Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas memories 200

Santa was sneaky! He was quiet and he stuffed things so far under the tree that when Brandon and I came down it was apparent he had visited but we couldn't tell the extent of the items. There were so many items back behind the tree that we couldn't see when we came down. It wasn't till Brandon was sitting down on the floor reaching for what he thought was the last item that he caught a glimpse of the packages still in hiding. It was like a treasure hunt! The kids were so happy and that was the biggest gift I could get! In what seemed like minutes but was more lie an hour and a half later all the gifts were opened and the only thing was to try it all out and clean up the mess. I hope you all had a wonderfully blessed Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Beautiful Christmas love story

Below is a beautiful Christmas love story that I recently received
in email. Its a tearful but beautiful story, have a tissue ready.

One beautiful December evening Pedro and his
girlfriend Rosita were sitting by the side of the ocean.
It was a romantic full moon, when Pedro said,
"Hey, mamacita, let's do Weeweechu."

Oh no, not now, let's look at the moon!" said Rosita.

Oh, c'mon baby, let's you and I do Weeweechu.
I love you and it's the perfect time," Pedro begged.
"But I wanna just hold your hand and watch the
moon." replied Rosita.

Please, corazoncito, just once, do Weeweechu with me."

Rosita looked at Pedro and said, "OK, one time,
we'll do Weeweechu."

Pedro grabbed his guitar and they both sang.....

"Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, Weeweechu a Merry
Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year."

OK, so I needed the tissue cause I laughed so hard that I cried...I just thought I'd share!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas to all!

Its been a hectic month here in our neck of the woods. I am sure you all know how that is. We are done with the shopping and wrapping of gifts and looking forard to Christmas eve dinner and all the excitement of Christmas day. I think we were able to find all the right gifts for those on our list. Last Saturday we went to the local tree farm and cut down a tree, all of us: Bob, Shaun, Jackie(and her nurse, Linda), Nickie, Brandon and I piled into 2 vehicles. It didn't take us long to find the perfect tree. Nickie and Brandon lined up for the required photo.

Jackie and Brandon decorated the tree this year with Nickie's supervision! They did a fine job!

Brandon decorated the Christmas village all by himself!

Bob and I presented the kids with an early Christmas gift for the entire family. I'd like to present Rikki, the newest member of our family.

Many years ago we had a ferret and I'd been saying for sometime that I wanted to get another one when we had the space. If you've never had one of these guys for a pet you have no idea how much fun they can be. They love their people and the mischief they get into is tons of fun! Rikki is showing a little more personality each day. He already seems to have a routine. Each morning either Bob or I goes down to see if he is awake and he is usually up early each morning. If I get him then I place him in the bed with Bob to wake him up. If Bob gets him he does the same to me. After a few minutes of play I take him to Brandon's room to wake him up. Rikki seems to enjoy his job and its a much nicer way to be woken up then say a buzzing alarm!

I can't wait to celebrate with my whole gang in one house. I wish you all the happiest Christmas! May the spirit of God be with you all and may you stay safe!
Love to you all!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Silver Star Families Organization

Some months ago I was asked to help my friend Trish in contacting our Governor Tim Kaine to sign a proclamation to make May 1st Silver Star day in VA. I believed in what the organization was standing behind and felt compelled to help out. I was more than a little excited when I received the signed proclamation in the mail from Gov. Kaine's office. You can find a copy of the proclamation here. I have to admit I was very pleased with myself for having accomplished the goal. I promptly made a copy of the proclamation for myself and along with a beautiful thank you card I received from Trish and one from the Silver Star families I have set them aside to properly have them displayed. I was reminded last night when I received an email from Trish asking me to join the Silver Star Families organization. It seems they still need a representative for Virginia. I'm in the process of reading the rep requirements and by laws. I would love to be involved with this! I'll let ya know what happens.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

in an email from Trish today!

I had sent my dear friend Trish a Christmas card a few days ago and today in my email I got the below... See this is the way it is supposed to be... those of you that read my "inner circle" posts know just what I'm talking about.

