Sharing my life with you, is what I do.

Friday, December 31, 2010

A final thought for 2010

As the year draws to an end, I think back on the year it was. It was a year of triumphs and tragedies. A year filled with discoveries and new beginnings. My oldest son, got his 1st job. My 2nd son started highschool. My 3rd son showed me his spiritual side and my baby boy let us know just how smart and funny he really is. My husband and I had our ups and downs as all relationships do. But, we found a common ground. LOVE. We grew stronger with everyday and I know that only God could have brought us this far. I learned that it is not only important to have a life outside of my duties as wife and mother, but that by pursuing that life, I become a better wife and mother. We lost some elders and others that seemed to be taken away much too soon. I go into the New Year, not with resolutions. They never come to past. This year I plan to go forth with prayer that God will allow me to be what he created me to be. Whatever that might be. I pray that my purpose is revealed. I pray that this family he has blessed me with, stays intact. I pray that we are blessings to others as so many have been blessings to us. I leave 2010 feeling very grateful and very blessed. To those that read this. Thank You. May you have a very wonderful, safe and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And now he sleeps....

We awoke to the news that there were firefighters trapped in the rubble of a building where the roof had just collapsed. Our hearts sank. My husband is a member of the fire department and judging from the location mentioned on the news, he knew his company was there. He tried every number in his phone. Hoping to reach anybody that had any news. Pacing the floor, watching the TV, hands clasped in prayer. We felt relieved when we heard that all the firefighters had been rescued. But, our relief was short-lived. As my husband put on clothes to go and help out however he could, we got the call that one of the members of his firehouse had been killed. Soon after, another death was reported. By this time, my husband was already on the scene of the tragedy. I sat in silence, wiping away tears. I answered a few phone calls from family and friends hoping my husband was okay. Every time my husband goes to work, I pray for his safe return. I also pray that his entire crew gets home safe as well. They work hard and they never hesitate to put their lives on the line. This really used to bother me. I was selfish in a way. I didn't want him to fight fires and climb ladders and go into unsafe conditions for people he didn't even know. But, to be in the service of others is truly God's work.We are all connected. All created by the same divine hand. How could he or any of them, think twice about helping another in need? When it comes down to it, I wouldn't hesitate either. To the families of the firefighters that lost their lives today, I pray God's mercy on you. This is not an easy journey to have to take.Even for those of us not "related", it is still very painful. To my husband, as I watch you finally sleep after such a long, hard, sad, day. I know you are doing the work you were called to do.And you do it bravely.  I will continue to pray for you and all of the crews out there.Always hoping that all of  you make it home safely. And I know that today, home for two of you meant heaven.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The frustration of it all.

There are times when I understand why some animals in the wild eat their young. I believe it is to save their own lives or at least preserve their sanity. Now, I would never advocate or actually consider harming my children. However, there are days when I wonder exactly what cruel joke is being played on me by being their mother. The problem lies with my two oldest sons. They are 20 and 15 respectively. They drive me up the wall. One of them loses everything of value that he is given, but has every school assignment and notebook since the 5th grade. Since 7th grade, he has lost 5 calculators totaling $600.00. Add to that, mp3 players, countless hats and gloves and probably a few other things he hasn't told me about. I think the most frustrating thing is that it seems like he doesn't care. He takes a very nonchalant approach to the items he loses. Probably because he figures they will all be replaced. The latest thing he lost was a really nice hat that my husband just bought him. He lost it and never bothered to mention it. I just happened to ask him if he had his hat and he said yes. My mommy radar went off and I said, "you lost the hat didn't you?" I was faced with the blank "deer in the headlights"stare that I have seen so many times. I was so angry that I actually wanted to cry. Not sure why I reacted that way to the loss of a hat.  I think it is because I have finally reached the breaking point.  Now, on to my 20 year old. *sigh*. He is just in that, "grown without having your own" stage. I don't even have the strength to begin writing about him right now.  He acts as if is a bachelor in a house of 6.  Don't get me wrong, they are beautiful young men, but they just seem so clueless at times. I still have to tell them to wash their clothes, take out the garbage, wash the dishes, etc...I really fear for their future. At this rate, they better marry women who want grown children. I still have hope that one day they will wake up with responsibility and maturity. At this rate, the younger two will move out of the house before they do. I must admit I probably have something to do with the way that they are. I was very attentive and always there for them no matter what, cooking, cleaning, help with homework. I thought that this was what I was supposed to do. If only I had known, I would have spent much more time away from home allowing for them to fend for themselves. Maybe that would have taught them a lesson. Probably not. In fact from what I hear, the behavior of my oldest two sons seems to be an epidemic. There are scores of parents out there just like myself and my husband standing in the middle of a room scratching and shaking their heads wondering where it all went awry. Is there hope for us? I don't know. Right now, all we can do is wait for them to move out, have jobs, bills, homes and families of their own so we can sit back with sly grins on our faces...... if we survive that long.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Talk a good game

