Sunday, December 23, 2007

Yesterday I ventured out to do some last minute christmas buying (though, I hadn't even been shopping yet, and technically, it wasn't "last" minute) and some much needed grocery shopping (a family can only take so much pasta and spaghetti sauce in a week). The kids and I hopped in the minivan (courtesy of my brother who went to FL for Christmas) and off we went. Kohl's wasn't bad at all. Nor was the 2nd place we stopped (can't quite say as I know Ed will read this before Christmas. Hi my sweet!) We made a quick trip home to drop Sam off and Alina and I cruised the back roads to Meijer. I should've known it was going to be crazy when I had to go down three rows of parking spaces before finding an open one. My 2nd clue as to the craziness was when we walked into the store and you couldn't see down the aisle that had all the checkout lanes. The lines were backed up into the clothes department. But we continued on. We needed the essentials (milk, fruit, veggies, ice cream) to get through another week or so (especially now with Sam home...he's a non-stop eating machine. I tell him no so many times in the day that he can't have a snack as he just ate an hour ago. Boys).

We got all the shopping done and of course, stopped at all the free sample places so Alina could get nourished. One of the samples, I thought, was cheese. Like the kind you squirt out of the can. When I went up, the nice lady said, "would you like to try a pancake?" Turned out to be pre-made pancake mix that you squirt out of a bottle (like ready whip) onto your skillet. And viola! Pancakes! and the kicker was that it was organic. Interesting.

So onto the checkout lane we went. I have never. Ever. Seen such craziness. You couldn't walk down the checkout aisle to find the shortest line. I had to weave through the jewelry, clothes, and lingerie before finding the "shortest" line. I called Ed and said, "I'm at Meijer and there's, oh, 10 people in front of me". His response, "see you in an hour". He was pretty darn close. 40 minutes later I paid. We talked to the people in front of us. The lady in line next to us was a mom of one of Sam's classmates from Kindergarten last year (and who lives two streets away). Alina was a HUGE trooper. And it was interesting watching people. No one was stressed out, going crazy or getting upset because everyone had to stand in line forever. And ever.

The next time I think I'll be standing in line for 40 minutes, I won't buy ice cream. And will I stock up on perishables if I somehow know that we'll lose power in a wind storm for half the night (with it being in the 50's) and half of the next day? No. probably not (but the upside to that is, the temperature plummeted down to 1 degree with the wind chill in a matter of hours, so it stayed chilly enough in here to keep the food from going bad!).

Friday, December 21, 2007

Nothing good can come of eating only 2 cookies the entire day.
And that being at 5:45 tonight.
Oh! And some sweettarts.
yeah..real good.
no lectures needed. I know. i know.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

Sunday our tree finally went up. Had to finish painting the living room before the tree could go up. One more project completed.


Our mirrored wall around the fireplace was nice until it was covered with fingerprints (which took about 2 seconds after we moved in). I hardly wash the windows, so the mirrors never got cleaned. So what do you do with something so breakable? Why break it of course!





After the first break, we found this absolutely adorable shade of brown paneling underneath.








Now, no memories of mirrors or fingerprints.









So with that done (and the green wall you can see the reflection of in the 1st picture now matches the rest of the room), the tree could finally go up!

Sunday the four of us fluffed branches and got them all in place. I put the lights up. And that's how the tree sat until last night. Ed works late on Wednesday's, so I gave the option to the kids of either decorating cookies or the christmas tree. Christmas tree was the unanimous vote (cookies are tonight's project).

This year I took a different approach to decorating the tree. I sat on the floor and was in charge of all the hooks. I let the two of them put the ornaments up with no help from me. So the top 1/4 of the tree was bare. :) They did a fantastic job and I had to let go of my left-braininess and not make everything look symmetrical. I kept telling myself (amidst breathing exercises) that it was OK to have three pink balls all in a row or a large section of bare branches. It was difficult, but I survived. After they went to bed, the few ornaments that fell off, I put up top.

This morning I put the tree back in place and added the final touch: Henreitta (she's our angel). I think this is the longest we'll have had our tree up since we've lived in this house.

Monday, December 17, 2007

JOY!

Last night when the decorations were being brought out, Alina found the box that houses our stocking holders. Since the stocking holders are porcelain, we've stuffed shredded paper around them to keep them from injury. I pulled the stocking holdings out and Alina started throwing the shredded paper in the air.

"I'm spreading JOY!" she said. I gave her a few throws and then asked her to put clean it up and put it away.

Today a package came in the mail and sure enough, crinkle paper was in the box. She asked if she could play with the joy. How can one say no to that?
So out came all the blue crinkle paper. She danced through the house singing, "JOY! JOY! I'm spreading JOY!" while throwing bunches of paper into the air.


She's not liking that she has to clean her joy up, now that it's all out of the box.

Friday, December 14, 2007

jobs

The other evening, while sitting outside chatting with a fellow stay at home mom, the conversation of jobs came up. What kind of jobs would we enjoy having? What kind would we be qualified for with not being out in the work place for several years?

When I crawled into bed that night I came up with a list of job titles that she and I would qualify for.

Negotiator
Baker
Chef
Counselor
Maid
Window washer
Seamstress
Vacuuming service
Laundry mat supervisor
Dish washer
Bus boy
Chauffeur
Librarian
Nurse
Garbage woman (has anyone actually seen a garbage women?)
24/7 on call person
Professional "why" answerer
Fashion designer
Dancer
Musician
Answering service
Customer service representative


I'm sure there are a ton I'm forgetting but my answering service needs to kick in as my "mom. mom. mom? mom! MOOOOMMMM!!!!" phone is ringing.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

oooooo the anticipation!

It's here! Burning a hole in the counter. The answer. In an hour and a half Ed will be home to tear it open.

Waiting....waiting....

Monday, December 03, 2007

double take

Today I (along with the rest of the company) received an e-mail from the president (of the company that is...not the United States). Thankfully it was a good news e-mail. This year there was going to be no Christmas bonus due to where the company was financially, but after speaking with the Board of Directors (one of which started the company) they agreed to give all full time employees a Christmas bonus this year. I was filled with gratitude b/c one of those full time employees is Ed. What a huge, huge blessing this is.

Ed kept IM'ing me asking if I had read the e-mail and when I was finally able to he said, "He (the president) came up to my desk and handed me a piece of paper saying that 'this one got stuck'". It was a 2nd check bonus check. In my name. For half the amount of the full time employees bonus'. When Ed told me that, I stood here dumbfounded in unbelief and my eyes filled up with tears. One check was a surprise, but two was a shock. How grateful and humbling this is, at this time in our lives. And how so very thankful we are. Beyond words thankful.

Friday, November 30, 2007

bone chilling

This morning the kids were up at 6:15. "It SNOWED outside! MOM! MOM!" From my cozy, toasty bed, I groggly said, "please go back to bed!". They were not to happy with me.

I like snow. I like looking at it from a sitting position. Inside the heated house. With a steamy cup of rich hot chocolate topped with bobbing marshmallows.

I'm becoming less and less a fan of the cold weather. It hurts my bones. Especially those days where it's SO cold out, when you breathe, it instantly freezes your nose hairs.

