I still get a few people coming to the site hoping the Daily Castle is daily again. Or maybe they just like to use the links on the side bar. Not sure.

I need to change the picture in the header.  Valentine’s day is way gone. Maybe I should just leave it up till next year.

The girls are gone on their first over night trip with some friends. They went to Irish Hills with the neighbor kids for a couple of days. Larry and I don’t know what to do with ourselves with all the finished thoughts and conversations.

Emma texted Larry goodnight last night.

We went to the Dollar show. It smelled.


I will be back.


10 Years

A few nights ago Claire and I were snuggling in bed watching Jeopardy! together. We burrowed down into the covers like bears ready to hibernate and decided we were not ever leaving. It was just too cozy snuggled up like that. 

She has always been a little cuddle bug. When she was a baby she was a little chubbers and she was so smushy you just couldn’t help but squeeze her. Her cheeks were little kiss magnets. 

She is no longer chubby. She is so long she barely fits on my lap anymore. Her limbs are getting to that gangly stage and she smelled like she might need a little deodorant last week.  It is hard to believe she is ten years old. 

Ten years ago yesterday I went to the hospital to be induced to have my second child. Compared to the first go around it was very uneventful. I was going to try to have this second the child the old-fashioned way, meaning to push her out instead of going under the knife. The doctor did not want her to get too big so he scheduled an induction on her due date. 

Claire, being a people pleaser, decided to get the show on the road early on the morning of the induction, so by the time I got to the hospital at nine, I was already in labor and dilated to three. The doctor still gave me the dreaded pictocin to keep things moving along and the blessed epidural to keep me comfortable. I think I felt one contraction. 

Some highlights I remember from the day:

1. I was surprised the doctor still wanted to induce labor. I thought he would let nature take its course. Ha!

2. Larry did not pack any food to eat for the day. We arrived at the hospital at 9 in the morning and he did  not eat breakfast. Around noon he finally had to leave to get something to eat. What does he bring back? A Rodeo burger from Burger King. Some super stinky hamburger to make his wife sick from the stench. Ha!

3. I had a really nice nurse this time. I wish I could remember her name. 

4. My doctor was delivering another lady’s baby in the room next to mine at the same time as me. He kept running back and forth between the two rooms. He made into a little competition as to who could deliver first. I won. She won the loudest screamer award. 

5. I had several medical students in the room during delivery. I was a vbac delivery so it was special. Ha! One that I remember was a little Chinese girl that was so timid and so excited to see a birth. On of the interns actually delivered Claire. As I was pushing her out I was thinking I did not pay you to do this I am paying him (meaning the doctor)!

6. I had to push for an hour. Enough said. 

7. Larry picked Claire’s name out. He just liked it. No other reason than that. 

8. I wanted to name her Margaret May after our grandmothers. Claire is glad it was Larry’s turn to pick the name. 

9. As soon as Claire came out Larry said, “She looks like you.”

10. My parents brought Emma up to see her new little sister and she called her “Clow”. 

Happy Birthday Claire.

Anyone Have Some Hand Sanitizer?

Why do parents take their kids to the doctors when they are not really that sick? Is it really necessary to have someone tell you your kid has a cold, drink some fluids and get plenty of rest? Apparently, I am that parent. Because why else would I have spent two hours at the Pediatricians yesterday? I must feel the need for validation. Yes, I was right! You are sick! And now that I have made you sit in this germ infested waiting room filled with screaming, hacking kids for two hours you should have pink eye and strep by Monday.  

Sign me up for Mother of the Year. 

So Claire is sick. She had a fever for three days and has been laying on the couch for four. She has barley eaten anything and if she opens her mouth and says Ah! you can see her tonsils from across the room. Her glands are so swollen they look like rocks on the side of her neck. I got a little worried. She’s not my whiner so you don’t really think about how bad she must be feeling. But she had Mono when she was almost 5. And after looking up on the internet about reoccurrence of Mono I thought I had better take her. The doctor did not take blood or feel her spleen. She told her to eat oranges and rest for three days. 

Two hours for that. Next time I may just stick with WebMD.

My Job

Yesterday I lost a day in my children’s lives. I woke up and went to work and worked  and worked. There is a special project going on at work right now called lay-offs. So the left-overs work. Sometimes they even call in friends to help for free. 

I went to work at 8 in the morning and I got home at 10 at night. I saw the morning child before I left and I saw the two night owls when I got home. All together the minutes totaled about 10. 

I am a working mother. But I have always been. When the girls were little I stayed home with them. I had three little kids under the age of three. That is a pre-school. It was work. Lots of spills and diapers and whining and crying. And lots of snuggles and kisses too. That was my pay back then. They did not give me quarterly evaluations, but I knew they appreciated me by all the sticky fingerprints on my shirts and pants. 

And I am still a working mother. My job has just changed a little bit. I don’t have to wipes noses or other body parts. The girls can make their own food and clean up after themselves. They read books to themselves and play games other than Candyland. 

But they still need me. And when I miss a day in their lives in makes me a little sad. But today is different. I will take off of work early so i can go to a lunch at their school and see two of my kids get an award for all the books that they have read. I will sit proudly and smile. 

And I will enjoy my job as a mother.

Dude! I Won Something!

I can not tell you how many contests I have entered on blogs to try to win an awesome prize. Bloggy Giveaways and Pioneer Woman and Rocks in My Dryer are just a few places I have entered. And I have never won. Until now!

Sarah over at Shortstop had a contest for a Blurb photo book. I started reading her blog when she had the 12 days of cookies at Christmas. I made several of the recipes and they all turned out great.

She had made a cookbook at Blurb for her sister-in-law for Christmas and it looked awesome. So I entered and I won a photobook! And like a dummy I forgot to go back and check until today. Yeah! 