I recently got this note in a Christmas card:

All I did was forward a wonderful e-mail sent to me in hopes of finding that one special family to receive this wonderful gift!! Click on the link below, and see the photos - It IS amazing - and what a joy to know this family is getting this done for them - they have a son who is autistic, and as you all know, my Lucas (grandson - age 5), is also autistic - so, this 'really' has a lot of meaning to me!! God bless this family and THANK YOU, Lillie!! Love you!!

Check this out!

Speaking of the show, rumor has it that Ty Pennington was kicked out of our Farmville Mulligans for drunken behavior and there is also a rumor that he got a DUI that night as well. I've heard this on the radio as well as from many of the locals. I've also heard conflicting info from those that were able to meet him in person. Some say he was a heck of a nice guy, while others said he was a complete jerk. I don't know what the truth is but I'll continue to believe that he is a nice guy until he proves me wrong. I'm sure rumors will continue to abound around here for years to come. It isn't often something that exciting happens in a small town like ours.

Till next time!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Move that bus!

The kids and I had talked about going to the Extreme makeover home edition site and had decided over the weekend after reading in the Farmville Herald that the shuttle buses were handicap accessible, that we would like to go and see them move the bus today. We made some new friends and saw lots of other friends there as well. We had a great time! We got there early before 10 am. We were entertained by pirates with some song and dance. They were pleased to see Brandon in his pirate shirt.

They spent time with Nickie too.

Jackie and I even got a picture ourselves. We even considered becoming pirates ourselves after watching them have so much fun!

It was interesting seeing all that goes on behind the scenes. There is a lot of hyping up the crowd and practice runs of everything.

There is even a test run of "the family" coming out of the limo and hearing the crowd say "move that bus". They used a fill in family to do the practice run. I wonder just how tired the cast gets of doing it over and over again. We met James Brown, no not that James Brown, this one.
He was a really nice guy. He made a fuss over Nickie. The EMHE that ran Sunday night was of a family in Vermont with a 2 year old that has the same condition that Nickie has, Arthrogryposis, and James said he wanted to meet her. So he talked to her and this really made Nickie smile. She loves to get attention from a good looking man. She is such a flirt, she even winked at him!
By 1 PM we were exhausted and hungry and after hearing that the reveal had been moved back to 3PM I made the executive decision to go home. Brandon was thrilled, Nickie was too since I think the huge crowd kinda freaked her out. There is a chance that she may be in a shot of the practice run of the move that bus, that was done. I think it was a wise decision to leave when we did since the parking lot was filled with tons more people making their way over to the site and the street had overflow parking filled up and down both sides of the road.
This of course means I didn't get to see the Lucas family's reaction, seeing the house for the first time but we will all get to see that on the air. I understand from some of the others at the site that the family was also given a beautiful quad cab 4x4 truck. You may be able to see a glimpse of it parked to the right of the house in one of those pictures above. I can't think of a more deserving family. I wish them a lifetime of happiness in their new home.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

And the numbers roll in...

Wow, I'm amazed! Apparently the posts (The "inner circle") that I have now restored to the site, brought in a record number of readers! I generally get one or two hits a day. Last week brought me a total of 77 hits! Again I say, WOW! I guess drama is what this site has been missing. Trust me drama isn't missing from my life I just never knew that it would interest the readers as much as it did! Well OK I did get a clue from the comments that were left and from the emails that were sent to me that there was an increase in readership but seeing the actual numbers just boggled the mind. Yeah I know that isn't that difficult to do but you can pretend it is and just flatter me here....OK, I'm waiting!

OK, so I finally got my classes lined up for my first semester back to school beginning next month! I was hoping to carry a full 12 credits but I had a conflict with one of the classes so I'll be carrying only 8.... LMAO only 8. After nearly 10 years of absence since I last attended a college class 8 is gonna be a complete shock to the system!

