Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Somewhere Down the Road (State Route 60, in this case)

I had a most amazing thing happen two days ago: I met my most-adored celebrity ever!

That is AMY GRANT standing right next to me - can you believe it?!?

I am not normally socially adept, and I proved it very well when I walked up to her when it was my turn, shaking like I was about to perform. I babbled something about being a huge fan and her singing right to me and she said something along the lines of, "So I'm singing your story?" and I said something totally moronic like "I think so". I don't know. I can't remember. I'm still shaking when I think about it. She was very gracious, and very socially adept. :)

It occurs to me that one of the reasons I love her music is because she is singing HER story and sharing it with everyone, but also putting feelings that many of us have experienced out there in song so that we can express what we feel through her music. She is honest and open and goes through many of the same things we do. She's just really good at putting those good and bad things to catchy, lovely, sometimes haunting tunes. I love her for it. I used to want to sing like her (ok, that would still be nice), but now I just want to live like her. To have faith through struggles, to be able to feel the whole spectrum of emotions, to give time and resources to make the world a better place. To be a person who can sing "El Shaddai" and "Come Into My World" one right after the other and to be ok with that one-in-the-same person. To love and be loved in return. To have a passion for music. To be able to put some of my emotions in song. I could go on, but hopefully you get the gist.

I find I'm having trouble getting the words just right. I'm not a songwriter. I'm not a wordsmith. I just have a lot of feelings tied to this one experience of meeting Amy. The good, the bad, the ugly. Me trying to decipher them feels like trying to analyze poetry. I don't even think Amy wrote a song that describes it. The extreme euphoria and the little letdown when the 10 seconds with her were over. The agony over my stupid words - whatever I said to her, the thrill of hearing the new music as soon as I got in the car, the odd self-worth issues it has brought up to me since then ("I wondered who the pretty one in the picture was, but I just couldn't place her")...

I think I am making too much of all of it. And yet...

It's a fact. It's how I'm wired. I think too much.

For now, though, I'm just going to go put on some headphones and listen. 'Cuz she's still got some pipes and some cool things to say. If you get a chance, check out this or any other AG album (click on my blog title for a link)!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

God Bless Us, Every One!

I wrote this in 1999 during a fairly rough time in my life. It was for a project for my church (at the time - shout-out to CoS in Coopersville) called "Millennium Meditations". I thought it was worth sharing again this year.

"Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her king! Let every heart prepare Him room - and heaven and nature sing..." And from Luke 2:14: "...Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God."

Ever since I was six years old and saw "A Christmas Carol" on stage for the first time, I have had a special affinity for the story. Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and all the other interesting characters have always struck a special chord with me. It doesn't matter whether I read (or watch) the story in July or December, when I hear Scrooge exclaim "The next man to say 'Merry Christmas' should be boiled in his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart!", I am hating the old curmudgeon and cheering on Nephew Fred and Bob Cratchit. When the Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge his long-lost love, I get tears in my eyes. When the Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come shows him his own grave (and in the musical version, people dancing on it!), I'm frightened. When he wakes in the morning with a changed heart, I'm almost as jubilant as he is! Well, almost...but not quite.

You see, I wonder why it takes such drastic measures to make him "see the light", and I wonder if that's what it will take to make me see it, too. This season, will I be as generous as the "new Scrooge" with my time and money? Will I be helping those less fortunate this holiday season? Will I even be able to remain civil in the stores as I fight my way through the throngs of shoppers, or am I still stuck with the old Scrooge, cursing the crowds and the exorbitant prices? Will I be as reluctant to give my family or even myself a day off to celebrate?

But hey, I can always hope that I will learn from him (and not firsthand). If Ebenezer Scrooge can change, anyone can, right?!? I'm hoping that some part of "I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year" will stick this year!

There is always - no matter what time of year, but especially during the holidays - an investment to be made in humankind, and you'll never lose that, regardless of the state of the stockmarket or economy. I heard something interesting (meant as a joke) the other day, "Yes, Jesus saved, but maybe he should have invested." He DID invest. In you and me! With his Life. We are his nest egg. Imagine that. Now, if we invest that truth and love into others, we're earning interest! Time, Care, Mercy, Money...these are the investments that always return great dividends.

My favorite part of Dickens' story is when Scrooge invests his money into Christmas dinner and presents for the Cratchits, his time into sharing their celebration (and his nephew's, too!), and his heart into their lives - especially Tiny Tim's. This is when Scrooge finds out that such a simple investment saved more than the Cratchits - it also saved him!

Prayer: Lord, please help me to not be a scrooge - grumpy, stingy, miserly, bitter, lonely person. Bless me that I might be a blessing to others. Help me to keep my cool during this hectic season, and to always invest my "wealth" in humankind so that your investment continues to gain interest in more and more lives. Amen.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Conversation with a 2 1/2 year old

Sophia has been potty training for quite some time, with varied success. We have a little potty, and when we went on "vacation" last month, I bought a seat that fits on a big potty.

