Saturday, December 31, 2011

Been married almost half my life...

We made it through another year along with another year of staying married.  Sometimes I wonder how. 

As I have said in earlier blogs, the first year of wedded bliss was anything but.  We fought, or shall I say, I fought...for attention, for things and for power.  Then we settled for a number of years and lived.  We raised toddlers, held babies, and dealt with school agers.  He traveled, worked, fixed things around the house and did what I asked of him.  The house has been a mess for alot of years while I pursued my passions...kids, jobs, house and marriage...sadly in that order.  My husband has never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do.  When the kids were 8,6 and 4, I decided that I should move for the summer to church camp and work as the nurse...bring the kids and go for 12 weeks.  "You really want to do that?"..."What do I do?" he asked.  "You can stay home and take care of the dogs and try to sell the house...you can come and see us on weekends" I replied.  "If you really want to, that's okay with me" he said quietly.  It actually was okay and a great thing for the family and when he turned 40 that summer, one of the counselors took the kids for the night and we celebrated his birthday.  The second time in our marriage that he and I were alone for a night since we had kids.  When the kids got a little older, he would ask "You wanna go out on a date?" and I would say no..."I'm too tired, the kids are doing something, I'm on a diet, etc" and he would just say okay.  I wonder how that feels to be turned down every week when you want to spend time together.  Probably not too great.

As they say..."The chickens have come to roost".  I have three teenagers and they have their own lives.  They make plans on the weekends and evenings and while they are home alot...they are also gone doing their thing.  So is Jim.  He turned 50 and his priorities have shifted a bit.  Not in a "mid-life, buy a motor cycle, get a younger chick " way at all.  I mean, he did buy that giant F350 but he will tell you that was for the family...to pull the marching band instruments to the competitions, go camping with the family, etc..and he has been true to his word although he knows he looks good in that thing!  But, he is pursuing some of his passions.  This week, he traveled down to Juarez...yes, I know, the most dangerous city in the world...to build a house for a family living in a box.  He gladly shows up with the boys and I when we go to the Rescue mission and gets the coveted spot where he hands out the trays to the "guests."  He loves that job because he can talk to every single guy that comes through for a little dinner. 

He called me from Las Vegas, NM on his way home last night.  He was brimming with excitement from his week of service.  I was listening quietly when he asked "How are you?"  I stopped a minute and said, through a cracked voice..."I'm lonely...the Queen is on a road trip and the boys are house sitting"...to which he replied, "I'll be home soon."  Then I said, "Tommorrow is our anniversary" and he started to talk about how we have been married 23 years and how did the time go so fast and what a lucky bunch our family is.

Every year at this time, I think about getting this new year right.  This year, I am going to be a better wife...a better partner.  I am going to be more supportive and have more patience and kindness...give more compliments and be more tolerant. This year is no different but it is.  Come August 2012, two out of three of my excuses will have left the roost.  Another year of shifts and changes...exciting but difficult at the same time.

When Jim reads this...if he does, he will say I have it all wrong.  That he couldn't have made this life without me, that I am the one who keeps things going and that he is the difficult one to live with, that he is lucky to have me and it's all the other way around.  But that isn't true...his patience, kindness and willingness to hang in there for the morsels of attention when I was too busy to notice has made me realize what a gift he is to me.  It's taken me a while to understand...but I do.

So here's to another year...of life and marriage.  Here's to another year of watching the family thrive, being kind and tolerant, tending to our servant hearts together and to enjoying being together...the family time and the couple time...whatever that is.

Jim, I love you and haven't made that clear at times...but I hope you know I do and always have.

Happy 23rd anniversary...who would have thought you and I would have made it this far? 

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Friday, December 30, 2011

Boys just wanna have fun...

I wonder what my sons are doing after school...
Now I know.

       Not having a care in the world...and enjoying being young!

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kids these days...

This night, December 27th, 2011, I declare that the world is and will be a better place than ever before.  I know it is hard to believe but I am telling you right now...this is the truth.  The fate of our world...not just our country... lies in the hands of the group in my living room, who all brought gag gifts for a "White Elephant Christmas" party.  No kidding...

The door bell rang and one by one, they walked into the kitchen and loved on one another.  They have been connected since kindergarten...and what feels like to me, the beginning of time.  It goes without saying that they are beautiful and handsome...in the regular ways...straight teeth, great hair, beautiful faces...the whole package...but what really strikes me tonight is the unconventional ways that they are beautiful and handsome.  And to be honest, it seems like they just don't care too much what people think.

