Blog Archives

I will send the bill….

man-paying-bills

 

I grew up with a dad who felt his primary obligation to the family was to “bring home the bacon.” Oh, and to “exact justice.” But that’s another tale. It’s the “financial” burden that has always griped me. My dad was raised that women were lesser beings and that their roles were not as “important” or arduous as men’s.  I am by no means a feminist, but when I hear the occasional comment made from a male whether in print or via a friend weary of hearing her husband’s reminders that “he’s the one paying the bills,” I want to punch the guy.  This financial worth thing has been on my mind so I decided to look into a little of my “financial worth” just for the fun of it. Let’s just pretend for a moment that I have been hired to serve….

I have given birth 12 times. The average surrogate mother’s fee ranges from $20,000 to $35,000 plus expenses. I have never received an epidural or any other type of pain reliever while in labor. That being said, I gave myself the maximum fee of $35,000. I know they charge extra for the pain relief but I have no scruples about earning for braving transition. There was also that labor that lasted seven days….I could charge extra for that one…

So…

12 x $35,000 = $450,000

That’s the minimum.

A quick search on nannies resulted in the following:  “Check your state guidelines to determine whether live-in nannies qualify for overtime above 40 hours per week. For part-time nannies, hourly nanny rates start around $12 per hour and can run as high as $20-25 per hour in affluent areas, particularly those without public transportation. You get what you pay for.”

I don’t really know how long a child “needs” a nanny so I’m just going to guess until they no longer need a babysitter. I believe in Indiana, a child must be 14 to be of “legal babysitting age” so I’m going to go with that.

So….

For 12 children receiving in-home nanny care from 0-14 without overtime:

$3,066,000

I didn’t add in overtime just to be fair to my olders who have helped tremendously with the youngers. If they were getting paid, they would have earned a pretty penny themselves.

I could stop at $3,516,000 but why would I want to do that?

We homeschool. I’m a private tutor, a proven method for superior education. (Can I just interject and say that if all these years of people asking my kids where they go to school, if my kids had answered, “Oh, I have a private tutor,” folks would be all impressed and “Oh, la-dee-da” then commend us parents for going the extra mile to provide our children with exceptional education. I think we’re going to try this. I’ll let you know how it goes.)

For a private tutor – $10-$15 per hour. Holy cow. I have no idea how much time we’ve put in. I’m going to give a low-ball estimate based on the 180 day school year, average 4 hours a day (sometimes more, sometimes less – the kids do more on their own as they get older) and include all 12 kids AND preschool though we’re far from done. I want to know the grand total!

$1,555,200

We’re at $5,071,200.

I have to include my laundry service as there has been rarely a day in the past 20-some years that I haven’t done at least one load of laundry. I’d say the average is 6 loads a day, some days more. I looked at a couple of sites and laundry services such as Laundry Locker or Lazy Bones who charge by the pound or item and charge for each additive such as detergent and softener. I have no idea how many pounds of laundry I have done! If they charged by the mountain or trash bags, I might be able to guesstimate but that’s overwhelming. I can’t NOT include it, though, because I have spent so much of my life on it! So, going with Lazy Bones’ $1.70 per pound, and I average out the fact that in the earlier years of our family, we did not have MOUNTAINS of jeans, towels, etc., I’m going to guess 25 pounds per week. (I know this week, I’m working on at least 50 pounds if you could weigh it all.) 25×52 weeks = 1,300×27 years=35,100 x $.73($1.70-$.97*-the cost to do one load at home) = $25,623.

That makes $5,096,823.

I haven’t even included my earnings from being a private chef, private chauffeur, event planner, “administrative assistant,” not to mention MAID! Nope, can’t leave that out –  I briefly peeked at what a house cleaner earns: “Professional house cleaners typically set house cleaning prices one of two ways: By hour, or by square foot. Hourly costs range from $25 to $35; square foot rates are often used for a “first clean,” as a baseline for pros to work from.” If I “just” cleaned 5 hours a week at $25/hour, and we know it’s more some weeks, less during “those” weeks, that’s an easy $175,500

Ahem…. $5,272,323

I could go on but then this post would be one of those you look at to see how long it is then pass it up because you don’t have the time. Am I right?

