Wednesday, April 30, 2008

wacky web wednesday 04.30.08

Okay, I wanna know if you can watch the whole thing. It came to me titled "6 1/2 Minutes of Terror," and I think that pretty much nails it. I started hyperventilating when I was about halfway through watching it. (The effect is better if you have sound.)

Just tell me if you made it: yes or no.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

a baby shower book

We had a shower for Pearlie last weekend, and one of the activities we did was to create a scrapbook right at the shower. I lifted the idea from Barb at A Chelsea Morning, who by the way has just started a little "shoppe." Barb is a great lady (who is a gramma too, by the way), and she loves to do crafty things and to sew. She makes the coolest stuff. She even makes sock monkeys, y'all! They are so stinkin' CUTE!

But anyway, when I read her post about creating a scrapbook at her daughter's baby shower, I knew I wanted to do it, too. I finally got my chance! The way it works is that the hostess (or whoever) supplies the scrapbook paper and stickers and tools, and each person at the shower can create a scrapbook page as a memento of the day. We just asked people to write down their best advice for a new mom and decorate their page. Of course, some people just took off and made a page without any advice at all, which was fine, too.

We had about fifteen or so people who made pages. The really fun part was that we had one of those little HP photo printers that you can just print straight from the digital camera card, so we took a picture of everyone there and printed it right at the shower. Then people could use their own picture on their page. Some of them had their picture taken holding the new baby. It was so fun!

Here are a few shots of the pages people made.

This one has a picture of big brother's reaction when he saw the baby. Is that not the greatest?! (Do you love how I used PS to blur out the hospital name? It's more discreet than a big black marker line.)

We got so much great feedback about the scrapbook. I think it's going to have to be a standard at all future family showers. It would even be fun for a bridal shower, don't you think? You could write your best advice or thoughts about marriage.

Friends of ours did something similar to that at their wedding...they had notepaper and pens at each table at the reception, and they asked people to write their thoughts. They were collected for the bride and groom to read later. I thought it was quite nice.

So anyway, thanks, Barb, for sharing the great idea! We appreciated it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

too soon to say goodbye

The words, "I'm sorry," are not adequate. Not in the least. Not when a child has taken his own life. But somehow, they are the only words we can think of to say.

A child nearly grown, already a man, ready to graduate, poised at the starting block of the rest of his now gone...forever. I want to shout, "Wait! I wanted to tell you again how much I appreciated your help!" I still wanted to say, "You're a great guy. I like you a lot. You are so thoughtful." Too late...much too late.

I'm so sorry. My tears still run without warning, and my chest still aches. My tears are for him, being alone, thinking that this was the answer to his pain. Who can know the unspoken grief that exists within another?

My pain is for his parents, too. What mother thinks that she will outlive her own child? What parent wants to? Oh, Lord, I know that you grieve with them. Bring them your comfort and your peace.

What mother could possibly imagine, as she bathes her infant son, that in seventeen short years he could be gone? What father, watching his son grow, could fathom that his growth would be stopped short, his potential unrealized, his dreams unfulfilled?

My sorrow is also for his siblings, his extended family, and his friends. His presence was lively. His smile was remarkable. How can we adjust to him being gone? It's unfathomable. His loss leaves a hole in the middle of our hearts.

My grief is sharp, quick, cutting. I don't know his parents, but I could have been them. It could have happened. I am grateful for my babies. My babies, grown into young men and women. I will hug them a little more tightly tonight.

I still have no words, other than to say, "I'm sorry...I'm so sorry." The words seem so insufficient, so incapable of conveying the anguish in my heart.

He had a good heart, a quick smile, and a willing hand to help. He was loved by many. He will be deeply missed.

we call it...gorilla bread!

I gotta tell y'all this. I made a delicious recipe yesterday. It's actually an overnight monkey bread (caramel roll) recipe, but I started it in the morning and baked it in the evening. It ended up being dessert to the Spanish Rice with Chorizo that I made for dinner.

But it's so good, and so easy that I wanted to share.It was soooooo tasty. One small problem popped on to find out.

Overnight Gorilla Bread
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 pkg of frozen rolls (18 rolls)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
Cinnamon to taste
1 small pkg butterscotch (or vanilla) pudding, not instant

The night before serving, grease the bottom of a bundt pan. Cover bottom of pan with nuts. Place frozen rolls in pan. Combine sugar, butter and cinnamon in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then pour over rolls in pan. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over top. Leave on counter overnight to rise, don't cover. In the morning bake at 350 degrees, for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and invert onto serving platter.

Cool 5 minutes...and get your piece quickly before everyone else devours them!

I suppose you're wondering why I call this Gorilla Bread. It's very similar to Monkey Bread, but I added an entire bag of Rhodes Dinner Rolls, 36 rolls, when the recipe calls for 18 rolls. 18! So when it came out of the oven, it looked like this!

Pearlie was over, and she said, "Is that monkey bread!? It's so big you should call it Gorilla Bread!"

Can we say READ the directions carefully? Wow.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

the winner is...

Julia from Hooked on Houses! When I need an HGTV fix and my favorites shows are not on, I can just zip over to her blog and soak it all in. I'm usually on the computer anyway rather than watching the tube.

