Browsing the archives for the Uncategorized category.

It takes a village to raise an idiot.

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I had a strange experience today at my daughter’s ballet class.  Alex has class in a little room with about 5 other little  4-5 year olds.  Just outside this room is a little “holding” room where the mothers and siblings can hang out while the class is in session.  There’s a window where adoring Moms can stand and oogle their darling tutu toting angels but after a few rounds of passés and pliés it gets to be redundant so we mostly just sit down read books, chat, etc.

Today, I had to bring Jackson.  To his surprise and enjoyment there were two other boys who were about a year older than him who were also dragged to their sister’s ballet practice.  After the initial, “What’s your name?  How old are you?  Do you like Spiderman?” chit chat they were the best of friends.  One of the boys showed the other two how to make paper airplanes and a roudy game of “lets see how far these babies will fly” ensued.  The mothers (myself included) did our best to rein the noise and jumping around in but sometimes that like trying to keep a cat on a leash.

After several moments of  “Jackson come sit down for 5 mins and relax” and trying to make sure Jackson didn’t work himself into a lather they were getting loud once again and I was just about to stand up and get him to bring him over to me and…..Another mother yelled at my son to be quiet. I was sitting right there. What’s puzzling about this to me is her son was one of the three in the plane game. She then turns to me and apologizes and says, “Sorry, I was just assuming you weren’t saying anything b/c you were tired so I thought I’d help you out. Sometimes having a stranger say something helps. Takes a village….” I just sat there stunned.

After a second of complete silence Jackson looks her right in the eyes and says, “Um…..that was awkward. It’s like you think you are my Mom.”  The whole place erupted in laughter.. Thank you Jackson!!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself!

I agree with her theory that sometimes we can help each other out but this was just plain weird. Why did she not take her child, I take mine and the other Mom would get her son?  I am sure Jackson was loud but I do not know if he was any more loud than the others.  What was worse is she goes on to explain how she isn’t afraid to get on to other people’s kids if she thinks they need it.  At McD’s there was a Mom who wasn’t in the play room, sitting out in the dining area w/ her back to the play area and let her kids run wild.  Like I’m in that category??!  What the hell?  This is the same woman who asked a group of people who were speaking Spanish if they were related “because I hear ya’ll over there talking and you all seem to know each other.”  Another Mom says, “I don’t know one word of Spanish.”  Her response?  “Really?  Because you look the most likely to speak Spanish (loud obnoxious laugh).”  And my all time favorite was a little boy talking about how his Mom is Korean and Dad is Japanese and how he’s trying to learn both languages.  Her response?  “Are they very different languages to learn?” (not so bad) “Oh yes, very different.”  “Oh like American English and Britain English?”  (stunned silence).

And I have to deal with her two times a week. Sigh……

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Why August 10th means so much to me.

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August 10th, 2000: After over 6 months of daily (hourly) emails, chats and phone calls with a man whom I had never laid eyes on but was madly in love with, I was finally MEETING him.  Seeing him.  Hugging him. Smelling his neck.  Rubbing my hands up the nape of his neck as we had our first kiss.  Never have I anticipated something with so much nervousness and absolute, nail biting terror as I did this date.  So much of my future was riding on this meeting.  If he was who he said he was, I was going to be meeting my husband for the first time.  If he was lying, and I had been manipulated I would be completely ruined and heart broken.  Thanks be to God he was more than I thought he was.  He was perfect.

August 10th, 2001: In the parking lot, in the very spot where Jim and I said goodbye after our first weekend together just a year earlier, Jim pulled a little black box from his side and said, “Please, be my wife so we never have to say goodbye again.” I cried and of course said, “Yes!”

August 10th, 2002: With my all my friends, family and loved ones surrounding me, in one of the absolute most perfect, happiest days of my life  I said to the man I loved that I would be his forever and he said the same.  I took his name, he already had my heart.  We started our life together.

August 10th, 2005: We tried to begin our family basically from the the night of the honeymoon but after 3 years of struggling to conceive we still hadn’t been able to create a baby together.  Injections, doctors appointments, disappointment after tear-filled disapointment.  But on THIS day; this glorious day; we heard the wonderful fast-paced rhythem of “swoosh swoosh swoosh” of the auible proof that I had a life growing inside of me.