As much as I write about not liking the winter weather. Sometimes when it is cold outside, I just have to open the door or window and let the cold blast hit me in the face. It is so refreshing! The novelty quickly fades when I am stuck driving in it or when I almost break my tailbone slipping on it. I have always thought that I would love to live where it doesn't snow, but I am starting to believe that I a little snow isn't so bad. Although, the final verdict will be rendered AFTER I spend a winter away from cold and snow.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

And then the snow began to fall

I was up until about 1 a.m. this morning. Not sure why. Sometimes it is just so quiet in the house at that time that I want to savor the silence. Anyway, I looked out the window and saw that the snow had begun to fall. I sighed a big sigh and knew that there was no chance for the "snowless" winter that I pray for every year. It's not that I don't like snow. It is very pretty on postcards. But up close, not so much. As I write this, the snow continues to fall and I can only imagine the shrieks of joy that will soon be emanating from my two youngest boys when they awake. As for me, I am going to seriously consider hibernation.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And then the snow came.....

I know it's coming. I have lived in Chicago all of my life. I know the cold and snow is coming, but I am NEVER ready for it. I don't like to be cold. I don't like putting on 6 layers of clothes to go to the store. I get no pleasure of having the hairs in my nose freeze when I try to breathe in. This is not what I call fun. You would have thought it was Christmas morning in my house with the way my 8 year old reacted to seeing the light dusting of snow on the ground this morning. He was downright giddy! He had no problem getting washed up and putting on clothes. He even voluntarily put on his boots, gloves and hat. We did have him remove them so he could eat his breakfast. But, that is how excited he was. He and my youngest son got out side and threw snowflakes at each other. There wasn't enough to make snowballs. But, they didn't care. Standing there in my kitchen window shivering, I looked out on them and realized I was looking at pure childhood wonder. They didn't care that is was 20 degrees outside. All they cared about was trying to catch their first snowflake of the season on their tongues. I tried to find that wonder inside of myself so I could share in their glee. But, all I could do was pour myself another cup of tea, look for my "longjohns", and get ready for another winter in Chicago.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I can see clearly now....

Today has been one of those days where I see things clearly. I was truly foggy yesterday, just going through the motions. I guess having 4 sons and being a stay at home, homeschooling mom can do that to you. I found myself answering questions I never remember hearing let alone answering. I was cranky, tired and just downright surly. I wanted to get in my car and have it magically transport me to key west with a pina colada in my hand. This weather always does it to me. I feel stuck in my house, the sun isn't shining, and it is COLD!!! I just pray this winter goes as fast as the summer did. I did get out today and have a lunch with my mother. That was a rarity. My husband took over the homeschooling duties for the day. That helped out a lot. I had the chance to think about what I would like to do with my future. My dream is to get a leading or supporting role in a major motion picture. I am hanging on to that dream until I dream no more. But, in the interim, I am think about working with preschool kids or special needs children. I think I could handle that. Today! Let's see which path I am on tomorrow.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dorsey Gift-giving Day

