Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Twin “Connection”

Scientists will tell you that twins share a special bond – a connection that the rest of us can’t quite understand.  As the mother of twins, I’ve witnessed this “connection” from the moment my two were just a few days old.  I remember entering the ICU one day and seeing their incubators pushed together.  The nurses told me that the girls were both fussy and the minute they pushed the incubators close (where they could sense each other), they both quieted down and went to sleep.  That was the first of MANY stories I could share over the past 30 years.

When Colleen married Jimmy, Katie was the Maid of Honor and I remember her speech leaving the room a mass of tears and tissues. 

So, when Katie married Santiago, I knew it would be an emotional day for the two of them.  Three sisters (Carrie, Chrissie and Kelli) walked down the aisle with beautiful smiles.  Matron of honor, and twin sister Colleen, couldn’t hide her emotions.

IMG_4594  IMG_4595


Colleen didn’t disappoint with her speech.  The most touching moment was when Colleen told a story of Jimmy being out of town on business and Katie offering to spend the night.  Benjamin was an infant – and he was having a fussy night.  Colleen got up in the middle of the night to find Katie, sitting in his nursery – rocking him.  Benjamin looked up at his mother, then looked at Katie, and then back at his mother – and he smiled – as if to say, “if I cry hard enough – they multiply”. 

Is there anything more beautiful than the emotion captured in photographs??


IMG_5094  IMG_5090IMG_5091    IMG_5098 IMG_5099 IMG_5100


Sunday, April 10, 2011


Last summer, Carrie and I traveled to Hawaii.  One of the highpoints of our trip was our morning at Pearl Harbor.  I had visited the site 25 years ago, and I couldn’t wait to share the experience with Carrie.   All these years later, and now being the mother of a veteran – it bothered me more this time.  It meant more to me this time. 


We picked up our tickets for the specified shuttle out to the memorial and then spent a little time wandering through the gift shop and visiting the exhibits.  As we came around the corner, we saw a small group of people gathered around a table and as we approached, we saw this sign.


We soon learned that one morning each week, a small group of survivors come to the site for one hour and meet with visitors and sign autographs.  Each of them had a copy of their bio, along with what they doing that morning. 

These men had to all be in their 90’s.  I asked one of them, how many survivors were left on the island.  He told me, but he said that only a handful of them were physically able to make this weekly visit.


I wanted so badly to give him a hug.  I told him that I was the mother of a veteran of the war in Iraq, and he immediately wrote a message of “thanks” on his bio sheet for my son.  Sixty years divided them in age, but they were linked by something greater.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


If you happen to have a family member or friend celebrating moving into a new home - “WELCOME” would be the perfect housewarming gift.  (The pineapple has traditionally served as a symbol of hospitality and warm welcome through the history of America.

Just think how much your friends will enjoy their “WELCOME” warmer, along with a couple of scent bars of “Welcome Home” or “Home Sweet Home”.   This one is sure to put a smile on their face and become a welcome addition to their new home.


Friday, April 08, 2011

The Best Journey Takes You Home….

Last summer, we traveled “home”.  For us, that means the small, Southern Illinois town of Greenville.  It’s where I grew up, went to high school and college, fell in love, married and started a family. 

This little town has one grocery store and one McDonalds.  The County Courthouse sits on the town square, surrounded by mom & pop businesses.  Even after being away from there for 30 years, I can still walk down the street and see someone I went to high school with, or someone who new my mom and dad.

My in-laws still live there.  In July, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.  Sixty years of marriage, seven children, 23 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

It was a wonderful weekend of stories and photographs and best of all, FAMILY.  All of our children were able to make it, and all but one grandchild (due to a Flower Girl commitment in Indiana). 

I am blessed beyond means.



Sunday, April 03, 2011

My Three Sons…..

I look at these three "characters" and pity my poor grandmother. Three boys within 5 years of each other. I don't know who I should feel more sorry for - my Grandmother or their poor older sister (my Aunt Dorothy - the only girl).

That would be my dad in the middle, with Uncle Bob on the left and Uncle Jim on the right. This photo was taken around 1931 and my dad would have been about 16.

Uncle Jim died in 1969, Uncle Bob in 1971 and my dad in 1998.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Pioneer Woman’s “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels”

A few weeks ago, I downloaded Ree Drummond’s book onto my Kindle.  I’ve spent whatever “spare” time I could find, curled up with Ree’s real life love story of how she met and fell in love with “Marlboro Man”.  How she went from living the “country club” life to becoming a rancher’s wife.  I’m telling you girls – we all need a little Oklahoma cowboy in our lives!!  I’ve been a fan of her blog for several years, so I knew the characters.  It was just a fun and easy read.  If you haven’t fallen in love with Ree and her blog (or set your sights on Marlboro Man), I suggest you high tail it right on over to her website.  You’re in for a treat!

