Monday, December 29, 2008


Curves. I visited the work-out center for the first time in five years. Rachel tagged along. We signed up for a 12-month contract. The owner took a quick health history, weighed and measured us, then asked if I had any goals in terms of health/fitness. I told her I'd like to weigh less than now since this is how much I weighed when I was six months pregnant! She thought that was a good choice. Oh, yeah! And I want to curtail the growth of "grandma" triceps as much as possible. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ahhh . . . Togetherness!

Rachel jumped out of the (slowly moving) van today to escape being with her mother. Quinn is in his room crying because he has the worst mother in the world. What have I done to deserve this?

I asked them to (1) put away their clothes and (2) pick up their bedrooms.

Now that Mr. Rellim is helping to direct this effort, I've heard screams of, "Nobody loves me! Now I know you BOTH hate me! If you loved me you wouldn't put me through this torture!"

Monday, December 22, 2008

Flippin' Serious

There is a new rule at our house. Any use of the following words will bring a 24-hour time out period for the guilty party's favorite electronic device: frickin', freakin', frackin' flippin', fudgin'. Why? Ask my son, who hollered a sentence at the roller rink (during the 3 seconds of near-quiet) that very closely resembled the granddaddy of all "f" words.

Yes Ball

Santa brought gifts to our house yesterday. It's pretty typical for him to visit our house before the 25th because we are rarely home that morning. Anyway, I picked up a free "Magic 8" ball from a vendor at my national conference and thought it would be a great stocking stuffer for Quinn. It was. He opened it and screamed, "Awesome! I always wanted a YES BALL!"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Office

I've spent ridiculous amounts of time watching DVD episodes of The Office. I had heard of the TV series, but had not ever actually caught an episode until last month. Very, very entertaining. Unfortunately, my children are hooked also. Quinn can't understand why a boss can be so stupid and why the employees don't just quit and find a new job. I explained satire and told him if everyone quit, the show wouldn't exist.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Same Size

Mother, daughter and son are now wearing the same size shoe. Yet, mother still has several inches in height over them - this year. It seems the kids are on a growth pattern similar to the German versus the Irish genetics. Must be all the wienerschnitzel. (Sixteen is my limit.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pound Cake on Ice

Well, in the bushes, actually. That's where two of them landed after I slipped on ice on the front doorstep of my neighbor's home (No, not that neighbor.). Having spent over two hours making them, I couldn't just let them lie there. Misshapen, yet still safely wrapped, I managed to fish them out of the bushes and present them to our closest neighbors. They would understand.

By the way, all our neighbors were given this small token of Christmas cheer. Don't you wish you were my neighbor?

We Got 'em

"We got 'em up here on the roof!" Remember that line spoken by a Chicago police officer in the movie The Fugitive with Harrison Ford? If not, it doesn't really matter anyway. What I'm talking about is the menagerie of items on our roof.

Sunday after church, Rachel complained of her shoes smelling badly. Sunday afternoon, she threw them on the roof. Snowday Tuesday, Rachel threw a neighborhood friend's hat on the roof. "He was asking for it, " she stated simply. Iceday Wednesday I noticed a scarf on the roof and two wiener roasters. I wonder when this is going to end.

Please, please let there be school tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Decorating Done

Modesty is His Middle Name

Mr. Rellim had an MRI on his lower back today. He told me that it was a tight squeeze to get his shoulders in the tube. I tried not to think about it. Instead, I kept remembering when we first entered the waiting room. The MRI technician handed him hospital pants to change into and my husband dropped his trousers right then to "suit up." Fortunately, no one else walked in.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


"I would rather lose in a cause that will some day win,
than win in a cause that will some day lose."

— President Woodrow Wilson

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not with a 39 1/2 foot pole.

Recently, my husband pointed out their similarities. I thought you might like to see them side-by-side.

But however much one tries to steal or distort, no one can keep Christmas from coming.

Best Driver Award

I noticed a black smudge on the bumper of my white van. Then I noticed a broken tail light. Knowing that I did not hit anything and also knowing that I am the primary driver, I assumed it must have been a parking lot mishap. I thought I'd begin my investigation by noting which cars at my place of employment were black, then follow up with a polite email asking if perhaps they had inadvertently bumped my van. It was a risky thing to do, so I asked Mr. Rellim for his opinion.

That's when he chuckled and told me about how he backed the van into the basketball hoop about three weeks ago! He'd been wondering how long it would take me to notice.


Maybe he'll be President some day! Today he begged to play his Nintendo DS. I told him not until December 19th. He begged again, then added, "PLEEEEAAASE? With supervisation?"

A few days ago he talked about how much he liked the confession stand at the basketball game. I'm pretty sure that might be illegal at the public school they attend.