The kids on the other hand don't care how cold it is. And they don't care that I don't like it. So I suck it up and go outside. Of which I need to do right now. Alina is walking around with the bag of carrots (for the snowman's nose) saying, "come ON mom! Let's go get my snowsuit! MOOOOOOOOOOM!"

So off I go to the frozen outside. The driveway is calling to be shoveled and we'll see if we can make a snow man with the little snow there is.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

startling discoveries


With home improvements ramping up on the interior, we thought about taking down this fairly large light in the kitchen and putting up a regular light/fan. Ed called from Lowe's and asked what the ceiling condition was like under the wood. I uncovered interesting facts in the process.


#1: The plastic light covering is all one piece on the left side from top to bottom if you will and one piece from left to right (like the shape of an L). With this being found out, you can't change the light that's in the middle small square (very smart on their part!) and it makes it very, very difficult to change the long fluorescent lights when you can only get to 1/2 of the light (again, very smart light-covering-planning on the installers part). And you can't slide the larger pieces b/c of the ceiling fan box above the ceiling fan.

#2: When I found a small plastic covering piece, that I could actually slide back, low and behold, there was wall paper on the ceiling. All wallpaper was removed up to and around that point, leaving a beautiful square of blue floral wallpaper left. Right around the ceiling fan box. Why not just finish the job completely? Welcome to our house.

#3: A finding Ed made concerning the light, but in a different location. The light switch for this particular beast was lovingly CEMENTED into the tile. So if we wanted to change the switch, we'd have to regroute/cement the tile again and who knows what kind of a mess that is.

#4, speaking of the tile, after exploring the possibility of replacing the counter top, the unique and yet beautiful fruit tile back splash was installed over top of the counter and grouted to it.

So......the counter top is staying. The light fixture is staying. The blades on the fan, however will be removed and painted.

Now the dining room light/fan however is being completely replaced as it exploded Saturday night when Ed turned on the light. The fan blades even jammed up. It was quite exciting.

Are we surprised at any of this? Not one bit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I've been itching to get our Christmas tree up (have to wait until the drywall is finished and painted around the fireplace first). I think the past three years, it has been put up a week out from Christmas. The first year we lived here, it was put up Christmas morning (we had moved in a few days prior). I always envision having Christmas music playing, not being rushed, painting ornaments, try to string popcorn, baking cookies. Course everything in my head is a lot grander than what happens in reality. The music does get played, though the kids get bored after their ornaments are on. I rarely get around to making cookies. The ornaments I bought last year to paint are still in the cupboard. And popcorn stringing will never happen. Why I envision stringing popcorn is beyond me as I never did it growing up. I just want life to slow down. To enjoy the aroma's of the Christmas season and recreate/create memories for our kids. For us too. Maybe this year that will happen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

new pictures

So I braved the snow and decided it was time to go out and take pictures of the house.


Here's what the house mainly looked like when we bought it. Wood shakes were also on the brown parts around the front door. There also was a brick planter that went under the front window. The back and left side of the house was blue wood siding and the right side of the house was also wood shakes.




Here's the house neeked. Ed removed the shakes above the garage and on the side of the house. He also sledge hammered the brick on the front of the house and around the garage (along with the help of some friends). The steps and driveway were also removed, along with the retaining wall by the turn around.





And here's the final outcome. Front and back. New driveway and steps, new siding thanks to Mr. Bill, a new retaining wall thanks to Ed, and new wood chips in the front bed thanks to the willow tree.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The countdown!

Five days and counting!!
Until what you may ask?
The end of NaBloPoMo?
Well, yes, but that has been fun and I hope to continue posting daily even after it is done (now that I'm in the habit). :)
But in 5 glorious days, the Let It Snow Reading Club begins at the local library! I look forward to this each year. A goal to fill up my bingo sheet! To read books that I usually wouldn't read. I have yet to fill up a sheet, but this year is the year.
Ooooo (rubbing hands together in glee) I can't wait!!
In the words of my friend Hillary, "SQUEEEE!"

Sunday, November 25, 2007

2nd 1st


Besides doing the around the circle prayer for the first time this year, another first was buying a farm fresh organic turkey. It was a bit more expensive than the store bought frozen turkeys, but I was ready to make that sacrifice. I have to say that this was one very juicy, amazing, close to perfect turkey that I have ever had.



Sam also wanted in on the action with the electric knife and did an amazing job cutting the bird for dinner.







It was also the 1st snowfall of the year on Thanksgiving morning. Which meant the kids wanted to be in it. So the snowsuits and all paraphernalia was brought out so they could play in it before it all melted.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

pics

Here are a few pictures from our trip to Seattle last weekend. It was hard to choose from the plethera that we took, but I finally narrowed it down.



Here's the school that our trip was fitted around. We were turning a corner when I took this, hence the blurriness..








This was what we saw when we turned the corner to the baggage claims area at Sea-Tac. What a great, unique idea. The suitcases are threaded through a pole which turns and you could hear the leather of the bags creak and groan.



From the airport, we drove into the city, went to the fish market, went by the school and headed to the hotel and crashed.



Friday started bright and early with Ed's interview. At lunch this is where we went with two other couples (hi Jason, Mandy, Rick and Jennifer!). Salmon fish and chips with malt vinegar. Mmmmmm. What look like windows are actually large garage type doors that open during the warmer months so it's more of an open air restaurant right on the sound.





The sun did come out during Ed's interview and I captured the Cascade Mountains from the window of the school.









We went to dinner with 16 other people to this tiny Thai place where the food was amazing and very filling (I was sad to leave my food behind as it would've made excellent leftovers).









This is Ed and I Saturday morning before going into the school for the final sessions of the weekend.








After we were done with our MHGS Experience Weekend, we took a car ferry over to Bainbridge Island with Jason and Mandy to peruse the little town. We stopped at a tex mex restaurant for dinner and then headed back to the city of which you could see all the lights twinkling from the ferry's deck.







It was a fantastic weekend and a great city to experience.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving prayer

How was your Thanksgiving?

Ours was a great day spent with family and friends. Ed decided instead of doing a prayer before dinner, he was going to shake things up a bit. Half an hour before dinner, he passed out a piece of paper to everyone which read as follows:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is
God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Prior to our Thanksgiving meal together, we are going to give thanks in a new
traditional way. The passage above says to "give thanks in all circumstances." Think back on the last year. What seemed hard, but in looking back you can say, "Thank you, Jesus. I can see that you really had my best in mind."? That is what each of us will get to do. Just before the meal, we will each pray. Thanking Jesus for one specific event or events that was hard, and the beauty that resulted.

Ed will start the prayer of thanksgiving. We will pray around the circle. When your turn comes, you may simply say, "pass" and the next person will pray their prayer of thanksgiving. After the last person prayed, we will read a passage of Scripture together.


We then all read/responded Psalm 136.

Everyone prayed, even my teenage nieces. It was awesome to hear the struggles/hardships and how God sustained/blessed/grew each person. To stop and take a different angle of thanksgiving was a great new tradition that I hope we continue on throughout the next years.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

For sure

Things I am for sure thankful about.

Jesus who sustains me every day and is so ever patient with my wandering heart.