You pay the bills? Well, sir, pay that one. Better yet, try doing all of the above. One of the reasons a woman’s brain is spaghetti is she has to tackle all of her professions pretty much every day, keeping track of it all and mentally preparing for the next task and the next day and the next week… A man’s compartmentalized brain would implode!

Well, I must be off…I have to “earn my keep.” The first thing I’m going to do is delegate because I didn’t even get to my roles as a business-owner…which I need to do today in addition to all of the above…sigh….

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

 

*I found the cost to do a load of laundry at home in this fabulous post, “A Cost Comparison of Home Laundry and Laundromats” on “The Simple Dollar,” a resource to save to your favorites. Incidentally, in this post, the author says it will take 600 loads to recoup the price of the washer and dryer which will take 2 years if you do one load a day, compared to going to a laundromat. Yep, our appliances paid for themselves a long time ago….

(Photo Credit: http://cdn.moneycrashers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/man-paying-bills.jpg)

Advertisements

How To Not Blog

Capture

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably forgotten that you were doing so as I haven’t posted in eons. I have come close to giving up many times and just deactivate the account. BUT, there is something very motivational about investing dough in having my own domain. Also…I REALLY love to write.  However, being an inactive blogger, I can now offer my expertise on how to overcome the need to write and, maybe, even lose interest in writing:

  1. Never read any other blogs. There are so many gifted bloggers out there, you may receive encouragement or inspiration to write from them so, whatever you do, don’t read other blogs.
  2. Don’t read books. Duh. For the same reason listed above. Readers are leaders and leaders tend to WRITE STUFF DOWN! Spare yourself. The solution for the temptation to read is to keep a to-do list so huge that you’re constantly exhausted and fall asleep every time you start to read…anything. I’ve made a habit of this and it really works!
  3. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT read the Bible. Being that it changes you, convicts you and confounds you, it will compel you to write stuff that may benefit others…or just really annoy others which will also a boost your enjoyment of blogging.
  4. Avoid contact with your children and do your best to not enjoy their company. Especially if they have changed your life for the better, are beautiful people, are geniuses, are adorable, and/or are hilarious.
  5. Do not become a foodie. The thing about foodies is that they not only enjoy food but they enjoy the effect food has on everyone else. That is why they have this compulsion to take 23 photos with commentary of the one recipe they have to share with the world because they know that the world will not be the same until at least 28% of the world’s population have tried, what they know is, the best recipe for Macaroni and Cheese.
  6. Write off writing. This is a problem if you homeschool or teach writing in any capacity because there is something contagious about writing assignments. Just reading a kid’s book report can cause an irritating itch to write something. Writing a thank you card or even a tweet has been known to trigger an irrational urge to write more. Sometimes, 140 characters are not enough. Writing anything is like practice and practice makes…well, you know. And whatever you do, DON’T read about writing! You’ll just be shooting yourself in the foot.
  7. Don’t make memories with family or friends. They are precious and you’ll want to preserve them by keeping photos and journaling.  Celebrating any type of birthday or holiday would fall under this category. 
  8. Turn off the radio and get rid of your I-pod. I call music “the rhythm of the soul.” It touches places within us in a way nothing else can. Of course, that would be counter-productive for one trying to shake the addiction to writing as listening to music will bring to light things from within that will move you and move others should you feel constrained to write about the things that move you. Music has access to our love, anger, sadness, joy, dance, courage, fear, betrayals, loyalties and worship that absolutely nothing else has. You know what else happens if you listen to music? You develop favoritism for types of music and the artists that God has endowed with this aggravating gift then you attend a concert or two which creates and appetite for more and a devotion and desire to show your support and an unexplainable need to take way too many photos at said concerts then you find out other fans (as well as the artists) love concert and gathering pics so you feel obligated to get them posted so others can enjoy them and, well, you can see how this can be a problem.
  9. Don’t own a business. Being a business owner just offers way too much material for writing. You meet so many interesting and amazing people, you have a plethora of problems, and have way too many adventures. You don’t need this in your life if you’re trying to stop writing.
  10. Don’t be clever. Creative people come up with all kinds of DIY projects, home improvements ideas, organization tips, etc. It’s really hard to not share ideas that someone else could use. You take a pic of some brainchild you come up with, the next thing you know, you’re posting it on Facebook and someone asks how you made it which encourages a how-to blog post and the next thing you know, it’s all over Pinterest which makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and you are encouraged to post again. Subdue the urge to be artsy fartsy. There are plenty of other people out there with…shudder..ideas.
  11. Lose the camera. Just don’t get into photography. I’ve already addressed this in other areas but you’ve seen the blogs and websites. People who take pictures can’t just leave them there on the memory card. What’s not shared is lost, remember? So just stop taking pictures. Nuff said.
  12. I mentioned being tired before but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being overcommitted and exhausted. It helps if you don’t have a regular routine that includes time to write. If you simply hope that when you sit down at the end of the day, you can jot down a few words to post before your eyes clamp shut, then you have a great formula for successful avoidance of blogging.
  13. Procrastinate. This is THE sure-fire method for making sure writing doesn’t happen. It’s self-explanatory. Acquire this skill if you lack it.

