Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I've learned today that I need some quiet. Before you all start laughing hysterically, hear me out. I picked Jo up from school at 11:30. At 1:05 my head tried to explode. Why you ask? There hasn't been a quiet second since. I had to run an errand after picking her up and she talked about the errand, the car, the lack of Jeep, the friends we say on our way. At the store she asked about the movie playing in the bookstore, the books she saw, the coloring sheet they gave her...Now we are home and she has asked about what I will have for lunch, what time her sister will be home, is it early release day, why does she have to nap, when am I goig to eat, the microwave is beeping, five little pumpkins and finally she is talking about the Muffin Man. Wait, she discovered that Cookie Monster is teaching letters on her placemat and that is taking her off on a new tangent of made up verse. Ya'll thought I talked a lot? I am really becoming the quiet one. If she wants to know why she naps at age 5. It isn't always because she needs a rest, but Mama's ears NEED a break! Seriously!

My mother is probably muttering something about kids and payback for my own past behavior. Okay I really get that. EEKS!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Household

Birthday extravaganza week is in full swing here. Shan's birthday is done, except his parents are coming. My birthday is here, but...when Mama's birthday is wedged in the middle it is less relevant. We are now gearing up for Je's birthday. She will be 7 on Saturday. This is a party year* so we are planning a "Red Carpet Movie Party". It was my sister's idea. We are going to get the projector and show the movie big on the wall, have popcorn etc. I haven't figured out a cake yet, but...that is the conundrum. To add to my woes in September, last week the sewer stopped draining so we had to have the plumber out to snake the drain. Not a huge deal, until, he found that there is a potential problem. So last week we were afraid we were going to have to dig up the sewer and fix it...for $3000. He came back this week and it may still have to be fixed at some point but right now it seems to be working and we can plan how to fix it rather than an emergency. So much better. I may never be a problem again so we may be okay. Then on Friday, we found that the oven doesn't work. Electricty isn't getting to the bottom element in the oven to tell it to heat. So I can't bake anything. We tried replacing the element, and it didn't fix the problem so we traced it to the computer board that runs the clock etc. We called the repairman, and it takes 5-10 days to get the part. So now cake baked in our oven this week. And the dinner I was going to fix easily for company this weekend? New plan. I will bake lasagna's at church and bring them home to serve. Fortunately, church is close. I am glad that October finally arrived. I'm hoping it will bring some relief. On the bright side, I got a beautiful new wallet from my mom for my birthday to replace the one taken when my purse was stolen. Checks, credit cards, drivers liscense, dress doll magnets, and other purse items have been secured and now I am just waiting for the purse I want to appear on ebay or buy it from the website for twice as much. The ebay seller I purchased the original from, is planning a trip to the factory this month so I will see what he finds. If he gets something close, I am in business. If not, I found it on a website that sells it for half the facotry price, but twice the ebay price. Not a bad deal, but you know I am cheap. I am feeling more optimistic all the time. Especially since I have a coffee/hot cocoa date with my BF today!

*If you care, we allow the kids to have a party every other year for their birthdays and alternate so they don't have parties the same year, since their birthdays are only 6 weeks apart.

For Ne-Ne

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Get over it

I have been feeling a bit worn down. I had to deal with some unpleasantness with the PTO and our big fundraiser. It was a difficult situation to navigate and a lot of rumors and lies were circulated about PTO. The people left among the scorched earth have been terrific at picking up the pieces left from the chaos and we are moving on to a great fundraiser.

Then last week, I forgot to grab my purse when I was at church for the ice cream social. Some creep broke the window and stole it. So I have been having a great time trying to put my stuff back together, cancel credit cards, get a new liscense, a window repaired, etc.

Instead of feeling harrassed about the trials of this month, I am going to focus on the things that are blessings. I survived the PTO issue. Our PTO is stronger and more committed than before.

Yes, I lost a purse I really liked and 10 bucks cash. The cards were all cancelled before much damage could be done. Our window was 100% covered by insurance.

So I am going to get over it, and move on.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

She did it!

As summer ends, it is time for JE and her two classmates to move up to a new Sabbath School class. Her teacher decided to challenge the girls to memorize Psalm 121. They had the whole month of August to do it and she promised them a prize for completion of the memorization. We worked on it sporadically over the month, but not faithfully. A week ago, the teacher reminded me that she had just one week to say the passage, and that she had already purchased the prizes. Over the final week I worked with Je to memorize the passage. She kept leaving out a couple phrases. Sabbath morning she was much better. After Sabbath School she showed me this: Way to Go! She worked hard to get this. I had thought I would get her her own Bible for her birthday in October, but now this is even better!