The amazing husband who I am blessed to be married to who has never ever given up on me and continues by my side through life's crap and wonderfulness, loving me from the depths of his being even when I'm being unlovable.

My on-loan kids (who I have to keep giving back to Jesus) who teach me about child like faith day in and day out, live life to the fullest every moment and bring laughter and life to our home.

The peeps in my life who push me, stretch me, love me and stand by me. Life would not be the same without you!

Living and breathing: something I need to be more thankful about. How many times I have seen this past year life whisked away in a snap and on the flip side watching new life grow and blossom.

An amazing year full of blessings, adventures, valleys and tippy top mountains.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

by the skin of my teeth

I thought for sure today's post wasn't going to happen. With our internet being down since Monday afternoon, after several calls to Comcast, they could get someone out here on Saturday. I knew I could scream and stomp my foot and whine, but it wouldn't do any good in getting someone out here sooner. Plus, I really wouldn't do that. So, the secret weapon was used.

Ed.

He has a way of making things happen. I'm too soft and squishy and don't want to be a bother. He's tough, uses a firm voice and doesn't back down. Heck...he fires and hires people at his job.

For some reason there was a spot open for today (why that spot wasn't open yesterday, who knows). And the guy was here two hours before the scheduled time, was speedy, fixed the problem and was on his way.

Thank you my handsome rescuer! I can now squeak in my post, talk to the outside world, and of course work. Right on!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Today finds me (and Alina) sitting at the office conference table getting ready to work. The internet and tv have been down since 2:30 yesterday afternoon. I don't mind not having television, but internet is another story. Knowing I am not able to work is hard and not having communication to the outer world is also hard.

No pictures today as they are on Ed's computer and with no internet, he can't send them to me. But come they will.

Our house is also done on the exterior and pictures will come of that too. I still pull up to the house and always question myself if I'm pulling in the right driveway.

Work beckons and I need to heed the call.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Last night our eyes saw the back of our lids at 7:30. I didn't think it was going to be so hard dragging myself out of bed this morning at 7:15. Ed even slept in until then (and those of you who know him, know that is REALLY sleeping in for him).

I will have pictures of the trip on tomorrow's post.

I don't think I'm going to have any problem going to bed tonight. I told myself no naps as then I'll be up until 1:00 in the morning wide eyed and rearing to go.

I also need to get back into eating a bit better. I wouldn't be surprised if I gained all the weight back that I lost when I got sick.

So to start off the better eating kick, I think I'll mosey into the kitchen and make some hummus. (Have to offset the Jolly Rancher Screaming Sours that I just ate).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

running on fumes

Not quite sure how I'm functioning right now. It was 9:30 (MI time) yesterday morning when we got up. It was 9:30 (MI time) when our plane landed this morning. I thought I'd get some sleep on the plane from Seattle to Minnesota (it took off at 3:55 a.m. MI time), but it was SO turbulant, I vowed never ever to fly again. At one point the plane dropped, so did my stomach and all contents that were in it (which wasn't much). I prayed and prayed more and prayed some more. I was shaking as I was so nervous but kept continuing to pray. The stewardess' had to stop serving drinks and had to sit down and buckle in as it was so bad. The landing couldn't come soon enough.

Thank Jesus the flight from Minnesota to home was SO smooth I even fell asleep during take off that when we were in the air, I thought we were still on the ground. It was the smoothest flying I have ever experienced.

We got home and two hours later the kids were here and life has continued like we never left. Though...did we ever leave?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

brain has popped

I think yesterday felt like one of the longest days of my life. It was a good long day though. Ed had the interview process from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do during that time. All the interviewees went into the room and there was one girl and I left standing alone. We introduced ourselves to each other and sat down on one of the couches and started talking. Her husband was interviewing also. The next hours flew by with chatting and scouring the internet for places to live and before we knew it, our husbands were done and it was time for lunch. The guys had also met another guy whom they asked to go to lunch with us who is engaged. So us three couples, one from Michigan, one from South Dakota, and one from Miami moseyed on down next to the Puget Sound to Anthony's Fish Bar for lunch. Great conversation and awesome food.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with more head stuffing, some phrases that shook me to the core of my beliefs and scared the begeebes out of me, making me wonder "what in the heck is this school teaching?!?", more questions and meeting more people. (But now I'm no longer shocked or my beliefs curled in a fetal position as the phrases were explained and after chewing on them, realized they did make sense and weren't so scary after all).

Dinner found us at a Thai place. Ed and I have never had Thai food before and all I can say is that I am now hooked. It was amazing. We met another couple looking at the school from Tennessee, a single guy and a couple who are students at the school, from North Carolina, and another student who is from Nebraska.

It surprised me that I had not met one local person who went to school there. Though we were told there are some. I have also gotten my introduction phrase down. "I'm Jean from Michigan and yes I do know of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids and yes I've met Rob Bell and have friends that go there." I kid you not. Every. single. person. I have met (student and prospective student) has asked me if I know Rob Bell and Mars Hill Church.

It has been an amazing trip so far and the sun even came out yesterday which let us display Mount Olympus from the windows of the school.

I still have more questions to be answered and hopefully that'll happen today.

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's 6:30, woke up at 5:00. Body says it's 9:30 and actually slept in until 8:00 :)

Todays a busy day of having our brains stuffed with information of which we'll need to munch on later when we can poke them to let it all out.

Really short post today. Time to head back over to the non-smoking Denny's for a Moon Over Mi-Hammy. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

ins and outs

Some things that I observed and did today:

Saw a lady carrying a bag, which I thought was her small purse over her shoulder, but it was actually a dog carrier (dog included) that fit under the airplane seat in front of her. bizarre.

I don't like the sound of the airplane putting on it's brakes to slow down while we're still in the sky.

It is raining in Seattle right now. No surprise there. :)

Drivers in the city are actually very friendly and no honking occurred (except the guy who was in a HUGE hurry to get to the red light in front of us).

Trying to keep my eyes open and stay awake until 8 tonight (11 home time). Only one more hour to go.

Actually just finished eating at a Denny's which did not see or smell of smoke.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

timber!!




This is, or should I say was, our lovely willow tree. The tree where bees liked to hide and jump out to sting Ed when he was mowing (resulting in a trip to the ER). The tree that we didn't mind if it fell on the house (when we weren't home that is...that's how much we liked our house).









But we're starting to like our house. Especially our new siding, steps and driveway and we don't want the tree to fall on it. So the tree met its demise yesterday. I didn't realize how big this tree was until I took the picture below and saw the guy standing straight up next to the cut down trunk and it was taller than him.



I will not miss the tree. Or the bees. Or it possibly falling on our non Adams Family looking house. Good bye tree. We did save some of it though. It'll be displayed in the front garden bed. As wood chips.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

a super find

One of my favorite foods are cheese puffs. Not curls mind you. Too crunchy. But I would will myself not to buy them as they aren't the best thing for you.

Then I found these





Oh cheese puffs! Now I can eat a lot and not feel guilty or bad about eating them. Yes, they are a bit more expensive for a smaller bag. I'm learning how to ration and enjoy every single mouth melting bite.

Monday, November 12, 2007

new found word

Roil: To be in a state of turbulence or agitation.

