) for her birthday dinner. {The last birthday I'll have to miss :)} Friday night and Saturday I had my first class, which was EXCELLENT! I have such a great and knowledgeable instructor, plus there are only 10 people in this class, so there is a lot of great discussion. She is going to give me info on how I can get a free special ed advocate for Brennan and for one of my clients. How great is that? I am so excited to read all the info she gave us. On a side note, one day she brought chips and mango salsa. OK, so not that I needed another food to love,but I LOVE mango salsa!! After class, Kristina had cheer practice and a game, but had to leave early cuz she didn't feel well (mostly I think tired and hungry and missing me) -- I went to Slumberland and finally picked up my new entertainment unit. It is all set up and looks great! (Will have pics posted on that tomorrow) I am so glad to not have the clutter and wires everywhere. The furniture is all arranged, and the pictures are up on the wall. I put up a upper case living quote on the wall, and am so pleased with how the room turned out. I am a bit sore today from carrying in the units. I told Kevin, odd how it smells like stain. For real, I think it's the first 'real wood' furniture we have ever purchased. Merry Christmas to me! Sunday I continued cleaning and got quite a bit done. I finally put away the rest of the Christmas odds and ends that were still about and then it was time for Kristina's family birthday party. Uncle Tim, Aunt Deb, Shana, Ryan, and Aubrey were able to attend. A. Teresa, & Gramma were sick, so Ryan, Robert, and Arissa couldn't come either. Kristina was real sad about that, but I told her we would have another little get together for Daddy's side when everyone is feeling better. :( We haven't heard from UD in a week and I'm beginning to get concerned. Hope all is well with him. We had a great Wii tournament and true to form, Shana beat Ryan in Boxing... a TKO! Way to go! I think they may be a bit sore today cuz man that Wii is a work out! Anyway, A. Deb and U Tim gave Kristina a dozen dollars, in an egg carton. Kristina said..."they always give the best gifts!" Deb is so creative and the presentation is always the best! She got a gift card from Grandma. that Aubrey really enjoyed tasting! Nina's not sure what she'll get yet, but I bet she's got her Dad at the target before we know it! She picked out this cake.... Yumm Peppermint concrete cake from Culver's (again no WW points tallied there) Uncle Tim got the new computer all set up and Brennan was so thrilled. The girls will also be thrilled, because there will be so much less bickering now over the computer! Thanks again Uncle Tim! (Don't know what I'd do without my own personal IT guy!) I finally hit the bed at 11:15 and was reading til 12:00 or so. 5:00 came super early and I'm a bit wiped today. I don't have any clients scheduled tonight and hope to be home early AND in bed early! Until next time...

PS Hey Ry, you lucked out I didn't post your 'yawning' picture :) But you know if it wasn't blurry it'd been on here!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Peace be with the Morrissey family

A sad day for the Morrissey Family. Their baby Michael has gone to Heaven. If you have not kept up on their blog, Dad left a most beautiful entry last night in light of Michael's passing. He spent 5 short weeks here on Earth but has touched so many hearts. God Bless you and keep you Michael until we meet again.

Happy Birthday Kristina!

Today, it is this precious one's 12th Birthday! She was born as 4:09 pm 12 years ago today....hard to believe how quickly our babies grow up. This is what I love (or adore, or cherish, or can't live without) about Kristina-- She is a genius (I'm not just saying that cuz I'm her mama either ;), She has the most beautiful smile, she is very caring and giving, she is a great helper, she has always been very huggy, she makes up crazy nick names for me, (the most recent of which is bologny! or hondu, or scoobidy, or bleekin), she is soft hearted, she loves her family, her beautiful green eyes, she loves God, she is an eager learner, she brings a bubbly energy to our family, she is independent with a good balance of dependence, she is an all around wonderful daughter. Happy Birthday Precious One!

