Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Over for now....

I've been thinking for a long time about this blog stuff...

I enjoy writing my blog, but realized I don't like that people know about me and our life and I don't know who they/you are!

Compared to other blogs that I read, I received very little commenting (none!) and I guess I finally realized I don't like that.  I guess I was expecting that if you read, you should/would give opinions or comments and I would feel like the blog was 2-way communication, and I would get to know YOU too.  That never really happened.  Other than my kids and Jannis (thank you Jannis!), no one ever responded.  I enjoy it, but not enough to keep everyone up to date with the Fausey's.

I have decided to keep writing and blogging, but now only for my personal use and diary....

Monday, March 28, 2011


As I've mentioned before, I am surprised how many people are interested in our life and choose to read my blog.  I started it roughly 2 years ago, and I currently have hundreds of hits every week.  Sometimes over a hundred a day.  But, I don't know who all of you are!

Compared to other blogs, I receive very few comments. So, that even questions me even more.  I have decided to make my blog private to my "followers" only.  I think it's only fair.  If you like reading this enough and getting the "inside scoop" on our family, then I think it's only fair that I know who you are!

So, its really simple, semd me an email to juliefausey@hotmail.com and I will email you back with an invite to follow my blog!  You will need a gmail account.  The instructions are very simple to set one up.

I will be making this "live" sometime later this week!

Thanks everybody! Can't wait to see who you all are!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Giving more than is Expected

I was inspired this morning by Jamie's Perfect Ten. She recently attended a lenten luncheon and her message through Linda Thieman's talk truly touched me.  Giving more than is expected.

Wow!  I would liken that to my children and how they strive for the minimum around the house.  They carry their laundry basket up to their room as asked, then leave it sit, not putting it away, until they need to dump it on the floor to carry the next huge load down.  They empty their backpacks after school and then leave remnants of their lunch boxes all over the kitchen and papers and projects in the family room.  Or, even the older girls.  They were home from Spring Break last week. I asked them to please have their rooms when they left, as they were when they came home. They did. But, who needs to go in now and clean their bathroom from top to bottom?

I do have good kids, and helpers actually too, but why do we only do what we have to? The minimum. How can we teach to do more, give more, expect less.  That doing more will, in the end, get you more.

A simple story.

"Brad" his mom called out, "I just found out that Mrs. Sommers, our neighbor, is going to the hospital for a few days. She needs someone to feed her two cats. Do you think you could help her out?"

"Sure Mom, no problem," shrugged the boy as he headed out the door. "I can stop by on my way home from school, I guess."
Later that day, Brad made his way to the elderly widow's house, and let himself in with the key that she had left under the welcome mat. The door opened with a loud squeak, alerting the two Calico cats who purred with gratitude as their visitor graciously filled up their bowls with generous portions of food and water.

"Okay - good deed for the day accomplished," Brad thought with a sense of satisfaction.

Just then he noticed a strange dripping sound coming from the kitchen. Curious, Brad went to investigate and discovered the culprit - a leaking faucet, that by the looks of the water stain on the sink, had been dripping for quite some time.

For a brief moment, the thought flashed through Brad's mind: "I could fix that..." But he quickly dismissed the idea. After all, he was just there to feed the cats. And besides, he knew that all of his friends would be out playing ball and he was anxious to join them.

He turned to leave. As he stepped out the door Brad nearly tripped on the tall, overgrown grass. "Wow, this really needs trimming. In fact, this whole place is falling apart. It was never like this when Mr. Sommers was alive. But that's none of my business."

Brad started on his way, half jogging, toward the park. But he had hardly gone a half a dozen steps when he stopped in his tracks. "Maybe I really should go back and take care of some of those problems," he thought to himself. "But, then again", he countered, "I did feed the cats like she asked. What do I need to get so involved for?"

Brad took a few more steps, and stopped again. He imagined the poor, old widow all alone, and how big these "little" problems must seem to her now that her husband was no longer around to take care of them.

"I'm gonna do it!" he resolutely decided. Without delay, the boy ran home, grabbed a few tools. After an hour and a half of spraying, wrench-twisting, and weed-trimming, Mrs. Sommer's house was starting to look like new. The door stopped squeaking, the faucet stopped dripping, and the grass looked neat and trim again. Even the cats seemed somehow more content.