I thought roil was something between boil and rumble. But turbulence or agitation much better describes the state my stomach was in at 3:30 this morning.

This has happened before. When I ate steak. It knocked me off my feet the next day to the point where I was living in the bathroom thinking there was nothing left to come out of me, but stuff somehow managed to be found.

This time it was meatballs. And this time I told myself to throw up as that would make the sick process go much faster. And it sure has.

I also told myself to suck it up as I needed to watch the little one year old today and that I had to make it through and was already praying for strength. 10 minutes later my phone rang and it was her mom saying she was staying home today. I was floored, humbled, in awe and so very thankful that my prayer was answered and not like I expected it to be. I went and crawled back into the toasty bed.

So today I have been feasting on GU2O and Pepto tablets. My tummy is now rumbling with hunger instead of agonizing pain. My back started hurting (just like it did last time), so I knew everything was almost over.

I think my body is telling me not to eat beef. It's not something we eat a lot of, maybe once a month, hence the reason it rejects it in the most horrible way possible.

Of course my favorite treat is prime rib. Oh how I love thee and will miss thee.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

mold breaker

Remembering back on growing up, every Sunday was, well, predictable. Church, home to a tantalizing pot roast aroma wafting through the house, eat around the table as a family, nap, homework, church, home for a snack, bed. No tv during the day. No chores. Skirts to church. This was how it was for 20 years. It wasn't bad by any means. That's what was ingrained in my being and the mold that was made for me.

Then I got married.

Today I think I broke almost every Sunday mold. We didn't go to church (but went last night). I did laundry. We watched football. Ed went to the store. I wore pants to church. On some Sundays we eat downstairs. I've cleaned the basement and the kitchen. Ed's working on the car in the garage. I sanded and washed down the front door in prep for painting. He even mowed and de-leafed the lawn.

All this to say that it has been a good day. No rushing around. Taking our time. The house was filled with smells of hamburger (chicken to be exact) soup and skillet corn bread. It's been a restful day even with doing things. While I treasure the memories of growing up, I treasure the new memories being made with my family.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

face lift

Awhile back we gave our laundry area a face lift. And by awhile...I mean awhiiiiiile. Here's what our laundry room looked like before:











This was the beautious wall paper and the lovely shade of green paint that was behind it:










With the left over paint from the bathroom, it cost us $4 (bottle of wall paper remover) to redo our laundry area.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Step #2

Today the driveway was poured, rolled and cooled. It took a total of an hour to do the entire thing. Sam can't wait to ride his big wheel on it!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

memories for 25 cents

Yesterday on the way to drop Ed off at work, a sign snagged my eye. MOVING SALE. Course sale signs always catch my eye. But this one screamed at me. I dropped Ed off and set a course for the moving sale. One minute later I was flooring the gas to make it up the driveway to the house. There wasn't much of anything special at this sale. Nothing spectacular or a great find. I really didn't even look once I got out of the car. A man came out and said hello. I said, "I saw the moving sale sign and had to come. Honestly, I didn't come for the sale. I wanted to see the house. I grew up here." He was really surprised and said he was so happy I stopped by and would I like to see the inside? Well sure I would! He was the man who bought the house from my parents back when I was 10 years old and actually remembered them. For a split second worry crossed my mind that if I entered the house, all memories would be confused with the current way the house was vs. the way I remember it in my childhood brain. I took the tour of the house. No memories assaulted or rushed forward. There was only one thought. The house had shrunk. The hallway seemed to have been cut in half. The living room was a fraction of the size I remember. My room didn't look the same without the over sized flowers on the wallpaper that I loved. The family room/breezeway didn't go on forever like it used to. The willow tree that we swung on was gone, along with the sandbox I played in for hours. The pine trees that my parents planted had grown so tall and in contrast made the barn look like a shed. I called my parents while walking around and told them where I was. I took a picture with my phone. The memories are still there. I can barely recollect the way it looks now as the 20+ year old pictures seared into my memories over rode a quick walk through years later. I'm glad I did it though. I always wondered if memories could easily be wiped out and now know that they'll always be with me. The time I dropped the bucket full of sand on my big toe and the nail fell off, when I tried to take the dog bone away from the puppy and it bit me in the forehead, rescuing the baby bunny only to find it gone when my brothers "threw it behind the barn as it was dying", picking double headed daffodils, going snowmobiling in the fields behind the house, being left on my own for the first time and sobbing as I was so scared, getting lost in the swamp next door, eating dinner as a family every night, hitting baby mice with a shovel, being terrified of worms, have my own pet chicken (Chicken Little) riding my big wheel, coming home from school one day to a kitchen splattered with chicken noodle soup and hearing my mom was in the hospital from being burned by a pressure cooker full of soup being unpressurized. The list could go on, but I won't bore you.

Oh...and I did buy a 25 cent flour sifter. I've always wanted one of those.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Do you know the muffin man?


In our home, if I make a loaf of bread, be it banana, zucchini, or any type of muffin, with in two days, it has disappeared. Yesterday I made pumpkin muffins (I figured the muffins would last maybe a day longer than when I make the pumpkin bread). 30 to be exact. 7 are left. Though two went with my aunt and uncle to enjoy with their spot of tea while on the way back home to Northern Ireland. One went home with the little one I watch 3 days a week and the rest have gone into our tummies to be digested. A bit more healthy than the recipe called for with whole wheat flour and organic sugar so I feel a bit better letting the kids snack away on them. All this to say, we love bread in our household. And the aroma was pretty nice too.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

step at a time

It all started with the steps. The culprit of all things to come. Steps sink, brick pulls away from house, sidewalk crumbles, brick needs removed, house needs sided, driveway needs redone.

The first step has been successfully completed.
What was there before:













What is there now:

Monday, November 05, 2007

it's not about the money...

There is no other feeling like that of witnessing how a simple gesture can touch someone's heart. This happened on Saturday when Ed handed a check to the man who was making our front steps. It was more than he quoted Ed and the gratitude I heard in Larry's voice turned my insides to mush. It also turned my heart to mush seeing that my husband sensed that this man could use the extra money and followed through on helping him and in turn helping his family. Ed was blessing someone else and in turn was blessed himself. There really is nothing like being able to help someone else.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

We're back from a busy weekend at the parents house. The kids had a great time with aunts, uncles and cousins.

Now starts another week. Conferences are this week as are two half days for Sam. More construction will be taking place on the house of which pictures will be soon coming.

Not a very exciting post, but I wasn't going to miss a day!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

current state

This is the current state of our house. No siding, no driveway, no steps, no retaining wall..
It looks better already!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Fun Friday!

Seems like Fridays turn out to be the busiest day of the week. Take today for example.
6:45 wake up and take shower
7:15 make lunches and get Sam breakfast
7:30 everyone loaded into the car to take Sam to school and Ed to work
8:00 drop boys off at respective places
8:05 trip to Meijer for supplies for a meal
8:40 home to make the meal
9:00 work
9:10 start meal
9:50 out the door to deliver meal
10:20 drop meal off and stay a bit for kids to play
11:15 off to drop Alina at Miss Kari's house to play
11:45 meet mom-in-law and take to Sam's school for Grandparents Day
11:50 stuff Friday folders
12:40 leave to go get Alina
1:00 pick up Alina and chat for a few minutes
1:30 stop to get a bite to eat
1:40 drop mom-in-law off at her car
1:50 go into office to work
2:50 back to school to pick up Sam
3:20 pick up Ed at office so he can have the car tonight
3:40 home
3:41 crash

Thursday, November 01, 2007

1st time for everything

I'm going to try the NaBloPoMo for the momth. We'll see if I can actually do this. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Still downsizing

Because of this,











We purchased this.











