Sunday, March 22, 2015

Why Florida is my home

Back from another amazing trip to Florida.....  it isn't named the Sunshine state for nothin, y'all!  
Every time I go back I'm reminded of how much I miss my state.  Yes, MY state.  I feel like it's home.  Always have, probably always will.
I have people ask me ' wouldn't you miss the snow?" "wouldn't you miss the season change?"   My response is normally, NOPE!  Seasons still change in Florida, it's just more subtle.
I'm also pretty darn sure I annoy the snot out of everyone who reads my FB posts while I'm away about how much I love FL, don't want to come home, etc, etc. etc.......    So. I decided to write about WHY I love Florida.

Yes, I was born in NY.  YUCK!  If I had had my way, I would have been born in Florida, but I wasn't so I will just have to deal.  SO, why on earth do I feel such a connection to this swampy, heat soaked state?  So here it is friends.....

The last place I had my dad was in Florida.

It has taken me 44 years... ok, more like 20 something years to figure out why in the world NY has never felt like home to me.  This last trip solidified it, and I was able to say unequivocally, that was the reason.

My dads body is buried here in NY, but his essence ( yeah that is weird) is still in FL. I can feel it.  It's like a part of me thinks I'll find him, or be closer to him if I'm in Florida......  ok, sign me up for the looney bin.

This past trip, I inadvertently drove past the airport where he took off from and crashed.  Then later in
 my trip, I happened to drive by the airport he would fly into when he flew to work (every day).   I thought it was creepy odd.  Yet at the same time comforting.  It was like I was getting some sort of validation for feeling that my heart belongs here.

So there it is folks.....  that is the biggest reason I feel Florida is my home.   Like it or don't.  Doesn't matter.  I'd move there in a heart-beat if we could financially swing it.   I would miss my friends, family, etc, but I would go.   I love the heat, the friendly people, the whole shebang.
Hate me if you must, think I'm strange if you do........   I'll be on the beach, not worrying about any of it.

For more good reasons, see here:   Extended family..... I have cousins who I adore and actually like me too, I have nephews and nieces and a super cool sister and brother in law who live there.  Other nieces,  cousins and such live in the south, within a 6 hr drive.   My parents live there 6 months out of the year.

The weather is AMAZING.  Seriously, amazing.  Yes, it gets hotter than heckaroony in Summer, but I was made for heat.   We can do all sorts of outdoor activities year round.  Yeah, we could in NY too, IF we enjoyed skiing and could afford that habit on a regular basis.  Kayaking is free, biking is free,
running is free.   FREE.

Florida is a much easier homeschool friendly state.  Kids can do sports, etc....... Less regulations.......

Florida is a nicer gun owner state.

So, with all that said........ I. Sure y'all are losing sleep over us going or staying...  For now, we are staying.   For now. 😜😄

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Depressing read...... proceed with caution

