Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Crammin it all in!

Wow, do I have a lot of catching up to do! I feel I must have the week in review via know...a pic says a 1000 words?!? Sounds like a lot less typing to me...First, little mama round 3. Yes, this is the third set of Robin babies that have been hatched in this nest on our downspout. It's like our own little nature channel all summer long! Note the body language in this photo...can you tell my Dad's not a touchy/feely kind a guy? On the left is my SIL & my bubba. (The kidney recipient) as they were preparing to take my big girl away for a week to the Osh Kosh Fly in. Of course next in the photo is my big girl, my hasbeen, and my Dad. & the big girl before her departure. It sure has been quiet around these parts without her! This mess....SCRAP NITE! It was so much fun and I got a lot done! I also spent very very little money while I was there...a miracle in and of itself. These girls are my scrap club, minus 1 friend that couldn't make it. We had such a great time, and everyone got so much accomplished...This girl...words cannot describe her...She is one of my BFF's for sure. We used to work together and after she moved on to bigger and better things I was so afraid our friendship would dwindle. Dwindle it hasn't and even though I have been SO busy with school...we manage to schedule (yes schedule) time to see each other! She is such a breath of fresh air to me. We laugh about the same things, worry about the same things, and even after we haven't seen each other for a month...we can just pick up where we left off. I love that she has her own opinions and that she loves to tease me about whatever it is she thinks I'm a little 'over the top' about! (Although from the looks of the sparkly cards she made this weekend, perhaps I'm rubbing off on her!) God has blessed me with her :) This is my little girl Rachel wait, I mean Kristina...She made dinner for us on Sunday...Goulash, Crusty bread and corn. Yum-my! As I was laying in bed leisurely reading the paper as my dinner was being prepared I knew for is good.
On that very same night, another local family was not so lucky. Amanda Kordich was killed by a drunk driver on her way home from work at Culvers...I went to school with Amanda's mom and our daughters danced together for 8 years at Forest Hills Dance company. This...hits much too close to home for me as my daughter is preparing to get her driver's license and her first job. Amanda is here today, but very much being missed by her family and friends. Please pray for her family...What a tremendous loss...

Until next time...

Monday, July 28, 2008

What? He broke what?

By friend Sarah's son broke his leg over the weekend playing baseball. We were trying to settle in to scrap night...when she said, "Jacob broke his leg yesterday..." WHAT?!? Immediately all the mommy thoughts went through my's summer, it's hot, what about sports. how on Earth did that happen? Baseball, mama thoughts sure go out to Sarah today...he'll be ok, but it sure is hard on your heart...

I have lots of blog catch up to do...hopefully tonight...

Until next time...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sky Watch Friday...

For those of you who don't have the pleasure of getting up at 4AM....I thought I'd share this with you this week...It was a beautiful sunrise...the pics don't really do it justice...Check out other Skywatch Friday posts here.
Until next time...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Play Ball!

I went to my big girl's soft ball game last night and was very surprised and most pleased to see this...This is right after the coach put her in TO PITCH!!! and she was feeling the stress...she had not pitched this season since breaking her pitching hand...and was a bit worried about her performance...but overall...not too bad..., especially for a girl that just spent 6 weeks on the bench! She didn't have as much power as before the hand break, but definitely held her own...Man how I love to watch her see those looks of concentration and determination that make her who she is...I can think of one word...tenacious...this is a girl that will go places and do great things. As she approaches her sophomore year, I pray daily that she will stay on the straight and narrow as more adult decisions come her way. She's a fabulous kid, my big girl :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The celebrities among us...

My big girl is in the paper can read her article here... She has an art internship again this year. I don't really appreciate the term 'at risk' since my gifted, honors daughter doesn't really fall into that category, but I do know they have to serve a certain percentage of children from 'at risk' zip codes. Odd huh? That zip codes can be a determinate of school success? We don't live in one of those zip codes, so each year Stephanie has a lesser chance of making it into the program as other kids who live in the at risk zip codes...but this is the second year she has made it. It is a great program put on by the Rockford Area Arts Council. Due to less funding the program has shorter days this year and fewer participants, but Steph has had a great time and really enjoyed herself there. The students have a final performance and art sale (yes you can buy my big girl's art there :) on Friday August 1st. Steph was featured in two separate photos learning actually perfecting her art of printmaking...Her prints will be for sale at the final show. Gotta love that!

Last week I was featured here, (please pardon the gross misspelling of my name:) as I was being interviewed regarding our governors desire to fund up to 36k annually for families of children with Autism to help cover additional expenses incurred as insurance companies deny more and more charges for therapy. At this point, I would be thrilled to be able to get my son more therapy that would help make learning and socializing easier for him.

