Friday, June 26, 2009


Yesterday was a bizarre day. Farrah's death was sad. Michael's death was a shock but not a surprise, if such a combination of sentiments is even possible. But on a personal and much less tragic note, something happened to me yesterday that I still can't quite believe was possible. Yet, it happened; here's the play by play:

I walked into Target for a couple of items that we wanted to take to the cabin.

I had to walk through the whole store, all the way to the back by the toy section.

I had not one but TWO children with me, and they were the youngest ones to boot...did I mention we were in the toy section???

Target had NEITHER of the two items I wanted to buy.

We walked BACK through the store to the checkout aisle.

I was confused...bewildered...STUNNED....THERE WAS NOTHING IN MY CART!

Would they let me out of the store if I didn't buy anything?

Were my children kidnapped by aliens and replaced with drones who don't know how to beg for things?

What was going to happen to us if we left Target without spending $150???????

Do you take the cart with you even though it's empty???? Like a security blanket?





We are off to the cabin until July 5th...where there is no internet. Sigh. I will miss my blog therapy tremendously. Bye.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Andrew Goes South

Wow it's been a busy week! I've had little time for blogging, but I wanted to let everyone know what our oldest son, Andrew, and a bunch of friends have been up to this week! They are all on a missions trip to New Orleans, and it looks like they are blessing others and being blessed themselves....and surviving the HEAT!

If you want to know more, check out the BLOG. Andrew is on the blog team, although I can't tell if he's the one writing or not. I am fairly sure he's NOT the one writing the limericks. Sigh.

He has many other gifts.

Check it out HERE.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Let's Go!

Lily: "Come on! Let's go kids! Get down here right now or we're going to be late! LATE I tell you!!! Time to GO!!!!! LET'S GO!!! I'M LEAVING RIGHT NOW!"

Me: "Lily, why are you yelling?"

Lily: "Oh...I'm just practicing for being a Mom."

I don't make this stuff up, I promise.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sweat-y Sixteen

Andrew's friends from youth group contacted me and asked if they could throw him a surprise 16th birthday party! I WAS THRILLED! It was almost his birthday, and we still didn't know how to best celebrate it. THEY DID A MARVELOUS JOB! They did it all! The invites (facebook), the food (cakes) and an amazing decorating job, as you will see!

The plan was that everybody would be waiting to surprise him in our basement when he came home from basketball practice. It worked great, and, except for him being rather SWEATY (hence my title) and ....not exactly fresh... everything was perfect.

Here are the lookouts!

Here's the sign!

Here's the aftermath of the pile on.

He was completely surprised!

One of the girls made him a basketball cake...

...and another made him a blue sheet cake.
It was a terrific party, thrown by some very special friends. We are grateful that God has blessed Andrew with so many caring people in his life.
Happy 16th Andrew!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

She Said It.

(I have cell phone pictures of this event, but I can't figure out how to upload them to the internet. Need help.)

Yesterday was a great day. It RAINED...POURED...MONSOONED. It was lovely...Oh! Did I mention that Timmy had a SOCCER game? OUTSIDE?

NO PROBLEM! I aimed the back of the suburban at the soccer field, lifted the hatch, put down the seats and Lily and I had a LOVELY picnic (hot cocoa and snacks) as we watched Timmy and 9 other hooligans have a mud bath...oh I mean soccer game in the drenching rain.

SUDDENLY...third quarter...after Timmy's first goal but BEFORE his SECOND goal (which by the way was a header into the net!!!!ie...VERY happy boy)....up pulls this car and parks about 20 ft. away from us DIRECTLY in front of our little box seats. The man could have pulled into the space beside me....or gone a tiny bit further on and been past the fields, BUT NO...he parked his car directly between me and my son's soccer game. ??????

"No problem," I thought. "I can handle this." I decided to look really amazingly hard at him so he'd feel the burning of my eyeballs in the side of his head and realize his mistake and MOVE! MY plan was good, but Lily's was BETTER.

(before I knew what was happening), she yelled:


(...and before I could get my hot drink put down and my hand over her LOUD mouth) she yelled AGAIN, at the top of her lungs:


I practically body tackled her, but I was laughing so hard that I don't think it was too effective. Sorry, Little Man, but I couldn't help it. I couldn't.

But then two interesting things happened:
1. Little Man didn't flinch. He had to have heard her, but he didn't look up.
2. He walked right in front of us to the back of his car, (this is 8:30 PM mind the pouring rain), tied his golf shoes up tight, went to his trunk and pulled out a fully loaded golf bag and walked up the hill. And he LEFT his dumb car right in our way!

Me: "Lily, in general, men don't like to be called 'Little Man.' It makes them feel...crabby. Don't ever call a man that.....if you were a boy and you called a man that, you might get beat up."