 I had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. It was calm, relaxed, and the food was good (as usual).My boys tried to eat themselves silly. All except for my youngest boy. All he wanted was cornbread. No turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, etc... Nothing! Just cornbread. My 8 year old ate enough for the both of them. My brother, mother, aunt and niece joined us this year. We listened to music and laughed about how we would not want to be outdoors. it was one of the coldest Thanksgivings in a few years. It was only in the 20's by nightfall. We talked about all the sales that would be starting and looked at the paper full of Black Friday Ads. I was glad not to be out in the stores today looking for stuff  I really don't need to be buying anyway. I must admit though, I do get a bit a caught up in all of the Black Friday, Cyber Monday stuff. But, I take a different approach. I think about what I want to get. Then, I check online for prices. I purchase a few items before the holiday, but the majority is bought after Christmas. You see, my family has our own holiday. We call it simply "Gift Giving Day". We celebrate it on a different day every year. It falls in between Dec. 26th and Dec. 30th because we want the boys to get to enjoy their gifts before school/lessons start back. We choose a day when my husband will be home and we have our day. It is such a pleasure watching the boys open their gifts. My husband and I both grew up celebrating Christmas, but stopped a long time ago. We had such fond memories of it and wanted to share something like that with our own family. We celebrated the non-religious holiday of Kwanzaa for awhile and still incorporate some of the traditions into our gift giving day. No trees, no lights, no Santa. Just family, presents and fun. The youngest boys don't know what day it will be and when they come out of their rooms and see all of the wrapped boxes, it is priceless. It is nothing big, but it is another way to pass down something to the boys. We hope they will do the same with their families in the future. Whether it be Christmas, Kwanzaa, Eid, of their own Dorsey Gift Giving Days. I hope all of you have a very enjoyable holiday season. Peace.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Favorite Time of the Year

I love Thanksgiving! It is my favorite Holiday. It brings back memories of my grandmother Bernice, who we affectionately called, "Dear". I remember the smells of her cooking with my mom and aunts. We always had a huge dinner. There was turkey, ham, beef, lamb, lasagna, candied sweet potatoes, green beans, mac and cheese, greens, rutabagas (never liked those), potato salad, cranberry sauce and to top it all off, homemade rolls. There was always a line of people waiting to grab them as they came out piping hot from the oven. There were always people "stopping by". They knew how well our family cooked. It was always a treat for us to see who was coming through the door. Needless to say, we were stuffed by the end of dinner. Then came dessert. There were too many to count, but the last thing brought out was always the cheesecake that my grandma had made and hid in the back of the fridge. We would claim our space on the couch to recuperate. We would laugh about Thanksgivings from previous years and compliment all the cooks for another wonderful meal. There was plenty for everyone to take a plate home for the next day. It seemed so simple then. My grandmother has been gone for six years now and our once big family dinners have dwindled down to just my immediate family. My mom, husband and children. The rest of the family have all gone their own ways. I guess my grandma was the glue that held us all together. My mom and I split the task of cooking between the two of us. She makes the turkey, sweet potatoes, rolls and a vegetable. I make the beef, another vegetable, macaroni and cheese and various desserts. We are still stuffed at the end of the day and they is still plenty left over for the next days. We still talk about "the old days" and how much we miss our family and friends that are no longer with us. I hope my children have great memories. I do wish they had been around to experience the family when we were all together. It was great being with all the cousins, uncles, aunts and friends. Things have changed, but I am thankful that I have a family to share my memories with and build new ones with as well. The tears well up in my eyes as I reminisce, but there is a smile on my face. What a wonderful time it was, what a wonderful time it continues to be. If you're in the neighborhood, come by. There is always room for one more.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I solemnly swear...