Sophie: Hafta go potty Mommy!
Mommy: Ok, babe! (sets Sophie on big potty with Tinkerbell seat) There you go! Let me know when you're finished.
Sophie: Mommy, LOOK! I pooped!
Mommy: (runs to bathroom. Sees Sophie standing on the floor between potties)
Sophie: Look Mom! I pooped on BOTH potties!
Mommy: (secretly shaking head and wondering where this alien spawn came from) Why yes! I see that! Why did you poop on both potties?
Sophie: Because I'm a BIG DIRL!

No argument there, I guess. At least I didn't have to clean up a diaper...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Missy Project

EVERYONE should read this book.

Come to your own conclusions, but the thought process is what really matters. Have you ordered your copy yet? Even from the library. Do it. Now.

And when you're done reading it, let me know. We'll have conversations about it. No promises that I'll say what you think I will, but I look forward to the exchange.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

There's no place like home

...if only I knew where that was.

Florida is great. Sun shines all the time, and occasionally we even get a nice rain (like we did today) that quenches the parched earth and then moves quickly out. Friendly people. Cute little lizards. Disney. But it doesn't quite feel like home yet.

Michigan is okay, too. Nice cloudy days for when you're tired of all the sun. Friends. Family. Lake Michigan. Apples and cherries. Snow (in April!). But it doesn't quite feel like home anymore.

So, if I put on my flashy red pumps and click my heels together, I wonder where the wizard will take me?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Searching for a song

I have a song stuck in my head. Seriously. S-T-U-C-K.
I hear it several times a month.
And yet, I haven't heard it FOR REAL since I was a little girl.

I have been searching through Google and other search engines for years, on and off, in hopes that someday I'd strike gold. Unfortunately, I only remember about half of the chorus, so that sort of hinders my search.

These are the words I remember and have been searching on:
[You're] halfway up your rainbow girl by now
Way too high to find your way back down
Girl I'm gonna miss ya but I wouldn't go with ya
No no...

But tonight I found some hope! Apparently my dad and I are not the only two people on earth who remember this song!!
This site: shows that a few other people recall, as does this one:'s_song_'red_green_yellow_and_blue'
and this one: (although this is just kind of "cheater" because it appears to be from the same expert as #1...)

And from these sites and searches...I FOUND IT ON eBAY!!!!
But Boo Hoo, I have no record player on which to play this 45. As Chip says, it would probably be easier for me to find a record player than find this album again. So I'm waiting patiently...kind of. Any of you three readers out there know where I might be able to listen to this treasure? Or do you have any good lyrics stories yourself? If some song's bugging you - even if you only know a few words - Google is amazing!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Time for Bed by Mem Fox, paraphrased by Sophia

Sophie likes bedtime stories. Most nights she even insists on sleeping with her board books instead of her soft stuffed animals (or at least in addition to). I'm just enjoying the fact that she's started reading to me. Here's her newest favorite:

The book :
It’s time for bed, little mouse, little mouse,
Darkness is falling all over the house.
Sophie’s recitation:
"Time a bed, little mouse, little mouse.
The house is falling all over the place.

It’s time for bed, little goose, little goose,
The stars are out and on the loose.
Time a bed, little goose, little goose.
Little goo-oose! LITTLE GOO-OOSE! Where is you, little goose?!?

It’s time for bed, little cat, little cat,
So snuggle in tight, that’s right, like that.

Time a bed little cat, little cat –
All snuggly!

It's time for bed, little calf, little calf,
What happened today that made you laugh?
Time a bed, little calf, little calf,
You make me laugh! (laughter ensues)

It’s time for bed, little fish, little fish,

So hold your breath and make a wish.
Night-night fishy!
Hold your breaf, make a wish!

It’s time for bed, little sheep, little sheep,
The whole wide world is going to sleep.
Time a bed little sheep, little sheep,
Whole world is sleepin’

It’s time to sleep, little bird, little bird,
So close your eyes, not another word.
Hey birdy! No more words!

It’s time to sleep, little bee, little bee,
Yes, I love you and you love me.
Time a sleep little bee, little bee,
I love me and you love me!

It’s time to sleep, little snake, little snake,
Good gracious me, you’re still awake!
Hey snake!
Oh my GOOness! Still awake?!?

It’s time to sleep, little pup, little pup,
If you don’t sleep soon the sun will be up!
You sleep soon little puff,
The sun be up!