Friday, December 12, 2008

So Far, So Good

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. (Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius AD 161-180) And a big thank you to D.S. for the best quote of the day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not My Station

I listen to a radio station that plays Christmas music 24/7 until 12/25. Today, I jumped in the van and a new song was playing. The lyrics were something like, "Baby, I will take you there. I will cover you. I will take care of you. I will lead you to heaven." I thought it was an interesting Christmas song. It wasn't until the next song started playing that I realized this was NOT my radio station. The lyrics began like this, "Ya know the pimp's in the crib and the - " WHAT?! I don't even know what that means.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


That's not an adjective I like to hear in the same phrase as, "Mom the milk tastes . . . ."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

New Vocabulary

"Dad! You're really starting to adjectate me!"

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Battle Positions

A sweatshirt worn for one minute, then tossed into a heap of three other sweatshirts worn for one minute does not constitute a load of dirty laundry. Rachel has chosen to stay in her room (without tidying up the place) instead of going to a basketball game with a friend. I imagine it's because she believes this will be more annoying to her mother.

She's right.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I Like Tweenagers

Rachel: "Like, get up! Like why didn't anyone get me up? It's like 6:45!"
Quinn: "Like, don't you have like two alarm clocks in your room?"

Sit v. Set

We live a bit further south than one might imagine, therefore, some of us do not differentiate between the two words. Guess which one?

Mike: (in response to some annoyance supplied by his son) "Quinn! Go set at the table!"
Quinn: (Runs for his life due to said annoyance, then begins placing napkins, forks, plates and glasses on the kitchen table.)
Marcie: "Quinn, what are you doing?!"
Quinn: "I'm just doing what Dad told me!"

Ah . . . a good test of new-found auditory discrimination skills.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Historical Fiction

President George Washington once advised, "Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience." I would give that advice to the persons who created the new Capital Visitor Center. Apparently, they had to be reminded that the country's motto is "In God we trust." They also initially forgot to include the Pledge of Allegiance in the display. Why the omission of religion from our nation's history?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Day five. On the coach. But today he has steroids, muscle relaxants and Tylenol with codeine. Mr. Rellim may yet recover.

I've apologized for not immediately feeling empathy, but he shouldn't have returned from the first chiropractor visit with these instructions: "Doc told me I should not put up any Christmas lights or do any Christmas shopping. I'm supposed to just lay on the couch and watch football."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Got 'Em!

After taking approximately 65 photos this afternoon, I have a little more respect for photographers. I just didn't have the patience to continue with kind encouragement after about picture 26. I found myself shouting things like, "Smile with your teeth! Not that many teeth! Keep your eyes open! Act like you love each other! Stop poking your brother!"

I'm sorta surprised the neighbors didn't come out to watch.

Friday, November 28, 2008


We almost got a picture good enough for Christmas cards. Too much squinting in this one. Plus, my Dad hitched a ride in the back with his birthday card on display! We'll keep trying.

Good Advice

I stepped out of the shower this morning, wrapped myself in a towel and noticed my son jumping on my bed. I said, "Get off my bed!" Quinn immediately got down. Mr. Rellim asked, "Son, I've asked you to stop jumping at least three times. Why did you listen to your mom so fast?"

Quinn's answer: "I always listen to n a k e d women."


We all named at least one thing for which we were thankful. Mr. Rellim buttered up the mother-in-law by praising her culinary skills. Five-year-old Owen (wearing the Indian headband) gave thanks for "land."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Truth or Dare

The boys are playing truth or dare. I had to create a new rule that "dares" were not to include a non-participating family member (me).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Been in Chicago Lately?

I have. People are crazy drivers. Mrs. Bickerson found this Youtube video highlighting the driving skills of one of the best. My chauffeur, however, was one of the more highly skilled. Here is a picture of four great friends sharing a good meal and lots of laughs.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Prank Call

I got a message today from "Kelsey at Starbucks." She told me that they don't deliver - I'd have to pick up my coffee at the shop. While listening to the message, my daughter started laughing. Rachel admitted that it was her "signature prank call" and "Don't you think it's original and hilarious?"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thank You

A new song written by Steven Curtis Chapman honoring all service men and women, inspired by a man he had met earlier that day, Thomas McBride. Beautiful.


I learned that my son has been trying to save the family money by NOT using soap or shampoo when showering. I would prefer that he shut the refrigerator door or turn off lights. But, what do I know? Maybe he's on to something. Could save me gas money driving him to play dates.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quinn's Funniest

I usually ask the kids to tell me the funniest part of their school day. Today, Quinn said the funniest thing was when he wrote "kick me" on a sticky note and stuck it to his forehead.

