To the Crazies Who are Ruining My Holiday:

Dear Crazies:

Because of you and your devilish scheme to put poison and pins and needles in my childrens' Halloween candy, one of my favorite holidays, is now becoming a joke. As a result of trying to provide a "safe" alternative to trick or treating, we attended our church's "trunk or treat" last night. Although the organizers did a FAB job setting up a carnival (with a haunted house, cup cake walk, kissing booth, face painting, fishing booth and the list goes on and on...) we were able to end with the joke of "Trunk or Treating". Trunk or Treating is a lazy, boring, exclusive, and cow herding alternative to the amazing art of trick or treating! And it's all thanks to you! Because of your ruse to put a little "trick" into trick or treating, my kids are herded, along with 100 other kids, within a 30 minute time frame, from car trunk to car trunk. They scarcely have time to say "trick or treat" much less "thank you" before they are shoved out of the way by the 50 kids behind them scrambling to get their candy before it runs out due to the masses of older kids that zoom through so fast you can hardly see what they've dressed up as because they are hoping to make the trunk or treat lap 6 times before their parents catch on and shut them down. Thanks to you, gone are the days that our children come home utterly exhausted because they actually walked enough to work off some of the energy they gained from their trick or treating candy. Thanks to you, gone are the days that the little old ladies have time to ask you about your costumes or trick or treating adventures (as a matter of fact, they all hide indoors because trunk or treating is so fast paced and chaotic- they are scared to get knocked over!). Thanks to you, many neighbors aren't even handing out candy at their door due to a lack of trick or treaters. Halloween has become more of a "give me candy" and less of an experience. And even the costumes are getting lazy. A mass of store bought, no imagination costumes that oft times don't resemble the actual thing (I KNOW that I NEVER saw a nursery rhyme book where Little Red Riding Hood had a neckline that low or a skirt that SHORT!) I'm sure that this is your fault too. So, Keep Your Crazy To Yourself and leave my holiday alone, because I'm taking MY KIDS Trick or Treating!

-A Trick or Treating Mom

Dear Trick or Treating Mom,

Thank you for your concern regarding one of our favorite holidays. To set the story straight, neither I or nor any of my Crazy Friends has ever poisoned Halloween candy. After the 1982 Tylenol Poisoning scare, we kind of got a really bad rap. But, the only actually Halloween candy poisoning was the murder of Timothy Mark O'Bryan in 1974. It turned out that it was actually his Dad who laced his pixie stix with arcenic so he could collect on the life insurance. (He was later executed for his crime.) There may be some incidences that me or my crazy friends put pins or needles in candy, but the worst that ever came of that is a few stitches and since the circumstances around the cases are quite questionable, I'm not saying if we were involved or not. The hype that is giving trick or treating a bad rap is just that, hype. Because really, if I wanted to hurt your kids, trunk or treating wouldn't stop me, so dress your kids up, go to your church/school/communty's trunk or treat to show your support and have a good time, and then hit the road, because I won't be bothering you on Halloween night. And as for the hoochie costumes, that's not my fault, those parents should make their kids put some clothes on!

-Maybe a Crazy, But not on Halloween Night


When the Unexpected Happens

Our good friend lost his job last week. He was president of the company, so this was a bit unexpected. His wife is a dear friend of mine, so I briefly shared your experiences with her to let her know that they can emerge from this okay. What are your words of wisdom that I can share with them?

A few years ago, my husband worked for Washington Mutual. One Friday, he left work (amid rumors of turmoil) working for WaMu and returned to work on Monday working for Chase. It became very apparent, very quickly that his days with employment were coming quickly to an end. We would get some severance and we had savings so I sat down right away and figured just how long we could get by. I wrote out a very detailed budget and cut out all the fluff of our lives. I found a reasonable health insurance plan and made a list of all the "extras" that had to be cut. I figured that we had a year before we started to go into debt. Our tight budget was to start the very first day that unemployment started. Fortunately, we never had to use our tight budget, but I was ready. I was prepared; mentally and financially. You never know what is going to happen, but it never hurts to be over prepared. Now, I have a year supply of laundry soap, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, hair spray and 8+ months of food. We try to stay prepared for the unexpected.

Once the trials begin, I think sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in the turmoil of the every day and we forget to look at the bigger picture. The Lord has a plan for each of us, sometimes that plan has a rocky road, but he knows how best to get us to where we need to be. Despite the challenges of the day to day, we will always fare better if we have faith in his plan for us. He knows us best. Of course it would have been easier if we could have just looked into the crystal ball and seen how wonderfully it would all work out, but then what would we have learned?

And most importantly, never forget the power of positive thinking. Life is only as good, or bad, as you think it is. So, chin up, put your shoulder to the wheel and keep on pushing through!

Whaddya think?



Dinner or Dessert ON US!!

