Monday, December 17, 2007

List Mania

I'm a list maker and the latest one to pop into my head is a list of fun things I'd like to do...or that I missed out on doing as a kiddo. Tonight I was playing jump rope with my kids and it started me thinking about this stuff...of course, I wasn't counting on the un-lovely feeling jumping rope brings when you're over 30 and out of shape...I think I need to borrow Eric's knee brace and take something for my headache now!

1. Double-Dutch jump rope
2. Really play the piano...more than Yankee Doodle etc.
3. Travel around Europe...but I've upgraded from wanting to "backpack"-around to wanting to "stay in posh hotels"-around.
4. Swan dive--just into the pool from a board...all I can do is a pitiful 1/2 belly flop-1/2 kind of flat dive thing--not a pretty sight.
5. Read classic children's literature like Tom Sawyer etc...I have finally read Anne of Green Gables and The Chronicles of Narnia...but I know there are so many more....hopefully homeschooling will help knock this one off my list.
6. Ice Skate
7. Learn to tap dance

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Blood and The Wine


The sacrament of communion is one of those things I think we will never fully understand while here in this life. Lately it has become infused with an even deeper sense of meaningfulness that stems from part of the portrait of my Grandma Ruth as told by her pastor at her funeral.

He said that to Ruth, communion never seemed just a simple ritual, instead she approached the table each week with reverence. The Sunday before she passed away, he observed her as she received the bread and the cup...there she paused, thoughtful. She took the bread and then turned to the cross and held up her cup as in a salute to Christ, perhaps knowing that soon she would be in his arms and enjoying Him for eternity. What an image this simple story has painted on my heart!

I have received communion 2 or 3 times since and the power of the cross and revelation of Christ--His love of having such a personal relationship with each of us...and my grandmother's peace and confidence in this friendship--have moved me to tears and an overwhelming gush of emotion each time. Partially, I'm sure this is part of the grieving process for me, although I think communion will never be the same in my life.

There is a song by Nicole Nordeman titled Legacy. I love this song on many different levels...as a mother, sister, friend, sister-in-Christ...but today my mind is drawn to it in thinking of Grandma. Here are the lyrics and you can listen to a snip of the chorus here if you click on the icon beside the song...it's number 7:

I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who’s who and so-n-so’s that used to be the best
At such’n’such … it wouldn’t matter much

I won’t lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an ‘Atta boy’ or ‘Atta girl’
But in the end I’d like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I don’t have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthy list of all that I enjoy
It’s an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy

Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, “Well Done” good and faithful one…

Nicole Nordeman- Legacy

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Wedding Cake

What a fun time of year to be tying the knot! These are Jessica & Travis' cakes I made last week...yummy...or at least they smelled yummy. Two layers of chocolate cake and one of classic white. The sheet cake was one of my favorite flavors, Almond Cream Cheese. All buttercream icing, satin ribbons and gumpaste holly & bow topper. The gumpaste items I can't take the credit for...the bride ordered them from a talented sugar artist that specializes in gumpaste decorations even before contacting me for the cake! Even with the yucky weather, it sounds like it was a great reception for the bride and groom. Cheers.




Thursday, December 06, 2007

Block Posters

Check out this cool site...I've got to make one!

Block Posters

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bootie Ma'amer! A Tribute to Grandma Ruth

My Grandma Ruth passed away on November 19. She was a special gal. Her funeral was last Friday and she was buried in true Ruthie style sporting her American flag shirt, puffy vest and grey sweatpants. If you knew her, that makes you smile...if you didn't, well, smile. Here is my tribute to her that I read at her funeral.

Bootie Ma’amer!
A Tribute to Grandma Ruth

Hello, I’m Resa Eastwood, Ruth’s granddaughter. My full name is Resa Ruth Eastwood, named after my mom, Julane Ruth and of course, Grandma Ruth. The first thing I must say is “Bootie Ma’amer!” it’s cold outside! As I was sitting down to work on this talk about Grandma, it was beginning to snow and I realized I hadn’t included this little gem of a Ruthie saying. When I was a little munchkin I called Grandma, Ma’amer and in our family “bootie cold” is really cold! Now even my little ones say “Bootie Ma'amer” on a cold day not even knowing it refers to Ruthie.

