did I say I didn't want a maid!?

I know I posted that I was uncomfortable with maids but...I have rethought that!! I say that because I am going home where I am the maid in just a couple days.

Well today is my birthday, and I am 36 today. Don't feel any differently. I am not one of these women who freak out about birthdays. I LOVE my birthday. I do, I think everyone should celebrate, I let everyone know it's my birthday, I want to go to restaurants where people will sing to me!

I just love to celebrate life in this way. For my birthday today we drove from Minnesota to Wisconsin. I know that sounds like lots of fun, but I actually enjoy traveling. Spring hasn't quite "sprung" here but the landscape is beautiful. Lake Nakomis in Bloomington was fabulous too.

The hotel is great, AGAIN! The pool is huge and the hot tub is Ginormous!! The kids have had a ball so far. I asked them to do some journaling tonight and they seemed quite happy to do so.

Well better scoot we are having pizza, snacks, a movie and some R & R!!!

Blessings!

Don't love shopping and maids make me feel guilty

This place is freakin' huge! The Mall of America, I mean. Eloquent I know but really. I can't count the coffee shops, Gaps, and American Eagle Stores. Don't misunderstand there are a zillion other stores on the FOUR FLOORS.

I am not a mall person. I am not exactly a shopping person either. When I have money I can shop. When I get to shop for the kids or for me I can shop. But to go to the mall just to go to the mall...I don't get it. I can go to the mall for dinner but just to walk and browse? I would rather look at trees in the park and walk than look at overpriced clothing.

What IS the deal with the cost of clothing? I cannot believe how much kids clothes in these places cost!! I have one word-Target, pronounced Tar-zhay. Don't get me wrong they are cute, they are stylish but is it worth the money? Anywho.

The girls loved the mall and the amusement park was fun, the restaurants were great, it's been lots of fun. The Aquarium was overpriced IMO. Just FYI.

This has been a vacation. Though vacations for moms still include some cooking, laundry, entertaining the kids, straightening up the room, discipline and integrating our schooling into the time and wet towels in the bathroom floor. Why does the maid service bother me so much? It really bothers me to have the housekeeping come in and see our room trashed. I clean it up before they come in. I couldn't be wealthy. Don't love shopping and maids make me feel guilty. What do they think about us when they are in our room? Are they going, "eeeww clean out your hairbrush". Are they wondering how large are butts are that we use sooo many towels in a day? I don't know but whatever they are thinking makes me uncomfortable.

I feel like dirt that my son has eaten doritos and gotten little crumbles all over the floor-I am a bad MOTHER!!! Now eating out...that I can get used to, I could be rich and deal with that!

Thought I was going to have to arm wrestle for a washer in the guest laundry room. Finally got used to the bed, which is very comfy, and I am sleeping. Just in time for us to leave and go to a different hotel day after tomorrow.

Better scoot, I don't want to miss the news. I am such a news junkie.

vacation

So I am on vacation this week. We are at the Mall of America, well actually we aren't staying at the mall, though the girls (mine plus friend) would LOVE that, we are in a fabulous hotel across from the mall. Great digs!! Large suite, lots of room, and nice amenities. Free suppers, breakfast, pool, room service, all very cool. TGIF and Chevy's are in the hotel so you can order from there too.

So why am I discussing the food? Because vacations aren't really vacations for mom when she has to do all the cooking. The kids are thrilled to be here, the mal was really something-HUGE, very huge. You can't think of something to buy that you can't there...or eat, back to food I know.

We went to a restaurant, Kokomo's for dinner, got seated had menus. But I was largely unimpressed by the menu and so we left. We went to Famous Dave's BBQ. I prefer to stick with knowns when it comes to food. I can be adventurous but terribly so when I am really hungry and whent he prices are high I better like it.

I am back to the food again, geez.

