Sunday, December 27, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Let's just get it out in the open....I have EATEN WAAAAAY TOO MUCH FOOD IN THE LAST COUPLE WEEKS! Jillian is NOT happy with me- at all! :)

OK, had to get that out of the way because I knew there was no way I could get away with saying I have not eaten too much food. So onward with Not Me! Monday

On Christmas Day I did NOT stay in my pjs until 9pm...when I took a shower and put on a different set of pjs.

We did not order Chinese food on Christmas because no one wanted to cook a big meal...very odd because my mom cooks gourmet for holidays, but she has cooked SO much this Christmas already. Who can blame her!

I did not allow both cats to sleep in bed with me last night, allowing one of them to literally take up 1/2 the bed...who lets their cats rule their lives? I also did not sleep from side to side instead of head to foot of the bed so he could keep sleeping. That'd be sick.

Check out MckMama's blog for more Not Me! Monday! She started this whole gig!

Off to lunch at my favorite place and shopping/returns!


My sister is here from Ohio this WHOLE week with my BIL. YAY!!! :)

Big family Christmas party is today with about 25 people at our house.

Worked out with Jillian last night for the first time in a couple weeks- kicked my chocolate-eating butt!

Choked on my vitamins last night because something hysterical happened at the exact second I was swallowing them.

Monday is shopping/return day with my sister and then lunch at a favorite place with mom. I get "the Jeff" every time!

Had a clean bedroom for about 12 hours....

Have several blogs I need to catch up on reading

Finally, I can't believe I have not watched Home Alone 2 yet this season.

What are YOU up to these days?

Friday, December 25, 2009

its the most wonderful time of the year

It's not about the large quantity of chocolate I have consumed.

It's not about the the bright lights throughout the neighborhoods.

It's not about the cookies, biscotti, pumpkin spice lattes, or mocha mint lattes.

It's not about the Christmas music blaring in the stores.

It's not even about the presents under the tree. Afterall, next year we will probably forget what presents we opened today.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Savior is born
Christ, the Savior is born

It's about our Savior, who came to earth, as a baby. It's about the Light of the world. It's about Jesus, the babe who was placed in a manger. Christmastime is about celebrating the gift that will be eternal.

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Son of God! Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty Who was and is and is to come!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dude, where ya been??

Worked through the weekend (through nights) and then headed to Maine for a few days to spend time with one of my very good friends and her family. Here is just a preview of our three days...I'm the one in the front...

Yeah, I am the one screaming, too...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Armpit Love

Never realized how useful your armpits are, did you?

I had a revelation tonight. I was transporting my computer from my desk to my bed. With my hands already full, I didn't have a free hand for my cord. So, you guessed it, I put it in the pit, the armpit, that is. Then I began to think...I do this ALL the time! Don't you?

Getting out of the car, have 52 things to bring in- throw the water bottle in the armpit.

Carrying kids and bags into church and don't know how your Bible is going to make it into church with you? Armpit. (I don't suggest putting a kid in your armpit-just to clarifying, sometimes it can't work vice versa).

Folding laundry and want to carry all the folded items at one time and have too many shirts? Armpit.

Boob is getting in the way and don't know what to do? Tuck it under.

hahaha, sorry, that was way too funny (to me) to pass up! I realize most of you probably can't get them that far over. ;)

Trying to unlock the front door but can't without dropping all the mail? Armpit.

Betcha didn't think you'd even be thankful for your armpit, did ya?

Who am I kidding...

I sweat like a pig.

If you missed part two of "meet Ben", make sure you head here to read it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Meet Ben (Part Two)

(If you did not read part one, make sure you go back and read it first)

My family has always been open about the issues Ben faces, so we always welcome questions that people often have.

Arizona Mama asked "does anyone know why/how any of this happened? Like was it a trouble pregnancy or anything?"