So...y'all we been real buzy round these parts...with all our celebrity-ness!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A new more focused me...

Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to meet with a fabulous researcher (ok, many of you just clickity clicked away from my site when I mentioned research right?) Anyway, I met with THE most fabulous researcher and have decided to start blog #2. I need some help though and here's where you come in...I need a name...there is so much cutting edge research on Autism and the middle ear functions, and also the relatedness between Fibromyalgia and PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder) that really needs to be discussed. Besides that, I want to share my family's stories of resiliency for those that are in the throws of life on life's terms while living with Autism, Fibromyalgia or PTSD. I don't talk about those topics much here because I think there is a distinct and rather small audience that would be interested in the's where blog #2 comes in...focusing mostly on Autism/Asperger's and the parenting of A/A teens...and a little on Fibromyalgia and PTSD...but...I need a name...something that will pique your interest that hasn't been used before...any takers? any ideas? Please, comment! Thanks!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dangling the carrot...

I was interested to see how long my precious one would chase the carrot. Last year her school sent home applications for kids 12 - 18 to apply for a summer job...corn detassling. For some of you those two words remind you of hot days, bugs, mud, friends, aching, and yes money...the proverbial

'carrot'. I tried to convey to the precious one just what hard work corn detassling is, but to no avail. It took her two days to get the message loud and clear. The first day...not too bad. The second day...pouring, I mean torrential pouring rains right before they went into the fields. The second day was a long day 5:30a - 3:30p in the heat, the sweat, and the mud...lots of mud...I only wish I had taken a picture of her legs covered in mud up to her knees. Guess she stayed home. The enticement of the carrot has faded. Tomorrow she has trombone and a no corn tomorrow, but Wednesday...she believes she'll return to carrot chasing.

Note to careful when shutting the garbage just never know when it will get caught on your skirt!

Finally, weekend, then met the hubby for lunch on the dl (that's down low for all you folks without teenagers) for us...that means lunch without kids. We both ate for $20. What a bargain. Lunch for 2 is much less than lunch for 5...go figure. I cut my nephews hair and ran lots of errands...lots. Sunday...played hookie from church and spent my day with this precious one... I was missin her so much!! I finally got around to cleaning my kitchen but have yet to shine my sink... I even got the kids to help...not with the kitchen of course, but with other chores. Ran more errands trying to get Steph ready for her trip with my bubba. Hard to believe that's Saturday already. A week without her...and planning a big surprise. More on that later...

Today....the beginning of a crazy busy week and looking forward to scrap night with the girls on Saturday. Another carrot.

Until next time...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Skywatch Friday

I can never choose just one! Love this one of the moon...

Nice work God!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Random Thoughts from a mother's heart...

Tuesday night my 14 year old son spent the night at a friend's house for the first time. It was very scary for me...not so much for him. My son has autism...this is a big step for him. He's only really had friends for the past few years and is very, um, well, unadept (is that a word) at navigating the 'friendship waters' so to speak. We have been 'practicing' friendship skills with him by having a few friends over on Friday nights to play video games. This of course is not really interactive play, but parallel play with friends in the same room. Be that as it is the closest thing to friendship he knows. He had a play date arranged at this friend's house and called me at work to say..."Brandon asked me to sleep over." (According to his sister my son called Brandon and bout I just sleep over?) A truly bold step for my boy. Immediately I talked myself through the small panic I was having. I would not be home to adequately 'prep' go through all the social rules he won't observe or be aware of. I'll have about 15 minutes in the car to talk to him on the way to dropping him off and I don't know this family very well. I've only met them a few times. Will they accept my child as he is? Will they reprimand or belittle him? Will they appreciate his differences? Will the boys get along? Will my son have a panic? What if it rains? L-e-t G-o...That's all I could think of...this boy has to grow through the tough times...hopefully this won't be one of them. I dropped him off at Brandon's and had a brief uncomfortable conversation with his Dad..."Uh, yes, thank you for having my son over...he has High Functioning Autism (assuming here the whole world knows what that is) and he's never stayed over at anyone's house before." (I made a conscious decision here to not go through all the 'what ifs') I went on..."If for some reason (of which there could be many-is silently muttered to myself) this doesn't work out, please don't hesitate to call me...say if the boys don't get along, or Brennan feels like he needs to come home, please just have him call me...even if it's in the middle of the night." "Awww, don't worry, we'll be just fine" and off the Dad went back into the house. Uh, ok...I guess this is the part where I get in the car and go home...ok, I'm going now....really, I'm not peeking in the windows and stalking my son and his fragile interactions...I am I was off. I called to check on him that night, the next morning and the next afternoon. My son said, "I'm having fun...we played ping pong, I lost a tooth, I have most of my stuff packed except my tooth which is on the table." "Ok, my 22 hours of worrying is up...I'm coming to get you." "Ok Mom...see ya" I picked him up and really he wasn't too worse for the wear! He was a bit stressed that there was a disagreement between the parents while he was there, to which he replied..."it didn't really make me feel comfortable or welcome and I was a bit scared, kinda like I am with Dad" (Dad yells, I don't....and he's not really about yelling) I asked what they were fighting about and if they swore and he said no...Brandon's Dad said I could stay over without talking to the Mom and the Mom was mad. Oooohhhh, a mother scorned...been there! I reassured my son that anytime he wants to come home or feels unsafe all he has to do is call me. "I know" he said, "but I really wanted to stay" Yes my love...I know you did. Really, the biggest deal was the parents smoked, which my son said, "sets a bad example for their kids :)", gotta love him! We threw everything in the wash and sent him to the shower when he got home, and that was that. So good!