Last night I got to spend a night at home -- well at least after 7:00. I made a home cooked meal, which the kids were very excited about AND we had a Robert Thursday! Although he was quite cranky last night, we still enjoyed having him over. He had his 'baf' and his yummy dinner, While Bluey waited patiently by for any morsel that may 'accidentally' be dropped on the floor! Robert gets a big kick out of feeding the dogs...and they have come to expect it ;P After dinner, we baked Kristina's birthday treat for school... while Robert played in the kitchen with me. He thought he'd try my shoes on for size It was the craziest thing ever watching him try to walk around as he giggled and giggled. I think if the shoes are 13 sizes too big, it doesn't matter if they're on the wrong feet or not! I had time to spend some much needed together time with my kids, I got 2 loads of laundry done, and got to read the newspaper. It was a rejuvenating evening and it was so needed. I feel like a new person today! I have a stressful day at work, but then I'm off to meet Carlene for dinner and go to school. It will be so nice to see everyone again and I am so excited for this class. Saturday I have school and Kristina has cheer practice and a game. Sunday we have church and then Kristina's family party. I'm looking forward to get together to celebrate her birthday.
PS, check out the Edward blog on the updates on the rebuilding efforts and volunteer opportunities to help.
Until next time...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

46 hours

In the last three days I have worked 46 hours. That might be a record even for top it off, I've also gotten 15 hours of sleep in those same three days! Today, I only have 11 hours on the agenda, and then I get to spend the evening with my family :) :) :) Kristina's birthday is tomorrow so tonight we have to make a treat for her to take to school {on the last year that she can take a treat for school}. Stephanie has been so busy getting ready for end of semester finals today and tomorrow, with lots of homework every night. She is excited to change classes and to finally be done with Algebra! (Me too since I cannot help her with her homework) Next semester she will take Honors Contemporary World Studies, Spanish, Gym and Choir, and Advanced Placement English. Brennan too has been busy making sure that all his work is turned in. He is looking forward to his report card money and as usual already knows what he wants to spend it on. He definitely gets that from me! I had a few extra things on the agenda this week, which led to the long hours. Kristina said last night that she believes it's time for me to quit 'that dumb school thing' -- I explained to her that I will be done 'next year' (my new favorite phrase) and then at that point I'll have more freedom and more time to spend with her. She said, "But I won't be the same next year, I'll be old!" Bless her heart...She had to have lots of extra hugs last night and mom time. I rubbed her face so she could go to sleep and she seemed to be much more relaxed. Her skin is at the all time worse and so that is making her very emotional (in addition to me being gone) -- The real trouble is, when her skin is so broken out, all of the medication burns her and just makes it worse. I read on the package last night that burning is an adverse reaction (meaning she's probably become allergic to the medicine too) -- so today I must contact the Dr. to come up with a new plan.

On a brighter note, I talked to my friend last night that used to work at UIC-- I finally found out the pay scale, which is right up my alley, and also, that after you work at the college since you are a state employee, your kids can attend any state school for 50% off tuition. I think that is terrific! Also, you don't pay social security tax when you work there, and the benefits are terrific. Yes, I do believe this is where I want to work. I can only hope they feel the same way!

I taught my first class at the Y last night and I think it went pretty well. There are 28 people in the class so I was a bit surprised by that! (I really expected about 15)-- Stephanie's preschool teacher from Kiddie Kollege is in the class and it was so nice to see her again, and to thank her for giving Stephanie such a good foundation for learning. There was a lot of interaction and the students all seem to be pretty interested. Only 4 more classes to go :)

Hope you all have a terrific Thursday...until next time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Pardon our dust!

This is my family room in progress...please pardon the mess! I told my niece, by the way I don't clean and organize before I paint, that all happens after! The khaki on the top is new...note the ugly white and left over beigey color on the bottom...yuck!