August 10, 2011: How fast those 6 years went by but in just a few short days we will take what was just then a “swoosh swoosh” of a life and is now a spunky, insanely smart, hilarious, and oober popular son to his kindergarten orientation.  I’m nervous, sad, excited and overwhelmed as this day approaches.  I will miss him.  This little boy who in one breath can make me undestand why some animal eat their young then do or say something and make me absolutely melt.  He is my heart.  My world.  He is his father.  With a little of me thrown in there.  I like to think he got the best of both of us.

I love August 10th.

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Two Jackson moments that must go down in blog history

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On the way home from our Sunday evening ritual of going to get ice cream, my little family and I were riding in the car playing a little game.  Name 10.  We were naming 10 of various topics.

Topic: Name 10 people you’d love to sit down with, have a coffee and just chat with (dead or alive).

Jackson (my 5 year old) went first.  This is his unedited list (word for word – I took notes):

  1. Ratliff Boon (this is the founder of our little hometown Boonville, IN)
  2. Barack Obama
  3. Noah
  4. Mickey Mouse
  5. Tom Bergeron (Host for America’s Funniest Home Videos)
  6. Jesus
  7. Whoever lives in that house
  8. Director of the movie “Cowboys and Aliens”
  9. A street worker (his Dad said, “Good thing he didn’t say ‘walker.'”)
  10. Grandma Pearl (my grandmother who died about a year and a half ago).
Then because he couldn’t narrow it down to 10 he added these two
       11. The whole band from Black Eyed Peas
       12. Benjamin Franklin
Other topics we tried were:  Name 10 forms of chocolate (pudding, ice cream, milk, etc), 10 TV shows,  then 10 famous buildings/structures.  After hearing the kids’ and Jim’s structures I said, “The world trade……” and for about a milisecond I had forgotten they weren’t there.  This spurred another conversation.  I went on to explain what these building were, what their importance was and what terrible thing happened to them on Sept 11, 2001.  Jackson and Alex listened with astute attention and were shocked that someone would do something so evil.  I explained about how his Daddy and I were just dating and that was a moment the whole country….even the world…will remember forever.  I spoke of the firefighters and police officers that were running in when everyone else was running out.  I was trying not to scare my children but also really wanted to explain the day as it affected me, the country, and the collective psyche of Americans.  Jackson says very softly and tenderly, “We should pray for those people.”  I was a bit taken aback by this and also my heart grew.  I said, “You are right buddy.  And their families who are still alive and have to live every day missing them.”
This is the prayer he said to the best of my memory,
“Dear God, please be nice to the people who died in the world trade towers on that September day back when Mommy and Daddy were dating.  And to those mean guys who did that….please shoot them with a gun right in the gut. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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Look at that guy….

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Ever go to a bowling alley and see the guy with his own shoes, ball, ball bag, and even a little towel to wipe the ball?  Or what about the dart guy who gently takes his little hand-crafted darts from a leather case to hurtle them at a board.  And I know we all know a guy who has spent more on a pool cue then some people spend on a car.  Ever see that guy and nudge your friend and say, “Look at that guy”  and that’s all you say?  The unfinished sentence is, “Look at that guy – he takes this WAY too seriously and needs to get a life.”

I am ashamed to say I have had a “look at that guy” experience all too often while attending various religious services.  That guy (or girl) who is raising her hands, screaming the lyrics at the top of her lungs while her mouth is pointed squarely at the ceiling.  Yea, “that guy.”  I have even labeled them “hand raisers.”   They use words like “fellowship” “laying on of hands” and refer to anyone they are talking to as “brother” or “sister.”  Yea, that guy.  I do not know their hearts and I know many (if not most of them) are sincere in their relationship with Jesus and serve Him on a daily basis.  But, a part of me has this, “what’s he hiding?” attitude when I look at them.   Yes, I judge.  I am human.