Bob and I stopped by the VIP tent of the Extreme makeover home edition and picked up VIP passes to visit the site. I was amazed that on our visit Friday the house was already practically complete on the outside. Demolition of the existing structure took place on Wed. and directly following that they began construction of the new structure. The local paper says that it is approximately a 2,500 SF home. There is also a small structure that is being built as a museum for Michael Lucas' very large Civil war memorabilia. I have decided against going on Monday for the "move that bus" or reveal portion of the show. For one Jean still has no idea of the crap these people have said, at least I don't think she knows. Jean and the family are in Orlando, FLA visiting Disney World and won't be back until Monday. I haven't wanted to spoil any of this for Jean and the family so I won't be telling her about it.

Funny thing is I ran into another home school family that had tried to become part of this group and got an interesting story from them. They were sited as not being welcome to the group because they felt they were transient people and they feared for the safety of their children and the children of the other members... Yeah guess who relayed this message to that family... you got it Nicole* There is a pattern here! Anywho... I have a busy weekend as I've not even begun to decorate nor to purchase any gifts! I guess I better move my butt! Till next time!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thanks for all the GREAT comments!

I got some great comments and emails on my 3 part post of the "inner circle". I really want to thank you for your perspectives! I've chosen to remove the original post as it did serve my purpose, I vented and OMG how much better I felt to have done that! Great to know that so many of you agreed with me on the topic. I chose not to post any of the comments but I assure you all that not only do I have a copy of that post but also a copy of all the emails saved for my personal use! Again ty all!

Monday, December 03, 2007

I'm thankful for.....

1. Extreme Home Makeover, picking Jean and her wonderful family for the show!

2. my wonderful family.

3. my wonderful new church family.

4. my true friends, you know who you are and be assured I love you all.

5. another day!

6. my hardships for they make me truly treasure the good stuff.

7. my home.

The "inner circle" part Three

part one and two.

After receiving Jean's email I immediately sent this to Trish:

I wanted to let you know the link you sent about Extreme home makeover may well be helping a family in my home school group. Below is her details of a day of filming, with any luck she will make it to the top 5 and hopefully be the family picked for the show in the end. Keep Jean and her family in your prayers!

She wrote me back:

Oh, Lillie, thank you for letting me know - I'll definitely keep them in my prayers- let me know, ok!?! Love you!!

I was so happy for Jean and her family that I also emailed my friends to let them know the good news!

I wanted to send you an email sent to me from my friend Jean. I forwarded a link to extreme home make over that was sent to me by my friend Trish. EHM was looking for a family in our area to help out and I'd like to ask you all to pray for Jean and her family and perhaps she will be blessed and be picked. There was a time a good friend of mine, Ruppert, was doing his best to get us some help from this same show. God had other plans for us and saw to it that we got this wonderful house we are now in. Though not the perfect set up for a wheelchair it works well and I surely feel very blessed. Thank you Ruppert for everything you've done for us! Anyway, I'll be sure to keep you all updated on the results.

Suffice it to say I was more than a bit happy for Jean! Fast forward to last Friday. I'm on my way home from a trip to Richmond when I receive a phone call from Linda, telling me that there is a buzz around town about Extreme Home makeover. Apparently on Thursday night reps of EHM had been to a local church, New Life, and they were hyping up the group about a local family they were going to be helping. Wow! It was really going to happen! As soon as I got home I emailed Trish with the good news! I checked my email to see if any "official" word had come from the inner circle. Of course there was none. I was able to verify via a friend at New Life that the buzz was true and that the house was being built for Jean and her family in Rice. How exciting! In our conversation I found that through a friend of a friend she had information that my old HS group had sent out an email of the good news... just they didn't see it was necessary to let me know about it. This of course lead me to write to Nicole*:

I heard via Nickie's nurse that EHM did come to Rice so I can only assume she was picked! I wish someone had let me know! I feel so left out and I was the one that sent the link! Oh well.


Nicole's* reply:

EHM has not contacted anyone in this group to my knowlege. I talked to Jean on Wed and she was not even sure she would be selected. It has not happened. Until it does (if it does) I wouldn't be very inclined to contact anyone about it.