Monday, September 01, 2008

God will tell you what you need to hear

Update post meeting: The situation resolved itself as the leadership decided to resign. God allowed the best possible outcome for our conflict.

My first official act as PTO president was to call an emergency meeting of the executive board/pancake breakfast committee. There has been great upheaval and harsh words from some on the committee to others that needs to be addressed in a very very permanent fashion. We have come to the conclusion that some changes in leadership of the fundraiser need to take place. We have 25 days until the fundraiser so this can't wait until a regular meeting. I have been on the phone and email all weekend discussing this and working through the details of this special meeting. Tonight, I sat down with my Bible and opened to a couple passages. I was expecting this but still amazed at how God speaks to me. I thought I would be directed to appropriate passages and as I was looking up old favorites I turned to the most recent memory work passage for JE. She was to learn Psalm 121 this month. (side note: she earned a big deal prize for this: her very own Bible!) It is a comforting Psalm:
Psalm 121
A song of ascents.
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Then I went to an old favorite from my teens Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

and I was totally blown away by verse 11-14

"All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob,
O little Israel,
for I myself will help you," declares the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

I am amazed that God knows what I need to hear. I do feel as if I have an enemy in this situation and I am not alone in this. It is a minority in power against the majority in labor. I also was comforted to be reminded that this is a little thing in the overall scheme of things, but that God cares about us in the little things. So while this may seem major league, it isn't, and God is going to help me through even this little bump in the road. Praise the Lord!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In First Grade Already?

Je mentioned that she needed to bring candy for a boy in her school or he was going to give her a "paperclip shot".
What did you say?...
No, you do not have to bring him candy, nor should you.

As we asked a few questions it turned out that this boy intended to bring a paperclip from home and use the end to poke her in the bottom. Thus the "shot". She seemed a little scared but sure that she had to give in. We all tried to explain that she didn't have to, no one can make you do this. By this morning she seemed to get it. I got a little more information out of her, and it seems that the incident happened on the bus. So I walked across the street to tell the bus driver that this had happened. She immediately knew the little boy in question, another first grader. She promised to take care of it. I had already emailed Je's teacher and she responded quickly that she would look into the situation. By noon, Je had talked to the counselor as had the little boy and the email said that his parents would be notified. I don't know the family or even their last name so I wonder how that will go. The bus driver told me when she dropped Je off that she and the principal had spoken to the little boy and that should encourage him not to repeat his threat. I was impressed by how seriously they take this at Je's school. They jumped right on to the problem and responded to my communication quickly. It is problematic that this little boy is only in first grade and already doing this. After school, Je told me that she knew of another little girl who'd been told to bring him candy or else. So far no one did, but this morning, Je was picking out some candy from her stash of parade candy. I made her put it back.
We've all been bullied at one time or another. I worry about it especially with Je because she is so tenderhearted, and reserved. She doesn't always stand up for herself. Jo probably will stand up for herself and tell the bully to leave her alone. Je hopefully will learn to do the same. She heard the same message from her parents, Nana, her teachers, the counselor and bus driver. Maybe it will sink in if she hears it from several directions.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Remember this, or this? We finally got rid of them a month or so ago. It was nice to have the living room looking like a living room again. The girls didn't seem to mind having the boxes go, at first. A week or so after they were gone they started bugging us for the tents my sister gave them for Christmas a few years ago. (Thanks, Min!) I held them off through vacation and their visit to grandmas but today, they wore me down.

And in case you missed the first day of school and were interested.... Every morning Je and Jo go stand on this rock in our yard. They call it the watching rock since they use it to watch for the bus. There goes any chance I had to get it out of my yard...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

So she isn't deaf

Today, being the first day of first grade for Je, I tried to entertain Jo. Mom gave me a couple coupons for Penney's, so we went to the mall to bum around. I figured it was going to be too hot to be outside much and the mall has an indoor play land. Jo wanted a pretzel and I had a buy one get one in my purse. She was specific in her pretzel demand, she wanted to get a cinnamon pretzel and eat it at the mall like she does with Nana. Okay. One time you get a pretzel to go and you never hear the end of it. We each ate about half of the pretzels and brought the rest home. Shan came into the family room this evening and seeing them on the counter asked me how long I was going to leave his pretzel there without telling him it was there. Jo heard him, and from her bed all the way upstairs said "That's MY pretzel!" Oh yeah she has no hearing problems at all. Two floors away and she is protecting her pretzel.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I Can't Decide If it is Beautiful or Ugly

The kids spent the week at my inlaws last week. It was sooooooooo quiet around here. We (mostly I) eagerly set off Friday to go out there for the weekend. I looked up near the Elsworth/Lincoln County lines. I saw this:

As we drove they seemed to multiply. I counted 22 at one point.