There are tatoo's, and tons of piercings...noses, ears and other things that I didn't even ask because it doesn't matter.  This body art makes them different and daring and who they are and who they are becoming.

They left for college and came back with ideas.  Ideas on what the answer is to the hurt in the world.  They are learning spanish, arabic, how to teach, how to engineer, how to protect our country, what is helpful for the environment and how to share what they believe God is in the world.  They are all so different and came from different backgrounds.  And despite the difference in their beliefs...they love each other and would lay down their life for each other.

I know that you can read this and think that they have no idea what it is to be an adult.  They haven't lived life.  But they have, at least some of the cruelness of what life can deal a person.   They lost dear friends in car accidents, have watched parents fight cancer,  and have watched fairy tales end upbruptly because of war.  They know that life is cruel and if there is anything they can do to make it less so...they are going to do it.

I walk down to pop pizza in the oven and see the seating arrangements.  They are so pleased to be together.  There are loud bursts of laughter when a gift is opened and then a loud discussion.  They sit close and seem to all be touching at some point...not in a "holding" way but they are just comfortable with the feeling of each other and being close.  They have been that way for many years before they left to find greener pastures. 

Last year at this time, they were here and I am so glad that they are here again.  I feel like I am watching history...the goodness in the world and the future of this world.  They love freely and deeply, they give of themselves and ask for nothing in return.

I know this sounds like every parent with a college student that is "going to make the world a better place" but with this group, I really believe it.  They are special and I know that if I keep my eyes open, there are millions of teenagers like the ones in my house tonight.  This group loves humanity, despite the differences and the similarities.  These guys get what things in life that matter...to love one another and we will have peace.  I'm gonna hang with them!

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Feelin' Cagey...

I woke up this morning feeling out of sorts...the old "I don't want to get out of bed" feeling.  I had that many mornings last year but not too many this year.  I think its the juggling act that I have been maintaing for a week or so now.  I am being mom, trying to keep the house in some kind of order, consulting on business number 2,  and have some patients that I wish I didn't have to care for.  This week feels like treadmill where I need to get off but can't. 

I am watching a lovely woman fade away before my eyes.  It's happened before and I can handle it but some people immediately go straight to my heart and stay there until they are gone.  This is one of them.  She also has none of the rationalization points for me to survive this job.  So I go to see her daily and wish she was stabilizing for a while but I don't think we are getting this luxury.  Her cancer is winning and as much as I believe she is going to a better place, her family and I would like her here for a bit longer...Makes me sad.

So to start the day, I am out of sorts.  I was thinking about going to kick boxing but I still have that bum achilles and the only thing I can do is spin...No spinning today.  That's fine really because I can wallow a little longer and then get going. 

The kids are good.  The boys...plus my husband went down to the Rescue Mission on Monday night and served dinner.  It was cold out and the place was packed with dudes that had every possession they owned tied on their back.  One of the guys told me I was beautiful...I was flattered.  I take that when I can get it.

I better get going.  The day waits before me and I don't have any more time to wallow.  There are dressings to change, meds to increase, toe nails to cut and heart to hearts to have...that's what I do and some days it takes all I have to muster up the energy.  I guess today is one of them.

Tonight, instead of juice, I may spend some time talking to my friend, pink wine, while I record the day in my computer...or maybe not. 

We'll tawk tonight,
I love you all,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dude...where's my car?

The Queen is home.  She arrived home on Wednesday but not before losing the car.  She called me as she was walking to the car that was parked in "free" parking somewhere in her college town.  She had not driven it since Sunday.  Wait, let me tell you the back story.  She does not have a car.  She has a bike, a new one that we bought when she left for college.  She hasn't mentioned anything about a car until a month or two ago.  "Mom, with Mac and I here next year, I think it would be good if we had a car."  Okay, I thought, she is not asking two much really, she will have been at college for two years with out what Doris Joy would call "wheels"...