Well, today Jim and I attended a new church.  One that we had heard was a “different” kind of church.  I got the impression it was one of these “mega churches” that was outgrowing it’s facilities and just adding members in leaps and bounds.  Last time we had heard that we were looking for a church in our new home town and landed smack dab in the middle of a whirlwind of life changing, soul saving, seeker focused church that not only grew in number but also made US grow in our faith and relationship with Christ.  Since we have moved from that area, we have been trying very hard to find it again.  We have attended around 4 other churches trying to get that same FIRE that we found at our home church in Washington.

When we pulled up to this “mega church” (remember it was just an impression I got) we were confused because it was in a strip mall….and not a very big strip mall at that.  I felt disappointment flood me as I was sure this was not the right one or that maybe I had misunderstood what this church was like.  But, we went in anyway.  We had driven almost an hour so where else are we going to go?  As we are checking our children in to the children’s area I look around the one room area I can’t help but be hopeful that maybe, just maybe, this is the church for us….it definetly looks different.  One big room serves as the fellowship area (yea, I said fellowship – big whoop.  Wanna fight about it?) as well as the sactuary where services happen.  The two are only seperated by one large, red velvet curtain.  As service time approaches the curtain lowers to create two rooms.

After we get the kids settled we plant ourselves into our customary back left corner closest to the doors.  Because when you are trying out new churches you need to be able to duck and run in the event they bring out snakes…just sayin’.  Got to be prepared for everything.  One man is on the stage.  Young.  Jeans, T-shirt.  Guitar.  He starts playing “Desire” by U2 but he’s using some sort of foot petals to loop sounds together so that by the end of the song, even though it is just this one guy in jeans with a guitar it sounds like a whole band!  I’m getting excited that this may just be the different kind of church we are looking for but I’m also thinking, “Um…I”m not a prude and I love this song but…um…isn’t this church?  Where’s the Tomlin?”  Next song is more customary but man did they rock out!  Made me feel at home again and was hoping to see some tattoos on the men on the sage.  I smiled a little smile as I thought of the most unlikely, lovable and crazy worship leader I’ve ever met back at our home church, Joe Howard.

A few more worship songs and I was beginning to really feel comfortable.  Then up on one of the big screens was Skyped in a phone call from somewhere in the Middle East (I will not say from where as the church has asked us not to for security reasons).  The church has missionaries whom they fund over in this area to spread the gospel.  A place where just to say the word “Christ” can get to turned in by your own family.  Your father not only CAN kill you for worshiping Christ, but he will be seen as a hero for doing so.  And here, on this screen was 5 Americans and one, obviously Middle Eastern man.  This man, through impossible odds somehow came across a New Testament in his language. Read it and said, “This is what I’ve been looking for.”  And began to secretly worship the One Living God.  These missionaries are helping set up schools in this area.  They have found a way for this man to find other people in his native country with whom he can worship.

The pastor said during first service, as they were talking with the missionaries via Skype, he began listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit he decided to NOT give his planned sermon.  He wanted to do an EXTENDED worship service.  This is so this one man, who risks his life every day as a Christian, can have what we all take for granted.  A day of worship. Where he can hear music and worship his God.  This man had NEVER had this and this “different” kind of church allowed this to happen for this man.  All through the wonderful invention called the internet.

Not one page of scripture was read.  Not one “sermon” was given.  But the flooding of Holy Spirit that filled that room today was something I was not prepared for.  Tears began to run down my cheeks as I began to realize just what this man on this screen was willing to do to be a Christian.  I praised Him for allowing me to live in a country where I can do this FREELY.  I am a filthy rotten sinner, yet he died on the cross for me anyway?  Wow.  I praised Him like I have not praised Him in FAR too long.  I prayed with all my heart that the country from which this man was from would open it’s hearts and minds and see that Jesus Christ is the One Living God.  I found myself wanting to jump up and down; wanting to raise my hands towards Him, point my head to the sky and thank Him.

I wanted to be “That guy.”

 

 

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A mental health announcment

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Found this in my drafts and it made me laugh.  So I thought I’d publish it.  it’s a year old or so:

A few posts ago I told you that I went of my antidepressants and was suffering some pretty uncomfortable withdraw symptoms.  Well, it seems I am finally out of my detox and back to a healthy, sane and happy me.  I honestly worried if I would return to my depression since it seems to be a hereditary thing sometimes, not environmental but all is well.  Thank God!

