Monday, June 28, 2010

Pile of Poop

John: Gracey, you might want to think about looking around for babysitting jobs.

Diane: (rudely interrupting) She is totally not qualified for babysitting other people's children.

Gracey: (looking up from her plate of dinner food) Wow! That's not real nice.

What just happened? What came into my soul to prompt me to make such a hurtful statement, at the dinner table, in front of everyone about my very own daughter whom I love?

Three things come to mind, two of which are probably not the case, but you never know.

a) I truly have given into the genetic potential of schizophrenia and have basically lost control of those social filters that keep me out of an asylum.

b) I subconsciously wanted to provide Gracey with the material she needed when she goes to therapy one day, which is her dream.

c) I was frustrated over the fact that we had another stinkin' Open House and were all needed on deck to prepare the house. When I got to Gracey's room, she was all asleep in bed, her desk was a mess with garbage and stuff and you couldn't even open her closet doors with all of the stuff she has jammed in there. Once "awake" she slips downstairs and lays down on the sofa as dusting and vacuuming and lugging stuff here and there are taking place all around her. I was so frustrated that I think I said something about "lazy piles of poop" (although I used the "s" word instead of "poop", which always scares the children because I never swear) in a conversation I had with John as he stood there sweating. He was holding the mop with his left hand and wiping his forhead with the back of his right hand. He glances over to the sofa where the lump of poop is laying, and says, "You might want to get up, Grace. I don't think I can protect you any longer."

And so it goes. The Open House went well, the day played itself out, everyone seems happy.....until dinner time when I make my hurtful remark.

After the dishes are done and all family members are once again occupied in their personal pursuits of entertainment, I walk over to the Wii, where Gracey is playing a Mario game of one kind or another. I gently brush her hair back with my hand - which is weird because she is exactly as tall as me, so it's more of a person to person intimate moment as opposed to a mother to daughter intimate moment - and say, "I am really sorry I hurt your feelings."
"It's okay, Mom." Her eyes are bright, I notice as they penetrate mine.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Look what I've been doing!

Here is where I'm jotting down each thing we do this summer.

I think I'm going to give this to Ryan and Kelley for all their cousin camp planning.

Not sure what I'm going to do with this, but I just LOVE it!

Here are some of the things I've made from Elsie's Summer Camp these last few days. How fun it is to make stuff.

Happy Day!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

For Julie

Just about the time that I find I'm ready to give up, to give in to the world around me, I take one more opportunity to depend on God for strength to get through.

By the way - this isn't for Julie because she needs these words, this is called "For Julie" because she was actually missing my blog posts and that makes me feel very special.

Without trying to be too much of a downer, I'll share my thoughts on the last few days. I'm stuck. I'm in a prison, serving a sentence for an undetermined length of time. Every once in a while, I catch a glimmer of hope - the lawyer finds a potential judge who can tell us exactly how long I have to be in prison before being set free. But something inevitably happens to that particular judge and I am left judgeless once again. See, it's the judge that knows my future and has the power to grant me freedom or at least let me know how long of a sentence I need to serve. If I knew how long of a sentence I had to serve, I could make the most of it. I would decorate my cell; I would set goals for how many books I'd read; I'd learn a new skill; I'd know what to keep and what I no longer need. I'd PLAN. I would no longer be in prison. I'd be free. I would have knowledge. I am happy and can survive very well with knowledge. Even if the judge told me that I would be in prison for ten years, just having the knowledge of that would set my mind free.

Here is where I get stuck. Sometimes not knowing is what is best for me. By not knowing, I have to continually rely on God for everything. I have to rely on Him for perseverance. I have to rely on Him for my daily bread and water. I have to rely on Him for the strength to have kind, caring words for the warden. I have to rely on Him for the desire to live each day to the fullest - even without the knowledge, knowing that each day is a gift. (Okay, now I'm getting all sappy and stuff, so I'll stop)

Just suffice it all to say that I received a care package from "home" yesterday and it made the prison so much less prison-y.

Sometimes I think I have my very own language that only I can understand, so if you are reading this and have a big thought bubble outside of your head with a gigantic question mark inside, don't despair. It's not you; it's just me.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cousin Camp

