Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Tuition: $1286.72

Hours spent studying Math alone: 100+

Earning an A in all three classes: Priceless

Yes I am finally done with this term and I got all "A's" the jury is still out as to if I have any sanity left, but I got the grades I needed! I will post of picture of whatever sparkly I buy myself because I totally earned one!! Now I get a break (if you call preparing for Christmas a break) and then it's off to the races again in January. I learned a lot about myself this term and I think being able to achieve that A in math has really helped my confidence soar. I feel like I am more patient with the kids when they are working through something that is frustrating to them. I know what it is like to feel like you are spinning your wheels or that there is no point in what you are doing. It's really hard to explain, I just feel different. Who knows, maybe I actually grew up a little bit. What I do know is that God was with me every step of the way and I am pretty sure I witnessed a miracle on the last test I took before my final exam. I still don't understand that particular section of math and yet I got an A on that test. What was totally cool was working on the final exam and knowing that I did learn something...98% correct of something. Not sure how long that information will stick, but that's OK too.

I knew it before in my head, but now I know it in my heart...God desires to be involved in the details of our lives. Even though He knows our thoughts before we think them, it's still nice to be asked or talked to about whatever is on our minds. I know my kids love me, but if I never heard them say it ever again, that would make me sad. I think it's like that with God. That's why He wants us to ask for help, to tell Him that we love Him, because it's nice to be asked and it's nice to hear a person say those things.

If every school term has such a profound affect on my life as this one has, I cannot wait to see what I become by the end of this process. God is doing good things, and I for one, am excited about it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bad Timing

So I think at this point it is clear that my picture a day idea is not going to work. Big surprise I am sure. I swear each time I sit in my class I get another huge assignment to do. I think it is finally time to admit that i just can't do everything all at once!

In happier news, I am currently carrying an A in all three classes, the dreaded math class included. In fact I have to cut this short because I have a math test tomorrow and there is lots to study yet! There is four weeks left and a final exam that breaks down to: Speech: 8 classes left (including the final exam) Sociology: 8 classes and Math: 13 classes...Not that anyone is counting or anything. Hopefully I can finish strong and keep all of these A's.

The books are calling...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mental Picture Day

Ha! I know that is a total cop-out, but alas all I have time for, so, picture this:

A stack of books, each one filled with page after page of non-fiction ever educating your tired mind. Next to the books is a stack of paper, waiting to be filled with the knowledge you just absorbed. A steaming cup of coffee, in hand, waiting to be sipped so you are sure to stay awake until all the assignments are complete. However, you must picture yourself walking away from this stack because you still have a 2 hour class to attend. Never fear, when you walk back through the door, that stack will be there waiting to greet you. It's good like learned its ways from the dishes and the laundry. I am sad to report there is no homework fairy either...unless...gasp....I AM the fairy...drat.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pony Rides

Today my dear friend Chrissy invited us out to a fund raiser at a barn called Trails and Tails. There they had pony/horse rides for the kids and a bon-fire for us to keep warm. Turns out the fire is a double edged sword because although it is toasty while you stand by it, once you walk away the cold feels colder!! At any rate, it was fun to spend some time together. Ryan had a small melt down and Abby bit into a piece of gum and pulled her tooth out! Other than that it was a super fun morning...
Rebecca on the pony! She totally wants riding lessons now...her Aunts will be so happy.

Ryan on the horse. After a few rides he was telling the lady he could do it himself!
Thankfully she has rules to follow and that wasn't an option.

Chrissy and Abby having some fun together...before the tooth incident!

Abby with her fabulous "I love horses" face paint, taking a lap!

Reagan, who although can completely hold her own on a horse, would rather be lead around than not get to ride at all!

