Showing posts from 2015

Dear Santa

...I believe and thank you. (This blog post is for one very special person, you know who you are.  As a Nancy Drew aficionado, I *think* I know who you are, but in the spirit of your giving heart, I will say no more other than Thank You.  And I will do my best, as will my family, to follow your example today and every day.) Santa made a special delivery to my house this week.  It was a little early, but even Santa knows that you can't always count on the USPS. It was a very special and generous gift.  It was unexpected and made us realize how blessed we are. So I hereby attest right here and now that Santa is very much alive and well.  He doesn't always come in the guise of a jolly old elf.  He may not even be a he.  But Santa exists.  He exists and is still spreading good will to all who will let the spirit of the holiday in their heart.   Santa reminds me, and us all, that we should all embody his spirit.  That we can all be like him.  It doesn't have t

Here's to the Elf on the Shelf

There are really no shades of gray on this one.  Either you LOVE the elf or you HATE him.  Elves tend to generate very strong feelings in people. As for me, I LOVE Ralph! But to be honest, Ralph isn't out there to keep an eye on my son.  Ralph is out there to keep things light for the holiday season.  In the past, he's been a good elf (for the most part), this year he's been a lot more mischievous and that's been bringing more laughs to my family which is sorely needed.   The weeks and days that lead up to Christmas are usually drama filled for my family.  The excitement can get to be just too much for kids and that results in tantrums and melt downs.  Now maybe it's because my son is older or because there's been so much school drama this year or maybe it has to do with a certain elf that has been making us all laugh, but thus far this holiday season has been less tear filled.  (Most of the melt downs have been from me as I try to keep my head toge

What I Learned From My Son's PARCC Report

...well I was tempted to leave this completely blank, but felt I should say something.  What I learned...absolutely NOTHING that I didn't already know. And here's what I know... My son is for the most part average.  Sometimes slightly above, sometimes slightly below.  (Like when you go for bloodwork and your sugar level is supposed to be at >99 and you're at 101.)  This is who he is.  He is the median.   My kid does not test well.  I didn't need the PARCC to tell me this.  I've seen it throughout all his years at school.  He knows stuff, but when it comes to taking tests he gets frazzled.  Every teacher he's had knows this and sees it.  As parents we know it and see it.   This test was a waste of time.  It told me nothing. It did nothing for my child.  (Other than to stress him out.)  It did nothing for my son's teacher.  (Instead of administering this test wh

SOMWaD: All I Want for Christmas is Underwear

I'm a realistic woman.  There will be no "bling" under the Christmas tree for me.  (Do I really need it?  We definitely can't afford it.)  Santa is not going to bring me the winning lottery ticket.  (Though I will continue to hope and play.)  I don't need any more "foo" (translation:  good smelling stuff that we ladies love like lotions, bath oils, etc.) and I overloaded on candles at the outlet back in November.  Clothes are always nice, but my (small) closet is pretty full and I have an eclectic taste that few seem get.  Gift cards are good and I wouldn't turn any down (my Secret Santa was kind enough to provide one for Macy's), but what I really want and need is new underwear. It may seem sad and pathetic, but I really do want underwear for Christmas.  I'm a mom; a middle aged (oh, how it hurts to say that) working mom so what I'm looking for is not from a Victoria's Secret catalog, but from Fruit of the Loom or Hanes.  No ex

SOMWaD: To The Kids Who DIDN'T Make Honor Roll (And Their Parents)

The first marking period report cards came out last month and now (finally?) the list of honor rollees (rollers?) has been released.  There in the local paper(s) and social media outlets is the long list of kids who made honor roll (all As & Bs) and high honor roll (All As).  You see the names of (seemingly) all your friends there in black and white.  Your name isn't there.  Despite already knowing that you weren't on that list, when you see it, it may hurt.  You may feel sad.  You may feel hurt.  You may be angry.  You may get depressed.  Or maybe you feel a combination of all of the above (and then some).  It's okay. I mean it.  It's okay.   You SHOULD want to be on the honor list.  You should want to get good grades.  But most importantly you SHOULD do your best.  And if truly doing your best means that you get Cs, that's okay.  I'll say it (write it) again...If you are doing your best and your best is C level (or even D level), it's okay.