Which as of yesterday we no longer have so we can go here.








This has been by far our biggest sale yet thanks to Craigslist. Having two vehicles for just over one year was wonderful, but not having the worry of when the blue beast was going to need fixed again is even more wonderful. So once again, we're a one car family which is working out swimmingly.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

are their jackets really yellow?

It's been awhile since I've posted. Life has been flying by and I've been meeting myself going around corners. This week has been a low key one so far. A good recouping week. Considering the weekend I came off of.

Saturday Ed scraped off the last of the beautiful wood shakes on the front of our house (will show pictures when the exterior of the house is done). I had the job of holding the ladder. Which is hard to do when a yellow jacket crawls up your pants and starts stinging you (I think it knew its victim had never been stung in her 32 years and was the one appointed to end that record). What does one do? Let go of the ladder your husband is on, 2 1/2 stories up in the air, and pray he doesn't fall at that moment into the pile of broken wood shakes with rusty nails pointing toward the sky, or hold on and let the yellow jacket sting to its hearts content? I did both. I held on with one hand (a lot of good that would've done if the ladder slipped) and started pounding myself silly on the leg with the other hand. I was almost to the point of letting go completely to strip my pants off in the middle of the driveway. But right before that (I'm sure embarrassing moment) that horrible insect, which I know God created, fell out of my pants and I smushed it to the point of no recognition. I was MORE than happy to take two for the team though. Because if it was Ed it happened to, he would've jumped off the ladder from where he was, I would've had to stab him with a needle, get the kids and him in the car, and rush to the emergency room so they could administer drugs and probably fix broken bones. My stings were free. So between the yellow jacket and finding a bat under one of the shutters (which was really cool showing the kids it's wings all spread out and its fangs when it screeched at us), it was enough excitement to last me a good couple years.

On Sunday I filled in for Anne at church. I told her that she really knows how to stretch me. She says she tries. I was having dreams for days following up to Sunday about really messing up. I was more than stressed. I was scared stiff. Low and behold, leading music for a LOT of kids (K-5th grade) was a riot. I messed up. Often. But what can you do? Gotta keep goin'. I really don't know how she does it week in and week out. I came home and laid down. It was only 11:45 in the morning! You rock Anne!! No wonder she's so fit! Next time though, give me songs that'll work both my legs instead of just one. It made it hard walking up and down the steps Monday with only one really sore leg! :)

As for the rest of the week, who knows what will happen! Nothing to write home about so far, which is fine by me.

Friday, October 12, 2007

note to self

Next time I try and explain, "if a friend jumps off the edge of a cliff..do you follow? Of course not!!" I should use more specific applicable terminology. Like, "if a friend sticks his finger in the pencil sharpener and then tells you to do it, do you follow?".

His response: But I wanted to see if it would sharpen my nail!
Me: Did you know that there are blades inside the pencil sharpener?
Him: (eyes big and wide). Oh. Can I have a band aid please?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Today started at 5:15 with getting ready and everyone up to take Ed to the airport for his Catalyst trip. Right now he's sitting in Hot-lanta at the airport until 5. You can read about his Catalytic adventures here.

Alina's been sick the past three days with a temp varying between 101 and 103 degree. The nurse said it's croup. Thankfully, today she's back to her 100% self and has already gone outside in her Sunday dress sandals and ducky jammies to yell at the woodpecker who's making designs on the side of our house. Her fever broke about 1/2 an hour ago which is a huge praise (as I was getting a bit worried)!

So today I'll keep Ed company via instant message, be entertained by a ducky laden 3 year old scream at the woodpecker, sing my heart out tonight at church, continue to remind myself to not forget Sam at school, and quite possibly finish the laundry (now THAT would be amazing if it actually did happen).

Friday, September 28, 2007

The weekend and on

This weekend started out with Sam coming back home from school due to a stomach ache and sore throat. I thought, "I hope it's not strep or the flu". Amazingly enough, it was neither. Throat was due to drainage and the stomach ache was cured by a simple act each and every one of us does. A trip to the bathroom. I think it's been a couple day's since he's visited ours. I had a wandering, bored, nothing else to do but torment his sister, 6 year old on my hands who was asking to go to school. So my amazing husband took his lunch break early to come and pick Sam up to take him back to school. Now I can tackle my list for the day (clean bathrooms, bedrooms, vacuum everywhere, climb Mt. Laundry, mop, work and answer the endless "mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy" requests.

The parents and Ed's mom are coming this afternoon and staying over tonight. My niece is watching the kids tonight so us adults can go listen to Dan Allender (president of Mars Hill Grad School where we're looking at going for Ed's schooling) speak at the seminary. Should produce interesting conversations.

Tomorrow is pick up day for Angel Food, yell, jump up and down and cheer at Sam's soccer game and then work on house projects. Church will more than likely be attended tomorrow night and Sunday will be a day of rest.

Then a new week starts of which will be filled with the following:
Bible study, DV:FX, Ed gone to Catalyst for three days, an evening out to a wedding as a friends date (I can't wait!!), soccer practice, soccer game, airport trips, school bus driver, Friday folder stuffer, child watcher, everyday house stuff, and I'm sure there are things I'm forgetting (thank heavens for I-Cal!). :)

For now I need to go hike the mountain and clean Le Toilet Lakes.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


This jar has become a huge entity in our home. A goal was set as to how much we needed in it and last week, that goal was met.

Why did we fill it? Well...I'm so glad you asked!

Ed has talked for years about going back to school for a counseling degree, but that is as far as it has gone. In January, different prospects were popping up job wise, and he was holding out hope for a certain job, so school was once again put on the back burner. May 31st was the deadline to apply for the upcoming fall semester at the school he had his eye on, but the paperwork was put aside with the slightest hope of that same job coming to fruition.

The job didn't come about and through a series of events, school popped back into the picture. He talked with several people who encouraged him to seek this school out as it was right up his ally.

So the paperwork was dusted off, filled out, test taken, recommendations given out and fees paid. All that was left was the interview. And for that he has to be there in person. Which of course is on the other side of the country.

November 15th, Ed and I are headed to Seattle, WA to an "Experience Mars Hill Weekend" at Mars Hill Graduate School, where he will interview, we'll meet students, profs, sit in classes, be engulfed with the sights and sounds of school and the city.

The only way we were going to be able to afford this without going into debt was to somehow save enough money in cash to pay for the tickets. And that "somehow" was in the form of selling all things that we no longer used. Toys, dishes, electronics, friend and family stuff (who so graciously said we could put their profits in our jar), odds and ends. $5 here, $90 there, $25 everywhere. Two months and a bit of an empty house later, we had enough.
Tickets have been purchased.
The jar is now empty.
But the selling hasn't stopped. We're on to Plan #2 which is saving for hotel, car and food for the weekend we're away.