My mind is clearer, sharper, more focused.  The reason I went of the antidepressants in the first place was because I was convinced they were making me stupid.  My memory was slipping from me right in front of my very eyes.  I would put the kids in the car, leave my house to go…..somewhere but have to stop, pull over and think, “Where am I supposed to go?”  It was scary.  Someone could tell me something and 10 minutes later I would have forgotten they ever said it.  I was like the 80 year old grandmother in the nursing home who repeats, “sure has been hot lately hasn’t it” every 20 or so minutes.  I was seriously worried that something was wrong with me.  It was that worry that made me start with removing the Prozac.  It’s a brain medicine so it made the most sense to try that first.  Luckily I was right.  You would be surprised the diseases and conditions you can dream up when you are laying in your bed at night thinking about when you were changing your child’s clothes, leave them to find a pair of socks and forget what you are doing, start a load of laundry, mop the floor, and then SUDDENLY realize you have a naked child in their room.  It’s only funny now that I know I am not suffering from meningioma (I hate Google sometimes).

Everything is cool.  And I couldn’t be happier.

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The Tortoise and the Hair Cut

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At dinner tonight Jackson spontaneously broke out in story.  This is the first time this has happened and OH, how I hope it isn’t the last.  At the fresh age of 4 this is what he told us.

(I am trying to remember this and although there are parts that I am sure are word for word, it was too long to remember exactly, but I think I came close.  Also, HE named this story…not me.  I also wish I had this on video because the animated way he used his hands to explain his story was priceless).

“The Tortoise and the Hair Cut”
by Jackson W. Schneider

Once upon a time there was a tortoise and a hare.  The hare had one REEEALY long hair on his head (holds hands as high above his head as he can reach).  They needed to go to the barber shop and get a hair cut.  But, the hare was scared.  So the tortoise put the hare in a wheel chair and pushed him to the barber shop.  Once they got there the hair cut guy cut the hare’s hair.  Then he saw he had a big ear wax in his ear.  The hair cut guy got tweezers, but not the kind that hurt (hold hand in pincher style making tweezers motion).  These kind have sponges that are screwed on to the tweezers with big screws so they soft.  He got the ear wax (“POP”) out.

Now it was the tortoise’s turn.  He did great.  Then they got circle bubble gum (gum ball) for going to the barber shop.

Then they went home where they lived happily every after.

THE END

(Huge Smile)

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Balloon Boy stunt constructed by Disney

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Really?  Am I the only one that sees it for what it is?  This balloon boy who the world held their breath for…the one who was supposedly in the home-made helium balloon flying through the air over Colorado.  Yea, that one.  It was a hoax!  But not by the tween aged brothers of Falcon (ha ha) Heene.  IT WAS DISNEY.

They are in the process of remaking the 1986 sci-fi movie, Flight of the Navigator. The Heene family, known from their appearance on “Wife Swap” (an ABC show which is owned by…wait for… DISNEY) as a science loving (I read crazy tornado chasing, granola eating) family, were commissioned by the multi-billion dollar company to raise awareness to the original movie.

Am I the only one that sees the resemblance?  Yes, I broke this story – not Fox New or CNN.  Tell your family and friends….

Mickey….you have gone too far this time!

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The Women’s Liberation has effected my life negatively in the following ways:

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You know what I want?  I want a friend like women, more particularly housewives and mothers, had in the 50’s.  I know the women liberation was a wonderful thing and I am so glad we are now given the choice of what we want to do with out lives.  I choose to stay home, raise my kids, take care of my home and my husband (rarrrl).  Now, there are several things that arise that, for women like me, the “women in the workplace” has affected negatively.  I am not going to get into the whole debate about whether or not kids suffer from having a Mom work outside the home because, although I care, I kind of don’t.  I just know what is best for MY family.  So, the negative affect?

I want that friend who lives across the street or next door. The one that comes over for coffee before either of us have  even showered, and that’s OK.  The one whom I do not think twice about the underwear on the bathroom floor, dishes in the sink, or cracker crumbs all over the dining room when she comes over.  The old addage “Mi Casa Su Casa” is true.  The one who’s kids I can scold and who I expect to spank my kids if needed because we are helping each other with the daunting task of making these little monsters into well behaved and respectful adults.