Onward to the precious one (my baby girl) She has been all set to start Corn detassling any day. The team leader called on Monday to leave a message. She called him back 3 times and he hadn't called back. This morning, precious one's bff called to see why she wasn't there to detassle. WHAT?!?! Because we didn't know it started is why! So...evidently corn detassling is on the agenda for tomorrow. She has to be there at 5:30 and I'm sure a small stroke will ensue if she is I imaging I'll be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow! I really didn't mind that she missed today since it is really hot and humid here...hope she gets through it ok. She's a tough cookie.

The big girl is getting through her lifegaurding classes just fine and plays her first softball game tonight (in the sweltering heat) since the cast removal. I'm super glad she's been swimming this week to rebuild a bit of stamina after the 6 weeks of sitting around. Her hand still hurts when she pitches, so I'm pretty sure that will not be on the agenda. I am a little miffed that it costs me $125 bucks for her to play the last 4 games-- but she wants to finish out the season and who knew she'd break her hand the first week, right?

Finally, weighing heavily on the mother's heart is the thought of my kids moving out. It seems odd to me that a few short moments ago we were overcome with diapers, babyfood, and more baby equipment than I ever thought was here it is time to look at colleges, ACT prep, driving and the list goes on. I believe serious dating is just around the corner and I surely don't think I'm ready for that. When I see a young couple holding hands or kissing in public I think...what on Earth will I do when that is my daughter or son? At my daughter's age I had already gone through my first heartbreak and was dating a guy I would later become engaged to and move out of state with. I feel TRULY blessed that my daughter has put off the inevitable as long as possible...but I am sure having to come to grips with it (dating) momentarily! She stated to me the other day that she'll be needing a homecoming dress for the dance. Uh...ok, sure. Someone texted her the other night to see if she liked him too. She asked me what to say to him, cuz in fact she doesn't like him. I urged her to use the old tried but true heartbreaking statement, "I like you as a friend." And that was that....She let me know the other day it's 14 weeks until she gets her license. AAARGH!!! Where did the time go? My son starts driving in 8 short months! I must quit now before I work myself into a mommy tizzy!

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm pretty sure I don't need another addiction...

Here's the trouble...I love too many things...I love my family (of course!), my friends, gardening, scrapbooking, photography, and many many other too numerous to mention here, but my new found love is...Daddy blogs. For real...where do these incredible writers come from? It all began with CF he told his story about his incredible wife and daughter. I have found myself praying for this family, just about daily. Both his baby and his wife are virtually walking miracles. As a family member of a transplant recipient I know too well how fragile life is...and about the waiting and about the recovery, and about life post transplant. Their story is amazing. Not long after CF Husband, came Sardonic Catholic Dad...He is a breath of fresh air...first of all he has a great sense of humor...and also 11 kids. I never cease to be amazed that one with 11 kids still has a sense of humor! Love him...and his wife too but let's not digress we're talking strictly Daddy blogs here! About the same time I became hooked on Sardonic, I stumbled across Laid Off Dad... Laid off Dad is going through a Divorce while at the same time trying to do what's best for his children. He is my hero. Matt, Liz, and Madeleine ... is the story of Matt and Madeleine...and Liz who is in Heaven. Those that know me may be surprised that I read this blog since Matt uses foul language periodically daily. His blog is raw, truthful, and I love it. Finally, my latest...The Newborn Identity...All this humor and a Dad too? I sometimes feel as if I never need to pick up a book again! Ok, all you compulsive readers calm down! My book list is much too long to list here! Take a minute to check out these amazing blogs and these amazing Dad's...