I have some of the items on this list down-pat. I have too much to do; my to-do list is never done. I get up early and stay up late. I’m always tired. Oh, and I DO have the spiritual gift of procrastination.  I know there are things I need to change so I can stop writing; I need to sell the business but that event alone, should it occur, would still provide writing fodder. We should have never started it in the first place. It’s made life way too interesting. I either need to put the kids up for adoption or hunker down for the years to come but, darn it, I have grandkids. Maybe I should just become a hermit. But then boredom might be a issue. Bored people look for something to do and the mind might wander to then thought may occur that I could write about where my mind wandered.  Then there’s the food…darn it, I love food. I love cooking food and eating food.

I’m in such a quandary! This writing thing is a pesky problem.  Any suggestions are appreciated. This time-consuming addiction has got to stop.

My name is Michelle and I haven’t blogged since…. October 16, 2013.

This one doesn’t count, right?

Pictures are worth thousands and thousands of words

After receiving the news that my 2-Terabyte External hard drive with all of my photos since 2004 is toast, I find myself looking for a back-up plan for any and all photos I’m able to scrounge to save somewhere. I *had* backed up my photos on the Creative Memories Digital Center site. Creative Memories rewarded their loyal customers, some of whom had been with CM since it was Shoebox to Showcase over 20 years ago (ahem, I for one), by claiming bankruptcy (again) and giving us precious little time to purchase any needed supplies for finishing projects (I’m broke so a moot point) and precious little time to salvage any photos or finished digital albums saved on the site. From what I could tell when I did check the site this summer to see if my photos were still there, my only option for saving my photos was purchasing photo CDs. Again, broke. No option to download my own photos and albums for safe-keeping? Thanks a lot CM. The way I understand it, they are “reorganizing” and have “great things in store.” Newsflash Creative Memories, your consultants and loyal customers are ticked off. Good luck with that.

Anyhoo, enough of me venting. The finality of pictures of births of my precious babies, vacations, cute candids, birthday parties, zoo trips, road trips, homeschool field trips, crafts, messes, cooking together, lego constructions, Christmas, concerts, starting our business, foodie pics, friends, family gatherings, et al. being gone forever provided for a restless sleep as I quietly cried myself to sleep Monday night (okay, I whimpered a little). I keep telling myself this world is not my home but I am sentimental and I’ve seen my kids pour over the scrapbooks I have completed. It’s a huge way to pass on the story and the love. I am the curator of the museum of memories and I have failed.

Creative Memories did drive home several points that I did take to heart and need to put back into practice:

  1. Print your pictures. Even if you can’t get to scrapbooking them, print them before you can’t. I took this more seriously when I used film and became lax when I went to digital. I either need to get those digital scrapbooks done or get those photos printed. Backing up isn’t enough. I backed up my back ups and my pics are still gone (did I mention one laptop crashing and then next one being reset to factory settings? I didn’t think so.)
  2. Back up. Nuff said.
  3. Journal. We all have a story to tell and no one else can tell it. Pictures in an album aren’t enough. Example #1: I have a photo of my great, great, great grandmother in one of those old, pretty but deteriorated albums. She was a Cherokee who walked the Trail of Tears, married a white man and here I am. All I have is a photo, which is awesome but I’d give anything to know her story. I wish someone had written it down. The hard times in which she lived and how she overcame would be a story of bullying this culture can’t appreciate. She had to have been a strong woman. I just wish I knew the tale so I could pass it on. Example #2: I have another old scrapbook that I believe my grandmother made. She did some pretty creative stuff, cutting photos into shapes, arranging some on one page into a star shape, but rather than journal who’s in the photos and what’s going on, she cut quotes and captions from magazines and pasted them under the photos. I look at it and get so frustrated because I don’t know why the pictures were taken, who’s in them, what’s going on. SO many cool pics, and I can tell who my dad is and his siblings and parents, but that’s about it.
    4-IMG_20131016_132157

    No…no I cannot identify these. The irony of this page’s title confounds me…Such cool photos, though!