It’s time to sleep, little deer, little deer,
The very last kiss is almost here.
(she usually skips this page because she knows the end is near, but she DOES NOT like it when I try to kiss her here! Tonight she said “go away leave Sophie ‘lone! Sleep by self!”)

The stars on high are shining bright—
Sweet dreams my darling, sleep well…good night!
Sweet dreams, darlin’!
‘a night!

I've tried a couple of times to get this on video, but so far she hasn't "cooperated" with that yet. It's really much funnier watching her get excited at all the pages...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Remembering to be grateful

I haven't written a lot lately because I haven't been thinking many deep thoughts that should be published for anyone to view. I still don't have much by way of smart or funny to say, but while I'm feeling it, I'm going to make sure it's written down for posterity.

I am very grateful that we moved to Florida. The sunshine does wonders.
I am so very grateful for Angie. It's great to have a friend here, and one who knows me from back when I liked me, and yet was crazy enough that not many others did. It's like that saying "We'll always be friends because you know too many of my secrets" or whatever. She knows I'm a weirdo and still seems to not mind my company! Thanks, Ang! ;-)
I am grateful for Facebook. I hope I don't annoy too many people, but it's so nice to be able to keep in contact with so many people in one place. Not to stalk or anything, but just to be able to say that you still care about them and wonder how they're doing. And to show that stupid thoughts from high school can be overcome and we can really forgive those old things...well, most of them. And to remember that so many people had/have a part in your life.
Sometimes, when you move so far away, your world becomes very small and you become very insignificant. You feel like you don't matter. And when someone requests to be your friend, it just makes the day a little brighter. And you feel like maybe you aren't such a piece of crap, after all (or at least you weren't once upon a time). And when someone accepts your request back, well, that's nice, too. I've actually been blocked a couple of times. I know. I admit it. But oh well. At least 185 people didn't hate me enough to say "no".
I am grateful to my new co-working friends. It stinks that some of them have already left my life, but it's nice to know that I have gotten to know these wonderful people and that they try to include me in things and are happy to see me. I hope we can keep in touch, even after we part ways, if we have to part ways.
I am grateful to everyone who comes to visit. We miss you all, and it means a lot to be able to see a familiar face.
I am grateful that my kids still want to be with me after I kicked them out of the grocery store.
I am grateful today to just be. And that's not always the case, so I thought I better write it down.
Thanks God, for letting me be.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

miscellaneous Sean stuff

Sean has been home sick all week, and since I am privileged enough to be able to work from home, I have spent a lot of time with him. He has said some pretty amusing things this week:

"I always thought a stakeout was where you cooked steak!"

Using Mr Potatohead in various movie characters (Disney has toys such as "Luke Frywalker" and "Tater of the Lost Ark): Mashter Kenobi (although he didn't find as much humor as I did in his original "Masher Vader"...ok, I'm sorry I have a warped mind!); in the Clone Wars Anakin's Padawan calls him Sky Guy - We like "Fry Guy".

We went to Target today to get Dad's prescriptions, and there happens to be a Starbucks there. I had a gift card, so I bought him a "Kid's Cocoa". He loved it. Really, it's very good cocoa (he wanted me to test it to make sure it wasn't too hot). About an hour or so after we got home, he said, out of the blue, "Whenever I get an urge for a warm beverage, I'm going to go to Starbucks for their kid's cocoa. It is delicious!". I just thought it was funny...

He just has a way with words that makes me smile. I wish I had my computer with me all the time so I could capture his funny-ness.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My son, the comedian

Yesterday, we "tried out" a new church. It was a really fun experience for me, other than the Sophia-nursery fiasco that happens anytime we go to any church.
There was lots of singing. Lots of music. So it was my kind of worship.
Well, the message was about finding joy in Jesus, instead of in the world (or something along those lines...I was kinda preoccupied with the beeper in my hands just wondering when they would have enough of Sophie's screaming and call me back to get her...). The pastor told a story about HW Longfellow which I'm going to have to look up, and another story that was familiar to me, thanks to those of you who forward me emails.
It's the story of a little girl who buys her brother a miracle for $1.11. Here's a link to just one of the many sites that share it (I'm sure they all have just a little different spin):
Anyway, it's a sweet, true story of how Dr. Carlton Armstrong gave this family a miracle to save their son/brother for $1.11.
Sean, ever the curious type (and skeptical this year, too), asked me when we got home, "Can you really buy a miracle for one dollar and 11 cents?" I said to him that it's really about what Jesus can do with any amount of money (or even none) to bring about miracles in people's lives. "
To which he says, "But you can buy Miracle Whip, right?"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Grown Up (but selfish) Christmas List

My list isn't quite as good as Amy (Grant)'s. But here's what I wish:

*No more lay-offs until after the holidays. Please. I don't think I can bear to see another friend leave right now.
*My kids have fun with the presents they will get
*My family and friends stay healthy in the next year
*No more drama in the Wibert clan (hahaha. That IS half the fun, I suppose)
*We have enough to share with others in the next year
*The economy will at least flatten instead of continuing its nose-dive
*I will stop worrying about it since I can't do anything, anyway
*Chip gets a more regular schedule soon
*People will come visit us (but give us warning so we can clean up the dump)
*Resolutions will come to outstanding issues, and be made to fix others
*To spend more time with others
*To sleep more regularly. More often, maybe, would be nice, too

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Whole New World

I had an experience yesterday that I can't stop thinking about. I honsetly am not sure WHAT to think of it, though.
I've lived a lot of years to have never had that kind of experience until now, and I'm just not sure how to feel about it.
Awed. Inspired. Scared. Really scared. Comforted. Angry (at myself). Shamed. Hopeful. Evangelical about thinking everyone should have the same experience at least once.
Suddenly my mind started going elsewhere with these thoughts, so I better get to the explanation...
So here's what happened. My darling daughter is addicted to swings. My handsome son loves to dress up in various costumes and play outside as a cowboy, robber, alien, superhero, pirate, or some combination of all of those. We thought it would be nice to go to one of the nice city parks instead of the decaying family park in the apartment complex. Sean got all dressed up in his costume, which today was some sort of cowboy bank robber business man, and off we went.
On a side note, I wish I had taken a picture so you could chuckle with me...cowboy hat, button-down maroon shirt, clip-on tie with bright orange/red/yellow flames, nice pants, and cowboy boots, with my backgammon game box as a briefcase.
We drove to our favorite park and found it filled up with softball games. Who knew that softball season in FL began in November...and was played on Sundays?!? We decided we should try a different park that might be less populated.
I had seen a park not far from our house that had lots of swings, so we headed that way. We drove past a soccer field filled with only hispanic players and on to the area of the park with the swings, that also happened to be the area with the basketball courts, where every player and onlooker was black. On a whole city block, we were the only white people around. And the other races were not "mixing".
I don't feel that I am prejudiced. The only neighbors that Sean and Sophie play with are black, and we love them. I just haven't had much exposure to being the minority. Ever. Growing up in small po-dunk town Michigan didn't afford me that opportunity. When minority races were around, it was always a mix of people/races/cultures. In Florida, there are apparently areas where it's not cool to mix. At least on their leisure time. Neighborhoods seem to be segregated. Sad, yet true.
Anyway, we get out of the car. We go to the playground (we did make Sean leave his toy gun behind in the car). I think it was kind of to prove to ourselves that we weren't scared and did belong, but I wonder how it looked to the others. We really didn't belong. I'm not sure we are welcome. I am now TOTALLY apprehensive. I am about the whitest person you'll ever meet, so obviously, we kinda stood out a little.
There were some children already playing on the equipment. And the first thing out of their little blessed mouths? "Wanna play?" "What's your name?" God bless the children. They don't care. They just want to meet new people and have some fun while their parents play their games.
We had a great time. Still I was nervous. Not because I was scared of others, but because I was scared of how they would perceive me. Was I stepping into their territory? Was it not good for us to walk in acting like we had every right to?
And here these children, Theresa, Lily, TayTay, Tayshara, KeKe, and Jevion just had the best time. Oh, and of course Sean and Sophie. It really was a nice park for kids! Chip pushed the merry-go-round, I pushed the swings - then we switched places. It was fun. The slides and the train were in there somewhere, too, but didn't require as much supervision!
I just wonder. If we all took the time to be the only one somewhere - the only white person, the only female, the only male, the only thirty-something, the only...whatever - would we feel as flippant about being the "majority"? Would we feel how it is in someone else's shoes and be more empathetic? I don't know. I don't know if I'll even repeat the experience (doesn't matter who you are, I'm not fond of my kids hearing those words or smelling those smells or seeing those, uhm, activities). And I'm kinda mad at myself even as I say that. But I just hope I keep the experience in my heart and realize that to many, I'm still the enemy. Maybe if I took more time to see life from other points of view, people would be more interested in mine...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Elect

Well, I'm happy for my friend Michael. I'm happy for the history that was made tonight in America. But I'm still not sure it's the right person for the job. I guess I have no choice but to give him a chance now.
I'm fairly certain that none of them really know the answers, so the fly-by-seat-of-our-pants legistlation that's been happening for the past 50 years will continue. And none of those old things will get fixed. And we'll go back to having silverbacked dollars (hahaha). And that everyone who says you should vote with your head and not your heart didn't follow their own advice. Because we all vote with our heart.
The feeling part of our brain will 99% of the time override our other parts. We don't think first. We feel first. So even if we think second, it's still probably not what we're gonna do. I don't care if he's for more taxes - he's a Republican. I don't care if he's GOOD friends with terrorists - he's NOT a Republican.
6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other.
I applaud those who were brave enough to stick with their opinions and vote for "not the Big 2". I seriously had a moment in the booth when I had to move my pen back from voting for Alan Keyes. Perhaps they'll put him up to the Rep committee again in 2012 (or 2009 when they start campaigning) and I'll be able to vote for someone I believe in rather than just voting to cancel out someone else's vote. :-)
But at least we made a decision tonight.
The Nuge in '12. That's my vote. If we start campaigning today, maybe we can gather enough votes. With me?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


