Saturday, January 30, 2010

Clueless Allison

I know it's not nice to say someone is clueless, but if anyone spends more than five minutes with my #5 child you would know what I'm talking about.    Allison is very gifted in many areas.  She is a phenomenal artist.  Ally also has a creative writing ability.   However, when a person talks to Allison, one gets a sense that she isn't exactly following you at the same speed.  It isn't that she is mentally challenged, don't get me wrong. What it is, is just a stereotypical blonde airhead.  On more than one occasion a person has been talking to Ally and she is laughing and one would assume she is following, but half way through the convo Ally goes "uh, what, wait.......  huh?" and you can't help but laugh because her expression goes from laughing to complete cluelessness in seconds.  
Unfortunately this has gotten her hurt on a couple occasions.  There was one time in particular that was memorable.   Allison was probably about five and  she and Jacob went out sledding.  We had a tremendously long hill and it made a perfect place for sledding.  Well, Jake and Ally piled in the sled and headed down the hill.  About half way down Jake realized they were heading towards a tree so he told Ally to bail out and then did the same.  Allison either didn't hear the 'bail out' part, or just didn't get it because she stayed on the sled.  Jake started running after her screaming, "jump off Ally, bail out" to no avail.  Ally simply turned around and looked at Jake, smiled and waved, completely oblivious to the tree looming in the distance.  Well, you guessed it, she hit the tree.  To make a long story short, we took her to the doctor and they thought she broke her leg but ended up taking the cast off after two weeks because they decided she hadn't.  I'm not so sure she didn't break something though because she still runs with a distinct limp.  However, she just keeps smiling and waving with that clueless expression on her face.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Slayton and the bugs

I truly believe I could write a book just based on Slayton.  He has provided me with enough material to write endlessly for hours, so I will tell a short story for now because I'm sure there will be many more to come.
In the fall of 1999 or somewhere in that near vacinity, we started to gut the cabin that would soon become our home.  When I say we, I really mean my husband because I was to busy with kids to do much else other than that.  Anyway, back to the boy.  Like I said, Ron was up gutting the cabin and I had begged him to take Slayt because even at a year and a half he was so busy that it was all I could do to get through the day without wanting to run away and join the circus.  At that point in my life, the circus would have been less busy and almost relaxing.   Ron did take Slayt with him and they began working on things that men do when they are playing carpenter.  The cabin was on top of a hill in the middle of no where.   Ron was working away and all of a sudden Slayt started shrieking "make it stop, the bugs are too loud".  My husband looked over at Slayton who was sitting by an open window, and saw his son with his hands cupped over his ears and his face all screwed up into a contorted expression.   Nothing Ron did could convince Slayt that the bugs weren't to loud.   Every two minutes Slayt would holler "AHHHHHHHH  the bugs, their too loud, aaaahh".  Oh my gosh, my poor husband.  When they pulled in the driveway less than two hours after they had left, i knew something was wrong.  Ron came in the house red faced and exasperated and said "the bugs were too loud".  It was all I could do not to laugh because Slayt seemed as happy as could be right then.  Obviously country bugs are much louder than town bugs.     

Abby- once a mama's girl, always a mama's girl..... I hope.