So I'll be sending the TURQUOISE watch off via USPS as soon as I receive her address. I had a few requests for my source, and I purchased it at my local community college bookstore. The tag says Jolie Montre In Bloom. Their site is here, but it looks like it's wholesale only. They do have lots of cute hanging styles, though, but I think the daisy ones are the cutest. Hope that helps you, those of you who want to find one. I bought the last two when I got mine.

Thanks, Julia, and all my other contestants, for visiting my blog. I hope you'll come back occasionally and share the insanity that passes for my life. I know it's all wrapped up in cats and dogs and babies, and when I have time, gardening and scrapbooking all these little details so that when my memory fails me, I can refer to my blog!

The Bloggy Carnival was a great way to "get out" and meet new bloggers. Thanks to Chilihead at Don't Try This at Home for hosting the carnival. (I'm starting to feel like I sound like someone who just won an Oscar or something.) Thanks to all my bloggy friends, my family, and most of all, bla bla bla...and the list goes on and on. I'm so excited. I have a whole new list of blogs to go back and visit. It's just a matter of finding the time.

Well, I have to prioritize the rest of my day. Blogging, #1. Scrapbooking, #1-1/4. (Speaking of scrapbooking, I have to tell you something later. Watch for it.) More scrapbooking, #1-1/2. Grocery shopping, #2. Making dinner, #3. Cleaning, #4. And when you have a list that is prioritized, you know if you run out of time, you can just start dropping things off the end of the list.

NOW it makes sense. Priorities! That's why the black hole never gets completely clean. Does anyone remember how close I was??? I had ONE cardboard tote left with two small boxes stacked inside of it. That's ALL I had left to sort and put away. I may have even taken a picture of it. A clean closet with a cardboard tote in front of it.

Well, I can't even see the tote anymore! I almost can't get past the end of the bed. It is sneaking around the corner of the bed and onto the floor on my side of the bed. And it doesn't help that the mattress always seems to slide over towards my side of the bed, which sucks up a little more of the walking space on my side of the bed.

The cats will barely even come in my room anymore, and if they do run in there to escape the horrible cat fur sucking monster (the vacuum), they come in at a dead run and make a mad leap for the middle of the bed. They won't go in the closet, and they hate my side of the bed. Maybe it's too close to the edge, and if they fall, they probably know it's going to take them till the snow flies again to find their way out.

Tucker got into my closet and slid down into a pocket of open space in the back somewhere. I had to excavate him to get him out. It was a good thing I saw him fall. It's serious, now. My closet has declared war.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

it's here! it's here! the bloggy giveaway carnival

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button
Argghh! I don't have my giveaway info yet. Well, I have it, but I need to take a picture to give you the full benefit of its cuteness. I'll give you a hint. It's adorable, it's turquoise, and it's daisy-related. I'm dying to get it posted and linked to the main site for the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival!

Okay, here it's the cutest little purse watch you've ever seen!

And, the back side...

...looks just like a cute little daisy.

You could even wear it on a pair of jeans, like this.

A watch like this would help me not to be late...good thing I bought one for me and one for my lucky winner! I most hate being late to church because it's so obvious. What is your least favorite place to be late?

Okay, I just had a long discussion with Gee--she insists that this is LIGHT BLUE. I say it's turquoise. (She would probably tell me it wasn 't a long discussion, either.)

It's the color of a turquoise stone. Light blue is just a baby boy blue, like a sky blue. Nope, she's not buying it. Neither one of us is budging here.

What do you think? Light blue? Or turquoise? Leave me a comment. Either vote for a color, or tell me what you hate to be late to, and I'll enter you in the drawing! Drawing ends April 26.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

wacky web wednesday 04.23.2008

THIS is what I want to be doing when I get "old," whenever that is.

This movie, Young@Heart, is supposed to be coming to the Twin Cities this Friday, but I can't find a single theater that is showing it. I want to see it. It's more of a documentary than anything, from what I can tell, but it looks simply delightful. I know you'll love it!!

Go here for more info about the movie.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

be right back...

The last couple of nights have not been good sleeping nights. Pearlie stayed over with the babies, and we kept our two cats in our room overnight so they wouldn't lay next to the baby. Dal is allergic to the cats, and the baby could be, too.

Franklin is the most obnoxious cat at night. He doesn't just find a cozy spot to curl up like Tucker does. He moves around all night. He gets bored in one spot, and walks all over the top of you to find his next spot. My legs get stiff and sore from trying to avoid kicking him off the bed.

Then when he gets really bored, he walks up to the window and rattles the shades like crazy. I think he just wants the company, because if you wake up and pay attention to him, he lays right down next to you and purrs.

We chased him away from the shades for about an hour last night, and I finally gave up and brought him out here for a little bit of food. He ate, drank some water, used the litter box, and back we went into the bedroom.

About an hour later, Tucker must have had to get out to use the litter box, because he kept standing right next to my face: "Mer-row-row-row. Mer-row-row-row!" He'd dance on my head, and then he'd be "mer-rrroow-ing" all over again. I finally woke up enough to let him out and he ran for the litter box. He was probably doing his little dance with his legs crossed.