Now remember this is Friday I'm writing to her, this is important to remember as you will see:

interesting cause its all over town that something happened at New life last night to
kick the event off. . Now I can't be sure its about Jean but it is in Rice and that is where her house is being built. However since y'all wouldn't have known about them looking for a military family in need without my email to you all it's interesting that I'd be completely left out of the good that came of it... Now, I'm not blaming you Nancy that isn't my intention, however it would have been nice to know about it.
Besides I've also heard through the grapevine that the group has been aware since sometime this week. I'm happy for Jean and her family! I'm just sad that I was left out of the celebration. Yeah it is nice to be recognized for getting the info to you all and it helping out one of the group, but I suppose that isn't gonna happen.
God bless,

Drive by her house in RIce and see for yourself.I believe you will find everyting as it was when Michael left for Iraq. I will repeat, no one in this group has been contacted by EHM to my knowledge. Let me commend you for sending the link. I can now check that off my todo list.
I was at home in bed last night. If anything happened at New Life, it did not involve anyone in this group to my knowledge. There were a few people in the group instrumental in getting EHM Jeans info, a couple more so than you. I have not heard one of them say anything about needing to be recognized for their effort. That is absolutly selfish. Punching a couple of computer buttons does not quite qualify you for an award. Or anything else.
No one, as far as I am aware, has been asked to be a part of the show, nor has anyone "known" anything since earlier this week. I'm not sure where you are getting your info and I really don't care. However, you should recheck your sources. I am going to end this email now before i get ugly and will not engage in this discussion anymore. When I do hear any news or official information, you can bet, I will not be sharing it with you, although I may have before this evening.
I have had a very hard day.
Please do not bother me again this evening.

Ummmm Yeah of course if I were to drive by her house, even if I knew where it was, on any day prior to today, 12/3/07 would see the house in the same condition it was left in on Michael's deployment. Duh!

OK, I'll admit my use of the word recognized was not perhaps the correct word to have been used. What I had meant was I didn't want to be left out of the loop. I only wanted to be informed. Those of you that know me, know that I'm a happy go lucky person. I like to laugh and I'm a big kidder. I joke all the time. Most of what I say has to be taken in that context. I'll admit however, I wasn't in a joking mood when I felt I was being left out of the loop. Fortunately for me I didn't receive her reply to that email till I got back online today. Poor Nicole* and her very hard day.

Nicole* Wow! If you weren't trying so very hard to flat out lie to me Nancy I
don't think you'd be so angered. If you wish I can produce via a contact at New Life the original email from Lindsey. You know what a small town this is. So you all were well aware of this by I believe it was Thursday last week. I don't know why you feel like I wouldn't want to know. I'm so very happy for Jean and her family. And let me explain my recognition statement in the prior email. What I meant was not wanting or needing a pat on the back but recognition for being part of the group.... part of the process. I admit to not knowing Jean's family's situation so I was not able to nominate her. I had hoped that the information I had sent to the group would benefit one of the members or at a minimum one of the military families that you might know. Anyway, you've proven everything that I ever suspected of you to be true. I can't believe you can take a simple question like the first one I'd asked at the start of this email to this level. God bless, Lillie
Lillie, Your statement was that we had know from earlier that week. We
only found out Thursday late in the evenning. Like I said in my email.
It is not my responsability to see that you are informed of anything.
If you want to say I lied, feel free, that is subject to your own
interpretation. I feel fine about and stand behind my actions and
statements. You seem to have been acting very selfishly and implying that the
group "owed" you something. We owe you nothing. Had you approached this
in a different way, I think you would have had a much better result.
However, don't think you are going to jump on me with both feet and see
me play nice. This seems to be an ongoing problem for you. Acting
like a victim and blaming everyone for your own hurt feelings.

It had nothing to do with my thinking you wouldn't want to know. I
really wasn't thinking about you at all.

If you want to be a part of EHM, volunteer like anyone else, they don't
care what "group" you found out from.

And by the way, don't call me a liar and bless me in the same email.