My daughter Abby is sixteen.  I really can't believe the time has flown by that quickly. I know everyone says time slips away and before you know it their grown, but it really is true.  Many days I try to figure out how Abby suddenly went from being a chubby little toddler to a beautiful woman.  It honestly feels as if time has sped up and it's a mad dash to the finish line.  
When Abby was born, she was a breath of fresh air to me.  After watching my two boys wrestle and jump and play with reckless abandon, it was nice to have a sweet little girl to put nice things on.  That was a quick passing dream to think her clothes would stay nice and pristine, but hey, a mom can dream.  Abby was such a calm and complacent child.  She was easy to take care of, very rarely fussed and was just fun to have with me.  When she was still nursing, I would sit in the back row and nurse her under a blanket.  I thought i was being discreat.  However, as soon as Abby latched on and started sucking, EVERYONE could hear her and knew exactly what she was doing.  It was like a vacume on high speed with gulping as loud as a train.  Gulp, slurp, gulp, gulp, sigh....... slurp.  Sheesh!  So much for being discreat.  When Abby finally would come up for air, her little cheeks would be so rosy and she'd look around at everyone as if to say "that was awesome".   
There were times however, that I needed a break and would try to leave Abby with my mom.  That went over like a lead balloon on Jupiter.  She would have none of it.  The minute she got wind of me making plans she would start crying. I couldn't leave her with anyone because she would scream and carry on.  I'm not talking about a little whimpering. I'm talking about ear piercing screams that would make the neighbors think she was getting beat.  She would hold on with a death grip so that it would take two people to pry her away.  Thank goodness she grew out of that.  It would look pretty silly if she was still doing that now I suppose.  
I really have no complaints about Abby, even as a sixteen year old teenager with a very active social life.  She has turned out to be a very responsible girl for the most part.  I'm not naive enough to think she tells me everything that is going on in her life, but i'd say for the most part, i know the important stuff.  I love that she wants to sit and watch T.V with me at night or dance around the kitchen with me.  One of the nicest things is that she never seems to be embarrassed by me in front of her friends.  And believe me, I can be quite embarrassing.  I'm proud of my daughter and I won't complain if she always has a little bit of a mama's girl in her.

Jacob, the fearless Rooster Whisperer

For those of you who don't know my second oldest son, Jacob, I will enlighten you on a few things about him.  Jacob is a fearless fellow with a propensity to do dangerous things and give his mother heart failure.  He was never officially diagnosed with ADHD but I am 100% positive he would have been had I taken him in.  He was my child that I was certain would not live to see his teenage years.  Thankfully he did live  and I'd like to say he has calmed down but unfortunately he is like the engergizer bunny and just keeps going, and going, and going.....  
Many years ago when Jacob was about four or five, we took a trip out to see my sister and her family in Arkansas.  The kids loved to go out there as did I.  My neices and nephews are about the same age as my older kids and they get along famously.  This one year that we went out we all took a train ride that left from Eureka Springs and went to somewhere in the Ozarks to a animal petting zoo.  It was so great.  The kids were able to pet baby tigers and see animals up close.  Well, this animal place had these chickens and geese roaming around.  Obviously they had never had a kid like mine come there and think that a loose chicken needed to be caught.  Jacob found this poor Rooster walking around.  Actually the Rooster was strutting his stuff and an observent person could clearly see that Mr. Rooster wanted to be left alone to do his rooster stuff. Unfortunately, Jacob didn't realize this fact, nor did he care.  Jake just kept after that Rooster and would quack at it and put his little face down by the roosters tail and cluck.  After about five minutes of being stalked by this toeheaded kid, the Rooster decided he had enough and Mr. Rooster turned round and jumped up and bit Jake right on the nose.  If you could have seen the look on Jacobs face!  It was priceless.  I'd like to say he learned his lesson, but a few years later and another farm his cute little face was the target of yet another provoked attack.

Howard Zinn

the first time I ever heard the name Howard Zinn was when my Lit professor told me I should google him.  So, being the obedient student I am, I did just that.  On a whim i decided that I would e-mail Mr. Zinn and just see if I got a response.  I asked him if I could do a brief phone interview and to my complete amazement, he not only replied to my e-mail he gave me his personal home phone number.  WOW!  I was floored.  Talk about ask and ye shall receive.  I did speak to Mr. Zinn for about 15-20 minutes.  It was probably one of the most amazing experiences I have had yet.  You could sense he was a man with great influence yet he had a gentleness in his voice that drew me in.  Mr. Zinn made me feel that at that moment I was the only person he wanted to speak with.  I believe that is why he will be missed by so many and one of the reasons why he had such a great impact on those who listened to him speak.  
For those of you who don't know who Howard Zinn is let me give a brief lesson.   Mr. Zinn was a historian, an activist and an author.  He was called a leftist liberal, but I kind of think he would rather have not had a label.  He had a mind of his own and used it.  Mr. Zinn was a liberal through and through, there is no doubt, but he didn't just go along with one party because of his affiliation.   Mr. Zinn was not blinded or enticed by big promises of politicians.  He could see past the fluff and encouraged the voters to make sure the people they elected did what they said they were going to do. 
What I find incredibley amazing is that Howard Zinn could be someone a conservative christian, such as myself, would look up to.  On many levels we would not have agreed.  However, I am sure that Mr. Zinn would have let me have my opinion and not written me off as a right wing whacko.  That is why I appreciate his life.   He will be truly missed by many  and I will forever be grateful for the time he gave me.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Justin the stipper