The super cool thing about this barn is that their lessons are super affordable. We are hoping in the spring to be able to let both girls take lessons. It was a really fun morning and I am so glad we went. Now I must get back to my homework. The kids are busy so I might actually be able to get through one of these half page math problems without someone interrupting me! Ron is watching TV with the headphones on and he keeps laughing. Every now and then I shoot angry, jealous eyes at the back of his head...stupid math.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Yikes 6 minutes until tomorrow... I almost missed a picture on day 3 for heavens sake!! This was taken on our whale watching tour off of Cape May, NJ
The water of the Atlantic was so smooth on this day, it was amazing. The white water was from our boat but the water in the top of the picture was how calm the rest of it was...really beautiful!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A little bit of fall

I wish I could have waited for better light but alas it was kind of a busy day. Here is today's picture:

These are my two favorite trees next to my house. The yellow one can be so much better, as it is more beautiful than it shows in  this picture.  Behind it is a red tree that is amazing as well. That red tree is right outside a window and when the blinds are open it makes me happy that its the tree leaves that fill the window scene instead of the neighbors house!
The trees in our area have kind of been traumatized by the weather so there aren't too many that bright, brilliant colors. I have really been taking in those that do have the color. One thing I love about this yellow tree is how the yellow leaves pop against the green grass and make a nice yellow tree skirt around the base of the tree!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A new idea

So I have been brainstorming how I can combine a few things that I love, into the few short extra minutes I have each day. Today I think I have come up with it...a Picture a Day. We all know that sticking with something for any length of time is not my strong suit, but my goal is to share a picture a day with all of you. Some days may have words, others just the picture, but the idea is for the next year to post at least one picture each day. It combines my love of photography with blogging and helps me put aside the homework for a minute and do something I enjoy. I hope that over the months we will see an increase in the quality of the photos I take and hopefully I can help those who don't live here experience PA. I am sure there will be "people" shots as I do those best, but I am also hoping to capture some of the beauty in the landscape of this place we call home. For today:
Rusty was so sad that he could not come trick or treat with us. Although I can see that this behavior will destroy my binds, I couldn't resist how adorable he looked. Poor guy felt left out...

My favorite thing about this time of year is the beautiful sunrises I get to enjoy out my front window. Next time I hope to have my camera down by the creek as the steam was rising from the had a super cool look to it.

Snow in October?

Just like they predicted we got hit with snow over the weekend. Although I tried to be adult about it and hate it...I loved every minute of it. The kids got their gear on and played, I enjoyed a nice hot drink and watched it fall. It really was the perfect kind of on Saturday gone by Monday!! It totally put me in the Christmas mood, even though it is a little early for all of that!!

These aren't the best pictures I have ever taken, but you get the idea. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Halloween has been on count down since October first. Ever since the calendar turned over to October 1, Ryan has been excited. He was the first to choose a costume and Captain America was his choice. I thought that was an interesting choice since he has never seen Captain America, but who am I to argue. I have to say he had the shield and everything. I thought for sure I would be carrying it by the second house, but he carried it all night. I was informed that he could not fully protect me and keep the peace without his shield!

Reagan was a chef. I found the white puffy hat at a craft store but was having trouble finding a chef's coat. I lucked out at the community aid center when I found a black jacket with a high collar in the ladies department. It was the perfect fit!Add a white apron and a towel and we had a professional! As a bonus that coat was $2.50!

Rebecca wanted to be Miss America (we kinda had an America thing going on this year). At the same Community center I found the most beautiful dress and in her favorite color. As I stood there trying to decide if my limited sewing skills could alter the dress to fit her, a lady walked up to me and said what a beautiful dress it was. I explained to her that it was for my 8 yr old and my concerns. She walked me through exactly what I would need to do to fix it and made it sound so easy. So for $5 Miss America was born.

I was a little nervous about fixing Rebecca's dress when I had to go to YouTube to figure out how to thread my bobbin. However, one great video later and I was ready to go. I get everything ready and started to hem the dress and I hear Ron from the other room..."Hey Hon? What's that noise?" I reply, as if it's the most natural thing in the world..."the sewing machine." I am pretty sure I should be offended by the incredulous sound in his voice as he repeated, "sewing machine?" I got that feeling that he was making fun, kind of like I do when something is up with the car and he pops the hood. I always look at him and ask..."whatcha lookin for?" LOL At any rate, I am happy to report I actually did a good job and I am excited as ever to sew more stuff. It's not as hard as I thought....guess that is the story of my life.

