Monday, May 12, 2008

Yeppers, it's been a while....

hasn't it? I had a rough couple of weeks in there. It happens, thankfully not too often. But it's over, and all is well. So let's just move on, shall we? Yes, let's shall.

I'm going to share some little goodies I've been collecting for a while now, just to share with you:

Ok, is this not adorable? These are the kinds of little things we want to remember about our kids, isn't it? Glimpses into their minds.

If you don't know who Peter Walsh is, you've not been watching Clean Sweep or Oprah. He's a professional organizer, and helps those who are really out of control. Not the mainstream "I can't seem to get this house together," but rather the hoarders, those who are unable to part with things emotionally, and are paralyzed by the thought of getting rid of anything. He has the ability to get them to that lightbulb moment of realization that getting rid of the years of newspapers is not getting rid of the parent who collected them. Things are not memories. Can you tell I'm a huge fan? He's got a new book out, called : "It's All Too Much." If you even think you might have issues with STUFF, I highly recommend reading his books. Life is so much better without the stress that too much stuff brings us!! Click on the title for a link to Amazon.

Many of you know that I am a member of a message board of scrapbookers. Some of the dearest people to me live there, in my computer. I have been lucky to have met a handful in real life. The first weekend in May I spent the weekend in beautiful Salado, Texas with 40 other women from this board, scrapbooking, eating, sharing lives, and just plain refreshing ourselves. It's something that women need, I believe, to have time together away from our everyday lives. And these other women are so giving and loving....and stinking funny! It was wonderful to have sore stomach muscles from laughing that hard. Who knew a pregnant woman could kareoke "I Like Big Butts" so very well? We recently lost a member of the board to a very aggressive cancer. (We've lost more than one over the years.) Our Mickeylou touched us all with her courage. I wanted to share a little ditty from a scrapbook page made by Mickeylou: The quote reads: "Gentleness is not unmanly. Remember that Jesus, St Joseph, St Francis, Pope John Paul II and Grandpa were all gentle men. Being gentle does not lessen men, rather it is a true characteristic of manhood. Great men tend to be gentle men."

And to catch you up on life here at Chez Van Allen:

We are really looking forward to the end of the school year (last day June 5th). We're just ready for the lack of scheduling in the summer. We are in the midst of band concerts and marching camp for incoming freshmen...good grief, Alex will be in high school next year! (His annual ARD meeting went extremely well, we are all anticipating a great year for him next year, and the band directors are all on the same page that we are regarding Alex's Asberger's and his toleration of marching season. And by the way, he takes four TAKS tests this year -state standardized testing- and we have 2 results so far: he passed math, which we expected, and he not only passed his reading/writing but scored at a commended level! this is the boy who used to have difficulty with readong comprehension and written expression!)

Joe spent a week in ShangHai, and then had another trip to Philly. He doesn't travel nearly as much anymore.

I'm still at Archiver's part-time. We are trying to figure out how we'll handle the summer. We've got 2 kids going to camp, Eric may be asked to counsel at camp, a mission trip for Grace and Alex that Joe is also going on, and Eric will be going on a mission trip with the senior high. So I need to figure out pretty soon how I'll be able to stay at Archiver's!

Happy to be back in blogland again.....

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