Back to the original story...she is walking down the road, with all of her belongings for a month at home and talking to me on the phone.  We are making small talk about how it will be good to have her home, yada, yada, yada and she gets to where she is sure she parked the car and says..."Mom, the car isn't here.  I thought I parked it here, I mean, I'm sure".  At this point, I am trying to stay calm.  Jim is still in India and this kind of crisis would usually fall into the "Why don't you call Dad and see what he says" category.  But, not possible at this point.  She begins to wander up and down the street that she thinks she parked the car on while I am on the phone calmly telling her not to worry.  In my head, I am the opposite of that...What is wrong with this kid, she can understand physics and calculus but can't keep track of a 2000 pound object?  If this thing is gone...what the heck do we even do?  That freakin' Jim, going to India the week before Christmas, it's all  his fault..."Mom are you there?" I hear from the Queen.  "Oh yeah, I'm here...just figuring out the next step!" I say.   She finally says, "It;s not here...it's gone."  Beautiful, just beautiful..."Okay, you keep looking and I will think of a solution" I say. 

I walk into a house that I am consulting for and sit down and begin to unload on the owner..."My daughter lost the car or it was stolen and my husband is in India and what do I even do...call the cops or what.?"  This guy is probably one of the nicest guys on earth...doesn't pay on time...but that is beside the point.  He tells me we call the police and ask if they know anything about it...
Call the police, great, how the frick do I call the po-po from Colorado springs while this freakin brilliant kid is wandering the streets looking for the car?  I am just trying to hold on...

My cell phone rings and its the Queen..."Did you find it?"  "No, but I am going to call my friend and ask her if she knows where I parked it."  Okay...what is wrong with this picture...calling a friend to help you find the car.  What where they doing when they parked/lost the car?  Oh wait...I don't even want to know!  "You haven't driven it since Sunday and it is Wednesday and you haven't gone to look at it?"  "Mom, I had finals and I have been studying and I parked it after church and now it isn't where I parked it."  Yeah, after church...right.  But then I thought of the day and thought, okay...she is on the up and up.  "I'm going to try to work a little so call me when while you figure out if the car was towed or stolen or if, by the by the grace of God it appears somewhere."
She called her friend and her friend suggested another place.  She started walking towards the new place and called me..."I think I parked it on a different street...It is coming clear to me now...this place had a bridge to cross to get to my dorm too...OK...I am really starting to remember" she is talking as she is walking.  I told her to be quiet and walk...and just let me know when she sees it.  All of a sudden, she spots a little blue subaru and tells me, "I think this is it but I have to look at the license plate"  LOOK AT THE LICENSE PLATE TO KNOW IF THE CAR IS OURS...WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS CHILD?  COLLEGE HAS FRIED HER BRAIN, I think loudly to myself..."Is it ours?" I ask.  "Yeah, I found it...and I am so sorry, Mom, it has a ticket on it." At this point, I am ecstatic that we are not dealing with cops and tow truck companies, so I am like, " No worries, you found the car and what is it for?"
"Can you believe they gave me a ticket for parking too close to a fire hydrant?  The fire trucks can fit fine if they need water." She says.  I had heard enough for today.  "Pack up and come home...drive safe and I love you" I say.  "Ok Mom...I will" and we both begin to laugh uncontrollably..."Can you believe I lost the car?" she asks. I don't even answer... "See you at home!"  "Love you Mom" and she was on her way.

Let's just say...she ain't gettin' no car!

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some days...

This morning, I got up and fought the voices that wanted me to stay home and skip spinning.  I am on day 3 of the juice fast and I have to say, it's not that bad.  But, I am dragging and I think it is from the lack of caffiene and wine.  Anyway, I got ready, packed my bag for the gym and headed out.  I got on a bike and realized that I had spun yesterday because of the state of my crotch.  I don't have cycling shoes or pants yet.  I'm not so sure that I want them either...but today I wanted both.  I sat on that seat and wondered if I was going to make it...the soreness was overwhelming.  But, I decided to tough it out for as long as I could.  I made it about 45 minutes and had to get off the bike.

I headed down to the shower, got all of my stuff and got done.  I realized after I was showered, half dressed and wanting to get going that I forgot to pack my pants.  I stood there in my underwear trying to figure out what to do.  How could I forget my pants?  Yesterday, standing in the same spot, after a shower, I took all of my clothes out of the bag and discovered I had no bra.  There are a few things I can do without but pants and a bra when I am seeing patients is something that is required.  I decided to go home and get properly dressed in both instances.

Some days are just like that.