Then we topped a hill and as we came around the corner...There were hundreds and hundreds of them. I can't decide if it is a beautiful site or a really really ugly one. Seriously. It is awe inspiring. We both gasped when we saw them all. I don't know if they are part of the answer to the energy question or just a pipe dream designed to make us feel like we are doing better. I like the idea of using the energy that God provides, solar, wind, water...but I don't know if they can be a miracle cure to the energy problem. I have a sneaking suspicion that the answer is going to be more about conservation and using less energy than finding a new souce to replace current sources. Which means work and change for all of us. Can we do it? We'll see.

Friday, August 01, 2008

What Have I Done?!

I eagerly went to PTO last fall for the first time. I volunteered cautiously for things, and added ideas to the discussion over the months. So I knew the other mothers a bit from that. The PTO president lives down the street across from my mom and knew that my kindergartner got off the bus there a couple afternoons a week. We had become friendly through this. So when she left a message on my machine yesterday, I wasn't alarmed. I was dreading the call a bit because, I knew, she needed volunteers for PTO. The last few years, the same group of moms have done the jobs in PTO because no one else would volunteer. Many of them are now burned out, and several have moved to other schools, or even out of district, and their kids have moved on to the middle school. So finding a new crop of parents has been a challenge. I think they had most jobs filled until recently when a sudden flurry of moves changed that. She had a list of PTO positions that needed filling. The easiest job on the list...PTO president. Seriously. I am the PTO president for my daughter's elementary school. On the bright side, I know from experience that the person in charge has an easier job than the person who does the pancake feed, or some of the other jobs. Thanks goodness. If I didn't have enough to do before...well I do now.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Vacation Stop

We're on vacation! Yea! We stopped at Grant's Farm on our way to church camp. It was pretty hot, but we had a great time, the girls picked the pretty hats for a souvenir.

Mama and baby Clydesdale

Clydesdale stallion

We even fed bottles to the baby goats, who tried to eat everything, our shoe laces, my shirt and shorts, Je's hair...

they really liked it when we brushed their coats

Saturday, June 28, 2008

To tired to wiggle

Today we painted a rental house for/with my mom and we are too tired to wiggle. Fortunately it was cloudy for most of the morning so it wasn't uncomfortable to paint. It has been a busy month around here. Not much blogworthy of note though. Je finally is beginning to enjoy softball. And a side benefit, she is improving. Nana came to a game and noticed how weird she was throwing sidearmed rather than overhanded. Je hadn't been too willing to practice with Daddy, so Nana told me to bring the bat and ball down the next time Je visited. So now, Je asks to practice with Nana, and she throws the ball correctly. She had a really good hit at the last game, with aunt, uncle, Nana, and cousins as witnesses. In her league, the girls get 4 pitches from the coach and if they don't hit a pitch, they get to hit off the tee. Usually, Je needs the tee. This time, she whacked it pretty good. She isn't committed to playing another season, but I think she is really having a good time. She could stay with the same coach, and since we really like his approach, we are probably going to give it another year. He is pretty low pressure, very positive, and a lot of fun. At a recent game, he brought a cooler full of water balloons for the girls to throw at him. They had a blast. That is probably the first time they had thrown that hard the whole season. Je played first base for an inning and did a pretty good job of stopping the ball, and going to first base with it. She only got the batter out once but her effort was great. That is one of my fondest memories from growing up. Lots of softball. We all three played for many years, and we had a great time doing it. Hours of catch with Daddy in the back yard, practices, games, sweating in the Kansas heat through a double header in July. Totally fun. Seriously. I want that for Je and Jo. Like my sister said recently I LOVE SUMMER!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back by Popular Demand

