Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Back in the early 1970's I was in a Girl Scout troop that got together and did things with a Boy Scout Troop.  We used to go camping and to the beach etc.  We were all middle school age.  I can only remember a handful of the boys who were in the Boy Scout Troop.  None of them left that big of an impression on me.  There was this one boy though.  Everyone liked him.  He was shy and quiet.  He was (at that time) tall.  He was kind.  Not normally a jerk like so many middle school boys can be.  As we entered High School, most of us left Scouts to pursue other activities.

This boy would end up in several of my classes.  As high school went on he became more and more popular with the girls.  He could grow a mustache (well, sort of ) and in the 70's THAT was a big deal.  He and I were friends.  In fact, I would consider him my best guy friend.  Because of that friendship, many of my girlfriends would ask me to see if I could get them a date with him.  Sometimes I could and other times, well, he asked me very politely if I was kidding.  As we moved through High School he had girlfriends and I had boyfriends, but our friendship grew stronger.  When I got my first job it was at the same place he worked.  We were together more and more.

On the night that we graduated from High School he asked me to a party.  He wasn't dating anyone.  My boyfriend and I had been on the rocks for quite some time.  I said yes. (Probably not one of my most mature moments.  I did technically still have a boyfriend.)  Imagine all of our friends surprise when we showed up together.  We never dated anyone else.  Ever. Again.  I grabbed on to my best guy friend and, two and a half years later, on November 4, 1978 I married him.  The rest, as they say, is history.

God truly blessed me when he brought my hubby into my life.  I loved just being his friend.  Imagine my surprise when that turned into something more and he went from 'my best guy friend' to the 'man I would spend the rest of my life with.'

Has marriage been a piece of cake?  A walk in the park?  Easy-peasy?  Heck No!  It's been hard work, but there is the saying, 'For anything worth having, one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love and self-sacrifice.'  John Burroughs.

We have worked.  Worked to keep our friendship strong.  Worked to keep our family Christ-centered.  Worked to grow as individuals and as a couple.  Worked to learn not to sweat the small stuff.  Worked to remember that just because the other opinion isn't ours, doesn't make it invalid.  Worked to get to this place in life where I can't imagine being anywhere else.

We have learned to be patient.  He with me when I just don't want to solve all of the worlds problems right.this.very.second.  Me with him when he needs to do just that.  He is patient with me when I need down time and I with him when he can't stop moving.  I tolerate (isn't that a form of patience?) his need to do research and make lists and check them four hundred million times.  He has learned to tolerate the fact that I am much more impulsive and spontaneous.  Patience isn't something that came easily early on.  I often took offense when he wasn't doing or acting exactly how I thought he should.  He will say 'ditto.'

We have love. I love how he has always provided for our family.  I love how he always, without fail, puts his all into everything he does.  I love the Godly man that he has become.  I love his relationship with his children.  Nothing makes me love him more than when I see him with his grandsons.  I love his character and his integrity.  I love that he has a romantic side and likes to surprise me with flowers and weekend get aways.  I love that God chose me to be his wife.  I don't know how he would describe the 'love' in our relationship, but I know I could go on and on and on with things about him. 

John Burroughs adds self-sacrifice to his list of things you have to do to achieve that which is worth having.  I have racked my brain to try and figure out how I have really sacrificed anything to be married to my Hubby.  True, I didn't have a career that earned me public respect like he does, but I never wanted that.  I always wanted to be a wife and a mommy.  HE sacrificed by working long and hard to make that dream come true for me and for our family.  I feel more like we made sacrifices as a unit to make our dreams come true.  I know I have never, for one moment, felt like I gave anything up that was worth having.  How I hope he feels the same way.

I hope that our marriage brings honor and glory to God.  I believe He brought two very young people together and then protected us from ourselves.  If he asked me to marry him again, today, knowing what I know now and how our life would turn out, I would run and not walk to the altar.  Happy 33rd anniversary.  I love you with all of my heart and I pray for many more anniversaries to come.

Friday, October 28, 2011

He Should Have Put The Cellphone Away

Hubby and I are still laughing.  Tonight we witnessed something that clearly wasn't intended for us to see.  We are the only ones who saw.  The person who was supposed to see was too busy playing with his cell phone.  I don't know if he was texting or playing a game or exactly what he was doing, but he had zero situational awareness.