I talked to my grandma a week before she passed away. When she answered the phone in her trademark “mm-Hello?” and I said “Hi Grandma, it’s Resa” she replied, as usual, with “Where are you?” “At home in Kansas City, Grandma”, “Well, you sound so close, I just can’t believe how clear it sounds!”. I just shook my head and thought that maybe someday she’d know that I’d sound just as close whether I was next door or far away. That evening my husband suggested that next time I should tell her I’m calling from her basement…just to see what she’d say.

Ruthie was funny with out meaning to be, sassy because she could get away with it and very matter of fact about life. Fiercely patriotic, she instilled in me and probably many others a love for the “good ol’ USA” and taught me to fly the flag proudly and to never forget to vote…she hadn’t missed a primary election in years or maybe ever? I’m sure she told me last time I saw her. She paid respects at the cemetaries this past Veteran’s Day to her friends killed in WWII…that was the day we talked. This year for Christmas, I bought her an American flag “car flag”. I thought maybe it was one gift that she wouldn’t re-gift back to me or someone else in a couple years after cleaning out her “stuff”. I haven’t been out to her home yet, but I have a feeling our family will have one of the easiest experiences in going through things…I know she has masking tape on the bottom of several object saying who it goes to…except for the orange chairs…and she always said we could just fight over them when she was gone. She was one super organized woman, even without HGTV shows to show her how to do it.

There are many things she taught me as a young girl…first, never leave home without your nails done…so I painted my nails today. She taught me that a bowl of cereal before bed is a good thing, hand embroidered tea towels and pillowcases are the best—and how to make them, turquoise rings are fun to wear and you can use MaryKay eyeshadow wet or dry. Grandma taught me how to watch football, to listen to country music…especially George Strait. Though, unlike her, I don’t keep photos of him in my family photo albums. She was the first person I cruised Main Street with…she had KFDI cranked up high in her big red Cougar and I was hiding under the dashboard mortified and hoping no one saw me. Ruthie taught me that it’s always fun to dress up in costumes and wigs…even for no special occasion, but just for a good time.

She said to stay away from the boys, but then to love my sweetie, and if we’re both happy that’s all that matters. She loved animals…but also taught us that there will always be more cats! She taught me how to play cards and just recently we had to call her out for trying to cheat playing Scattergories by making up things that supposedly were from “way back, way back”. From her I learned the verses to “You Are My Sunshine” and I loved to listen to Ruth and Dobin sing it as a duet. We sing it to our kids as a lullaby now…they call it “Sunshine”.

When you wished Ruth “Merry Christmas”, she said “everyday is Christmas”…which I still don’t believe, but she did make me realize that having all those people over to eat isn’t what you have to do for holidays. That’s probably why the Snook Family Christmas has been the Snook Family Bowling Extravaganza for the last several years!

The last many years…and maybe even before that…she told the same stories over and over and would always act surprised when we were able to finish them for her. She loved to tell her stories and I know many of you probably know a lot of them. She liked to stop in at various businesses in town and say hi and I think genuinely cared for the people in her life…even if we wondered at some of her comments. The first thing she would always say to me when we’d meet is “Miss Reese, How much do you weigh?”…I never told her the truth. One time I tried to explain that no one particularly likes that question and that maybe she should refrain from asking it. She asked me again the next time we met. Sigh.

Our family put together a slideshow for Grandma’s 80th Birthday party this past January. I didn’t want her to know what we were doing, but needed to get my hands on lots of her favorite photos…when I asked her to send me some of them, she took them to a copy machine and ran them off for me and mailed them. Not quite what I was thinking, so I ventured out to her home armed with my scanner, laptop and my two little kids for an afternoon of scanning photos as she told me stories about all the people and memories. I’m really surprised she let me do it with all the wires and contraptions I had set up…she wouldn’t even plug in her VCR for fear it would blow up her electricity. So I never made her a videotape copy of the slideshow…but I guess she had all the originals in her heart.

