Saturday, December 30, 2006

fresh start

I'm not one to make new year resolutions. I really never have. Maybe one year here, one year there. This year is different. I have just a few things of which I hope to work at in the coming year.

1. Exercise at least three times a week. The Christmas money was pooled and a stepper was bought. It is set up and ready to be used. Along with the work out bench and the videos that have been wiped free of dust.

2. As of the 1st, eating around here is going to change. Slowly, but it will change. With being the grocery shopper and cook of the family, I feel it is my responsibility to feed our family healthily. What better time to start this with a new year right around the corner. With taking better care of myself and our family, eating healthy is half the battle. Exercise is the other.

I could include many more, but when I get too bogged down I then do none, which would defeat the whole purpose of writing this. I will set goals to work at, continue good habits that have already started, and keep at breaking the bad habits that have formed.

I am looking forward to this new year. If it is nothing like the beginning of 2006, I will be more than happy (last year started with vertigo, sinus infection, pink eye in both eyes, another sinus infection, pink eye again and ended with vertigo in March).

So here's to a new year. A time to start fresh with a big gulp of clear air and a lilt to the steps that will be taken over the next 12 months.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

observing changes

Every day seems to be blending into another. Once the kids' feet hit the ground the day starts and once their eyes are closed and they are actually sleeping, the day can come to an end and a breath can be taken. What goes on in between those two moments is all a blur. I can't tell one day from the next as they all consist of the same things. Work. Take Sam to school. Go to one store or another. Get home. Get Sam off the bus. Dinner. Bedtime. Do all over again. But that seems to be coming to an end.

Usually I do not look forward to change. I become content in the every day sameness and even the every day struggles seem to look alike. But changes are coming down the pipe. And I look forward to them. I'm ready for a change. Tomorrow starts the first one. Sam is done with school for the next week and a half and I'm looking forward to having him home and have ideas in my head of what we can do over the next days before schools starts again.

It has been hard to find enjoyment in each day when they fly by and seem like a repeat of the day before. I'm sure there are little changes that are happening that I don't even realize. The sun peaking through the clouds. The kids learning something new. Encouraging someone without realizing it. A step towards growth, even when it may be a small step. A stirring in the heart.

So with eyes that now see the way life has been, hopefully they can focus on the little things that can change and bring life instead of the same things that they have observed over the past days and weeks.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

before the fall

I lived out a saying Tuesday night. Pride comes before the fall. And the fall comes fast and hard. Very hard.

Tuesday night was the Orienteering group Agape Feast. A time to come together, worship through singing, reading scripture, eating a Mediterranean meal and taking communion together. The evening was focused on the prophesies of Christ's coming in the Old Testament and then reading in the New Testament of how those prophesies came true through Christ's birth, death and ressurection. It was an amazing, amazing time of reflection, celebration, worship and fellowship.

Ed and I were in charge of bringing a bean dish, dessert, bread and olives. Bread was bought, hummus became the bean dish, canned olives were purchased and baklava and pirouettes were ready to go on the plates.

With being the only one bringing desserts, I wanted to make sure there was enough for everyone, and an assortment in case some people did not enjoy nuts (in the baklava0. So onto the internet I hopped and found some Jewish dessert recipes. Babka (bread with a filling in the middle, rolled up like a jelly roll), apple turnovers and cinnamon twists. Everything was on schedule. Bread was rising, dough was chilling in the refrigerator and the oven and I were ready to tackle all the food. I was excited. Excited to see how everything would turn out. Visions of how the home-made apple turnovers would look, dressed in their drizzled glaze. How the cinnamon twists would be with their sugar coatings on, looking pretty lined up next to each other. How everyone would oooo and ahhhh over the creations and I would feel good that I made something worthy of a large number of people to eat.

Come about 4:30, I started on the turnovers. Apples were peeled, sliced and diced ready to become stuffing. Little did I know that the person who wrote the recipe did not include all ingredients or state at what the turnovers should bake at. My eyes were all stars when I first read it, amazed at how easy it sounded. This should've been a red flag, but nope. I just continued on. Thankfully my mom was home, so many phone calls were made. It helps that she's been a baker for years! :) I ended up making 5 turnovers that turned out to be blobs with big holes on the top. Frustration level started to rise.

Cinnamon twists were rolled out and twisted, on the cookie sheets ready to go after the blobs came out of the oven. Not putting two and two together, the twists were actually cookies, not like taco bell cinnamon twists. So when they were taken off the cookie sheet, they all broke because they were too long and thin.

By the time I left for church, my frustration level was beyond compacity. I was driving with broken cinnamon twists, no apple turn overs and hopes that the babka turned out as it was on a cooling sheet in the back seat.

It wasn't until later, while singing and finally being able to take a deep breath that God revealed to me how prideful I had been. How I had been making all the food for my own glorification instead of just to be enjoyed by others, no matter what it turned out like. It's obvious now that the food didn't turn out for a reason. A reason called a lesson.

It was a hard lesson. A hard lesson learned a hard way with a hard fall. And you know what? Not one person noticed the broken cookies or missed the blob turnovers. The evening was a huge success and my flubbed up desserts did not make or break the evening. They were just used as an instrument to break my pride.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Let it Snow!

Today I signed up for the Let it Snow reading club for adults at the library. I look forward to this at winter time as it gets me out of my "normal" reading patterns and into books I usually wouldn't read. It is set up like a bingo game. There are drawings for completing two bingo's and the entire sheet but I'm excited to read some different types of genres. I never know what to read except what I'm used to, so with lists of suggestions given for each genre, I have somewhere to start.

As you can see on the sheet, there are different types of books you have to read to fill a square. Animal stories, chick lit/men in action, set in the west or a western, mystery or thriller, etc. There are also 4 "your choice" boxes. So it is quite an array of books that you will have read by the time the sheet is all filled up.

I have my first 4 books.

One Book One County: Peace Like A River by Leif Enger
Inspirational or Romance: When Heaven Weeps by Ted Dekker
Chick Lit or Men in Action: Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes
Michigan Author: Wanting Only To Be Heard by Jack Driscoll

Monday, December 04, 2006

Saturday, December 02, 2006

scene change

Freezing rain for 8 hours. Snow for 4 hours. School for 0 hours. Playing outside for 15 minutes. Rosy cheeks for 30 minutes. Hot chocolate for 3 minutes.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


It's just not right when the temperature reached 63 today, is sitting at 56 at 7:04 pm, and a winter storm watch is in effect.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

reoccuring theme

I had written the following a while back and I keep coming back to it, so I thought it would be worth sharing as it is an area in my life that continues to pop up.

I seem to have a reoccuring theme inside of me. A theme of "not good enough". Where it comes from, I know. It's the enemy trying to ruin my heart. To ruin the image of who I believe I am. A daughter of God. This theme comes and goes each month. It could be a sentence, a phrase that flits before my eyes. Something someone says or doesn't say. It's usually something I assume. I have learned that assuming is not that great of an idea to do. Emotions come flooding back. Emotions of I'm not liked because I'm not like so and so, or think like this person, or do what this person does. That I'm not good enough based on what and who others are. Over the past months I've beaten myself down because of this, or should I say, have allowed myself to be beaten down. Weeks out of every month have been spent in tears, sorrow, self pity and truly believing I really am not good enough for any one. Why is this so important to me? Is life based soley on this aspect? No. Funny, that after months of being told that I am worth something, that I truly believed those words. All these emotions came flooding back today because of what I assumed. I started being beaten down. Ground into the earth. Then a small, little flicker, a hushed whisper came to me. "God loves you. He thinks you are so very important. He LOVES you! You are assuming again and letting the enemy grab your heal and pull you down and I am here to hold you. You don't have to feel this way. I made you and love every aspect about you because I knitted you together and you are exactly who and what you are supposed to be. My child." All of this came at me in a split second. And after these thoughts flitted across my mind, very softly, I was ok.