Thankfully the rain stopped just before we went out to trick or treat, but it was still C-O-L-D! Yikes...we froze...we being the adults. As tradition dictates our friends, the Hoffners, came to trick or treat with us. Always a great time. Unfortunately this year their little guy who is Ryan's age wasn't feeling well and his dad took him home. Come to think of it, I think they were the smart ones, all nice and warm inside!! Reagan had two friends join us, so she had a super fun time too. Two hours later and to the bone cold, Halloween 2011 was over, well after the kids each gave me a candy for walking around with them :)

Tomorrow it is supposed to snow, and no, that is not a typo...I don't mean a few fun snow's supposed to SNOW...inches. I am trying to be super adult about it and be irritated by that, but truly I am so excited!! I love snow...I wouldn't mind if the green leaves were off the trees is a little early, oh and none of my kids have full snow gear yet...Other than that...totally excited. I will keep you posted.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What do you want to be?

Ryan asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up this I told him, however, he really only asked me so he could say what he wanted to be. The following conversation went like this:

Ryan: When I grow up, I want to be a police officer (since we had just past one)

Rebecca: Well you know you can't just go around arresting people like a crazy person.

Ryan: You can't?

Rebecca: No, you have to know the laws!

Ryan: Oh. Mom?

Me: What?

Ryan: You know, if you break the law I will arrest you.

Me: You would?

Ryan: No.

Rebecca: Well whatever, I will be in Japan living the dream.

Me: Japan? Huh. Well you better start learning to like fish, octopus and squid cuz that's what they eat there.

Rebecca: Really? Gross. Maybe the dream is in Chile

I love the car ride conversations. Just another day in paradise!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I do try to love our dog. However, it seems that every time I start to feel a smidgen of affection for him, he does something that takes us all the way back to square one! Lately he has a fascination for the dining room table. If you leave a chair not pushed in, he feels it's OK to climb up and lay on the table! Why oh why  he does that, I will never know!! It's not like it's in the sun or super comfy, I am pretty sure its just to irritate me. When I came home one day I found him on the dining room table and he had the nerve to just look at me and lay his head back down!! It was as if he thought this was the most natural thing in the world! For a split second I thought maybe he was sick and  that was the explanation for this strange behavior, and then it became apparent he was fine.

So now I do my best to make sure the chairs are pushed in because nothing grosses me out more than the thought of dog butt on my table. However, today I was less vigilant. Not only did I forget to push my chair in on my way out the door, but I left my full coffee on the table. When I returned home 10 minutes later, Rusty was in his usual spot on the stairs without a care in the world. I didn't think anything of it until Reagan asked why coffee drops were splashed all over the table. That dang dog DRANK MY COFFEE!! He didn't spill it, just drank it right out of the cup and then got down...boy is he lucky I didn't take a sip...just the thought grosses me out!!

Now I am waiting for the caffeine to kick in and see him become a maniac. The kids of course got a good giggle out of it, and deep down it is kind of funny. It's just nice to know that the dog has jumped on the band wagon with the kids in an effort to truly make me insane!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Isn't that a crappy word? Test. It doesn't matter what area of life it shows up, it usually carries with it a negative vibe. From Elementary through college the word test can create unease no matter how old you are. When you go to the doctor or hospital as soon as the doctor says "test" the patient probably suffers hearing loss as they try to process what that might mean. Then there is just life, all the time we have different "tests" we pass, fail, or come up against. Tests of character, endurance, finances, emotional issues, relationships and a million others invade our lives all the time.  I do think we can change this word into something more positive though. For an example, my Speech/Communications professor calls our tests "Celebrations of Knowledge." Doesn't that just make you want to participate??

There is one thing that can ease our way through tests and that is preparing! For those of us that take actual exams, we study until we can't imagine we can learn any more, and then we study some more. It is such a confidence booster to know that anyone can ask you anything about a given topic and you can speak to it and give answers.

Life issues are a little harder to prepare for, but not impossible. We prepare by heading wisdom of those who walk before us. We prepare by reading our Bibles and praying and walking out our faith everyday so when  test comes we are armed and ready. We prepare by keeping perspective in small things and finding ways to be grateful even when things aggravate us, so when major stuff comes down our habit is gratitude.