     

Back to backing up, I’m now reviewing all of the reviews for best photo storing/sharing sites and I will come to my own conclusions and get back to you. If anyone out there has a favorite, let me know! In the meantime, learn from my mistake. Back up your backed up back ups.

What’s not shared (and thank you, God, that I have shared photos on Facebook and my blog) is lost, lost, lost… 😦

Michelle

Just keep blogging, just keeping blogging….

It is exceedingly difficult to maintain a blog when you don’t have an internet connection to call your own. It is also challenging when you don’t really know if anyone is reading so why bother? I have many demands on my time. Am I wasting my time trying to keep up a blog when I’m not sure I’ll ever have a readership? Well, if I bless just one person, it’s worth taking the time to figure out a system to keep the word flow going. So, here I am, starting a sentence with so (something I was taught not to do) and trying to figure out how I am going to get this here post from my laptop to WordPress while in a coffee shop or at Wendy’s where I’ll be next Tuesdaywhile my cadets are at Civil Air Patrol and schedule at least few more posts to go out in the same period of time I need to reconstruct our business website. No stress.

“Squirrel” moment: I’m hearing the buzz about how PCs will be going by the wayside and I-Pads and the like will be “it” with handy-dandy accessories like wireless keyboards to go with them.

  1. An I-Pad with a keyboard may as well be a laptop. I’m sure there will be or are cases that will hold the pad and the keyboard together like, um, a freaking laptop so what’s the dif?
  2. The keyboards I’ve seen so far are tiny. The designers are, obviously, men who have never typed with wet nails. Some of us multi-task so fix this issue. If you’re going to make the keyboards that small, it’s texting, not typing.
  3.  It makes more sense to me to just make an I-Top: a laptop with an I-Pad screen. This stuff is out there already, I know, so don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. I love laptops. I will dig my heels in and make mine last as long as I can while all the fad-followers throw theirs out then suffer the small screen and smudged nails then they will look at me with envy and wonder “where did I manage to find such a wonderful relic?”

Back to the subject at hand. I love to write. I love to learn. I enjoy sharing what I learn. Therefore I shall blog. If, ever, anyone out there profits from my Wild Thyme, do comment! Bloggers are affirmed when they see comments and know they should stick around! If you think this blog worthwhile, send others this way!

I have some other posts ready to go; I just need to get the photos that go with them in order. I prefer to take the photos, arrange them while I write but I can’t do that with this situation. I’m going to have to prep my posts, order my pictures and have them in files on my flash drive which means transferring them from my external and blah, blah, blah…I’m going to have to be all organized and stuff. But the posts aren’t happening so that’s what I’m going to have to do. It’s just one more thing I have to devise a system for…sigh. I, obviously, haven’t done that, yet, so I will get on the stick! Hang in there with me!

Thanks for stopping by!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

39.95 plus shipping and handling

“I have decided that I am not a 40 something. I am 39.95, plus shipping and handling.” That was one of my tweets today on this, my 45th birthday.  It’s also Thursday which anyone on social media should know is Throw Back Thursday #tbt.  SO, having  a birthday that ushers me further away from 40 and closer to, gulp, 50 ON Throw Back Thursday is just asking for sentimental notions, denial and a midlife crisis.  We see our kids turn 10 and we say, “Oh, they grow so fast!”  I see me turn 45 and I’m thinking, “Where did the time go?”

baby me

TODDLER me

Holy cow.

There’s a saying that goes “You don’t stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing.”  Add that to one of my responses to inquiries about the number of children we have, “They keep me young,” and we have a formula for a fountain of youth.  Now that grandbabies have entered the scene, there will be no end to my shenanigans!

It’s been through being a mom that I have, quite serendipitously, re-discovered my “inner youth” and have tried to get it right this go ‘round. For example, when I was a school-girl, I would bring home those arts and crafts books from the school library, look at all the cool projects I wanted to tackle then promptly NOT make a single one of them.

school girl me

This school girl here. The 70s, the height of fashion….