*I guess it's a good thing that my son's teacher loves him so much and thanked us for moving to FL so she could have the priviledge of having him in her class this year, but I would like to know...where is this awesome kid she talks about?!? Don't get me wrong, if he acts up, I'm glad it's at home, but really. Where is the consistency? Obviously I'm doing something wrong. SuperNanny, please help...

*Why am I falling apart at the young age I consider myself to be? I rode around Epcot and Hollywood Studios in a wheelchair because my foot hurt so bad, then my tooth ached so bad that it's still swollen a week later, and tonight at the bounce playground I jammed my knee. And my foot started acting up again. Gee Whiz!

*Why am I so NOT interested in sports? The Tampa Bay Rays (who ironically play in St. Pete) and the Bucs were both playing home games tonight and I should be excited, but really, who cares? In the grand scheme of things, what does this mean for my life? Is it just that we all need some sort of diversion? I guess I choose Sudoku and Facebook and Blogging, and sometimes Webkinz, instead.

*Why are sleeping kids just the most adorable, heart-melting things to look at ever?

*Why can't we all just get along? I actually have an answer to this one, but it's not so much an answer as just fact. It's still a question of why we weren't made to get along...

*Why do I feel like stockpiling goods? I think I maybe should not have read Alas, Babylon, even though I highly recommend it. That, and economic crisis and election that is not going to make anyone happy.

*Why am I both sad and excited that there's finally a chill in the Floridian air? Ah, fall. It's really here. But I did love the 90 degree days for the most part. But it's also nice to know that my electric bill will be at least half what it was last month. But no apple orchards and hay rides for me (although I did see a "Pumplin Patch" in town at the church we sometimes attend). But I hear that navel oranges are almost in season...the comparisons could go on forever, but just one more good will be nice to dig out the long-sleeved shirts and have a "new" wardrobe to wear to work without having to spend a cent!

Amy Grant Concert

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Now, I know there is seldom one lone reason why bad things happen to good countries, and there is plenty of blame to go a lot of places for our current state of economy (like doubling, tripling, quadrupling the min payments on credit cards, acquiring more debt than a country or a family can possibly repay, NAFTA, terrorism, dependence on foreign oil, [insert your gripe here], etc), but here's a new twist on things I hadn't heard.
It's at least good to hear another reason WHY, no matter who's to "blame". If we know what happened, we can quit blaming and fix the problem, right? BUT, perhaps someone who has already tried to fix it (a couple of times, and proactively, before it became a crisis) might be worth listening to, especially since he's more moderate than a bunch of us die-hard REPUBLICANS (did I just say a dirty word?!?) really feel comfortable with. Maybe there is something to this. Maybe it's something we should all research a bit more carefully (and even GOOGLE isn't always the best source, as the video suggests, but, hey, when actual media outlets that we've heard of besides FOX are reporting bad things about Democrats, it must be true, right? :-) ). Maybe we should all be more INDEPENDENT and not make snap decisions based on party affiliation.

And without further's the link, since I couldn't get it to embed correctly.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Christmas Card Update...

So...I had good intentions to send out Christmas cards last year, but I didn't get around to it. Life intervened a time or two around that time of year. After the first of the year, I was at a Hallmark store and found "Happy New Year 2008" cards on sale for 75% off and thought that would be a good way to redeem myself and send some out. They only had 1 pack, but I bought it, thinking I'd be at another Hallmark soon and get more. Well, I never found more, and then we were dealing with 4 months of negotiations with everyone and my brother (well at least conversations with him), and time got away from me. Then we moved, and I thought I would send them out as a funny as "Christmas in July" cards and an update with our address and everything, but I never seemed to have the time. I realized my good deal was about to go to waste, so a few weeks ago, I finally picked 18 people/families to send them to (sorry if you weren't one of them - I either didn't have your address or I keep in touch with you more often...or you're one of the 6 families who I just mailed to since I ran out of ink and stamps for that many and had to wait until payday) and got them out as "Happy New SCHOOL Year 2008" cards. :-) Aren't I clever?
Anyway, here's what I said. If you got a card, please skim through again - I've updated a few things (in purple); if you didn't get a card, I still love you and wanted you to know this stuff, too!