The pregnancy was 100% normal/healthy. In fact, it was months before my parents knew something was wrong. Looking back at pictures, it's amazing to see how little muscle tone Ben has when he was little. It was years before he walked, and we used sign language with him until he was 6 or 7.

There maybe a genetic link, but no one in my immediate or extended family has any of the issues or diagnoses Ben has. I guess we have no real answers on this.

Many of you expressed you would never know from the pictures. Amazing, isn't it? It's true. Oftentimes people have no idea until he does something physically that will trigger questioning in their minds. For example, people in church will often offer him a mint because he has a very loud, short coughing tic. It's enough to drive you crazy when really bad. However, he is able to hold them in at places such as church for the most part. A few will inevitably come out, though. Unfortunately, holding them in means they all come out, full-force, once out of the building. They get to the point where he can't talk because he can't stop.

My mom always tells the story of going to a play with Ben. At that time, he had a sniffing tic. He carried around a handkerchief to muffle the sound. I guess this tics were especially bad that night at the play. One of the actors stopped in the middle of his line, turned to the audience, and asked that the person sniffing stop because it was too distracting to him.

Another thing Ben does that will trigger a reaction from people is swinging his arms. When he is upset about something he will swing his arms in your face-no matter where you are. He knows this aggression is wrong, but that knowledge is overridden by a physical need to express himself.

Ben works with a "point system" for his behavior. If he does well getting ready in the morning, he earns a point. He can earn up to three points a day. If his behavior is poor, he will lose a point. Once he has earned 40 points, he can choose something to buy at the store, calling it "his earn".

Because his mind is very much like a child, Ben is interested in all the current children books and movies. For Christmas he wants the book _The Princess and the Frog_. His book shelves are filled with every Disney children's book and novel you can imagine. From Finding Nemo to Beauty and the Beast to Land Before Time, Ben is the Disney master.

Ben will never be able to drive a car. He will never get married. He will never live alone. He will never know what it is like to feel the normal weight adults feel from the world.

Stay tuned once again....there is at least a part three coming up...maybe four.

Again, I always welcome questions!

Not Me! Monday

Feeling wasteful because you always grab a new water bottle on your way out the door and never finish the water, only to dump it down the drain? Embarrassed to admit you spend more time thinking about cleaning than actually cleaning? Well, don't be! Not Me! Monday, created by MckMama, was designed to get it all out, but of course, we never do any of these things anyway, right?

This week it was not me who went way overboard while frosting Christmas cookies. I certainly didn't get more in my mouth than on the cookies themselves.

Since I am very lactose intolerant, this week I didn't forget to take a lactaid pill and have 1/2 cup of milk with my cereal. I did not find out the VERY painful repercussions of ingesting dairy without drugs. But MAN ALIVE, new realms of pain!

We had a snow storm this week- totally normal for New Hampshire. On my way in the house the night after the storm the whole sky light up. My response? Well, I will tell you one thing, it was not "why don't I hear the trumpets? Alright, Lord! Let's go, I'm ready"...yeah, it was just the middle of winter??

Head over to MckMama's and check out other blogs. I'll be back again next week for Not Me!...

unless of course I DO hear the trumpets this week.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I'm going to jump on THREE trains today!

Five Question Friday by Mama M (my usual)

My Little Life

1. Does Santa wrap the presents he leaves at your house?
Ummm, Santa has never been to my house....we must all be on the naughty list.

2. When is your "big" Christmas celebration...Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Tell us about it...
Christmas Eve is the candle light service at church and then to my aunt's for appetizers. I usually head to see the kids I nanny that night and give them their gifts after church, but this year my sister and BIL are flying in, so I am going to head home after singing in the advent choir. Christmas morning we open our stockings (my fav) read the Christmas story from Luke, and eat raspberry coffeecake and then open the gifts under the tree. Then we usually have a big dinner with family over, but this year the family party will be a few days later, so we are going to eat Chinese or something (!?!?)

Are you big on keeping tradition every year?
Just ask my family- HUGE into tradition!! I have to just go with the flow this year, but my sister will be home, so that's all I really care about.

