Me & the Family

Me & the Family

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Killer Chocolate!!!!

I have been having one of those days.  Maybe even one of those weeks.  It is clearly similar to those that are identified as P. M. S.

I am not sure if that is what is to blame, but they are oddly similar to the feelings I have and the venom that has been spewing out of me.  My sister, Tracy, was dying laughing as I recalled the events of Christmas Day...and although those said events are funny today, they were not funny at that very moment.

This is all leading up to something.

Something that should have helped me get this sheer frustration that has enveloped me, but instead of assisting it sent me into the biggest tizzy over something clearly not that important.

Or is it?

To all of my friends out there that are women...we all know the power of chocolate.  One moment we want to kill someone and after tearing open that little morsel of's as though some alcohol has been released in the body.  The body relaxing just a little bit and your eyes may even roll back in your head.  


You can feel it right?  How you feel when you bite into that dark or milk chocolate-E goodness.

My chocolate of choice?

Dove dark chocolate.  It's dark yet it's smooth.  I enjoy their milk chocolate as well but apparently I am so sweet that I need to counter it with bitter chocolate.

That's what I tell myself at least.  :)

Not only do I love the chocolate...I love that there are little notes to me INSIDE the wrapper.  

"Happiness is celebrating the little things."
"Listen to your heart and dance."
"Be a little mysterious."
"Chocolate always loves you back."

You get the point, right?  Not only does this chocolate taste spectacular but it tells me good things.  Things that make me calm down and smell the chocolate.  It brings happiness not only on my taste buds, calms my nerves and lowers my cholesterol, but it also says nice things to me.  Reminders of how I should live.

Until now.

In all my stress I broke into my dark chocolate goodness, placed it on my tongue and awaited the surge to hit...and as I did I remembered my wrapper.  Excited as though I was opening a Christmas present I looked upon as the chocolate lay melting on my tongue.

Only to read something about adding pebbles to my tree stand....


It was as though the soothing of the chocolate vanished and the angry PMS girl came flying back into me.  So here I sit at my computer with all my Dove chocolate laid open so I can tell you what CRAP they put in the wrappers.

"Fill a glass jar with candies and wrap it with a festive bow"
"Create a whimsical wreath with gumdrops."
"Instead of exchanging gifts, put money towards a family trip."
"Make a wreath of gingerbread dusted with sugar."
"Roll ice cream scoops in coconut for snowman inspired treats."
"Ornaments add inexpensive sparkle to the table."
"Use colored beads to make beautiful ornaments."
"Wrap presents in vintage linens from holidays past."
"Try roast goose instead of turkey for an old-world menu."
"Make and freeze hors d'oeuvres in advance."

There are more but I think you get the point.  I love cooking.  I love baking. I love entertaining.  I do NOT like being reminded of things I need to do when I am enjoying a fine piece of chocolate...

ESPECIALLY when suffering from depression OR PMS.

So...I do not know if DOVE needs to make a bag specifically for those that need uplifting words...but there at LEAST needs to be a warning on the package for those that are, indeed, suffering from PMS to not buy this bag of chocolate because instead of soothing your anger it will provoke you to write a nasty blog about Martha Stewart.

Oh yeah...I forgot to mention that...and as you look at the list of quotes above you will see Martha Stewart written ALL OVER IT.

Martha Stewart will NOT cure your PMS or even help it a little bit.  She will destroy you and all things calming to you INCLUDING the love of your Dove Dark Chocolate.


Have you had any of this spectacular chocolate?  
Have you read the advice that she's giving you?

How does it make you feel?

I think I need to see a shrink. =P

Saturday, December 26, 2009


When I left my job a few months was nearly that week that our neighbor's husband past away.  He was terminally ill and she is the sweetest little old lady you ever did meet. 

At that moment I thought, now God, isn't that interesting that this would happen.  You see, while I was working I was never able to make it down there to visit Ms. Jane.  The kids would always be there getting lolly-pops from her and I would wave daily as I drove back and forth in front of her house. 

But that was it.