I guess it was sort of a slow day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Good News

Eight leading retailers have committed to recognizing Christmas.
Best Buy (612) 291-1000
Cabela’s (800) 243-6626
Kohl’s (262) 703-7000
Lowe's (704) 758-2304
Nordstrom (206) 303-6000
Pier 1 Imports (817) 252-8000
Toys "R" Us (973) 617-4040
Wal-Mart (479) 273-4000
Call to let them know how you feel about it.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Neat Idea

I sound like talk radio, don't I? Anyway, Rachel made this fancy "Skiving" snack box for a Harry Potter fan today. If you didn't read the Potter series, you probably don't know about the Fainting Fancies or Nosebleed Nougats. Ours taste pretty good because we used homemade chocolate truffles instead.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Do Not Despair

That's what I heard today from my favorite national talk show host, Dr. James Dobson. Throughout time, God has used even the most unlikely persons for His good.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

In a Funk

Why do people talk about the "decisive" election when referring to the Presidential selection, but sue over the outcome of the Prop 8 amendment to the California state constitution? They were both decided with a 52% majority.

Quinn and Friends

Quinn was selected as a vocalist for an Illinois State Choir event. One hundred forty students from the state combined talents under one guest director to hold a full day of rehearsals before a 6:30 pm performance. The fifth grade students sounded spectacular! Here are the boys from Quinn's school before eating pizza in the University Union. I had the privilege of chaperoning the five pictured rowdies and seven lovely ladies.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


That's what Quinn screamed this morning when he read the headlines. A friend of ours has his flag on display upside down as a sign of distress. I tried to coach Quinn and Rachel on how to respond in respectful tones should the subject of the election arise today.

Anyway, congrats to Obama and his magic team.

On a related note, Mr. Rellim is extremely concerned about a ballot initiative in California that passed, mandating "free-range" animal production. Get ready for some expensive bacon and eggs, people!

On another related note, Californians also passed a ballot initiative that will provide millions of dollars in funding to create a supersonic train between SF and LA. Hmmm . . . I suppose there could be some excellent road kill possibilities if any free-range pork producers live near the tracks - or not. I once witnessed a rabbit run across a NASCAR speedway during a race. There wasn't much left for the clean-up crew to clean up.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Just a Thought

"The average man votes below himself; he votes with half a mind or a hundredth part of one.
A man ought to vote with the whole of himself, as he worships or gets married.
A man ought to vote with his head and heart, his soul and stomach, his eye for faces and his ear for music; also (when sufficiently provoked) with his hands and feet.
If he has ever seen a fine sunset, the crimson color of it should creep into his vote. …
The question is not so much whether only a minority of the electorate votes.
The point is that only a minority of the voter votes."

— G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mother, may I?

Me: May you what?

Quinn: Go up on the roof to get the marshmallow roaster thingy!

Me: Who threw it up there?

Quinn: Look, Mom, I can't answer every single question in the entire universe.

Me: I can - NO!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Best Buy

New sofa "patio furniture" for five bucks. Who doesn't need one of these?

A Farmer, et al.

This is me as Sarah Palin alongside a friendly Red Power Ranger, whose mother graciously loaned him to us for the evening whilst trick or treating. My kids are getting big and we thought a smaller child would help complete our ensemble. Not every home owner agreed to vote for me on Tuesday, but most got a chuckle out of the costume.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Did Not Provoke This Discussion

A group of fifth graders were in my room yesterday when one of them explained socialism like this: "Listen - If I get an A+ on my social studies test and you get an F, then Barack Obama will swoop in and give us both Cs." The listener replied, "AWESOME! And guess what? Obama already won! I saw it on Because 99% of the world voted for Obama and only 66% of the world voted for McCain, so . . . Obama won!"

I thought perhaps the statistics conversation could get no worse, when another fifth grader asked, "But how many people voted for Pollen?"

I think she meant "Palin," which caused me to wonder (and I know this sounds awful), "When she's 18, will her vote count the same as yours and mine?"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vote Your Values

Take a minute to think about the issues. Take a minute to think about your values. Take a minute to watch this video. Who's your guy?

Alligator Costume

I haven't decided what I'm going to wear for Halloween. Quinn is a cowboy. Maybe I'll dress up as Sarah Palin. Hopefully, no one will hoist me up as a part of their home deco.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Like This Guy

Lincoln's Ten Guidelines . . . abe lincoln

  • You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift
  • You cannot help small men by tearing down big men
  • You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong
  • You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer
  • You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich
  • You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income
  • You cannot further brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred
  • You cannot establish security on borrowed money
  • You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence
  • You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do themselves

8 More Days

"While a single issue can’t qualify a candidate, it can disqualify him" -Randy Alcorn on the importance of protecting human life.

