Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fessing up...

Ok. It's time to tell the truth. I broke my "no spanking" rule. It happened a few weeks ago when Aimee was REALLY misbehaving and I already had her in time out. Daniel was finally asleep and she was SCREAMING her head off in a tantrum. I told her that if she screamed again, she'd get a spanking. She stopped screaming, looked me right in the eyes, opened her mouth REALLY wide, and let one out that shook the entire house and woke up her baby brother. I walked back in to her room, turned her around, and gave her two good wacks on her pampered butt. I then explained to her that what I just did is called a spanking and that she would get another one if she did that again. Just to test out what I had just told her, she screamed again, so I reluctantly spanked her again. That was the end of the screaming. This happened several weeks ago and she hadn't received any spankings since then.

Today, the same scenario played out, but THIS time, all I had to do was threaten to spank before she immediately stopped screaming and layed down to take her nap. She must have wanted to see if I'd remember what spanking was, because as soon as I walked out of her room and closed the door she let out a big scream. I walked back in. She immediately tightend her buns and tried scooting away from me (she was laying down). Again, I turned her around and firmly, not angrily, spanked her. I told her that if she did it again, I'd have to spank her again. I walked out of the room a second time and she let out a little scream, I reasoned to myself that it wasn't an intentional scream, rather, a loud cry. Then silence and another big scream. Again, another firm spanking, she became quiet, and immediately went to sleep.

I had a very difficult few days with her last week that didn't include any spankings, but did include her first self given hair cut (right on top of her head), lots of BIG messes, and more than a few afternoons waiting for Brian to walk in the door. I decided to really pray a lot this week and to be a lot more strict. I know she is testing me, and I need to respond to her testing by showing her that I am going to be consistent. As much as I HATED how strict my mom was when I was little, I was always comforted by it as well.

So there. I've come clean.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I'm at a crossroads and it's kind of scary. I was accepted at Northern Illinois University (yes, the same school that's been in the news for that horrible thing that happened last week). It's a good school. If I decide to go, it will mean two years...maybe more...of discomfort for our family while I complete my bachelor's degree. The other option I've looked into is a small boutique university that specializes in Adult degree completion programs. While it has a great reputation in the Education field, their business program is known for "cranking out degrees".

I heard something interesting the other day. Someone was saying that often times we do not succeed because we are afraid. Sometimes we fear failure, other times we fear success, but usually we fear leaving our comfort zone in order to achieve. Later on, I heard something else that I am claiming for myself. "Would God bring me this far to not see me through to the end?" My answer is a resounding "NO! He doesn't leave his work unfinished!"

Stay tuned to find out what happens as I make a HUGE decision in the next two weeks.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Goodnight Moon

Dear Aimee,

Today we had a family day. We spent the day at home chasing you around the house, playing under the covers, and holding you while we watched PBS Sprout. We decided at 5pm to go to the mall to get a few things and take you to ride the Merry-go-round.

When we got to the mall, it was still daylight, but the moon was already very visible. For the first time, you immediately noticed the moon and pointed it out to us saying, "Hello Moon! The moon is in the sky!" As we walked from the parking lot
to the mall, you tracked the moon with every step and waved good-bye as we went in.

Your daddy and I have discovered that using the Merry-go-round as a reward is the most effective way to get you to behave at the mall, hands down. You usually hate doing anything that isn't your idea. If we want you to walk, you want to be carried. If we want you to sit in your stroller, you want to walk. When we were waiting for your dad in the tool department of Sears, I explained to you that I wanted you to be a big girl and walk, and that if you got tired, you should sit in the stroller. If you did these things, then you would get to ride the Horsies. You immediately sat in the stroller and stayed there for an hour and half until it was time to ride the horsies.

When we got to the food court, you obediently sat and began to eat your chicken nuggets. I was unaware that you were keeping your eye on the Merry-go-round and as soon as it stopped, you put down the fry you were about to eat, grabbed me by the hand, and led me to the line forming to get on the ride. You patiently waited the 10minutes it took the attendant to come back from his break, handed him the special coin you have to buy to get on the ride, and you picked a big black horse with pretty braids to ride on. The attendant took another five minutes to get the ride started, which was fine by us because it gave you a chance to pretend to ride the horse.

By the time the ride started and went around twice, all you could talk about was eating your "shickens" (Chicken nuggets) and going home. When I finally convinced you that your shickens were waiting for you to eat when the ride finished, you spent the rest of the ride waving and yelling "hi" to your daddy every time it went around to where he was waiting with Daniel.

When we walked out of the mall, it was already dark and the first thing you did was look for the moon. It was a little hard to find because it was really cloudy, but almost instantly, the clouds opened up where the moon was and you were able to find it. I carried you to the car and you spent the whole walk to the car with both arms high in the air singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". When we got to the car, you said "goodnight" to the moon and blew it several kisses.

It may sound cliche', but having you and our brother in our lives makes the world magical again.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Happy Belated Valentine's Day! I had a root canal yesterday. We did have a good day, however. My mom was able to come over to take care of the kids and I was able to run some important errands after the root canal. Aimee made Brian and I a Valentine's day card while I was gone and when I came home we all made cupcakes togather. Aimee ate a whole bowl of frosting and like 4 cupcakes. (So much for not letting her eat too much sugar!) Brian and I ended up going out to dinner at the last minute, since my mom stayed later. We have a tradition of always going to the most GHETTO places for V-day dinner. It didn't start out that way, we'd just get frustrated by the 3 hour waits at other restaurants. The one year we thought we'd beat the waits by making reservations at a really nice restaurant, we ended up waiting 2 hours anyway.