Okay, so only my sister noticed and requested a post but still. I probably talked to most of my audience since my last post. Only one mentioned the lack of post. I had a busy month. As school wound down and we had field trips and play days etc. VBS wound up. It was all VBS all the time for the last couple weeks. But its over now for another year. I take it as a good sign that I am thinking about next year already. I have to write the report on this year before I forget the things I want to do differently, but other than that, I can't get started until July when the companies release their themes for next year. I can't even get the material until November so I have a slight break.
Just enough time to plan for the Christmas program. Funny stuff. Our theme this year for VBS was a beach party. The church looked great decorated. We had kind of a crunch with that since I couldn't do that until Sunday afternoon. Usually, I work Saturday morning, then finish Monday morning. This year, there was a 50th anniversary party on Saturday, so we had decorating with everyone after the fellowship lunch. We ended the week with a taco dinner for all the families and a beach party complete with boardwalk games etc. We had a shooting gallery with water guns and ping pong balls on golf tees, face painting, lasso golf, ring toss, and a soak the surfer. Our answer to the dunking booth. For a special treat, we rented a snow cone machine. The kids loved it. The weather was gorgeous. Just 24 hours before we had been under all kinds of watches and warnings but it all cleared out, the wind died down and the temp fell to a beautiful summer evening. I have one year to rest up to do it all again.

Friday, May 16, 2008


'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean livin''
I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say.. 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain..
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Pretty is as Pretty does... but beautiful is just plain beautiful!
by Maya Angelou

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Perils of Caller ID

I have a new pet peeve. People who use their caller id as an answering machine. They look through the list of calls, and then call unfamiliar numbers to find out who the people are. I just got a call from a gentleman who demanded to know who I was. I answered the phone, "Hello?" His response was, "Who is this?" No hello, my name is and I was wondering... etc. Really people. If I call someone, and don't reach them, I leave a message. If I don't leave a message, I will try again, or it wasn't that important. If someone calls my cell phone in error, I certainly am not going to use my minutes to find out that it was a wrong number. If it isn't important enough to leave a message, then it must be not worth me finding out who they are. I am tired of getting calls from people who want to know who called them. Get a machine people. If I need to speak with you, I will leave a message. Caller id, is not as good as an answering machine. Trust me on this. You may now return to your regularly scheduled activities. Rant over.

Monday, May 05, 2008


I've learned that whenever the least convenient time for an emergency room visit, that is when you will need to make one. Today, I chaperoned Je's class trip to the Outdoor Ed center. We hiked the trail, listened to birds, looked at coyote scat, saw a Canada goose. We studied creature eyes Eyes up front they like to hunt, eyes on the side, they like to hide. We studied the apple, from seed to sauce, and sampled homemade applesauce. It was a busy day. As I was leaving school to go change for tutoring, I called my mom to let her know that Je would come home on the bus. She was at the immediate care clinic with Jo who had fallen at my friend Ellen's and cut her knee open. She needed 4 stitches. I met Mom and Jo at Mom's house after they were done, so Jo could have Hippo. Y'all know how crucial Hippo is. Jo seemed fine, so I went on to tutoring. I was thanking God that I had remembered to give Ellen my mom's cell number this morning, since Mom wasn't home and I wasn't near a car. I also was thanking God for friends at the Doctor's who could vouch for Mom's relationship with my child, so Jo could get treated without a lot of fuss. Thank you Dr. B.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

School Days

I've learned that sometimes my husband has a clue. Intellectually speaking, I knew May is a busy month for many people. End-of-school-year activities and all that. I vaguely remember being a little busier when I was teaching in May. Now, that I am a parent of a school kid, I am dazed. It is a lot of stuff. Really. Field trips, programs, volunteer appreciation days, teacher appreciation days, and Field Day, not to be confused with Field trips. Jo has the end of preschool picnic on the same day as Je Field Day. I was really stressed trying to figure out how to be at both activities. The picnic is for parents to come, and the Field Day needs parent volunteers to help. My husband, (not usually this logical) suggested that I go to field day a little late, after I drop Jo off at preschool, and then, sneak out a little early, to go picnic. Seriously. How simple is that. I cannot believe I was so stressed when it is an easy solution. I emailed the coordinator for Field Day and told her my plan. She said no problem, she was just glad to have the help for part of the day. Now if every scheduling conflict could be this easy. May looks hectic already.

Friday, April 25, 2008

We're Adding On

Mom got a new water heater this week, and we got a new box to join the first in the living room.

We cut a door in the new box and Voila!

The girls moved their rooms (at least it seemed like it) into the boxes, and are planning another sleepover in their new accomodations.

