Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just How Hungry are You?

Do you have a hankering for some gourmet junk food?  Check this out...

How would you like to sink your teeth into a slice of this pizza?

Photo credit: Reuters

It looks pretty inviting, right?  And it should, because it is loaded with creme fraiche, Maine lobster tail and caviar.  And you have a small slice for $125 or the whole pie for $1000! 

And after you have cleaned out the pizza box and your savings account, you can dip into your retirement account and have this gourmet ice cream sundae for dessert.

Photo credit: You Tube/Destination Luxury
With rich Tahitian vanilla ice cream, melted chocolate from Venezuela, and gold covered almonds, it's just a mere $1000.

Let's see, $2000 for dinner and dessert? Hmmm...that is just a little over our monthly grocery budget.  Maybe if we don't eat or feed the kids for a month,  Pete and I can take the monkeys out for a sliver of pizza and a spoonful of sundae.  Oh wait!  There's probably a sharing fee. 

Maybe we will just have to settle for the $1500 hotdog...

Photo credit:


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Seasons of the Heart

We are at our daughter's middle school writing class this morning. Her teacher lives out in the country on a beautiful piece of property. There are cats and dogs, butterflies and chickens, cows and our favorite...these gorgeous horses.

I love how they look this morning relaxing in cool shade of an autumn colored maple tree. So peaceful and gentle...

The warm glow of the morning sun on cypress trees in the background and the hints of coolness in the air announce that fall is settling in here in Florida.

Just as the seasons change here on Earth, I feel that we have seasons of change in our hearts. Hearts are like our internal barometers, sensing the rising and falling emotions that come with life's transitions. Seasons of the heart can include times of strength, contentment, fragility, joy, desperation, confusion, and countless other expressions. What happens around us or to us directly affects the deepest reaches of our inner being - our hearts.

What season are you in now, my friends? Is this springtime for you, full of the promise of newness or renewal. Is it summer? A time of growth and digging your roots down deep. Maybe it is fall and you are preparing for a harvest of this season of your life. Or could it be winter, a time of rest, reflection, even sadness?

I think that we can and will fluctuate between seasons of the heart our whole lives. Life is complicated and beautiful. As it says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time (or season) for everything under the sun.

I would really enjoy hearing your thoughts, my friends.



Do You Date Your Kids?

Years ago, we heard the best parenting advice ever.  It's simple.  Take your kiddos on a date.  We started this tradition with each of our kids and it has been a great way to connect with them. The date does not have to be anything elaborate or expensive.  We are talking quality time.  

Sometimes, the little monkey and I like to go have cinnamon rolls in the morning.  It starts the day off just right.  He gets a sugar high and some mommy time and I get some monkey time and fatter thighs.  Yes!



Saturday, October 13, 2012

Life is What Happens When You are Making Plans

We made it back from our camping trip on Monday night.  We have been sick ever since.  Actually, we were in various and assorted stages of sick on our camping trip.  It was awesome.  Throat blisters, raging fevers, and hacking coughs.  Sounds like a blast, huh?

The monkeys all look so pitiful in these pictures...

However, during the 4-6 hour windows of time that the ibuprofen and cough medicine kicked in, we did manage to have some fun.

After all, there was comfort food to been eaten...

Campfires to be built...

Cousins to play with...

And I am pretty sure that Santa works for the Tennessee Valley Train Authority during his off season. 

If I had not actually downloaded this picture from my camera, I would have sworn that I had a fever-induced hallucination that day. 



Saturday, October 6, 2012

TBRT Day 2 - Influenza Thought That It Needed a Vacation

You've heard of Murphy's Law right? Well, our family has Lehman's Law - whatever can go wrong (on a vacation that we have planned for months) will go wrong.

As we have traveled, over the years, we have had trips to doctors, dentists, ERs, and fire stations. We have had stitches, puncture wounds, stomach bugs, double ear infections, and allergic reactions.

It could be considered comical, but don't laugh because you will make me laugh and then I will cry and laugh and cry...because I am so.very.tired right now. Why? Why? Would I be tired on a relaxing family camping trip? Well, because not one, not two, but four of our monkeys have had the flu!!!