I was trying to think of things I could blog about the other day and decided that I would dedicate a blog for each of my kids.  There are so many funny and inspiring things they have either done or said and what better way to memorialize them on a blog.
So without delaying any longer I'll start with Justin.
While I was trying to decide which memory to share about Justin, I texted him and asked if he minded if I shared some things.  He said, "no, just run it by me first".   Well, dear son, I haven't run it by you first, but I'm pretty sure you won't mind.  It is a funny story and who cares what you did when you were younger really.  It's not like you still do what I'm about to reveal, right?
From the time Justin could get dressed and undressed on his own, actually, from the time he was potty trained he had a horrible habit of stripping down when he needed to use the bathroom.  At first, I  figured it was because he was home or going to be getting in the bathtub or what not.  Must to my dismay, I soon found out that it wasn't just at home that he was doing this.   I can't remember his exact age that i realized that he was stripping in public bathrooms, but I remember the place.  We were in an Olive Garden somewhere and my nephew was with us.  I can't even remember which nephew it was that I sent to check on him.  Anyway, Justin had been gone longer than I thought was nessesary and so I sent my nephew to check on him.  Well, he came back and told us that Justins clothes where on the floor of the bathroom stall.  OH MY GOSH!  How gross is that?  Come to find out, Justin had been stripping down anytime he needed to use the rest room, no matter where we were.  When I say stripping down, i mean shirt, pants, undies AND socks and shoes.  The worst part is, because he took off his shoes and didn't want to touch the bathroom floor, he would put his clothes on the floor to put his feet on them.  UGH, it gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.  All I can picture is his cute little cubby cheeks and big brown eyes sitting happily on the pot, doing his business not even aware that millions of microscopic ickyness was worming it's way onto his clothes.   Thankfully he grew out of the need to strip.  Well, at least I think he has.........  however, even to this day, he puts a towel on the floor in front of the toilet to stand on when he goes.
When I think about this story from a spiritual sense, it reminds me of the way we are supposed to lay our problems at the feet of Christ.   For Justn, his clothes caused a problem when he went to do his business.  He needed to strip away everything and lay it down in order to do what he needed to do.  Aren't we all supposed to do that?  We need to strip away all the yuck and stuff that hinders us and lay it at the Lords feet.  So many times we hold on to the things that keep us from being free and hold us back rather than strip down and expose ourselves to the life giving freedom in Christ.  Justin didn't care were he was when he stripped, he just knew he needed to do it.  I would encourage everyone to be like that in their spirtual walk with the Lord.  Myself included.  We need to feel comfortable enough and free enough to trust Christ and expose ourselves to get our business done, whether it be in our prayer life, confessing our sins or whatever.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

what is a dad anyway?