So we went to the pool tonight and we had the place to ourselves. Then, these two guys showed up. One swam in very tight little swimming short shorts. What do you call them, not speedos exactly but similar. It was not attractive. His friend sat by the pool tinkering with his blackberry. You know a few years ago that sentence would have had very different connotations. I digress, so I think I saw these two on Dateline's 'To catch a predator'. Creepy. Last night we swam at the pool at the other hotel, the one stayed at on the way up, and there were tons of kids with NO parents in sight, and I thought how sad. Then tonight I see creepy guys and feel quite affrimed and satisfied because that is precisely why I was so indignant last night.

What else to write about? hmmm. I plan on sleeping in tomorrow, swimming, doing the amusement park, and finding a Wal*Mart. Even on vacation I have to hit the Wal*Mart. I am going to pick up some lunch food, more snacks, and sodas, oh yeah and batteries.

Looking forward to seeing old friends this week, it's been years. Looking forward to sleeping in, cooking little, and cleaning even less.

Oh and since I know you are worried the van was resurrected to the tune of $1043.00. OUCH. So how can we swing this vacation, simple really...company perks. Gas is covered, food is covered, room is covered, and my favorite words-per diem! Kiddos have their own spending money, Big Daddy saved some nickels to spend and I don't need anything so voila...vacation.

As I have said a jillion times but not enough, I am blessed. I am so relieved that the van died there and not on this trip, strandening me and kids on the highway. So I am off to beddy bye- king size, man I need a king, queens are good but kings rock.

later!

It's raining and so of course it's pouring.

It's raining and so of course it's pouring

You know that saying, when it rains, it pours.

Well it's raining literally and figuratively and so- yep it's pouring. The van died a painful death doing 70mph on the interstate last week, cost so far $1000, and that's if the transmission isn't dead too. The Cowboy lost a grandma, and chaos seems to be the general order of the day.

I am thankful the van had the decency to die on the home court seeing as how we are leaving for a little mini-vacation in 3 days. Could (as always) have been worse, much worse.

But here is the thing..I was reading a dear friends blog today and she had shared some highlights of the their life over the last weeks. It was a glowing list of about 30 beautiful sweet little things the kids did, said, and that she felt. It was so beautiful. You got this warm fuzzy impression that they live this perfect life with perfect kids and their faith filled, joyful world is untouched by the realities that seem to chase, pin down and count out the rest of us. But I know them, and that is JUST not so. They have dirty dishes and laundry and stress, and loss and they have it all at least as much as the rest of us.

But for a brief moment I felt like a failure. What was I doing wrong that I wasn't having this perfect life! I quickly remembered truth and rejected any ideas of comparison. I have learned to do this is a tool of the enemy. So I just don't give in to it. I thought, you know I could easily write, even today when it seems to be "pouring", a list of highlights.

Today...
  • All my children woke up healthy, happy, strong, safe, and blessed
  • My hubby went off to his very good, stable job
  • I drove our second car while the other was in the shop
  • I played and laughed and joked with my sons
  • My hubby told me how much he loved me more than a few times
  • Help was offered when it was needed
  • I came home to a beautiful, warm home and two sweet dogs
  • I filled my stomach with good food, and chocolate
  • I chatted with my sweet baby girl, and just smiled thinking about how much she has grown
  • I watched tv, and tinkered on the computer
  • I had a long talk about much of nothing with my mom, bless her heart and she, my dad, brother and my grandma are alive, well and healthy
  • I played superheroes with my little guy, and he learned some new letters today
  • My teenager hugged, kissed, and told me he loved me, like he does every day

I could go on and on. I could write an equal list about laundry, dishes, an odd smell in the kids bathroom, bills that need paying, FEMA, and (legitimate) gripe after griper after gripe. But I just can't do it. I think like my friend I prefer to focus on the blessings and not the struggles. If you follow this at all and think my life is a rose garden, you would be right and wrong. I think it is. But looking at the reality of it you may not think so. It is just life, it is real. It's good, and not so good sometimes.

When I look out my window tonight it is indeed raining. It is raining in this house too, and it is in fact pouring. Pouring more blessings into a cup that is overflowing.

So much to write about too little time

First I have to say the two words I am most excited about...Fred Thompson. There is light and hope and life in the Republican party in 2008 if he runs!! I can survive the election IF he runs. I will believe again. Please, please (delivered in the Southern twang of Forest Gump's gal friend played by Robin Somethin' or other "Run Fred, Run"!