Do any of you ever wish for days gone by?  I'm sure you do..... back to when life was simpler, kinder, just plain easier.  I feel like at least once or twice a year, I get in these 'moods' when I'm not sure if I'm feeling nostalgic, or am having a bout of depression going on.  My mind takes me back to before life got so complicated; back to days when life was just easy, so tears come quick, my happy face is hard to put on, and life just seems to have no joy.  I relive the tried and true bible verses of where my hope comes from; The Lord!  I mumble out old hymns and sing along with the worship songs on the radio...... This helps, but if I'm being real here, which I am, it does very little to lift my spirits.  I can only imagine what it would be like for someone WITHOUT a hope in Christ...  holy smokes.   
I do the self talk thing " it's just feelings, we don't live by our feelings, remember Jeanette?!" " this too shall pass, get over yourself"  all those sorts of things..... I mean, come on! It was my birthday a few days ago, what could make me sad, right? UGH.  Yeah.  
So today, I see a picture of my oldest sister and I from her wedding day 39 years ago.  She was a young bride starting out her new life as a wife, I had just turned 5 the day before.  The carefree, problem free look on my face says that life could not be any better.......  but looking at that picture today only makes me think about my dad.  That wedding was the last big event we would celebrate together.  10 months later, we all would be standing around the funeral home saying good-bye to our, my, best friend.  Maybe he wasn't my best friend, but I hope he was.  
Life was so much simpler then.  Life before cell phones, before constant TV, before the daily onslaught of internet junk and before Facebook.  Maybe life COULD be simpler if I could let go of that stupid last addiction......  then I could at least not get upset over the irritatingly easy arguments that begin,  devoid of full truths and real conviction.  
Life was easier when we didn't have to worry that the government thought they knew more than parents and they actually gave kudos to mothers that chose to stay home.....
Back when life made sense.  When laws where made and upheld.  When the constitution was followed and people didn't forget what it said.  When the United States wasn't a joke.  When the President actually cared about doing the right thing!  
Depressing. Right?  Yeah, I'm right. I know.  There IS hope.  I know it, I get it..... hopefully soon I will snap out of it and be able to embrace it.  I don't like being in this funk.  It's not me.  I'm normally more of the anxious, nervous type..... trust me, it is MUCH better than the depressed me type.     
No worries people.....  I'm FINE.... seriously.  Fine.  I'm the gotta pull yourself up by the bootstraps kind of gal.....  I'm just venting...... out loud (sort of)    I can only vent so much out loud without totally pissing everyone off.... been there, done that and it ain't pretty.  Which sort of lends to the whole depressed thing..... because if you have to hide feelings that doesn't always do good things to your soul..... but sometimes it is easier than the argument..... when your the type of person who gets flustered and can't string a coherent angry/frustrated sentence together even though you are actually smart and have good thoughts in your brain.... yeah, I'm that person.....  Some days I wish I was like my good friend, who shall remain nameless, but could cuss a blue streak, and make a sailor cry and then get him/her to apologize to you.   Is that horrible to think that way?  To want to go there and do that?  I'm sure I wouldn't feel better in the long run..... i'd feel worse, I know....  god forbid I'd make anyone unhappy.... or sad.....  Trust me, I  KNOW i make people sad, or mad, but believe me when I tell you, I probably feel way worse and am doing penance and self flogging for days afterward.  If any of you reading this are Jeanette haters..... I didn't mean that, I like making you sad.... I was just saying that to trick you..... ok, not really......  
Come on, I know there is at least ONE other person out there, that don't share my DNA, that understand how I feel.  Right?  I sure hope so, because otherwise I think I might be looking into mental hospitals.... ha . ha.  haaaaaaaaaaaaaa....   
SO.  All that being said.... written..... whatever.....  Life WAS easier then...  39 years ago.... when moms and dads could wipe tears away....... when your biggest concern was whether or not you got to watch road runner or not...... yeah..... life was good then.....  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Because I'm happy!!!

 I've noticed many people are doing the 100 days of happy....  I thought about jumping on that bandwagon, but I knew I'd fall off because I'm just not the stay on the saddle type of girl..  So the next best thing was to write a blog post about why I'm happy.  I better do it before a bad mood hits, because seriously, NOBODY wants to read a 100 days of why I'm pissed post. 

I'm a million times positive all of you have heard the song 'Happy' by whoever he is.  I absolutely ADORE that song!  Love it, love it, love it!  You can't help but feel happy hearing it..... unless you are playing it too loud and your neighbor calls the cops..... THEEEENNNN you might not be happy. 

I'm happy because of these goofy goobers.   I was going to go on and on about each one, how great they are, but come on, you don't want to read a 10 page write up on each kid.......  That will come later.
I'm happy because Justin is doing something he loves.  He has always love Fire Trucks and now gets to ride in them.  I'm glad he learned to say Fire Truck the right way instead of pronouncing truck with an F.......  I'm sure his fellow firefighters do as well. 

 I'm happy because Jake and Amanda are doing so well.  They are such hard workers and do everything with 110%.   Manda is my absolute hero and Jake has a 'can do' spirit that won't quit! 

I'm happy because of these two!  I love watching Abby become a better and better mom every day.  She is truly amazing!  And I'm happy because of Tomas! Every picture I see makes my heart melt into a pile of happiness goo!