This past Sunday we were visiting a friends church and the pastor spoke about being the unique person that God created you to be. To not pretend or wish you were someone else. To just be you. He talked about a conversation between Jesus and Peter (John 21:15-22). Jesus asking Peter three times if he loved Him and Peter answering yes all three times. Then Peter asking Jesus about John, who was following behind these two during their conversation, "What about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You should follow me." I need not try and be or wish to be someone I'm not. My focus should be on following Christ, not on who/what others are.

One step forward and I'm sure there will be steps back in the days to come, but letting this truth break through, has been a giant step. No matter how tired, beaten down or how many times I fall, I need to keep stepping, crawling, moving forward and continue being who He uniquely made me to be.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

coming to you...

From balmy Ill.

We made it today to our friends' place around 11 a.m. our time, 10 a.m Ill time. (The road trip was split up into two days). Our friends weren't home, so we sat on their front porch ready to surprise the husband. Within 5 minutes, they pulled in the driveway and he exited the car slack jawed. "Happy Birthday!!" He was absolutely shocked.

We had lunch out and then went to the park. With it being a nice 70 degrees, we took advantage of every moment outside.

Excellent conversations, excellent weather, all around an excellent day.

Tomorrow is church, lunch in St. Louis (another surprise for our friend's 40th birthday weekend) and then heading home. The time here has moved way too quickly.

Bedtime is approaching. Kids have had a hard day playing with their friends. They even tried out the oversized jacuzzi tub in our room (which went better than last night in the hotel pool when Alina drank too much water and threw up all over the pool deck. Her little belly and pool chlorinated water don't mix well).

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

eight blind mice

The mouse population has grown in our home. The population, that is, of dead mice. Yesterday and this morning were the clinchers. Yesterday I asked Sam the usual morning question. "Would you like to go and check the mouse traps?" He really enjoys dead things. Morbid, I know. He was yelling for me to come downstairs to see the trap that sprang, was licked free of peanut butter, and beheld no objects in the shape of a small rodent. So I rounded the corner and was heading back upstairs when I saw a movement. There, peeking up at me was a cute little mouse. The kids started yelling, "DON'T KILL IT MOMMY!!!". So what is a mother supposed to do? Secretly kill it behind their backs? Let it roam free so as not to squish two little hearts who are looking adoringly at the beady eyed invader? I quickly looked around to see what I could squash it with and found nothing. I came up and called Ed. "How do you kill a live mouse?" I was armed with a plastic cup to capture it, went back downstairs and it was gone. I picked up my exercise mat and tapped it on the floor, out jumped the mouse, me following it with a cup and it leaping to safety under the couch. DRAT!

Sam was even so considerate to peel off all of his crust from his toast and leave it on the floor to feed the mouse. Thank you my son.

This morning I awake to this: "jean" in a hushed whisper. "JEan". "JEAN!". I was then awake. Came downstairs and Ed said, "Look". There in the middle of the kitchen floor was my small little tin tub that is usually on top of the washing machine, upside down. My mind was still a bit foggy and was asked, "do you know what's in there?" I squeemishly replied, "a mouse?". Bingo. He said he saw it running around the dining room was able to cover it up and right before the tub went over it, it just gave a little innocent look at him. What to do next? I suggested putting a mouse trap under there with it and let that kill it. So downstairs I went to get the mouse trap I had set for yesterdays live mouse, thinking that was the mouse that managed to make it upstairs. I yelled up to Ed, "It wasn't the mouse that was down here!" I still need to empty that trap. So we tried to set the mouse trap, but it went off right when Ed put the tub over it. Paper bag with a little tub and jumping mouse inside worked wonders. Then transfered to a plastic bag. Then like a grape juice stomping party, but in pajamas, the fun began. Three out of four of us were outside on the back deck making a quick demise to the rodent who wasn't so smart to show its face in our home. I sat inside hoping I was going to be able to eat today.

So now, death blocks are strategically placed all around the perimeter of the house. Death food. Lucky mice. Talks of getting a mouser are more and more now.

Now as dusk falls I sit here and think I see running things across the floor and hear rustling, scratching sounds. Ahhhh the imagination does wonders.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

what about you?

1. A God who loves and forgives, no matter how many times I fall flat on my face. Pursues, offers life, breathes sustinance. Lifts me up when I am deep in despair or depression. Is patient in my relationship with Him, in learning how I fit into His ultimate story, and seeking out who He made me to be. Promises to always be there and has been there through dark valleys and sunny peaks. For this I am thankful.

2. A man who puts the twinkle in my eye. Is my best friend. Holds me when life is crashing by so hard and breathing is next to impossible. Accepts me despite my faults. Listens to my heart whether it is crying or laughing. Encourages me to try new things and climb out a bit further on the limbs of life. Takes my hand and doesn't let go through the adventures that are placed before us. For him I am thankful.

3. Two little people who forgive at the drop of a hat. Have smiles that radiate with joy and the youthfulness of life. Are reminders that living CAN be fun. Exude health and are vibrant. Fill our home with laughter, screams, stomping feet and noise. Give hugs full of love. Cause silliness and tears. Bring joy that no other can fill. For these two I am thankful.

4. Friends who listen and nudge. Cause stomach cramps from laughing so very hard. Remind me to be myself and no one else. Are authentic. Encourage spiritual growth and depth. Despite miles of separation, are always a phone call or e-mail away. For all of them I am thankful.

5. Family. A warm home. Music. Sounds of the ocean, birds, leaves rustling. Seasons. Books. A growling stomach as a reminder to eat. Imaginations. Each person's uniqueness. Hard times causing growth. Needs being met. And so much more.

For all of these I am thankful. What about you?

Friday, November 10, 2006

of mice and woodpeckers

When we were looking for a house to buy back before our daughter was born, we really weren't looking for a fixer-upper. Funny how what .

A new septic system due to the 60 year old one, a new backyard due to the new septic system, a new bathroom due to a rotted floor and leaking toilet seal, new insulation in the ceiling, service call for the water heater going out due to a red squirrel going down the chimney and stopping the air flow to the water heater (it met its demise as it got stuck), a new water softner system as the old one didn't work and turned all our clothes yellow. A new dishwasher because the other one rusted and broke due to the water.

There is still a lot we need to do to the house. Some things are taking a higher priority as the days go by. Take the siding for instance. We had in the long range forcast to put new siding on, oh, in maybe 10 years. Yesterday found me outside trying to figure out what the thunking noise was I heard inside. I thought it was a mouse in the walls chewing and scrambling around on some wood (the mice in the basement have delighted in several meals off of the mouse traps due to me just realizing that I was setting them wrong!). Then I listened more carefully and noticed that the noise was too consitant to be a mouse. So I opened up Sam's window and he and I came to the conclusion that it was something outside. So out I went and low and behold, a woodpecker was on the side of our house working away at a hole in our siding. It's amazing how such a small little bird can cause so much damage. A nice quarter size hole was drilled out from this woodpecker. I must say though, that it did its job very well. God made woodpeckers with quite strong beaks.

Because of this woodpecker, it was also discovered that our siding boards are starting to rot. So siding the house has moved up in priority on the house list.

I struggle with this house. With everything that has gone wrong with it, that continues to go wrong with it. I try to keep a positive attitude. I try to keep trusting that He will provide exactly what we need. But it's hard. I really am thankful to be in a place that is warm, that is in a good school district, that has a yard where our kids can play, where wildlife (other than mice) can be seen daily, for the beauty of the huge trees changing colors, that is a safe haven for our family. I don't want to become old and bitter because of the way life has gone, but grasp each moment, situation, and challenge that falls before us as an adventure and learning experience and be thankful despite the house falling apart.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A piece of skin



Thanks to my determindness and the one last piece of skin that I just HAD to get off the apple, I instead am missing a portion of skin off the top of my finger. Thanks to my man who bandaged me all up. Good thing I don't faint when I see blood because there was a whole mess of it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

a good day

You know it's going to be a good, no a GREAT, day when you can turn the furnace off, throw open the doors and windows and not be cold. It's like that touch of warmth before spring turns into summer, but instead it's fall changing into winter. One last time to wear no coat before having to don the winter duds. One last time to inhale the fragrant air before it turns to crystals. To actually feel the warmth of the sun on your face. And probably the best day for outside jobs, like putting up christmas lights, before the numbing chill of jack frost sets in and the hibernation period begins.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pumpkin Fun

Costumes were readied for the fun parade we went on Saturday in our friends' neighborhood. It was a mile walk around the "block" and ended with cider and doughnuts. There were about 30 of us (our family being the only non-neighborhood family) and it was a ton of fun walking and talking. Sam loved racing around in his costume and Alina stayed on her dad's shoulders the entire time enjoying the view from above.