I was never so glad to see morning.

Well, I'm cutting it short for now...I have a spare few hours, miraculously, and I'm going to work on my closet.

Friday, April 18, 2008

read in passing...

"The Garage Sale Committee is in need of your stuff.

Take a look around your house or yard,
even your neighbors house or yard ...
and see what you can donate."

LOL...I'm glad this garage sale organizer is not MY neighbor! I have a hard enough time keeping track of my stuff.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

what's wrong with this picture?

Now if you read my blog, you know I'm a dog lover. You know that. Dogs at our house get spoiled. Special food, their own blankets, their own cushy little beds...they even sleep on our bed at times.

But I think I draw the line when Martha Stewart's dog dies and it makes the national headlines. Are you kidding me!

Over 2500 children are dying EVERY DAY in Africa, but you don't see that on the nightly news. That's like an entire small town. Or an entire high school in a large town. That's a lot of kids! If 2500 kids in Minnesota died, you can bet your retirement on the fact that it would be on the news. Because it's here.

But this happens every day there. There are no headlines blaring, no news anchors listing a count for the day. There is information available if you look for it, but it isn't considered "news".

Yet when a famous person's dog dies, you can find almost 200 news articles online about that the same day. I have nothing against Martha Stewart OR her dog, but something is terribly wrong here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

finally! finally Kristi is going home

They think they're so tricky on AI, don't they? Mixing it up at the last minute by moving David Cook and Syesha around. And then up to their old tricks when Ryan said, "Here David, you're safe. Now go stand with the group you think is also safe." Yeah. Right.

I really don't have a favorite so much as I have least favorites.

Brooke is my least favorite, followed very closely by Jason. The other four are approximately equal, with the Davids having a small lead on the other two. I think it's going to be a guy's season.

My honey was amazed when he found out I really am not a Jason fan. He says, "He would have been a good person to sing with Bob Dylan."

When I said, "I don't really like his singing either," he nearly blew a gasket.

"WHAT?" he choked. "Bob Dylan is one of the best songwriters EVER."

"Exactly," I said. "Good song WRITER, not singer." (Actually I haven't a clue what he wrote.)

ROFL. Love getting a reaction out of that man.

wacky web wednesday

Play this for a couple of preschoolers and laugh while you watch them try to figure it out!

Wasn't he classy? And talented.

And now THIS is the best fishing video I've seen in some time.

Be sure to visit Crazy Daisy at her blog to see more Wacky Web Wednesday fun.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

just when you thought it couldn't go any faster...

And I thought Thursday was crazy-busy? Hold on to your hat, because life just sped up to double time.

Last night we went grocery shopping after honey picked me up right from work and off we went. I love getting that out of the way right off the bat on payday. We shop for two weeks at a time. It saves a ton of money that way.

We stopped off at Cindy's first and dropped off birthday cards there, since there are three birthdays in their family this week. We found out she is expecting their third baby! So exciting! They are really hoping for a girl.

We visited a little bit, and then we took off to go shopping. It was almost nine pm when we got home, and I was so tired I wasn't even going to put all the groceries away. Pearlie called, and said she thought she was in labor. Contractions were ten minutes apart, but they really were uncomfortable. She was still a month ahead of her due date, so I said it was probably false labor, but that she should call the midwife anyway just in case.

She called back and said they had suggested drinking some water and taking a warm bath, which she did, but they had only gotten harder. I thought she should just go straight down to be checked. She could barely get out of the water in the bathtub. We said we'd meet her down there. Luvvy took her and Baby Del down there, and we didn't waste any time getting going either.

We got there, and the first clue I had was when we asked the nurse to let us in, and she said, "Well, you might be able to peek in and say hi, but that's all. She's having a baby in there." What??! We got in there, and Grampa took Baby Del to the family waiting room to wait. The first thing Pearl told me was that she was dilated to nine and a half and wasn't going to be having an epideural. Wow! No false labor there, now.

She went through about an hour and a half of labor and was doing really well. I was so impressed! Finally she was feeling pushy, and after only one push, the nurse was already telling her to stop pushing and just breathe. That's just not fair, is it? All of a sudden, there was his head, and then he shot out onto the bed. It was so amazing.

We stayed a little while, took pictures, took turns holding him, and he was doing great! He was 5# 14 oz., and 18 and something inches long. Just a little peanut. We left there about 3:30 in the morning *groan*. I was so tired. The lady at the desk told us when we were leaving that we could just pay the machine $4.00 for parking because there was no attendant. Not. The machine would NOT take our money, no matter how many ways my honey tried to put the money in. He was upset.

Finally, he saw a little sign that said to dial "2" on the touchpad for help. It dialed something, and magically the gate opened. Luvvy was right behind us and she shot through, too. The gate came down on top of her car and bump, bump, bumped its way all the way to the back of her car as she drove through. SHE wasn't about to get stuck there--she had to follow us out of there to find her way home!

Well, we didn't get to sleep until about 5:30, and the first phone call I remember this morning was that Cindy was going down to the hospital because she was bleeding, and she thought she might be having a miscarriage. Prayers are appreciated.