Don't you love a good sweepstakes!?? Me too!!
On October 31st (that's 2 weeks away!) we will be doing a drawing for a give away for a $30 Darden's Restaurant Gift Card to anyone who puts a link to our adoption blog on their blog/website! So, if you would like to be included in the drawing, use the code below our purple "Hoping to Adopt" button on the left side bar to add our button to your site, then send me an email (anothertolove@gmail.com) with a link to your site. On October 31st, one of my boys will draw a name out of the hat to select the lucky winner!

-Do you psychotically juggle multiple blogs/sites (like me?). Cool. You can have an entry for each site you post our button on. Just email me the links.

-Do you already have our button up? Cool. You can still use it as your entry. Just email me the link.

Don't have a blog/webpage???? That's okay: here's something for you!

Also on October 31st, we will be doing a drawing for a give away for a $10 Coldstone Gift Card. To be entered in this drawing you can do any (or all) of the following:

-post a link to this entry on your facebook wall (you can email me a link or leave a comment on this post with a link to your entry- don't forget to leave you email)

-blog about this giveaway, linking back to the post (you can email me or leave a comment on this post with a link to your entry- don't forget to leave your email)

-tweet about this giveaway, with a link to our adoption blog (you can email me or leave a comment on this post with a link to your entry- don't forget to leave your email)

-email your family and friends about this giveaway (send me the email too)

Did them all? Then you get to be entered 3 times!

By doing any of these, you may get dinner or dessert, but you'll be helping us find our baby, and that's priceless to us! Thanks and Good Luck!!

DON'T FORGET TO EMAIL ME YOUR LINK TO YOUR AD OR ENTRY!!! You can't be entered unless I know you've posted it!!!!!

NOTE: Due to some late entries, the drawing has been extended to Sun, Nov. 7th.


Who's Your Neighbor?

A few years back, I came home one day to see my neighborhood FULL of cops and CSI agents (btw- CSI do NOT wear high heels and low cut shirts. In fact they wear full suits, like surgeons, and head coverings. just saying.). There were uniforms and suits, marked and unmarked cars, lining the entire street. When I ventured over to ask what was going on, I was told a dead body had been discovered (RIGHT NEXT DOOR). I watched them remove the body bag from my dining room window. I was so close I could smell it.
I'd seen the guy before. I knew what he looked like. But, I don't know his name.

I heard a story of a friend who found herself invited to a swinging dinner party. The house was a large, beautiful house in a affluent area. By day, the couple were businessmen/women and by night they hosted swinging parties.

Another friend was telling me how they were awakened in the early morning by the DEA storming their neighbors' house. The watched as they carried out computers and tvs and seized their cars. This same friend also shares a fence with a level 3 sex offender. You are probably thinking she lives in Scuzville, but actually she lives in a very average, relatively safe suburb.

We moved into a new house about a year ago. Since then, I've tried to get to know my new neighbors, but in this fast paced, digital society people don't venture out as much to get to know their neighbors.

When I was growing up, we knew our neighbors. We knew their names, where they worked, what the inside of their homes looked like. I could go into any of their houses for a play date, glass of lemonade or to get a band aid for my scrape. But, today, being friends with your neighbors is not as common of a thing and therefore, we are quite caught off guard when we find out there has been a meth lab next door for 5 years.

Although I have gotten to know the neighbors to one side of us; they have 3 boys too and our kids play well together, I barely know our other neighbors. I would recognize (some of) their faces in a crowd, but I couldn't tell you very many of their names. I don't know what their jobs are (although I do know which men work from home, someone has to help me move the dresser or lend me a drill when my battery dies...) Other than that, our paths just don't cross and other than a plate of cookies at Christmas, we don't try to cross them. I may not know their names, but I do expect them to watch for my kids playing outside when they drive into the culdesac....

Chances are my kids would be safer riding their bikes in the culdesac if they were surrounded by people who knew and loved them and were aware of them. Neighbors who actually knew the name of the child they were smiling and waving at. And that relationship is my job to establish, because if I do, I have more control of it. If I first establish a relationship with the neighbor, then I can use my judgement as to whether or not it is a good relationship for my kids to develop. If I know who my neighbors are then I can watch them interact with my kids. How they talk to them, how my children respond to them and even be there to catch the socially unacceptable. How are we to find out if the neighbor next door is a level 3 sex offender who hasn't registered or even something worst... if we haven't even tried to get to know them.

Jaycee Dugard was held captive for 18 years in the same home. Her neighbor spoke to her through the fence. People in town saw her. And for 18 years, no one noticed.

So, for the sake of our kids, all of our kids, hold a neighborhood barbeque, Easter egg hunt or Fall picnic. Get to know your hair dresser, your banker, your school bus driver, your mailman or your garbage man. Meet your kids' school friends' parents and ask their teachers and coaches personal questions (and tell them personal answers.) If you want to keep your kids safe, get to know your neighbors and scope out your community. Most people are great, awesome people, but you'll never find the ones who aren't, if you aren't looking.

And if you want to find registered sex offenders in your area, search here

Whaddya think?