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Life is Fleeting

“Have you seen Dave?” I asked. I needed to get report from him before he left for the night.

“He left early tonight,” replied Susan, “He got a call that his daughter got in a car wreck and died, about an hour and a half ago.”

Life is Fleeting

Oh. My. Gosh.

And apparently he was in such shock that he got off the phone and went right back to work. It hit him about 30 minutes later, when he totally lost it and someone drove him home.

My co-worker will forever have a broken heart.

Hug your kids. Kiss your spouse. Say ‘I love you’, and don’t say things you might regret.

We aren’t promised tomorrow.

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Online Baby Shower to Bless Far Away Friends

Many of you know that we have a large family, at least by most peoples’ definition of ‘large’.

With 6 kids, 4 of whom are grown and gone, the nest has nearly emptied. It was inevitable that we’d start to see a return to family growth eventually though. Over the past almost 7 years, we have seen our little clan grow, and grow again. SIX babies have been added to the family over those years, 3 of which were born in 2013! The kids (below) are them. ;)

Online Baby Shower

2014 Became the year of firsts. First first foods, first birthdays, first steps, many wonderful firsts! What we didn’t see in ’14 were new babies. Christmas was fun with the one-year olds toddling around, the preschoolers giggling and stealing cookies, and the “big boy” K playing video games with my boys. It was fun all around.

On Christmas Eve, TWO exciting announcements were made! Our daughter J and her husband are expecting their first, in June. Add to that, our son G and his sweetheart are expecting their second in August! Our daughter P, is also due (but we’ve known) in March, so 2015 will be another Year of The Babies!

With baby showers all being planned now, and one daughter living states away, I’ve been looking at how to do things easily for everyone and happily discovered that you can register for anything, on any website, through! Their Baby Registry makes it so simple!

If you’ve ever faced the dilemma of how to get that big gift to your cross-country family, or how to hold a shower for a friend when most of her family lives far away, this is the perfect answer!

Remember that many Amazon items also have free shipping for Prime Members, so you don’t need to worry about how to get it there. We did this with Christmas gifts this year, and paid to have them wrap them. Problem solved! Amazon just makes it SO EASY.

If you’re getting ready to throw a baby–or bridal– shower, this is a simple answer for you. Your friend simply registers with Amazon, and installs a browser Add-On. Then she can window shop (pun intended!) around the internet, click the Add-On to add the things she likes to her Registry, and voila! No searching through registries at different stores to figure out what to buy her when shower time comes.

They even have a 90-day return policy on Baby and Wedding Registry purchases, just in case that gift isn’t perfect.

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Give Me LESS So I Can Have More

At least once a year, sometimes twice, it happens. I get in over my head.

Too many appointments, things on the to-do list, and committments made. Too many, too much, too… crazy.

 Give Me LESS So I Can Have More

Over the years I’ve learned that in December, I need a break. Usually the kids and I take the whole month off from school, and often I also take a bit of a blogging sabbatical. Usually, I get some guest writers to fill in the gaps for me.

This time, I just didn’t. I was already up to my eyeballs in… life.

What does it take to run a household? How many “things” on the agenda do we really need to function as a homeschool? How many are TOO many?

December 2014 was insanity central for me. We did take the month off, but I started a new job December 1st, and that immediately took over, FULL TIME, for any rest time I had hoped to get. I am so very, very thankful to have this job. It really was a miracle and God’s timing was perfect in it, but…

But I’m still tired. I still feel like I need that break. A month off. HA! That’s not going to happen.

What I do need though, are LESS committments. Less “things” to do. Less stuff to clean around and deal with.

All of my committments, calendared and not, encompass:

  • My time with God
  • Time with my husband
  • Time with my family
  • Self-care and family-care related appointments, fitness, etc.
  • Homeschooling
  • Blogging
  • Doing VA admin work for others
  • Homeschool co-op
  • Work (scheduled, non-negotiable, but it gets time so I include it here.)
  • Hobbies… wait, do I even have those any more? No, I don’t. There are some I want to pick back up and another I really want to start doing!
  • Grandbabies
  • Serving
  • Menu planning and other mundane normal life things
  • Not necessarily in this order.

I need less so that I can do more meaningful things with my kids. Spend more time enjoying who THEY are, because they are growing up so, so very fast. I don’t have much time left. The Lord has shown me which things need to go and which need to be pared down with reasonable expectations.

Less isn’t bad. Less isn’t worse. Less is much more simple, and I need simple right now. Before my brain explodes and my family all run away screaming.