Oh, my You I find my peace.

It's true. I was a little worked up at first about Pearl, and it's just like God smoothed His calming salve over my frenzied mind. I could hear Him...It's okay. It's okay, I got this. And He does. He has it all.

So I choose to let God handle what is His, and I take care of what I need to do. It's so much easier that way. Tomorrow is another day, and today, well, it's time to go to bed.

Here is a picture of our little precious grand-angel:

Friday, April 11, 2008

say it's not so...not Michael!

I am completely shocked and dismayed! Michael Johns was sent home on American Idol last night. WHAT??! I kept watching, thinking there must be some mistake. It could have been an April Fool's joke or something. Oh, wait. It's not the first. It's the tenth. Well, now it's the eleventh of April. But still.

He looked so shocked. And Syesha and Carly in the bottom three with him? Oh, what is wrong with people? See this is the downside of watching these dumb shows. I get sucked in and start taking them personally when my favorites aren't everyone else's faves.

But a few seasons ago, they sent Jennifer Hudson home when NO WAY should they have, so I guess Michael had a chance to go, too. I just kept looking at all the other people left up there, and I think that was so wrong. They dumped him before they got rid of KRISTI??? Or JASON?! Oh, please, people. What is wrong with your ears?

So here is the part where I start reconciling...he will probably get a deal before he is even done with the AI tour. I will buy his CDs, and everything will be okay. He'll be fine. I'll be fine.

the best laid plans...

Yesterday was a day for plans going awry.

I fully intended to go home, cook chicken chili, and work on my closet. I thought of something that might work, by the way! I'm so excited. I'll let you know.

Well, it started slushing when I was still at work. I think I had at least a half inch of gloppy slush on my car when I went outside after work. Yukk! So I let the car warm up while I read bits and pieces of a book I have in the car.

I decided to stop at the library and see if they had any books for me, and they did! I started reading one in the parking lot, and I think a half hour flew by. I got going again, but because of the sloppy guck that was coming down, traffic was at a standstill. I crawled along, debating about if I wanted to stop at Dunn Bros and get a coffee to keep me awake. Nahhh. I kept going.

I decided to stop at Lowe's and pick up what I needed for the closet, and by then, the bleck falling from the sky had turned to fiery little needles that stabbed into any exposed skin available. So I was going back out to my car like this, "Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow..." because of course, I hadn't worn my coat. I refuse. I'm on a weather strike from my coat. I will not acknowledge any more wintry weather by wearing my coat. I choose to see sunshine and rainbows and warm weather. Mind over matter.

I almost went to the other library, too, but I changed my mind. AI was supposed to be on at seven, I thought, so home it was. Home was chaos from the time I got there until 11:30 at night, which is finally when I got my cat posse post finished. Pearlie came over. The TV was loud. The radio was playing. Funny videos on the internet were blaring. Babies were crying. Dinner got done, and more chaos erupted in the kitchen. A baby threw up, and he threw up again.

I got the wireless network going again, and the best thing of all? I got Gee's laptop working again, too! We had to have her hard drive replaced, and she didn't have a Recovery disk made for the applications and drivers. She couldn't get on the internet with it, she couldn't read photo cards, or anything. I think it's good, now! Yay!

After all of that, I FINALLY got to get on the web and post. Hooray! And now I'm going to scurry off to bed. (yawn...) Good night!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

it's night time...let's r-r-r-r-rumble!

Oh, these cats! They bicker more than the kids do. They fight. Constantly.

Tucker and Franklin, my cats, absolutely HATE Dee's cats. They've been here for oh, three or four months, now? You'd think they'd be used to each other by now. But no.

They've divvied up the fights, too. Franklin ALWAYS picks on Charli-mama. And Tucker always fights with BoomBoom. Always. And if one is in a fight, the other one backs him up. They're brothers, and we've had them since they were babies, eleven years ago. So without further ado, here is the Rogue's Gallery with the bullies:

Franklin and Tucker

And here are the hapless victims:

Charli and BoomBoom

The scene: early, early in the morning, when everyone is sleeping.

Charli-mama is in the hall, down by the bedroom door, waiting for Dee to get up and feed her. Here comes Franklin, sneaking down the hall. Bam! He explodes into action, bowling Charli-mama over and beating the snockers out of her. She yelps and hisses at him.

Here comes the cavalry: BoomBoom. He races down the hall to come to her rescue, and chases the dastardly Franklin off. You can see Charli-mama kind of shake herself to get her ruffled fur and dignity back together. BoomBoom walks back to the kitchen where he had been laying on the floor.

Scene 2: Repeat scene 1, only this time, Tucker joins in the fray and starts beating up BoomBoom. Fortunately, Rob is awake and breaks them all up. If I'm awake when this is happening, I'm usually emptying the squirt bottle on them by this time. They hate that.

Scene 3: This is a repeat of scenes 1 and 2, only this time, Tucker has positioned himself strategically at the front of the hall. He lets Franklin slide by with a wink, and he waits. Franklin takes on Charli-mama again, and sure enough, here comes BoomBoom again to rescue her.