After the parade, we went to our friends' house and carved pumpkins and ate quesadilla's. Our kids' pumpkins are the middle two in which Sam carved the one on the left and I carved Alina's (who wanted shapes for her face) on the right. Our friends have two older girls who adore our kids and take them under their wings whenever we come over and off they go not to be heard from for a good hour at a time. We all were on the kitchen floor, carving pumpkins while our friends were taking lots of pictures. Once again, I forgot about our camera and have no pictures to display (except for the completed pumpkins).

The kids crashed when we got home and it was nice to have that extra hour of sleep this morning after yesterdays fun filled afternoon/evening.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


This weekend was a success. Friday my mom actually was on the way to church and saw one of my brothers in a parking lot at the corner of their street (waiting for my other brother), pulled in and found out what was going on. I got the call saying, "why didn't you tell me you were planning a surprise?!?" Silly mom.

Saturday we finally got mom out of the house so the cake could be decorated and food prepared for the party that night. Got the cake done (thanks Kristen!!!) with 5 minutes to spare and it went in the commercial pizza oven in the basement for safe keeping. Give-away #1 happened when by chance my mom told my sister in law that she was going to go start the pizza oven for the potatoes and was told to ask Dad to start it (fortunately dad had said where he put the cake and fortunatly mom did NOT turn the oven on!). Give-away #2 was when the table was set and mom (always one to be prepared and ahead of the game) started counting plates and found there to be more than how many people were in the house. Though she did not find out who was coming until they walked in the house.

It was a great weekend.

I'm beyond exhuasted and still have one more day to go before my man gets off that jet plane. I know I can do it. I. Can.

Monday, October 16, 2006

this week

This week is going to be one hoppin week.

Eat breakfast. This is something that doesn't take place often. Once the day gets rolling, it's easy to forget to eat. But I will eat breakfast, even if it's almost noon. :)
Read chapter for ladies group tonight. We're starting Girl Meets God. Can't wait!!
Ladies group.

MOPS. And they serve breakfast, so on this day I know for sure breakfast will make it into my stomach.
Kid duty as Ed has orienteering group this night.

Exercise. I'm trying to get back into the habit.
I'm sure the afternoon will provide something of which will require my presence.

Take Ed to airport. He's going to CO for 5 days for the John Eldredge Wild At Heart Boot Camp with two other guys from church. No phones, computers, tv's, anything. So I won't hear from him again until Sunday when he comes out of the wilderness.
Pack for weekend.

Get ready for weekend.
Help in Sam's class.
Pick Sam up from school and head to Lansing.

Fri-Sun: Thankfully my mother doesn't read my blog, so I can share what's happening this weekend. My mom's birthday was on Sat. the 14th. She turned 70 (I was a late surprise in our family). So I called all the brothers and we're throwing her a party. My dad has kept mum about this, which has been really hard for him. My mom is the one who plans everything that goes on in the house, so this will be a real shocker for her when on Friday afternoon my brother and his wife from TN show up at the door and then my brother and his wife and 4 kids from OH show up at the door. We won't get there until later. She knows that I'm coming with the kids, but nothing else. Saturday I've invited some of her friends to come and we're going to make dinner and have a party. My brother from MI and his wife and kids are going to stop by too. The only one not able to make it is my brother from FL. So, party weekend at my parents house and my mom has no clue. :) I can't wait! I still have lots to plan, phone calls to make, times to get set up, and if we pull this off, it will be amazing.

Monday: Ed comes home. YAY!!!!
So off I go to my week. I'm excited (not about Ed leaving, but for the weekend). It'll be a great week. :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006


We found out a few days ago that we're going to have a new family member at our home. This came as a HUGE and unexpected surprise. We're still trying to get used to the idea of having another one around here, but it'll be great! I'm already looking forward to how much life is going to change, how much things are going to be very different.

I can't tell you how blessed and humbled we are. I cried when I found out. To find out something that we've hoped for, actually come out of the blue was amazing. This one will be welcomed with open arms into our family. Loved. Cared for.

We don't have a name for him/her yet. A name may be passed down from the parents. That's something we need to ask about.

Otherwise, we're so excited!!

Thank you D&J. A HUGE thank you for this AMAZING, AMAZING blessing. We'll take really good care of him/her and feel so privileged to have the mint green machine donn our driveway. :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


This past Monday, life in the office where Ed and I work, had a different tone to it. The company we work for is pretty small. 15-17 people from receptionist all the way up to the president. So when something happens to someone, everyone knows and is affected inside somehow. This was the case Monday.

The HR, finance and everything-in-between-that-deals-with-money guy was in an accident. Different stories have been heard via family and the news, but the bottom line is, he was painting his house with the help of the youth group from his church where he's also an assistant pastor at, was up two stories on a ladder, it tipped, he jumped and got a pretty good shock through him and the teenager who was holding the ladder was electorcuted and died immediately when the ladder touched a high power voltage line.

Chris is still in the hospital, in an induced coma, bandaged hands and feet. Something was said about spine and neck injuries also. He's 36 years old. Married with four elementary aged kids.

This really put life in perspective. Life changes that fast. Split seconds and familes are changed forever. How often do I go through life thinking that everything is going great? Often. Until something like this shakes me to my core. It makes me really take a step back. To remember that I do not rule my life and everything that happens in it. To say I love you more. To give hugs to my husband, kids, family and friends more. To not get so bent out of shape over the little things. To be thankful every day for the life I have and not take it for granted. Because this week I have been reminded that life can change in the blink of an eye.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Just so happens

The one day, ONE day, that Sam and I decide that he will get off the bus all by himself while I stand at the door, is the one day that the bus completely drives by the house. With him on the it. I could see him sitting in there, looking out the window to see if I was standing waiting for him. Down the road the bus went. LONG gone. Out of sight. I called Ed and said, "It's not a good thing when the bus drives right by with our son on board". I called the bus garage and they were actually on the radio with the bus driver. She turned around and I saw them pass our house again. So out I went. To make sure she knew right where to stop. She stopped at the private drive before our house and I could see that Sam told her it was the next driveway, as she pointed to me, standing there waiting.

No apologies, nothing. But I didn't care. I just wanted my son off the bus. Where I could make sure he was ok. He was steaming mad. At me. For waiting for him. By the time we got to the steps he was in tears and I asked him if he was scared and he just started sobbing. Still mad at me for waiting, but I knew he was scared. Of course explaining that I WAS standing at the door waiting for him when he was supposed to get off, didn't matter one bit. I said we'd try again on Monday.

I pick the one day the sub bus driver starts. Thought it was yesterday. Guess I was wrong.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


This week is our first week of having a job chart. It's on a large white dry erase board hanging up in the laundry area. Everyone has jobs. Some jobs are the same every day. Like Sam is responsible for plates every night at dinner. Alina's responsible for forks. Ed's responsible for drinks and I'm responsible for dinner. Other items include Sam picking up his toys in the living room twice a week. Both of them picking up the basement toys once a week (they have very few toys out as I rotate them every other week so there's not so much out at once). Alina putting away her markers and books twice a week. Mine is a bit more with the daily duties of laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen, etc. It's working quite well. Though I haven't been sticking to my jobs due to an inordinate amount of work coming in and lots and lots of phone calls for meals. But Sam asks daily what his job is for that day. Now the trick is to keep at it and not let them slide out of keeping up their jobs. Writing it out was the easy part. Doing it is the hard part!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

once in a lifetime

This past Thursday, after delivering a meal to a family, Alina and I dropped by Grandma Pat's house. We are rarely over on that side of town, so I thought it would be nice to drop in and see her. Grandma Pat is not really the kids' grandma. She's their adopted grandma. When Sam was born, we lived right next to Grandma Pat and Grandpa Chris. We shared the same driveway. I could hear her on the phone, sitting in my own house. That's how close our houses were. We also attended the same church (and still do).