Do colored lights or white lights tickle your fancy?
WHITE! pleaseandthankyou However, I do have some all blue lights in my room because they match.

5. Do you decorate outside your house for Christmas?

The lamp post have some garland and white lights and all the windows have lights in them.

Fill in the blank Friday by Tamara (second time)


The children's show I can't stand is Fairly OddParents-OHMYWORRRRD!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!_.
But the show I secretly like is ___The Backyardigans- I LOVE it when they sing!!_.

Fragment Friday by Mrs. 4444 (first time!)

Mommy's Idea

I am thinking about doing a contest after Christmas where I take pictures of gifts I (or family members) received and the first person who guesses what all the itmes are will win something....still thinking on this one

My closet is now clean!! The jury is still out on the rest of my room.

I will write part two of "Meet Ben" when I decide whether I am going to do a part three. Stay tuned! Make sure you go read part one.

I've had this strange craving for no pulp, low acid orange juice all week! Totally strange. Currently I have an empty 12 oz bottle on my desk and an empty glass. I read you just pee out any extra Vitamin C.

I think that's enough fun for the night. Sorry for the strange font sizes. I can't get them all the same font and size....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Meet Ben (Part One)

Developmentally Delayed

Tourette Syndrome

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Grand Mal seizures

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

and about three or four other disorders...

Meet Ben. He's 26, and if you haven't already guessed it, Ben has been diagnosed with each of the above syndromes and disorders. His cognitive age is probably around the same as a 7 or 8 year old. Ben is unable to write and his fine motor skills are very minimal. A task as simple as buttoning a shirt would take Ben up to 10 minutes, and even then he would probably give up from pure frustration. Incapable of logical thinking, simple instructions like "you have to look before you can cross" will receive an answer similar to "what do you mean?" from Ben.

Even with high doses of medication, his OCD is so severe that a one minute change in his schedule will send him into behavior related problems, sometimes on a high, aggressive level. Additionally, he will confirm the same thing with someone over and over again. For example, if he is being picked up at 1:30, Ben will make sure whoever is picking him up knows he will be waiting outside at 1:20 to be picked up at 1:30. Not a minute before or after. He often will talk through the situation of being picked up 5-10 times the night before. Same words. Same outcome. OCD overload!

Ben has been having seizures since he was in elementary school. The first landed him a trip to the emergency room in an ambulance to confirm fear- Grand Mal seizure, something in which Ben would continue to struggle, despite multiple medications and doses.

Taken this Thanksgiving
Meet Ben. He's my old brother.

You'd never know about his struggles from just looking at him, would you?

Stay tuned for Part Two.... :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

you know you...

~Worked at an animal hospital too long when you see the letters ALB and you think "Albumin" (chemistry for bloodwork)

~Are a Honda snob when you see a Toyota and think "ENEMY!"

~Hated your last car so much that when you see it on the road you think "SUCKAHH!"

~Frequent Facebook too much when it's at the top of your fav's drop down menu.
Actually, that list is really strange. No clue why it is not updated. Only two of my bookmarked sites show up on on the list.

~You know you have been in school way too long when you are trying to say "syllable" all you can think of is the word "syllabus".

~You know it's winter when you can't remember the last time you shaved.

~You know you have a blog identity problem when you think," YES, another comment!"

~You know you are a little attached to your pillow when you are willing to sacrifice a few pieces of clothing so it will fit in your suitcase...3 times to Europe.

~You know you REALLY have to go to the bathroom when you are having dreams about desperately trying to find a bathroom!

....not that I do any of these things....ahem... It's still Monday, right?

Monday, December 7, 2009

in control

I like to be in control.

If I am traveling with others, I like to drive.

If I know where I am going, I don't like other people to tell me how to go.

If I am working on a team project for school, I like my idea to be used so I have a 100% understanding of the vision. I typically take the "team leader" roll.