"Not so fast," says Tucker. And he waylays BoomBoom, tackling him and whapping him mercilessly. Have you ever seen a fight where one guy gets the other one down, and all you see is a fist rising and falling as they punch the guy who's down? Well, that's what you see when Tucker goes after BoomBoom. BoomBoom is the submissive one, and every time he falls onto his back, Tucker just whales on him. All you see is that one paw...bam!bam!bam! And then Tucker gets up, puffs up his chest and just saunters away like he's king of the hill.


They're like the posse of town bullies in the old West. They swagger around the house like outlaws spinning their six shooters on their fingers, just waiting for an opportunity to strike! They do it just for the fun of it.

What is up with that? They're CATS, for crying out loud. They should be doing cat things, like chasing a string, or playing in a paper bag. This is like strategic battle planning. I've never seen two cats stick together the way they do. Eleven years of bonding makes a difference, I guess.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

kinda quiet here on the home front

I've been flying low, staying below the blog radar line. I don't know if I'm extra tired because of the seasons changing, or if I'm finally just wearing down. I get up, I'm tired. I get home from work, I'm tired. I play with the baby, make dinner, chat with the family, and I'm tired. I'm ready to go to bed.

Late nights are usually when I get the most blogging done because that is the only time when I don't get interrupted constantly. There haven't been many late nights recently, so the blogging has suffered. I've even gotten ready for bed as early as 9:30 pm. Something is wrong in the Daisy house when that happens. LOL

I watched DWTS this week, and last night I watched AI and the DWTS results. I was actually disappointed that they sent Adam home. He was funny, and I liked watching him with Julieanne. But, it is a dancing competition. He wasn't a flawless dancer.

Weren't the kids great on there? The little girls were just sassy and spunky. You almost could forget they are just eight and nine years old when they dance, but then when they start talking...yeah. It's a quick yank back to reality.

As far as AI goes, my honey thought Jason's performance last night was the best out of all of them. Are you KIDDING me? "Please!" I said. "Tell me you're joking." Jason seems like a very nice person. Very nice. He is NOT my favorite singer this season.

I think Michael Johns was my fave last night. David Archuleta was in fine form as well. Randy seemed to be a little whacked out last night. I usually somewhat agree with him, but last night we were worlds apart, at least on Michael. He sounded somewhat crabby at first. I wanted to send HIM home.

Tonight I'm going to record Idol Gives Back in case I fall asleep halfway through.

And when, I wonder, am I ever going to finish my closet? It's halfway done, and it's not working for me. I hate it. I have to start over, and I don't know what I want to do with it. So everything is sitting in a pile in the middle of the closet.

The opening doesn't reach all the way across the whole closet. It stops about two feet short on both sides. How do you store stuff in the cubbies on the end without blocking them off when you put stuff in the middle? Does that even make sense? I want to throw it all away. Clothes and all. I could put a cot in there and when I want to hide, I could go in there. No one would think to look in the black hole.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

win Allison Bottke's new book here!

Today I am featuring the newest book by Allison Bottke, Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children. Allison wrote this out of her own experience with her children, and her honesty and hard-won wisdom are transparent and genuine.

Perhaps you struggle with your relationship with an adult child. There is a whole new dynamic that comes into play when you deal with your children as adults. I always say that parenting is not for cowards, and it doesn't only apply until they turn eighteen. They don't magically grow up and mature on their birthday.

Growing up is a process, and in our current society, young adults typically take longer to mature and become completely independent. A new term, twixters, is used to describe the generation of adults who have not completely detached. Failure to Launch is a funny movie from a couple of years ago about this very topic.

Parenting is a process of teaching children independence and letting them go so they can stretch their wings. It's being there to catch them when they fall at first, and giving them a boost to get them on their way again. But a parent has to make the decision when to pull back and let them start to fly, sink or swim on their own, so they learn which decisions have the best outcomes. If we always rescue them, they never experience the "pinch" that says, "Oooo, don't do that one again!"

It's a balancing act. And what we most wish for our children is that they learn to be happy, healthy, confident, loving adults, who can function in society, and take the ups with the downs without taking them all to heart.

Parenting is about teaching them what is right. It's about encouraging them in their walk of faith without forcing it down their throats. It's about continuing to set a good example, modeling how to be a mature adult, and being consistent. Consistency cannot be overrated.

Allison has many insightful suggestions with concrete examples to illustrate the points she is making. I'm pleased to have a copy to give away! Leave a comment for me if you would like to have this copy for yourself. I'll choose the winner on Saturday, April 12 at the end of the day.

If you would like to read my interview of Allison, and see what she had to say, that post will immediately follow this one. Leave your comment here if you would like to be entered in the drawing. Thanks so much for reading!

here is the skinny, straight from Allison

I want to thank Daisy, our Blog Host, for taking the time to read my newest non-fiction book and for sharing it here today on the Setting Boundaries April Blog Tour. You are helping to spread the word about a topic that desperately needs to be addressed—with a message already striking a chord in hearts around the nation.