I mean – Happy New SCHOOL Year 2008. :-)

Ok, so I’m a little late with my 2007 Christmas cards…let’s just say I had a bit on my mind last Christmas. I apologize. Please don’t take us off your address list for this year’s cards (but maybe update the address…)!

So most of you now know that we are officially “The Florida Wiberts”. This week we even filled out our voter registration paperwork and finalized our car insurance info. Next we tackle license plates! Other than trying to cram 2,800 square feet of junk into a 1,200 square foot apartment, we are settling in nicely and enjoying it here. We and Goodwill have become good friends. We made daily donations for a while! The palm trees have a relaxing effect every day (at least it hasn’t worn off yet), the swimming is wonderful, and the hurricanes have skirted around us – so far – so we’re happy!

Changing my job location has had its challenging moments, being away from anyone who knows “what I do”, but I HOPE I’ve also proven adaptability, and I’m getting pretty good at phone, email, and instant messaging conversations. We also get some chances to “watch” each others’ computers with a thing called NetMeeting, so that’s helpful, too. I miss my friends, but it’s nice to know that I didn’t have to really “leave” them. The office I'm in is going through some changes and we'll be consolidating to one floor soon. I get an office - with a door and a window! (to the inner office) - that I will share with a very nice co-worker, and I am excited about the coming year and opportunities I may have to show my worth.

Chip was employed less than 2 weeks after we moved here, and it’s nice that he is finding his way at “The Happiest Place on Earth” (Disney). We all like the benefits, of course, and you can reap some of them too, if you come visit us – call for details!!, but it’s nice to see Chip feel like a valued employee again. It’s tough work - a lot to remember and it’s different for Chip to sit at a desk all day, and for 10 hours at a time, at that! – but he really does seem to enjoy it. I think once the schedule bids come up and he gets something a bit more family-friendly, he will feel more comfortable.

Sean is really enjoying his new school. There are only about 15 kids in his 2nd grade class at Walden Lake Elementary, so he’s getting more teacher attention, and also getting to know his classmates a bit better. He even was just named "Student of the Month" in his class for September for always being respectful and doing his best work and was told "how lucky" the class was to have him move to Florida, so we felt very proud of him. Sad to say we didn't get a bumper sticker, though. His new school is really great. They do some neat stuff there, even though the fundraisers from there and daycare are already in full force (I’ll try not to beg too often – promise!). Boy Scouts have an open house in a couple of weeks, so he’ll start that back up, too (started Sept 22 - the transfer was smooth and it's going to be fun...except Dad misses the first couple of camping trips). It’s even on Dad’s night off, so that’s great! We’ll have to work on planning to get the homework done a bit differently, though! Luckily, they send it home on Fridays so we can get a head start (I don’t know about you, but I think I turned out “fairly smart” without having homework until 5th grade. I think it’s getting to be a bit much!). Sean is enjoying anything about SPACE right now (we hope to visit Kennedy Space Center soon), and loves playing with his new friends KJ, Tyrus, Ty, Desiree, Kayla, and sometimes Dillan, Matteo, Austin, and Megan (when they aren’t fighting).

Sophie’s doing well, too. She’s not too fond of daycare when we drop her off or pick her up, but during the day she does fairly well, even though she doesn’t always nap well. She actually naps every day with one of the ladies, and the good news is - she babysits after hours!!!Considering she was never in that kind of setting before, and that we’ve had to move them to a second facility (the first one wouldn’t take part-time kids unless we paid full-time price!), I think she’s doing ok. There seems to be a lot of adult attention, and several kids her age, so she’s learning to adapt. Her big thing now is writing and drawing. On anything and everything. I was tired of cleaning walls, so I got out Sean’s easel the other day and that’s been about the only thing she’s played with since, but she likes her “babies” and her Fisher Price Little People and Dollhouse (that I was finally able to un-earth from her toy pile the other day when I was looking for more Goodwill and Lisa donations!). She has discovered the joy of board books, too, so we visit the library fairly often for new stories. She usually falls asleep best if she uses one as a pillow, too. Don’t ask me why. I think it could be reading by osmosis. She is working on potty training herself (no kidding! - I think she has some examples at daycare) and is singing her ABC's very well, which I hope to post on my YouTube account soon.
We're looking forward to Birthday Week around here next week. Sean and Sophie don't know it, but we're taking them to Disney World and staying for a couple of days. Trying to make up for the guilt for not having anyone we know around here to celebrate with, I guess.
We're going to the special "Mickey's Halloween Party" where the kids get to dress up and the park is open late and there is trick-or-treating, so I hope they have a great time. I think Chip and I are going to buy their costumes this week while they're in daycare before we go so that it's all ready and a total surprise when we get there in the evening.