If someone makes a decision for me (e.g. my sister telling me I am going to work out with her :) ) I have no problem saying " No, I'm not". Nicely, of course! :)

Do I sound like a control freak? :) I am actually very laid back and will gladly do things asked of me, but at the same time there are situations where I have to feel in control...especially when told I have to workout with Jillian M for an hour at 11pm...

The truth is, I am at a point in my life where I feel out of control. I am so glad to be done with undergrad- SO glad! But at the same time, there are so many unknowns to me. Grad school starts soon. I have to apply for a loan, I have to decide what to do about working. So much of me wants to know exactly what I am doing. I don't enjoy the times in life when everything is up in the air. Yes, I know I am going to grad school, what degree I am seeking, and where I will be attending school, but beyond that? Will I be able to find a perfect job? When will I find it? When do I start looking? I work now, but when is that not going to be enough? How much longer will I live where I am currently living? Really the questions in my mind are endless. I don't like change.

These are just some of my feelings about not being in control-merely scratching the surface. I guess part of it is wanting to be able to prepare myself mentally for what is coming.

When my fears get the best of me, I have to have a step back and remember the Lord IS in control. He knows what my future holds. He knows when I will finish school, what I'll be doing then, where I'll be living, etc. I have to trust in His control and not my own.

Tonight I am feeling out of control, but I am trying really hard to be okay with it!

Not Me! Monday

I feel like the last week was a little boring. Not too many Not Me's I can think of...I am sure I had PLENTY; I just can't remember them.

Anyhow, I will list the ones I do remember. I am sure there is a doosey or two from those who have linked up with MckMama. Head over there and check 'em out!

This week I did not think I could get away with skipping a day of washing my hair, but after further inspection (after my shower) I decided there was NO way! So I did not just turn the shower back on and hang my head over the tub and wash it.

I was not too lazy to change my socks when I changed shoes the other day. If I had been, I would not have been hiding this under my pant legs.

And finally, since arriving home from the west midwest, I have not allowed my bedroom to explode with clothes everywhere...some from my suitcase and some from trying on 52 outfits for church! I would NEVER allow such a disaster to grace my room and closet

Exhibit A:I'd like to call my chair to the stand to testify

Exhibit B: My Bed

Exhibit C: Our key witness- the closet... way worse than I thought, you know, if I HAD done any of those things! Pictures and witnesses lie ALL the time!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On A Diet?

On a diet and finding your mouth watering over the mere thought of consuming something sweet? Well, picture yourself sitting by the nice open fire, sipping away at a hot coco and roasting a marshmallow. Can you picture it? Well, friends, I am here with the solution for you!

Peppermint Coco and marshmallow withOUT a single calorie!

I present to you....

The Winter Escape from Sephora

I won this over on Keely's blog, and I received it in the mail this week. Seriously, people, this is AS GOOD as the real deal, but better because there are no calories!

Even the cat is intrigued!

Thanks for the great giveaway, Keel!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

FIve Question Friday & Fill in the Blank Friday

Thanks to Mama M, there is a great carnival to look forward to on Friday. Head over and check it out!

My Little Life

1. Favorite gift you are GIVING this year?
I am going to upload a bunch o pics from when my siblings and I were little and make an imovie/idvd for my parents! :) Totally pumped about it because my parents really love those types of sentimental gifts. :)

2. How many parties are you attending between now and Christmas?
Maybe two or three

3. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer (don't judge me) Gosh, so hard to answer this one...I do love Silent Night, especially during the Candle light service at church on Christmas Eve.

**If you like country music, you have to check out MercyMe's version of Silent Night! So good!

4. Who was your favorite elementary school teacher and why?
My second grade teacher was phenomenal. Our reading corner was always SO fun, we had a covered wagon, a tee pee, a solar system...I just loved her as a teacher. So sweet and gentle but firm. I ended up having the same teacher for Bible senior year of high school (at a different school)

5. If you had a choice to live in any other period of time (other than now) what era would you choose and why?

I have no idea!! So many things going on now, but so many crazy things that went on in history....Not sure I can pick one.