We were at the bank.  It was after hours and we pulled up to use one of the 2 ATM's.  It was dark.  There are two ATM's at this particular bank and they are side by side.  When we parked there was a man at one and the other was free.  As my hubby walked up to the available one the other man finished and walked away.  He quickly drove off and another car pulled up and parked.  As Hubby finished and came back to the car a young woman walked up to the machine.  Hubby commented on what she was wearing.  As I recall, he said something along the lines of, "I wish you would wear a short little skirt like that."  He is typically kidding when he says things like that, but it usually annoys me nonetheless.  That being said, I looked up to see just how short this skirt was.  Well, it was a Halloween costume.  She was dressed like Minnie Mouse.  She had on a short polka dotted skirt complete with a long black tail.  Hubby hadn't seen the tail when he made the comment.  I immediately start to laugh and told him that it was clearly a costume. 

I don't know if she didn't realize we were there or if she didn't care, but she starts dancing and shaking her backside in such a way that her tail is swinging to and fro while she is making her ATM transaction.  She is clearly doing this for the benefit of the young man in the drivers seat of the car she got out of.  Her movements were very exaggerated.  We were laughing hysterically.  Partly because the tail was swaying back and forth and partly because we can't believe she would be doing it if she realized we were still there.

Then I glance over to the see what the young man in the car waiting for her is doing and I really can't believe it.  He isn't even looking at her.  He is playing with his cell phone.  He has no idea that she is in all probability trying to seduce him.  Poor guy.  He is so attached to social media that he just.doesn't.even.see.her. 

We drove away and as we got to the other end of the parking lot we could see that she was still dancing and bending over etc.  Well, you get the picture.  Too bad he didn't.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Don't Know How This Happened.....

30 years ago today I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl I had ever laid eyes on.  She was perfect.  She looked just like her daddy.  She entered the world wide eyed and content.  It was love at first sight and I can't remember my life before she came into it.  She is the one who made me a mom.  She is the one who made 'us' a family. 

I don't know how the past 30 years have flown by so quickly.  I don't know how she has already gone to preschool, kindergarten, middle school, high school and college. I don't know how she got her drivers license.  I don't know how she has already gone to formal dances and had a first date.  I don't know how she fell in love and met 'the one.'  I don't know how daddy has walked his little girl down the aisle and danced with her at her wedding.  I don't know how she has become a mother.  Not once, but twice. (I know no comments about that,) I don't know how she has packed up and moved to that 'other state' that she lives in. I don't know how she has become such an amazing Senior Pastor's wife.  I don't know how she has taken her own baby to preschool already. 

I don't know how she can be turning 30 at 8:33 pm tonight when I am still 29.  I may be mathematically challenged, but even I know that this just doesn't work.

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful women that I know. I love the woman that you have become.  I love laughing with you.  I love acting silly with you. I love spending time with you.  I love being your mom and I love being your friend. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Birthday To My Favorite Oldest Grandson

Happy Birthday to you!  Happy Birthday to you!  Happy Birthday Dear Rock Star!  Happy Birthday to you!

It is hard to believe that my 'favorite oldest grandson' is 5 today!  That just doesn't seem possible.  Grandpa and Grandma love you to pieces and can't wait to see you and celebrate in person in just a couple of weeks.

We hope you have an amazing year!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Changes...... And Why I Don't Want To Get Old...........

Three years ago my mom passed away.  My dad had taken care and nursed her through 3 years of health problems.  He cooked.  He cleaned.  He took care of her every want and need.  He did it well.  Very, very well.  The house was spotless and his meals delicious.  Sometimes he smothered her with his hovering, but she wanted for nothing.  They had been married just short of 57 years.  When she died he lost his best friend and his purpose.

At first, all seemed well.  He was doing ok.  Mom had suffered and we were all thankful that she was no longer in pain.  As time has gone by we have noticed a decline in Dad's general enjoyment of life.  He has became less and less interested in taking part in family events.  He's stopped cleaning.  Stopped cooking.  Choosing to eat out more and more or throw a T.V. dinner in the microwave.  He's stopped doing his laundry until he absolutely has to.  Physically, he's started to have anxiety symptoms.  Opting to miss family functions for any number of maladies.  Recently he broke a bone in his foot.  He has no idea how it happened, or if he does, he won't tell us.