I headed to see one of my patients.  She was sitting in her big cozy chair, listening to Polka songs on tape.  I came in and sat down and asked the usual questions.  She answered that she was fine, didn't have too much pain and was eating well.  I picked up the pictures in her frames on her dresser and she began to tell me about her husband and their life.  It sounds like she had a good life and is thankful for it.  I know she loves to have her a smoke but can't smoke alone...so I offered her one.  She lit it and sat quietly and smoked.  She enjoyed every inhale and exhale she took.  I talked about the Polka music and how nice it is where she is living.  She agreed and noticed that she needed some coffee.  I ventured to the kitchen and filled her cup.  She took her first sip and told me it was perfect.  After awhile of sitting together quietly, I decided it was time to go.  I got her comfortable again and leaned forward to to give her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  She took my face and said, "I love you" and before I stood up, I told her I loved her too.  I walked out of the room and thought about that.  Do I love her, I wondered or am I just saying that?  I realized that I do and that is why I love my job.  I am so lucky to sit with someone and listen to Polka music...hear about the old days and then hear that she loves me. 

Pants or not, Bra or not...the days go on and good things do happen. 

Thank goodness I get to do this again tommorrow.

I'm headed to watch the Biggest Loser finale...hopefully it will motivate me to keep going on my latest health craze.

We'll tawk soon,
I love you all,

Monday, December 12, 2011


I have been reading about gratitude and how to live daily naming the things I am grateful for...Hence, where there is gratitude, fear goes away.  I think it is working to a degree.  Jim flew to India and I was so busy counting my blessings that I didn't think a thing about him until he called a day later.  How's that for being thankful?

I am also juicing.  I watched that movie "Fat, sick and nearly dead" and decided I wanted to juice.  I went to the store and almost bought the Jack LaLane juicer at costo and then stopped.  If this isn't one of the most unthought-out things I have done...I don't know what is.  Instead, I bought a couple of cases of Naked juice and started drinking them.  Actually, they are pretty good.  I drank about 7 of them on Sunday and another 7 today.  At about 200 calories a piece, I could have eaten a good dinner and a glass of wine.

No coffee either.  I made it through Sunday and Monday without any caffiene.  I am surprised I made it.  I live on coffee and diet pepsi along with pink wine.  Really that should be my juicing schedule and screw the Naked juice.  Coffee all morning, diet pepsi all afternoon and then pop the cork on the Zinfandel around 5 until bed!  Yeah, baby that sounds like a great idea.

The cat and the rabbit went nose to nose today.  The rabbit won.  The boys say it's because the cat has no balls.  That is very true that he has no balls and I guess the rabbit does.  We should have gotten him fixed.  Anyway, it was cute to watch them figuring out who or what each other was...and watch the cat run away.  Who is afraid of a rabbit?  He is just about the lowest on the food chain around here.

See, I am pretty thankful.  Thankful for not worrying about my husband out of town, thankful for juicing and not juicing.  Thankful for feeling good enough to clean the rabbit cage, and let him hop around the house.  Of course, I am thankful for the usual things...the house, the food and the warmth...oh and the family.

I let you know how the juicing goes and what plan I will be doing by the weekend...I can almost guarantee that I will be doing the coffee, diet pepsi and wine juice fast but hey...by that time, at least I tried.

I am also thankful for all of you...the folks that take time out of your day to read the stuff I wrote...really thankful.

So there you have it and there it is...
We'll tawk soon,
I love you all,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

171 Posts later...

I started this blog a year ago to the day.  I decided I needed to be more authentic...more real.  When I started this, I was working as a consultant, was 30 pounds thinner and had just sent my first child to college.  I was reeling from the change of purpose and thought that I would try to understand and remember what it felt like.  I went through a depression, a job change and figured out what I needed to do to survive. 

This year, I got the chance to feed the marching band, watch my daughter march for a college band, and go to Nicaragua and Hawaii in the same summer.  In the same year, my daughter has learned to live on her "own" and I've had the pleasure of watching my son fall in love.  I get to sit in the passenger seat of the car while my youngest child  drives me home. 

It's been a  year.  My husband has been to India twice, Frankfurt three times, and to places in the US for a meeting during the day and then home.  My car has over 200, 000 miles on it and has hit a mountain lion coming home from snowboarding.  I have attempted multiple diets, been on and off the wagon and spent quite a bit of time at the gym.