Now note the new khaki and chocolate brown :) I wasn't so sure at first, but it has really grown on me and now I quite like it! The cleaning and decorating will be done this weekend when the new entertainment unit comes in...can't wait for that :D
OK, so today I worked my usual 6a til about 4-- then I was off to Chasi for my adoption group...trouble was both of the child care workers were not able to attend, so guess who got to provide childcare?....yup, yours truly. I really wasn't looking forward to it, but it turned out to be ok. I had fun and the kids had fun. As I left work I grabbed a can of rootbeer and threw it in my purse for later. I stopped by Culver's and got a cup of yummy Stuffed Green Pepper soup. [Who knew they made that? It was VERY tasty!] I got to Chasi and got out some paperwork, when my phone rang. I pulled it out and it was R-E-A-L sticky and wet. Ummmmmmmmmmm. Yes, that's right, the whole can of root beer leaked into my purse. {Enter a speechless moment here} because I really didn't know what to do. I threw away every piece of paper I really didn't need and tried to stuff the rest into the side pocket to dry. I dabbed my dripping soaked wallet with tissue and when I picked it up to look at the bottom, yes it was dripping :( and it was now time for me to go care for 12 kids for 2 hours. Ugggghh, that mess is for sure going to have to wait! So, I am home now and the vera bag is getting ready to hit the washer, because really, I cannot tolerate sticky! I am really sad about my marc jacobs leather wallet and don't yet know if it is salvageable-- this has been my wallet for hmmmm about 2 years and it is going to be a tough replacement. Yes, I know we shouldn't get so caught up in material things, but being organizationally challenged as I am, it is especially hard when the one organizer you rely on becomes a root beer float! (I know bad joke, just couldn't help it!) So, we'll scrub up the ole vera tonight and if all else fails...the new spring colors are out and Raspberry fizz is calling my name (although I had hoped to wait til spring to actually purchase it!) Until next time...

The Reentry

Today, I sure feel like the space shuttle at reentry and I'm missing a few heat shielding tiles. Did my first day back really need to be a 15 hour one? Did we need to have a tornado right in the middle of it? Probably not, but we did! I was very sad that Edwards received a lot of damage...this is what's left of their house and the barn where we eat yummy donuts and apple pie every fall. Hopefully a rebuild effort will be underway soon. The kids and I have so many happy memories of crisp fall days spent at Edwards. There were a few injuries, some are critical, but no deaths, gratefully. It was a scary day. Getting back to the reentry...My friend Carlene and I both commented on how in a crazy way we are so glad to be back to our hectic schedules. Yes, I admit-- it felt so much more comfortable to be at work yesterday than to have a 'nothing scheduled' day. I missed the kids and my staff and my job and it was great to be back. Makes me wonder what it'll be like when I leave here. Odd I'm sure. Actually, it makes my stomach a little sick to think about it...but it'll all be ok...just another step along the journey.

My friend Sandi Johnson got her test results back yesterday...nothing too definitive yet, but nothing devastating either. I am so glad for her--- as glad as you can be for someone who is having the cancer struggle from hell. I checked her blog last night at 11:00 and she had nothing posted for yesterday. That was really scary. I prayed for her last night and put her in God's hands, hoping that she was home celebrating, not home dealing with devastating news. This morning her post was there. So grateful was I to hear that things had not gotten worse. Hopefully in her next stage of treatment she will be feeling so much better. After reading her post I went to bed and caught the 9:00 news at 12:00 (due to late sports coverage) -- that was great since I have yet to read the Sunday Paper :( Mayor Morrissey was at the city council meeting last night and was on the news. He has a long post this morning on the status of his baby and it saddened me a bit to see him back at work, knowing how heavy his heart is about his son. I continue to pray for Sandi and Larry as they continue to struggle through. There are links to both of their caring bridge sites to the right on my blog under faves and friends.

On my 2nd day back I feel a bit overwhelmed. Hmmmm, I guess I should say I feel a bit normal. (Note to on the overwhelmed feeling as being normal!) Got a 14 hour day on the agenda today, but ends on a high note with my adoption preservation support group. I always look forward to the knowledge and strength shared by these families. I am working on 2 big grants for work...something that requires an organized thought process {ugh} and getting caught up from vacation. Once work and internship are back on will kick in this weekend. Geez, what I really need is time for laundry! {Grammie where are you?} The good news'll all get done in time, and what doesn't get done today will undoubtedly be there tomorrow. To top off my morning-- a precious 4 year old just walked by and said, "I love you Jacque!" Ahhhhhh, so glad to be back at work!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I work well under pressure :)