Grandma Ruth was also matter-of-fact about her love for Christ. We lived with her a couple different times when I was growing up and I can’t be more thankful for her faithfulness to bring me to Sunday school each week at the Baptist Church. I watched her do her Bible studies, listen to and watch Billy Graham and other Christian teachers, read books about different people of faith and most of all, saw God keep her heart soft through many rough waters of life…most that I was too young to know about and some that I still don’t know about. I asked her about some things from the past a couple times and no matter what the situation, she never dwelt on negative or hurtful things. She said to always remember the good times. I think only a heart that knows the peace of God and the forgiveness of Christ can carry that through time and time again. She certainly impacted my life by her simple love and focus on what is good and true. In Philippians 4:7-9, Paul wrote this message to early Christians: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

In Proverbs 31, God’s Word describes the Excellent Wife and in verse 28 it says that “her children arise and call her blessed”…a commentator says that means she is one who enjoys happy circumstances and from whom joy radiates to others. We’re going to watch the slideshow I mentioned again here in a minute, with many examples of that joy. So here’s to Ruthie…loved by many here and now loving that she is in the presence of Jesus and so many of her friends and family that went before her…we’ll miss you Grandma and be with you soon!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Laundry Monster...

...Is DEAD. Just another plug for FlyLady.net...I've been following her advice and doing a load of laundry a day since about August. The loads are smaller, I can catch up on one day by doing two small loads and not get overwhelmed, and the kids don't mind emptying their cube of clean clothes when there are just a few to put away. If you have preschoolers or are just about to get devoured by YOUR laundry monster, I highly recommend following this plan! Here's the poem that helps me each day:

Monday...Morning Blues (that's the dark stuff)
Tuesday...Towels
Wednesday...Whites
Thursday...Brights
Friday...Lights
Saturday...Khaki-day

Of course, you've got to fit in the extra load of sheets or random stuff here and there...but it gives you a plan, so when you're staring down overflowing hampers you know where to start!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Halloween Pix

Halloween Pix of the kiddos & more are over at Silly Rabbits.

A what??


Yeah, a DATE! We don't clean up too bad for a couple of house warriors. This was just before leaving for my college friend, Suzanne's, wedding two weekend's ago. Cheese.

Look at THAT!

That is one schnazzy floor! (This was taken a week or so ago). Almost done folks...I just grouted the last 3'x4' area in front of the stairs. After sealing the entryway we'll be ready to put the trim back on.

Now I'm ready for new carpet...all this tile and grouting business has done a number on the appearance of the living room area...ugh! Guess we should refuel on the energy level first. And we WON'T be doing carpet ourselves. No way, no how.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Acrobatics

Day 11 of the floor project and things are starting to come back together. I've loaded my dishwasher, cleaned my stove (it was covered with garage dust) and am on my 3rd load of laundry. You should see my overflowing hampers after 7 days with no washer/dryer access (well, of course, except for a couple emergency loads Maria let me come over to do--thanks!).

So what's the best way to rearrange your dryer exhaust tube while everything is still hooked up? I smelled the dryer getting HOT and looked behind to see that I'd scrunched up the tube when I was scooting the dryer over to be just where I like it...I don't think any heat was escaping...glad I found it before letting it run and catch fire. There is JUST ENOUGH space in my laundry room for me to ALMOST squeeze between the wall to get back there to arrange it correctly...but not quite. So, I hung over the top of the dryer---ooof---and did the best possible with most of my blood flooding my head & feeling like the top of the dryer was going to cut me in two. I was glad no one was there with a camera--and glad I didn't get stuck! And, yes, I did try to pull it out then hook it up, but we keep the tube too short for that to work. Anyway...it's running again and maybe Eric can help me figure something out...we had it fine before!

