Monday, June 30, 2008

a few nature pictures for you

I've been meaning to show some pictures of our beautiful wildlife here at our home and finally got around to downloading the photos off the camera from weeks ago.

Our first stop is a lovely oblong specimen. Anyone ever read this book? We actually have it and it didn't CLICK (ha ha ohhh ha...ehem) until after I let this beastly looking (of a fine specimen) go that it was one in the same. It scared the living daylights out of me when it did click that soon after I let it go back to its habitat. If I was thinking straight, I would have put it on its back to see if it really did click over to escape. But no....its image was starting to fuse into my brain and I knew I needed to let it go before it seeped into my subconscious and I started having dreams of big black looking eyes clicking every time they closed, chasing me down a dark tunnel with no light at the end...

So, onto our next fine specimens. Now these lovely, cute, cuddly little beasts are all but that. Oh...they may look cute and cuddly and I would've totally gotten closer, but my insides SCREAMED at me to stay away. Far, far away. These lovely little stripped fur balls live under our back deck (as far as we know). I thought there were only four, but alas! There are six! Though I did hear a skirmish the other night between something large and something small, and I think there may be less than six. And I do need to thank our dog sized groundhog, as I believe he/she is keeping them away as we haven't seem these fine looking pieces of black and white fir for over 2 days. Sure beats the weird looks I got from the store clerk while I put up 6 1/2 gallons of ammonia to pour around the deck (which didn't faze these cute pups one bit and it rained that night, so I'm not doing it again). So Mr./Mrs. Groundhog, thank you!

Now...I know these are not living creatures, but they were thriving and growing. Until we picked them. Still looking at this picture, my mouth waters and I have to keep typing so I won't go diving into the freezer to eat these succulent morsels! This was our first time strawberry picking. (I must say that Sam is the strawberry picking king!) 11 pounds of strawberries made us nine 1/2 pints of strawberry jam and 4 quarts of whole strawberries left over. We have yet to indulge in these juicy bites of yumminess.

So now I must say cheerio as the children are screaming outside and I need to make sure both come in unscathed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

here an ear, there an ear, everywhere an ear, ear.

This event took place last night. Ed and I were sitting outside chatting while the kids were "supposed" to be in bed and Sam came to the sliding door.

Sam: Dad? I need to tell you something.

Dad: What is it?

Sam: I did something.

Dad: And what would that be?

Sam: I put a piece of paper in my ear and I can't get it out.

Dad: Why did you do that?

Sam: So I could show my friends that I can pull a piece of paper out of my ear. Like a magic trick.

Dad: Come here please.

After much looking we couldn't see evidence of a piece of paper. Sam informed us that it was a tiny ball and he pushed it way in there. We tried ear wax removal with a warm water bath, flashlight, tweezers (not too deep in worries), but to no avail, that piece of paper would not come out. I informed Sam that we were going to have to go to the doctor the next day as it could not stay in there. He was in tears, scared and really sorry. We then headed him to bed and told him to lay on the side he put the paper in to see if it would come out during the night.

In his room:

Mom: Where's the piece of paper you used?

Sam: Right there. My math flash card.

I lift up the card and see a tiny piece torn off the edge.
He goes to lay down and I move his blanket to cover him up.

Mom: Is this the piece?

Sam: IT IS!!!! (relief and a huge smile on his face) I was praying about it too!

Dad: What did you pray?

Sam: "God please take it out. God please take it out."

Mom: That's pretty awesome that God answered your prayer isn't it? He was protecting you and keeping you safe.

Sam: It sure is! (awe all over his face) I'm glad he answered my prayer.

Mom and Dad each: Me too!

Sam was so awed and amazed that God would answer his prayer and I think it had a huge impact on his faith and trust in God. It was a pretty cool experience to witness. Seeing your child in awe of God and being so thankful to Him.

This morning it was the 1st thing he told his sister about. "God took a piece of paper out of my ear!"

Friday, June 13, 2008


It has been a bit discouraging seeing and hearing people moving ahead with plans that have to do with their future, and sitting here not moving. People that I have been in contact with in WA are now packing and moving away now that their spouses are done with school. People that we have met are packing up and moving to WA to start school. We are neither packing nor moving. We're waiting. In limbo.