The day after her husband passed away was the day that I was able to walk down to her house and hug this little old lady.   She spoke of the years she had with her Henry and she cried.  My good friend Myrna cried with her and inside my heart cracked a little.  I have much compassion for this woman but a part of me knows that she knows the love of God, knows that she will one day see her husband again and that even though she misses him greatly...she will be reunited.

Since then Ms. Jane has come to one of our neighborhood's ladie's event (monthly bunco) and had a blast.  She will be attending it from now on and she is now surrounded by woman that love and adore her.

Those same woman who live on my street went to Ms. Jane's house and set up Christmas lights and her tree.  They surround her with their love and compassion. 

One of these women even put some pajamas for my kids "from Santa" on our front porch.  I'm still trying to figure out WHO.


The little boy I spoke about...I played with him on the soccer field every game day.  He was my little buddy.  My son and his older brother play soccer today.  My husband and his daddy coached our sons soccer together. 

I find no way to understand how events such as what they have been through happen.  How does one lose their baby boy?  And just before Christmas?

I recognize that there is no "right time" to lose a child.  It is something that even though I try to wrap my brain around to comprehend...there is just no way unless you were to experience it yourself.  Again, compassion is what we are to offer.  When I found out the news...I knew that he was in the arms of God, but I also knew that the pain and grief that their family is experiencing at this time...and it broke my heart.  There is nothing that I can do to "fix this".

This family is an awesome family.  She would give you the shirt off of her back and he has devoted his life to serving his country. 

I ask again for you to say many prayers for his family.  Tonight is the funeral and as a family we will be attending.  My children nor my husband have ever been to a funeral.  This is going to be hard on them.  Even as I say that I think...on them?  This is going to be hard on their family.


When we were returning from my sis-in-law's graduation we received some news.  Two weeks ago I made some appetizers for a young woman in our church.  She was due to deliver her baby girl yesterday. 

Her life has been surrounded by heart ache.  Her father died about 5 years ago...and they had a very close relationship.  While working on her college degree she found herself pregnant and chose to give that child life despite the challenges as a single parent that lay before her.

Her grandfather fell ill and diagnosed with cancer about 4 weeks ago and due to the stress of her impending delivery...her mom sent him to her aunt's home in New Jersey.  He passed away last week.  Unable to go to the funeral because of the impending and daughter stayed home.


Saturday, two days before her delivery date, her baby girl was stillborn after an emergency c-section.  They are unsure as to why this umbilical cord around the neck.  There was spotting and there was no more movement.

This young woman who graduates college in the spring...and her mom...are devastated.


Forget about the Christmas tree.  Forget about the gifts.  This year...there are people hurting all around you.   Give them the gift of LOVE this Christmas.

Any way that you can.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Love & Compassion

This Christmas I have experienced some emotion that I never expected.  Never had I known so many people that I personally know to go through so much pain and trials.  Two children have died unexpectedly in the past week.  Any time a child is lost it is heart wrenching, but so close to Christmas and the reminder of stockings and unopened gifts has to be as though there is salt upon an open wound..

There is a lot of buzz about a mom and her family in Florida who had tragedy strike their home last week.  A family is in mourning over the loss of their son and there are people attacking her for asking for prayers immediately after the accident and the posting of pictures immediately following.  Three years ago, maybe my reaction would have been similar to this, but that was before I began to blog online.  For many the thought of being online and announcing something so tragic seems foreign and odd.

I started writing on MySpace when I was making some transitions in my spiritual life. At that time I had begun to find God in a deeper way and was learning about myself, how I thought and how my life needed to change.  Writing was a way for me to keep my journey and path straighter.

I was then faced with a large challenge when my husband learned of a daughter that we never knew existed.  My life turned upside down and I truly began blogging.  I was going through so many emotions on a daily basis that it was the only way to express it, understand it, and get it all out.  There are people out there that might believe that I was trying to exploit my situation...but in reality I was using that open forum as a support group which I desperately needed.  Through that experience I began to meet people online and develop friendships with others.  I realized that there was actually a support group of friends on the internet.  All of the sudden I was faced with the reality that people online were PEOPLE and they were JUST LIKE ME.