And the truth shall set you free! Now you tell me was Nicole flat out
lying to keep me out of the loop or what? The evidence is before you and
I ask you to be the judge! I find it very telling that she likes to twist my
words into something to suit her needs. Something to justify the fact she told
a huge bold faced lie.

She sent this last bit just after sending the last one above. Now, I'd say her
anger is a direct result of having her hand caught in the cookie jar.

And by the way. Whatever you have suspected to be true about me and has
been confirmed now by this communication is BS. I have always been
nice to you. I have tried to be a friend to you. I have always been
sincere in my friendship. So whatever....grow up! N

Just one more note... I was talking to my friend at New Life about the emails
and she made a valid point. Nicole* could have easily taken my first email and
taken the higher ground by replying that she was sorry she hadn't thought to
contact me with the details. This would have admitted her "mistake" without the
added lie. I would have just thought OK so they forgot me, not, they purposely
left me out. Again I will let you all be the judge.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The "inner circle" part two

find part one here.

In October of 2006 the group got together for a Halloween event at Red Hill , the home of Patrick Henry. They had fun stuff for the kids to do and treat bags at each station, not to mention a haunted hay ride. The whole gang came together from Stacy's* house as we had celebrated her oldest son's birthday party and followed one another to Red Hill to go as a group. We all stuck together and went from one activity to the next and finally went on the hay ride. After the hay ride we started making our way back to the parking lot. On the way back to our cars the group stopped near another stand and talked. Brandon wandered over to the stand and tried his hand at the fishing game. When he was done I turned to find the group had left. Brandon and I walked back to the car and found the rest of the group had left us. No goodbye, no nothing. I get to my car and find that somewhere out in the dark of Red Hill I'd lost my car keys. It was dark, people were leaving in droves and I was terrified Brandon and I would be left out there with no way to get home.

We ran to the office thankful to find some of the employees still there. I explained my predicament and asked if I could use the phone to call home. I wasn't looking forward to the phone call to Bob. It was late, I was more than an hour away from home and I knew he would already be in bed since he had to work the next day. Fortunately, he hadn't quite fallen asleep and thankfully, Linda, Nickie's nurse hadn't left yet for the night. He asked her to stay until he returned from picking me up. Linda really is a great nurse and agreed to stay. Bob and Jackie loaded up in the van to make the trek to get Brandon and I. The wonderful people at Red Hill waited in the office with us until they arrived over an hour later. Bob took my directions but in the dark got lost. Finally he found us and brought me his key to the car so I could drive it back home. It was well past midnight when we finally got home. Lets just say none of us were happy about it at all. Maybe its just me but whenever I've gone anywhere with a group I always like to know that all of the group left together. I feel responsible for them. Again I guess that is just me.

By now this group has lost most of its appeal but for Brandon's sake we attended group on occasion. Since we were still fairly new to this area and we didn't know any other children for him to play with, we continued. The only reason I did this next group event was again for Brandon. Before the Red Hill fiasco I had promised him that we would go Trick or Treating with the group. I had suggested to Brandon because of the Red Hill events that we not go trick or treating with them, but the look on his face told me we did have to at least do this one thing. I had asked the group in advance if this neighborhood that they were planning on trick or treating in had curb cut outs so that Nickie,who is in a wheelchair, could enjoy the nights events also. They assured me that it did and that they thought it was a great idea to take her too. We got there and I know you probably aren't surprised by this and in retrospect I wasn't either, they went on ahead of us. The only ones that hung back with us were Jean and her family, notice I didn't change her name in this account since I'd like her and her family to receive acknowledgment for their good deed and in later installments of this saga you will see exactly why they are integral to this story. If not for Jean and her family I'd have only bad memories of this night.

Some months later I hosted again. OK, call me stupid. At this point we have built our chicken coop and my young chickens that had just started to produce some eggs are out enjoying the longer days of spring. Everyone was admiring the coop ( the basic design of which I got from Nicole*) and the chickens. Again the moms came inside to converse, eat and drink coffee. I was pleased that a few more came this time than the last. It was just warm enough for the kids to play outside again and so they had the run of the out doors. I had no idea what a bad idea that had been.