The family room is done! AND, it looks pretty good if I don't say so myself! Pics will be posted next weekend however, since my entertainment unit has been delayed for a week...bummer! Shana came over and helped me paint. {So grateful for her!} It was so nice, mostly that we got to spend time chatting while we painted...I enjoyed that the most :) Baby girl was really patient while she had to share her mommy with me! My girls were a great help keeping her busy while we painted, Brennan worked hard on his homework tonight-with Kristina's help, and Kevin did dinner...thanks so much honey! We wouldn't have been done without you! This beautiful 50 degree weather was the best, since I could paint with the windows open and got to air out the house-- love that January thaw! I must say, my to do list is no where near done, but I anticipate most of the items will be accomplished this week, now that I'm back to working 70 hours a week. People always tell me, I work well under pressure :) Until next time...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Girl Scout Cookie Kick Off

Just a quick note, that you may purchase as many boxes of girl scout cookies as your little heart desires, right here on this old blog! Just let me know, both of the girls are selling them, I think they're still $3.50 and yes they're still yummy :) They even have 100 calorie packs this year for all my friends on Weight Watchers (Present company included ) --

Where in the heck is my right arm!!?!?!?!?

What a nightmare, what a gigantic crisis, what an irritation, how on Earth could it be? Well, yes, I'm speaking of our NON WORKING INTERNET!!! Just as I bragged to Shana that it had always worked with nary a problem, guess what? NO INTERNET! So really, you would think the members of our family lost their right arm...for instance...the kids wanted to go bowling but couldn't look up the phone number because no internet. Kevin suggested we look in the phone book. Ummmmm, phone book? Do we own one of those? Evidently not, cuz we sure couldn't find one! Movie schedules? Nope, can't locate them either...then to top it off, Shana sent me a text that her blog had been updated....AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH! I screamed out loud! Ok, so Shana, evidently the DSL does go down once every two years (I stand corrected) -- and we evidently cannot survive without it!

Ok, enough about update y'all on mom...she is doing well, had a double stint installed, and is waiting to be released from the surgeon to go home! I am sure that both Mom and Larry will be happy to be home. {Good News for Mom}

The to do list is still quite full, however, I did get the cheer pups outfit done and no I did not take a picture (@$%!&*) Kristina had cheer pics this morning, then we went to Grandma's to watch Robert and Ryan for a bit while she ran to the Dr. After that, a quick nap (one of my last for a while :( ), and then to Kristina's game. Their team lost by 3 points, but hey, the cheerleaders looked good :)- After that we finally got to the pet shop for crickets, fish, lizard lite, cat litter, scratching post, hamster habitat and dog treats. We did leave a few things in the store for other shoppers. Our Black Angel fish died 2 days before his guarantee was up, so we replaced him for free :) Then we were off to Walmart-- I finally bought the paint, a furnace filters, light bulb, and these ... OMG! The best slippers ever! They are so comfy AND my feet don't get hot! {Ummmm, yes I know, a pedicure is definitely in order and it is very brave of me to show my unpedicured feet on the web! ;) }

! AND, Shana offered to help me paint tomorrow! Yippee! So, perhaps new pretty pics of the family room will be posted soon.

Lastly, I came in with grocery bags and the family said..."Hey, What's for dinner?" "Well, tacos" said I "Minus the lettuce, because I forgot it" Brennan replied that he was sorry, he could not eat the tacos because without the lettuce they were not healthy. Sooooooo....anyone that knows my son knows that mostly he only eats cheeseburgers, fries, pizza, pasta, cheesesticks, and well, I think that's about it. Oh, yes, and on occasion he eats tacos. I replied that I was aware of what a health food nut he was, but thought that he could eat tacos just this once, without lettuce. And so it goes...until next time

Friday, January 4, 2008

Ahhhhh, my last day of vacation...