Friday, October 24, 2008


In case you didn't know, when you play with a Nintendo DS, there is an instant chatting capability that will allow the user to "chat" with any DS in close vicinity. So, say you are playing with your DS in a fifth grade classroom with six other DS users and you type a bad word on the screen then press, "send." Everyone using a DS will get your message and chances are, one of them will tell the teacher.

Of course the likelihood of that student ever getting to take his DS to school again this year is slim to none. Mr. Rellim votes, "slim." I vote, "none."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Quinn's Nintendo DS was spared a nine-week sentence in detention by one measly percentage point. He is certain to practice his spelling words this quarter. Rachel, on the other hand, is sailing through seventh grade with straight A's (no spelling class in Middle School).

Spelling is not Mike's strong suit, so I tend to blame him for our kids' struggles in that area. I asked him what bad stuff they inherited from me, but Rachel answered instead, "Mom, you know what I can't stand about Science class? All the partner work! Why can't I just do it myself? It's such a pain in the rear to have to convince everyone that my idea is the best and it wastes so much time!"

Oh. That.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm Trying to be Kind


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Taylor Mason

Our church hosted this comedian/ventriloquist/musician for a performance and he was hilarious. He is pictured here with his candidate dolls, but they were only a small portion of the show. If you get the chance to enjoy Taylor Mason, do it!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Secret Admirer

My friend answered her phone at work and the caller said, "Hi! This is your secret admirer!" Knowing it wasn't her husband, she took a guess that it must be a practical joker friend from high school.

So, my friend said, "Oh! Hi, Steve!"

Her minister replied, "Uh, no. Who's Steve?"

New Car Christening

The last time we bought a new car was in 1992. Within a few months, Mr. Rellim and his dad took it for a road trip and "broke in" the backseat by tossing Kentucky Fried Chicken bones back there. I thought nothing could top that. Then we had kids. After twelve years of kids, I figured I'd seen it all.

Not so.

When Mr. Rellim pulled into the driveway today with his two-payment-old 2009 Ford Fusion, he scrambled to empty the trunk. Usually he doesn't do that, so I stood there to observe the cleaning frenzy. Eventually he admitted to having transported THREE baby pigs to the veterinary clinic in his trunk. I may have to go medicate myself.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bright Eyed

I drove Quinn to school at 7:15 this morning for an early chorus practice. On the way there he asked, "Mom, shouldn't we tell Rachel?"

"Tell her what?" I said.

"Tell her we are leaving."

"Well, no. She left at 6:20 already with your father for basketball practice."

(And he and Mike are the "morning people" in this family.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Think this Little Thought

"If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end;
if you look for comfort you will not get either."

— C.S. Lewis

Nasty Tooth

The dentist told us Quinn had a cavity.


I stepped on syrup while vacuuming this morning, so I moved the computer chair in order to do some scrubbing on the carpet below it. Then I stood up and backed into some more syrup. Shocked, I sat down on the chair to survey the entire floor and - SQUISH - I sat in the mother of all syrup drips. The pool of syrup on the chair had been dripping everywhere while I vacuumed.

Does a family really need a rule about syrup and the computer?!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Quinn's 5th Grade Picture

Starlight, starbright, we forgot about picture day and wore a camp shirt.
"Plus, how can you really smile when the camera dude is asking you to put your feet in one spot, your hips in another spot, your shoulders in another spot, your chin in another spot?
I could barely concentrate!"

Rachel's 7th Grade Picture

Starlight, star bright, your shirt is sparkly and so bright!
Teeth are white and hair brushed gold
why do you have to look so old?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Kids' Votes Don't Count

Quinn and his friend Megan were talking on the school bus about the Presidential election. Megan said that she would vote for Obama because she wants a girl to win. I told Quinn that Obama is a man and Quinn said, "Whoever heard of a man named Obama?! I think she is a girl, too!"

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bad Mom

Quinn's Nintendo DS is being involuntarily held in an undisclosed location until such time that his effort increases in Spelling class. Quinn's defense is this, "You see, I just have Dad's Spelling DNA! How can you punish me for my DNA! And anyway, Spelling doesn't affect my life at all!" (Tell that to Dan Quayle.)

Quinn told us that he sat under his desk and cried today during indoor recess because he didn't have his DS, so there was nothing else to do. Oh, yeah! I work in a school. I had forgotten that indoor recess rule. I reminded him that he could study his spelling!

Mike told me he is ready to cave in to the boy's demand after only 48 hours. Not me. I may have to find a new location for the DS.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Shopping Trip

I asked the boys to pick up a few things at the grocery store for me, but I guess Quinn got tired of waiting for his Dad to finish watching the game. So, he wrote a note that stated: "I'm going to the stor because Dad loves football more then me." Then he escaped through his bedroom window and rode his bicycle to County Market. I later found the note. Mike eventually found Quinn in the baking aisle, wearing his bicycle helmet, and following a pretty young woman to find corn starch.