After they left Bob and I go to lock up the chickens and in the dim light see that not all is well in the coop. Its much too dark to access the damage but I can see that eggs have been thrown about the coop and busted all over the inside walls and the fake ceramic eggs that I had just purchased to encourage my young chickens to lay eggs in the laying box and not out in the woods, had been broken as well. Let me explain that it takes a bit of force to break these eggs. They aren't as fragile as a real egg. I was heart broken. I didn't know if my chickens had been harassed in the process and you have to understand these chickens were my babies. I had raised them from day old chicks and I was concerned for their well being. I locked things up and had to wait till daylight to find out the full damage.

That night I had a restless night. I couldn't sleep thinking about how this great home school group that had such well behaved children could have caused so much damage, OK if you can't tell I'm being sarcastic. I ended up drafting an email that I had planned to send to the entire group about my disappointment when Bob came down asking me what I was up to. I explained that I was just furious and that I was emailing the group about it. He asked me to wait before I sent the email. I finished the email and left it as a draft in my account. I went up to bed and was finally able to sleep.

The next morning we went out to assess the damage. I was glad to find my chickens were no more the worse for wear and though it was a very disrespectful thing that had been done the damage wasn't as bad as I had feared. I cleaned the coop up vowed never to have the group at my house again. I never sent the drafted email just figured I'd not have much to do with the group. Later that same day I did receive a phone call from Stacy*. She told me her oldest son had confessed to her on the way home the day before and that she was punishing him by withholding allowance for a couple weeks and she promised to replace the broken eggs with eggs from her own hens. I assured her I didn't need the eggs. She put her son on the phone and had him apologize to me. This was a start though I do believe in person would have been the best option. I was very kind and told him all was fine that I commended him for confessing to his mother as I knew that was very difficult and that I'd like him to respect my property in the future. He agreed and the next time I saw him in person I again told him I was proud of him for coming forward. Stacy* then tells me that she is aware of the name of one other child involved in the destruction and that she would talk to that mother. I was very appreciative of her for this and she also assured me that if anything happened within the group not to hesitate to talk to her about it since she was the founder and she would deal with the issues. The other child it turned out was one of Nicoles* children. Yes, can you believe that? I never received even a phone call about the matter. Weeks passed before she had him say, " I'm sorry." Nothing more. What a great lesson he learned! I suppose being a lessor home school family we didn't deserve more? What the heck? Perhaps since we aren't a perfect Catholic family. We are Southern Baptists, by the way and proud of it!

By now I'm much less active in the group and only bring Brandon to play group maybe once a month. Jump ahead to fall. I receive an email from a good friend, Trish, we were part of a soldier support group some years ago and have managed to keep in touch even though both of us have left that organization. See the email below:

Subject: FW: Extreme Makeover Home Edition *** MOBCOM ALL ***
Extreme Makeover Home Edition is looking for an inspirational, heroic
that America can really root for in an upcoming episode. The show
a family with either the mother or father suffering from PTSD or TBI as
result of their service in Iraq or Afghanistan. This family has to live
Virginia, West Virginia or Delaware, must own a single family home that
visibly in need of improvement, and have children. They must be able to
producers how a makeover will make a huge difference in their lives.
will be screened by the show's producers before being picked. The show
like to identify candidates by early next week. If they are picked, the
will air early next year.

I don't know anyone that might fit the bill so I send this email to the group:

I don't know if any of you all would know of any military families that would benefit from this but if you do please forward this info. Would be great if someone, one of us knows could get the help. Lillie
Of course the email I received from Trish was attached.

Fast forward a few weeks and I attend the new co-op that the group has started and Stacy* thanks me for sending the link, and tells me that Jean had been nominated by one of the other group members. I was tickled pink! By this time Jean had already been contacted by EHM and they were in the midst of talks to interview her and her family.