A few days later after Brad had forgotten about the whole thing, his mom called him out from his bedroom. She had a big smile on her face and seemed to be glowing with pride. "I just got off the phone with Mrs. Sommers. She told me that an 'angel' had visited her house while she was away. She was crying with joy as she told me about how overwhelmed she had been by all the creaks and leaks since Mr. Sommers passed away, and that your surprise good deed made her feel like a new person!" Brad blushed. He was glad that he had been able to open his heart and make the extra effort to do even more than he had been asked.

What prompted Brad to do more? What do I need to do to instill in my children that   desire or prompting to "do more"? I guess this carries beyond the kids.  Do I, "do more"? Am I guilty of doing the minimum too?  Is that why my kids don't go above and beyond, because I don't go above and beyond? Wow! Jamie, you struck a chord with me on this one!

My kids do well at Lent.  Jonathan gave up all junk food.  He considers almost  everything junk food.  I have nothing to pack in his lunch box anymore. Chips, pretzels, animal crackers, granola bars and cheese crackers are all junk food. Natalie gave up Facebook. Well, she cut down on her useage of Facebook.  I am being facetious, but what if they still ate junk food and still went on Facebook and instead, every day did something for me, or their grandparents, or a teacher or a random person that wasn't expected.  Like calling Grandma and asking if she needs helps with twigs in her yard.  Or, "Mom, can I start to clean the leaves out of the front flower beds for you?"  I mean really went out of their way to go "the extra mile"! Wow, 40 days of "more" sure might beat 40 days of "less" in this case!

Ok, great lesson for the kids.  I will have them read my blog tonight.

Better yet, I need to reread my blog. Every day this lent (and beyond.)  Easy to say the kids need to work on this.  Harder to admit that I do.

Thank you Jamie and Linda....

Monday, March 14, 2011


About 7-8 weeks ago, knowing Jenna and Lauren's spring break schedule, I got to thinking how nice it would be to find a short retreat that the three of us could share when they were home.  I checked all the retreat centers in Ohio with nothing being available this specific weekend.  I enlarged my search to Indiana and Michigan, and what do you know, I truly stumbled upon a Womens Spa Weekend and Retreat put on by a Catholic High school near Chicago. The retreat was in New Buffalo, Michigan.  I emailed the person in charge and asked if it was closed to just the schools members. She responded saying there still was room and we would be welcome.

I spoke with the girls and they also thought it was a great idea...(not exactly Panama City or Cancun, but hey, why not!) We left Friday morning and wouldn't you know, there were some great outlets within 15 minutes of our destination! We had a nice drive there and did a little shopping in the gorgeous sunshine before arriving at the Marina Grand Resort.  It is on the coast of Lake Michigan and obviously thee boaters capital of the area.  We had a wonderful room that overlooked the marina, (with zero boats at this time of year!) even complete with a patio and a fireplace.  The decor was Scandinavian, and although not "plush",  I will admit it is the first hotel room that I ever took pictures of! I'm sure my latest craze with design and decorating was to blame for that!  The lamps and fabrics and throw pillows on the bed (yes!) were all different from my traditional sense of decorating but, oh, so warm and inviting. 

I will try to make a long story short, but after feeling a little out of place by not knowing anyone, with everyone else having a link to this school, were quickly brought into the group by the participants and priests early Friday evening.  We went around the room and gave our name and relationship to Providence High School.  You can not imagine the response I received when I said I had zero relationship through the school but found it through a Google search! The place roared! From then on, we were warmly welcomed, and I bet over 75% of those ladies came up to Jenna, Lauren or myself over those 3 days and made us feel so very welcomed and at home.

The order of Priests that serves this area are called Augustinians. Their order is founded on the principles and life of St. Augustine. Wow! So very coincidental. It was fate and I truly felt we were supposed to be there. They felt the same way and were oohing and aahing when I mentioned that even though I had never heard of the Augustinians before, our home parish was St. Augustine.  Wow!  A very powerful weekend.  There was Adoration available, we had a wonderful reconciliation service, mass and the speakers were wonderful! 

Saturday evening we had a awesome meal complete with dancing and laughing and overall had a tremendous time.  Way beyond all of our expectations.  I must also mention a group of three women that we happened to sit with the first night.  Karen, Irene and Barb went out of there way to make us feel at home.  We joined them in their suite before dinner on Saturday and they hosted "thee" best quaint little gathering complete with food that I need to get ahold of recipes!  A crispy flat bread that was salty and marinated cheese and a cheesecake recipe that beats mine, hand down! We all talked as if we had all known each other for a while.  Even having the disparity of the age groups did not seem to matter. Oh, so special. 