Quinn argued that he should not be punished because "(1) Mom told me to go to the store (2) I found the canning lids all by myself and (3) Dad doesn't love me anyway."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

How to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket

First, ask your son to drink three red slushies at the showing of Beverly Hills Chihuahuas. Next, when the police officer pulls you over for driving quickly (in order to get your son home to the bathroom), ask your son to open the van door, lean his head out and start spitting bright red slushie spit. You may get away with a warning - and a compliment on your McCain bumper sticker. Works like a charm.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Just Makin' Stuff Up

I was going to leave this one alone, but couldn't help posting this video because I actually heard an Obama staffer use this line in an interview after the VP debate on Hannity & Colmes.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


My friend from the great state of Minnesota is flying to California tomorrow to run in a marathon! I wished her well and asked for an appropriate "go get 'em" phrase. She suggested this one:

Don't poop your pants.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Last Lecture

An easy, worthwhile read. Randy Pausch knows he has only a few months to live due to pancreatic cancer. This book is for his students, for his wife, and for his three young children whom he knows doesn't comprehend any of this yet. A good companion book to "One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-regrets Life." I wonder what I would write in a "last lecture?"

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Annoying Classmate

Quinn told us about a student in his class who was "So annoying I had to give her the mouth at least five times today!"

"The mouth?" asked Rachel.

Quinn then turned his head toward her, snarled, and moved his mouth in a silent, "Nyay, nyah, nyah nyah!" Ah . . . How to win friends and love enemies.

Quinn then told us her name, which was obviously Asian-inspired and Rachel said, "Oh, she must be from Kansas."

(Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Said That

Rachel played an awesome basketball game tonight! I called Mr. Rellim about four minutes before the game started and said, "Mike, where are you? They just did the coin toss and are going to start the game any minute!"

He advised me to never talk about a coin toss at a basketball game again. I knew it must be a blog-able moment.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


During lunch today, Quinn shared the shocking story that his fifth grade teacher has a (gasp!) tattoo. I baited my son by saying, "Well, you know what they say about people who have a tattoo?" while glancing at the tattoo on the wrist of our lunch guest. Quinn thought for a couple seconds then said, "Oh! They're gay?"

Uh, no. Thankfully, we all got a good laugh out of it.

Note to self: Don't bait your son with a question that could possibly backfire.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Great Grandma Stash

Rachel received a card in the mail today from my mom. On the back of the envelope it said, "This card is from Great Grandma's stash." I understood that to mean it is one of the many all-occasion cards from my late great grandmother's collection. (We've taken to sending them now instead of just storing them.)

Rachel asked, "Mom, do you know this great grandma?" I said yes and explained who she was exactly. Rachel's eye's got bigger and she exclaimed, "Well, isn't she d e a d ?!" I said yes, since 1986. Then Rachel took a deep breath and wondered aloud, "How do you think she knew I was getting basketball shoes this week? And that I had a cold?"

It was at that moment I realized the problem. Rachel thought the card was from some Great Grandma Stash. We don't have one of those. We shared hearty laughs for many minutes, then reviewed the rules for possessive s ('s).


I noticed a third grader walk out of the school bathroom with his zipper down. Quietly, I whispered, "Zipper . . . zipper" to him. As all obedient speech/language students will do, the little boy whispered back, "Zippuh . . . zippuh" with the best /r/ sound he could muster.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's a Privilege

. . . and a duty. Please register to vote. If you aren't going to vote, you may be interested in this device which will make up excuses for you as to WHY you aren't going to vote.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More to Celebrate

1. Today is my Grandma's fourth wedding anniversary! After being widowed at the age of 35 and raising five children, she found the man of her dreams had been sitting at the other end of the church pew for 42 years! Happy Anniversary Grandma and Russ.

2. Today is Carson's fourth birthday! Hope you got to have your cake and eat it too.

3. Today was Rachel's first basketball game. Her team learned valuable lessons already - (a) Next year they will not wear new basketball shoes for the first time at a first game. (b) Only five players per team are allowed on the court during a game. (c) Hair accessories should not be adjusted during the game - especially when the ball is passed to you. (d) Never wear pink and blue striped underwear with white basketball shorts.

Angie W.

I'm sure angels sang as you were welcomed into Jesus' arms this morning. We were hoping for another chapter or two with you here, but your earthly story is complete. I can only imagine what the epilogue will bring. We celebrate your life and the legacy you leave.