When I got home I emailed Trish to let her know that someone in our group was going to be interviewed for EHM and that as soon as I knew more I'd let her know. She was so excited to know that the link was benefiting someone I knew.

The next email on the subject came from Jean:

THE TOTAL EXTREME MAKEOVER CASTING EXPERIENCE! Quintin Strack filmed from 2:30 to 9:30pm! For my community contribution (they ask for that) I said I wanted to help Joe's Occupational Therapist get the Autism therapy center that she is writing a grant for. So we were at the hospital for 2 hours filming OT Jason, OT Katie, the CEO, therapists I didn't even know, Joe having a pretend therapy session. Then we went to the land for 2 hours. Thank goodness Katie watched the boys for me at the land while he filmed me. Could not have done it without her. There he filmed me telling about our situation. I had not been out there at the land since Michael left because I knew it would be depressing. Well, it was. It looks awful. Now I know--that show is soooo staged! Everything they make you say is true, but between takes he is telling you exactly what to say and how to say it and exaggerating it greatly. And he keeps making you do retakes until you do it pathetically enough. I do not feel like I was good on camera. I feel like I rambled a lot but I guess that is what editing is for. He was so nice and enthusiastic and must be the most patient human on earth. They could not pay me enough to do that guy's job. I didn't see him eat or drink all day. I don't even know if he took a bathroom break. It was unreal. I've never seen anyone with that much energy. Not even my kids! Telling the world how pathetic we are and wallowing in self pity (which he makes you do) for 7 hours was tough. Just know if this ever airs, I'm not the big blubbering dope that it is going to look like I am. They really do push until they get you to that point. That is good television! He was here at the rental house for 2 1/2 hours. He told me he really wanted to see Michael's Civil War stuff. He said Michael should have a museum and I told him that Michael would love to. Then he told me to say this whole "build my husband a little museum on our land so we don't have to share our bedroom with his collection anymore . . ." thing. He told me to say it in a "cute" way. His idea, not mine. To me that was totally too much to ask! I was so dead tired at that point, and having worked with him all day, I knew that if I didn't say what he wanted, he would just keep doing takes until I did. If he had told me to climb out on the roof I probably would have if it would have meant no more takes. He knows what he needs on film and he pushes until he has it. I had to do my "plea" and the man went through at least 2 tapes of takes because he was not leaving until I cried for it. And for some reason I couldn't cry. I was just so tired that I was numb I think. Plus I still don't feel deserving enough at all. Anyway, finally he got me to cry like an idiot and he was happy and said that he had everything he needed. He didn't want food but I gave him a bottle of gatorade and he left for DC. We will see. At the house we had to do the shout-out thing--Hi abc we're the Lucas family . . . and Joe was not into it. When we got to the house, though, Quinton was getting some Joe footage and Joe looked right in the camera and said "Hi ABC". It was cute! Then he had him sit in the floor and show him all of his pirate toys. By the time we got here I was just saying whatever he told me. Who knows how it will be edited. I'm sure they will pick all of the parts I thought were stupid. Like when he saw some little prints I have in our living room of one of my ancestors and of a castle that belonged to another ancestor. I do some genealogy and he made me say "I'm a history buff too. . . " I felt like an idiot. Anyway, we got it all done. I'm just warning you guys that if we get chosen and it airs, it is extremely exaggerated (the truth, but just more pathetic)! It is like being in a soap opera. I totally have a different respect for actors now. We will see. I'll hear on Friday I think if we are top 5. If we don't get chosen, almost getting on Extreme Makeover is still a neat story to be able to tell people. I will let you know what happens. Thanks ladies. Thought I'd let you know we got through it. Jean
Now that is some exciting stuff! OK so now I'm thinking this is great! She's really in the running! I can't wait to hear more..... To be continued.