Good afternoon readers.  I was just having a convo with my husband and he made a comment about my nephew Chase.  He said it looks like he enjoys being a dad.  You see, my nephew and his wife just had their first baby and it does look like they thoroughly enjoy parenthood.  It got me thinking though about men and why one guy can be the perfect dad and other men are just plain clueless.  I guess I shouldn't use the word "perfect".  Nobody is going to be the perfect parent no matter how hard they try.  Believe me, I've tried and failed miserably.  But I'm going backwards and that isn't what I intended.....  Back to dads.  I thought about my sons.  I have 4.  The two oldest are potentially ready to have kids.  Well, they are at the age when they could have kids.  Neither is ready at the moment but on any account, they could.  Ok, my oldest son is 20.  I think he will end up just being a naturally good dad.  He seems like he will be the type of dad that does things with his kids, takes them places, is patient, will teach them the important things that only dads can and so on.  It seems, like it will just be natural.  My second oldest son, who is 18, says that he doesn't want kids and I can believe him.  IF, and it's a big if, he ever decides to have kids, I think it will take a concerted effort to spend time and be a 'dad'.   Now is that a bad thing?  No, not if he does make the effort.  If it doesn't come naturally and a man has a child, they need to try and do what it takes to be a dad.
Growing up, I had a step father.  My dad had died when I was 5 and my mom remarried about 5 or 6 years later.  Now, I love my step-dad, don't get me wrong.  We don't always agree by any stretch of the imagination, but i still love him.  However, he wasn't the kind of dad that girls dream of having.  Who knows, maybe if I had been a boy he would have been that kind of dad for me that I always wanted.  But, i'm not, and that's ok.  My SD had been a bachelor for a very LONG time and just didn't know what the heck a daughter needed, but my mom filled in the gaps and I think I turned out alright.   That doesn't mean that  I've ever stopped wanting that 'daddy' or whatever it is I seem to be looking for.  Yeah, I know, God is a father to the fatherless.  I think that people that recite that just don't know what it's like.  Yes, God is a father to the fatherless.  I get that, but it's not the same thing as a father in PERSON, living flesh, to the fatherless.   So, again I digress.  Back to men and their role as fathers according to Jeanette....... 
I believe one of the hardest thing men find in being a great dad is the relationship factor.  Many men just don't get it.  It's easy, or easier, for moms I believe.  It just comes natural to us. For men on the other hand, it can be almost painful to develop a relationship with your kid. I think some guys think that if they are in the same house and eat dinner and carry on a conversation at the dinner table then they have built the relationship.  Uh, no, not by a long shot.  It takes time, years and lots of trying to build relationships.  Many men know their sports teams or favorite talk radio host better than they know their sons and daughters.  That is pathetic.  Most good moms could tell you what their kids favorite color or music or food is.  Yes, it can change at any given moment, but realistically, with 80% accuracy most moms could give you that information. A lot of dads could not. 
Ok, I think I've probably done a pretty good job at making many male readers annoyed.  That really wasn't my intention.  I'm just pointing out what some men/fathers do or don't do.  If you are a dad that spends quality time with your kids and the blackberry isn't in the palm of your hand while your doing it, then great job!  If you are willing to pop the kids in the car and whisk them away to go to the store or go to the park without expecting mom to come along then I say KUDO's to you.   If you are the dad that never wrestles with your sons or hugs your daughters then I would just ask why?  To the fathers that can't be bothered to take their child to the park or a museaum or movie then I would just say try harder.  It's not easy to be a parent.  I'm sure it's hard to be a dad with all the responsiblities that you have.  Providing for your family is hard and most of the time seems like a never ending battle.  I think it's important for all men to understand that the memories you build now with your kids are much more important than any thing else you can do.  It doesn't take a lot of time to build the relationships that will last a life time.  It's those memories that will sustain your kids when the going gets hard.  Don't expect your kids to trust you with their problems and their lives if you haven't been willing to share your time and energy on them.  It's your choice to make what time you have count and how you want it counted. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Dreams of a little girl.  Once carefree and now guarded.
Lost in a world or compromise.
Making concessions based on fear and guilt 
Rejecting help because it is tainted with conditions and limits
Discovering her wealth then watching it fall away
Can she ever be found?

Dreams of a little girl.  Now fearful and lost
Buried alive by choices
Blinded by voices and past mistakes
Following the same path not knowing where it will take her
Yet sensing it will destroy her
Can she ever be saved?

Dreams of a little girl.  Now angry and confused
Enlightened with new knowledge
Hopeful for tomorrow and a glimpse of rebirth
Responsibilities get in the way.
Hope deferred and now she is sick.
Can she ever be free?

Dreams of a little girl.  Now determined
Still feeling lost; resigned to her fate
Stealing time for herself in parts, so small and inconsequential
Trying hard to have a purpose beyond her label
Wondering if her heart will hold out until her day is realized
Will she remain?

Saturday, January 23, 2010


In the shadows and cloistered; away from the fears 
of the unknown
Not wanting to fail yet failing each day 
because I didn’t try
Who do I become and how do I know the goals 
are my own
The pressures of life; family, friends and God  
Each pulling in a different direction; wanting to please
yet longing to run  
Running in circles with no authentic purpose 
as if my compass was shattered 
Searching for the answer with eyes and ears closed tight
A moment of impulsive decisiveness and the windows 
are forever opened
Stepping out to search for something undefined 
and finding pieces of myself
Intelligence found which was buried beneath doubt 
and shame
Confidence reborn since death had extinguished its fire
Eyes opening and giving a broader view of focus; agreeing
to disagree
Lights exploding all around me as my body and mind 
and soul awaken
Free to begin, longing to dream, and hopeful for tomorrow.