Monday, September 22, 2008

All Wet

Quinn came home from a friend's house yesterday with a wet head. I asked what he was doing and he excitedly told us about BOBBING FOR APPLES. WITH HIS FRIEND. AND HIS SIBLINGS. IN A BUCKET THAT HAD BEEN RINSED "REALLY GOOD" SINCE THE DOG TOOK A BATH IN IT.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Too Much

My (call-the-cops) neighbor just commented that she noticed I wasn't at work this afternoon. She tried to fake concern or something. When I told her that I don't work Friday afternoons she said, "Well, things sure have changed since I worked over there!"

That lady better find something else to do besides monitor my life.

Can't wait to plant some more ugly things on her property line. I wonder where I could get my hands on a corpse flower or something . . .

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Quinn went to work with Mike today and answered the phone when I called. At one point he asked, "Can you hold please?" I listened to hold music for about ten seconds and then Quinn clicked in to announce, "You're back now." I laughed. Aren't you supposed to say hello and "I'm back?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cell Phone Storage

I heard about a woman who stashed her cell phone under her bra strap during a stormy football game. When her phone rang/vibrated she jumped because she was certain that she had been struck by lightning.

The trouble I have with cell phone storage in that manner, is that I often find my cell phone falls into the bottom of my shirt or shifts toward my underarm.

Ha! I guess you won't be asking to use my phone anymore, huh?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


As parents, Mr. Rellim and I strive to embarrass our children whenever possible. At least, that's what Rachel thinks. Today she may have a point.

During the parent meeting for Rachel's seventh grade basketball team, the coach spoke at length about respectful cell phone use and how he will "bench" a player for using her cell phone during practice or a game. Seemingly on cue, Mike's phone rang - loudly. I'm laughing now, but at the time it wasn't so funny.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I visited Quinn's classroom today and noticed two partially-full water bottles in his desk. I asked him what he was doing with them and he told me, "I drink out of them - duh! You told me not to use the water fountain."

You guessed it. He's been using the same water bottles all month.

Houston, we may have found our problem.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Poetic Advice

Said Mr. Rellim this morning:

"Son, if you can find a woman who will wash your dishes and give you kisses, then you need to marry her."

I wonder what he's going to say to his daughter about this.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Strep, strep, GO AWAY!

Is someone in the family a carrier? Is he drinking after friends? Does he wash his hands? Could he be re-infecting himself with his daily inhaler???!!!!

Today Quinn chose to take a mega dose oral antibiotic over one-stop penicillin shot. Next time - otolaryngology - where I will again make my case that kids with cleft palate (even submucus clefts) are not candidates for tonsillectomy. But, maybe there are newer techniques without the risk of permanent velopharyngeal incompetency. Maybe.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Ago

On September 10, 2001 I drove to my last day of work at a local hospital. (I had previously given my two-week notice by fax while I was at home with my children, who were both recovering from e coli infections.) After work, I drove to my kids' childcare center and found Quinn (then 3 years old), sitting on the playground bench and having an asthma attack. I quickly gave him an albuterol treatment, but it did not help. I was able to contact Mr. Rellim (who was on his way to Des Moines) and he returned home to take care of Rachel so I could take Quinn to the ER. At the ER, the doctor patted us on the head and sent us home. Three hours later, Quinn and I were back at the ER, where he received the care he needed.

We got home a little before 1 am. I unloaded my car and wrote a lengthy letter to the childcare center. I then re-packed the car for the new job that I was starting - later that morning. I must have gotten a couple hours of sleep (in between giving Quinn breathing treatments every two hours), but I can't be sure. At 7 am, with Mr. Rellim on the home front, I began the 50 mile drive to my new job, turned on the radio, and heard about the terrorist attacks.

The day was a blur for many reasons. I do remember seeing gas for $5.50/gal at our local Hucks and thinking I had chosen a heck of a time to start commuting. I do remember wanting to go home, lock the door and begin my life as an agoraphobic. (I probably would have done that if I hadn't been working part-time.) I remember Rachel coming home from Kindergarten, asking about "bad guys who crashed planes into tall buildings." "Didn't they get hurt or hurt other people?" she wondered, "Why would anybody do that?" I remember assuring her that all those bad guys were gone. I remember physically restraining Quinn in order to get the liquid prednisone into his mouth. I do not remember falling asleep. I guess we were all hoping that it was a bad dream.

Looking back, though, I realize we gained a new appreciation for family, a greater love for the Lord, and a renewed sense of patriotism. And although these attacks threw some into a panic, I think it actually had the opposite affect on me. I was finally convinced that I was not in control. (Yes, I just said that!) I started to give up the idea that I could personally control everything and everyone around me or that I was solely responsible for doing so. The events of that month really drove me closer to the One who is in control.