I'm not sure there is a way to prepare for medical issues as those tend to sneak up on us. It is in those moments, when we can't find our way or we don't know the answers, that we rely on those who love us. One of my favorite little sayings about a friend sing when I have forgotten the words...That is what friends and family are carry us through when we can't do it ourselves.

As I prepare for tests at school and in life, I hope that I can prepare in such a way that inspires those around me to do the same. That my children will learn that even hard school work (that you might never use) should still have your best effort and you should strive for excellence. But more importantly, I hope that I can prepare them for life and the challenges that they face by own example....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Date Night

Seems like Ron and I haven't been out in ages, so last night I surprised him with a babysitter. We went out to see the movie Courageous and it was really good. We laughed and cried but most importantly we walked away inspired. We were reminded of the serious task of raising our kids to be men and women of integrity and more importantly to help them reach adulthood with their faith intact. If you haven't seen it, you should!

After the movie we headed out to Outback for dinner. I am sorry to say they changed brands of my favorite salad dressing so my much looked forward to salad, was a disappointment. Conversation was great and we had fun! The thing I enjoyed most was being able to put aside all the stuff that needed to be done, and just enjoy the time with Ron. As I took the babysitter home I had a great sense of be reconnected with my best friend! Even though it was just dinner and a movie, it was just what we needed...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

College Algebra

I should be working on my math right now. I hate this I loathe it with a passion I never thought possible for a subject of study. Yet this class holds me over a barrel because I need an A in it to get my 15 points toward my program. How nice it would be to just not care and do just enough to get through it. At this point, if I didn't need the A I would be perfectly content throwing my money away and not learning a darn thing!! I know, it's a tremendous work ethic I am showing here, but alas it is the ugly truth.

I am a "look at the bright side of things", kind of person, but I am struggling to find a bright side to this class. So far all I have come up with is the stress forces me to exercise...that's good. It helps me fully remember that when my children hate their homework and think it's stupid, I have no soapbox to stand on, no sermon to deliver, because I too think it IS stupid sometimes, And that provides entertainment as I let Ron deliver the "why homework is great speech" to all 4 of us as we sit at the homework table misery. I have a feeling this class might get me to blog again, as blogging is like some kind of therapy!

So back to the books I must go. Perhaps if I get through this class ( I am half way) and I happen to achieve that A...I might just need to buy myself something sparkly!! In the mean time, I will try to forget how many hours of my precious life I am wasting learning how to graph -2(x+1)-4 because I'm super sure I am going to use THAT skill again...ugh!

Monday, September 12, 2011


I'm not sure why it is that I always seem to need to struggle with something before I will ask for help. I was reminded again today that God wants to be involved in the details of our lives, not just the churchy parts. For an example, I have been struggling with my math classes pretty much since I got the first book in the spring. Frustrated and joking that "you can't put in what God left out!" However, I had forgotten to ask the very one who made me and gave man the knowledge to create algebra (which can i say is up there with spiders and other things that bite) for the help and understanding that I need to finish this class. So this morning I asked God to open my mind and help me understand the concepts behind what I was being taught. What a difference today's class was. It was really amazing! And because God is who He is and I am who I am, it was no surprise when Rebecca came home from school needing help with math. Word problems no less, my enemy!! I am happy to report that I can do third grade word problems!

I guess the whole point to this post is that I hope to learn to ask first. Knowing that everything turns out better when I let God help me out. Some might call it a crutch and maybe it is, but I am so thankful that I don't HAVE to struggle. It's like He just sits there waiting for us to ask so He can help us out. Just like I do for my children. I don't want to take over for them, but when they are ready for help, nudge them in the right direction so they can soar.

On that note, it is time for me to tackle my math homework, bathed in prayer and hopefully with a supernatural understanding of compound linear inequalities!

Monday, July 18, 2011


It has been so long since I have posted anything, I don't know if anyone is still looking at it! However, I just in case I wanted to post some of our summer pictures. We have had some days where the kids thought washing the car would be fun...
Rebecca is always ready for the camera. I swear I will never get an embarrassing picture of her to bribe her with later...

Reagan forever making my pictures more fun...

Ryan insists on being outside in his socks, ruining pair after pair!