Such cheap fun.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

WFMW-Hair bows

One of the things I like to do is use frou frouy hair bows for my kids. Since they both have hair...I mean a lot of is a challenge to get things to stay. Most cute hair things don't stay in very well. I like Gymboree's elastic bands with the curly ribbon. Elastic bands stay the best in their hair. Especially the very thick Je's hair. I have used the barrettes over plain rubber bands, but they come out sometimes. My problem is, that Gymboree hair things are expensive. Full price is $4-5 for one set. Given the number of color options that could be some serious money. I found plain white plastic barrettes on ebay, and began sewing ribbon bows on the barrettes, but since barrettes are less durable than rubber bands, they don't hold up as well. Last week, I was at Walmart and found some cute ribbon with softballs on it. Je has started softball this year, and since she is a little reluctant, I thought new hair bows might be nice. I bought some thick elastic bands, and some ribbon in her team color, lime green. It was at the Target $1 shop for scrapbooking. The set I bought had several designs, with lime green and other colors, in stripes and polka dots. I decided to try to make bows on elastic bands.

First I took one of our favorites for a pattern. Then, I laid out 10 strips of ribbon and cut them about 8 inches long. I laid the strips on top of each other, folded them over the elastic, and stitched right above the elastic band. I sprayed the ribbon with spray starch, then used a micro (1/2 inch) curling iron to curl the ribbon. It works best after the starch has dried.



I found directions online for curling fabric ribbon permanently. Instead of pins, I used wooden springed clothes pins. I think they worked pretty well. I also melted the raw edge of the ribbons to prevent fraying. I held the grill lighter close to the ribbon, but not close enough to burn it. The down side is that you have to curl the ribbon before attaching it to the band. I didn't do that so I improvised with the curling iron. I tried the curling technique using dowel rods and the oven, and it worked very well. I made another set after this one with that ribbon. It was a little harder to get the lengths even, but the finished result was pretty good.
I only used six strips of ribbon after I curled them. I was afraid if I did more I would have trouble controlling the ribbon. Next time I will try ribbon all the same width and try more strips. I wanted to do it with what I had on hand. All in all, I am pretty happy with the results. I definitely will try this again, to match the girls outfits. I know it is anal but...I like things to match. It works for me!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Box

It seems we are concerned a lot about sleeping around here. it isn't that I think they are cuter when asleep but over the weekend...Daddy was out of town and it was only reflecting on moments like these that kept me from infantacide. My mom gave the girls the box from her new chair, and they decided that it would be a great place to sleep. Since Friday was a teacher work day and it was a girls only weekend, they had a sleep over. They did it both Thursday and Friday night and are planning another sleep in the box night for tonight. Since tomorrow is Kindergarten Round up, Jessa has another Friday off.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

So she really doesn't like her bed

This is the sight that greeted me as I went upstairs at halftime. I had to step over her to get the camera. Notice the lovely 4th of July sock on her one foot. Classic really. She's been particularly hard to get to bed recently. Maybe I should have offered her the kitchen floor days ago.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I think I mentioned Mark Schultz in the post about the Extrodinary Women Conference. I brought back a CD for Shan, and he has been playing it almost non-stop since I got back. I enjoy it as well, so I've been playing it a lot too. When Jo and I got in the car to meet my mom for lunch yesterday she asked for a specific song,
"make a little noise for the Lord"
. It is a phrase from the intro to When you Give I couldn't find that song on but I added all the Mark Schultz music I could find on there. I will leave it up for a while so if you aren't familiar with this guy you can listen. He is a Kansas native so give him a listen.

New Look

I tinkered with the colors and picture for my header. That is the girls on Easter morning before church. I rolled their hair in sponge rollers the night before (just like my mom used to do with my sisters and I) It really curled well. A few years ago, I tried to roll Je's hair, but by morning the rollers all came out. Jo had curly hair until she cut it last year. Now it is pretty straight. My sister and her family were in town for the Easter weekend and Friday the girls stayed over with their cousins at Nana's for a slumber party. Big fun! Nana rolled Jo's hair and the cousin hair. She didn't have enough rollers to do all three girls' hair, and said if she had done Je's hair, she wouldn't have had enough rollers to do anyone else's hair. I went out last Saturday and bought enough little rollers to do both my girls hair. They loved it so it will be a treat for them.

When I look at the picture above, I am struck by how classic it is of my two. They are pretty joyful little girls. Jo likes hats and fancy shoes. Je does too, a little, but her hats never stay on long. We signed Je up for softball at Ken Berry League this year. She was dead set against it until we told her she had to try it this year, and if she didn't like it she didn't have to do it again. She is anxious of new things. She has had two practices and found a little girl from her school is on her team. It is growing on her. She is trying to talk Daddy into helping coach. We will see how that goes. Jo already said she wants to play next year.

