Monthly Archives: March 2013

I got on a Plane…

California 2013 028So last week I got on a plane, by myself, and flew to California with my dream in my carry-on (stuffed in there with a weeks worth of clothes, three pairs of shoes and not nearly enough hair care products for my long curly hair.) I went to a Writers Conference in the mountains near Santa Cruz. I had my completed manuscript, elevator pitch and a whole lot of people praying for me back home.
For the past two years I have been working on writing a book about how our family came together. It is the inspirational true story of how we went from the multiple losses of miscarriage, stillbirth and the death of our three-week-old son to the multiple blessings of becoming a mom through birth, domestic adoption, international adoption and IVF surrogacy.  My goal is to offer hope to those struggling in their family building journeys and show them there is more than one way to become a parent.  Because of my experiences I can meet them in their grief and help them through the process, praying for them along the way.

The trip was a wonderful experience.  I took workshops on writing, learned about publishing, met with agents and had dinner with editors.  I came away with TWO publishers that requested to see my book proposal.  So if you see my kids playing in the street or if they come knocking on your door begging for food, just help out! I’m trying to polish my manuscript before sending it in…thanks!

To find out more about my writing projects check out my Facebook author page and you can follow my blogs: and

Of course I have to give a shout-out to my parents who watched Cassie and Callie for the week and my husband who took care of everything else.  Thank you!  Stay tuned for the next “What Really Goes on When Mom’s Gone” post.


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Supervised vs. Independant Activities

March 18, 2013 001As your child grows you tend to allow them to try more and more things on their own and gradually allow them more independent play time vs always being supervised. For example coloring at the table had to be supervised for your two-year-old but by the time they are five they can probably handle it without also coloring the table, booster and their entire arm green. Some activities lend themselves well to allowing more independent play, trains, dolls, blocks…anything involving water, play dough or scotch tape however need a little more supervision.

So maybe you can help me with this scenario that I came upon this weekend and help me decide if it should be a supervised activity or an opportunity for independent exploration: (Mom, if you’re reading this you should probably log off now.)
Lexi (9 year-old) and her two little sisters (almost 5)
They were allowed to go outside and play in the backyard, I was coming out in a second.
I arrive on the scene to find Lexi sitting in a tree with a jump rope and a couple of carabiners (the ones you get from the dollar store). One end of the jump rope is tied to her jacket the other is around her little sister’s waist!
“Mom!” she announces proudly, “I’m teaching the girls how to be climbers.”
My eyes the size of saucers, trying to figure out how this could all transpire in five minutes, “suggested” Lexi get down from the tree and kindly untie her sister.
“Mom, we have our helmets on.” (They were all wearing their bike helmets.)

So what do you think? Supervised, Independent or NO WAY, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!


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Performance Review

Funny how they call them “conferences” as kids and “performance reviews” as adults. We had the preschool conferences for the girls today. I read through their report card and was pleased with how they are doing. Despite them being born so premature I feel really good about them being ready for Kindergarten. I am so pleased with their progress.

For their report the teachers ask what their favorite part of school is, what they don’t like, what they are good at and what they want to be better at. (Sounds like the “what are your strengths and weaknesses interview question”? Can never start too early for that first interview.) Callie didn’t have an answer for what she wanted to be better at but apparently Cassie has been up at night worrying about her train playing skills. She said, “I want to be better at playing trains.” I’ll get her some tutoring for that!

Left the conferences feeling very fortunate about the preschool they attend and the wonderful teachers they have had that have helped them along over the years.