We also went to the PA Grand Canyon. Some of my fellow citizens didn't believe it existed, but it does and yes it is called the PA Grand Canyon. I have no idea when we will ever get to see the real thing so for now this will have to do!

This was the start of the mile trail down the mountain. It wasn't all like that...but it's a great way to fool innocent hikers into thinking this would be easy.

They did not smile like this on the way up...

Before we got all hot and sweaty trying to lug our large arses back up the mountain

My lovely Reagan. She is wearing her cousins old team shirt. Reagan hates sports herself but is super proud of her cousin!!

This is one reason we kept walking even when we had a working knowledge that the trip back up was going to be hard.

Lots of pretty waterfalls all connected to each other.

This was the base of the canyon. This was the most shallow part in the section were we came out of the trail. Next time we will bring water shoes.

Beautiful huh?

Turns out there was a small fish in the water in the space between Ron's feet.

Can you see the fish?? He blends

Another pretty waterfall

I have more to show, but I have to jump off and feed my family. I will be back later to post some more!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I found myself, today, blind-sided by emotion. I have been so busy the last few months with college, my family, friends, American Heritage Girls and countless other tasks that I think it has been easy to hide myself. However, as the pace of life slows back down, I find myself trying to readjust to having a few mintues to quiet myself and see what's really going on in my heart.

Sometimes life comes at you hard. There has rarely been a conversation lately that doesn't have someone walking through   clawing their way through a battle. Some of these battles have the very lives of the people at stake. Some battles are parents who are fighting for the spiritual, mental and emotional lives of their teens. Other battles are the moms that are exhausted from their children and their "hard" stages or those who have kiddos with special needs and see no light at the end of the tunnel. Some battles are the ones that are not our own, but a place where support and walking along side the one who is fighting has become a personal battle ground.

These battles can be exhausting and taxing on everyone involved. Sometimes it is easy to look around at the situation and think that if we just give up or just give in, it would be so much easier; it would be over. Sometimes we look ahead and the fear we feel is so intense that we can't move, can't think, can't hear or decide what the right decision is. Fear is powerful. It makes us doubt ourselves. We are afraid to make a mistake with our kids. Afraid of the unknown of a treatment. Afraid our needs won't be met. Afraid that when those we love need us most, we will end up being as useless and helpless as we feel. Yes, fear is powerful, but it is nothing compared to hope.

Hope is the armor that protects us. Hope is the instrument we use to fight. Hope is the thing that when we look at ourselves, battered and bruised, it makes us stand up again and fight another mintute, another hour, another day. For those of us who Hope in the Lord, there is comfort. A knowledge that nothing catches Him by surprise. A thankfulness, that when we seek it, rises from the depths of our soul and pours out like a healing balm. It helps us look and see how blessed we really are. A grace that is able to say through our tears, "He gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord." It is when we have nothing left, no more answers, no more ideas, no more strength in ourselves, that Hope rises.

Hope reminds us that we are never alone. Faith tells us that God has a plan and that plan gives us a future and hope. Love tells us that every tear we cry is stored and will one day be turned to joy. So don't give up, we all will make it to the other side of the fear, to end of the battle, with everything riding on Hope to get us through.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Back in the fall I stepped out on a limb and way out of my comfort zone and offered a card making class at our community center. I was nervous and excited to do it. The first class saw a few people, the next a few more and then it tapered off. I have cancelled the last three classes because of a lack of response. I suppose I can look at this as a failure of what I wanted it to be, but I don't. I learned a lot about myself. I know now that I can take a risk and regardless of how it turns out...I will live through it and be fine. I also have finally got it through my head that I am not a teacher. I don't like it, I'm not very good at it and finally I can lay it to rest and stop forcing myself to do it. I am OK with not being great at everything! I still love to scrap but I think it's time (when I get that precious time) to start making things for my own family. I do so many projects for others that I haven't kept up on my own pictures that my children love to look at. So the classes are finished and to an outside person they were a complete failure, to me a great success and a stepping stone to move toward something that I will really like to do. Finally I can scrap and make cards just for it should be!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