I've been a bit under the weather today. I've had a little cough and congestion for a couple days then, last night around 12:30, I got so cold I was afraid I would bite my tongue with the shivers. Shan piled four down throws on me to warm me up. By 3 am I had to kick them all off and turn on the fan. Needless to say I didn't sleep well. Hopefully tonight will be better, I am supposed to substitute in Jo's Sabbath School class tomorrow. Her regular teacher will be in Shawnee for her son's installation as a Deacon. I grew up with her son. He has been a good friend,and was an usher in our wedding. But when I think about him being grown up enough to be a deacon it shocks me. Of course, he's been married for over 10 years, has three kids and a doctorate so what's up with that.

I just heard my husband return with dinner. Saturday is pizza night at our house.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Funny Kurt!

Our mechanic is a friend. His son wrestled for Shannon for four years before graduating last year, and he and his wife are wonderful people. When our previous mechanic missed a couple of repairs we switched to Kurt. Our car dealer gave us a free oil change, and then I had to have some minor warranty work done, so I haven't had the van in to our mechanic. Shan's pickup needed an oil change and a little work on the gearshift, so he took it in this morning and I picked him up before our day. We got donuts and took the girls to the zoo. We were taking advantage of the nice weather and spring break. This afternoon we went back to pick up the truck. Kurt was just closing down for the day, and was outside the shop when we got there. Shan went in and I got out to get in the driver's side of the van. He hollered a greeting over. A few minutes later I he walked over:

K: "You didn't get rid of your jeep did you?"

Me: "Yeah, it was time"

K: "Man, I still have a kid to put through school"

Very funny, Kurt. That's why we got rid of it, it was keeping mechanics in business.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Extraordinary Women

EWomen Discovering God's Dream Conference

I attended this conference over the weekend and had a fabulous time. My BF Ellen and I left the kids with our husbands and took a road trip to Tulsa. It was an adventure. We were a bit late getting to the auditorium because of of typo on the ticket address, but we made it in time for the last of the praise and worship time and for all of the speaker. We took Ellen's GPS since ours had to be mailed in for service, and she had entered the address from the back of the ticket. She had pre-entered the destinations before our trip so we didn't have to worry. I had printed out maps from Yahoo, but since she had the GPS I didn't even look at them. The ticket had a misprint. Instead of 7777 South Lewis Ave. it directed us to 777 South Lewis Ave. The correct venue was the Mabee Center at Oral Roberts Univ. and we ended up at a liquor store in a very seedy neighborhood. It gave us quite a trip to turn around and get back, but we made it. It was such an invigorating conference.

The theme this year for Extraordinary Women is "Discovering God's Dream" the theme verse from Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I have only recently become aware of this verse. I have claimed it for this year. And as is usually the case, when God wants me to learn something, He puts it in my path repeatedly.

We had such a good weekend and it was refreshing. What an experience to worship God with 3000 other women. It was reminiscent of Calvin (RP International Conference), but shorter and with only women in attendance it was a little different dynamic.

We also got to hear from some incredible musicians over the weekend. The praise and worship team was very talented and very energetic. The highlight for me was the two concerts. Friday night, Richie McDonald performed. He was the lead singer for Lonestar, a country group, until last year when he felt that God was calling him to switch gears to a solo career so he could be a more full time family man. He and his wife have three young children, and he noticed how fast his oldest son was reaching toward manhood. He wanted to be more of a day to day presence.

Saturday, we had the privilege of hearing Mark Schultz. He mentioned that he graduated from K-State and grew up in Kansas. I knew Shan would enjoy his music, so I bought him a CD. I had a chance to meet him, and Ellen asked where in Kansas he was from. Turns out, he is from Colby, and was in school at the Community College there at the same time Shan and his sister attended. His sister even sang with him in the college music group. Now I wish I had known that before I met him. Shan really likes the CD I bought for him so that is good.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

My sister, a brand new blogger, chided me yesterday on the lack of postage around here. It has been either feast or famine in the material area. Either I have nothing to post, or too much to post and no time to do it. I thought I would share this little story and the lesson I learned from it.

Last week, my friend e- had a minor urgent need for childcare after Bible Study. I had plans that could easily include a couple more so I agreed to take one boy with me to pick up the other boy at home on my way to help my mom with a rental house. As we drove over, Jo asked me if the truck next to us was a chip truck. I looked and sure enough it had Doritos on the side. The three children began talking about a love of Doritos. Typical conversation for the younger set. Older boy said that he can't stop eating them until they are all gone. Which led to a discussion of how sad that is. Then he remembered that "if you are a Christian you can ask God and He will give you more Doritos" I am not making this up. He is six. He said that he is a Christian so he just asks God for Doritos. Jo said, "I am a Christian so I can do that, too" This conversation went on for a bit. (Neither Older Boy or Jo sees a need to say things once when 25 times will do) Then Youngest Boy (he's 3) chipped in, "I a Christian!" So I guess he can get Doritos too.