We watched him climb the hill.

Then Lily (at the top of her voice, of course): "Hey HUMAN, YOU BLOCKED OUR VIEW!"

Thata girl. Way to listen to your mama.

If anyone can help me the online album from my verizon phone, I'd be so grateful. I was able to send them, but how do I access them online?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Poison Apple`

My house is an official disaster. There are piles everywhere. I don't worry too much because it's always like this the first week of summer. You have hot and heavy sports schedules (ie. crazy amounts of laundry), combining with the first really nice weather where you just want to be outside, on top of all the school debris that they bring home and nobody has any idea what to do with. But what you usually don't see, even at my house, is abandoned fruit. Look at this poor little apple. I walked into the mudroom, and there he was...

...forlorn...alone....half eaten.

What happened? What's his story? Can we do forensics?

...WE CAN! Big teeth marks means it couldn't have been Lily.
Undefined edges means braces.
Katie has braces.
Katie loves apples...
"KAAATTTIIIIEEEE! This is gross!!! Come get your apple!!! What have I told you......"

Friday, June 12, 2009

Escape into Reality

Here is a picture of my kitchen island at one point in time yesterday. Yesterday was a hard day. It was chaotic and cluttered from the moment I got up (late) until I put my weary head on the pillow (also late). But do you see that book there in front? It's a Bible. That book is my lifeline, my anchor, my escape INTO reality. If you don't have one, get one. Read it. Seriously. Wow.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fatt Chatt: Session I.

Please join me for an ongoing conversation in my head...

Bad Suz: I'm so fat. My arms are floppy. My stomach's mushy. I'm so fat.

Good Suz: Well I don't know what else you expect to be! THINK of HOW MANY fried mozzarella cheesesticks you ate yesterday...AFTER DINNER! What are you complaining about? You eat everything in sight!

Bad Suz: Well! I've never...

Good Suz: "...and those cheesesticks weren't even YOURS! They belonged to Lisa. You were just storing them for her! And you ate them! ATROCIOUS!

Bad Suz: I figured I'd pay her for them, and you know she'd give them to me post-digestively anyway because she's nice...unlike YOU.

Good Suz: You want to know why you don't fit into your summer clothes, and I'm just telling you. Dairy products. And don't even get me started on that lo mien fiasco at the mall today.

Bad Suz: Ha! I earned every noodle shopping with three teens and a toddler! Every bite! And anyway, I only ate a fraction of what they ate! And I HAD to eat the chocolate mocha truffle because Katie BOUGHT it for ME! ...mother daughter bonding.

Good Suz: Fat cells bonding to your thighs!!! And did I even mention the truffle?....the HUGE sugar and fat filled truffle...with the latte?

Bad Suz: (groan) You are no help.
(to be continued.)
(Lisa, we ate your cheesesticks. Sorry. I'll reimburse you.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer has Begun

Summer has dawned...blossomed...EXPLODED into my life!

What I mean, of course, is that it is the first day of NO SCHOOL! It's the FIRST DAY OF SUMMER INSANITY....oh...I mean VACATION.

It's rainy, of course....perfect sleeping in weather...except my 10 year old Timmy set his alarm for 5:35 (a.m.) because he doesn't want to "waste his life." Fine with me except that, despite the fact that it goes off 18 inches from his head, it never wakes him up and one of us has to get up and go turn it off!

In the last 18 hours we've had a bonfire, sleepovers, chocolate chip pancakes, water gun fights, trampoline accidents, all house tag, balloons (which are great in theory and obnoxious in reality), nerf gun wars, kids and neighbors all over the place and generally all out chaos. AND I LOVE IT! IT'S SUMMER.

If you don't believe me, ask my friend Lisa who came over this morning for a quiet catch-up chat...which was delightful but NOT quiet. Next time we're going to her house....where it's quiet...and clean....and there's not bacon grease on the floor...

To top it all off, the girls decided to put on old home videos..the ones I still have on old VHS tapes. So on top of the real live laughing, and yelling and chasing, there's the laughing and yelling and chasing on the television...even my own voice telling kids to "slow down" and "put on your jacket." It's strangely comforting. I'm in my zone.

Now...about therapy. I'll be starting a mother support group after I snap...probably in about three days. Stay tuned.

And thank you Lisa for bringing a bit of sanity to my life this morning! I'm clinging to it. It takes me a couple of weeks to adjust, so you might need to come back! I'll pay you in coffee!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Sigh. "Mom said I could only have fruit
for my third time back to the dessert table.
Fruit. Fruit. Fruit." Sigh. "Guess I"ll
go for watermelon." Sigh.

"Wait! What's that!? Oh that cookie
WANTS me to have it. It WANTS ME!"

And the world narrows to Lily and the cookie.