So Eric finished tiling the entry way last night...only the coat closet and a small corner by the front door left! I sealed most of the grout in the kitchen...just have to do the dining area and then all the grouting in the entry once it's adhered properly. Oh...and I figured out how to get the kids to pick up all the spacers: set the timer for three minutes and offer a quarter to anyone who could fill up a paper cup...they had it done in no time flat!

I'll post more pix soon....

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Get Ready...

Get set...GO! Oh, guess it's not a race...the tile project is moving along...here are pictures:

Eric started by laying the backer board and fixing all the squeaks in the floor...yahoo!














Kai has been really excited that he is 'helping' Daddy with the tools. Elena just heard me taking pictures and quickly ran in from her puzzle-doing to add a funny face.
Travis (Eric's bro) came up on Saturday to get us started. He's building houses now for a living and just laid a tile floor in his own new house. Between him and I we convinced Eric to go for a 45 degree offset pattern rather than straight offset. Good deal pickles.














The kids' job has been to pick up the spacers. Uuummm...ya, right. They do a few and then quickly get distracted.



















Here's the second go at grouting. We did some the first night, only to find the color two shades lighter than what the sample card displayed. So Eric dug out what was still soft and then drilled the rest out with a drimmel (sp?) tool. This is the CORRECT color while it's wet...it dries to blend in with the tile color--pictures of that in the next post.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Goodbye Vinyl!

YAY!!! These are the very last pictures of my vinyl kitchen/entry/1/2 bath/laundry room floor!!!




It is now where it belongs...in the trash dumpster. (Yuk...can you tell I move my fridge to clean under it often?--it's usually where that nasty spot is in the bottom right of the picture). If you're not familiar with my obsession about trying to keep this floor clean you can read this just for kicks.

And so begins the huge project of laying our new porcelain tile. Surely a task we do-it-yourselfers can tackle...though I wish we had some experience before diving into a 300+ sq. ft. project. No dishwasher, washer/dryer or stove/oven for us for a while...do you think I'll survive?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Best Grilled Chicken!

I have always been disappointed in my poor grilling skills. I'd either burn meat to a crisp or have it so dry and bland that it tasted like chewy cardboard. A couple months ago, though, I came across a marinade recipe that has turned my attempts into success!

It's called Pretty Chicken Marinade and is from allrecipes.com by user TaraNicole:

INGREDIENTS
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

DIRECTIONS
-In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, liquid smoke, mustard, pepper, and garlic powder. Place chicken in the bowl, and coat with the marinade. Cover, and allow chicken to marinate a maximum of 4 hours in the refrigerator.
-Preheat the grill for high heat.
-Oil grill grate. Discard marinade, and place chicken on grate. Cook 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear. (I always check w/a meat thermometer)

I made it again yesterday for boneless pork chops and yumm-O! If you click on the title above it will take you to the recipe on allrecipes.com and you can print it in whatever format you want. Happy Grilling--while there is still time!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Philosophical Wanderings

Defined on dictionary.com: shallow: adj. lacking depth of intellect or knowledge; concerned only with what is obvious.

I've been thinking a lot about the different eras of my life. My own personal history as it is. Unfortunately, I often come to the conclusion that I've lived the majority of my years steeped in shallowness. Several of these trains of thought have been triggered by seeing someone from my past on the lovely myspace. It's complex & I'm not so hot at translating all those thought processes to blog-format...and, dear reader, you probably don't want to be bored by my circular musings! Anywhoo...below are a couple engines to my trains...

For instance, a college acquaintance who has gone on to be a force in the marketing world who just bought a time-share on some isle off the West coast...but it's still being BUILT & showcases limo rides and pictures of herself on the red carpet. Holy crap-o! That one made me really think about my career path & what I did-didnot 'do' or 'accomplish'! I even questioned the validity of the importance of being a full-time wife and mother---a thought I NEVER thought would enter my mind! (I've gotten over that now--go mommies! Let's change the world one child at a time!).

