Monday, January 26, 2009


My apologies to anyone who tried to post comments and couldn't - the settings have been adjusted and now posting comments should be open to everyone. Many thanks to my friend Rachel for letting me know!

God Bless.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Just checking in

Well, it has been over a week since I last posted. The reason for the delay is, basically, nothing much is going on. I, along with Vibiana and Sebastian, have been sick. The two little ones have ear infections and I have a cold.

We spent this last week busy with Darian's school projects. We built a diorama (an arctic habitat) and a pinewood derby car for scouts. We will be racing the derby car next week...hopefully it does well.

The diorama was a pain, mostly because I tend to be a bit of a control freak (just let me do it!) and I was determined to have him do the work - it was his school project. It came out looking like, well, an 8 year old did it. Mission accomplished.

Otherwise, a fairly quiet week in the Schalow household. Tomorrow, Darian is participating in our "school" mass to kick off Catholic Schools Week. So, we not only have to attend the school's 8 a.m. mass, but we will attend the pancake breakfast afterward and then Jason is a Lector at the 11 a.m. mass. Another busy day.

If I remember, I'll take some pictures to post.

Until then, God Bless.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh, where dreams can lead

I had a dream the other night about an old friend from high school/college. We were briefly college roomates, and our friendship didn't exactly end on a high note. So, I had this random dream about her, and the next day I decided to try to see what she was up to. So, I googled her name. Now, as most of you know, when you google a name you tend to get all kinds of results. The first few results were regarding sentencing - as in jail time. I thought, no way is that who I'm looking for! I clicked on some links further down the page, but none of them were her.

A bit disappointed, I clicked on one of the links about sentencing, just out of curiosity. Well, as you probably guessed, this was my old friend. It seems that a few years out of college she became involved with a radical eco-terrorist group. She was arrested and sentenced in mid 2007 on two counts of arson.

This totally surprised me. My friend had always been an activist, but always a pacifist. She always had in incredible respect for life and the well being of others. As I researched more of the incidents, it became clear that she was actually brought into the group by a boyfriend (of course!!) and that shortly after the incidents she was involved in, she left the guy, the group, and everything to start over. She had completely re-made her life. She moved to a different area, got married, worked with the elderly and apparently became quite the upstanding citizen. Then, six years after all this occured, she was arrested. She pled guilty and cooperated with law enforcement. She is now in the midst of a 4 1/2 year sentence in federal prison.

So, what do I do with this information now? Well, I have decided that I will contact her. I found out which prison she is in, and I will write her a brief note to say hello. I don't even know if she wants to talk to me or have anything to do with me. But, I do believe that the Holy Spirit brought her back into my life for a reason and now I just have to see where it leads.

Monday, January 12, 2009

These boots are made for walking...

Vibiana, trekking across the backyard...after she escaped out the doggie door.

Yes, that is dirt she is chewing on...the breakfast of champions!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy Epiphany!

Our new year got off to a bit of a rocky start, so I missed wishing everyone a timely Happy New Year. Instead - Happy Epiphany! (Today is the traditional celebration of Epiphany, the visitation of the Three Kings.)

After a sluggish start New Year's morning, we began a trek down to Corona for the day to visit with Jason's parents. They were planning a small birthday party for Darian (lucky kid - this was the third day in a row his birthday was being celebrated!), nothing major - just some cake and ice cream - and a few presents, of course!

For a while now, my van has been making some strange noises. However, being the procrastinators that we are, we hadn't had it checked out yet. So, a little over half way there, Jason, who is driving, suddenly turns to me and says, "I think the power steering just went out." Before I can say anything, this is quickly followed with "Uh-oh, the temperature just flew into the red!" We quickly pulled to the side of the freeway to figure out what next while the children, anxious to get to Grandma and Papa's, start in with "What happened? Why are we stopping? Are we there?"

We called Jason's dad to get the kids, called the tow truck to get the van, and we sat and waited...for an hour. An hour on the side of the freeway with a car full of bored kids. Such fun.

We arrived at Jason's parents house (I won't even bother describing the very bouncy trip in the tow truck, wedged between Jason and a big sweaty tow truck driver) to discover that we had interrupted Karl (Jason's dad) in the middle of a home repair job - the main water line to the house was broken and there was no running water. Could the day get any better? Did I mention that Vibiana had a cold? Did I mention I had started my period? Oh, the joy!!

Oh yes, and of course, the car repair places were all closed due the the New Year's holiday.

The next morning we got the van towed off to the repair shop and I took Vibiana to the doctor. Over the course of the previous afternoon and evening, her cold and turned into something worse. The doctor took one look in her ears and said that she had a rather "impressive" infection in both ears. After waiting with all the sick people in the Kaiser pharmacy to fill her prescriptions, we arrived back at my in-laws to wait. Of course, since the van broke down, my head is filled with numbers - how much was the repair going to be? Will we need a new power steering pump? New belt? Can I afford any of it???? A few hours later the shop called and Jason went to pick the van up.

When he got back my first question was "So, how much?"

"Well," Jason said, "the bad news is that we won't be able to feed Darian for awhile. The good news is, it only cost us $68."

Talk about an answer to prayers. The only thing wrong was some dinky little part (idle pulley?) that was an easy fix. What a relief!

Of course, shortly after arriving home Friday evening I started feeling sick thanks to my visit with Vibiana to Kaiser. I spent the entire weekend sick with a cold. Fortunately, I am better now, Vibiana is better and the kids are all back in school. They had a great vacation, but I am glad to get back into our "normal" routine. Aside from having to fix lunches and a frantic last minute search for a belt, I enjoy them being in school and having some quiet time for myself - if I can get the two little ones to nap at the same time.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Darian!

Well, my oldest is now officially an eight year old. His birthday was the 31st. He had a party on the 30th with all his friends from school. They all had a great time. Many thanks to all who were able to attend. Sadly, I didn't get any pictures at the party because I forgot my camera. Honestly, I was lucky I made it! The morning involved a trip to the dentist for Sophia and we met my mom (who had the rest of my kids) at the party. After about an hour, my kids started getting tired (especially Sophia who had 4 fillings that morning) so my mom took them home and I got to stay and let Darian have a good time. Thank God for my Mom!! She truly helped keep me sane on what could have been a seriously stressful day.
On his birthday I fixed Darian the dinner of his choice (tacos) and he tried his very best to stay up until midnight...he made it until around 10:30 before falling asleep. Maybe next year.
I continue to be amazed and baffled by this child of mine. Sometimes he is such a wonderful child that I wonder what I have done to deserve him. Other times he frustrates me so much that I still have to wonder what I have done to deserve him! Seriously, he is a wonderful, caring, loving and special little boy. I cannot wait to see what his next year will bring.