If you don't know him find out. When you discover as I hope you will he is without a doubt the best for this job please go sign the petition to ask him to run. I know in my heart he will run, I know it. He is a public servant and when he sees that the GOP's current field CANNOT get the job done he will step in to carry the water. I am so thrilled, thrilled beyond words. But he deserves his own LONG post so I will return to Fred.

All in all it was not a good day. The minivan died a terrible death, doing 70 mph on the interstate. It quit, locked up and said "no more". Fortunately I am incredibly cool and collected in crisis, I popped Abigail, the van into Neutral, hit the blinkers, tapped the brakes and guided my van, filled wth my children to the emergency lane.

This occured on my way to walk in the Way of the Cross. I was very much looking forward to it and was very disappointed that I missed it. I decided to at least spend an hour in Eucharistic Adoration. It was wonderful, truly wonderful.

The mechanic says whatever is wrong is not obvious -great, and frankly expected. It will be days before we know anything and possibly longer until we are up and running again- great, and frankly, expected.

Then Cowboy left for work and an hour or so later I realized, I had no car. Perfect. So I missed Good Friday Mass. aargh, and double aargh.

I have a headache, cramps and worries. I am offering them up.

I had important things to accomplish that got bombed today, not world peace things but still.

I am off to bed but I have so much to post about. I want talk about Wal-mart. Why I love the place, and why I think it is our free market economy at work,. Oh and why I think the naysayers should hush, and just continue to shop at the more expense places where they can clearly afford to shop, as most of us cannot.

I need to talk into oblivion about Fred Thompson, abortion, Iraq, the electoral college, and why people are voting for Sanjaya. My birthday is soon, and I am as always quite excited about it.

BUT

Most of all today is sad for me, because I have thought long and hard about my sins, and failures that that were paid in full in the very flesh of Jesus Christ as he was scourged, flogged, tortured and crucified for MY sins. Why would He give Himself to ME that way? I am so undeserving so miserable. Who am I to deserve that love? I don't. But He loves me just he same. He is all things good. I cannot even move forward to think of the Resurrection yet, I am immersed in the Sacrifice. I am humbled to my very core. I want to fall on my knees and stay there until he returns.

Good Friday is without a doubt the hardest day of the year.
Storms are rolling in today so i didn't get to work in the yard the way I planned. I suppose that means I will have to clean inside and occupy myself with actual work. Blah! I need to shampoo the Wildman's carpet, and clean my bed and bath. Tedious. I would rather transplant

You pick your friends

When you hear folks say, someone falls in with the "wrong crowd" do you ever wonder how that happened? Were they kidnapped? Hypnotized? Did they trip?Were they unaware that this was the wrong crowd they'd heard so much about? Once they figured it all out, could they not escape?

I don't think anyone falls in with any crowd, right or wrong. You simply choose your friends. If you don't know who you are, or what you believe, if you have no value system of your own, if you have low self esteem, and if you are sort of drifting then you may be less aware that the wrong crowd is the wrong crowd. But you still choose them. You choose them because they make you feel accepted and maybe even better about yourself because you aren't as bad as some of them. You like not being judged, you like their low standards, and you probably like most of the things the do and who they are.

Does the wrong crowd know they're wrong? Doubt it. They know the the other crowds are different though, because they either avoid them, or criticize and ridicule them.

I am watching my Cowboy as he moves into the world. Beign homeschooled ppl like to say often times that they won't be able to survive because they have been so sheltered. Not at all, at least in this house. The sheltering isn't out of fear, but so that they grow and learn who they are so when they are faced with a diverse world they aren't drifting looking to latch on to anything.

I am growing my seedlings for my garden now. They are in a domed tray inside the house, by a window where the light shines bright all morning. Why not plant them in the yard? They would be easily picked off by birds, and squirrels, and die when the cold snaps again. I shelter them now so that they can develop good strong roots and when they are transplanted in the garden they will flourish.

When the weeds do pop up as I know they will I will pluck them out quickly.