Do you think Keith Urban is considering Daddy Blogging?

Monday, July 14, 2008

I did it!

OK, this is THE most pitiful craziest post if you're not in the mood for pitiful, you might want to just clicky clicky to the next blog on your list. I just must announce that I actually ordered my pictures from Snap fish today AND I got one cent prints! Yup, 1 can you beat that with a stick? OK, pitiful I know, but few of you know about the popcorn can of undeveloped film sitting in my closet. Getting those developed is also on my to do list, but for now...I have pictures on the way that will be ready to be scrap booked next Saturday night with my scrap girls!! All told I figure there's about 5000 pics on my hard drive and another couple thousand on CD's. Just a slightly overwhelming task I know. I have vowed to order some pictures every week to catch up, you know? Or at least not get any more behind and this week I can check it off the list....Hey! It's only Monday...just think what remains to be accomplished this week! ;)

Until next time...

Sunday, July 13, 2008


OMG! Don't look now but it is 299 short days until graduation. Any number under 300 makes it seem like it's just days away...

This was one of those weekends when there wasn't a lot on the agenda. What that means is there is a lot to be done, just not a lot on the agenda! I still haven't started day one of the fly lady know "shine your sink". I could see my sink earlier today and seriously thought about it, but that was as far as I got with that bright idea. Now the sink is full of dishes

We went to a cook out yesterday at our friend's house which was so nice. I'll have to post the pics tomorrow of the precious ones running through the sprinkler and just enjoying summer. I was so nice to show up when I was well rested after my nap, and spend some time with friends. Today, I got up early and did 3 loads of laundry before church! Yup ME! THREE LOADS! Ok, for you regular laundry folk that may not be a lot but for me that is a big accomplishment. I read the paper and got ready for church. We had a great speaker in place of our pastor who is out of town. He spoke on our body's being temples and how to properly take care of them. (He's a personal trainer by trade) It was odd, cuz I was feeling a bit of desperation regarding my weight lately and lo and is this guy popping into church to talk to us about it. Odd? or God? make a long story short...he gave many helpful hints, but one of which I intend to try first...fix one meal at a time. Pick breakfast, lunch or supper and make it healthy. I think I will start with breakfast, since that seems the easiest to change. So perhaps tomorrow we'll revamp breakfast and go from there.

After church I came home and napped for a bit and then took Brennan to the furniture store to look for his very first non-garage sale bedroom set. He picked out one that I had seen in the sale add that is a bit Urban mod and really not my taste, but I can definitely see him in it. Hubby had a stroke of course since we really need a bed more than he does, but I really feel like he should be all situated before school starts. More on that later...

After the furniture store I decided to try my hand at some much overdue yard work. I finally planted the flowers I bought in May (Brave that I'm admitting that here huh) -- and no they weren't dead. I took very good care of them for two months in their flats on the front porch. Finally, my berm is lined with pretty pink impatience. I am once again suffering from a dead battery or you know there'd be pictures here. After planting and weeding 4 lawn bags full of weeds, I mowed the front yard. During all this garden time...I believe I have FINALLY, after much thought and trepidation made my educational/professional decisions. I have decided to seek a school social worker position while building my private practice. Although this will require me to take two additional classes after graduation, I think it'll be worth it. Here's the deal...since I am the primary breadwinner in our family, there is just no way that I quit my job cold turkey and go into private practice. I can here it now...."Oh look honey! I had two clients this week and here's my check for $100! What luck!" No, that just definitely won't fly around here, we enjoy eating and a roof over our heads much too much for that! So...If I get a school SW job, I can work the cushy 180 days a year from 7 - 3. REALLY? 7 hours? I can't imagine. Anyway that still leaves like 8 hours in the day for me to work to equal the schedule I'm pulling right now! Really what I thought I'd do is rent a space in my friend's practice and work 3-4 hours 2 -3 nights a week until my practice grows. In the summer I thought I could do a lot of group work with kids, since they won't be in school. AND of course, I'll have insurance, and retirement. Shheeezzzz! Do I sound old! And really, if I decided to I could just work one job 180 days, 7 -3 with summers off and still make what I make now. Paradise! I think that sounds like the best fit for me. I love the school environment and I love working with kids. I also like to help teachers work with challenging children. So...sounds good to me. It feels better knowing there's a plan. Perhaps the PhD is in the future somewhere, but for now. I need some time for me and my babies...while there still babies teenagers.