I had a pap smear that was normal and a mammogram that wasn't...at first.  I hurt my upper back, my lower back and now I have achilles tendonitis.  I have a lovely chiropractor that helps me with all these things...Thank God.

My life has changed drastically in the last year...not all good but really not bad either.  The big do last night was the boys sledding in the dark under the full moon.  You can tell our jeep by the big truck tubes tied to the roof of the car at the high school.  When my son called to tell us he and his brother were headed to the hill, I told him "If the cops come, keep  your mouth shut, pack up and come home...Oh and don't forget your brother."  My son started to laugh and asked if I had ever thought I would ask him..."If you're running from the cops, don't forget your brother"...I laughed and told him I was serious. 

While the boys did their night sledding, Jim and I played very competitive banagrams and had cocktails.  I asked him what he would change about the year and what he would he would change about raising the kids.  Of course, in true Jim fashion, he replied "nothing" and he meant it. 

I now have a job as a hospice nurse.  I have patients that I meet, fall in love with and they die.  I help them die with dignity, love and in their own homes.  It is an honor and privelege and I don't even look at it like a job anymore...it's my calling.

171 bogs later...I have regrets and and wish I had some do overs...but I am pretty thankful for what I have.  I think of things to write about and then forget by the time I sit at my computer after a long day.  I am sure that the dementia is starting to set in.  Oh well, such is life.

I live in a beautiful place, have a great husband...decent kids and have made it through another year.  It's amazing how time flies. 

A place where we can walk down the hill with a saw and pick a tree to cut down for christmas...

A Good year...a thankful year and time that I can't get back.  I am so glad I wrote about things that I will want to remember.

My son just walked by and asked me what I was drinking..."what's in that mom...caffiene?  You haven't been up this late in years!"

Good night.
We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Slap in the face...

 My slap in the face for the day...

So there...

I gotta be careful because I am having a terrible time talking when my size 11 foot is jammed in my mouth...

Stay warm tonight and enjoy your loves...I will be busy pulling that big foot out of my trap!

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gettin' right with Christmas...

I feel like writing but I am not sure what about.  I have so many things swirling in my head these days.  Christmas is coming whether I want to participate in it or not.  I don't have little kids anymore so the magic part of it is gone.  Now it is up to me to find the other meanings of Christmas...I guess.  When the kids were little, they were in the program at church dressed up as angels and sheep, we did Advent services and made tons of crafts.  I loved it because I would stop all the stuff I needed to do, sit in the quiet of the church with all the twinkling lights and relax.  It was part of the ritual for our family.

I am not so sure what Christmas is for my family now.  I mean, I still like the season and the lights...I love the lights and as a dear friend said in her blog, I leave them up all year because I love them so much.  But, what is it really about?  I am a believer...I believe in God and I believe that he is always with us.  I really do.  I know that there are people that don't and and I believe that is their business.  I also believe that if it is possible, you should stay home and raise your kids, be around for your teenagers but also enjoy them.   But, like I said, that is what I believe and you can believe a whole other reality and you and I can be dear friends.

So back to Christmas.  I sat in church today and listened to the preacher man.  He talked about how Mary, the mother of Jesus, was an ordinary lady that was chosen for the job and how it wasn't just the first part of the journey but they whole journey that was difficult.  He talked about how when Jesus was 12, he ran away to the temple and she didn't know where he was...and she was terribly worried.  It made me remember the hike over the summer and how I didn't know if my kids were okay...and those terrible feelings that went along with that.  Then he talked about Mary watching him be crucified and losing a son and the pain that went along with that.  I thought about all the folks that know that unrelenting pain...the loss of a child and how unfair that usually is.  I was listening with both ears because I wanted to know what the point is...why does he think we have to go through this difficult life and what is the point of that...

He finally talked about God's promises...and how even when we forget God, he doesn't forget us.  We are his and we get grace...and it is not something that we have to earn but it is ours for the taking.  And yes, we will, without a doubt have difficulties in life and it will be heart stopping at times but he is with us always whether we want that love or not.

Now, to the folks that aren't into God and church...I hear you...this is crazy talk.  Sometimes I even think it is too.  But...like I said, I am a believer. 

So back to Christmas...it is a fun and twinkely time.  The lights, the food, the folks getting together...families letting by gones be by gones...a great thing.  The buying stuff to buy stuff...uh uh...I am not doing that this year.  Of course I will buy gifts...I would be lying if I said I wasn't buying anything but nothing like in the past.