A Light In the Darkness

We are quickly closing in on the "shortest day" of the year. (At least here in the Northern Hemisphere where the daylight fades quickly.)  Many of us wake up in the dark (or try to) and find that we head home from work in the dark.  Is it any wonder why people tend to get depressed with all of the darkness? But there is a light in the darkness.  Look around and see the lights and decorations.  You don't have to be Christian to enjoy "Christmas Lights".  (I'm not Jewish, but I love to watch the candles the menorah.  As each day of the Hanukkah holiday adds new light, it brings a smile to my face and warmth to my heart.)   This year it seems to be that there are more lights than ever.  It might have something to do with the "As Seen on TV" Star Shower Light Projector which seems to be a relatively easy way to light up a house/yard.  (I say seems because I haven't used the product and even if I wanted to I couldn't as it appears that

Blogged Down

I've let it happen again.  It's 10 days to Christmas and I am so frantic that I don't know which way I am going.  Every year I vow that I am going to let the spirit of the season envelope me and NOT stress out.  And every year I seem to fail.  (I've got so much circling in my brain right now that I'm wondering if I've written about this before.  I truly AM blogged down.) It's not the shopping.  That's done since I have a small family.  Or so I think.  In the back of my mind, I keep wondering...did I forget someone? It's not the cards.  I've sent them all out.  Or have I?  Did I forget someone?  (Even worse did I send two to the same person because I forgot that I sent one?) It's not the decorating.  That's done too.  Of course I still could use some greens in my planter outdoors and three of my candy cane lights have gone out. I haven't found time to bake.  I WILL do that this weekend.  I've got to make sure I hav

Missing Christmas Cards

Not to be too politically incorrect, they could be "holiday" cards or "seasonal greetings, but in my mind they're Christmas cards.  I miss them. I know I'm not being ecologically friendly.  It's easier to send holiday greetings through email or social media.  It's cheaper.  It cuts down on the carbon footprint.  I know, I get it.  But I still miss the cards. I miss the envelopes that used to appear in my mailbox just after Thanksgiving (sometimes even before).   I miss the red and white envelopes.  I miss seeing the seasonal postage stamps.  I miss reading the notes inside.  I  miss the photos.  I miss the personalization.  (It seems what few cards I do get these days either have no handwritten signature or if they do, that's all there is to it.) It might be a sign that I am getting old.  I still send them out.  I dig out my "left over cards" from the previous year that I have stored away.  I buy more cards.  I buy holiday stamps from

SOMWaD: Why I Don't "Do" School Projects

Back in elementary school, my son would have maybe one major project a year to do.  Maybe less because I don't recall a major project for last year (4th grade) and  the one that really sticks out for me was 3rd grade where students were assigned a state.  They had to draw a map of the state and include landmark sites.  My son had Vermont and while it was his project, I fully admit that my husband and I helped him out. We helped him out a lot. This year my son has already had several projects to do.  There have been two small French projects, one Science project and one large (in both size and complexity) Social Studies project.  With the exception of typing up some questions and answers (which my son had already written) for the Social Studies project (and hitting the print button), I had nothing to do with any of these projects.  They were all on his shoulders. So why did I finally "make" my son do his own projects?  Why did I "abandon" him? I'd like

Banning Muslims: It's a Good Thing?

So it's out there...let's ban Muslims from entering our country (if anyone is reading this from outside the good ol' USA...that means if you're a Muslim you're  not welcome here in the land of the free and the  home of the brave.)  I don't know who's building the "Muslim detector," but I imagine it's like a scanner at the airports.  You walk through and a little red light goes off if you are Muslim.  I'm assuming all other religions get the green light.  Perhaps atheists get a yellow light (warning, warning...possibility of conversion here!)  Who know what happens to children of a mixed marriage.  (I've heard that there ARE actually people who are NOT Muslim who have married a Muslim!  Amazing, but apparently true!) Maybe we would have to monitor them for signs Muslimist? (Muslimization?  Muslimfacation?) I'm hoping that you think all of the above to be pretty absurd.  That was my point.  But I actually think (and hope) that th

Peace on Earth...

...goodwill to men.  Sunday my son and I lit the candle of Peace on the Advent wreath in our church.  I couldn't help but think of how little peace there is in the world.  Last week too many innocent people died.  The people of San Bernardino immediately came to mind, but violence all over all the world is on the up rise.  Where is the peace on earth? It feels to me like me are a culture that is living in fear.  While I don't belittle that fear, it's not healthy and it doesn't help the cause of peace.  Fearing those just because they look different or are of a different religion is just adding to the problem. Should we ban people because of their religion?  Should we segregate people based on their race?  Both have been done before, and if we look at our history, it hasn't turned out all that well.  Not only is it morally wrong (at least in my book), but it only exacerbates the problem.  Exclusion has never been a satisfactory answer.  We are all differ

We Don't Care...