The Tool Box

There once was a tool box.   It was a very sensible tool box 
with a handle for the carrier to use; a lid to keep all of the 
contents neatly in place.  However, the tool box was a deceitful, 
retched thing.  The conniving box of plastic used trickery and fear to 
bind the holder of the box in its merciless trance.  Inside the box 
was a tray which had all sorts of useless and hurtful tools inside. 
There were four safety plugs with the names: family, relationships, 
intelligence, and politics written upon them.  These plugs forbade the 
user to have a mind of her own.   The plugs let her play it safe and 
not get hurt, or so it seemed.  Upon inspection a locked lock was found. 
This trinket of deception was used to bind the creative flow which begged
to get out.   In one compartment, there was also a unexpected find. 
A dryer sheet was placed, neatly folded and unused.  This was in the tool
box for the mere purpose of superficial fluff.  There was nothing of 
substance to the dryer sheet; once it was used it became void and without 
merit.  Just like when it’s used in the wash cycle yet easily forgotten 
and thrown away after its purpose has been fulfilled.  The last item in 
the top shelf was a plastic anchor.  Doesn’t an anchor hold?  Some 
anchors hold tightly, but a plastic anchor is easily pulled out. 
The plastic cracks when too much pressure is put on it, thus making 
it useless.    Now what does the carrier of the tool box do?  She 
can continue to hold on to the box and accomplish nothing, or dig deeper
to see if anything of use can be found.  Without warning, the insipid 
clouds departed and the holder realized that under the top shelf 
there was another compartment.   To the holders amazement, she found 
many useful tools to be explored.  There was a light bulb which had names
of people and books and events that could help to open her mind to ideas 
and new thought.  A lock which had be rendered inept was found to signify 
that no longer would her mind and eyes be locked away and closed off from 
the world.  There was sandpaper to smooth the edges of the callus that had 
formed.  There was Miracle Grow to encourage new life to spring forth with 
strength and vitality.  A molly bolt was among the treasured finds to be 
used to anchor her own calculated plans and thoughts.  Finally, a measuring 
tape which had no marks upon it was found.   This item was the holders’ 
prize possession.  The holder would no longer measure herself against how 
others were measured and be encumbered by searching for approval in all she 
did.  She could make her own mark on the tape.  Marks of achievement and 
success and even failures.  The bearer of the tool box would not be scared 
of failures any longer because she knew that failures meant future growth 
and were not weighted against the successes of others.  

A little ditty 'bout ma mama

My mother can be described as a capable, strong and intelligent woman.  If I had 
known her as a child, I would have realized very quickly that she is also a witty child 
prone to outburst of sarcastic humor at inappropriate times.   Her sense of humor got her 
into trouble many times during her school years.  Let me describe one such event.     The 
year was 1947 and “school” was a one-room school house.  Kids in the remote hills of 
Chemung county, New York, walked to school in any kind of weather and knew enough not to 
complain.  The teacher was a strict lady with no patience for nonsense.   Each day the 
teacher would languish over the history lesson forcing the students to sit longer than my 
mother thought necessary.    My mother, being an impetuous child, never understood the 
need for long and tedious lessons.   During one extended history lesson my mother looked 
at the clock and realized that the school day would be ending in five minutes.    
Thinking that was cause for celebration, my mother promptly began singing a popular song 
of the 40’s with the lines, “only five minutes more.”    Unfortunately, the teacher was 
not in a celebratory mood and held the class after school an extra thirty minutes.    The 
irony is that my mother later became a teacher.  My mom made teaching fun and interesting 
while still maintaining the respect of the class.  The humor and enthusiasm that had 
gotten my mom into trouble during her youth was now channeled into a positive outlet.   
However, at the end of the day, the school could hear her singing “only five minutes 

What is this all about?

I've tried blogging before but i think I miss the point of blogging and get hung up on what to write and just don't do it because I'm not sure what to say.  I decided that I am going to use this to post previously written papers from a Lit class and a Comp class I took and whatever else strikes my fancy.  I am going to try really hard not to get stressed about how other people blog or what not.

Anyway, happy reading.