Score 1 for temptation, obedience zero!

To tell the truth, this was about her 6th "temptation."
The watermelon on the plate was for show.
She just kept it there in case I came looking.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Retirement Surprises!

We had a retirement open house for my Mom over Memorial Day
at a coffee shop in the town I grew up in.

"We," I mean. My brother Tim and his wife Melissa did all the work.

My aunts and uncles came. It was great to catch up and see them again!

It was also fun for me to see old friends and teachers..even an old
principal from grade school!
But of course we made it a surpise for Mom! Telling her would
be so.....BORING!

Here's my sister Sarah (on the right), my niece (middle) and my
sister-in-law's mother (left- who also put in a lot of work)
as we WAITED for her to come around the corner! She didn't know
we were there!

Here's Lily and Katie as we waited for Grandma Marsha!

And here she is when she saw us!

We're not exactly sure what she was really thinking, but let's just
assume those are tears of joy...yeah we'll go with that!

Here she is thinking about all the lies we told her to
make this happen. Lying is wrong. Except for surprises.
I think.

I cherished watching my Mom have fun and celebrate. That's my brother
Tim standing behind her on the chair. He's not much of one
to have his picture taken...this will have to do. He and his wife
Melissa, as I said earlier, set this whole thing up and did all of the work.
Not to mention they fed all of us at their house Friday night and Sat. morning while
we were "in hiding."I wish I had a picture of Melissa, but I don't have a good shot.

Just trust me, she's beautiful. Here's their daughter:

This is my other brother Jess, chatting it up with Mr. Kerkhover,
my former (I shall stop saying "old," I think) Social Studies,
Geography, U.S. History and World History teacher. We REALLY
home in Georgia!

This is my baby sister Alyse with Katie. Freakin' me out how
grown-up my daughter is looking. We are leaving the braces
on FOREVER!!!!
Stop it!

Half of the food table. We enjoyed that too!

Katie and the Strawberries. Shortly after this, Katie ATE
all the strawberries. All of them. Look at her face. She was
planning on scarfing them right as I took this. That's why
she was there! Sorry everyone who wanted strawberries.

Back at the house afterwards.
I am not as fat as I look here.
Great time.
Happy Retirement Mom!!!
And thanks to all who came!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cheesecake Rules

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

I used this scrumptous recipe to snag my husband twenty years
ago...this, lasagna and fried chicken. That's all you need girls...
learn to make these three things and you can have any man
you want begging to marry you in no time. It's true! Well, almost.


OK, well, even if the doorknob doesn't propose after the first
bite...hey, you have 10 more pieces of chocolate swirl cheesecake
to console yourself with!!!

Note: the chocolate shavings should be put on when the
cheesecake has cooled. I did it when it was warm. Mistake.

...but still wonderful....delightful....delicious...
Just ask Andrew. He eats a cheesecake a week these days.
Trying to "bulk up." Yeah.....I know....despicable. He gave
this recipe a thumbs up. In fact, I believe his words were,
"You can make this? Really?"
You see, I haven't made this in many a year... because I have
no longer been trying to get a husband. But now I can at least
impress my son....who is distracting me right now by giving me
his birthday wish list (he turns 16 on Thursday)> He either wants
a car (no), a jet ski (not happening)....or a slinky. I guess he's getting
a slinky!
Anyway, here's the recipe which is sure to win you rave reviews:
Chocolate Crumb Crust:
1 Cup Vanilla wafer crumbs (30 cookies crushed)
1/4 Cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 Cup melted butter
Combine ingredients. Press into bottom and 1/2 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan.
Bake 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool.
3 packages (8oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 Cup sugar, divided
1 Cup sour cream
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla, divided
3 Tablespoons flour
3 eggs
1/4 Cup cocoa
1 Tablespoon oil
1 jar of hot fudge topping (optional)
Chocolate bar for shaving chocolate curls (optional)
Make crust. Set aside. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In large mixer bowl, combine cheese, 3/4 cup of the sugar, sour cream and 2 tsp. of the vanilla; beat until smooth. Slowly add flour. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
In a small bowl combine coca and remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add oil and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 1/2 Cups of the cream cheese mixture, and blend well. Spoon plain and chocolate batters alternately over crust, ending with dollops of chocolate on top. Swirl with butter knife for marbled effect.
Bake 10 minutes. Leave oven door shut and reduce temp. to 250 degrees. Bake 30 minutes. Then turn oven off and leave in oven 30 minutes more still leaving the door shut!
Loosen cake from rim. Cool. Chill.
If desired, warm hot fudge slightly and spread over top of cake. With a carrot peeler, peel chocolate curls off of candy bar and place on top.
This cheesecake is just as good the next day, or even the next, so you can make this ahead if you like! If you are a cheesecake lover, you have to try this one!