You laugh. The wires are already fried. Just give me LESS.

What do you need less of this coming year?

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Happy New Year 2015!

 Sign makers are special people.

Do you have a sign maker in the house? They love to celebrate every date on the calendar. Their handwritten printer papers greet you when you arrive home after a weekend away. They hang their notes on bathroom mirrors and laptops. And they write on your dry erase boards.

I wish I got as much joy out of holidays as my son does.

Affectionately nicknamed Mr. Christmas, he could just as easily be named Mr. Valentine-Easter-4th of July-Summer Solstice-Welcome Home-First Day of Fall… you get the picture. This kid celebrates all holidays, big and small. He does it with abandon.

He does it with signs.

Happy 2015!

This sign greeted us when we came downstairs for breakfast this morning, apparently placed there after we sent him to bed, D1 couldn’t let the new year pass without his customary notice.

I almost titled this post “What Autism Isn’t”, and talked about dissociative social abilities… but I didn’t. Because this kid is just awesome, and more social than most neurotypical kids I know, even if his idea of being social isn’t exactly the same as everyone elses.

How did you ring in the new year? Did your kids make signs?

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Tale of Two Zima

Once upon a time, there were two Zima.

They didn’t start out as two, no, they were a 4-pack to begin with. They were excited to attend their first barbecue, brought along by a Happy Couple to bless the household. They weren’t aware that their kind were never before tested, and therefore unknown. They were just happy to go along for the ride.

These innocent little bottles of Zima, clear and cold, were thrilled to be chosen by the host and his wife. Two were opened upon arrival, and sampled.

“Oh! Ick!”, said the man, taking another sip. “How much did you waste on these?!” His wife followed suit, thinking surely they could not taste that bad. She was wrong. “Oh my gosh, these are nasty!”, she exclaimed.

And the two little Zima that were left didn’t quite know what to do. They were quickly stowed in refrigerator, and they never found out what happened to their friends. Little did they know that their contents had been quickly poured down the sink. The barbecue went on without them.

When it came time for the Happy Couple to leave, the two little Zima were left behind. The host family was unaware until the next day when they were discovered, hiding out in the refrigerator.

“Looks like David forgot his Zima. What are we going to do with these?!” the man asked. “I have no idea,” replied his wife. And so they sat.

And sat.

And sat until New Year’s Eve rolled around. The host and his wife were invited to a party at the home of a friend.

“We should bring the Zima and leave them after the party”, the man said. “Ooooh great idea!”, replied his wife. And so they did.

When they walked into the home of their friends, they said, “We had a couple Zima so we brought them too!” The poor little Zima were so sad, because their reception was less than pleasant. “Zima?! Don’t you guys know that stuff tastes nasty?” Oh yes, they did. They knew. And so apparently did their friends. The two little Zima were stashed in the fridge and forgotten.

The next day, their friends called to let them know that they had forgotten “those nasty Zima.”

“That’s okay! You guys can have them!” was the reply.

Springtime came, and the couple invited their friends over for a barbecue. Unbeknowst to them, the two little Zima came along for the ride. About halfway through the evening, the man discovered them in the fridge. Hilarity ensued as they all agreed that no one really wanted them. After their friends left, the man said to his wife, “We have to get them back to them.”

They kept them until New Year’s Eve, and when the friends had another party, the man and his wife brought the Zima. They didn’t announce it this time. This time they were stealthy. This time they had a plan. This time, just before they left to go home, they carefully placed the two little Zima in the cabinet under their friends’ bathroom sink. And giggled all the way home.

The phone call came about 45 minutes later. The man and his wife giggled about it half the night.

Year after year, this couple and their friends passed those two little Zima back and forth. There was always an air of secrecy to the handoff. There was always plotting and planning involved. Discoveries were made in bathtubs, scrapbook supply bags, under bedroom pillows, under sinks, and in produce drawers of refrigerators. At times, they even subjected one another to searches of purses, winter coats, and diaper bags, to make sure “you didn’t bring those nasty Zima with you,” but they always did.

About five years ago, their friends got divorced. The two little Zima were left in the possession of the friend’s wife, who had them in storage with some of her belongings. This past spring, she found them again. And as I was driving down the road, they rolled out from underneath the driver’s seat of my car. She had somehow managed to get them back to me.

And so the tradition was continued. This year, we passed them back to our now divorced friends, each gift wrapped for Christmas with notes that said, “According to Washington State community property laws, your estate was split down the middle. Here’s your half.” And so it continues. :)


categories: Home & Family

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