Today was my 1st encounter with jury duty. We were told to report at 9 a.m. and that we would at the latest we would be dismissed by 4:30p.m.....nope. By 6:45p.m., we were still in the courtroom. We were all so frustrated and ready to go home. Luckily, I didn't get picked. It was a big change of pace for me.  Me being a homeschooling mom, I rarely leave my house unless I have the boys in tow and we are going on a field trip or shopping, etc... I haven't been on public transportation to travel downtown in 20 years. While my jury experience might have been grueling, I needed to do it. I needed to get out on my own again and do something. Even something as tedious as this. I felt alive. I was back out in the world talking to people I didn't know and truly enjoying it. I had lunch and wondered what the other people that passed me were like. I made up stories about their lives and caught myself laughing out loud a couple of times. Away from the safety of my four walls, I realized that, I have become a prisoner in my own mind. I have in a sense, shut down a part of me and said that it was for the sake of my children. I crippled the part of me that was adventurous and that used to travel and discover stuff. Now, I make sure it is something I can do with the boys. Who, by the way had a lovely time while I was gone. Their wonderful dad made homemade taffy apples with them and they even built a small entertainment center to hold their game console. They were so proud of themselves.I was proud too. I was also mourning the person that I used to be and wondering when I lost her. After everything is said and done, I was pleased to come home and hug my boys. Say evening prayers, sing lullabies, and get goodnight hugs and kisses. Today, was a good day. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Prescription for peace and quiet.

I went to the doctor today because I have been dealing with one pain after another. I told my doctor that I was a stay at home homeschooling parent of two busy boys. We talked for a moment about my day to day life. She asked me how I did it. "How did I do what"?, I asked her. "How do you stay at home everyday and homeschool your children.?" She went on to say that she didn't have the patience to do what I do everyday. I laughed to myself because I don't think I could run between clinics and hospitals everyday dealing with sick people. Although I do have 3 kids sick at home with tonsillitis. She asked me if I thought I was depressed. "Hmmm, depressed, no. Stressed, YES!" I answered. She said I needed to take some time out for myself. Find a few days to just take care of me and relax. Not really sure how I am going to accomplish that one. But, the holidays are coming up and I haven't broken in my passport yet. Anybody need a housesitter in Fiji? I know just the person.

Happiness and Joy amidst chaos

Today I wake with joy in heart. I was feeling like some moms do at times when you wonder whether the things you do make a difference. I have 4 sons ranging in age from 6 to 20. They are four totally different beings. They are smart, funny, inquisitive, sensitive, exasperating, and loving. At any given moment, I might have one that is trying to explain why we should allow him to buy a car that he can't afford, one that has "misplaced" his $100.00 calculator for the 5th time, one that can't understand why he can't play video games for 12 hours on Saturday and last but least, one that brings his mommy a glass of ice water and says, I love you mommy without fail everyday. How blessed I am to have them. They keep me sane. They force me to use my brain so that I won't be consumed by the chaos. They make sure that I am never bored. I am constantly tweaking my parenting skills to stay on top of what they might throw at me next. And believe me, they throw double fisted handfuls. When people see me with all of my boys, we always get the obligatory question, "Are you gonna try for that girl?" I always wince when I hear that because, I did have a daughter. Her name was Camara. She was a beautiful 81/2 pound bundle of wonder. We were so happy to finally have a girl after our 1st two sons. Her brothers thought she was cool. My family bought tons of pink stuff for her. Unfortunately our happiness was short-lived. She contracted Group B strep meningitis only 3 weeks after her birth. She spent 3 weeks in the hospital and succumbed to the disease on Nov. 18th, 1999. She died in my arms with my husband by my side. I can't even describe the feeling in words. Our 2nd son was turning 4 on the 20th. How could I deny him his party? I found the strength to go out and shop around for his Toy Story cake topper and put streamers up. He had his party and it was nice. It gave me a moment to be thankful for my healthy boys. We buried her on a beautiful, unseasonably warm day. I only remember bits and pieces. Holding my niece, who was only 2 months older than my daughter, making sure my boys didn't see me cry, watching my husband place our daughter tiny casket into her grave, the fire engine from his job parked nearby, looking up at the butterfly balloons my brother had released. One staying behind, caught in a tree overlooking the scene. I wondered when I would wake up from this dream. 11 years later I am still waiting.