Now if the house would only sell as easily as everything else has, we'd be all set!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

corn, teeth and the fairy

I had two realizations last night.

1. The next time I decide to make a new recipe involving cutting corn off the cob, I should move the tooth that fell out that morning off the counter. Only because the corn makes a mess (and flies everywhere when being cut off the cob) on the counter and one tooth and one kernel of corn look really, really alike. So far, no hard kernels have been found in the corn and black bean salad I made.

2. Always have an extra tooth on hand. Thankfully, this was tooth #7 that had fallen out, so I had some "spare teeth" up on my dresser. I've heard the tooth fairy isn't too picky as to which tooth she finds under the pillow.

Monday, September 17, 2007

all that's needed is the mini-van...


Saturday was Sam's 1st soccer game. Ed and I were pretty horse after yelling for 40 minutes. "Keep going! Go THAT way!! Move up!! Kick it, kick it! Great job!! Good try!! Awesome block!" It was very entertaining. The purple people eaters won 5-1. With of course, one point being the other team scoring in their own goal. It pretty much went, kick ball...mob follows...kick ball...mob follows. Every time Sam kicked the ball, he would stop, turn around and wave at us as the game continued. All the guys did an awesome job. By the end, I think they figured out that when you kick the ball, you go after it instead of standing there.
This Saturday it's supposed to rain. I can't wait!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

huh


Who knew that when a pop can is knocked off a top shelf, when impact is made, it can explode out the side, shooting a good 15 feet into the kitchen, cover the pantry door from top to bottom, and cover four sets of legs that just happened to be standing there, trying to decide what type of fizzy to have. Obviously not that can.



Who knew that when a bowl is accidentally dropped onto the hardwood floor it doesn't break. But when accidentally dropped onto the head of a 3 year old, it breaks into five pieces, leaving a shard in her forehead, a goose egg on the side of her head and a black eye from the impact.



Who knew that pop could be so hilariously funny and kids heads so hard.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

1st grade


1st day of 1st grade. He told his grandma that it was "really hard" as they had to color a lot today. He asked if I could wash his shirt tonight so he could wear it again tomorrow. I suggested for him to pick out something different. He met a new friend who gave him his juice box since he didn't have anything to drink. He was scared and teared up when he was dropped off as he didn't know where to go. Dad was his hero by helping him out in the unfamiliar situation. He was awake at 5:45 this morning and "just couldn't go back to sleep". It is the 1st night of his 6 years of life that he has slept without bunny. The tender-hearted, care-free, not-afraid-to-hug-his-mom, thinks his dad is the ultimate coolest hero, little boy is still in there.

Seeing how some prayers change. From asking Him to keep him healthy in the womb, that he would be ok in delivery, for surgery's and doctor checkups to be positive and go well, to asking for just one full night of sleep. For him, in his child like faith, realize what Christ has done for him to asking for a good friend who will treat him kindly and not guilt him.

Soon enough he'll be going into jr. high. That literally IS how fast time goes.

It's amazing how one little person can grip your heart, sometimes squeeze it, sometimes make it burst. And no matter what, you love him with everything you have.

Monday, September 03, 2007

flying

This weekend was packed full of some fun, but mainly all work.

Friday night was BBQ with the family and then a night parade to watch my niece play in the drum line.

Saturday the parents were here and each of us accomplished so much. Ed finished re-wiring the basement and ended up with a good 10-20 yards of wire that was not being used throughout the house. He also mowed the grass (which is a two hour job). Dad patched the ceiling in the garage where the previous owner had cut a nice hole out of it and left it and painted the stairway in the garage. Mom took down the lovely border in our bedroom. I cleaned up the basement and had a nice "to sell" pile, some of which has already been sold. I also chopped down the five bushes at the end of the driveway so now people can see when pulling out!

Sunday was church, nap and more cleaning.

Today Ed pulled/dug out all the roots from the bushes I chopped down, worked some more in the basement, shampooed the carpets, and had a little bon fire in the front yard with gasoline, matches and bees. I picked up Candy Land, dropped off baby clothes and went to the store. We dropped off our very first computer (Ed's Ipod has more memory than that thing did) to Goodwill, dropped off boxes to a family that's moving and somewhere in there ate lunch.

The rest of the week consists of 1st day of school, library, grocery store, deliver meal, soccer meeting, watch the new cute little baby, practice at church (I've been dreaming about ants in my pants), drop off bags of clothes and books, sell more stuff, meet with realtor for the house, get the truck ready to sell and I think that's it.

Now it's time for bed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

final conclusion

Today I laughed. Not at the circumstances, but at the way life goes. Today was a "top off the week" day.

At church our son's number came up for a parent to come get him out of class. This is the first time this has happened in the six years he has been living. Ed dashed down there (I'm guessing as the number disappeared pretty quickly). My mind was racing. Did he get in trouble? Did he get injured?

Afterwards, I found Ed and Sam sitting on one of the steps towards the rear of the room we were attending service in and Sam wasn't looking too great. He didn't even want a cookie.

So we made it out of church in record time with only chatting to a few people and Sam was half asleep by the time Alina and I got to the truck.

It takes 10 minutes to get home. Two minutes into the drive, Sam started crying saying he felt like he was going to throw up. Sure enough. Breakfast from yesterday came up (eggs look the same before and after being eaten) with lots and lots of water. Of course we had no towels in the truck or anything to give him. And it kept coming and coming and coming. Ed pushed the speed limit hurrying to get Sam home as he was soaked and everything around him was soaked.

I stripped him down and took him to the shower. Then the fun job started. Cleaning up. Puddles. Dripping. Chunks. All in the fabric of the car seat. Thankfully the regular seat is leather so I could sop everything up. I almost did lose it. Almost, but held it together.

A good dose of Frebreeze later, everything smells lovely and all is back to normal.

Even Sam. His words getting into the shower were, "What are we going to have for lunch? I'm getting hungry".

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I knew I should have knocked on wood or something along those lines before writing the last line on the post below. It has been an adventurous couple of days already!

The vehicle did get fixed. But now needs repaired again. Ed and I were up at 4:15 Thursday trying to see where the very strong odor of gasoline that was filling the house was coming from. The blue beast was sitting looking all innocent in the garage, but the puddle under it was all the evidence we needed.

It has been a very rainy week with some strong storms. One such storm knocked our power out again Thursday night right at dinner prep time. Thankfully, the pizza place was open as I was not able to make anything. So it was bon appetit by candle lite. Followed by a camp out in our room. I had forgotten how loudly Sam breathes so I was up the majority of the night and even attempted sleeping in his bed with little success. I tried to wake him up to go into his bed, but he was almost in tears as he loved the adventure of slumbering in his sleeping bag in our room and didn't want to leave.