Shortly after my eldest daughter joined our family I was given another blow in my life.  It was the discovery of my sister's near death and the reality of an unspeakable cancer.  My first response was to cry out to my friends on MySpace and I did it in a flurry of tears and pain.  I was looking for anything to soothe my pain and give me some sort of understanding because I had none.  I also knew it was the fastest way to get a prayer line started and those friends can PRAY HARD.

You see, unlike my every day friends...these were friends that actually knew my inner core.  They knew when I was having a painful day or a joyous day.  They were there when I was pondering my existance and when I was dealing with grief.  I felt that it was easier to bare my soul to those that were not IN MY FACE then to those who could look into my eyes and realize that I was, afterall, human.

Through the trials of the past couple of years I have also learned that as valued as the friends that I have online, I need to have friends close by to depend on.  I have learned to walk away from my computer, and subsequently some of my friends, to develop relationships around me and to feel the embrace of a friend.  It is something that has not been easy for experience that kind of friendship after years of building walls and trying to stay on a pedestal of good standing in the public eye.  I had to let my guard down and realize that I am HUMAN and have faults and have fears...and that I do require and deserve a tangible friendship in which I can bare the secrets of my life.

I would like to take this time to address those that may or may not understand the life of a blogger or someone who's friends are online.  It is a natural reaction to reach out to those that love you, understand you, and will pray for you.  It is completely natural and understandable.  If those people are on your computer...then naturally that is where you are going to go to. 

I pray for that family.  I pray that they know that there are people that love them and will stand by them online and offline.  I pray that they know that even through this trial that they are aware of the love of their Heavenly Father.  I pray that those around them are able to extend the hands and feet of Christ to their door and give them an outpouring of love that they have never experienced.  I pray that those that are close to them keep them in the prayers daily, even after the ceremonies have been completed.  I pray that those that have put judgement upon them that they reexamine their responses and that they extend compassion to those that are suffering.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An all American Girl game!

Last night we went on a mini-adventure with my father-in-law that included dinner and a trip to Toys R Us.  The kids already have everything that they want/need and the upcoming Christmas has people asking...what should we get the kids for Christmas?  What better way then a trip to the store.

My youngest desperately wants a hula-hoop.  I, myself, attempted the art of hula-hooping but failed drastically.  Izzy, on the other hand, was able to do two at a time for several minutes.  I never thought that my 10 year old (nearly 11) would want a hula-hoop for Christmas.

After spending some time checking out the new DJ Hero...a glance to the right brought me to this...

It was a corner of complete pinkness in an effort to get some games sold.

Tommy and I had a conversation with the kids about Ouija just the other day.  Why?  I was about their age when I was first introduced to the Ouija board.  It was an event that I will never forget nor will the girls that were there as well.

Now, most of you who read this know that I am a Christian.  To me, it has nothing to do with my Christian upbringing.  Regardless of whether or not I choose Christianity...I feel that there is darkness and there is light.  There is good and there is evil.  Just as much as I have seen wonderful miracles happen before my eyes and sensed a presence of something I could not explain...I have also felt the tingles of something quite the opposite.

You cannot argue with your feelings and intuitions.
When you sense something is not right.
When you feel that something is heed the warnings.

Thus the children were told to not challenge the things that we do not understand.  Why try to speak to the dead about the living?  It seems that I have heard that somewhere...

Any ways, the Ouija board.

Do kids still have parties and pull one out?  What parents would actually buy this game for their kids?  I mean, even if you did not really contact the dead or demons...who would try?  Those were my thoughts just the other day.  The kids had never heard of one...maybe it just does not happen any more.

And then I came across that.

Apparently it gives you lots of questions you can ask the dead.   

"It has always been mysterious. It has always been mystifying. And now the OUIJA Board is just for you, girl. With 72 fun questions included, you'll never run out of things to ask. Who will call/text me next? Will I be a famous actor someday? Who wishes they could trade places with me?"

Not only can you get the girlie version of this game you can also get it in glow in the dark!