I have two patients that are dying.  One is old and one is young.  They are so precious...and their beauty is indescribable.  The world is going to miss them.  One is older and has had a great life.  She has lived well and the care her family is providing is proof of that.    The other is young, bald and I know she was in my life in the early years.  I recognize her because of her beautiful glow and her familiar smile.  She isn't interested in gifts or christmas or anything that doesn't have to do with quality time with her loves in her life.  That's it...that's all.  There will be a grandbaby in January and the goal is to make it to see the baby before she dies.

This post, I think, has helped me disect my plan for Christmas this year.  I am planning on being around the twinkly lights as much as I can but also, I am going to try to stay away from all the fake stuff...the pretend life of stuff and over spending to try to buy happiness.  I am not going to be part of it.  I think I will use the example of the folks that understand that the clock is ticking...and be present in the moment, look a little longer at the lights on the trees and the houses in the neighborhood, and spend time with my loves...without the list of to do's scrolling through my brain.  I will try to listen to my teenagers tell me about their day without thinking about how they probably have homework that isn't turned in and I will  try to encourage my husband when  he struggles with his job and the travel coming up.  I'm not very good at that stuff now.

This patient, the younger one, didn't think last year at this time that it would be the last christmas with her family...that when her husband asked "how much time do I have with my wife?" that the oncologist would answer "6 months at best." 

What would you do if this was your last Christmas?  What would you change?  Would you slow down and play banagrams with your teenagers in front of the christmas tree?  Would you look at your husband/wife longer because you needed to save the image?  Huh?  What do you think? 

Enjoy the twinkly lights and whatever you love to do during this time of  year...I know that I am going to try to!

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

15 years and counting...

Today is my youngest child's birthday.  He is 15 and it seems like yesterday I was as big as Jabba the Hut waiting for this kid to be born.  He came on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 1996.  As I have stated before, he was an afterthought...the completion of our family even though I thought it was complete.  That Sunday morning, I sent Jim and the kids to church but had a few contractions so I thought I would stay home and see if anything had come of it.  Well, it did and by the time they all got home from church and got me to St. Joe's...it was way to late for anything but getting him born.  And he was and it was quick and he was big...9 lbs 12 oz of boy.

I brought him home the day after and we started the Christmas festivities while I was battling post partum blues and he was battling the neon yellow color.  A few neon poops later, he was all good.

So here we are 15 years later.  In my house, the birthday boy gets to decide what they want for their birthday dinner.  Howie decided he wanted chicken cutlet parmesan and pasta, with a yellow cake and chocolate frosting.  I ran to the store after work to get it all ready when he came home from school.  We happened to have a big snow storm so it is customary for my two boys to go out in the driveway and play football.  Today, they went out around 3:15 and I didn't see them again until 6pm.  I forgot to mention that is was around 18 degrees.

As is the usual with the boys, they start to play and then get a little rough with each other.  I heard them come in because the door slammed followed by what I think was something between wrestling and killing each other in the mud room.  I ran to the door and started yelling at the top of my lungs for them to stop..."STOP...GO TO YOUR ROOMS!" and they both looked at me like I was crazy.  "Mom, we always do this, we can work it out."  I walked away and they were at it again.  Of course, since I am such a fabulous mother, I shouted, "WE ARE NOT GOING TO DO YOUR BIRTHDAY DINNER...MAKE IT YOURSELF" and I walked into the livingroom and sat on the couch.  I made Howie feel bad and in turn, I felt bad, so I took it back.  Like I said, I am the mother of the year.

I called them up and made them apologize like they were 3 again and since they know how to get on my good side, they did.  I could see them snickering like they were getting something over on me but to be honest, they did seem like they were going stop the fighting.

We started to make dinner and it was really good.  We pounded out the chicken, breaded it and fried it up.  Then we put it in the oven with sauce and cheese.  Those boys are good cooks!

They were telling me how to bread the chicken

We had a great dinner and then Howie and I played banagrams while Mac did some home work and Jim was on a conference call.  We played two games and he won and I won. 

It was time for cake.  Every year, I take a picture with the cake and the candles so I can remember.  This guy is getting more handsome every year!

So to you Howie...I say, "Happy birthday and may all of your wildest dreams come true!" 

I love you buddy,

We'll tawk soon,
I love you all,