So, after the large bout of yard work...I did two more loads of laundry and a root beer float and here I sit. I hung up all my work clothes for the week and honestly, I had to dust off my hangers. Hanging up isn't something I appreciate. I usually fold everything, but's a new day! Let's try hangers I thought! Wow right?!? Ok, maybe not for you, but for me...every step in the right direction is a good one. was a picture perfect day...a lot of thinking, a lot of doing, a lot of goal setting. Hope yours was great too!

Until next time...

Saturday, July 12, 2008


To say that it is July 12th and I have not had to water my lawn or my flowers one time this year should speak volumes. Driving home from Wisconsin today there are still so many flooded fields and roadways and yet it continues to rain. Pretty soon, the only suitable feet for this place will be these...

When will it quit raining?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Skywatch Friday

So, mother nature gave us a beautiful show last night with SWF in mind :) These first photos are the beginning of the storm which was fantastic (with the exception of the fact that we were at the ball diamonds when it started) and the last picture is the resulting sunset after the storm. (My daughter took that pic so pardon the bluriness) She (the big girl) also has a fabulous video on her camera of the rainbow that ensues complete with lightning going through it...awesome...I'll try to add that to this post later, so please check back...(I mean really 15 year olds can't be up at 6AM right?)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I was cracking up today as I was checking out the fly lady site...Who knew that CHAOS stood for the Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome?!? That has been going on in my house for years! Whenever the kids want to have friends over we always say is the house clean? No? Then no friends over...(OBVIOUSLY hoping they'll see the need for a clean house, but after 15 or so years of parenting we have discovered they don't see it that way...they simply go to the friends house or talk to them online...either way, we still have a messy house) Somewhere among the Ruchus, I'm finding the need to incorporate the new meaning of CHAOS ;)

Anyway, I have just recently started reading these organization, cleaning, throw all the crap in your house away blogs, and perhaps it will help. Tonite...I'm gonna try Fly lady's suggestion and shine my sink. Certainly my husband will think I've lost my mind...more on that later.

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I'm grateful to have an office with a view... the loss of a first tooth
childhood laughter
a new beginning

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

So much better, thanks for asking...

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue, and sleep disturbances.

Yes, that pretty much describes my day yesterday. Didn't sleep much Sunday through work, with the feeling of a hundred pounds on my shoulders and a pounding headache over my left eye. Could I see myself facilitating Autism groups last night? Nope...called in sick to my intership, went home, took some medicine and went to bed. 4 hour nap later...I felt pretty darn good! Got up, went to the grocery store & got some yummy corn on the cob, pork chops, mushrooms and onions, and red potatoes with homestyle gravy. (Thanks Mom!) Took my beeba to Farm & Fleet to buy every bird feeder and food known to man and headed home to cook dinner. We had a fantastic storm last night (if you are the storm enjoying type of person like me) that REALLY lent itself well to a good night's sleep. Yes, I'm feeling so much better, and thanks for asking :)

For more on Fibromyalgia look here...

Monday, July 7, 2008

I'm one of a kind!
LogoThere is
person with my name in the U.S.A.">How many have your name?

Check out my Slide Show!

The Holiday Weekend in Pictures

Did I say 300 pictures? I guess what I meant was 438 pictures. Can you believe it? I am going to try to narrow it down to the very best ones...bear with me ;)

Dylan and Gabe...digging for China
We filled up the hole with Brennan! Gabe was helping to make sure every last crevice was filled in!
How on Earth do I get out of here?!?
Oh my gosh! I actually made it into a picture! How odd!

Beautiful baby girl
Handsome baby boy!
What?!? I'm in two pictures? How could it be! (I'm taking your suggestion Catherine!)
There's my housebound boy Brennan...out in the sun with his pasty white skin!
Thank goodness for big, strong, cousins! Buh bye Brennan!
The babies could have played at the beach for days!

Did you taste the sand? What, you didn't? Well you should! It's pretty tasty!
Cousins :)
Handsome picture of the honey!
Superstar! Paris has nothing on her!
Did I mention my brother bought himself this pinball game for his birthday?
Ok, get ready for three super handsome photos...I talked him into a smile for me! This ones a keeper!
And so is this one!
And this one...wave dancing!
Sunshine babyLove those cub fans! Even in Wisconsin :)
The mad hatter (birthday boy)
The hostess with the mostess!
Hail, hail the gang's all here!

And really, this photo is not related at all, but we got a new frog for our pond on Thursday, and I just had to share him with you...
We haven't named him yet...any ideas?