 I believe that was due to my serious lack of self confidence…among other things. Then comes along the Fecher kids

267361_2153861660094_8945_n

who don’t know they’re supposed to be intimidated by trying new things, have creativity and talent oozing out of their ears and I’m a new woman…girl. They have been contagious.  Now, when I get on Pinterest, I see a project I want to attack, make a supply list and the next thing we know,  the kids are asking each other, “Why is Mom painting clothespins?” (True story).  I have a refreshed appetite for adventure, travel, friends, creativity and play.

I also have a constant reminder of what child-like faith looks like.  I get stressed out.  But something has been reprogrammed in me that keeps the worry at bay. Like a kid, I see and feel God taking care of me and I know that even when there’s absolutely no money available for business bills, God will come through somehow and I watch and wait for it. I get antsy when bills are past due or I don’t get a much-needed catering job. I fret when a child is injured or sick or when the youth of our household make less-than-ideal decisions (we’ve had open discussions about how people are all stupid, us included, and this expected). But each time I venture into “worry-land,” the “que sera sera” comes over me like a wave.  Kids love anticipation. I do, too. Something the kids have taught me is that the problems that normally cause worry should create anticipation for what God will do.  I wish I could remember which Christian speaker it was that I heard talk about problems. (If you know who this is, let me know). He said, “All God’s people got problems. If you don’t have a problem, you come forward and we’ll lay hands on you and pray God gives you a problem. Because if you want to see a miracle, first you gotta have a problem! You can’t have a miracle without a problem!”

One of my mantras is “Never a dull moment!”  Big family + new season of grandbabies +a business = problems-a-plenty or, what we affectionately call them, “growth opportunities.” Also opportunities for miracles. Never a dull moment.

I’m looking forward, with anticipation, to another year of growth opportunities…and miracles. :o)

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

The last time I saw myself I was either coming or going…

One would think with being told by the doctor to stay off of my feet for at least two weeks that I would have been able to catch up on my blog before now. I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on blogging to give myself some motivation but that hasn’t made any posts magically appear. I keep thinking that once I catch my breath, I’ll write something. Who am I kidding? I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. And while I’ve been waiting for that “spare” moment to happen, SO many events have transpired that I have failed to journal while in the moment. I’m not getting any younger; I’m not going to remember things unless I write it down, take a picture (or 10) or there is some sort of food that’s part of the event that will create a dendrite in my brain that will stir up the memory when I get a whiff of said food at a later date. I have blogged about my not blogging before. I probably will again. I need to write and it’s extremely frustrating when I don’t. There’s also something to be said for “use it or lose it.” There was a time when I could write rather well without it being a struggle. For example, that last sentence took me about 5 episodes of backspacing until I was satisfied with the wording.  Good grief.

I have a ton of pictures I want to post, cakes I want to display, stories to tell and, eventually, recipes to share. I heard someone once say that if you haven’t given up, you haven’t failed so here I am again. I’m at it again and I’m making an effort to be organized and set a time to write even if I don’t post.

That being said, here’s a “brief” description of the whirlwind that has transpired in our family since the end of May:

  • I “possibly” tore a tendon and/or ligament in my foot and “possibly” broke a toe carrying my toddler to bed at 3 in the morning
  • My sons dug out my crutches so I could hobble about
  • I had to go for x-rays the day before 2 graduation cakes needed to be done so Natalie and Noah started the cakes and icing while I headed to Eaton, Ohio for my doctor appointment with Isabelle as my helper. I took her for lunch, waited for the downpour to let up, then headed to Dayton for fondant as we did not have enough for both cakes and didn’t have time to order any.
  • MEANWHILE, back at the ranch, my boys are digging through closets and our storage shed to find my walking cast so I can work on the cakes the next day (even though I was supposed to get off of the foot ASAP)
  • My oldest who was due May 29 went into labor that night
  • Grandbaby #2 Rosemarie Lee was born June 1, 7:17a.m. Praise the Lord!
  • However, instead of heading off to see my new grandbaby, I had to go to our catering kitchen and finish cakes with Natalie and Noah. Natalie had to leave for an interview, came back to help some more then had to go to the theatre for play rehearsal.  I love doing cakes and I love our clients but that was not where I wanted to be that day. Plus, I was in excruciating pain (which made me a tad grumpy but Noah was a good sport, I must say). I confess my heart was not in it and I did not do as good of a job and I normally would have. :o(
  • FINALLY…Noah and I met up with the rest of the family at the hospital to FINALLY hold my new grandbaby and see my firstborn on her first day as a mommy. Talk about overwhelming…..
  • Went back the next day, hobbling on crutches, to see my grandbaby. By that night, my foot and ankle were pretty sore and pretty swollen.
  • SO…the rest of the week, I tried to be a good girl and sat with my foot up. Anyone who knows me knows I like to keep busy. This has not been easy! I kept the kiddos busy with school, cleaning missions and laundry while Natalie covered the shop all week AND had rehearsals for the play she was in.
  • Jump to this past Thursday, my daughter, Corinne, called to let me know she was coming into town early. She and her husband had already planned on coming in this weekend to see her first niece but Josh was informed that he might be working Saturday but they would not be able to let him know until Saturday SO…inhale…Corinne decided to pack her and Autumn Rose up and head on down to stay for a long weekend. YAY!
  • Meanwhile, back at the catering kitchen, Natalie and Noah were to the rescue again by starting a cupcake order.
  • Always the one to be obedient to doctor’s orders, the kids and I met up with Corinne to visit with Lenae and the new baby. (We’re on Friday at this point. Are you keeping up?)
  • Saturday A.M., I went in with Noah for the cupcake pick up.
  • Headed home but stopped for pork loin and sides to take to Grandpa’s for family get-together. Again, “staying off my feet.” Hobble, hobble….
  • Loaded up The Great White and ventured to Grandpa’s to visit with the grandbabies (and their parents and Grandpa). (Natalie could not join us as it was performance night for the play!)
  • I’d like to interject that I had Benjamin throw together a rub for the pork that was outstanding, I must say.
  • Natalie and Jillian left to pick up their BFF, Noah, and head to Richmond Civic Theatre where Corinne, Ben, Noah and I joined them to watch their production of The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Natalie was “Iris”, a sassy spirit. The play was fantastic as was Natalie. Proud mama.
  • MEANWHILE, Craig hauled everyone back home including Grandbaby #1.
  • Sunday… we slept in. Kids scrounged up pancakes and Corinne procrastinated about heading home. She was anxious to get home to her hubby but didn’t want to leave at the same time. It was a sweet visit and I’m glad she came early. My Autumn and her Autumn, though, have become pretty tight and I’m not sure how long they can go…she did say they might come visit again, soon, because Josh didn’t get to see the baby! We shall see…

So…this is a “quick” rundown of the past 10 ..T-E-N ..days of my life. A lot was left out! SO…somewhere in this…I passed myself coming or going….

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Get over it?

I started my day yesterday with a bee in my bonnet. It started out appropriately somber but then I peeked in on Twitter. My intention was to just post a simple remembrance as, I thought, everyone else does in honor of 9/11. I must be naive. I cannot believe the tweetabomination I witnessed. I believe people should be allowed to share their opinions, no problem there. But I also believe there are people with opinions that need readjusted for the sake of humanity. I’m just glad I know God is in the “readjustment” business and will take care of it. A gal I follow shared  this young attitude’s tweet who posted, and I quote, 

I had a pit in my stomach to begin with; I usually do on 9/11. This post made me sick. While it’s my contention, after perusing his profile and reading his tweets,  this kid didn’t get spanked enough as a, um, younger kid (save your anti-spanking lecture for another blog) and has a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas that will, most certainly, land him in the hospital, prison or the morgue, there’s not a thing I can do for this ungrateful, brain-damaged youth (except pray that he’s saved from a fire or car accident – caused by his marijuana activism – someday by a firefighter who read this particular tweet – yea…I can pray that).

What I CAN do is cancel out this ONE guy’s ignorance by making sure my TWELVE kids NEVER. FORGET.

SO, in lieu of our usual morning devotion, I gathered the 10 that were home around my laptop to watch this video:

There were tears. The older ones recounted what they remember. I shared how I found out: we haven’t had broadcast TV in years and we were finishing up our devotion time so the radio was off and we had no idea what was occurring. My Mom called almost hysterical. She knew my routine and knew I would, most likely, not be aware of the tragedy that had befallen us. We were still unsure if it was an accident or terrorism at that point. It was so surreal. And so frustrating! I couldn’t turn on a TV and see what was going on. I called my husband at work and they were all watching it. I called my mom back and we were on the phone as she updated me with what she knew and then the second plane hit. I heard my aunt yell in the background. My mom cried out and told me what happened. I started to cry and my confused kids were gathered around asking what was wrong. It was a blur then and even more-so, now.