I am a winner. Thanks Blurb and Sarah!

Live Blogging on What Should Be A Snow Day For Everyone

5:30 a.m. Looked out the window, snow just starting to come down. Go back to bed.

6:30 a.m. Wake up again. Check to see if it as a snow day for the kids. Yes. Wake up Larry and tell him. Get dressed for work.

7:07 a.m. Leave for work. Roads are snowy which is better than icy.
7:50 a.m. Arrive at work. Only took me 10 extra minutes. Went about 25-30 MPH most of the way.

7:52a.m. Run into the office.

8:00 a.m. Arrive in building huffing and puffing because I have not ran in years. Shake 6 pounds of snow off. Wonder why I bothered to brush my hair.

8:15 a.m. Make coffee and relax. Answer the phone 4 times. 4 employees tell me they are working from home today. Wish I could get my calls transfered.

8:55 a.m. Take head count of number of employees at work so far. 3.

9:07 a.m. 2 more employees arrive. One of them looking like she just came through a blizzard. Time to get my second cup of coffee.

9:18 a.m. An employee that live about 3 miles away just called in. He said the plows had not come there yet. Yeah, they weren’t in my town either and I live 12 miles away.

9:45 a.m. Call Larry to see if the girls are awake. They were up by 7:15. No coaxing them out of bed this morning. They were begging to go outside by 8:00.

11:00 a.m. Just got my third cup of coffee. I usually only drink two, but since today is a snow day I’ll make an exception. There is still fudge is the kitchen from yesterday’s party. That should make a good lunch. There are now about 11 employees here. The sky is white out my window.

12:15 p.m. There are 18 employees here now, but who’s counting. I am having fun shopping online and reading blogs. Too bad they blocked us out of facebook.

12:55 Just ordered lunch from Jimmy John’s. A Snow Day bonus.

2:20 Packing it in for the day. Most employees have left except for the hourly peeps. Now for the drive home!

The Costumes


Voting Day

Today is the day we as Americans get to cast our vote for who we think would be best to lead our country. Today, history will be made either way. 

Every morning when I get to work I deliver the Wall Street Journal to a co-worker. This morning the Headline was something like ” New challenges for the new President.” They were already setting the scene for failure. And my first thought was “What kind of crazy person wants to be President?” 

Seriously. It has to take a special person to believe they can lead the entire country. I respect both of the candidates and their families for the sacrifices they are making for our country. They spend very little time with their spouses. They are attacked by the media. Some are attacked by their own party. How exhausting it must be to be on the road for months shaking all those hands and kissing all those babies. 

And yet we complain because we are tired of the ads and the calls and the signs. 

So today, I will be part of history and cast my vote. And either way there will be change.


1. Beautiful Fall colors

2. That the tree in my front yard turns bright red

3. Coffee

4. Sunrises

5. Co-workers that make me laugh every day

6. Pot-Belly’s chicken salad salad

7. Friends that care

8. Kids that are silly

9. A Husband that loves me for me

10. Parents


Pastor quoted me in his sermon last Sunday. It’s always nice to be able to add to the sermon. It’s not nice when you’re sitting in the front row and he says the exact same thing you were crying to your husband about that week. Nothing like wanting to crawl up in a ball under your chair and start bawling. 

Larry and I purchased a franchise about 3 years ago. We felt that the Lord was leading us to start a Coffee News franchise for several reasons. The main one being it would give us more time for ministry.

We jumped in with both feet and fell flat on our faces. Right after we started the Coffee News business the economy took a turn for the worse. People were not taking ads in the paper because they were afraid. Gas prices soared and driving around town was a big part of the business. 

We began living on credit. Lots of credit. After awhile I did not even think about slapping down the plastic to pay for something. We needed stuff so I just charged it. After 4 months of living on credit we were in trouble. 

We had some ads sold and we were both working hard to make the business work. But we were up to our eyeball in debt. Finally we got some loans and were able to make a dent. My parents helped us out a lot when they moved back from Florida.

This was a very difficult time for us and I am not very good at sharing with others how very hard it was. Call it what it was: Pride. I did not want not fail. After a long summer of me kicking against God for “doing” this to us I gave it over to Him and started learning what it meant to depend on God. I am still working on that lesson.

People were buying ads and it seemed like we were going to make it. We put the girls in school. I got a job, started couponing and finally we could cover all our bills. It was still hard, but after a couple of years of hard work things were going well. 

So this past Labor Day when Larry asked me what I thought about procuring all of Coffee News Downriver I immediately said NO. All I could think of was all the pain it had been to get the Dearborn one up and running. Ugh! was all I could think. I did not want to go through all that again. 

And yet here we are. We did decide to go ahead with the Downriver franchises. We are now the owners of 7 Franchises. Larry likes to say he is a Coffee News mogul.  

The week after we made the trade to get the franchises the stock market crashed. We have not sold an ad for 3 weeks. We figured we needed to sell about 25 ads to have things running smoothly. Larry has worked non-stop every day and he sold 9. 

Last week the stress came to a head when we figured how short we would be for the month. We had prayed about this. We had sought counsel. It seemed like it was the right thing to do. Why was God allowing this to happen again? 

And this is where the sermon from last Sunday comes in. I think I said something like, “We are doing all this for God. Why is He allowing us to suffer?” to Larry just two days before the sermon. And my husband gently corrected me that day. But I guess I needed reinforcement. How wrong I was to think that way! Who am I to think that I am in control? It has taken all week for me to come to terms with this pride and sin of mine. God can do what He pleases and He will take of me. It may not be in the way I would choose, but He is always good. 

Yesterday Larry sold an ad.  And he has another one lined up for today. 

God is good all the time.