Our country is in a crisis of epidemic proportion concerning adult children whose lives are spinning out of control—leaving parents and grandparents broken-hearted and confused. This painful issue is destroying individuals, families, marriages, churches, and communities. I believe in my heart that you are reading this message today for a very specific reason. Do you know someone who has an adult child who is always in crisis? An adult child who brings chaos to virtually every situation? Could this painful issue be touching your life today?

If so, there’s a truth I’ve come to embrace that has changed my life—it can change yours, too. It’s taken me more years than I care to admit, but I no longer believe in “coincidences.” The truth I’ve come to embrace is that God is the Master of orchestrating “God-cidences.” He has a plan for who he wants us to meet, what lessons he wants us to learn, even what books he wants us to read. He even has a plan for the trials and tribulations of life.

When we begin to look at everything that happens to us throughout the day as “God-cidences” (and not accidental coincidences) it changes the way we view our world.

That said, my prayer is that you will see the following message and the book; Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing as a “God-cidence” placed into your life today for a powerful purpose. Perhaps it’s to help heal your family or the family of a loved one. Perhaps you are here to help us introduce this resource to a broader audience via additional media contacts you may have. Whatever the “God-cidence” may be, please know our primary goal is to bring hope and healing to families around the nation—thank you for helping us do that.

I pray you will view what you are about to read as a “God-cidence” meant just for you.

God Bless and Keep You,
Allison Bottke

What are some of the most common ways that parents enable their children?

ALLISON: Being the Bank of Mom and Dad, or the Bank of Grandma and Grandpa. Loaning money that is never repaid, buying things they can’t afford and don’t really need. Continually coming to their rescue so they don’t feel the pain—the consequences—of their actions and choices. Accepting excuses that we know are excuses—and in some instances are downright lies. Blaming ourselves for their problems. We have given too much and expected too little.

You say the main problem with dysfunctional adult children isn’t the choice they make or don’t make – but something else entirely. If their choices aren’t the main problem, what is?

ALLISON: Our biggest problem isn’t about our adult child’s inability to wake up when their alarm clock rings, or their inability to keep a schedule, or their inability to hold down a job or pay their bills. It’s not about their drug use or addictions. It’s not about the mess they’re making of their life. The main problem is about the part we’re playing in stepping in to soften the blow of the consequences that come from the choices they make. The main problem is us. Instead of praying to God to stop the pain, remove the difficulty, or change the life of our adult child, we must rise up and pray for something entirely different. We must pray for the courage to look deep in our own heart and soul—pray for the strength to begin a journey that quite possibly may change our own life—and pray for the wisdom to make new choices in our own life

What are some things that parents can do to break the cycle of enabling?

ALLISON: Follow the six steps to S.A.N.I.T.Y.: Stop blaming yourself and stop the flow of money. Stop continually rescuing your adult children from one mess after another. Assemble a support group of other parents in the same situation. Nip excuses in the bud. Implement rules and boundaries. Trust your instincts. Yield everything to God, because you’re not in control. These six things can start a parent on the road to S.A.N.I.T.Y. in an insane situation that is spinning out of control. However, a key issue in breaking the cycle of enabling is to understand whose problem it really is.

What are the six steps for hope and healing you refer to in Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children?

ALLISON: S.A.N.I.T.Y. Six Steps for Regaining a Healthy Relationship with Adult Children
S = STOP Enabling, STOP Blaming Yourself, and STOP the Flow of Money
A = Assemble a Support Group
N = Nip Excuses in the Bud
I = Implement Rules/Boundaries
T = Trust Your Instincts
Y = Yield Everything to the Higher Power of God (Surrender)

Is Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children applicable to readers who many not share the same faith journey as you?

ALLISON: Absolutely. As a Christian, I write from that perspective. I personally believe that a focus on God or on your Higher Power is vital in this healing process. However, the book is written in such a way as to appeal to people of all beliefs and denominations.

You say that enabling our children is “a nationwide epidemic with catastrophic consequences.” What has led you to believe this?

ALLISON: There is clearly an epidemic of major proportion plaguing our nation today. This has become obvious to me as I travel the country sharing my God Allows U-Turns testimony and outreach. Seldom does a week go by when I am not approached by someone in deep pain concerning their adult child. It’s not just audience members in conflict with this troubling issue, but fellow authors, speakers and entertainers, some quite well known, who are living in the throes of familial discord concerning out-of-control adult children. It’s happening all over the country to people from all walks of life.

Where can my readers go for more information on your book and on the S.A.N.I.T.Y. ministry?

ALLISON: Everything you could possibly need is contained on our web site at:

I encourage your readers to tell me what they think about Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children. I really do want to hear reader feedback. They can reach me at: Please be sure to visit our web site at where they will find additional resources for helping them on their road to S.A.N.I.T.Y. Remember to tell a friend in need and help save a life!

moutras vs. holmes'

Here Comes the Newlyweds is on tonight! It's the last show. One thing I'm really enjoying about this show is that I don't know what to expect. It'll be interesting to see who comes out on top. I read somewhere that it was created as a filler show during the writers' strike...I don't know if that's true, but if it is, what a nice unintentional bonus for the viewers.