Then last night I ran across a girl from high school...didn't particularly like her then, and certainly would avoid her now. Trying to decide if it's pity I should feel towards her or what, but here is a semi-quote from her page "I believe life is about looking good and staying that way...I plan to be plastic in my old age...those who differ are entitled to their opinions". She looked like a Barbie who proudly spends 23 1/2 hours a day in front of a mirror.

The environment of an 'information age' culture seems to bring up lots of thoughts that maybe wouldn't be there otherwise. I mean, really, would I EVER hear about that girl from high school again if I weren't online? Should I pray for her poor soul? What is the purpose of re-establishing contacts that otherwise would have stayed broken? Molly, are you sure we shouldn't long for a life on the open prairie 150 years ago?
Whenever I catch up with someone from "way back" as my Grandma would say, I so want to say "Wait! God has changed me from who I used to be!" and just pray they don't remember some parts of how I was.


Maybe it's all just a part of life...you change, you grow, you move on, relationships change, morph, some die. All of it just meshes together to form your journey...for some they always stay close to where they started. For me, I feel like I've lived kind of a segmented life, because, so far once I've left a place I've never gone back to stay: "Denver Life" "Cheney Life" "P-burg Life #1 (party girl)" "P-burg Life #2 (Jesus girl)" "Knoxville Life" "KC Life"...what's next?????

And will I look back on my current life in another 5-10 years and think "Man, I was so shallow then!"? Hmmmmmm.....

Monday, October 01, 2007

How to pass it on...

This weekend we had the pleasure of spending it in Wichita visiting friends and family. My niece, Stella, is turning one year old tomorrow so we celebrated that momentous event and just enjoyed being with everyone!

Whenever I'm in Wichita on Sunday I get to go to River and worship...always a treat! My bro-in-law is the worship pastor and their band does such a great job at making it all about praising & honoring God while putting out some awesome performances at the same time. The message this week had a couple themes: 'heroes' and 'connecting your faith to everyday life'. Terry, River's pastor, always lays it out in a very methodical and easy to digest format...so now I'm trying to apply some of it...

The big question: "How to give grace and show God's love to my 2-year-old who will NOT go to sleep this afternoon?" This is the same boy who everyday sleeps away 3 hours of the afternoon. Also the same boy who has a nasty respiratory cold and who's body certainly could use some major down time. It may seem a trivial question, but his not submitting to my desire for his sleep is making me have a knot in my stomach!

He has now made his way down from his room saying "I sleeped GOOD Mommy! I not sick ANYMORE!" and is on my lap wanting to play computer games. AAARRRGGGHHH! Well, I guess the battle is over for now and I will graciously show him love and pray tonight isn't an evening of meltdowns. I leave now with hoping this one day of demonstrating grace will add on to many others in order to pass on a heart for living out life as perhaps Christ would! BTW, I sure could use your prayers for patience!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mission Complete

Casey's wedding cake turned out just fab. I was very pleased with the end result and must give props to the mother-of-the-bride, Nancy, who was also the florist---the fresh flowers really made the cake all that!


The groom's cake was funny (it's a traffic ticket...evidently he's had a few)...and a booger to pipe tiny wording...I'm not into putting things on cake like those "edible" images that you can print from a computer...but it sure would have been easier than this!
I sure wish I could be a fly on the wall at the wedding receptions I do...just curious about peoples' reactions to what I consider my artwork...that, and of course I'd like to have a piece of cake!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Smile Makers--for me anyway...

  • My little nieces Naomi & Stella thinking that standing up is the only way to play on their sit-n-spin!
  • Kai's giggle
  • Elena's true-blue sparklely eyes
  • One of my best friends wants to giggle when her yoga instructor tells her to "envision looking out your third eye" or other very serious things when doing a pose.
  • acne.org -- Seriously, 6 months after discovering this site, my skin is clearer than it was before puberty hit! Evidently hormones can also go wack-o on ya after 30...or maybe after babies...or maybe both. But I'm smiling now.
  • Daylilies
  • That my mom has a 46 lb. bulldog. In the house. Along w/a mini-wiener dog, 2 cats, 2 teenagers and one almost teenager. I smile because it is her, not me. (Sorry Mom!)
  • Allergy medicine
  • Going out for Chinese with Eric last night. W/o kiddos!
  • Our church's permission to use the coolest tree of life logo (its the logo in the background behind Dei).
  • Keeping up with my laundry
  • The thought of maybe having another baby...next year? Maybe. Guess it depends on the day whether that makes me smile or not.
  • Snuggling under the blankets on crisp almost-fall mornings with the windows open.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cutie Patooties