Because of all of this, my sister and I have had to make some tough decisions.  It was obvious to us that he needed to be in a more controlled environment.  Perfectly capable of taking care of himself physically, but unable to emotionally, we (well I did, but she backed my play) suggested that maybe he should consider looking into an independent living facility.  That was 5 weeks ago and this weekend we are moving him into one. Dad was very receptive to the idea of moving. When I'm around and God opens a door, even if it's just a crack, I push it open.  He will be living in a small studio with a kitchenette.  They will provide him with 3 meals a day shared in a common dining room.  The grounds are beautifully manicured.  They have a pool, shuttle buses to take them places, crafts and activities and most importantly tons and tons of people in the same place in life as he is.  He will be in a safe environment.  One where staff will check on him if they don't see him each and every day.  Something that my sister and I are unable to do.  He seems excited.  When we have visited to fill out paperwork or meet with a staff member, he has already had several little old ladies clearly interested in the 'new kid on the block.'  In fact, we left him sitting on a bench while we did some measuring in his new apartment and when we returned we found a smiling dad surrounded by 4 women. 

Part of this process has felt very much like it did when I moved my children into their college dorms.  We went on a tour, we met the staff, we ate in the dining room.  We signed paperwork.  Now we are packing up and taking the things that will be important for the next phase of his life.

While he has been very receptive to the idea of moving, he has to be having extreme mixed feelings.  He is leaving the home he and mom lived in for 28 years.  We are sorting through 56+ years of belongings.  Forcing him to decide what is most important to him.  That's where it gets frustrating.

Going through all of my parents stuff has been a nightmare.  I have come to the conclusion that my mom, in particular, was a paper hoarder.  I have never seen so much paper in my life.  Useless paper.  Paper that should have seen a dumpster back in the 60's and 70's.  We have found the paperwork for every car ever purchased.  Clear back into the 70's.  Empty envelopes.  In strong boxes.  I mean absolutely nothing in them except a piece of cardboard.  Lots and lots of them.  I don't get it.  She isn't here to ask and I'm not sure what explanation there could possibly be that would make any sense.

My dad, on the other hand, saves everything and is paranoid about getting rid of it.  My poor husband found trash bags full of aluminum cans in the sheds.  My dad probably hasn't had a soda in 10+ years, so why those cans are still in the shed is any one's guess.  Burned out light bulbs.  Fluorescent ones.  21 of them.  Really?  There was never an opportunity to get rid of them?  Bags and bags of dead batteries.  All of these things have now become my poor husband's problem to dispose of. 

Then there is the paper shredding issue.  A lot of the paper that we have come across can simply be put into the recycler.  If his name is on it, we can shred it.  Or at least we could if he would let us.  He has two shredders.  Both of them work just fine.  He insists that they can only be used for 20 minutes or they will burn up.  AND that they can't be used again for 24 hours.  Say what?  I really want to get my hands on the owners manuals for those bad boys.  I'm doubtful that there is a product on the market that can only be used for 20 minutes out of every 24 hours.

Then, there are the weird quirks that we've stumbled upon during this process.  Some of them are so odd that they defy explanation, but at the same time, they make us laugh until we cry.  Do you know anyone else who has 4 toothbrushes going at the same time?  You use one, move it to the back and use the next one etc. etc. etc.  rotating on a daily basis.  No logical explanation.  Just a fact.  Alrighty then.

Today we will box up the few things that he needs to take out of the kitchen.  He really won't need to hardly ever cook, but a few things need to go with him.  I wonder what we will discover today?  One thing I know is that when he has a few items of trash he puts them in his refrigerator.  Something about them not making the kitchen smell.  Somehow it makes more sense to put them into a closed up refrigerator.  Because that won't smell or anything.  How 'bout taking the trash to the dumpster?  Just sayin'.

I'm trying to have patience and understanding.  I can't imagine my life without my Hubby.  I certainly can't imagine condensing my life with him into a small studio sized apartment.  I know that someday I will be driving my children just as crazy.  For that I apologize now, while I still know what I'm apologizing for.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Birthday To My DAH!

Today is my daughter-in-laws birthday.  Does anyone know why we use the phrase daughter-in-law and not just my son's wife?  In-law seems so disconnected.  Like we have to acknowledge them by law or something.  Maybe that fits some people's DIL's, but it certainly doesn't fit mine.

 I LOVE my DIL.  My son couldn't have picked a more beautiful woman to marry.  She is warm, kind, thoughtful, funny, beautiful inside and out, and most importantly, she loves my son.  She makes him incredibly happy and she fits right in with our family. 