I'm happy Ally has found her passion.  She loves riding, jumping, showing and I love watching her do it!  It makes me happy she has found her own "thing". 

I'm happy I have a Mother who loves the Lord more than she does me.  I know, it sounds weird.... but it's true.  I am happy because I know without a doubt she prays for me and my family daily.  It gives me a peace. 

I'm happy I have a mother-in -law who is funny and likes to travel.  She looks quite and refined, but watch out world, she will WRITE A LETTER!  ( you just had to be there, trust me!)

I'm happy I have sisters that are all unique.   They make me happy in their own special way.  Most days. Most weeks, ok, once in a while they make me happy.   HA HA HA HA.... oh sisters, I love you and you make me happy all the time.  ( don't you love having me as a sister?) 

I'm happy because my sister Renee is my best friend.  She has been a second mom, a mentor, a guide and someone I can count on always.  Everyone needs someone like that in their corner and I know she is in mine. 

I'm happy because of my dog..... well, technically he is Slayts dog...... technically.   Sort of.    Face it, Slayt, he is mine.  There, I said it.  Possession is 9/10th of the law.  ( you love me and you know it )
I'm happy because I have amazing friends.  Some I have had for what seems like forever, and others I've known for just a little while. 

Most of you have heard me talk about my "ladies"..... these women are what makes me smile almost every Wednesday.   Everyone should have a group of ladies like these.....  except you can't have mine. Seriously, I won't let you......  wanna fight about it?

I'm happy because of my friend Shari..... who happens to be my son's mother in law.... but I like to think we would be friends anyway.  HA!!   Shari makes me happy.... her name should have been Sunshine. 
 Sunshine Shari!  I like it.... 

I'm happy because of my house.  I love my house.

 I love my fun neighbors who happen to be great friends.  I'm happy when I hear them outside because I love hearing them have fun!  It makes me happy when our kids play for hours on end without arguing! 

I'm happy because Jesus Christ died for my sins so I wouldn't have to.  That really is an understatement though.  I'm more than happy about that.  I'm eternally grateful.  I'm in shock that HE would do that for me.  I'm full of gratitude that He loves me enough to continually forgive me and lets me keep taking a breath each day.  Honestly and truly.

I'm happy because I have been blessed with TWO dads.  Not just my biological dad, but also my step-dad.  I've been twice blessed!  I'm happy because I know that some day I will see my Dad again.

I'm happy when I read the poem Highflight.  It makes me think of my dad. 

I'm happy when I fly. 

I'm happy when it is hotter than hot and sweat is pouring off me and I smell.  Yes, I like when I sweat and smell.  Don't judge.  Just don't.  It means the weather is hot and I'm loving life.   So if you ever see me sweaty and smelly, just know that while you may want to gag, I am loving life. 

I'm happy when I run.  It makes me feel good about myself.  Even though I may look like a slug running....  again, don't judge. 

I'm happy that I married my husband.  I love him more than I can even express.  More than he probably understands, and more than I will ever be able to show him.   He is my world.  My hero.  My everything.
I'm happy when I kayak.  It's just FUN.   I'm especially happy when I kayak in the Adirondaks OR in Florida.

I am happy when I'm painting.  That I can paint.  That I DO paint. 

I'm happy that all of my kids and their spouses love the Lord. 

Ice tea makes me happy.  Bonfires make me happy. 

Slayt makes me happy.   He is so affectionate and loving.  It makes me happy when he walks by me and just paps me on the shoulder.  He really is a big teddy bear.  A LOUD teddy bear....  A know it all teddy bear.....  but he still makes me happy.

Writing makes me happy.  When I have the time.  I'm happy that I published my book.  That really made me happy.

My silly sister in law makes me      happy.  She is a fun traveling companion.... as long as you don't talk to her in the morning until she is fully awake.... right Sal?  You know it's true

Sunday, October 7, 2012

What's on my mind?