Then we moved when I was pregnant with Alina. And the couple who bought our old house actually go to our church too. And we knew the husband when he was in jr. high and high school when we lived in Lansing. Small world.

So as I was leaving, Brian came out and said hi. Grandma Pat said, "you should see what they've done to the house." Brian said, "Come on in and see."

I was hesitant at first. I didn't want my memories to be changed from what I remember our house to look like. But that hesitation didn't last long. How often do you get to see your old place, all redone? I've been wanting to see what they've done to the house as we'd always get reports from Grandma Pat and Grandma Chris to what they were doing over the past 2 1/2 years. So I stepped in.

Everything was different. Well, not everything. There were some things that were the same. The kitchen floor, counter tops, stove, light (our favorite light that I wanted to bring with us) and our old bedroom floor. Oh, and the bathtub. Everything else was different. Different colors, different rooms, added rooms, finished rooms. The basement was totally refinished. What was mint green cinder block walls was now a deep brown drywall, asbestos tile floor was now carpet. An added office. A finished upstairs with added marble bathroom. Hardwood floors. It was beautiful. I was shocked. All's I kept saying was, "You guys did an amazing, amazing job!!"

It was a totally different house. Even the outside. But my memories didn't change, of which I'm glad. I still remember moving-in day. Bringing Sam home. Redoing the kitchen the week of Christmas and setting up the tree with a refrigerator and stove in the living room (it was a small living room, so it made for a fun time). Ed putting in new basement windows. Painting the bathroom a pink color that sure looked different in the store. Moving-out day. Walking through an empty house and crying b/c I didn't want to leave, as I didn't have any memories of our new house. That house was all I knew. It was heart wrenching.

But walking through it on Wednesday, I realized that I didn't miss it. I'm glad Brian and Katie love it as much as we did. Brian said they're going to redo the kitchen and will give us the light as the brushed nickle wouldn't match the stainless steel appliances they would get. I didn't say no. :)

Some day maybe the old owners of our house will come through. I'd let them in as we know them since we go to the same church. Again. Small world. There's still a lot, A LOT, that we want to do to our place. But that's a whole different post.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

a full day

Today's agenda includes:

1. Take Ed to work. We've been SOOOOO spoiled with having two vehicles for the past week. We've been a one car family for the past 9-10 years. Thanks SO much A&A!!! I hope it felt loved this past week while you were gone. :)

2. Work. No explanation for that one.

3. Make dessert

4. Take Sam to school.

5. Go to store to pick up storage containers and bread for meals.

6. Deliver meal to family that just had baby. Hearty chicken noodle soup, french bread, salad and dessert.

7. Home to work some more.

8. Wait at bus stop for Sam.

9. Airport to pick up friends.

10. Back home with said friends so said friends can take their meal and well-loved car home and go to sleep.

11. Pick up Ed.

12. Off to coffee house to hear some amazing music by local musician.

13. Eat dinner in there somewhere.

14. Crash in bed. :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Today I was amazed. More than once. With people I didn't even know, talking to them, hearing their words. It started with a call to a home of several kids (14 to be exact) that were in an accident this past Sunday (apx. 6 were in the accident). Mom and two kids are still in the hospital and they needed meals. I talked to one of the older daughters and received all the information I needed to start making my calls.

Call one: This family was "near and dear to her heart" she said and could take more meals if needed.

Call two: She was so willing. After giving all information a comment came to my ear that said, "I was a part of that accident." Out of the blue. Totally not expecting it. I asked what happened and she told me. My heart broke. I could tell she was trying to keep it together. I wanted to reach through the phone and give her a big hug. I could relate, in a way, of knowing you've caused pain to someone in a car crash. I think it's one of the worst feelings in the world. She said the mom was one amazing lady of God and wanted this woman to know that it was going to be ok. And completely forgave her. I was speechless and I could tell she felt the wrought, raw, incomprehensible emotions of knowing you have done something painful and yet be fully forgiven. I literally had the chills.

Call seven and nine: "I saw that accident on the way to church. I will definitely take them a meal."

Call 11: "That's odd. I'm taking a meal to someone who got in an accident on Sunday too. Sounds like someone different though." As we chatted and she asked some more questions, we realized that the family she was taking a meal to was my call #2 family that was in the accident too.

Not one person was put out by taking a meal for 9-10 people. I can't even describe the emotions that rolled through me. Awe, shock, sadness, grief are some that describe that hour on the phone. Tears, chills, shakes were the physical emotions I went through. Everyone was intertwined some how and yet didn't even know each other.

It was amazing to see God work through each phone call and see people reach out to others whom they didn't even know, to care and not shy away from a challenging situation. That, to me, is showing Christ's love. What an honor and humbling experience it is to watch it happen before my eyes.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

One more

I tried one last recipe for the past week and it was a huge success!

Mini Taco Bowls. These were easy and very tasty. I switched some things up and added a 1/2 packet of taco seasoning and a bit of medium hot fresh salsa instead of just salsa. I topped it with a spoonful of lite sour cream and a splash of taco sauce instead of ranch dressing. And instead of ground beef, I used ground chicken. Ed and I each ate two and it was just enough. The kids devoured theirs and one for each of them filled them right up. With a side of chips and the fresh salsa, it was a filling, yet a very cheap, easy meal.

This week is sporting new recipes of Bruschetta and Cheese Stuffed Chicken and Mac and Cheese Lasagna, along with another dose of home made pizzas. A review will be coming out of yay's or nay's from the table occupants...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

broken heart

Today 4:20:

Sam: "Mom, why do you always wait for me to get off the bus?"

Me: "Because I like seeing you get off the bus. And I like waiting for you."

Sam: "I don't want you to wait for me anymore."

Me: "Why?"

Sam: "I want to come into the house all by myself. Like all the other kids do."

Me: Silence and a broken heart that it has started. Complete independence. I just wanted to cry.

Fire up the oven!

Last week while preparing my menu for the next couple of weeks, I came across some recipes that looked pretty tasty. I have not tried all of them yet, but this week has sported two new recipes. Both were very tasty and very easy.

Monday was Fuss-Free Raviolo and Cheese Bake.
The prep time said it would take 5 minutes. And it really only did take 5 minutes. After making it, I thought that to make it even healthier, you could use all organic products and even the pasta could be made to be more healthy (like home-made wheat ravioli with any kind of stuffed cheese of your choice). This was dinner Tuesday night as well and it was gone.

Wednesday was Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes.
Again, anything can be put into this. What took the longest was slicing the pototoes. It could have baked a bit longer, but if I had sliced all the potatoes the same exact width, it would've only taken an hour to bake. This is one of those times it would've been good to have the big Pampered Chef grater with attachments. I did get a good work out cutting 3 pounds of potatoes though! The cream cheese and sour cream didn't make this the most healthiest of meals. Next time I'd like to try it with fat free/reduced fat cream cheese and sour cream. Maybe turkey instead of ham? Hips may not complain so much then.

I have a couple more recipes I'm going to try out too this weekend and next week. I've missed cooking and may have to heat up the oven today and bake some breads. That's one thing I love about fall is baking and cooking. Can't wait for apple season!!

And here's something I threw together a few weeks back and even made them again last friday but added spinach to the toppings. Homemade wheat pizza crusts with bbq sauce, bbq chicken, pineapple, black olives, garden tomatoes, zucchini, onions and feta cheese. VERY tasty. One of these days I'd like to try a stuffed pizza. So daring, I know! :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I picked up a book called The Whitney Chronicles the other day. It was not the greatest book. I didn't even finish it, but just skipped to the end to read what happened. Very slow. Not a recommended book, unless you're having trouble going to sleep...this'll bore you.