My DIL and I enjoy each other's company.  We like to go shopping together (even if my son doesn't get why we pick out our own gifts while we're doing it and still wrap them and give them to each other.)  We both enjoy the occasional Starbucks.  We love to take pictures and spent hours doing it together on vacation.

I had always thought that I would love to have had another child.  I wouldn't have placed an order for a daughter, but I would have been thrilled to have had another one.  I may not have given birth to my DIL, but I love her like I could have.  In my case, DAH would be a much more appropriate title for my DIL.  Daughter-At-Heart.

Happy Birthday to you!  Happy Birthday to you!  Happy Birthday, dear DAH!  Happy Birthday to you!

I hope you have an amazing day!  I love you!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

There's A New Kid On The Block

My handsome and talented son has started a new blog.  It's a cooking blog.  Yep, you read that right.  My son loves to cook.  He comes by it naturally.  My dad was an amazing cook.  Sunday dinner was never as good as when it was prepared by him.  Unless, of course, you were the unlucky one that he asked to stir the gravy, but that's a post for another day.  The food was still good if you were the one asked to stir the gravy,  you were just a little bit annoyed by the time dinner was on the table.  As he has gotten older, my dad has cooked less and less.  One of his signature recipes is his apple pie.  He decided a few years ago that he didn't want to make them anymore.  They just took too long and he would rather run to the local bakery and pick them up.  Well, my son was having none of that and asked Grandpa to teach him to make them.  Grandpa doesn't have a recipe.  My son watched and remembered and now he is the official pie maker for all 'Pumpernickel' family gatherings.  I love to cook and try new recipes too.  Although, I'm pretty sure that the real talent for cooking skipped a generation and went straight to my son.  That being said, I am proud of his culinary expertise and would like to think that I had a teeny tiny part in his wanting to cook. 

When my daughter was getting married, I put together a notebook of family favorite recipes for her.  At the same time, I made one for my son.  I thought that he might think it was lame and not be the least bit impressed, but he appreciated it.  He started cooking while he was living on his own and going to college.  He has never stopped experimenting with recipes and that's a good thing.  He mentions in his new blog about how some recipes you try are just terrible, but that that is ok.  I'm hoping that means he has forgiven me for the beyond awful orange chicken recipe that I inflicted on him when he was a teenager.  I'm pretty sure that might have been a throw it away, get in the car, let's go to McDonald's kind of night.

Anyway,  my son's new blog is yummy, colorful and humorous.  Check it out here.  I think you'll really enjoy it.  Bon Apetit.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Matthew

Dear Matthew,

How is it possible that you are already two years old? It seems like just yesterday that God brought you into our family, but in many ways it seems like forever. Last year, when we celebrated your first birthday, there was such a cloud of uncertainty hanging over your future. This year we celebrate not only your personal milestones, but the joy that comes with knowing that you are a forever member of our family.

Last April you came to visit Grandma and Grandpa while your parents were dealing with the court hearings that would ultimately determine your future. While Mommy and Daddy were gone we took you and your brother to Sea World. We went through the paces of making the day as much fun as possible while waiting on pins and needles to hear from your parents.

There are always events in life that you can look back on and remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when they happened. We were in the car driving North on the 15 from Sea World towards home when my cell phone rang. It was your mommy. She asked me to tell your brother that we got to keep you. I thought she should tell him herself, so I handed him the phone. His response was, "We DO????" There was such joy on his little face. I then looked to see what you were doing. You were sound asleep. Happy and content, without a care in the world. As if you already knew that God meant what he said in Jeremiah 29:11. So, you see Little Buddy, that event is forever etched into my memory under the category 'I Know Exactly.....'

The week after you left, I flew to 'that other state that you live in' to stay with you, your mommy and brother while your daddy was in Israel. We had a great time. It was so nice to be able to finally fully enjoy you and not worry about any of the legal stuff. You were adorable. Sweet, snuggly and You were bound and determined to keep up with your brother and irritated when you couldn't. We went on a field trip with The Rock Star's preschool class. We went to watch him play T-ball. We read books and played with toys. The week went way too fast and grandma had to go home.

We next saw you in July. We spent 10 days at the cabin in Lake Tahoe together. Stranger-danger had set in and it took you quite a while to warm up to Grandma and even longer to Grandpa. But, once you did, boy did we have fun. We got to introduce you to the Lake, just like we had your brother a couple of years before. You had no fear, and apparently no thermometer either. You didn't seem to care how cold the water was.