There has been so much on my mind lately.  Much of it, I choose not to blog about.
I was asked recently how I decide what to write about and share with everyone, and how I decide when I shouldn't.  I guess it's not really an easy question to answer.   My impulsive and natural instinct and brain would have me spout off and have diarrhea of the mouth.  I've done it before and the outcome is not a good one.  But recently, I've tried to be more intentional about what I choose to share.  So for now, I make my decisions on what I share based on this criteria: #1- Does it encourage people to choose Christ?  That is my first and most important deciding point. If it doesn't, then I don't post it. #2- Does it embarrass someone?  If it does, I try not to.  If I do, it honestly is unintentional and let me know if I have embarrassed you.  In the case of my kids, slight embarrassment is part of the territory of being my child.  I gave birth to you, thus rendering ALL instances of embarrassment a right of mine. (this is said with a smile on my face)
and lastly, #3- is what I'm saying out of anger? Or have I worked through the ick and yuck and am just making a point or talking about the left-over feelings?  If it's an angry rant, I try, sometimes unsuccessfully, to not post.  However, even if I am angry, I will not use names.
Does any of that blabber make sense?  I hope so.  So here goes.........
What's on my mind lately?
My kids.  All 6 of them.  I really am proud of them.  From the oldest, right down to the youngest.  Each are unique and I love each and every quality that makes them, well, them.  I am in awe of how well they are doing and who they have become, in spite of my failures and inadequacies as a mother.  But even though they are doing well, it doesn't mean they don't struggle at times.  Life is still hard at times for them.  The older ones have bills to pay and that is not always easy.  Learning how to navigate married life, college and friends, boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.  It's all a learning experience for them.  As a parent, I want to make everything "ok" in their lives.  I want to make a million dollars to pay all their bills, pay off college loans, and give them all they could want to make them "happy".   But I can't, and hopefully even if I could, I wouldn't.  Sometimes the hard things are what makes us stronger in the long run.  Sure, I'd probably pay of college debt if I could, but just "fixing" everything wouldn't really fix anything. 
What else is on my mind?
He is on my mind all the time, but lately i've been needing to work hard to not "worry" about him.   His new diagnosis is a good thing.  It is.   But at the same time, it leaves a few more unanswered questions and more "wait and see".  I don't do well with "wait and see".  I'm so thankful that we have connected with the doctors at Boston Children's. They have been a wealth of knowledge and a great help in learning more.  Many of our thoughts about how Danny acts and how he learns, or doesn't learn, have been confirmed that what we see is an accurate definition of this syndrome.  It has also been a help so we can give this information to the school so they can help understand him as well.  Yet, there are other things that I never expected that  have come to light regarding this diagnosis.  The likely possibility that Daniel will have problems down the road with his feet or hands going numb is a bummer to think about.  Thinking about future nerve conduction testing to check the progression of this is a sad thought.  It's painful and not a fun thing for Dan to go through.  Then the fact that he will need hormones to make his body go into puberty kind of freaks me out.  Don't ask me why.  It just does.  Who would have thought that because he can't smell, he more than likely won't go into puberty on his own?  Weird.  Neat, and cool, and completely amazing. 
And even though I have fully expected Dan to need to live at home with us forever, when I'm reminded by doctors of this fact, it somehow hits me in the face like a new realization.  It's not depressing really, it's just, I don't know, it's just..... ugh, I guess I feel sad for HIM.  Not me, but Dan.  But then, on the other hand, why feel sad for him? He is perfectly perfect just how he was created.  His life has had more of an impact on others in his 10 years on earth than mine has had in the last 41.  So I guess it's just that I can't really describe how I'm feeling. 
And lastly...... I've got my book on my mind.
This new journey I've been on has been very cool for me.  It has been completely daunting, and scarey and really really neat.   I love what I'm doing.  I love writing, I love speaking to women, and I guess that is a great thing.  If I hated it, that would be a bummer.  Who knows if I am any good at it, but I feel that God has called me to this, and I'm grateful for the opportunity He has given me.  It's when I start worrying about getting speaking engagements or selling books that I get frustrated.  And even then, I have to remind myself that this is NOT about me.   This whole journey is about doing what I've been called to do right now.  How long will it last?  As long as God is in it.  The minute it becomes about me, then I'm done.  And you can hold me to that. 
So, i guess that is what is on my mind in a nut shell.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Being early is over-rated and other lies......