There was also a little down time for the girls to get in some homework, but Sunday then around noon we left after brunch and I then brought the girls back to Toledo and I then headed for home.  Dan did a great job holding down the fort.  The boys had 15 friends (girls and boys) at our house Friday night and Natalie had her group Saturday night.  They all had a great weekend too! 

The mesages I heard this weekend will linger with me for a long time.  The topic was Forgiveness.  Wow, what a fitting way to start Lent. Powerful, yet simple words and phrases will affect me for forever.  The people, the topics, the message, the sharing, giving and the friendships will be remembered....

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


So, my kids definitely understand the meaning of Fat Tuesday. The twins came home from track practice obviously hungry yesterday.  I was almost finished with dinner and explained we would be eating in less than 15 minutes. Jonathan proceeds to open a yogurt.  Andrew was rummaging through the fridge. Then they both looked in the snack drawer.  After I yelled at Jon, he grumbled and poured a full glass of OJ.  All 7 of us sat down to roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn, buttery biscuits, and jello with fresh strawberries, and a large bowl of canteloupe! Within 30 minutes of finishing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen, we were sitting in the family room and Jonathan pulled out a bag of Dove Chocolate.  He finished them.  About an hour later, I see him with this ginormous bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  I finally asked him if he really didn't get enough for dinner (which I knew wasn't the case, as he had a double helping of everything, including 3 biscuits!) and said, "Mom, it's Fat Tuesday!!"
No Paczki's for us, but must admit, I also splurged a little last evening (and the night before too!)  I crushed some Heath Bars in vanilla ice cream added chocolate syrup and made my own Flurry. Yummmm! One of my favorites. So, I think between myself and Jonathan and anyone else who was on the same mission, cleared out all the chocolate in the house! Other than a few boxes of hidden girl scout cookies, we are good to go for today!

I always knew sooner or later I would really feel the effect of three "men" in the house, as far as eating goes, that is! Wow! it's happening. The girls were all good eaters, but also are not big snackers.  I think all the running really keeps them on a good eating regimen. The twins, until the last year, really didn't eat much.  Now, they are eating constantly and in major quantities.  Andrew has always been skinny.  But, he has been growing by leaps and bounds and is now eating like crazy.  He eats very healthy though.  If I cut up a big head of broccoli for dinner, he will eat over half of it.  His plate will be half green! Not kidding.  (I guess he eats Jon's half...Jon eats zero veggies!) We go through 12 cups of yogurt a day (sure wish I knew someone who  worked at Dannon) and a gallon of milk. I serve a fruit and vegetable (if not two) at every meal. Well, the bottom line is my grocery bill has doubled from a few years ago.  What would I do without Aldi's? Now, with track starting, there is even more pressure to make sure they get enough food and the right kind!

Monday, March 07, 2011

A "family" kind of weekend.

Yep, I'm keeping busy on the other blog.  Having so much fun, but it is a little work.  I'm having a hard time with some of my pictures.  The glare and angles and lighting in our house isn't the greatest,  and I'm really impatient with cameras.  I want to turn one on and "click", the picture is perfect.  Not happening

I sure would appreciate anyone that is visiting Fresh Perspectives to leave a comment or two and become a "follower". It's a pretty common  thing on the blog scene to become a follower.  Kind of like being a "friend" on Facebook.  No, you won't get any spam and there is no security risk!  On the Fab Five it is in the right hand column and on Fresh Perspectives it is at the bottom.  I may be linking these to Facebook soon...you may have to do again if you have FB.  (Thanks!)

So another busy weekend.  Lauren came home Friday night. House projects Saturday.  (I won't bore you with details!)

Girls BB district finals Saturday night in Van Wert. Way to go girls!  The boys also won sectionals!  Way to go guys! Let's keep it rolling...

2011 District Champs

  Jenna and Matt had his cousin's wedding in Dayton on Saturday. Hmmm... guess who caught the bouquet?

We put steaks on the grill last night and then played BuzzTime Trivia.  The boys won.  Major house rule broken.  Rule is "Girls Always Win".  Matt is just going to have to learn! So, after a sit-around-the-house-and-enjoy-each-other kind of Sunday, we are back to normal. Well, kind of.  I have three college students still in bed and 3 other kids off to school.  Track starts today, and the boys were excited, even though they started training a few weeks ago. Hope the weather keeps getting better.  This is the time of year that we always manage to get sick!