I have been reading reviews and such about the "game" and of course there are two sides.  One side says stay away, it's evil...and the other side says don't be a religious fanatic it's just a game.  I ran across these reviews on Amazon and what I realized was there is a middle-of-the road.  There are those that believe that there are spirits and something unexplainable on this Earth.  Some of these people are religious and others just believe that they are here.  Then there are those that believe we are just people and we are going to live and we are going to die and that is that.

This is coming from someone middle of the road:

"I'm surprised that someone didn't think of making a glow-in-the-dark Ouija board long before this one came out. My only complaint is that both the board and the planchette are a bit smaller than standard- if you are comfortable with the standard board then this can definately be a bit distracting. It will hold a "charge" for approximately 30 minutes. Once again, if you are not used to time limits on your sessions, then this can also prove distracting. My advice is to keep the candles handy.

The talking board is only a tool- neither good nor evil. However, it is a tool far different from divination aids such as the tarot, runes, or the various I Ching methods. With all talking boards you are openly inviting the influence of disembodied entities. Be very careful what you are opening the door to. I wouldn't even consider using it without deep and sincere prayers for protection. Low-level spirits can only influence those who are "vibrating" on the same low level. Examine your motives and your maturity before you experiment here.

To some people tarot cards are just paper, to some this will just be plastic and fiberboard. YOU bring the vital component to the table. It all depends on your sensitivity and connection to the other side." 

Apparently the use of a Ouija and those that collect them and use them often....the practice is called Divination.  Divination is derived from latin meaning "to forsee, to be inspired by a god, related to divine" and is a way to gain insight by way of a process or ritual.

I want this to be an open discussion.

So...discuss!  Have you ever used one?  What was your experience?  What do you feel about advertising so that little girls may or may not be able to open up a gateway to the dead?

Friday, November 20, 2009



Where have I been?

Yes, I am still alive and breathing. I have taken some time off from lots of various things to, well, find myself. I have been running in circles for several years and "surviving" my life instead of living it.

So, things are changing.

I quit my job.

Yes, probably one of the craziest things to do and I have done it. Money is tighter then it has ever been. The hubby is telling the kids that we are in the Great least our own.

I have learned how to save a lot of money though...and that, to me, is awesome! This week alone we are eating on $50. For a family of 5 I feel that is pretty incredible. Our weekly food budget was around $100-$120 before. We are now $50-$70. You have to understand that 4 our of 5 people in the family eat adult portions. AND...we have two dogs. The hubby would say that we have 1 and 1/4 dogs. :)

I have also learned how to iron shirts for the hubby and groom even the BIG dog! Dry cleaning alone saves us $100 a month and the groomers $140 every 2-3 months. We have not eaten out in, it seems, FOREVER. Our friends did take us to lunch after church the other day.

Speaking of that lunch...I have learned to make some pretty snazzy tasting sandwiches from leftover meat. I usually make these for the hubby who no longer eats out for lunch, but comes home. He had a pulled rib sandwich one day, a chipotle chicken arepa (they are super good)...and other fantastic sandwiches.

I don't like sandwiches and I even like these!

My 80's slumber party was a hit. That was actually a couple of days before I quit. We all had a blast, let our guards down, and stayed up until 3am laughing and talking...just like when we were little girls.

I have been reading my Bible more and trying to focus my life on what it needs to be focused on. The past couple of years...well, they have just been really hard on me. I have found myself in a weird position where I know that God is in control...yet I don't feel God. I feel next to nothing towards anything.


I don't know if the two are connected but I have started taking an herbal coffee & tea. It actually is to help regulate the body's thermostat so that you burn stored fat. This stuff, it just makes me FEEL better! I'm smiling and laughing and playing. I'm feeling again.

When you haven't felt for a while, it's a nice thing.
I need passion in my life.

There are things in my life I need to feel passionate about. My family for instance.

Other then that...

My sister is taking her chemo now. We are all gathering at her house for Thanksgiving. All the sisters and our children and our parents. It will be insane but good for all of us. I will be writing here more again. That trip alone should provide a LOT of material!

Do you want to come along on my spiritual journey?
How about my finding happiness journey?

Love you guys.
Sorry I've been gone.

But I'm back. :)

How have YOU guys been?!!!!