I don’t know at what point we decided to go to the library but we did. I was surprised to find it open as time seemed to stand still; the city was SO quiet. We checked out books on skyscrapers, New York City and the Twin Towers. We went home and poured over our findings as we read together about the architecture of the buildings that had collapsed earlier that day. We had so many questions, like everyone else. Why would God allow SO many to die? Why the Twin Towers? I don’t need to list them all – everyone asked those questions. As we studied how the buildings were designed our discussion quickly switched to how many people were saved. This was before we heard of the many stories of folks who were late to work that day or had to call in sick. In case you missed it, if the Twin Towers had been built like most of the buildings in that day, they wouldn’t have fallen straight down. They would have collapsed over onto other buildings. Do you think there’s a chance that God had His hand on who would be the architect and how these buildings would be built since He knew what was coming? I do. Check it out, if you’re interested:

We have free wills, given to us from God. Therefore, free wills who choose to believe in and act on evil will be evil. That’s the fallen world we live in. We also live in a world of beautiful, courageous people as evidenced that day by firefighters and police officers trying to save others. We also have a God who loves us and plans for us. He planned how buildings would be made, what brave people would be needed on the planes to avert further catastrophe, a couple of fender benders to make some people late, I read of someone spilling coffee all over themself so had to run home to change clothes, the list goes on. I also know there are people serving our country attempting to prevent this from happening again. I don’t pretend to trust our government but I do trust the men and women serving our country.

It’s late and I’m starting to ramble. Let me cut to the chase – history is loaded with tragedy. From the Garden until now, pride, greed, anger, bigotry and other assorted forms of hatred have let people to commit incomprehensible acts against mankind. We should not be surprised when it happens. It seems as though it’s to be expected but we are shocked when tragedy strikes. We should be. We should visit history often, be shocked then thankful so we don’t become like the self-absorbed, apathetic, ungrateful, smart alleck  twitterbrat mentioned above and so we NEVER

Get Over It.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Super Duper!

Why is it so much fun to root for a team and go crazy when they win and go crazy when they lose? Why do some of us enjoy the Twitter and/or Facebook banter while watching the game?  Why have people traveled from around the country to converge on Indianapolis? Why did we make a gazillion Football Cake Pops this week?

I enjoyed this Super Bowl. It was a nail-biter! I got a kick out of going to Indy to take in the “once-in-a-lifetime” chance to see a city completely converted into Super Bowl City. And it was cool, I might add. I know that the camaraderie that fans share is a part of the energy. I know anticipation is half the fun of any special event and getting ready for The Big Game whether it’s hosting a gathering or just going to a friend’s to hang out and watch is something to look forward to.  But why is so much stinkin’ money sunk into a sport? I read this article on how this “game” adds up and about choked! The bottom line is “$11 billion: Amount consumers are expected to spend on the Super Bowl (hey, those chicken wings aren’t free, people) each year.” This article doesn’t even touch on how much these athletes make each year.  It wouldn’t seem so unreasonable if there were balance i.e. if firefighters, police officers, teachers, our military, etc. made as much or more. I’m not saying these players don’t have skill and they certainly brought it to the Super Bowl and gave us a game to remember! (I was on the edge of my seat!) But, I confess, I feel sad that this game  has become bigger that our holidays and it’s players put on such high pedestals! I love football but it’s FOOTBALL! I’m pretty sure we could have purchased world peace, Madonna, with the amount you were paid to perform tonight. Just sayin’.

I guess I’m done venting.  For now.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good football game, am a Colts fan (rooted for the Giants this game), and get a jolt from all the Super Bowl hype. This year’s game was worth watching, that’s for sure! And there were some pretty good commercials (writing in Clint Eastwood as President. I’d write in Matthew Broderick as V.P. but I’m not sure that he wouldn’t call in sick). I. Hate. The. Go-Daddy Commercials. Just wanted to put that out there.