Last night I was nearly having a panic because all of these things kept running through my mind that were all important, that all had to be done, and I was so worried I'd forget made a list :) Pick up paycheck, get $ from Ela & Becky, Mail $ to Toni, Pack Xmas gifts for Mom & Cassie, Mail internship appraisal to Weeden, Mail Xmas cards, Mail braces estimate, Aubrey 11:00, take dead fish back, buy new fish, buy crickets, find missing Carl Cole card, chasi notes and to do list, pick out paint colors for family room, buy the paint, check stock of paint supplies, call about entertainment unit, pu United Way packet, go to bank, pick up truck, go to Sopora, Steph to babysitting, finish cheer dog, there that ought to about do it! So...that's the Friday list. I will feel SOOOOO much better when all of that is off my plate! So far today, I have picked out the paint colors and it's 11:00! Wow so much accomplished! JK...I am definitely a 2nd shift person. After I got the kids off to school this morning...I surely passed out for a nap. Now, I feel ready to take on the list! So, here are the new paint colors...
I will paint one wall of the stairway, the entryway, and the upper part of the family room the khaki color...the fireplace all and the bottom half of the family room will be the brown...hopefully completed pics will be on line by Sunday night! But for girl just arrived, and must have my undivided attention :) :) :) Until next time...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Do you hear it? Listen closely...the winds of change are blowing :) As I sit her at the computer tonight I am a little bit glad that my kids went to bed at 10:20 instead of 11, 12, 1 or whenever because I got to say, "You better get in bed, you have school tomorrow!" Ahhhhh, the last two days of my vacation sans children. Hmmmmm, what to about work?!? Ok, I'll put in 8 hours at Chasi tomorrow, but only after I pick the new paint color for the family room, and Friday...well, how bout invite some kids over !?! Sounds insane, um, I mean fun doesn't it :) My husband doesn't really understand the attraction I have to children, but I can't really get enough of them! (Although I still enjoy bedtime after being home with mine for 10 days:) So, tomorrow, I have to start cramming in all of the things I didn't get done that are on my to do list...Like today for instance I did 6 loads of laundry and counting Hooray! Tomorrow, I have to be at work at 12 til 7 or so, but REALLY would like to paint the family room ceiling first. (And wouldn't ya know it, I just scheduled a client for 6 and an hour later the cheer leading coach calls and says there will be practice at 6) Wow, and so my life resumes! Friday, I have Aubrey :):):) Brennan has the shrink, and after that I am taking Zoe, Jason, and Ethan to Sapora....FUN!!!! Enough about the to do list...the real purpose of this post is two fold.

First, to talk about transitions in life. The other day when my little one's ortho told me she would be getting her braces because alas, ( daughter said never to say alas, it makes me sound old) so, the other day when my little one's ortho told me she would be getting her braces because, {can't think of a word other than alas} all of her baby teeth had fallen out, I immediately thought: WHAT? No more tooth fairy is needed at the Ruch house? Why, it can't be. I came home from the ortho and had my son open his mouth wide. Nope, there was not one baby tooth to be found. WHO SAID THAT WAS OK? WHERE WAS MY WARNING? I mean, really, when you're youngest child's last baby tooth falls out, shouldn't someone say...uh hem, take note here, this will be the last tooth placed under a pillow in your home. No one said that to I didn't take pictures, there will be no terrific scrapbook page to follow and the tooth fairy is officially retired. Unless, does the fairy come when you get your wisdom teeth pulled? (When I got my wisdom teeth pulled, my mom brought me a kitten...I'm not sure if that counts) Really...she brought me a kitten. Although I didn't live at home then, so putting them under my pillow would have produced nothing. Darn it. Wait one moment please daughter
is yelling to be tucked in...Ok, she has been dutifully tucked in and kissed goodnight. Anyway...back to the song lyrics, "Don't blink, it goes faster than you think..." Enough said.

The second purpose of this post is for a "Mom" update. Wish I had her password, and I'da (that's slang for I would have...probably should patent that word) updated her blog. My Mom had her angio something or other today and they found a blockage. So, that is really good! I mean, not the blockage but that they found it BEFORE the heart attack, and so now they will fix it: First thing (or 10:00) tomorrow morning. So, I was very relieved to talk to her this afternoon and know that all was well. Her husband is fighting a cold and I felt badly for him as he sounded very stressed. I was waiting for the call today while sitting in the dentist chair and man did that ever make my dentist visit so long! (As if it's not long enough :D) My teeth are all shiny now,(although I still need a root canal, as soon as the budget allows--I'm pretty sure that will be some time after my daughter's 12th birthday, because really we MUST have our priorities in order!) my kids go back to school tomorrow, my mom is well, and wait! I have a new quote of the day. Instead of the old adage, one day at a time...I prefer..."Just take it one gigantic, earth shaking, crisis at a time! Love that one... or, here's one I saw the other day that I thought might be good for my new office..."I'm not really good at advice, would a sarcastic comment do?" I crack myself up. OK, so evidently I'm a bit tired, or giddy, or have been on vacation for too long, or perhaps have done too many loads of laundry in one day. Time for bed you ask? Well no, because after 6 loads, my darling daughters asked, "Could you wash this for me for school tomorrow?" Hmmmmm, [insert sarcastic comment here] Until next time...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

It's official!!