As of right now, this weekend is looking uneventful but as always, that could change in the blink of an eye, or the flicker of lights.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

wrap-up

A catch-up post if you will:

Clean-sweeping the garage that resulted in an entire bin full of garbage, a pile of freecycle items and a pile of items to sell.
Cleaning out the pantry that I kept shoving things into only to find new habitants, in the form of white worms, had set up dwellings. Bleach and a trash bag full of food later, the pantry was clean.
Waking up to an amazing thunderstorm this morning only to have the power go out, and later hearing and watching a pine tree topple in the neighbors yard.
Having the other vehicle fixed. Hopefully no more fixing anytime soon.
Seeing a door firmly close with a polite "no thank you" spoken concerning a job that may have not transpired anyway and being very ok and at complete peace with that decision.
Visiting a church that we have never been to and actually running into people we know.
Having half of the basement ceiling on the floor. Intentionally.

It has been an exciting four days. Should be interesting to see what the rest of the week holds!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

friends

This past weekend was trip #3 for Ed and the final trip. To fill the days until he returned home, one day the kids and I took a trip to Lansing to visit our good friends Nathan and Kerry Lynne. We've known this fantastic couple for 10+ years and even though they moved to VA 6 months after we met them, we've kept in contact with them over the past several years. Taking trips to VA, meeting a couple times in OH for weekends and several phone calls, e-mails and now instant messaging (YAY for THAT!!). They happened to be vacationing in the great U.P. (eh!?) and stopped in Lansing on their way back and invited the kids and I to come down for lunch and visits. It's been just over 3 years that we've seen each other, so I jumped at the chance to see them when they're only an hour away!!

Their son Josh is one year younger than Sam and those two are like two identical peas in the same very small pod. It was humorous watching them and seeing how much they are alike but yet they each portrayed their uniqueness and awesome boyness. No wonder their dad's are such good friends!! We ventured to the park after the little cutie patootie Eva was put down for a nap and Nathan pulled out the camera and took some absolutely amazing shots of the kids. Which of course I need to share... Thanks for letting me copy these Nathan!!

The hours flew by and it was time to leave. Already talks of Thanksgiving in VA are being discussed.



Thursday, August 09, 2007

What does $47 get you?

It is fix up time around here this week. Car, sink, door jamb, and the furnace. The furnace was our biggest worry with how expensive it was going to cost. A ticking noise could be heard through the house every time the air conditioner came on. The heating/cooling company came out yesterday morning (the last time they came here, we had no hot water resulting from a chipmunk/red squirrel deciding that the chimney was a water slide and ended up in the water heater, clogging up the air flow). The guy said, "it sounds like something is hitting the fan in there." He took off the cover and looked in. Nothing. He couldn't find a single thing wrong. He then reached both arms in up to his elbows and viola! He pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to me. It was an insurance policy. It didn't belong to us. Nor to the previous owners (who were here for 16 years). It belonged to the Werners. How much did they pay for this insurance? $2. What was the insurance for? Halloween Disaster.

Halloween Disaster Insurance
$2
This policy entitles the holder to post-Halloween relief as follows:
1. Wash soaped windows, home, auto, (etc.).
2. Clean waxed windows (except screens).
3. Remove garbage from lawns.
4. Remove "T.P." from premises (except trees, power lines, roofs).
5.General clean-up.
The Senior Youth Group is not responsible for damage done on said premises as a
result of Halloween pranksters. To schedule a clean-up crew, please call the
church office on Sunday, November 1st, between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Senior
Youth Group representatives will be at the church to take calls.

Policy holder:
Address:
Youth signature (needed to be valid):

Thank you for your support.
Keep this policy to present to clean-up crew.

You never know what you'll get for $47.

Friday, July 27, 2007

growing up


Tonight a milestone was scaled in our home. To some, this may not mean a whole lot, but to a mom who has been working with her son on reading, this is a HUGE thing. Sam doesn't really like to read. He likes being read to and has started graduating from pictures books to chapter books (with some pictures). It is like pulling teeth to get him to read words, but at the library the other day, I took my time in picking out some very easy beginner books for him to read. I realized how hard it is to find books that have very few words on the pages, and yet are full sentences where every word could be sounded out. I found three. And he read an entire one, all by himself, tonight. You could see he was getting so frustrated with himself over some words, but when it clicked in his brain, he got really excited when he re-read the entire sentence. His eyes lit up and he got a huge smile on his face. Praise filled our home tonight over his huge accomplishment. I'm so very proud of him, and from this big step, I hope he sees how amazing reading can be and all the adventures he can imagine from reading books.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

#2

Today Ed left on trip number two. The past days have been filled with dehydrating chicken for jerky, green peppers and onions for fajitas, apples, strawberries and blueberries to add to the morning oatmeal. Eight sandwiches were baked for lunches, noodles measured out for stroganoff, rice to accompany the fajitas, and every bag labeled for each guy. Breakfasts, snacks, lunches, snacks, dinners. The kitchen has once again exploded with foods for trail mix, oatmeal bars (which I couldn't sneak a few in as all 16 were needed), bags of packaged tuna and apple cider found on the clearance rack at a nearby grocery store. The dishwasher is getting its workout and the rest of the mess can wait until tomorrow.

To end the day after the guys left I started clearing out the shed, garage and basement for a garage sale the neighbors are having. The truck was stuffed full and so much more is going to go tomorrow.

Right now my bed is calling along with the movie I picked out for me from the library. I think a small snack is in order too.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

plans

Today Ed left on his first of three backpacking trips for the men's ministry. So with him gone, we're finding things to do to keep busy until his return on Sunday.

Today was helping my dear friend sing at a kids park party by the lake. I love being by the water and the kids did too. I could've done without Ronald McDonald talking to me though (clowns give me the heebee geebees), but all was well.

Tomorrow is blueberry picking!! YAY!!! Time to stock up the freezer to last us through the fall, winter and spring until next year.

Tomorrow night is the musician bbq and Ed's mom is coming for the weekend. Me, myself and I get to indulge in an evening of adult conversation, and eat as slow as I'd like. I'm very much looking forward to it!

Saturday is undetermined as to what is going to happen.

Sunday is church and then Ed will be home by dinner time.

Right now it is time for books and bed. The kitchen that exploded with preparations of camping food for the guys, is mainly cleaned up and will still be there tomorrow morning.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

thankful

Today is a day of thankfulness.
For:
A washer and dryer.
A working refrigerator.
Fans.
Clothes line.
Communication to the outside world.
Lights.
Water.
Flushing toilets.
The basics that I take advantage of every single day and not realize it.

After a 19 hour stint of having no electricity (which also means no water and no septic), I am truly thankful for the every day items in our home. It made today a really fun adventure though!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Our holiday

It has been another great 4th holiday. It began on the 3rd with 70+ friends and family gathered at our home to eat very yummy food while chatting and playing games. The evening ended with a spectacular fireworks show across the street and thesmores around the fire pit. Our family was praying all week for the rain to hold off, and other than 30 seconds of sprinkles, it didn't start raining until we climbed into bed
last night. Thank you Jesus!!

Today was a lazy day of sleeping in, going out to breakfast with Grandma, watching a parade, going to a fair for sno-cones and inflatable rides and then out to lunch with Grandma, followed by a nice nap. Tonight is cleaning up the house and taking it easy.

What a great holiday it has been! I experienced the blessings of having a cleaning fairy yesterday who was a HUGE help, the relaxing atmosphere of a large crowd at our home and being able to celebrate our country's birth with my family.