So, I'm rooting for the Moutras. I'm so curious to see what the challenges are going to be for the two couples tonight. I know that the other couples are all coming back for the show, so maybe they'll all vote on who gets the money. It could be something completely unexpected, too.

What's happened to me? I was never a TV junkie before. But I guess it's a pleasant diversion from the everyday routine of pick up, clean up, put up, wipe up, and cook up. Even cooking looks like much more fun on the Barefoot Contessa or Paula Deen. I think the secret is that there is no clean up whatsoever involved for those who cook on TV. Yeah, yeah. I know. Just let me have my little fantasy.

On TV, they skip over all the work and go straight to the fun. They avoid all the everyday unpleasantries, like kids getting the flu, ice cold cat hairballs in the hallway at night that you find with your bare feet, or baby poop exploding everywhere.

Anyway, I wonder what they'll do with the money--whoever wins it. It's a large enough sum to do something significant with, but not enough to retire on, you know? If I won $400,000 plus, I would pay off my house and my car, but I would save some money for...yes, a cleaning lady. My little heart pitter pats at that thought. A bigger house and a cleaning lady. That's all it would take for me. Maybe a year or two off work to complete a PhD in Adult Education. Then maybe a nice teaching job at a private college somewhere.

What would you do with $400,000?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

but everyone else is doing it...

There's one thing I don't like about spring here in Minnesota. Every morning when I'm driving to work, the sun is at the perfect angle to completely blind me. If I put my visor down low enough to block the sun, I can't see the road. If I put my visor up high enough to see the road, the sun is directly in my eyes. Sunglasses don't even help. It happens around September again. Equinox time.

Well, the other morning, I was giving my daughter a ride to high school. I was coming up to the intersection, and I couldn't even see the color of the traffic lights. The sun was right at the level of the lights, so I couldn't even look at them. The left turn lane had a few cars waiting in it, and the traffic from the opposite way (coming at us) was going at a pretty steady clip. Cool. Green light, right?

I had to move over into the right lane to go around those road-greedy left turners, though, because I was going straight and they were in my way. I thought they were over a little too far, and I was venting about that. As I whizzed past them into the glaring sun, I glanced over and realized...that they WEREN'T in the left turn lane. They were STOPPED for the RED light I was speeding through!

"Mom! You BROKE the law!" Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Erica slide down in the seat, trying to hide from anyone who might recognize her.

"Uh, yeah, I kind of noticed," I said sheepishly. "But everyone from the other way was going...I thought it was my turn!"

She gave me an indignant stare. "You can't do stuff just because everyone else is doing it. You have to wait for your turn." She was on a roll.

"Yes, well, obviously I didn't see the red light. Hello." My kids love it when they get a chance to tell me what to do, so I had to make her work for it.

Fortunately I did NOT get pulled over. Some unlucky cop missed his chance for an easy ticket. Whew! But the look she gave me when I dropped her off was a mirror image of the ones I used to give her. Life comes at you fast, and pretty soon, you've gone full circle!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

the ghost did it

"Knock knock."

"Who's there?"


"Ida who?"

"Ida Know!"

The girls told me that in the middle of the night last night, about 3:30 am, there was a huge crash in their room. They both sat bolt upright with their eyes bugged out like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Some little black drawers that Gee has had just crashed to the floor. For no apparent reason. We can't blame it on the cats, because none of them were in the room. I don't get it.

And then just now when I was sitting here blog surfing, there was another crash at the end of the hall. For no apparent reason. This is a little creepy. The cats are sleeping. Maybe it's the chipmunk. We can hear one under the house in the mornings. I think he spent the winter in the crawl space, but I've seen him out running around the outside of the house looking for food. Maybe he has ventured inside. Yikes. Nah. Blame it on the ghost.

We could blame the ghost for the missing keys around here, too. I am quite tired of this. Actually, I think it's someone named Ida Know. I can never catch up with her. "Who took my keys?" "Ida Know." "Who left these dishes in the living room?" "Ida Know."

Well, let me tell you something. When I catch up with Ida, she's gonna get a beatdown. She's been causing a BUNCH of trouble around here.

dessert for one (me)

Okay, I just have to throw this in. We bought the BEST ice cream. We always buy Breyers anyway, but they have a new flavor: Chocolate Crackle.

Oh. My. Goodness.

It's vanilla with extremely thin layers of some kind of crisp chocolate. Sort of like a dipped cone at DQ. And if you put some frozen raspberries with syrup over it? Oh, it's to die for. I broke my no-sweets quest for that. Back on it again tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008's fading away as i speak

Last night, I was having a conversation with my daughter Gee, and she said something that almost made me fall off my chair it was so funny. In my head, I thought, "I'm going to blog about that in the morning."

This morning, it was completely and utterly GONE. My memories are fading more quickly than my dreams at the dawn of the day. Scary. Very scary. I'm starting to listen a little more intently to the Alzheimer medication commercials to see if I have the symptoms. If I don't write it down IMMEDIATELY, it's gone! Do you think that is part of this lovely stage called perimenopause? ICK.