Here is an email I received from my sister, Kelley, yesterday. I know that those of you who are reading this and are NOT in my family are gonna be super jealous and I'm sorry for that, but I am just so dang excited and I love my fun family and I can't wait until we get there.
At our first official meeting, the Camping Capers Committee designated Kelley Jilek as Camp Director, Ryan Jilek as Head Chef, and Sophie Jilek as Camp Activities Director. We were sorry no other member were able to make the meeting. The official quorum of three made all decisions and okayed them so we're good to go! :) As of right now, we've determined the following nights as:
Monday - All American Night - menu to include All American faire. Brats, hot dogs, potato salad, watermelon, chips...typical picnic food! Yes, red, white, and blue is a must for attire! (Katie Rose is all over this)
Tuesday - Tour of Italy - Each of us will be making our own pizzas on the grill. Where the same red and white, but add a little green!
Wednesday - Asian Night - One Night Only! We will serve some flied lice and have Shishkabob Shibang! Come hungry, leave happy. Old Asian saying. :) (I have nominated Gracey and her love of everything Korean to supply us with entertainment on this night)
Thursday - Cowboy Country - Y'all come on down for some good ole home cookin' at its best. Hamburgers, barbequed beans, corn on the cob, maybe even some Hobo Dinners. Gather round to whet your whistle and enjoy some finger lickin' good vittles. You can count on some good fixins that's for sure! (Margarita - I think you could pull us some country music out of your butt and bring along some extra cowboy hats for the city cousins)
Friday - Well, Friday Fiesta, of course! Ole! We'll be making and pressing our own corn tortillas to enjoy with all the traditional taco tastings. Maybe even some fajita ingredients to change things up a bit.
Camp Activities Director would like everyone to know that she encourages everyone to dress the part each night. Be assured that as Camp Activities Director, she will be playing the part . Any questions, email them to Camp Director and they'll be forwarded to the appropriate parties.
We would like a vote on breakfasts, but have several ideas for that, too. We need to know if everyone is game for cooking and eating together or what everyone had planned on doing. Chef Ryan doesn't mind at all being at the cooking helm. :)
We are still looking for a volunteer to be in charge of Camp Olympics. This person's official title will be Camp Olympics Director! (Nancy?)
And we need a Geocache Director. We'll need some easy and a few more challenging geocaches. We've got one we have a second? (Johnny wants to be Geocache Director)
Camp Activities Director has some ideas for a scavenger hunt, but will need some help. Diane, can you bring your printer? We'll also need all available digital cameras (as in each group will bring their own). Does anyone have any other ideas for camping crafts? If not, watch out, we'll come up with some more. (Jeanette? you are a shoe-in for this)
Please let us know if you have any problems with anything the committee has come up with. We can always change plans. However, plans are underway and it will be much easier if we get gripes up front, rather than later in the game.
What time is everyone planning on arriving to camp the first night - July 5th? We'll be there bright and early (well, in our dreams)...We will try to make it there early enough to have food set up for people as they arrive. (Say 5:00-6:00?)
Looking forward to some fun and relaxation. Most activities will take place in the evening, centered around dinner hour so the days are free for the most part.
Only 3 more weeks! :)
Camp Director

I would like to be director of a camp show at the end of the week. Is anyone opposed?


Monday, June 14, 2010


Check out the delight on this woman's face. I had my camera pointed at her, just waiting for what I new was coming. She was watching some little kids throw balls at the dunk tank on which sat Fr. Bob. Once he went in, the crowd went wild.

Sure, I would have enjoyed seeing Fr. Bob fall into the water - who wouldn't? But I have found that I enjoy seeing the reactions of others even more than I enjoy seeing the main event. This is part of "the journey is as important as the destination" motto I've embraced.

Pure delight. It is a joy to behold. It's more often seen on the very young, but once in a while, if you are looking for it, you can find it in one your own age. When you DO find it, savor it.

And that's my advice for today.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Geocaching Continued

We all begin to look for the "treasure". We look under the bridge and I get a great shot of Mickey

We look around the bridge. We look in the crevices of the bridge. We look in the trees surrounding the bridge.
It's really hot outside and humid, but we keep looking, partly because it has been so long since we've ALL (everyone including John) spent some quality outside time together. We are getting weary, because no one really knows what we're looking for - we just know it's treasure. After half an hour or so, we decide that due to the new construction that has taken place on this particular bridge recently, the "treasure" must have been destroyed. We agree to move on, with two of the ALL deciding to go back home to the air conditioning.

Our little gizmo tells us that there is more "treasure" just 2500 feet or so east. We all head toward the treasure with the two quitters deciding to follow along with us until they can make the turn toward home. There they will say adios and wish the rest of us well.
Four of us are left, Me, Mickey, Katie Rose and Johnny (I guess you can guess who the quitters were). At 500 feet left to the treasure, according to our gizmo, we look in the direction of the treasure and see I-94 between us and the prize. What to do? What to do? We are certainly not going to cross the highway. We'll have to go around. Can you see, in the photo, that overpass waaaaay toward the back? We're gonna have to walk over that and then back to where we are, only this time we'll end up over the highway.

Mickey is out. He's done and says adios and wishes us well.

Did I mention that it was super humid and hot? We weren't expecting a long hike, so we didn't bring any water bottles. The three of us left talk badly about the "quitters" as we walk and walk and walk. The overpass looked much closer than it truly was. At one point, we really had to get water, so we walked into a storage facility on the frontage road. The minute we walked in, we were overwhelmed with cool air conditioning. Ahhhhhhhhhh! The man on duty offered us water from their water cooler. We were so happy and refreshed and ready to continue our journey.

We arrived at the overpass and crossed. What great perseverers we were. We knew that once we were over the overpass, the hardest part was over.
We walked some more, but the sights to see on THIS side of I-94 were much more beautiful. There is a whole forest preserve back there with water and stuff. It was still hot, but we were among fellow hikers and bikers and outdoorsmen. We felt so good about ourselves - so good that we didn't have to talk out loud about those "quitters" we left behind, we could just think pitiful thoughts about them and what they were missing.

To be continued.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I figure it's time for some pictures. Last week and a half ago, we went geocahing (treasure hunting with a gizmo that tells you where treasures are).
The entire family was in on the first one which took us to a bridge in Northfield.

Yes, even John. ("Daddy, pleeeease go with us").

Gracey, Johnny, Katie Rose and MickeyHere is Gracey figuring out which direction to go.

We head on this cute little path, which, by the way, takes us right by our realtor's house, but we refrain from bothering her about house stuff. This whole trip is a lesson in spending time together - not worrying about what is happening on the house selling front.

Well, we're at the bridge - now what?

Part 2 with more pics coming up.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Woke Up and it was all a Dream...

The buyers bailed on their offer. I am disappointed, but I've realized a few things:
1. Before I tell others news, make sure that the news is solid.
2. Our children learn how to deal with disappointments by watching us deal with disappointments.
3. I really LIKED the family time we spent together as we were contemplating this decision and have vowed to keep it up.
4. I'm sort of wimpy, but have learned to put my foot down through this experience.
5. I'm going to clean out my closet anyway.
6. Live for the day, not for the future.

There - that's what I learned.