So…while we miss all of you terribly, we really are doing well here. Glad to have money to pay the bills and to have had great luck with the area we found to live and to be hanging in there. We are still just a phone call, email, or webcam/Skype chat away, so feel free to check in on us when you have a moment. I try to be good about posting stuff at &, too – including videos. Please drop in there sometime and say hi (I really enjoy posting the pics and videos for you all to see), especially if the moments you have to catch up with us occur at, say, 4 am.

Much love ~ Chip, Katy, Sean, and Sophia, a.k.a. “The Florida Wiberts”

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A new experience

There are lots of things in life I've never experienced, and really have no desire to do so.
Things like car accidents and house fires and getting shot and terrorist attacks are things that I'm happy to be in the dark about. But I still worry about them. I think the fact that it could be ANY of us at any time was pointed out to me all too well today.

I must admit I got a bit obsessed with 9-11. The way everyone in those towers or in those planes or in the Pentagon were cared for, prayed for, was very special. The horror stories and the photos and the videos were horrific and still bring very strong emotions. I'm touched by the heroism and the horror. Even though I had no ties to any of those people, I have dreams - really - that I experience some of those moments.

So, even though the ACTUAL experience had virtually no physical effects on my life (other than the interruption of a normal work day), the process of scurrying down the stairwell at work today with the alarms blaring gave me an emotional surge that immediately brought that day 7 years ago to mind...and even if it weren't 9/11, I'm sure I would have still thought those thoughts, but the fact that it WAS 9/11 just gave me the creeps.

The real event was that in my 4-story building the elevator motor either overheated or caught fire (I'm sure I'll know more tomorrow) and we were evacuated for 2 hours.
Before we evacuated, we didn't notice any smells and most people thought it was a drill or some crazy person pulling a prank (even more creepy to think about on 9/11). But once the emergency vehicles arrived and the road was closed off and the hoses were uncoiled, we all started believing there might really be a problem.

Luckily it was around lunch time and the alarms went off early enough so that everyone was safe. But I hear there was smoke billowing throughout the building, and it smelled quite bad when we were allowed back in.

Who knows what tomorrow holds?
Today, I'm thinking of the families who were affected by 9/11, the people who jumped - thinking that was preferrable to burning up, those who survived and feel guilty, those who have the horrible smells, the sights, the sounds burned into paths in their brains, those who fought courageously but lost the battle, those who still fight courageously...and I'm feeling grateful to all of them. For what they have taught me.

And I'm feeling very thankful that today was no worse than smoke damage. And I'm hoping for "normalcy" tomorrow.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Train De-railed

Well, I was putting Sophia to bed and got a great idea for something to post, but that train of thought quickly de-railed when I got on the computer and decided to change my blog layout.
So...maybe it will come back to me tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fiction is powerful

I like reading books. I read a lot of them. Sometimes too many. I don't always remember every detail of every book I read because I have too much in real life to think about (unlike Chip, who can still keep all the Stephen King plotlines separate and repeat in detail), but I enjoy a good read.
A few years ago, an aunt got me "hooked" on Christian fiction by Karen Kingsbury ( She writes about tough topics (read: tear-jerking) a lot of the time, but it's good to have an excuse other than my pitiful life, right? :-)
Anyway, there's been a few series of her books dedicated to one family - the Baxters. I'm halfway through the "last" series. So...if any of you are behind me in reading, this post is about "Summer: Baxter family drama, Sunrise series #2". Read no further. Spoiler ahead. For the rest of you, I just finished writing this letter to the author:

I don't think I can even find the words I want to in order to thank you for Summer. I lost two babies to miscarriage in 1998, and it began a long process for me of healing through helping others who were hurting from similar losses. Through that process I have heard countless stories of the preciousness of life, but the one closest to my heart next to my own is the story of my aunt who gave birth to her precious baby girl, Kristy, over 25 years ago. Kristy with anencephaly. Kristy who changed many people's lives, through her very presence, and through the ministry of my aunt's story. (side note...Carol and Mimi and Diana and Pat and Cindy and Angie and Nicole and Renee and Missy and Kelly, and so many others whose stories touched me, along with those who wish to remain anonymous...all of you were in my thoughts and prayers during the reading of this book, too)
To be honest, when Ashley (the character in the book) started out praying for a miracle after her diagnosis, I was pretty annoyed. I know God is bigger than all of our problems, but I didn't want her miracle to happen. I wanted the pain. I wanted it so others could know that there was more to the pain. That complete joy of her few hours with Sarah. I also wanted it because I wanted people to know that you CAN live through something like that and come out with faith still in tact. That you CAN ask God the questions Ashley asked in the cemetary. That the miracles do happen, but not always in the way we want them to. Of course, it would be wonderful if parents could pray and the miracles you expect would happen, but when God has other plans for that baby than our earthly expectations, it's nice to know that it was all still a part of his wonderful (and scary!) plan for our lives. My faith journey wasn't as easy as Ashley's, but it's a different faith. Not a Santa-Claus faith anymore. And ten years later, although I still miss my babies and hurt that I haven't met them on earth, I feel blessed to have met the people I did and to know their stories and to have done my best to give others a place and a time to heal and remember and honor their babies.
I thank you for letting characters so close to your heart, and to your readers, go through something like this to help show that every life matters to God. A person's a person, no matter how small - we had that Dr. Seuss quote that was in your book on our "Walk to Remember" program every year. 2 cells, 8 cells, 4,000 cells. No matter how small.
Very powerful thing, fiction. I thank you for using it for good and the glory of God.