I can now officially say that I graduate NEXT year!!! How exciting is that?! When I'm actually into the last 12 months I anticipate being just a bit giddy! It seems most of the world goes back to work tomorrow and I do too for a little bit. I have some catching up to do at CHASI and my weekly staff meeting there...So, it'll be nice to get out of the house. I wanted to maybe check on a new coat at Kohl's (since I'm tired of wearing Kevin's) tomorrow too. Kristina and I were there the other day looking for me a coat, but we ended up finding a super cute one for her (of course) -- it's just the one she has wanted and of course her birthday will be upon us in 10 short days, so perhaps for her birthday? We'll see. We have started to plan her party and I think it will be on the 2nd of February. It just seems so hard to have it 2 weeks after Christmas. Most people are still in the 'reentry' phase of the new year then and it seems so hectic. February allows for better planning and a better financial outlook after the drain of Christmas. :)

Now, for New Year's Eve. Every year my kids make me feel so old by having to wake me up at midnight to wish me happy new year! So this year, I vow to stay awake for the big event :) The biggest event of the night was by far this...

Robert Tuesday!!!! The dysfunctional side finally decided it was ok to expose him to me, so he got to stay overnight last night :) Oh, how I loved it. When we pulled into the driveway Robert said, "Baf? Baf? Baf?" I said, of course you can take a bath! To which he replied, "Cars? Cars? Cars?" Yes, my love you can have a bath with your cars. So...he played for a bit and we made fudge frosted brownies, Yumm!!! And finally it was bath time. He was so sweet playing with his cars---and lining them up. Kevin and I watched "The pursuit of happyness" (spelled wrong intentionally according to the movie title) -- we had chips and dip, and enjoyed Robert's company. Brennan was at the World of Warcraft New Year's fireworks (on the computer of course) and Stephanie & Nina were both at their bff's house. was a peaceful night, but we enjoyed it AND we stated awake to see the ball drop! Woohooo...perhaps I'm only 25 after all?!? This morning Robert got up and emptied my cabinets before I woke up...I heard the crash of silver ware out of my china cabinet and thought it best that I get 7:00 UGH! The good thing about early rising 2 year olds is that they are early nappers and I sure enjoyed the 12:00 nap! The girls all returned home and are getting ready to go back to school on Thursday...organizing new Christmas clothes to wear, catching up homework, etc. etc. I am grateful for a few days to myself before work on Monday. (Paid work anyway!)

As I look forward to the New Year, I am not a person of resolutions per se--I tend to change things as they need changed or as I become aware of them. Overall, however there are a few things I aspire to do in the new year. Perhaps lose 10 more lbs. (I lost 17 last year, but gained 7 back--so perhaps a goal of 10 a year wouldn't seem so overwhelming!) Continue the various professional pursuits I have going on (and live through it!) Ease my youngest into Junior High, Ease my oldest into getting her driver's license, Accept the fact that I'll be missing a lot of softball games this summer, but will be sure to attend every one next year! SCRAPBOOK MORE!! I'm not sure how that will happen, but I'd sure like it to! Learn to say no when necessary :) Learn to say yes when necessary :) Appreciate the great life I have and enjoy my terrific husband and kids...Perhaps get a new job? Effective June 1st when I start my new internship at UIC, this will become my number 1 priority...landing a new UIC job. Having these past two weeks off, sure gives me a taste of doing what I want when I want to, and man am I ready for that! Also, I mean really, if I can't find anything else to do, I'd like to finish my application for Deal or No Deal! So...lofty goals? Time will tell...until then Happy New Year and Keep on Blogging!

PS, OK, the cat music had to go...even I had to hit the mute button when I opened my blog!