The Scare

What would you do if you if a text from your adult son, who lives 600+ miles away, woke you up at 6 am asking for his social security number? 

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We asked him to call. And then I called him — no answer.

For 30 minutes I gathered information – I reviewed our shared bank account information, got on facebook and instagram to look for posts and looked to see if I had any phone numbers or passwords for accounts. I was 95% certain he lost his phone and maybe his wallet too.

I started praying for his safety.

After an hour I got a call from his phone. The music was so loud I couldn’t hear well, the person on the phone kept saying, “Mom.” I told him to call when he found a quiet place.Here’s what I thought to do (as my panic grew):

  1. FIND HIS PHONE: I tried to locate the phone with the FIND MY PHONE app. It found the phone for about 30 seconds and it was 3 hours away where he lives. Then, the locator shut off and, then, his itunes password changed, at that very moment.
  2. FREEZE HIS DEBIT CARD: Since I am on his bank account I could do this.
  3. MESSAGE FACEBOOK FRIENDS: I didn’t know who to call, he has been living on his own for 2 years and just changed living arrangements. I messaged 8 of the most recent people that he had posted, focusing on names I had heard him mention.
  4. SUSPEND HIS PHONE and called Verizon to put phone on LOST/STOLEN list, both reversible, in case I was a crazy mom.
  5. EMAIL HIM (this was a mistake): I thought he might have a computer with him and told him all my steps so far,  I still had no idea where he was. I got an email back about an hour later….this email came from his phone.
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  6. SET HIS PHONE TO WIPE when it re-connected to the internet, after that email from the phone, I knew that he was definitely separated from his phone.
  7. CHANGE PASSWORDS on the passwords I could access- itunes, bank account.
  8. GUESS his gmail password and got in and changed it — there I learned that his Credit Card company was suspicious of gas and Wal-Mart charges. That email had been read. – I tried to respond to say those were not Chris charges…but I didn’t know his CC user name and password.
  9. CANCELLED Debit card and then credit card once I got his log in info.
  10. RE-MESSAGE FACEBOOK FRIENDS : Once I knew he was safe,  I contacted all 8 people to let them know he was found.

4 1/2 hours after the 6 am text I got a phone call from my son – he had been robbed, he was ok.  We got his credit card log in information and cancelled the credit card too.

We learned a lot here and will soon post a list of things I want to be ready to do in an emergency.





DSC09601“The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” — Chief Seattle


This month the land chose us (Russ and me).  We know we belong to it, the land by the Allegheny River. It is really an amazing story.

Three weeks ago we finally articulated our common wish to live by the water as we entered into empty nest life – a few years out.

Two weeks ago, Russ saw land along the Allegheny River near East Brady that was being developed.  We hadn’t known about it.  He called around until he learned of the developer.

Only one lot was left, no view of the river, but river access.  We decided to see it and met Angie.  We instantly knew she is special.

As we talked with Angie about the land in her development she was excited to tell us that two other lots had come available.

Together they were perfect and claimed us immediately.  I don’t know how to explain it.  We visited 5 days in a row, trying to understand what we felt deep within.


Each visit, each touch, each walk around the trees (oak, maple, sassafrass, birch, cherry and tulip), near the river, and along the property lines roots us deeper.

Now we ask the Universe to support us to claim the land with monetary exchange, because we know we belong to it, but there is the current societal norms to adhere too.

In deepest gratitude for us and the generations that follow us.

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…” 
— John Muir

Note to Self! Take a Picture!

Now that the kids are getting older, I must be getting sluggish.  As I perused the 2012 family photos I wish for more pictures that include everyone at the event. Well, not everyone, but all of the family.

We vacationed with the Grandmas in Wisconsin to see Chris while he was co-oping and the best pictures I have to show for this is a picture of Dad and kids preparing to kayak or everyone minus ME at dinner.  I want the whole thing — ALL 7 of us.  I want to be in the pictures.