She Made It!

Mr. Rellim has driven Rachel to basketball tryouts every day this week at 6:15 am. Yesterday we learned that she has secured a spot and will be playing on the 7th grade 's basketball team!! Hooray!

Tomorrow morning, Mr. Rellim will drive Rachel to basketball practice at 6:15 am.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


We tried a new recipe for slow-cooked ribs. It called for three cups of white wine. We put the ribs in at 8:30 before we left for church, but there was certainly more wine left in the bottle. The dilemma? I was scheduled to teach the preschool Sunday School lesson at 9:15.


Our neighbor let us pick a few plums from his tree. It must be a boy tree.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Who Didn't Smile?

Who didn't smile when Piper Palin licked her hand and fixed her baby brother's hair during their mother's speech at the RNC?

Just a Crush

Quinn thinks one of the characters in his favorite cartoons is "kinda cute." I thought this was strange until I was reminded of the time I told someone I had a crush on Chang, the Disney character playing opposite Mulan. Well, my new crush is Todd Palin. Anybody with me?

Now, I'm not saying I'll vote for that ticket just because of him, but if I were an undecided voter . . .

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Boy v. Man

Mr. Rellim said, "Quinn, you da man!"

Quinn said, "I'm a boy! You're a man. You're old. Like, you are over 25, right? That's how to tell if someone is a boy or a man."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fire & Fun

Light from the heat of a late-summer fire gave a l uster of midday to objects in the yard. And nothin' says "redneck" more than pitch fork twirling contests by firelight. Mr. Rellim was the grand champion.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I've Been Wrong

. . . but not about my son having strep throat. So next time, Mr. OnCall Pediatrician, please just phone us in the Augmentin instead of sending us to the ER where the copay is $100 and the wait time is four times longer than your office. Thank you.


We had just settled down for a short summer's nap, when a mosquito buzzed near my ear. Swiping at it did not deter its flight pattern, so I clapped repeatedly in an attempt to smash it. Ah. . . success.

The unfortunate side affect for Mr. Rellim was the rush of adrenaline as he was jarred suddenly from restful sleep by seemingly thunderous KABOOMS!


I just heard my mother tell my twelve year old daughter, "You should always sit up straight. You have such a long, sexy neck."


Friday, August 29, 2008

Go Bama!

I was momentarily confused, then thoroughly amused at my friend's Alabama shirt. What did you think it said?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Big Russ & Me

Excellent book. Amazing lessons learned from his father that he hopes to pass along to his son. Many touching and funny stories. A person I would have liked to meet. Imagine - his father raised five kids by working two jobs. And rather than complaining about having to work so much, the man was thankful that he was able to have the jobs to support his family.

Steven Curtis Chapman

I admit I've become somewhat of a junkie. I can't help but read or listen to anything I can on what he and his family are saying about adoption, grief and hope. If you haven't yet, it would be worth your time to peruse his website, with links to his family's interviews on Good Morning America and Larry King Live. It is amazing that in this time of sorrow, he and his family can articulate their faith with such clarity.

Over the years, we have talked about adoption, but it just seems so out of our league. We don't have a big house or a lot of money. I'd still have to work. And many days (like today) my patience runs out well before sunset. It's like I have a place in my heart, but not in my life. How selfish does that sound?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Red Gold

Tomato Juice. Tomato Salsa. Red Pepper Jelly. Now that the four bushels are taken care of, it's time to go back to work! You know what you're getting for Christmas, right? Try to act surprised anyway.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Can you believe I forgot to post a happy birthday to you? This picture was taken before your baby brother was born. How's first grade? Is Corrinne still your girlfriend?


Can you tell by the muscles that he is five years old today? Happy birthday, Owen!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Quinn's gym teacher is a WOMAN! And she is teaching him JUGGLING!

My son is worried that his teacher might be turning him into a SISSY! According to him, REAL gym teachers make him run and play basketball and do MAN things (like wearing nylons with flip flops?).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And Jill Went Tumbling After

Well, Rachel, actually. I'm not sure what she was trying to do with the chair and 2 x 4's or how high in the air she was balanced, but it didn't end exactly as planned. Fortunately, Rachel is only scratched and bruised. The chair must have taken the brunt of the fall.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saddleback Civil Forum

Pastor Rick Warren: "At what point is a baby entitled to human rights?"

Senator Barack Obama: "Answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."

There are many issues for which the specific answers are "above my pay grade," but I still have an opinion about them. Just ask my husband or my principal or any physician who has ever treated my children.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I sang a mellow song today at church that starts with a little guitar, synth and keyboard before the vocalist enters with this line: A quiet place, far away in the center of my heart.