Now the kitchen needs some loving attention and so does the newly decorated laundry room that is keeping an eye on the mountains of laundry that need to be done.

Happy 4th of July!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

blink

Have you ever seen one of those stunt drivers in the movies where their car is flying through the air on its side then lands on it's roof,smushing the car so much that you can't even pick out the windows anymore? That is the only way I can describe the horror that flew before my eyes last evening and is seared inside of my brain. Replaying over and over again. Happening in slow motion. Hearing metal collide into metal. Smelling burnt rubber. Seeing the shocked faces of those standing around me. Everyone standing stone still. Watching. Trying to comprehend what just happened before all of our eyes. Then in the blink of an eye, people running to help all involved. Parents searching frantically for their kids. It was a movie being played out. Or so it seemed.

After watching the fireworks out in a little farm town, from the lawn of a friends uncle's house with the majority of the people our family didn't know, this scene happened. We were getting ready to leave when we heard a horrible metal on metal impact, turned around to see a car hurdling through the air to land on it's roof, on
the lawn, that we were all standing on.

Amazingly, no one was seriously hurt. The 20 year old of the flying car came out with a scraped elbow. How he lived I don't think anyone will be able to comprehend as he wasn't wearing hisseat belt.

I hope I never see, hear, smell anything like this again.

And while sitting there watching the entire town's fire department take care of all that were involved, our 3 year old pipes up and says, "I think we should pray for that man. That he's ok." And we did just that.

A wake up call of how life can so swiftly change. And a reminder of the child like faith we are called to have, to go to Christ with our scraped knees, thankful hearts and crushing blows.

Friday, June 29, 2007

flying by

Sitting here working today, I realized I've been doing this job for 7 years. So I stopped and revisted the past handful of years of life.

Moved to our first house.
Sam was born.
Experiencing all the firsts of a baby, including some extras like surgery and hospitals and changing bandages and needles.
Potty training.
Backpacking trips with a toddler.
Catalyst.
Moved to our 2nd house.
2nd baby and all the firsts with her which did not include extras.
Totalling our only vehicle.
10 year anniversary.
Backpacking trip with a preschooler and toddler.
Turning 30.
Ups and downs.
1st day of school.
Growing.
Being broken.
Trusting.
Experiencing the depths of Christ.

Time lived, not lost.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

ironic

It's really ironic how the post below can mean something totally different now. When I wrote that, things were not happening like we expected them too. In the weeks that have followed, life has taken several different turns, but the thoughts below still apply. I need to continue keeping my hands open, even if what is happening (or not happening) does not line up with what we like. Of course, it's not at all about what we want, but what God wants for me and us as a family, which is going to be SO much better than what we ever expected.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Surrendering open hands to the Maker's will does not come easy.
A war between self will and His.
Clenched fists.
10 fingers.
Holding on so tightly.
White knuckles.
Realizing that you HAVE to let go.
To surrender the frustration.
The worry.
Doubt.
Ever so slowly the fingers open.
Not out of force, but of one's own choosing.
Each joint creaks.
Until palms are open.
Wide.
To let go.
And receive.
Being vulnerable.
Washed in peace.
Tears.
Deep rest.

Friday, June 01, 2007

meandering

It's raining. And thundering.

It's 2:37 a.m. and thanks to some knucklehead kids running down the street yelling at each other, I am wide awake.

My other half is gone for tonight and tomorrow scouting a trail. I hope he's fast asleep, snuggled in his sleeping bag.

Kids are snoring.

A nice breeze is coming through the window.

An ant on steroids crawled across my arm and scared the begeebees out of me.

I'm not a big fan of the dark.

I do like listening to the rain though. My favorite place to listen to the continuing cadence of water drops is snuggled up next to my husband in a tent.

I should probably go back to bed.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

choices

Making choices is sometimes one of the easiest things to do and sometimes one of the hardest things to do. It is unbelievable how many choices come to head each day. Little choices like what to eat for breakfast or when to brush your teeth. Larger choices like the severity of discipline your child should get after disobeying comes a bit harder. Choosing a budget and sticking to it. Internal decisions/battles that can affect your being or catapult you back to square one. An array of choices.

I made a choice awhile back to take a break from something that was part of my everyday life. It was made after hearing the pastor of our church talk about taking one thing to fast from and try it for a month. Evaluate after the month and one would find that if a person can live without it one month, why not try for another. How in turn, fasting from something external can affect your internal thought process and the choices of what should/shouldn't be said out loud.

So I prayed about what to fast from and a month later, like a two by four upside the head, I was clearly given an answer of what to fast from. I made it a month. Two months. Then that little voice said, "You can make the choice to stop fasting. You can handle it. You've made it this long and are stronger now than you were months ago. Go ahead." The voice was so faint. Barely above a whisper. Hardly noticed. Unfortunately it was listened to and acted on. The choice was made to indulge and how quickly I sped right back to square one. You would think, "Lesson learned. That will not happen again." Square one has been visited more than once.

That little voice is so persistent. Every day. Day in and day out. It doesn't give up. It also doesn't get any louder, but keeps a steady beat that doesn't skip. Barely audible until I realize almost too late. Funny thing...it doesn't tell me the consequences I will face if I make the choice and accept what it says. That would obviously defeat the entire purpose.

I have had outs. I have taken the outs to keep myself in check. For these I am so very thankful. Prayer, husband, friends, accountability, and learning to change the thought processes and just some.

Overall it has been a very good choice. I am glad my Lord brought it to my mind
and that despite how hard it was to give up, I obeyed. Have failed, learned from the failure, failed again, had to learn again and humbly ask for forgiveness and continue on. Thankfully He is a forgiving Savior who grants grace that is so undeserving and is there to help in all my choices. Easy and hard. Day in and day out.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

weekends

Last weekend's anniversary celebration was chalked full.

It started Friday night with dinner out at a great local eatery with friends and then viewing Nacho Libre which caused side splitting laughing.


Saturday started with breakfast at another great local eatery, a drive to the lakeshore where we ditched the vehicle and hopped on our bikes for a couple hours. We then devoured a light snack while sitting by the bay, changed for dinner, ate way too much at a fanstastic restaurant and ended with flurries by the shore.




We also were surprised by a kite festival that was taking place. Neither of us had seen kites as big as some were. It was extremely windy by the shore and we watched one kite literally drag a man on his stomach across the beach until another man grabbed his legs and was able to stop him.



Sunday was church, mom-in-law taking us out on our official anniversary, a quick nap, video shoot at a car repair and then home to do house/yard work.

Too sum it up, Monday came waaaaaaay too quick.

Another weekend is sneaking up on us and this time will include a trip to the parents homestead where three out of five of us siblings are gathering to help the parents do some landscaping reconstruction (or I should say destruction). Then it will be a trip back home with one day filled with church and dinner with friends and then one day working on the yard.

Whew! I'm ready for a nap!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

closed


The Eatery will be closed for business this weekend due to a celebration.

12 years ago tomorrow a wedding took place bringing together two, much younger, people. Since then, there has been four moves, two kids, 5 vehicles, vacations, highs, lows, memories and a growing friendship like no other.

I am so very thankful for the man I married.

Today we celebrate.

A day away.

I love you Ed, for our life together and for many more years to come.