We have special Casey pictures of all five of us at the Farmer’s Market in Appleton, WI and after eating at the Golden Fleece in Greektown, Detroit, Michigan – thank goodness for her creative photo taking.  (can you find all 5 of us in these pictures:)



Why didn’t I take the extra effort to get a picture

  • tubing down the River- all 5 of us and Grandma?
  • of us at Peek n Peak, skiing and boarding?
  • during one of our family breakfasts out?

Thank goodness Chris insisted on a picture at THON 2012.


This year, my picture taking process will be different.  Less pictures, more people!

Always a Soccer Mom

For 16 years I’ve been a soccer mom and now my days of soccer watching are slowing down with the last and only kid at home.  This means I’ve got more time on my hands and I’m savoring every game.  Last Saturday’s game was one of those wonderful game experiences. I don’t want to forget a moment of it.

We got up early and took Jen to the bus at school, then headed to Eat ‘n Park to have breakfast with Chris.  He was home for a couple days on his way from his Co-op at Kimberly-Clark in Neenah, WI to Penn State Supply Chain Career Fair.   Breakfast was relaxed and fun – no rushing, just good conversation and picture taking to send to Casey to show our support for her school.

It was one of those rare sunny days, not too cold or hot.  We drove to the soccer field of the opposing school (an hour from our house) and arrived at the start of the game.  It was Jen’s first time as a forward so we sat in our chairs looking at the opposing goalie’s area, better to see Jen.  She was a little ball of fire, pretty serious about getting a goal and shooting on goal very often.  I am just amazed that my iphone got a nice pic or two (bad mom, I forgot the Sony camera).

We soaked up sun, watched Jen work hard, saw her amazing crosses up to goal and a assist or two.  Lots of shots on goal, she even hits the goal box posts.  It was a day to savor!  Life is good.

Identifying my MOM CONNECTION

I am acutely aware that I want to identify that special somethin’ somethin’  to enjoy with Jen, my youngest.  Mostly this is selfish, I like to be a “special” Mom among my kids and their friends, but isn’t every mom special. Ok, now that I know it’s all about me, I’ll continue.

For Chris, my oldest, who absolutely loves food, especially breakfast and dessert foods, I am known as the breakfast mom.  I’m great with French toast (baked and on the griddle), waffles, pancakes, Swedish Tea Rings, cookies and cakes.  I know this now because some of Jen’s friends dream of coming here for breakfast (because their older sibling did).  And,  our HS Graduation celebrations so far have been brunches.

For, Casey, my middle one, arts and crafts were the gift we shared.  I’m quite accomplished in leading large groups in tie-dying, jewelry making, decoupaging, working with tulip paints.  I think the Purple Oranges Dodge Ball Team had three of four different shirts all created by my daughter, me and the team of 6 girls.  And, the whole HS soccer team also made their shirts with our care and guidance.  And I won’t forget the “Sweet Peas” shirts.

Now for Jen, the youngest, I’m just not sure  what I bring to the party yet.  I’m still thinking about it, trying to be aware of what I already do.  Hey older kids,  I’m open to ideas here, suggestions?   Maybe I just need to make it all about her, rather than all about me:) Hahaha!

She just commandeered all three bedrooms!

Well guys, you might have to ‘sleep over’ in the basement when you come home for holidays and breaks.  Your little sister spread herself out into all the bedrooms, except mine.  She keeps her guinea pigs and all the baby guinea pigs in one room; she sleeps in another room; and has her clothes and stuff in her own room.  I’d like to think maybe she’s missing you so much she wants a connection with each of you, but part of me knows she just wants more real estate.  I’m thinkin’ you’ll be having ‘sleep overs’ everywhere in the house but the bedrooms.  Just preparing you!

Hello world!

This is just a family thing, a wish for TMI kind of sharing between siblings and parents.  I’m just a Mom that is crazy about her kids and have a wish to keep us close in a way that fosters our JOY for each other.  We’ll see where it takes us, evolve this blog’s reason for being…but for now,  I just want to know about the stuff, the experiences, the dreams that cause us to think about Family,  OUR family.    Sending the LOVE!