At times I feel like this verse:

"I am exhausted from crying for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
waiting for my God to help me." Ps. 69:3

When I see my husband leave every day to a job that sucks life out of him ounce by ounce, tears me up.
Cleaning the entire house for someone to come through and 6 minutes later leave and not like it.
Pinching pennies until they start to cry.

It's easy to slide down the despair slope, it goes fast and there is no end in sight.

During these times, I have to literally stick my feet out on each side of the slide to stop my emotions and thoughts from careening and pray. A thought provoking, detailed prayer comes out: "HELP!"

These are the verses my Rescuer gives to me.

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."

So I turn around and start climbing back up the slide. Not an easy task. There is a lot of slipping, bruised and cut knees from falling. Growing takes a lot of effort, sweat and hurt.

Our house isn't sold, but we believe we are obeying and have learned SO much more than we ever thought.
My husband's lifeless job is still there day after day, but I see where God has used him and continues to use him in others' lives.
The pennies are still crying, but we have not gone hungry and have seen God's hand provide for us through others in so many ways.

The last 3 months have been very long, but we will not give up. It's tempting to sit down and let the slide carry me. There is no answer yet, we are still in limbo and who knows what is going to happen. But I am thankful for this testing period. Joy in trials. What an oxymoron. What an awesome God.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Here are the pictures I've been meaning to post. We lost our power again on Sunday and it came back on today (Tuesday). It was quite the adventure the past few days with no electricity, water or being able to flush the toilets! ;)

This was right after the huge wind came through.

This pine tree snapped right off (we're still not sure why no other pine trees in the same row were blown down). This is also the same pine tree that I hit with the tractor...

This was our neighbors driveway. One of our trees took out two of their trees, one of which landed in their garage.

This is the other tree that came down. If the wind came from the other direction, the entire top would have been in our bedrooms. This tree used to tower high over the house. The wind took the whole top off.

This is from the street looking down the valley.

Saturday friends came over to help clean up (as we had an open house on Sunday).

Looking down our street after the storm. No one could get through as there were trees and power lines down, covering the street.

Lastly, what was left of our for sale sign. It was found plastered to the road by the neighbors.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Not sure what went through yesterday, but it was scary enough for me to scream at the kids to get in the basement as I thought the house was going to blow away.

1st was hail.
Then the power went out.
Then this horrendous wind blew.
It was white outside and I couldn't see the tree that is two feet away from the window.
Instinct kicked in and we ran to the basement.

30 seconds and it was over.

I assessed the damage.

It was the most bizarre thing I had seen. In the back, one plastic chair blew off the deck. Sam's soccer nets were still standing. Nothing damaged at all.

In the side yard, two huge silver maples were down. The back half of one and the entire top of the other. If the wind came from the other way, our house would've been crushed.

Our power came on 24 hours after it went out. I'm dirty and sweaty from lugging tree branches to the back yard. Friends came brandishing chain saws to cut up the trees.

Our for sale sign is gone.

Pictures to come.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

the grass could be greener on the other side

I found out yesterday that:

1. Trees do not move.
2. Grass is very slippery when wet.
3. Metal is very hard.
4. Plastic cracks.
5. Wood comes apart easily.
6. I'm thankful I can still walk.

Today I'm finding that:

1. My body feels like it went through the wringer, dryer, washer, stretcher and any other torture device you can think of.

What did I do?
I mowed the lawn.
In the rain.
5th gear the entire time.
Ran into a tree (and am pretty sure I dented the trunk of it).
Cracked the entire front and top of the tractor cover.
Waited for it to blow up.
Ran over a stump (with the blades going).
Almost went over the top of the tractor (due to said stump stopping it).
Knees hitting metal were the only thing that kept me from flying off.
Waited for it to blow up again.
Peeled a board half way off the shed while putting the tractor away.
Saw the entire front of the shed bow in along with the peeling board.
Finally got the tractor in with the shed still standing.
Turned off the tractor before it blew up.

I was going to take a picture of the tractor, but Ed hasn't seen it yet and I want him to live another day.

One important gracious husband was not the least bit frustrated, but smiled when I told him these sad turn of events. That spoke volumes to my heart.