The hilarious woman next door whom if I am in the middle of cooking pancakes at 8am and am out of eggs (ok for a minute pretend I don’t use boxed pancake mix) I can run over, knock on the door once, let myself in, tell her why I’m there and run in the kitchen and grab an egg.  All the while setting up plans to go yard selling this weekend.  Then leave and it not be WEIRD.  Someone who after our kids are older we would still have those morning coffees.  No judgment is made about how we raise our kids because we basically have the same ideas about the important things in life.  We love our husbands, our kids, our God and each other.

Do friendships like this exist today?  My Mom had a friend like that – actually several.  I was named after one of them and it was just accepted when Candy came over Mom was going to be in a better mood the rest of the day.  They would laugh together – oh how they would laugh.  My Mom, and therefore her children, were better for having Candy and her kids as a part of our family.

I have houses on all sides of me but none of the women are stay-at-home Mom’s.  And that sucks!  So, this is how the liberation of women has effected my life negatively….

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That’s a terrible thing to say.

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A blog, in a way, is a person’s journal; a diary if you will.  Yet, it is public for everyone to read so. This makes the author write stories less from the heart, less true.  This is true in my case anyway.  Someone whom I have never met or someone who knows me inside and out may stumble upon (literally) my blog and read something that hurts them or makes them like me less.  Therefor, I write this blog through that constant filter. But, this time I’ve decided to say what I’m really feeling  just to get it OUT.  Chances are the “liking me less” will happen with this one.

My husband has gone back to “work.”  When I say “work” I do not mean that he did not work before.  Nothing could be further from the truth. He worked his butt off and gave handicapping his best.  But, time and money ran out and now we are where we knew it could end up.  He has returned to a “regular” job.  He is selling BMW’s, Mercedes, Audi’s, VW’s and other such cars in a city over and hour away.  He leaves the house at 9am and gets home around 10pm five nights a week.  It is something that is taking some time adjusting to.  My kids are missing him so badly and I a missing my partner.

Jim and I had such a wonderful system worked out.  The housework was evenly divided (well, ok, Jim did more than I did).  I was able to focus on the kids in a way I know most Mom’s would love to be able to do.  I wasn’t bogged down with what to cook or supper, or going to the grocery store.  My entire job was making sure the kids were clean, happy and learning about this big world around them.  The kids got the wonderful opportunity to bond with their father for an entire year.  Their relationship grew stronger than I ever thought possible.

I’m adjust back to where most Moms are.  I am cleaning house, doing laundry, cooking, managing the household and then, when there is time, spending time with the kids.  I do my best.  We had a puppet show today and Jackson helped me make the puppets. It was a fun time but one that I felt my nerves almost would not handle.  Jackson didn’t really want to make the puppets all that bad.  He glued a few of the spots on the dog but then lost interest.  All he wanted to do was play with the puppets.  OK fine, I can deal with that…then all he wanted to do was destroy them, tear down the makeshift puppet stage we had built together.  I had spent nearly half an hour cutting eyes, ears, whiskers, etc out of colored paper for this wonderful activity that he and I could do together.

But I find my mind saying things like, “This kid ruins everything we try to do for him…everything.”  My mind goes through the countless times we have taken the kids to various outings (tractor shows, zoo, children’s museum, etc) when his behavior made a time that should have been full of happiness, seeped in anger and frustration. I try to not think this way. He’s 3 and for someone who does not live with him or know him that just sounds plain mean but you come walk a mile in my house and then we will talk.

I love that boy with all my heart.  I prayed daily for him to come into my life before I ever met him.  I just have days when I don’t like being around him very much and I am sure the feeling is mutual.  He is over-the-top hyper, can be mean, destructive, and hateful.  Since Daddy went to work it’s like all those bad traits are overtaking all the wonderful traits he has.  I no longer have the threat of “going to get your father” like I used to.  It is as if, to Jackson, all bets are off and he can run around here like an insane child; bouncing off the couch, kicking me and his sister, screaming, running around, taking off all his clothes, peeing his pants, etc, etc ETC! He recently got kicked out of preschool.  Well, “kicked out” is a bit harsh.  The teachers just don’t have the time or energy to deal with him when they have 20 other students to try to teach.  I understand that.  I would probably say the same thing.  He is HARD to deal with.