Yes, apparently the flu likes to travel and decided to hitch a ride on the RV with us :-( But you know what? Our kids are bouncing back and having some fun. They have needed lots of extra rest and some strong throat relief medicine (thank you, Uncle Jeff!!!), but they have been troopers.

Now, let's just hope that Pete and I stay well, otherwise the monkeys may have to drive the RV home.

If you see this vehicle driving out of control down I-75 you will know why.

Hugs (actually I will keep the germs to myself),


Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Big Rolling Turd - Day 1 - Rolling Out

I apologize in advance for the title of this post and future posts to follow. If you have ever seen the movie RV you will understand the title. If you haven't seen the movie, congratulations, you have not wasted 90 minutes of your life.

We are heading to Tennessee on a mini adventure in a large vehicle. A big rolling recreational vehicle full of lots of Lehman's and their cumulative stuff. We are jam packed in with all the necessities. You know, like toy trains and blankies, dolls and DVD's. What else do we really need? I thought it might help if we had some food and clothing, just in case. We don't want any hungry, naked Lehman's running around on our mini adventure. That would be a little too much like our everyday life.

Okay, I have to go now. Pete is driving and he is bored. I need to sing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall to him. That always busts the boredom.



Monday, October 1, 2012

Farewell September - Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

September is a mixed bag for me.  I really have a love / hate relationship with it.  Two of my sweet monkeys were born in September.  One babe came roaring in with a hurricane at the beginning of September 2004 and one babe was born during the final days of September 2008.   It is like September is trying to win me over one way or the other.  It holds beautiful memories and times of celebration from start to finish. 

September also holds sadness for me.  My dad died in the September of my 12th year of life.  An unexpected, sudden death that left a lot of unanswered questions and regrets.  I was in the throws of puberty, my body was all prickly and weird and my heart felt like someone took it out of my chest, jumped on it, and put it back in.  I was bruised and bewildered  From that point on, I loathed September.  I could not wait to get it over with each year.  I felt the most vulnerable during September.  I looked for some degree of comfort, something, anything, anyone to heal the pain.  This went on for years. 

Last year, when my grandfather, my dad's dad, died in September,  I shook my fist at the month and yelled, "I was beginning to tolerate you, you blasted month!"  I traveled to North Carolina to attend Grandpa's funeral, a military funeral with full honors.  I was in a fog of grief and honestly, I was scared.  Scared of September.  How absurd!  How can a person be frightened by a month on the calendar? But I was.  I knew that this was a set back, another sad event locked in time, in September.  How would I ever make it through Septembers in the future without slipping into an emotional slump again?  Would I be able to rally for my September babies' sakes?  After all, to my birthday babes, September is a very special month.  With the joys of birthday party planning and getting's pure bliss to them.  I seemed to muddle through last September and I went out of my way to make sure that our kids felt extra loved on their birthdays.  Then I slammed the door at the end of the month and I did not look back at September.  It was over.

Fast forward to August of this year, when I had to put some important dates and appointments on the calendar for September.  I pulled up my calendar and there was September 2012 on my computer screen,  looking at me.  I stared back at it.  It was blank, a fresh September with nothing typed into the squares.  No reminders or expectations., just a blank palette.  A fresh slate awaited that first click of the keyboard, my first calendar entry... I decided to type nothing for awhile and just sat there thinking, then praying.  I had a conversation with God and September, and we decided that we are going to start fresh each year.  Sure, there will be memories both painful and joyful, but I will not place any expectations on September.  I will let it be what it wants to be.  It will not dictate who I am or what I do for 30 days out of the year.  I will take each day as the gift that it is and be thankful.  It is the better way, I'm sure.

So, as I wrote October 1, 2012 today on a check, I realized that September had gone.  It surprised me that I felt a twinge of longing for the passing month.  It had been a month of many pleasant experiences and some great family times.  We celebrated life around here and embraced each of the 30 days of September for what they were.  Was I sad at times? Sure.  Was I happy at times? Absolutely.  But you know what I wasn't?  I was not scared of September.