Well, the kitchen is calling...  Hope everyone has a great week. Spring is coming!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A Day Away

"Cheer Cheer for Old Notre Dame.."
Sometimes just a day away refreshes your body and soul.  We received tickets for Christmas to a ND Basketball game from Matt (Jenna's boyfriend) for January 6th.  Well, that day South Bend had a record 28 inches of snow in a 24 hour period.  Obviously we didn't go, but I just happened to call the ticket office the next day disappointed, and they gave us tickets to a future game.  ND vs Villanova!  But, a Monday night, so some school would have to be missed. (Since tickets are basically final sale, this was much appreciated.)  I added a ticket for Natalie thinking she would be done with BB. Not!! After finding out early Sunday morning she would be able to miss practice, we quickly came home from church and frantically rushed around packing a cooler, a change of clothes and Sophie's stuff for Grandma's house.  We figured if we were going to drive over three hours there, and three hours back, an overnight would be in order. We arrived in South Bend to hit their mall for about an hour. I had received a gift card to Olive Garden, which made for a wonderful dinner. It is one restaurant that makes everyone in our house happy!  We then headed to the hotel and to be honest just had fun sitting around, all five of us, in a small room for the evening, instead of spread out in bedrooms and basements, on computers and PS3's all night like normal.  It was nice to have some good family time.  Ok, I gotta be honest. Natalie still sat at the computer most of the night following her friends on Facebook.  (But, we were all in one room!!) We watched the Oscars and fell asleep around midnight. 

Oh my, when the phone rings at 5:30 a.m., you know something isn't good.  My Mom and Dad were at our house because of the rain and were worried.  Both sump pumps were running continually and the back yard was flooded and the dock was underwater.  What to do?  I, of course, did not fall back asleep after checking three different radars and the weather forecast.  It looked like the rain was over.  We called back around 8 and indeed it was looking better.  We decided to stay and so glad we did.  We hit a few fun bookstores and shops and then headed over to campus for a visit.  We went to the bookstore and the Visitors Center, then to the Basilica and Grotto where we lit a few candles. 
Sold Out Senior Night
 We had a quick dinner at the Huddle (Student Union) and then proceeded to the game.  It was our first ND BB game. So much fun!  The student section and the band and the fight song and then a record number of three's in the first half!  It was a blow-out, but oh, so much fun to watch.
ND Student Section
 The dreaded three hour ride home wasn't as bad as expected, but unloading a car at midnight is not my idea of fun!  The kids were able to get up well, although I will admit I was a little slower than normal in my routine yesterday! The sunshine helped, but I think overall the change of scenery and just being away from home, (although a little stressful for a few hours!) was just what we all needed after months of snow, slush, clouds and dreariness! There was definitely a "pep in our step" being out and about, especially on the beautiful campus of Notre Dame. 
Thee Golden Dome on a beautiful clear day! The sky was so blue!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow Days...

Ok, it can be over. I've seen enough snow, swept up enough salt in the garage to melt 6 inches of snow every day for the next year and had the kids home too many days this week! The only bonus of a Friday snow day is that I have additional helpers for cleaning day. Andrew swept both sets of steps...Jonathan cleaned the bar area in the basement and Natalie cleaned the whole family room for me. I made chicken noodle soup and finished the rest of the first floor cleaning. Uggh. At least the snow melted off the driveway thanks to the twins doing some good shoveling of the biggest part of it The forecast is showing 52 degrees by Monday. Can we just go upward from there?

Basketball is over for the boys but Natalie will be sitting on the varsity bench for the rest of the girls' season. They play in the sectional finals tomorrow night. I'm hoping for another successful tournament run. Good Luck Girls!

Natalie was supposed to go today to take her drivers license test. Not! Now she has to wait another 6 days....next appointment was next Thursday. She is not too happy about that right now! She was ready to go this morning...while it was still snowing and blowing. 

Next week I get both girls home at the same time!  Jenna and Lauren will be on Spring Break in the warm, sunny, happening town of Minster! I am looking forward to the whole family being together again for a few days. 

Have had a headache all day.  Finally took something a little stronger than Advil....maybe a hot bath with some Epsom Salts will help.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

Happy Birthday Natalie!
It almost looks like you are holding a phone there texting!! That's about the only way I see you any more....
Not exactly sure where the last 16 years went, but the memories are all great ones! Looking forward to watching you grow and becoming even more beautiful and successful in everything you do!
Love you! Have a Wonderful Day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


My second blog...


can be found at:


Looking forward to your comments and suggestions.