Suddenly, an unplanned entrance by the bassist was noted by everyone as his cable disconnected from the amp with a very loud "SDFLKJSDFKLJWWWWWWHHHHHAAAAAA!"

If I hadn't been singing, I would have been laughing. You should have seen all the people in the worship area who jumped in their seats. That's one way to keep people alert in church!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Walking the Rabbit

Yes, this is a real rabbit leash for a champion. Quite stylish.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Isolation Cup

It's where the toothbrush is banished when you have strep throat.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I overheard someone say, "I don't drink wine. It makes me take my clothes off."

Isn't that something you'd want to keep private? Like Superman's cryptonite or Sampson's hair?

First Day

You see we have a seventh grader, a fifth grader and a taller person who doesn't know what grade she is entering. Interestingly, it is the first time in three years that we have actually attended the first day of school (because of illness or broken arm). Not to worry. Quinn came home today with a sore throat. It's probably strep.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Middle School Jitters

Rachel's to-do list for the morning of her first day of school. It seems very detailed, but I understand the need for guidance in sleepy morning routines.

New Shirt

And he is oh-so-proud!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Early Morning Surprise

The alarm went off at 6 am this morning and Mike left for work (or so I thought). I can't really be sure of anything that happens when I'm mostly asleep. At 6:20 I heard loud music and singing that found its way into my driveway, which is outside my bedroom window. I kept wondering why teenagers were out driving around so early and if our neighbors were going to anonymously call the police again.

So, I lifted my sleepy head to peer out the window and found my husband standing in the drive, hands in the air, singing his heart out to his car radio. Unfortunately, I don't remember what he was singing. I only know that his intentions were honorable. He just wanted to serenade his wife before leaving for work.

I know our neighbors are counting the days until school starts again and quiet will reign between 8-3 at our house.

Serenade Update: Mr. Rellim informed me that he was singing "Hooked on a Feeling" (I'm high on believing that you're in love with me.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Relay for Life

My sister Jamie and I walked with Mom and Dad in their county cancer survivor walk (Mom had melanoma a few years ago.). Not sure why, but Dad signed us up to walk between midnight and 1:00 am. When we arrived the high school track was illuminated with uhh . .. luminaries! I thought some were in "memory" and some were in "honor" of cancer survivors. After walking a lap, I asked my mom where her luminary was. My dad said, "Those are for deceased people." Jamie said, "Yeah, well . . . I'm glad we couldn't find one with your name on it."

Guess you had to be there - in a sleep-deprived state - for it to be as funny as I thought it was at the time.

BTW, Happy birthday, Jamie! This is your final year in your early thirties!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Shoe Shopping

I forgot to bring socks for Quinn when we went shopping for dress shoes yesterday. Instead he had to slip on these nylon stockings. Interestingly, he decided "they feel kinda cool" and kept them on his feet all day even with his old sandals. Don't worry, they've been confiscated and disposed of.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Paris in Politics?

You gotta watch this commercial!! Oh, it is the unedited version - not what was aired this morning during Good Morning America.

Middle School

We just checked out the middle school where Rachel will be attending in one short week. We found the lunch room, locker room, office and all her classrooms. We also learned (after a lengthy, sweaty, frustrating battle) that locker number 365 will not open with her locker combination. You see, her locker number is actually 563 or 653 or something. I hope she remembers.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Rachel read about how cucumbers could be used to soothe eyes and reduce swelling. I guess there weren't any pictures in the article she read.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Two Things

1. As Mr. Rellim brought in pork patties and a perfectly-grilled pork loin tenderloin from the grill, Quinn said, "YUM! I call the tail bone! It's mine!"
(FYI: Pork loin tenderloin whole is a boneless cut taken from the inside of loin. The largest end is round and gradually tapers to the thin flat end. Very tender, it is usually prepared by roasting, baking, braising, broiling, or grilling. See photo below.)

2. Yesterday, Quinn pondered aloud, "How do people decide if they will be Christian, Catholic or gay?"

Wow! That about sums it up - and it's only Monday. Stay tuned, folks.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Good Gifts

A short video to help us all keep our busy lives in perspective. And a short Bible verse -

Matthew 7:11 (NIV) If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Noodle Approval Rating

Then again, what wouldn't taste good drenched in homemade alfredo sauce?

Sweet Basil Noodles

Hmm . . . I've never made these before. Have you ever rolled up the dough before cutting into slices? The noodles are definitely more uniform than my typical haphazard pizza-cutter-roller-derby technique. We'll let you know how they taste. (recipe: 1.25 cups fresh basil, 3 cups flour, 3 eggs, 1/4 cups water, 2 tsp olive oil. blend together in food processor, knead for 8 min, rest for 30 min, divide into fourths, roll, cut, dry.)