So I don't often spout my views on life because I'm not big on conflict, but I'm VERY VERY passionate about the fact that abortion kills life. I know. I didn't use my "right" and yet the life was still torn from me. I heard heartbeats. I saw toes and fingers. I felt LIFE. (see September 2007 posts for a picture)

A mother (A woman who conceives, gives birth to, or raises and nurtures a child is the definition I prefer, but you can find more that are politcally correct and sure to incite riot in those of us who "merely miscarried" if you search on your own) is a vessel, not someone with the RIGHT to destroy a baby for convenience - even if it is to spare the pain of having to deal with something - anything - that will be hard to deal with emotionally. I know you will all say, "what about in the case of medical necessity?" My answer - choose life whenever possible. I've heard that there aren't many truly medically necessary occasions, but I wouldn't want to be the one to choose between my child and my life. Most mothers I know would gladly give up their own life so that their child may live. If both are in danger, wouldn't a C-section be more prudent? I'd like to know more about the stats of the actual cases before I would say that an abortion is the only option and reason enough to make it legal and create all kinds of loopholes.
Killing a baby in the womb is not a RIGHT anyone has. It's not right for a boyfriend to stab his pregnant girlfriend and kill the baby. Why should it be ok for the girlfriend to choose that on her own? Who's rights are we protecting? A privilege, maybe. The privilege to kill without feeling entirely guilty because it's not illegal. Yeah, I suppose it's a privilege. But then maybe we could also have the privilege on the books of not having to obey the speed limit on the highway when you're late or in a hurry because it's more convenient. If the argument, "Whatever is best for you is the right decision" works for you...please consider other times that advice could be given and see if you would have the same answer: "It was best for me to drive home drunk because I didn't have a way to get back to my car the next day". "It felt best to me to go 50 in that school zone because I was late for a really important meeting (sorry about hitting your kid)." It was in my best interest to kill that guy - he was hurting my friend." (a side note...isn't it interesting that "Earl had to die" was pulled from radio play, but "Gunpowder and Lead" and it's clear 'pre-meditation' is played at least a few times a day?!? They're fun songs to listen to, but do they really inspire those kinds of actions and renegade justice? Who knows...I prefer to remain cautious and just listen to them in the privacy of my own home. I don't think Chip has anything to worry about...*smile). "It was really in my best interest to take Meth - I needed it to make it through the day." I could go on, but you're probably already not reading because you're mad at me.
Well, once every 10 years, I should probably make my opinion known. At least in this non-invasive forum that most people I know stopped reading long ago, anyway (thanks for being faithful Lana! Hope I didn't just make you a former reader!!).
Giving women the right to take lives out of their womb totally removes the right for me to grieve for, and love, and cherish my babies and to praise God for their brief existance, and for my friends to do the same. And I refuse to give THAT right away!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

tortillas and convenience stores

Kids say some pretty funny things. Over the last few days, I've had the pleasure of hearing a couple of good ones from my kids.

From Sean:
In these parts, there are a lot of "combo" stores with Shell gasoline and Circle K stores. I mean alot. Like I can think of 4 just in my town (2 are right across the street from each other for convenient entry/exit!) and I drive past a couple more on my way to work.
This one is just around the corner from our house...and around the other corner is daycare! (the price was down to $3.49 by the time I picked the kids up from daycare the day I snapped this picture - yay!)

So the other night, we're driving home from Tampa (yay Angie's housewarming party!) and I tell Sean I need to stop for gas.
He says, "Let's stop at that Shellcle K". I almost missed the exit I was laughing so hard! Very clever, that one.

From Sophie:
Sophia's getting pretty good at saying words and phrases and repeating new words as you say them to her. She was in the kitchen "helping" me make dinner tonight and I asked her if she wanted a tortilla. She said, "Sophia!"

I didn't cook her up for dinner, but she didn't seem to mind the tortilla chips instead...