All that being said, we gathered at my Father-In-Law’s to watch the game on his big screen, a few of the kids’ friends came over, and we had nachos, chili, pizza and, of course, cake pops.

The kids spent most of their time in the basement playing play station. Losers. Go over to watch the game and…oh well, at least my young men were spared some of those risqué commercials.  The small fries kept themselves busy with the fun stuff stashed in Grandpa’s hutch like the ever popular Playdough and wipe-off board. We had fun. Football with family & friends. How could we not?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Status updates from the day:

  • ‎6 y.o. Just now-“Since today is #SuperBowl , can I wear something pretty?” LOL!
  • Some of these commercials make me glad my teenage sons have decided to play PlayStation instead of watching the game.
  • Funniest thing tweeted tonight: “If Madonna tebows at the end of this, the world might explode.” -Mo Thieman
  • I was kinda hoping Madonna would do Express Yourself just to remind Ms. Gaga & everyone else where the song originated. #bornthisway
  • Visualize Whirled Peas! Stop the Violins!
  • Just asked, “Whose voice is that?” for the Ford commercial. The 6 y.o. chimed in with “Diego’s!” #IceAge
  • GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GAaaaaahhhhh!!! I’m so stressed out!! I need chocolate!!
  • “Great Giant win. First Tush Down I’ve ever seen.” Billy Crystal

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Off To A Bad Start

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. Opportunities to start a new happen at any given time throughout a year, changes happen, the school year starts, the summer begins, a baby is born every other year here (usually), and stuff  just happens that requires starting over. But after the year I’ve had, I decided I needed to be resolved. Resolved to get my house back, get back to scrapbooking, taking my kids on road trips again, getting organized and getting back to blogging. It is January 7th and I’m just now writing. And I’m so pathetic, I’m writing about how I haven’t been writing.

I have people asking me quite often to write a book. A blog is the best I can do, folks. I’m not sure why anyone would want me to write a book but I am flattered.  There’s a plethora of books out there by large, homeschool families so I don’t think we need another one. There are plenty of cookbooks so not sure I want to tackle making another one interesting. Anything I could write about has been covered, I believe. Man, I’m being a downer, aren’t I? So, here’s the deal, I love to write, always have. It’s therapeutic and, occasionally, blesses others so I told myself I’d get back to this but I’ve already procrastinated a week. I could make it a goal to blog weekly but then I’d procrastinate to a month later so I better just find where I laid my self-discipline so I can get back to it.

A new year does lend itself as a convenient time to go back to the drawing board so that’s what I’m doing.  I have organized my calendar already and I think I’ve found a way to tackle my to-do lists without getting overwhelmed. I just opened up Memory Manager and downloaded some photos and did some editing. There may be hope for me, yet. I’m writing this post, lame as it is, but it’s better than what I wrote yesterday which was nothing. I might actually get the hang of this resolution thing. Oh, and I worked out again, something that had been neglected last month.

Wish me luck and hang in there with me! I’m still here!

What’s not shared is lost~

Michelle

I will stay home. You can’t make me leave…

I don’t have time to blog but feel compelled to tell somebody, anybody that I am staying home today. Every day that I purposed to be home for a day, duty has called me, demanded that I go somewhere. I have been trying for some time to explain to my DH, who is also frustrated with my non-stop running, that starting a business would require a huge amount of busy-ness and running to and fro is a part of the deal.I confess I’ve been anxious about this because I already have a full-time job being a homeschool mom of many. BUT, today, I am determined that I will be home, I will conquer the mountains, albeit organized mountains, of seasonal switchover, plan the menu for church on Sunday, have the house clean, pay bills, do some marketing, AND homeschool….all in a single bound. I do, in fact, take Supermom pills and something makes me think I should go take them…I’m going to need them.

I have been asking God over and over again how I am suppose to be a homeschooling mom while doing this catering thing but Craig keeps reassuring me that God wants us to do this and He already has it all figured out. Dear God, being the coordinator of all things homeschool AND business start-up, I really need You to let me in on the plan so I know how to do this. I realize our mornings are starting earlier and earlier and am counting on those hours for school but I need to know the rest of the game plan. Thank You.

Well, with the hub-bub of getting the day going, I cannot think to write so will call this one short and sweet. And that’s okay, because I’m staying home with my precious hub-bub makers and I’m going to enjoy every interruption.

Play with your food!

Michelle