While reading it I came across this statement below. It stood out to me for some reason. It's not a new concept, but it made me pause.

"Ironic, isn't it, that of all the creatures on the face of the earth, only humans don't seem to realize who and what they are. Animals behave like animals, plants like plants and fish like fish. Only we try to behave as if we're God."

It made me stop and think "for what purpose am I here?" Animals are here to enjoy, to eat, to provide clothing. Plants are here to provide food, air, beauty. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Why was I made? To bring glory to God. Do I do this? In my words to my kids, my actions to my husband, my conversations with my friends? Am I bringing glory to God? No. Not nearly enough.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I know today a lot of people, our entire nation, is remembering five years ago. The day our nation changed forever.

I remember that I had turned the news on that morning. I didn't usually watch the Today show, but on this day, I did. I don't even remember what they were talking about, but I do remember Matt Lauer stopping, putting his hand to his ear and there being silence. Silence on a live morning television show does not happen. Ever. I thought, "that's really odd". Then the words, "We have reports that a plane flew into one of the Twin Towers." What?? That's crazy. I don't think they believed it either. That it was some type of hoax.
So I stood there and watched.
I don't even remember breathing.
Then they had a crew down by the Towers. Showing America what was going on. Then out of no where I saw another plane come in. Flames and then smoke. I saw it happen. Standing in my living room. It is seared into my mind forever. It wasn't a replay of something. It was happening as I breathed. My brain kept saying that it was happening somewhere far away. Like a different country. A different culture. A different world. That it wasn't real. That it wasn't happening just hours away from where I was rooted to the carpet. I couldn't fully grasp what was going on. It was so chaotic. So horrible.
I called Ed. I remember not being able to get through. Phone lines were jambed. I kept trying to call and call and call. Finally I got through and told him what I had just witnessed. I hung up to watch more horrific scenes play across the screen.
Then the phone rang. It was my friend in VA. We witnessed the towers fall together. Seeing the people run through the streets. The traffic jams. The fire and smoke. The ash colored people walking around in total bewilderment.
6 hours. We were on the phone together for 6 hours. She was pregnant with her first. Sam was 6 months old. We talked about what this would mean. From this moment on, life will be different. What it will mean for our kids.
I still get the shakes and and chills thinking about it. I can't watch replayed scenes of it on television. I look away from stilled images. It hurts too much as all the horror comes crashing back into my mind of that day.
And I squeeze my kids tighter. Kiss my husband longer. Lift up thanks to Jesus for us being alive today. This moment.
My quote in college was, "This is the first day of the rest of your life.". Cliche I know. But true. We can't live yesterday. But today, I can make the most of each moment that God has so amazingly blessed me with.
For today I can be thankful.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

the wheels on the bus

Sam's busy day is all over. It started with a big breakfast of blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausage. A breakfast of kindergarteners. Then it was off to the Apple store with dad. Home in time for lunch and off to school!!

He looked so little standing on the magic line that leads right into the big yawning doors that look like they are going to swallow him whole. And they did. For 3 1/2 hours. Alina cried all the way home wanting "her Sam". She had some daddy time and then a nap.

4:12 came and went. 4:20 came and went. Ed and I stood out at the end of the driveway, then into the road, then back into the driveway. Back and forth we went, escaping the cars driving by. Smiling at all the bus drivers passing as though they knew what we were waiting for (we live across from the high school, so all the buses pass our house before going into the school at the end of the day). Standing, each with a camera in our hands. Waiting.

4:30 we saw the yellow flashers. Then the red flashers. The little stop sign flipped out from the side of the bus. Out came the next door neighbor. Next was our turn. Yellow, then red, then the squeeking of the long doors and out he came. Big smile on his face. The bus driver was smiling too. We were told that when he got on the bus at school he said, "Are you SURE you know where I live?". I think he's in with the bus driver. He gave dad a hug. Mom was passed by, but that's ok. He smiled all the way to the steps. We sat on the steps and he told us about his day. He was so excited that he got to see the gym. And the playground. His two favorite areas.

5:00 the phone calls started. Nana and Papa. Grandma. Aunt Sue. He told them all that his teacher said he gets to come back tomorrow. He can not wait.

He had dinner choice tonight as it was his special day. He chose mac and cheese with hot dogs mixed in. Not on the side mind you. Mixed in. So to the store I headed for mac and cheese. It was devoured.

I think he'll like school. I'm sure the newness will wear off and he won't be as excited going into 5th or 6th grade. I'll take his excitment now though. And every day here after.

oh...and just a side note to those who have kids younger than school age. Don't be surprised when you get the 1st fundraiser packet home in the backpack on the first day of school. Entertainment book for $25 anyone? :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

a new adventure

Tomorrow is the start of a new phase of adventures in our lives. Sam starts Kindergarten. All the paper work is finished (his note home said that all his paper work is a ticket to get into school tomorrow). We still need to decide what package of pictures to buy. I just can't believe how much there is and school hasn't even started yet! AND I had to have him sign that he'll use the computers in the right way (no going to illegal websights, etc, etc, etc). His first official document that he has had to sign. Crazy.

So the gym shoes have his name on them, his cut off long sleeve paint shirt has his name proudly displayed on the front in big bold letters. He has his box of kleenex, markers and crayons all set to go. His Franklin name tag is setting out ready to be pinned on his shirt.

Ed took tomorrow as his floating holiday so we could have a big take-Sam-to-school day starting with his favorite breakfast. Chocolate chip pancakes. I'd like to make a tradition for first days of school.

He'll be gone from 12:20 until he gets off the bus at 4:12 where we will all be waiting with camera ready.

I hope he loves school. I hope he loves to learn to read, to add, to tell time on a non-digital clock, to make words come to life when writing sentences, to see and experience where other people live around the world, to be an amazing friend, leader, confidant, to learn about life.

Tomorrow starts a new adventure for him. An adventure that will lead him through many struggles, achievements, lows, highs, successes, disappointments, life. School will shape a part of him that neither Ed or I can. But being along side of him through every aspect will be an adventure too. It will shape us. And we will learn together.

We are both ready to start a new phase of exciting unknowns with our son. And he is MORE than ready to tackle school head on and start this new adventure in his life.

Friday, September 01, 2006

lost and found

Something lost:
It finally happened. It started three days ago and ended today with an excited, scared scream from upstairs. "MOOOOOOOOM!!!!!?" with a tinge of question at the end. It was almost the scream when there's a bug in the room, but not quite as scared. Mix that with an almost scream when something amazing and cool has happened, like a "come see!!", but not totally excited. I dropped my cook book and started running towards Sam and met him in the dining room (he runs faster than I do). "It didn't even HURT!!" and I look down and see the smallest tooth out of one's mouth I have ever seen. He was SOOO proud. And his second comment was that he asked to call his dad. That melted my heart.
He's so excited about the toothfairy. We've never really even talked about the toothfairy. He asked the other day, "Do we believe in the toothfairy?" Questions like these stump me because I don't want to lie to him but I don't want to take all the fun out of losing a tooth either. It's a HUGE deal! I ended up saying that it's something fun to believe in, but it's not real. And he says? "Like Santa!" Yup. Like Santa. Luckily I picked up some chocolate coins yesterday at the store.

Things found #1:
I found another baker in the family. She LOVES to help. So I let her. Sometimes more ends up all over her (hence no clothes...easier to clean her up than do more laundry), than in the bowl, but she loves being my helper. And I love that she loves being in the kitchen. Plus she likes to lick the beaters when we're all done.