My younger two boys snap me back to reality. There are bodies to get washed, breakfast to make, lessons to get done, arguments to settle, field trips to take. Chaos, stress, craziness, frustration. Smiles, laughter, hugs, prayers and lullabies sung to me by my babies. I wouldn't change a thing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stray Dogs and Strep Throat

Whew! What a week. This time of year is always crazy. But, this year seems even crazier. My soon to be 15 year old, brought home a stray chihuahua. She was cold and emaciated and in need of some love. So, of course I couldn't turn her away. My 8 and 6 year old were overjoyed to have another dog in the house even though we already have a hyper poodle named Benji. Anyway, I told them right away that we were not keeping her and that we would try and find a home for her as soon as possible. One week later, she is still here and the boys are getting more attached by the day. In the meantime, a virus is descending on my home. Sore throats, swollen tonsils, stuffy noses, and me, running around with my clorox wipes wiping down everything they might have come in contact with so I don't catch it. On the bright side, I found out that I won a Starbuck's Gift Card while reading one of my favorite blogs. That was fun! So, it now it is time for me to check on the boys and give them their medicine. It will definitely come in handy when it arrives. Stay Healthy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Those Wacky Kids!

So, today feels like it started about 12 hours ago, even though it is only 7a.m. Don't think I have had more than 4 hours of sleep. My highschool aged son, had an evening Math competition and had to be picked up from school at 9:30p.m. That meant, he had to rush in and eat something, go to bed, wake up at 5:30, bathe, iron clothes, eat breakfast and be out of the house by 6:30 in order to be on time for his 1t period MATH EXAM! Gosh, you would think they would schedule a math test the day after a grueling competition. But, it goes along with the territory.Work hard and then work hard some more.

My 8 year old was just discussing the differences between the Rolling Stones and the Beatles over his morning pop-tarts. He called the Beatles, an "evolution of color". We both agreed that we preferred the music of the Beatles over the Stones. But, I have a sneaky suspicion that Rock Band Beatles Edition played a part in his choice.

We are planning to go on a homeschool  field trip this morning. Some friends of mine have a wonderful dance troupe called, M.A.D.D. Rhythms. They are dynamic tap-dancers and always put on a wonderful show. I hope the boys enjoy it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gotta keep moving.

When I first started this blog, I wanted it to be filled with all the fun and stories that my family of 6 provides on a daily basis. I didn't count on being sidetracked by the return of symptoms from a condition I have called Chiari Malformation. Apparently, when i was a baby my skull fused to quickly, leaving part of my cerebellum outside of my skull. These cerebellar "tonsils" as they are called, took up permanent residence in my spinal column. There they cause all kinds of problems. My biggest problems are bad headaches and vertigo. The headaches and vertigo are cause by cerebral spinal fluid being trapped in my head. I had surgery to relieve the pressure 8 years ago, but about a month ago, I started having trouble again. This has really taken it's toll on my energy level. I only have a few pain free days a month, but my energy is very low. I am scheduled to have an MRI on Friday and I hope more surgery will not be required. I can't do much homeschooling from a hospital bed. Okay, I got that off my chest. Now, on to my happier stuff. I signed up online on it is a pretty cool site where all these different companies list opportunities for people to host parties featuring their products. I was able to score a Folgers Coffee and Land O' lakes Half and half party. They sent me a box of great stuff. Coffee, free coupons for the half and half and some "party favors" to pass out to my guests. My party will be held this Saturday and I hope we have a really great time. I also signed up for a "Just Dance 2" party for the Wii. That would be hilarious!