It's true.  In no uncertain terms, we don't care.  We may say we care, but they are just words.  I can say that I'm a 5'7" 110 pound 26 year old drop dead gorgeous model, but that doesn't make it so. Saying that we care doesn't prove that we do.  And clearly we don't. If we truly cared, we would act.  Not just demand action and then complain lightly or say nothing when things did not change.  We would clamor for change; with our actions we would demand change.  But we don't care. We are content to sit back and watch senseless violence.  We complain about it; we lament it, but we don't care. We blame and point fingers.  The mass killings are the result of terrorism.  The shootings are the result of right wing nut jobs.  This wouldn't happen if the President did something.  This is all the fault of the NRA.  This wouldn't happen if we had better background checks.  This wouldn't happen if everyone had guns. We're great with

You Can't Please Everybody...

...and yet I stupidly keep trying.  I'd like to think that I'm not dumb, but this seems to be a lesson that I just can't learn. Here we are in the midst of the holiday season again.  Christmas is close and Hanukkah is even closer.  In addition to the daily strife of life there are concerts and parties.  There are decorations to be put up and goodies to be baked.  There are cards to be sent.  (I think I am in the minority when it comes to holiday cards.  Not only do I still send them via snail mail, I also try and write by hand a brief note/greeting in each and every one of them.  Every year I send out more than I think I will; and hence every year I have to run back to the store and get more photos of the family with Santa which I insert in the cards.  Every year we see less and less cards in the mail.  Maybe I should give it up and send electronic cards.  It would save me some money and certainly clutter up the planet less, yet I just can't seem to give up this tr

What Are We Thankful For?

Halloween is behind us; Christmas and Chanukah are ahead of us.  That must mean that it's time to rush through Thanksgiving.  (Quick, chow down on that turkey and stuffing before heading out to the mall to spend more than you have.) In the rush of holidays and just in the general rush of life it is so easy to forget all that we have.  Everyone, no matter who you are, has something to be thankful for.  Do you take the time to acknowledge it? Thanksgiving can be stressful, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of the holiday.  We want everything to be just right for the big family and/or friend gathering.  It doesn't have to be. I guarantee that at least 90% of the people at your holiday table will not notice that you haven't used your fine china (if you even have fine china) or that you wine glasses have water spots on them from the dishwasher.  The majority will just be happy to have a meal with the ones that they love.  It's about family, and of course, food

Going to Extremes?

I'll admit that I'm no political pundit.  I don't know all the facts when it comes to world policies.  I'd like to think I'm relatively well informed, but there's so much going on in our world and we are being constantly fed news from all sides.  I try to keep a cool head and try to look at things with a level of common sense.  (Although that seems to be harder and harder to do.)  So my question is why must we go to extremes? From what I see on social media, we must accept ALL refugees.  Or conversely we should accept NONE. How can we accept refugees when we have homeless veterans?  Why should we accept refugees when there are hungry children in our own country who live on the street?   Why must it be all or nothing? Do we truly think that if we deny all refugees that we can solve our homeless problem?  I don't deny the fact that by accepting refugees we WILL see an uptick in homelessness.  But ignoring one isn't going to help the other.  R


A friend with four children recently posted on social media how since she has a husband who is frequently away from home for long stretches of time how grateful she is to have an "amazing  network of friends" who help out with such things and dropping off and picking up the kids from school  I only have one kid and a husband who is stay at home and we have a network too.  The phrase used to be "it takes a village;" now it's "you need a network." Life is busier than ever.  Is there such a thing as a "traditional" family where dad works from 9-5 and mom just stays home and takes care of the house?   The stay at home moms and dads that I know are always on the go; certainly not "just" staying at home.  We all have so much to do for and with our families.   What's defined as "traditional" family has changed too.  It's not just mom, dad and the kids.  Today mom and dad are helping to take care of their parents.