All the while I am literally at the end of my rope.  Contemplating wrapping it around my neck to make it all stop!  Now don’t get all “crime watch” on me and call the police.  I would never actually do anything to myself or my children.  I am merely saying, IT’S BAD right now.   I’m hoping this new “evil Jackson” is just because he is not used to Daddy being gone.  Dear God, that’s my prayer anyway.

I love him, he is a hilarious little boy who is full of ideas and some good ones are in there too!  I just wish I knew what I was doing wrong, how to make him stop, slow down and be a good boy…..

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Getting back on track to ME

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Over past six months I have been wrapped up in things that kept me away from the areas I love.  Hobbies if you will.  My love affair with all things Web 2.0 (which, by the way, was the MILLIONTH word in the English dictionary) has been ignored.  Six months where the internet is concerned is more like 3 years anywhere else.  Thing change so rapidly, go out of favor and get updated that I came back into it feeling like a “normal” internet user.  Not the link obsessed, blog writing, podcast listening, tweeting, meme hunting,  Leo Laporte following girl I am!

Now, I am back and learning about new start up sites and companies that excite me.  We live in a revolutionary time where technology is advancing so rapidly that it feels impossible to keep up but I have fun trying (or did and now do again).  I feel blessed to live in this time in history.  A time where things are being invented and created faster than EVER before.  The Technological Revolutionary Period?  Maybe they will call it that in the history books. I would just like to part of this wonderful time we live in.  I do not pretend to understand how everything is created and have never written a line of code (well except that one time in Junior High when I learned to move a “snake” from one side of the screen to the other) and only dabble in CSS enough to make myself nuts.  But, when you learn that there is technology right now in which you can point your camera phone at an object and some how, SOME WAY you are told what you are looking at and given a little info about that object it is hard not to get excited and want to learn more.

I am also starting to get my body back in shape.  I have been working out at the gym 3-5 days a week, living a more active life and trying HARD to create a diet for myself that I can live with and still enjoy some fries and a big ol’ steak from time to time.  Still a work in progress but I am seeing results.  Inches and pounds have been lost and a LOT of sweat has been shed.  I am slowing….FINALLY seeing a body I recognize and not the “fun house mirror” body I had below my neck for the last several years.

I actually LIKE to run now.  For someone who does not know me this may not seem that strange but my motto previously had been, “I do not run unless someone is chasing me with a knife or announced free cheesecake.”

While combing through some websites I revisited one I used to visit a lot called “Waxy Links.”  It was here that I found a product that is a marriage of technology and staying in shape/running:  The Nike +.  I told you I have not had my finger off the pulse of things for a while!  I know this is not “breaking news” to most of you out there but last night was my first time hearing of it.

In case there are those of you out there as behind on the times as I am here is a little video about how it works.  Click on “What is Nike+?”  I am just amazed at it.

How cool is it that I could be running, start feeling like my feet have lead weights in them, begin slowing down when my Nike+ sensor beams a signal to my iPod to play one of my “Power Songs” to motivate me to keep chugging?   I’m thinking “Pump It” by the Black-eyed Peas……

Oh wait – I just realized, Nike was able to invent something that helps me not only get in better shape while using kick ass technology but also gives me a reason to buy new shoes!  I think I just came a little…..

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  • Why I Write this Stuff

    My children called me Bobby when they were toddlers due to not being able to prounounce "Mommy." They are now 7 and 8 years old and I am Mommy. But my real name is Mandy. I just do this so I can keep in touch with the REAL me. Being a Bobby is a dream I thought I may never realize and I do not take it for granted. I homeschool (more specifically unschool) my two children and it's easy to lose yourself in the tasts of the day. I just want to make sure that after 19 or so years have passed,and my kids have moved out, I'm not stuck looking in the mirror and squinting in hopes of seeing Mandy again.