The "inner circle" - part one

I have bitten my tongue or slapped my hands to avoid posting anything about this subject in the past but I just can't keep quiet a moment longer. I had mentioned in the past about the home school group I was involved with and how much I appreciated them. I refrained from telling you about the horrors that I went through with the group, with the exception of a couple of the mom's, this group turned out to be a nightmare. I found the group through an online search for home school groups in my area. I found one local group that apparently didn't have much activity to the web page and the mother that started her own group sent me a message to tell me about her group. I looked it up and joined the yahoo group she had told me about.

When I first met them back in 3/06 they of course put on their best home school mom faces. They appeared genuinely interested in us when we came to the first play group and also seemed interested in Jean and her family who came for the first time on the same day. Both Jean and I have children with disabilities and they seemed interested in the challenges that those disabilities brought to our lives. Unlike most of the mom's in the group I had not been a home school mom from the start of my children's school years. Little did I know that this made me a lessor home school mom in their eyes. I know that my choosing to home school my son when I did was for reasons that I felt were best for him at the time. I'm not of the belief that home schooling is the best choice for all children, all families or that the choice to home school can't change over time. I don't feel home schooled children are better than any other children nor do I believe the opposite is true. I do believe that children that are either in public school, private school or home school still need the guidance of their parents. A public school education can be fantastic or it can be lacking but in either case with a parents involvement any deficits can be made up and for those lucky enough to have great teachers still need their parents support.

What I found almost immediately was that these mothers seemed to speak badly of parents/moms of public schooled children (PS). Heck they spoke badly of each other when ever they had the chance to do so. The sad truth is women are notorious for back stabbing. Let me assure you this isn't what I'm attempting to do here as you will see by the end of the coming posts that this is about telling the facts as I know them.

The "inner circle" is composed of 3 moms in particular. *I've changed their names to protect their identities. Nicole*, (Catholic home school mom of 6 children, yeah Catholic, but not the "perfect" Catholic that she seems to portray). I won't go into the specifics cause that would be airing dirty laundry. Stacy*, married (to a man that at least one of the mom's says is a hottie) home school mom of 2 young boys (Catholic wanna be from what I understand). Mandy*, wife and home school mom of 3 girls (not sure of her religious orientation or if she has any). I'm not giving the religious info for any reason other than giving some background of each. We are all sinners, we all fall very far from the example that was set for us by our creator and I know this includes me. This isn't a Sunday school lesson so I'll stop there. Just the facts, here. This "inner circle" keeps each other informed of the goings on of its other members. Speaking as if they are of higher power. Better than the rest if you will. The truth is they are no better than any other person in the group or on this earth. We are all equal. I learned fairly early on that I shouldn't talk about anything more than myself and my home school trials and tribulations. It wasn't long that I'd hear things that I had confided in one mom being repeated to me by another mom.

One afternoon I hosted the group at my home. The moms settled in the house for coffee, cake and other goodies set aside for all to enjoy as well as the usual conversation. Now mind you the group is pretty large and I have a modest home only about 1,800 square feet and the moms and children I numbered above were only a small part of the group. At one point Stacy* sees Bob, my husband, arrive home and he greets everyone and runs upstairs to get cleaned up. *Stacy remarks how cute he is. I thank her and tell her I thought so too. This get together went fairly uneventfully except for the mess left outside from the water balloons and plastic cups and such and the mess in Brandon's room.

A few play dates later and Stacy* mentions to me that she can't understand how I could stay married to Bob. Apparently she had a short conversation with him outside at the previous meeting at my house and he spoke to her about his wish to get out of his current profession. In that 5 minute conversation she had decided he was impossible to live with. Of course the fact that Bob isn't a drunk, abusive in anyway or the fact that he is a wonderful loving husband and father unlike her own comments about her husband made him impossible to live with. I suppose we have different ideas about what a good husband and father should be. I sat there in complete shock and though I should have said something like, "oh yeah a husband that drinks till he's drunk every night is the GOLD standard. I'm not sorry I didn't aim that high!" Instead I had no reply. Again I bit my tongue cause everything that came to mind was going to be hurtful. Believe it or not I do try not to be hurtful. Not to say that I haven't opened mouth and inserted foot on more than one occasion....
To be continued......