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Letters to Nana

Letters to Nana 001A couple weeks ago my folks took their annual trip down south somewhere warmer for a week. While they were gone the little girls wanted to send Nana and Papa some letters. So for a few days in a row they colored their hearts out and printed all the word combinations they know and we sent off a bunch of letters to Nana for when she got back (they made some pictures for Uncle Bill too) The girls got their jackets on and proudly went out to the mailbox to deliver their creations. It was really cute! (Remember they wear shorts all winter…)


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Birds and the Bees and the Mermaids

I was chatting with Lexi just casually about getting a swimsuit for summer, or something, and the topic came around to how girls change into women and boys change into men. I told her I had a book we could read sometime that talks about all the changes she will go through when she gets to be a teenager. She asked, “When will I change into a woman?” From the back seat I hear Cassie blurt, “I’m going to change into a mermaid.” (That got us off the subject!)


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Hippos and Jesus

There weren't any stock photos of Jesus with a bunch of hippos.

There weren’t any stock photos of Jesus with a bunch of hippos.

I swear I don’t make this stuff up…we are eating lunch and talking about the Little People Zoo. The one that has an animal representing each letter of the alphabet. (For those of you who have this, what the heck kind of ram/goat starts with the letter “U”, Cassie showed me and sure enough it looks like a ram but has the letter “U” printed on it…now she thinks “goat” starts with “U”.)

Anyway, Cassie broke into song making the “H” sound “H…H…H…Hippo, hippo starts with H” I assumed it was some cute song from preschool. As the song went on there were some more descriptive words about Hippos followed by “’cause Jesus is so strong.”

In the nearly 14 years of parenting this would be the first time I have heard a song including both Hippos and Jesus. Of cousre there is the possability that two or more songs were combined in her four-year-old rendition or this might just be one of the perks of a Christian preschool!


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“Dees are a Few of My Favortie Szings”

Each night at bedtime I ask the two girls what song they want me to sing. They always choose the same ones, but if I just start singing they get upset and insist they want to choose which song. Cassie always chooses The Sun’ll Come Out from Annie and Callie chooses My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music.

Yesterday on the way to Preschool Callie was singing her song and doing quite well, but with her four-year-old speech patterns. It was really cute…”Dees are a few of my favorite szings…”


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Birthday Bartering

Josh John Birthday 11 002Johnny and Josh’s Birthdays were last week. They both turned 11. To celebrate their birthdays we gave them two options. Behind Door #1 was a Birthday Party in which they could invite two of their closest friends, behind Door #2…CASH. Last year they both opted for the Cash settlement (of course we had a family party with cake and ice cream and the grandparents took them to the Old Country Buffet).

Josh John Birthday 11 003This year they both wanted a party (separate parties of course!).  So Josh and his buddy went to Snuffy’s for Burgers and shakes and Johnny had his buddies over for a sleepover and non-stop computer games.  Both went fine and required little planning and/or intervention from me.  As it turns out they also got gifts from their friends including CASH so I think they made out in the end and gifts continue to trickle in from the relatives.

I’m very grateful for our family that makes sure each one of our kids feels very special, especially on their birthdays.


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Chronicles of a Stage Mom

Johnny's Play 005So Johnny had his big play this weekend. His school put on a production of The Jungle Book. He got cast as Mowgli (he fits the roll!) and so I was kind of nervous for him. I know how to encourage a kid before a big game, I know how to cheer from the sidelines, I know how to give half-time pep talks but this was all new for me. Turns out my strategy of letting the director be responsible for the play (vs my meddling) turned out pretty good. My pre-show pep talk “It’s OK if you miss a line or giggle a bit everyone makes mistakes.” Was met with an eye roll and “Mom, I know all my lines.” And during the play…yes, he knew all his lines, he knew where to stand, who to talk to, when to sing, when to run when to dance. It was so cool!

Johnny's Play 007

The whole cast was wonderful. The kids did a wonderful job. My mom and I were on the costume crew so it was fun to see all the costumes work together on stage, I helped with the make-up before the game show and so it was fun to work with other moms that were being introduced to musical theatre as well.

Our extended family showed up as if this was the championship game and we had a fun time after the show back at our house for pie.  I think I could get used to this Stage Mom thing (its much warmer than Hockey Mom).

Johnny's Play 012


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