The Pioneer Woman

Friday, April 01, 2011

Oh, the Things You Will See……

I’ve had my little Scentsy business for over two years now.  A year ago, my team consisted of 37 consultants.  Today, I’m at 123.  I never planned this.  I never dreamed the success afforded by this venture.  I work hard, but I love it.  The rewards are more than I could have ever dreamed.  Six months after starting my business, I had earned an Alaskan Cruise.  Because we were “between” the two weddings of 2009, Bob chose not to spend the extra money to join me – but my little brother couldn’t sign up fast enough.  We sailed for 7 days, seeing sights I never knew existed.  I’m a palm tree and sunshine girl, but the Alaskan vistas brought tears to my eyes.  It’s a trip I’ll never forget.



Less than a year later, I had earned my second trip – HAWAII.  It had been more than 20 years since Bob and I had visited our 50th state, and because he had been before, he graciously gave up his spot to our oldest daughter Carrie.  We had the most wonderful mother/daughter trip – 7 days in “paradise”.  We did a few things I had experienced before – snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and visiting Pearl Harbor.  Somehow, I let my adventurous daughter talk me into zip-lining and I have to admit that I LOVED IT!!  We stood atop an active volcano, ate sushi and watched the sea turtles bask in the sun.  It was a perfect trip!!





I’d only been home from Hawaii for 6 weeks when I found out I’d earned a trip for two to Boston in late September.  I knew this was one I was going to include my husband with.  Mainly because one of the “perks” of the trip was a private breakfast tour of Fenway Park.  Now, don’t get me wrong – he’s a St. Louis Cardinal fan through and through, but he appreciates the history and tradition behind the oldest ballpark in the country.  He wore this baseball cap for one day, and then took it home and gave it to his grandson.  :)


We had LOTS of clam chowder, walked the Freedom Trail and soaked up the history of Boston on this wonderful trip!!

We came home from Boston and I hit the ground running – determined to earn the next incentive trip to Disney World.  Even though we’ve been there more times than I can count, I knew a Disney trip that had the “Scentsy” touch, would be like nothing I’d ever experienced.  Plus, for the first time they were offering a “family” trip.  Could I possibly earn it for more than just the two of us?  By January 31st when the promotion had ended – I had earned the trip for not only Bob and I, but for Kevin and Kelli too.  The last time we took the two of them to Disney World, they were 8 and 12. 

In 10 short weeks, we’ll experience it all together – again.  I can’t wait!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thinking SUMMER….

OK, so it’s been in the mid 20’s every morning this week – when I’ve crawled out of bed at 6:00 a.m.  I think the WNDU weather man is stuck on the phrase, “high of 40 and sunshine”.  It’s almost April – let’s get some WARMTH back in our lives!!!!

So, I mailed off the deposit check this week – for our little cabin at Fuller’s Resort.  The last week of July, I plan to lay in my lounge chair, read my Kindle and watch my grandchildren soak up the sun and sand.  No cable, no internet, no business to run for seven entire days.  Cooking on the grill and s’mores on the campfire every evening.  Add to that at least 2 trips a day to the General Store for hand-dipped cones, and my summer will be complete.

Fuller's Resort - Buchanan, Michigan

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Do You “GLEE”?

There’s no two ways about it.  I’m addicted.  I plan my life around Tuesday evenings and the toils and turmoil surrounding the kids and staff of William McKinley High School.  I can’t wait to hear the banter between Sue Sylvester and Will Schuester.   The season finale is just around the corner.  What will I possibly do during the long summer hiatus?  Re-watch the past two seasons on DVD for the umpteenth time?

Probably.  Smile


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

5 Things I Can’t Live Without…..

There are just certain things I can’t get through my day without. I mean, you know the basics – air, food and water would be staples. But there are things that are on my mind when I wake and when I close my eyes at the end of a long day.

Number ONE – my children. They are my life. My soul purpose on this earth is to be their mother.


Number TWO – my husband. Aside from spending the last 35 years as a mother, I’ve spent the past 37 years of my life as his wife.

Number THREE – my grandchildren. There are currently 6 of them, but we’ll be blessed with 2 more later this year.




Number FOUR – my Kindle. I’m an avid reader. There are boxes of books in my basement – all in need of a good home. That’s because I purchased a Kindle almost a year ago, and my life hasn’t been the same since. It slips into my purse and goes with me everywhere!!


Number FIVE – my Keurig. I’m addicted. No less than a dozen different flavors in my pantry as I type. Green Mountain Southern Pecan tops my list of all-time favorites.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in Indiana

It’s another Christmas season here in Indiana.  Has it really been almost 24 years since we packed up our little family (at the time) and moved them to South Bend?  At that time, our family consisted of Bob and I and 5 children.  Tomorrow evening, when we gather around the Christmas tree, there will be 21 of us – 7 children, 6 grandchildren, 4 son-in-laws, 1 daughter-in-law, and 1 boyfriend. 

Presents surround our tree.  Food will be plentiful.  We are blessed.



Wednesday, August 25, 2010


As the final days of August slip away, September is just around the corner.  And for those of us here in Northern Indiana, that means college football season and cheering on the IRISH (at least most of us).  The leaves will quickly change colors, and we prepare our homes for the decor and smells of Autumn. 

Scentsy introduces MONTPELIER as it’s Warmer of the Month for September, along with MAPLE BUTTER as the Scent of the Month.  Mmmmmmmm – I can smell it now!!