Things found #2:
Yesterday I found some new sprouts. Why is this exciting? Well because the backyard causes me grumpiness when I have to move the sprinkler. And the faster that grass grows, the less chances I have of loosing my flip flops from the thick sucking clay when it gets wet and end up ankle deep, in bare feet, looking for my flip flops that have disappeared in the bowels of the mud sludge. I've moved on to wearing Ed's yard shoes (at his suggestion) in which my feet have only been sucked out of the shoes twice with little damage to the bareness of the skin sinking in the mirey clay. So yay for the little sprouts! I try not to step on them when I'm trudging across the barren waste land of mud while trying not to grumble bad things under my breath as to how heavy the shoes are that are once again caked with 5 inches of heavy clay. At this I do not exagerate. And amidst my grumbling I apologize to the little sprouts for stepping on them and encourage them to grow. works.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sour Milk. Again.

The last thing I expected to see this morning when walking in the door was my 2 year old daughter standing in the middle of the living room with white projectile shooting out of her mouth. And it just didn't stop. Poor little thing! This is her first experience of throwing up. And it being all milk to boot! Glad there's more Vernors in the fridge and just enough Lysol left in the can (which is a lot better smelling than the skunk who decided to infiltrate our nostrils at 2 a.m. this morning and can still be smelled throughout the house).

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

wiggling the pearly whites

I can handle witnessing throwing up. I can handle cuts and oozing blood. I can handle goose eggs and scrapes from the cement. There is one thing I can not handle. A loose tooth. And this morning I almost lost all my dinner from last night (which was very I didn't want to lose it). This morning Sam started eating and he said that his teeth hurt. He said he hit his teeth on the metal part of his bunk bed last night. So I went to investigate. Sure enough. His bottom, middle two teeth were loose. Even thinking about it makes me squirm. And it's all he has talked about today. He's so excited that he has not one, but TWO loose teeth. He keeps wiggling them. Hope I can eat today b/c right now, nothing sounds good and my appetite is all gone. How can such tiny little things cause me to loose all contents of my stomach? I have not a clue. Maybe it's one of those 7 mysteries of the world. And then again, maybe I just have a weak stomach.

a basketful of baked goods.

This past weekend was a busy one. It started out by cleaning the house for my brother and his family that were coming over. I made dinner for all 9 of us and then we headed to a magic show/celebration/party for our friend that won the world magic competition in Sweden a couple of weeks ago. Saturday started out with friends taking the kids so Ed and I could go out for breakfast and we even were able to hit a few garage sales and purchase a kitchen for the little princess for Christmas. Thanks K and K!!! Then started the baking. Sunday was the ministry fair at church and I was going to have a table to display the meals ministry. I wanted people to have some refreshments, since my table was about food, so the rest of Saturday from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. was spent baking. Two coffee cakes (one for K and K for taking the kids), 2+ dozen blueberry muffins, two loaves of grandmas banana bread and a tray of apple sticky buns. By the time Sunday came, I couldn't even look at all the baked goods, let alone eat them. From 10 p.m until 1 a.m. I worked on my display board for my table. Sunday was a great day meeting people and smiling lots. And of course a nap in the middle of it.

It was a busy, but excellent, weekend.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Today has been CRAZY!!! And I'm wired from it. I've been blabbing and blabbing on the phone to whomever decides to call. If you don't want your ear talked off, please don't call because I'm in a blabby, chatty mood today.

The day started out normal. I woke up. that's about all that was normal. I got a WONDERFUL massage from my amazing husband (was that only this morning?!?). I even got a SHOWER!'s true. I squeezed in a shower this morning. Amazing. I know. I worked and was done in time to clean the house. Sam was picked up to go play at a friends house and even before he was out of her van at their house, he slipped and sliced his head open (which now matches his sisters' when she fell off the top of the back of the couch and landed on the fireplace..yeah..not fun), and he even proposed to his little friend in the hot tub at their house, but she turned him down. Broke my heart. :( Though..they're only 5, so I guess there's still time for her to change her mind.

I got caught up on e-mails and then enjoyed a feast of mac and cheese with Alina for lunch. Sam came home, both went to bed, I read a book. Nothing too exciting there. I then checked my e-mail and saw that I have two more families to plan meals for (I head up the meals ministry at our church and if someone is not in a small group and needs meals either for medical reasons or birth of a baby or what ever, it's my job to schedule meals to be delivered to them from other people in the church. I LOVE doing it. It's a huge passion of mine). So anyway, I have four different families I'm doing now, which is a lot, but I'm up to the challenge.

Ed comes home early to pick Sam up and off they go to a park so Ed can use his new GPS to map out a trail for his orienteering group that'll be starting up. 20 minutes later I get a call from him asking if by chance my keys were in the glove box. "Nope" I said, "they're right here. Did you lock the keys in the truck". "Ummmm. Yeeeeahhhh". So then it was frantic calling (as I could hear Sam screaming in the background b/c it was pouring rain and lighting and he didn't like that very much) around to find someone to come pick up the keys at our house to take out to him (as we only have one vehicle). I found a friend who was coming home from vacation and had been driving for hours and they were so gracious to stop by and help out. That was all taken care of. I got a call an hour later from one of the families I left a desperate plea on the answer machine for help to see if we were all set. So sweet they are!

I get a call from my neice about a march-a-thon for her marching band fund raiser. Of course I couldn't say no as I remember vividly the days of going door to door selling sausages for Thanksgiving and hating every minute of it. So of course I said yes. I talked to her mom for a bit. Got off the phone, got a call from Ed asking to call and order pizza for he and Sam to stop and eat and while on the phone, my other brother called who's driving to MI from OH with his family and made plans for tomorrow evening to get together with them. And then I called Ed back to make sure I was ordering the right thing as it was a fast conversation and I didn't remember much b/c Alina just decided to jump from a stool to the couch and missed the couch. yeah. not good. So while on the phone with Ed, my other friend called to make sure everything was ok. Called pizza's in and called her back and just rambled away. She probably thinks I'm loco. Yeah..I could be. I'm so wound right now as you can tell from this enormously long book that I just keep adding to. It's 9:40, Alina's still up having a great time playing, Sam and Ed are still out and I need something a bit strong to drink to get me calmed down!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sour milk

There is nothing like seeing milk the 2nd time around. That is what I was fortunate to witness today every half hour. My poor little boy probably lost a good 5.2 pounds today from throwing up from 9 a.m. until 12:30 this afternoon. He woke up with a sore throat and asked for something to drink, which should've been the first red flag to my groggy memory this morning. But I figured since he hasn't thrown up like this in awhile (it would usually happen monthly, almost to the day), that I would quench his thirst by giving him a half glass of water. Then he wanted milk. He downed that half glass too. 20 minutes later, a big white lump of regurgitated milk came back up. After that it was foam and air for the next 3 hours. I even found him alseep laying on the living room floor. His eyes were all guant, his tummy looked like it was sucked in. I knew not to give him anything. Especially Gatorade, which the doctor suggested once. Purple acid does not come out of the carpet well. But one thing does work. Fizzy. Vernors to be exact. And the hero of the day brought it to him. All was well. A full dinner will be eaten without a problem of keeping it down. This afternoon, pillow fights insued. Screaming siblings took charge of the quietness once more. The talking back has taken precidence yet again. Bossiness of the wee little nipper is back in full force. Ahhhh....peaceful noise.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


If I stop and think for a moment, I see that life is a very complicated thing. More than just laundry, dishes, getting through the day (though there are days where to make it through the day is a huge accomplishment), vacuuming, disciplining and the list could go on of "things" that I do.

I was standing in line at Meijer this morning behind this very elderly couple. She was in a motorized chair and he was paying the bill and couldn't keep his hands and arms still from shaking. A thought ran through my head. "What are Ed and I going to be like when we're that old? What kind of memories will we have?" Which brought other questions to mind. Am I living life to the fullest? To enjoy each moment? Even when kids are screaming at each other. Even when the zucchini bread I bake is drier than sand. Not to wait for the next set of events for life to get better: Sam going to school. Not being strapped financially. The weekend. The next sunny day. Is life only lived then? Am I wasting away the days, time with my kids, my husband, my friends, to wait for something better? I could sure be waiting awhile.