My husband and I are completely opposite on most things most of the time..... He is a math genius, and anything other than the basic one plus one and simple division (with aid of a calculator) are utterly lost on me.  I, on the other hand, love to write which boggles my husbands brain.  Yet, one thing we can agree on, is being on time OR early to events, church, parties, etc....   I had always been taught, as well as my husband, that being late to something tells people that your time is not as important as mine.  SO, how did we end up with a daughter that is perpetually late, always looking around for things the last minute and is the ultimate in oblivious to the clock. 
This morning was no exception.  As usual, we woke up at 6:30 to begin our before school regime.  I have decided that all the kids take showers, baths or whatnot the night before because it just added to our delay in the morning.  Ok, back to the story, anyway, we get up.  I wake Ally up first and tell her to get up and get breakfast.   Ten minutes later she finally gets up.  Walks around in a daze for another ten minutes and then begins the process of finding her clothes ( which she already got out the night before).  This brings us to 7am at least.  The bus comes at 7:40.  Again, I remind her to get her breakfast.  Five minutes later she is in the bathroom washing her hair AGAIN.  Again, I remind her we are leaving in 20 minutes for the bus.  Is she dressed?  No.  Is her hair done?  No, washed yes, combed no.  I tell her that she needs to put her lunch in her bookbag.   "ok" she says.  Five minutes later I look, and the lunch is still sitting on the counter.  UGH.  So by this time we are at what, like ten minutes before we need to leave.  Again, with agitation in my voice, I say to miss Ally, "Ally, we are leaving in ten minutes, you NEED to get dressed, put your lunch in your bag and get your shoes on." 
All the while, my blood pressure is rising, my eyes are starting to twitch and Ally looks at me like I'm completely over-reacting. 
Time to leave. I am walking out the door.... actually, I lie.  I've learned that if I walk out the door before the kids, that is usually a clear sign we will miss the bus, so I have learned to be the last one herding the chicks out the door.  But I digress.....  I tell them I'm walking out the door.  The boys grab their things and head out the door.  I call, no scream, for Ally.  She come out of the bedroom, buttoning her pants, shirt half on, hair still wet, no shoes on, lunch on the counter, book-bag no where to be found, and the look of sheer disbelief that I, yes, I could have made her late! 
Somehow, we manage to grab everything she needs, get in the car, head to the bus and STILL have a couple minutes to spare.......  to which Ally says "but I didn't have time to get breakfast". 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I miss having the kids home.....  Well most of the time I do.  I love the relaxing, do-what-we-wish feel of summer, but sometimes it is nice having the routine of September when the kids go back to school.
When summer is here and kids are home, it is time for me to put down the writing and blogging and focus on my most important job, which is being a mom.   By September, I am usually chomping at the bit to get out my computer to log or write or whatever......  And this year it's even more busy because of my book being published and all that goes into marketing, signings, speaking engagements, etc.  
This year I only had 3 kiddos heading off the school this year.  it was odd not to have my oldest daughter here to help offer suggestions about what to wear to siblings.   she is off on an adventure of her own, attending Word of Life Bible college in the Adirondaks.   It's so exciting for her, but this mom is missing her terribly!
So, here we are getting into the swing of things, with homework, soccer games, and the normal "stuff" that most household have.  I'm looking forward to all this school year holds!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