Now the lesson I learned here is a reminder of faith like a child. They believe that God will provide for them. They believe that all they have to do is believe and ask. Nothing more complicated than that.

Can't it be as simple as I believe: I am a Christian. For those kids it is. I doubt that any of them will remember that conversation. I will.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Odds and Ends

Well finally the end is in site. This weekend is the state wrestling tournament in Wichita. Again this year the in-laws are meeting me there so I get a nice break and a mini vacation in a hotel. The down side? It is in Wichita. They are bringing my niece and nephew with them for the weekend so even more babysitters since the kids are 12 and 9.

Je has had an ear infection this week. We went to the doctor for an ear infection in January, and thought it cleared up. Thursday morning she woke up in pain. I don't mess with ears so as soon as the doctor's office opened at 8 I called to get her in. Fortunately we could see the doctor at 11 so that wasn't so long to wait. Je was already out of school for parent teacher conferences so that was easy. The doctor gave her a stronger antibiotic and hopefully that will help.

Our first pastoral candidate came earlier this month. I thoroughly enjoyed getting better acquainted with them. We had them to lunch and their kids are about the same ages as ours so they really hit it off.

We have had more than our fair share of snow this winter. We've just gotten slammed. I love it. Snow is my friend. If I could convince my whole family, I would move to somewhere that gets snow in feet rather than inches.

I haven't been real productive lately. The winter blahs, I guess. Or it could be that wrestling season is SOOOOOOOOOO LOOOOONG! But it is almost over!

Of course, Shan is taking a class right now so he will still be very busy. And it's time to gear up for VBS!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Snow Shoveler

Shan spent almost 4 hours cleaning the driveway with a little help. She came in a couple times to warm up, have hot chocolate, eat lunch, dry off. Daddy worked steadily from 10-1:30 -1:45. The driveway looks great, and the kids helped. They enjoyed their snow day with Daddy.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's Over!

The Streak is O!V!E!R! After 24 long years, K-State finally beat KU at home. Bramlage Collesium is no longer simply Allen Fieldhouse West, but a place where KU can lose. AND DID! This makes the sad football season last fall almost bearable. We can be happy fans now. It certainly felt like more than two years since K-State beat KU, but it's true, I looked it up. We won in Allen in 2006. But to lose at home for 24 straight games is embarassing. Reagan was president, cell phones were brand new. None of the current players were even born yet. I better stop, that isn't a good memory, it makes me feel old.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mood Music

Did you notice the new atmosphere on the blog? I found a site that allows me to compile a playlist and then attach it to the blog. Right now I have it set on random but another blog I read, puts a theme song to go with some of her posts on top so it plays first whenever someone opens her blog. If you want to create your own playlist click the link above or the one on the player. You don't have to have a blog to post to, just open it up from any internet connected computer and background music. It doesn't have all the music I've searched for, or Mom or Shan searched for. It seems to find songs posted on websites and then play them from there. It has quite a selection so I think it works pretty well.


Do you read Antique Mommy? You should, she cracks me up, and sometimes makes me think. Like this post on inherited faith. I agree with her that I don't want my children to take on my faith and do it just because I do. It would be like the generations of Christian sermon I heard a long time ago. It isn't just that we pass our faith on to our kids, we must also pass on a desire for faith of their own. We want our kids to have a saving faith, and we want them to want that too. So we have to let God work in them rather than push them: show them and live before them, and tell them why.

The wonderful side to all of this is that Christian parents present the truth as an accepted fact. As a child, I never wondered if God existed or searched for the truth. The truth was always there, lived out before me in my parents. Yes, I had to make a decision on my own, and each day I have to seek Him on my own, but I didn't have to search for something to seek. I knew where to go to find what I needed. I pray that I am providing that for my children.

Friday, January 11, 2008

"I'm Okay"

Loud crash heard in next room.

Jo: "I'm okay"

A four year old trips over the vacuum hose:

"I'm okay"

She falls out of bed:

"I'm okay"

She runs into her mother and knocks her over:

"I'm okay, Mama"

It is real funny around her...but she is okay. At least that is what she says.


We use Keys for Kids for our family devotions. It is a bi-monthly publication that has been around for a while. My folks used to get it when we were growing up and it has updated a bit, but for*** the most part is very much the same. On Wednesday, we were reading it with the girls in shifts due to other things. I pulled up the right day and read through it as I waited for Je to get dressed after her bath. My first thoughts were that I couldn't read this with her, and can we skip it tonight...