And now, my three dear daughters who live here are fighting and bickering just like they did when they were two and three. Aaauuugggghhh!! I want to pull out every hair upon my head and run screaming through the streets. When they were little, I would give them hug breaks. I'd make them stand and hug each other for five minutes. They couldn't do anything else until they finished their hug break, even if it took them fifteen, or even fifty minutes. Now I just want to throw a bucket of water on them.

My patience is running out. I'm not supposed to have to listen to them argue NOW, am I? Even the oldest one gets her little digs in, especially when she thinks I'm not listening. What. Ever.

It's no wonder my mind is going. Maybe it's better that way. I don't think I want to remember this. Let it go by in a little blur, while I sit and smile my vacant grin, happily blogging away. Tension? Pah! Who listens?

Perhaps the book I'm going to be reviewing will have some answers for me. Who knows? I invite y'all to check back here in about four days, to read all about Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children. I think it's divine timing. Yes! I'll tell you all about it.

wacky web Wednesday 04.02.08

A fascinating insight into marketing for women.

And have you seen Charlie already? I could just squeeze this little boy...he's so cute.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

tonight's pbp (play by play)

Okay, now that I've 'fessed up to how gullible I can be, let's move on to something besides me. Like American Idol, and DWTS. Here's to some serious TV watching!

I feel like such a slug. I'm cranky and I don't want to do ANYTHING. I sat on the couch with AI and DWTS on. The volume was set at "blast you out of your chair." And I didn't budge until it was over. I did cook dinner, but not until AI was done.

American Idol

So, Dolly Parton songs tonight, hey? I was a Dolly fan, back when I listened to country...when country was good, you know? Today it sounds a lot like pop with a twang. But I digress.

I was a little worried about what the guys were going to sing. I didn't need to worry at all. They were fine! It was the girls who had issues. Kristi, Ramiele, and Brooke were just so-so for me tonight. Kristi has this attitude of an immature, obnoxious, thinks-she's-so-cute teenager. "Love you, Simon," she says, with that cheesy grin. *huge eyeroll*

Brooke is a know-it-all. A nicey-nice know-it-all, but still one nonetheless. Simon criticizes, everyone boos, and she just says over and over, "That's okay. That's okay. Thank you. That's okay." You don't have to make everything okay for everyone every time. Zip it, lady.

Carly's song was pretty decent, but I think Simon almost made her cry when he made that crack about the way she dresses. And I liked Syesha's version of "I Will Always Love You." I don't care if Simon didn't like it. It was something between Dolly's version and Whitney's.

But the guys had the night locked up, if you ask me. Well, some of the guys. It was a tossup between David Cook, David Archuleta, and Michael Johns. If I had to pick ONE, it would be Michael Johns.

Jason's song was predictable and bland. Did you love the postcards for him? "Your voice just calms me down..." (Puts me to sleep, more like.) If I was thirteen, I might vote for Jason, because he has that sweet pretty boy face and kind smile. Complex he is not.

Well, can you tell I'm PMS-ing today? There you have it. The snippy AI review.

Dancing With the Stars

And as for DWTS, I'm just glad Mario didn't go home. I was a little nervous with him being one of the last ones left standing.

It was okay that Steve the Gute went home. He has a great personality, but his dancing doesn't grab me.

I could let Marlee Matlin go too. What was that remark about pancake hands all about? I must have missed that.

And the short little Broadway girl--Marissa--she's probably going to go soon, too, unfortunately. She has enough zip and fizz for six dancers, but I think she comes up a little short on technique.

Kristi Yamaguchi will probably last a while, but I'm not wowed by her yet.

Shannon Elizabeth's billing as the sexiest woman alive or whatever it was they said about her on the first show was rather off-putting. What. Ever. Comments like that kind of leave me feeling very indifferent about the person. And what was that thing she had wrapped around her head tonight? Who honestly wears something like that out in public? Wonder Woman, maybe? I told you I feel snippy tonight. I do like her a little better every time her tomboy ways peek out, though.

My favorite dancers so far are Jason Taylor, Mario, and Shannon Elizabeth. Yes, I know. Contrary is my middle name.

Can I snip about one more thing? Kylie Minogue. Is it because she projects this calculated deliberate sex appeal, trying to look like a Mariah Carey wanna-be, only trashier, that she is so popular? I did NOT think her singing was all that was only worth about a half a bag of chips, if you ask me. I would not be one of the million saps who bought one of her albums today.

Okay. I'm done being a snot. At least for tonight. I'm going to bed to dream about half-shoveled dog runs, undone dishes, and bickering girls. I ought to wake up in just a LOVELY mood. Maybe you can pray for me. I am

gotcha. i mean, got me!

I saw this morning that Gmail now offers a new custom date and time feature. If you want your email to show yesterday's date because you forgot your mother's birthday, you can do that! You can have it show up in her email inbox with yesterday's date, even if you send it today. "I certainly did not forget your birthday. I sent you an email." *wink wink*

I went looking to see how it works.

Each person is limited to ten "customized" emails because after ten times of using it, the date/time function loses its credibility. Okay, strange, but possible...

About the time I looked up the grandfather paradox, it hit me. I am such a sucker.

April Fool's!