Monday, August 14, 2006

the weekend

This past weekend we went on our first family-of-four backpacking trip. It was quite the experience. The hubby recounts the story and events to the tee. Go ahead and read it here.
It really is a good story. And good pictures too.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

hole-y refuse

So this week has been busy. Not busy doing things, but busy wondering what our lawn out back was going to turn into.

To pick up our septic story of last month, I thought that little itty bitty pile of dirt was a lot. This past week, I've come to realize how itty bitty that pile really was.

To start, or pick up, here's our little itty bitty pile of dirt before Monday.

Then they started digging.

That itty bitty pile of dirt? Not so itty bitty, but morphed into something scary.

A huge hole formed in our yard (and this was only 1/2 of the hole).

And more mountains rose up where I never thought dirt would ever be.

And a new driveway.

This was our yard before state of failure.

Now this is our yard after a 23 foot deep by 10 feet wide by 66 foot long hole was dug in it.

So now we pray over the seeds that will be planted, that they will grow, and that we will never have to see the man who was paid to come take care of our internal outcomes.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

no counting sheep here

So here it is. 11:32 p.m. I'm wide awake with no thoughts or visions of sleepy land anytime soon. My mind is going way to fast to slow down. I shouldn't have watched The Godfather II or maybe it was the first one. All's I know is that all the blood got to me and I'm actually afraid to close my eyes. I really don't like nights like these. Where my brain is ramping up scenarios of conversations that probably will never take place. Where feelings that I thought were dead and buried, resurface unannounced. Finding myself ensconced in an inner battle between who I believe God made me to be and the steep, slippery slope of who I know God did not create me to be. Realizing that it's easier to slide down the slope than follow my true Compass.

With midnight rapidly approaching, I hope to close my eyes and join the rest of the family in sweet, deep, peaceful slumber. To put these thoughts, feelings, ideas and images away for a few moments, to be brought back out in the light of day where I can fully see, with a non-sleep endused mind what God would have me do and what direction He points me in.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Today was the Ada Kids Fair in downtown Ada. Be careful because if you blink, you'll miss it. It's a quaint little village. Very tiny with really cute shops and has a charm and personality all it's own.

So the kids fair had lots of free stuff. Lots of arts and crafts. Face painting. Tattoos. Moonwalk, bouncy, slidy rides. Horses. Petting zoo with a llama, donkey, camel and lots of little creatures. I almost brought home a free kitten. They were SOOO cute!!! But it would have no food or anything waiting for it, so I thought it best not to bring one home. Plus they aren't hubby's favorite animals. I was very tempted though.

We rode our bikes to the little fair. It was mainly all downhill on the way there. Not so much on the way home. Sam did awesome peddling up all the big hills. I think I melted somewhere in there. Pulling Alina's trailer and trying not to fall over. I really don't remember much of coming home. Thank heavens for GU!! What would I do without you!!!!

Though it was swelting hot in the sunshine, it was a great time and lots of fun. Hotdogs for lunch with juice boxes. HUGE treat for the kids. And everything else was free. Can't beat free what-so-ever.

Now it's time to crash and look once more for the lost pacifier as the little princess is crying her heart out.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

photo shop

My husband loves photo shopping people. My little picture up there was photo shopped by him. He put me in a meadow. He has photo shopped one of his friends wearing a hikers kilt for men. Yes..there is such a thing. He has put himself on a mountain and he photo shopped me as Helen Parr. Who's Helen Parr you ask? Just look below and you'll know exactly who she is. Creative. Isn't he?



Monday, July 31, 2006

if you...

...have ever been in a car accident, I highly, HIGHLY, advise you to never get in a go-cart. Especially on a track where other people are out to get their friends and you just get in the way of them being crazy. The sounds, the feelings, the flashbacks are all way, way to real of a time past.

I was NOT in my happy place.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

A New Food Lover

I have a new food lover (over there on the left hand side). He does love food. Especially ice cream. And bbq sauce. And cheese. But one of his greatest loves is not food. It's maps. Hence his blog name. The Misadventures of a Cartographer. What is a cartographer? This answer I do know only because I asked him while sitting here in his office. But I'm not going to tell you only because I want you to go visit him here. And then you can ask him. :)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Touching Elephant Story

Just a little story that was sent to me by my hubby....

While on holiday in Kenya and walking through the bush a man comes across an elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seems distressed so the man approaches very carefully. He gets down on one knee and inspects the bottom of the elephant's foot only to find a large thorn deeply embedded. As carefully and as gently as he can he removes the thorn and the elephant gingerly puts its foot down. The elephant turns to face the man and with a rather stern look on its face, stares at him. For a good ten minutes the man stands frozen - thinking of nothing else but being trampled.
Eventually the elephant turns and walks away.

For years after, the man often remembers and ponders the events of that day. Years later the man is walking through the zoo with his son. As they approach the elephant enclosure, one of the elephants turns and walks over to where they are standing at the rail. It stares at him and the man can't help wondering if this is the same elephant. The man climbs tentatively over the railing and makes his way into the enclosure. He walks right up to the elephant and stares back in wonder. Suddenly the elephant wraps its trunk around one of the man's legs and swings him wildly back and forth along the railing, instantly killing him.

Probably not the same elephant then.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

fun, food and family

Last night Ed took Sam out to the biking trail to ride. So that meant us girls were home and needed something girly, fun to do. So I decided we would paint our nails. I did Alina's first. She sat so still and I only had to redone one fingernail. She had her little hands on her knees to dry and her toes out in front of her so they wouldn't go on the carpet. I then decided that I needed to be brave and let her paint my nails. She wanted to do all the colors, but I limited it to two. It was so much fun and even my toes got a new look.

After painting, we took pictures of each other and I'd say she did pretty good. I didn't think you could have this much fun with a two year old. :)

So that was the fun and family. Next is the food. I made this salad last week and I would eat it every night if I could. it was SOOOOooooo tasty. And so very simple. I got it off the Kraft websight and modified it some. It's called Greek Chicken Salad. Instead of frying the chicken, I grilled it. All's it is is grilled chicken, lettuce (I used Romaine), olives, cut up tomatoes, cucumbers (I used zucchini), red onion and feta cheese. All but the chicken is mixed together with Lite Done Right Zesty Italian Dressing and then I put it on plates and cut up the chicken (which I had marinated in the same dressing before grilling) and that was it. Ed loved it and so did I. I'm making it again this week.

So there you have it. Fun with the wee little girl and a tasty recipe.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

sorrow and joy

First came the sorrow. A loss.
What to say?
How to encourage?
No words, but just being present I think helped fill her void some.
Lots of hugs.
Lots of praying.
Second came the joy. 12 hours later. A new life.
How can this be?
In a matter of hours, two opposites.
Two extremes.
My heart crying with hurt and joy at the exact same time.
Incomprehendable and so very intricate of how we are made.
To feel polar opposites in one heart beat.
Intertwined with each other, yet so separate.
Sorrow and joy mingling together.

Friday, July 14, 2006


This morning I decided I better do something about getting in shape and popped in the pilates tape. Both kids were up, hubby was at work and so I had an audience while working out. Phrases like "your spine is your life life. Keep it supple. Keep it strong." and "sit up straight like there is a crane pulling a string through your head". Thank you Denise Austin. I will imagine that while all of my muscles are trembling and screaming at me. All was quiet until doing scissor kicks. Then I hear this:

Sam: Mommy, you're legs are supposed to be straight like hers.
Me: (In my head I'm thinking. yes. yes I know that!) but I said: I'm trying Sam. My legs just don't go that straight.
Sam: Well, why?
Me: (with trying to breath and count and not die) Because right now, they aren't made to do that.

End of conversation. Not one minute later I hear a little voice say, "Good job mommy". Thank you my son. With those three words I was able to make it through the rest of the video. I think I should have him down there more often...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

our beautiful backyard...