So, I am staying positive about my test and hoping that I can do what I need to do to get my energy back. My boys are finding creative things to do when I can't teach them because a ad headache. Believe me, that is not always a good thing.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Anatomy of a Grape

This morning, my little guys decided to dissect grapes. They were very large Red Globe Grapes so they were perfect for splitting in half. They got out their plastic knives and split them down the middle to check out the seeds inside. needless to say, they left seeds all over my kitchen table. I am afraid of what they will do with the pomegranate I bought yesterday.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Breathing Easier Now

I have been a complete wreck for about a month now. Since, I started homeschooling my two youngest sons. I had this wonderful idea about how I wanted things to be. We were going to explore the world from our little urban setting. I was going to enrich and inspire them and we were going to be a unstopping learning machine. That was until I got in the way. I was so worried about making sure that I was teaching them several subjects everyday that I forgot about why we decided to homeschool in the 1st place. Instead of fueling their creativity I was squashing it. So, worried that I would be judged if i wasn't teaching exactly what the school I took them out was teaching. if that was the case, I should have kept them in school. I didn't take them out of school because they weren't being taught. They were both straight A students. I took them out because I wanted them to have a childhood. I wanted them to be able to not worry about grades and standardized tests and kids that wanted to spit and hit them just because. i was going to bed almost in tears because my children were beginning to dread the lessons of the day. We were all frustrated and not really getting anywhere. Just as i was about to plunk down $400.00 for yet ANOTHER curriculum, I paused. I decided to wait just one more day and see if I really needed to make that purchase. I was online going through a homeschool parenting forum when I came across a blog of a woman who "unschooled" her children. They were allowed to let their interest be their catalyst into what they learned that day. I knew this wouldn't work for me because, I figured my children would only want to watch television and play video games all day. I was definitely not going to let that happen. I read on in the blog and my stress started to melt. I wondered what would really happen if I let my sons pick what they wanted to learn. Well, this morning instead of sitting down for formal lessons, we let them choose. To my surprise, they wanted to play chess. Not video games or Spongebob. They only wanted to play chess. So, we let them. Then they started to ask questions. Not about chess. They wanted to know about square roots and percentages. Why the sky was blue and who invented ice cream. It was a good day today. Tomorrow lessons will include, how to play a card game called Phase 10. How long will we continue this new way. I am not sure. A big part of me still believes I should be teaching more formally. But, i must admit, it feels good to breathe a little easier now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It 's a beautiful Day!

I just finished listening to a U2 song and it fits in perfectly with how my day was. Now, my day wasn't perfect. But, the weather and vibe was. My children were happily energetic. Up bright and early building a fort of all the boxes they could find in the house. They were using them to hide behind so that they could shoot us with Nerf darts if we walked down into the basement. I wasn't sure how I felt about this kind of play. But, they were just so darned happy. From there we got down to our lessons. Homeschooling has its' hit or miss days. This one was in between. I did manage to get them settled down enough to work on their math and reading comprehension. Lately, all they want to know is when the next field trip is. The weather here in Chicago is kinda trippy, so planning a field trip takes much thought. Speaking of the weather, it was grillin' time for me. I cooked chicken, steaks, burgers and hotdogs. My youngest only wanted chicken nuggets as this is the only acceptable form of protein in his diet. No red meat, no fish of any kind EVER! And he isn't even the picky one. My 15 year old is the one. No vegetables, no fruit, mashed potatoes, yogurt, jelly, mustard, mayo.....the list goes on. Somehow he has managed to stay healthy. I get blamed for catering to the way that they eat. But, they are my kids and one day, their spouses will have to deal with their funny ways. When I met my husband, he rattled off a list of things he didn't eat. He eats every last one of them now. So, I am not worried. My husband works tomorrow and that can be a crazy time in my household. I have to become extra creative about getting the little guys settled down. We shall see what tomorrow holds. But, as of right now, I am going to bed. I didn't say I was going to sleep. But, that would be nice.

All is calm

It is 10:51 at night. I really should be sleeping, but it is these hours that all is calm. My husband and sons are sleeping after being up since 5a.m. Not sure why my little ones were awake that early, but it didn't put a damper on their energy. i should be getting the lesson plans ready for tomorrow's homeschool lessons, but here I sit, typing away enjoying the quiet. Most nights I am up way past midnight. But, i am trying to discipline myself and not watch HGTV all night. Although I must admit, it relaxes me. i started off my morning by taking a picture of the moon. it just filled me with such wonder this morning. Not sure why looking at it today was so breathtaking. Well, I am going to end this 1st blog with hope for a great day in the morning. Check out my pic of the moon.