I am also participating, for the first time, in Fill in the Black. The (Un) Experienced mom is heading this up, so head on over there, too!


The Question:

The holiday movie I can't live without each year is _Home Alone 2_. But the holiday movie I could DEFINITELY do without is ___those stupid claymation movie- hate them!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

west Midwest Travels

Sibs at Thanksgiving


Me & my sister at the tree farm

....contents of my purse....

Tree & moon at farm

Dad and his girls :)

Me & my brother

Sunset at tree farm

Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Once again I find myself at the mercy of my blog....drat, time to confess again. Oh wait...I didn't do any of these things....

Contemplate changing my new blog background because the Not Me! Monday button doesn't match.


Almost fall on the floor instead of sitting on the toilet (my toilet at home is really high and my great aunt's is a normal toilet)

Key word being almost

Actually get my butt derriere (thank you to ArizonaMama, a new bloggy friend, for introducing me to this euphemism!) in gear on Thanksgiving morning to go out for a was not in anticipation of all the food I knew I would consume. I did not have to change pants after dinner because I was so full...

Not this chubs!

Eat ham instead of turkey on Thanksgiving. Isn't that a sin? Un-American? Un-Human?

Not me-100% human here!

Receive a text from my cousin letting me know Jillian Michaels was in the Macy*s day parade...I do not talk about Jill like we are as tight as my pants on Thanksgiving night.


Not eat very many veggies on Thanksgiving because most of them were full of bell peppers. That's not allergy city for me!

Not this health addict

Finally, I am not totally and COMPLETELY SCARRED for life from a certain extended family member (uncle I see and talk to once a year). As I was walking up the stairs to bed, at my great Aunt's house, he was not walking down the his TIGHTY WHITIES?! Who DOES THAT?!

Head over to MckMama's blog to read the rules and create your own!

I'll just be over here trying to get this awful mental imagine out of my head.

Pants anyone?

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I don't know how I could possibly even begin this type of post. I am just such a blessed girl. Here are just a few things for which I am thankful....

I have such an amazing family that has supported me through every decision I have made. I have made some rather big choices in the last few years concerning work and school, and my family has always, always backed me up! Not all children can say that about their families. For my family, I am thankful.

I have so many wonderful memories from childhood- ones that I believe will always be some of my all-time favorite memories! My parents struggled with three kids, having a middle son with multiple disabilities, but we never suffered for it. They always relied on the Lord for strength. For my childhood, I am thankful.

I have wonderful friends who love me, "get" my sense of humor :) and support me despite my weaknesses. They are forgiving and loving all the same. They push me to become a better person and hold me accountable to my commitments. For them, I am thankful.

IRL* Friends such as this girl!

And this one:

And this one: If you don't know the story behind the picture below, click here

And this one: (sorry, Sarah, I don't have a picture of us together...unless I dig out an old picture from 8th grade soccer...enough said)

Of course I have many more, but they aren't bloggers. :)

* in real life

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."

I have an education and the chance to continue on, pursuing a master's degree. The Lord has blessed me with the ability to work hard, be diligent in study, and discipline myself to succeed. For current and future education, I am thankful. (I am also thankful for Sallie Mae!)

This little miracle boy is a reason for all to be thankful this year. If you are having a difficult time thinking of reasons to be thankful, well, you can be thankful for this little face. A miracle face!

I have a Lord and Savior who loves me beyond all I can imagine. For His sacrifice, I am so grateful!

For ALL these things and people, I am thankful to Him!

Psalm 95:1-7a

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before Him with thanksgiving
and extol Him with music and song.

For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.

In His hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to Him.