 We went rafting, swimming and hiking.

 You loved to go on long stroller rides, play at the park and eat. Boy could you eat. We tried to make you your own little area for sleeping. We put sheets around your pack-n-play and tried to make it so that you couldn't see us. Well, you were too smart for that nonsense. You figured out how to peak out and how to pull the whole thing down. You were not going to be excluded from all of the goings on of cabin life. I was able to get some adorable pictures of you on what is hopefully the first of many trips to "The Pumpernickle Family's Heaven on Earth.'

In late August you, your brother and mommy flew down to visit and to go camping over Labor Day. Your daddy was driving down later to join us. I picked you up at the airport. I had already decided that in lieu of your July 'stranger-danger' issues that I would let you come to me. I basically ignored you. Your brother rushed to me and threw himself into my arms. You were toddling around the airport. While I was hugging your brother, I felt a little tap-tap-tap on my leg. I looked down and you were grinning from ear to ear. You let me hug you and we were fast friends from that moment on. Grandpa did the same thing with you when he got home and you warmed right up to him too.

The week before we went camping we went to the beach.  The day we chose to go to the beach it was cold.  You didn't seem to care.  You didn't even seem to mind that you were covered in sand.

We visited Grandpa's work and you sat in the helicopters.  Your smile says it all.

That trip was your first camping trip. You seemed to really enjoy it and you had a rite-of-passage as well. You were the youngest of 4 children on the trip. There was a huge pile of rocks in the site next to us. The campground uses them for ground cover, but they are really a magnet for children to climb on. Since the pile was in full view of our campsite, we let all of you climb on it. You would get yourself to the top, sit down, look around and smile huge. It was adorable. After you had sat for a few moments you would look toward our campsite and yell, "Dad, dad!" As if to say, "Hey, look at me. I'm a big kid now." You did it several times and you were so proud of yourself for keeping up. I think we might have even let you try a s'more on that trip. I hope that we will have many, many more camping trips together.

In late October, Grandma flew up to visit you and to go to a Women's Event with your mommy. You were waiting for me at the bottom of the escalator in the airport. What a surprise! I thought you would pick me up curbside, but you and your brother were waiting with smiles on your faces. When I got to the bottom, you both ran into my arms and hugged me. What an amazing welcome. A few days later Grandpa flew in and we got to spend several days together. We went to Jump & Bounce.  You, your brother and Grandpa bounced and bounced until poor Grandpa couldn't bounce anymore.
We went to the Airplane Museum.  You walked around and looked at all of the airplanes like such a big boy.
We went ice skating.  You looked so cute in your little skates.

We went to the pizza buffet that your brother loves so much and it was obvious that you like it too.
You rough-housed with your Grandpa.

 We flew home knowing that we would see each other again right after Christmas.

You drove to our house on December 27th and we celebrated Christmas together. You were so cute with all of the ribbons and bows. You had definitely learned how to open gifts and didn't need much help in that department.

 We went to the zoo and visited Grandpa at work while you were here. You love to sit in Grandpa's helicopters just like your brother. We had a lot of snuggle time. We read books and played with duplos. You learned how to get out of the pack-n-play and you had yet another rite-of-passage. You joined your brother and Grandpa and slept in the tent in the family room. You settled right into your sleeping bag and were the last person up the next morning! Hopefully just the first of many, many nights spent sleeping with Grandpa.

We are coming to visit you for your birthday. We can't wait to help you celebrate turning two! You have grown and changed so much in the last year. You are starting to say a few words. The way you say 'Jesus' and 'I love you' melts Grandma's heart. Your giggle is infectious. Your hugs and kisses are delicious. You have gone from toddling to running to climbing mountains and sleeping in tents. You have been introduced to some of our favorite places. We are excited to see which ones you embrace as your own. I hope that you will recognize that the best parts of these experiences are the time spent with family.

This next year will bring many more changes. We hope to be able to carry on conversations with you by your next birthday. It will be fun to watch you as you give your brother a run for his money. The sky is the limit for you dear Matthew! Happy 2nd Birthday! Grandma and Grandpa LOVE you!!

Friday, February 18, 2011


All of a sudden I can't post any pictures to my blog. Does anyone have any ideas why? When I click on the 'add images' icon absolutely nothing happens. Every other icon works. It is sooooo frustrating. Any ideas?