Not a Letter, Not a Number

It's report card day in town.  It's the first year that my son received "real" letter grades.  (A-F; as opposed to elementary school where it was N-needs improvement, P-on level, I- above level or something along those lines.)  His report card will be of no surprise to me as I have been (obsessively) following his progress on the parent portal.  (  I watched his triumphs and his downfalls.  I recognized when he needed help and thanks to a recommendation from a friend, found that help in the form of an incredible tutor.  Nonetheless, he still struggles with certain things.  (Especially when it comes to tests and timed quizzes, tests & assessments.) There is a reason why I call it the portal to hell and I fully admit that I AM too reliant on it as I nervously await postings of grades on projects, tests, etc.  I try, but often fail, not of freak out when I see a grade that is less than I expe

Sadly It Stays The Same...

When I started blogging back in April of 2013, my third post was  and just a few days later I wrote:  Here were are over two years later and I could have written those words on Friday or Saturday of this past week.  Time has marched on, but it seems like things have not changed.  I still don't understand the point of the violence that has taken place throughout our world. I'll admit that I am pretty naive despite being relatively well informed.  I watch the news and read the news, but still when I hear the word "ISIS", I think "Isis" and am taken back to the Saturday morning of my youth.  Yes, I was one of those who watched "Isis" regularly.  (For those too young or who had better things to do on a Saturday morning here's a recap from Wikipedia:

Cup of Coffee?

It's been all over the internet, so I'm going to join the hoards and talk about Starbucks too.   I haven't been to Starbucks in a long time.  It has less to do with the color of their cups than the fact that there is currently no Starbucks on my direct route to work AND their coffee is darned expensive.  And let's be completely honest, nobody really goes for a cup of coffee.  We go there for a caramel macchiato or  Caramel BrulĂ©e Latte or Iced Chestnut Praline Latte.  Back in the day when I was a true Starbucks fan (when I had some cash to burn), I even had a Starbucks Card.  (The true reason might have something to do with the fact that Paul McCartney had his face on one at the time.)  I'd go in and buy my cafe mocha, or if it was AFTER Thanksgiving, a peppermint white chocolate mocha.  (Obviously Jesus was a big Mocha Latte fan as it is written in 3 Corinthians 15: 59-62:  "Thou shall only drink Pumpkin Spice from Labor Day weekend, or the first of Sep

Time to Say Thank You

This Article can also be found with photos: Thanksgiving is two weeks and a day away, but today is a day to say thank you.  It's Veteran's Day; a time to thank all those who serve and have served their country.  As I drove to work this morning, I saw lots of flags flying proudly.  Even though it is a dank and cold day, as I passed by several town's community centers I could see multitudes of flags on display. It stirred something deep inside me and made me reflect on all the sacrifices our current servicemen and women must make every day as well as the sacrifices those who served in past.  They must have an inner strength that I cannot even imagine. I know that it must have been dark and even colder when volunteers put them up; showing their gratitude to those who served.  I'm thankful for those people as well, who gave their time to recognize those men and women of the armed forces.  Who recognize, a


Note:  This morning I had the pleasure of speaking on stewardship at my local church.  (It was called a minute for Stewardship and I think I went a bit over.  But no one has stoned me yet!!!:)  Wanted to share here what I did there in this short blog post. Stewardship is not easy.  As our prayer of confession says today:  “How quickly we judge people…how easy it is to lift our voices in criticism rather than life our hands in compassionate care.” Like Christianity, stewardship is challenging.  As faithful members of this church, we MUST be devoted stewards; we are charged with the careful and responsible management of not only this building, but of all its people and their missions.  It’s not all about money, well maybe today it is, but it’s about grateful giving…giving of finances, giving of time, giving of talent and sharing love the way that Christ taught us. To be true Christians, we must be good stewards.  And again this is not easy.  Think about it, when taken out of

Twisted Truths

As a follow up to the other day's post, Casting Stones ( I want to tell you 3 truths about myself. 1.      I was fingerprinted by the police. 2.      When my son was a baby, a social worker had to visit our home several times. 3.      I was questioned by a judge in family court. All of the above are absolutely true.  Assuming you don't know me personally, what do you think?  What opinions would you form based on the above?  Am I a criminal?  A bad mother?  A child abuser? If you've read my blog for the past few years or you know me well, you've probably figured out what the three truths are about.  All of the above were necessary to adopt our son. But take those truths with no context and you could come up with a completely different scenario. I am not a journalist, nor do I claim to be. Truth matters, but so does its context.  Truth can be twisted and warped.  Truth can be "used&