the complex human race..... and all that jazz

Some things just fascinate me.   People especially do, and just the complexity of the human race in general. 
I am always at amazed at how closely truth and untruth are related, and how easily twisted it can become in a matter of seconds. 
Satan wants to make us confused into believing the lies that he tells us, and skew them into half truths so that if we are not careful, or in tuned to the Holy Spirit, it gets us off the path.  The scary thing is, that to get us off path and our focus off the Lord, it doesn't take something huge or even important in the big scheme of things.   Little issues can become huge ones if allowed.  What are some of those "little" things that get us off track?
Politics.  People pick sides, Democrat, Republican, Independent, etc...... and we hold fast and hard to the "right" side.  Bi-partisanship gets thrown out the window, and we buy into everything our preferred candidate says, hook, line and sinker!   Republicans assume that ALL Dems are bad, Democrats assume ALL republicans are bad, and so on down the line.  But when we step back and look at the big, giant picture, we realize that 1.) most politicians are out for #1 and #1 is not the constituents that got them elected,  2.) the right thing to do is usually found somewhere in the middle of where the republicans and democrats meet. and 3.) sometimes its best to throw them all out and start fresh with new grunts....... 4.) realize that in the long run, it does not really matter.  Honestly.  Yes, vote your conscience for sure, but really, God does not need help writing the book of Revelation.  He already did that.  It's already figured out and who we vote for is not going to change the course of history. 
Yet, we still debate, get into huge disagreements, pick sides and throw our real purpose out the window, which is to point people to Christ, not a president.  We get to worried about making sure people vote for the one we want them to, instead of tell people about Christ and then letting them make the decision on their own.   I certainly care more about who people vote for to save their lives in eternity, more than someone who will promise them the world and deliver nothing. 

Homeschool vs. Public school:  I've tried both, and honestly, unless God grants me a HUGE measure of patients, then for the sake of my children, I choose Public school for my kids.  That being said, I LOVE the idea of homeschooling, and I wish I could do it.   Honestly, I do.  I love having my kids home, most days, and I would love to keep them from hearing lies taught by secular teachers.  BUT, I have met people who pretty much think I am sending my kids to hell in a pretty little hand-basket because I don't homeschool.   
The only thing I can say to that is, if I can't do a good job of teaching my kids how to serve Christ and live for Him in a public school setting, or in the "world", then I'm doing a pretty horrible job as a parent anyway. 
Yes, it is SUPER hard to raise Christian kids in the public school setting.  Like, WHOA, hard!  But it IS possible.  I also know that there are many homeschool families who do a great job getting their kids active in the community and are a great witness.  It's just a balance. Neither is easy,  but both is possible.  Whichever one you choose. 

Skinny vs. Fat:  So which one will get to heaven first?  That seems to be a big question on the minds of many christians.  I honestly never had even dreamed it was something to be debated.  Yet, in the last 5 years, it has been brought up to me, or in other circles, that skinny will be the reigning queen in heaven.   Ok.  Well, then I guess I am going to be the poop scooper.    Really?  Does it really mean one person is more "spiritually" endowed than the other?  The funny thing is, that many and honestly MOST of the people that are proponents of the skinny heaven theory, are men.  Yes, I said it, men.  OR skinny women with no history of having issues with weight. 
Let me tell you something....... skinny people are grumpy.  Welll....... NOT alllllll skinny people...... but some.   Ok, here is my thought.   If I thought for one single second that the only way to pleasing God was to be skinny, then I would be the first one to sign up for Jenny Craig.  However, I was under the impression the pleasing God meant that I am to serve Him with my whole heart, love others as I love myself, tell others about Jesus Christ.  
Ok, so now I'm going to have those who disagree point out the verses about gluttony.    Yes.   I do think that gluttony is wrong.  Nothing should be as important as Christ in our lives.   If someone has a problem with over-eating and that is their god, then yes, they should work on that.  Does that mean I expect them to be a size 2 or even 8?  No.  I expect them to put God first in their lives.  That's it.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.
The same goes for people who make golf or friends, or tanning, or whatever other million things it could be, the center of their lives. 
My point is this.  Being skinny is not always a sign of righteousness.  It's not a sign of godliness.  It is only a sign that someone is ....... skinny.  And might possibly have a eating disorder or tapeworm. 
Being over-weight does NOT make a person nonspiritual or less of a christian.  It makes them.... wait for it.....  over-weight.  Or a thyroid disorder.  =)   
We should be more concerned with the heart.  Not the outward appearance. 
So, yeah..... people are complicated and odd at times..... but that goodness we are not all the same.  It would be a very boring place if everyone was just like ourselves.