Is now all torn up.
We have our new septic tanks in. Ever wonder what septic tanks look like? Well today is your lucky day!!
In a matter of 5 hours, we had dump trucks in and out of our front lawn, a crane truck come in and a front loader digging. A 10 foot deep hole, no flushing of toilets or running of any water for 2 hours, and lots of noise. The new tanks remind me of coffins. My friend Becky told a coffin joke. What did one grave say to the other? There's something in you that's coffin. know...I don't know if I even got it right.
So now we have a huge pile of dirt in our yard. They still need to come out and dig up a 10 foot deep by 66 foot long hole behind the deck for the drainage field. Which means more dirt and trucks and more torn up yard. But then we can make it look nice and purty again.

This is what our yard looked like before:

This is from our bedroom window. See?? All nice and green and beeeeauuuutiful.

This is what it looked like when they installed the new tanks:

See that little hole over to the left? That's our old septic tank. Made of cement bricks. Lovely isn't it? It was hand made. Over 60 years ago. It had some issues. Maybe it'd be considered an antique and we could get a historical marker on our house...

I don't have a picture of the current state of the yard. Just imagine the above picture all filled and covered with dirt. Then a mound on top of it.

More exciting backyard adventures to come whenever they come out here and finish. The neighbor came over and asked if we were getting a pool put in. I just chuckled and said, "ummm. no".


I was tagged by my dear friend Anne with the 5 things in things things. :) So here we go.

Five things in my closet:
Ed's clothes
Ed's shoes

yeah...nothing exciting there.

Five things in my fridge:
a left over piece of chicken from two weeks ago
cheese (of assorted variety)
two bags of lettuce

Five things in my car (truck):
two car seats
bottle of pink nailpolish (so I can polish my nails on the way to church Sunday mornings when we're on for playing and I wear my flip flops on stage).
nail clippers
assorted crumbs from natives eating snacks

Five things in my purse:
Uuuuuuhhhhmmmmm....I don't have a purse. haven't had one for the past 5 1/2 years. Don't even carry a diaper bag either...

That sure wasn't too bad! thanks Anne :)

Friday, July 07, 2006


Our party on the 3rd was a barrel of fun. Hillbilly golf, fireworks, food, friends, and no rain! It was wonderful having a house full of people and kids running all over the place and just being able to see and hear people laughing and talking and just hanging out.

Our 4th consisted of family time. We rode our bikes to the parade, ended up with a gallon baggie full of candie and headed to another little town/village for their little fair and a hamburger. Home to crash for naps and then it was bonfire time to roast hotdogs and marshmallows. We hauled the sprinkler out (not that it's heavy by any means) and the kids eagerly donned their swim/bathing suits (in our house swimsuits are for boys and babbingsuits are for girls according to Sam). It was a great day as a family and very relaxing. A wonderful way to end a holiday.

***UPdate: here's a picture of what a hillbilly golf stand looks like... I do not have any inkling as to who these people are though... Hope this helps! :)

Monday, July 03, 2006

a crazy day

After getting back last night from camping since Friday, today we are having 40+ people over for a bbq and fireworks tonight. Right now, I would not let anyone in this house. So...I must go clean. And feed two kids who are waiting oh so patiently for their breakfast.

Aaaaaannnnddddd I'm off!!

Friday, June 30, 2006

escaped convicts

I can now write about this horrific experience I went through on Wednesday night. Hopefully I can laugh whole heartidly about it in the near future and tell the kids what they did when they were 5 and 2 when they're much older....

Lost was on. Kids were in bed talking to each other in their rooms. It was after 10. They were STILL awake. I hear someone moving around upstairs and hear a little voice say, "fireflies!!". I yell up to them to get back in their beds. Silence. So...I wait a few minutes and wonder why all the silence. You know the saying, Better check on things when it's really quiet. I head upstairs and find the front door wide open. The motion light is on on the driveway and I see moving things in the front yard. Yes...the kids were outside, at 10:15 p.m., in their jammies, in the front yard, trying to catch fireflies. The bigger of the two had opened his sisters' gate to her room and let her out. Opened the front door, closed the screen door really, really quietly and took her outside. I told myself not to scream hysterically at them to get inside, so I yelled loudly and scared the begebees out of them. They both ran really fast inside. Like that, "uh oh...I know we're in trouble now." Well...I yelled loudly enough to wake Ed up downstairs and he asked what was going on and I informed him. So Sam ended up with a little sorer bottom, lost his bunny (which he sleeps with every night), lost outside time and tv the next day. I was almost in tears and so so angry that I was shaking.

Today I can slightly chuckle about it. Just slightly. Maybe tomorrow it can move up to a chuckle. Last night Sam informed me, "Mom...I'm not going to go outside tonight". I said that that was a good idea of what not to do.

So I think I'm 10 years older than what I feel. These kids are taking the years off of my life with no problem. How come no one has figured out how to put those years back on??

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

being there

Today was a bit of a rough day. Not nearly as rough as it was for my friend. I saw her go through grief, sorrow, sadness, tears and closure within a matter of 15 minutes. My friend burried her little boy today. She was pregnant with twin boys. For her to become pregnant was a miracle. She and her husband were beyond excited. She found out last month that one of the babies didn't make it. She went into labor last Wednesday at 33 weeks along and had a beautiful little boy, Gabriel. Today they burried his little brother, whom Amy held after he was delivered. I grieve with my friend. Seeing friends go through grief hurts. Hurts beyond description. I so wanted to take it from her. She is an amazing, amazing woman who has been through so very much in her life and has come out stronger in Christ because of it. I know God will grant her comfort. He promises never to leave her or her husband. I know He will carry her and her husband through this. Through the next weeks of grieving. Through the next weeks of caring for their little Gabriel and He will rejoice with them when they are able to finally bring him home from the hospital. And He already knows and is taking care of little Matthias. I hope it helped just being there today. Being there to give a hug. To care. To love. Being there to grieve along side. That's what friends do. To be there.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Is it Mackinaw or Mackinac?

Which ever it is, we were there on Friday. Since we're not able to take a long vacation this year, we're splitting the time up into mini-vacations. This was our first one. It started at 4:30 a.m. when Ed and I got up to get everything packed up. 5:45 a.m. we were on the road. We got to the dock at 10:30 and caught the Arnold over to the island. Sam loved the boat ride. Alina didn't quite have her sea legs and was wobbly, but laughed the whole time. We got off the boat and on our bikes.

We stopped half way around to eat lunch and throw stones into Lake Huron (it just amazes me that one side of the bridge is Lake Huron and the other side is Lake Michigan. Guess they had to divide it somewhere). 8 miles later, we got back into town. Sam rode his bike around the entire island. Not one complaint out of his mouth. He peddaled his little legs SO fast the entire time.

While in town, we walked down main street, splurged on some icecream (Mackinac Island Fudge for me..Superman for Sam, Cookie Dough for Ed, and Alina had the community spoon and sampled all of ours). We continued on our walk up another street and then back to our bikes. We decided to venture into the island some and went and saw skull cave and then took a short cut to get back into town. We came out the other end of the shortcut into a neighborhood. It looked like a normal, city neighborhood with street lights and telephone wires and toys in the yards and kids playing in the street. NOTHING like main street and the huge bed and breakfasts and inns that you usually see when going there. It was a dose of reality. We headed back into town via main street and going by the Grand Hotel. Did you know that if you don't have reservations there, you have to pay $12 a person if you want to enter the hotel. And after 5 you have to wear a suit coat and dress pants on the premises. So I took pictures instead of going in and seeing it. That suited me just fine.

We got back on the ferry and headed home. Not long and the kids were alseep and we still had to eat dinner. Waking up sleep deprived children after them sleeping 5 minutes is not fun as they don't go back to sleep right away. Two hours later, they finally drifted off. We got home at 10:30.

It was a spectacular day. The kids had a blast. So did Ed and I. I would recommend going there. It's beautiful and going on a Friday was excellent as it wasn't too busy and we could navigate easily around the horse poop that Sam so willingly called out to us to beware of every time he saw a pile.