In the stage of life that I am in right now,  it seems that I am either following up on chores, breaking up fights, teaching, training or disciplining. Sometimes the fun I dreamed we'd have as we planned for children is non-existent. However, I had the privilege this week of 3 times over giving my children hiccups! That seems like an odd thing to be excited about, but it's because the hiccups originated from laughter. I am used to making my husband laugh and my friends and sometimes perfect strangers, but it is much harder to make kids just think you are funny if you are not tickling them. However, a private joke with Rebecca had us in fits of laughter for several minutes resulting in a good case of hiccups that lasted until we arrived at school. Ryan is kind of easy because the mere mention of a potty word or function sends him  into fits of laughter. Reagan is a tough one lately. We are darkening the door where I am supposed to be lame and she is to merely tolerate me. However, tonight I made her laugh...hard....until she got the hiccups. For a second in time I got a glimpse of what I had always hoped for, flashbacks of rare moments with my own mom, and a hope for the future between Reagan and me. It's interesting the moments that make such a big impact, tonight with Reagan in the laundry room of all places will be one of those moments that I tuck in my heart for future reference.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Personal Cheer Section

Most of you know I started school yesterday. To be truthful it's a bit overwhelming. Since it's been a looong time since I have darkened college doors, I had forgotten just how much homework 6 credit hours would have. The English isn't too bad. It's a lot of reading and I have come to terms with all the writing and the gigantic research paper. Math on the other hand, lets just say I understand why I got sent back to a remedial class. It is taking a long time to do each problem as I have to re learn how to do even the simplest algebra. However, today I have spent most of the day working on this math. It's taken hours to do 26 problems. The great part is about 12 problems ago Ryan pulled up a chair next to me to help. He has paper and a pencil to write and when I finish a problem he pushes the "enter" button to submit the answer. If it's wrong a big red box appears and says, "sorry...blah blah blah" to that Ryan says, "uh-oh" or "aww Mom, it's ok..." how sweet is that?! The best part is when I get one right he cheers with a fist pump and an "alright!" with the same excitement every time. Even though I am tired he is so darn excited for me to get them right I push on and do another. The girls have taken an  interest and ask me about my work. We have a deal that we will all try for straight A's this term as they are starting a new one soon. Ron has been super supportive and helpful being excited about all the stuff I am learning even though he could do this math in his sleep. I am so blessed to have such an awesome family to walk through this with!

It would not be right to talk about my cheer section if I didn't mention my awesome friends! You are all so wonderful and send me texts or calls at just the right time to make me smile and push on! I covet your prayers and even though I am not the first person to return to college you all have shown me the full meaning of support. You Rock!! Well Ryan is ready to push the enter button again so off to do a few more math problems before bed!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Every year we make "resolutions." Some of us try to make it sound like it will stick better if we change the word so we set "goals" instead. However, being who I am, I have discovered a serious character flaw when it comes to goal setting. It would appear that I can be trucking along just fine and notice I am doing something consistently...score. So  I decide...OH, I should turn this into a goal of mine! As soon as the ink dries I struggle to continue to do whatever it is I have been doing just fine, until I wrote it down.

As I thought about this, one with a logical mind would say..."just don't write it down then." Those of you who know me also then know that is not an option. I must fix this flaw. I talked with a friend and we threw around some options like:
 1. Set simple attainable goals - this sounds so easy, but even this I make hard. For an example, I feel good when I exercise so therefore my goal must be to workout every single day. Talk about setting myself up for failure, but I can't seem to help it. So then I must ask myself, do I secretly LOVE failure?? Then that is a bit too insane for even me so I put a stop to the thought process before I dial the shrink and really set an appointment.

So in an attempt to save some money and avoid medication and a straight jacket, I am just going to set easier goals. Here they are:

1. Exercise once a month either on purpose or by accident

2. I will make a budget that only includes using one credit card when I run out of cash

3. I will only use bad words under my breath and when I am completely sure no one but God can hear me.

4. I will only stress about things to the point of a twitching eye, not a stiff neck.

5. I will stop buying the king size candy bars and being proud of myself for only eating half.

I don't want to over do so I will stop at five. So those are my goals with any luck I won't be able keep most of them!

In reality I have real goals but there is no way I am writing them least not until I get a little better at this. Happy New Year everyone and I would love to hear some of your goals!!