Some of the trashy places we've been to include: Miner-Dunn in Indiana, (Dirty burger joint) Steak and Shake, Denny's, I think one year we just got Harold's chicken. This year, we went to a place that we always joked about going to called The Fox Restaurant. It looks really dirty from the outside, so we thought it would be the perfect place for Valentine's day. It turns out that it's actually pretty clean. The food wasn't bad. Perfect Valentine's day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In Today's Chicago Tribune...

This is why I can't vote Republican (even though I think abortion is wrong).

WWED: What will evangelicals do?

When longtime evangelical leader James Dobson endorsed Mike Huckabee for president last week, how many voters were listening? Polls and scholars suggest not as many as in the past.

In fact, surveys say the same voters who catapulted George H.W. Bush and his son into the White House favor Democrats in this year’s presidential election, spurred by a new generation of evangelical leaders.

Concerns about poverty and health care have made the evangelical vote that Republicans have come to expect much more of a wild card, reports George Barna in the latest survey by his Christian polling firm.

Many scholars attribute the shift to a new generation of evangelical kingmakers entering the political conversation, including author and activist Rev. Jim Wallis, Rev. Sam Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Lynne Hybels, wife of Rev. Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. They support the theory that conservative power brokers such as Dobson no longer have the clout to dictate how evangelicals should vote.

In Wallis’ latest book "The Great Awakening," he calls for a politics of solutions for hunger, poverty and health care and reminds readers that faith was the driving force behind the abolition of slavery and civil rights. From Wheaton to Winnetka, Wallis will tour the Chicago area next week.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez, "the Karl Rove of Latino evangelical strategy," told my colleague Margaret Ramirez that conservative evangelicals of the past have discouraged platforms that don’t address abortion or gay marriage.

"The agenda of the evangelical church in America has been two-fold since 1973: It has been sanctity of life and traditional marriage. ... It’s almost blasphemous to go beyond those two items," he said. "Now, the Hispanic evangelical comes along and says there are other items that we need to look at. What about alleviating poverty, from a biblical view? What about health care and education? What about speaking against torture? What about human rights?"

But Lynne Hybels insists that the evangelical community has never been a one- or two-issue voting bloc.

"The silence of moderate and progressive Christians has perpetuated a narrow view of evangelicals," she said, breaking her own silence. (In the past, she worried that anything she said might be construed as political and get Willow into hot water.)

"Evangelicals committed to the fight against poverty and injustice, both locally and globally, have been working, volunteering, funding and praying about those issues for decades," she continued. "Finally, their voices have become prominent in the political conversation."

Indeed, Michael Lindsay, author of the book "Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite" said about 70 percent of today’s evangelicals simply don’t identify with the Religious Right.

Lindsay said reporters and pundits should be careful not to confuse evangelicals with Republican conservatives. Exit polls on Super Tuesday illustrate Lindsay’s point.

According to a post-election survey conducted by Faith in Public Life and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, nearly 340,000 white evangelical Democrats in Missouri and Tennessee favored Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But one would never know from reading the exit polls that day because pollsters only asked Republicans if they were evangelical, said Katie Barge of Faith in Public Life, the non-profit organization that co-sponsored the survey.

Those exit polls also failed to note that white evangelicals in both states ranked jobs and economy as the most important issues in deciding how to vote, far outnumbering those who considered abortion and same-sex marriage most important.

What issues do you consider most important when you vote? Do you look to any particular religious leaders for guidance?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I'm on Facebook now. It's already been more successful than my little stint with MySpace.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Heal this nation...

I'm in favor of Hillary because I think she is more capable of cleaning up the mess that Bush II is leaving. It's starting to look like our Southsider might take the nomination...and if the primary voting in my very republican neighborhood is indicative of what's going on across the nation, we may have our first president from the South Side of Chicago.

This video gave me the chills and is inspiring. I hope he's as good at fixing problems as he is an orator. I have hope that we can.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


So in order to bring closure to the really long blog about being dissed by a good friend, I feel like I should share how the story ended.

I did a lot of emotional/spiritual work over the past several weeks and that whole situation was really an aid in helping me to be released of other issues that were affecting me.

A few days after writing that blog, there was a reconciliation with this person. There was an apology and an explaination. The things going on in this person's life were much worse than I knew and a small part of me felt guilty for making this story all about me. However, I have the freedom to say that I am the central character in my own story, so I'm not going to discount my own feelings.

The wonderful thing is that had this reconcilation happened a week sooner, I would have been robbed of the lesson and healing. I am thankful for the work that God is doing in me. I am thankful that these lessons will lead to stronger friendships, a more effective ministry in my life, and a greater understanding my own value. I am not ashamed of the work God is doing in me.


There was an AMAZING marriage proposal at church today. Loved it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Today I went in to the dentist for a quick filling in a tooth. I came out with a wicked root canal. They couldn't give me the "real" novicaine because I'm nursing, so I ended up getting 6-8 shots of some other stuff. 6 hours later, I still can't feel my face. They also couldn't prescribe the normal precautionary round of antibiotics, so I just have to cross my fingers and hope I don't get an infection.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


These days, God is moving in my life in a way that is so palpable to me that it's almost frightening.

I'm thankful for it.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Brian finally updated his blog. Maybe your comments will encourage him to keep up it up.