This is a hard week in my family. Eleven years ago, Shan and I were newlyweds. I was anticipating my student teaching semester, settling into our first home, and getting ready to return to Manhattan for part of each week for three weeks for classes. Friday night, the floor furnace in our $100 a month farm house wouldn't stay lit. Early Saturday we called the landlord. He was a teacher who farmed on the side, so he was already out working. It was January and very cold so we were concerned when his wife indicated that he wouldn't want to put any money into the house and maybe we should look for a new home. We did a little looking that day but didn't really find anything we liked. We decided to go to Shannon's folks for the rest of the weekend to stay warm. My mom had called while we were out, so on our way west, we called her. A letter had come, confirming my student teaching placement, and since Dad wasn't feeling well they were being lazy, watching basketball. I thank God that I called home that day. My mom knew where to find me at 2 am when she had to tell me that my father had a heart attack and died. We'd been married three weeks, my sister had been in DC for just two weeks working for our Congressman, and my youngest sister was a senior in high school.

...I powered through and read the devotional with Je the other night. The whole time tears streamed down my face. She sat close, snuggling up with me as we read. When I finished reading, I used the discussion questions to talk with her about it. She remembers when GiGi, my grandmother died last summer, so we have talked about death before. As we talked I was crying a little, explaining that one of my biggest regrets is that she and Jo will miss knowing my dad. (Who BTW would have been over the moon for the kids. I know he would have loved the girls so much but I also can say that he would have been really nuts for my nephews, one is his namesake and looks like him) Je ran off in the middle of our talk and I wondered what she was doing. She returned quickly with my little pillow. When she is sad she wants her bear, her lovey. She thought Mama needed her lovey too.

***If you scroll down you can read today's entry or select an entry to read. The one that made me cry was January 9. You can also sign up to receive it in the mail or print out a PDF version of the whole month.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


I always like a fresh start. Monday's always seem like a fresh start, a new beginning. When the new year doesn't begin on Monday, I usually wait until the next Monday to begin any new routines or plans. Any resoulutions are best kept when started at the start of a week. As I was saying in the previous post, Christmas lasts a while in my house, so I have to get it finished before starting a new year. This year I am going to meditate on two verses.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

I really like this verse. It is a great comfort to me as I impatiently want to know what that hope and future are and get frustrated not knowing and wanting the answers now, not later. I pray that I can rest in peace knowing that I may not know, I don't need to know, God knows.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

I pray that I will live this. How many times do I say things or think things best left unsaid or un thought. How much happier would I be if I lived this?

Holiday Hangover

Christmas at our house lasts weeks, it seems. And this year was even longer since my brother in law's accident delayed their visit. They finally made it up from AK on New Year's Day so Christmas for us didn't end until Saturday when they went home. I finally got the tree down Sunday, when Shan could help. After Christmas, I bought a new artificial one at Sam's so the old one went to Goodwill. I would personally rather have a real tree every year. My husband doesn't like real trees, and since Christmas falls during wrestling season, the chances of getting a real tree are slim and slimmer. A few years ago, we went to get a tree and it was a bit later than usual, but not crazy late. For some reason, the only trees left at the lots were the $50 variety. That didn't fit into the budget so we were going to just use the little one I had in college. A friend from church had a full size one she didn't use and offered it to us. She didn't want it back so we've used it for several years. Last year, I talked Shan into a real one, but it wasn't easy. This year, I knew we would be gone over break so I didn't even try to get a real tree. My mom decided this year to get a pre-lit tree rather than a real one. Not sure why. I met her at Sam's last month and helped man-handle the heavy box into our van, then out again at her house. We put it up and it was gorgeous. It has 1500 lights. FIFTEEN HUNDRED. I was a little jealous when I looked at our sad tree. It is an older style, not pre-lit and not as tall or full. My sister, Mom, and I went to Sam's after Christmas to look at their trees. They didn't have any left in the aisle. They had a few back in the clearance section, but not the one she wanted. We were on our way out the door when my mom spotted one on a cart near customer service. We looked around for someone who claimed the cart. No one. We moved the cart towards the checkout and called our husbands to see who was going to get the tree. My sister's husband didn't want to haul the tree back to Texas so I used my birthday money, saved since October, to buy a tree. It will look fabulous next year. It is put away with all the other Christmas decorations and we are making our way to normal again. Maybe I can get caught up on laundry and cleaning this week.