The sea is His, for He made it,
and His hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;

for He is our God
and we are the people of His pasture,
the flock under His care.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday~ Travel Style

So last week, just for the heck of it, I went back to read the rules of NM!M. Good thing I did because I had been breaking a rule for the last few weeks. I am doing it correctly this week and only linking to my NM!M post, not my whole blog.

Stellan's wonderful Mama, MckMama, started this fun carnival, so head on over and create your own, but please, for goodness sake, read the rules!

On my way to the airport on Thursday morning, I did not see the sunrise for the second time in five months....I am always rising and shining bright and early- every long as you consider a silent bear something that rises and shines. Ahem

On the same bus, I was not the girl who sat next to the window and placed her carry on item in the seat next to her...*warning* bear sits here. Do not ask to sit next to and chat.

Upon arriving at my final destination, the west Midwest, I did not find out, once again, that my luggage did not make it. The night before I weighed my bag and it wasn't 51.9 pounds. After a little adjusting, the final weigh-in wasn't 48.7 at check-in. A friend didn't suggest the airport might not approve of my inability to pack light, thus "losing" my luggage. (I'm here for TWO weeks, what do they want?!)

I also did not spend a significant amount of time on my first flight trying to figure out the pattern in the carpet.

I did not almost turn around and tell the man behind me to cover his mouth when coughing, and I most certainly did not find great amusement in looking through the Sky Mall magazine. I am totally not buying *this*. I may not live in the frozen tundra, but goshdarnit, NE doesn't get WAY TOO MUCH SNOW!

I'm sure I won't have more "not me's" regarding my travels next week!

Now, go write your own....please!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Five Question Friday

Be still my heart! TWO posts in one day!

I love this week's questions. Create your own and link up with Mama M!

My Little Life

1. Are you a Black Friday shopper?

I went to Kohls ONCE on a black friday, and I vowed to never do it again! I can't handle all the rude people. I enjoy the holiday shopping when people are happy and joyful, when people aren't parking in "non parking spots", and the Christmas cheer is actually in the air. Perhaps the only time I would be willing to go shopping on Black Friday is if I wanted something large, like a TV, and could save a massive amount of $$.

What was your favorite childhood toy? (Think Easy Bake Oven, Cabbage Patch Kid, Shrinky Dinks, etc.)

I played with my barbies for WAY too long! I just loved dressing them and doing their hair. I had the pink convertible and the hair salon. I was big into Polly Pocket as well.

However, NOTHING tops my most favorite toy. I had many Cabbage Patch kids. Loved them! My most favorite one was the infant Cabbage Patch. She was the cutest little thing! Bald and always wore a pink jammie outfit. She is still in my attic in case I have a little girl one day. :)

Favorite Christmas movie?

Mama M and myself are very similar here. I LOVE Elf. Typically I do not like Will Ferrell, but he's brilliant in this movie.

and.......go ahead and start laughing now....

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

I love the scene when the bandits come in the house and slip on paint, gets bricks thrown at them, get stapled, etc...cracks me up!

What is the "must have" item on your Christmas list this year?

Nothing major. I do need new sneaks. I have a hole in the top of my Asics.

Do you go all out with decorations or do you keep it simple and classy?

We tend to do simple. Our tree usually have gold ribbon, white lights, and gold and silver ornaments.

Show Us Your Pets- Culturally Diverse

I've been waiting for this week forever! Head over to: Kelly's Korner to see more pets! :)

If you know me, you know I love animals! My dad is a veterinarian (not to be confused with a vet...ahem, Shauna) and I worked for him for several years. We have ALWAYS had lots of animals in our house.

I laugh at the current "array" of animals I have. We are a culturally diverse family...

Griffen: African Ridgeback

Brooklyn: German Shepherd (aka The German Queen)

Mosey Moe: Asian (1/2 Siamese)

He is always into everything...and NOT supposed to be outside!

Can you see the second cat in the picture below? :)

Lilie: The little white thing. :) Poor Lilie was caught in a snow plow and dropped off at the hospital. My dad had to remove one of her back legs and 1/2 her tail.