My sisters have both posted some cute pictures of my nieces lately. Click here to see Jodi's girlies and here to see Pud's munchkin!

Cake-o-rama!


It's wedding week around here again and today is baking day. It's only 2 p.m. & I'm wiped. I've baked a 9x13 sheet cake, 2 6" layers, 2 9" layers and then two 12" layers...the last one baking now. Besides that, we've done "school", had a tea party, played ISpy Memory and the kids have kept me hoppin' doing mommy things like disciplining fits, fights and cleaning up accidents of several varieties. Aaaack!

The GOOD thing in all this craziness today is that I've been cleaning as I go so my kitchen is practically spotless besides the giant stack of wrapped cake layers on cooling racks in one corner...whooo---hoooo! This is a momentous feat for moi! I guess you could say that I've given up on the magic kitchen fairy who I wish would clean up after me and donned my own set of wings.

Well, wish me luck the next couple days as I assemble and decorate this cake...hoping it turns out as beautiful as the picture the bride gave me (not anything like the cheesy clip art I put here)! For sure the 3 tiers of Dark Chocolate Almond cake filled with chocolate hazelnut mousse and iced with cream cheese frosting will be one rich & yummy delight...now if only I could eat some myself..........

Friday, September 07, 2007

J.O.B.'s

Edits in bold: Denise's comment made me remember more jobs...sure glad her dad was willing to employ me!

The jobs I've had in my relatively short life are varied (well, Eric says they're lame)...some are pretty funny...and none as rewarding or as adventurous as my current career of wife & mommy! These are in reverse chrono order...as best as I can remember:

1. Mommy & Household Manager
2. Cake Artist
3. Transcriptionist (thankfully, this contract fell apart after 1 month, it wasn't much fun)
4. Mortgage Processor
5. Insurance Claims Assistant (i.e. file girl)
6. Substitute Teacher (I actually liked Jr. Hi over HS & elementary--I'd never seen so much snot in my life!)
7. Office Organizer (this was a 2-day contract job)
8. Financial Services Business Development Officer (my "marketing career" job...I guess it put to use my degree for a while--still had to stuff envelopes though...gag!)
9. Office Assistant (@ various temporary assignments)
10. Retail Sales Area Supervisor (I sold dresses & sportsware)
11. Mary Kay Lady (I was a woman on a mission with a passion and a vision...for about a week. Then I was a woman with a lot of make up to sell and nobody who wanted to buy it and my honey wasn't happy with my credit card balance!)
12. Administrative Assistant @ Coca-Cola (another temp job)
13. Summer Nanny (these little girls are all grown up now!)
14. Office Assistant @ a public radio station (my boring college job--how do YOU like bulk mail? Well, labeling it is less fun.)
15. Income Tax Return Proofreader for H&R Block during tax time (great people to work with, hardest job EVER for a person who is NOT task-oriented!)
16. Waitress @ a Mexican Restaurant (much fun college job--still miss Antonio's)
17. Orientation Leader for College Freshmen
18. Waitress @ a small town cafe (would you like your tea in your glass or on your lap...oh, I'm sorry)
19. Office Assistant @ a small roofing company (out of the owners' trailer house...that was interesting as I paid bills with money that wasn't there)
20. Burger Flipper & Ice Cream server Extraordinaire @ Bob & Ella's (this was my High School job--great memories here & Jo worked here through HS too)
21. Golf Ball Picker-upper at a driving range (okay, it was in the field behind my house--Jo & I got paid by the bucket of balls)
22. Poop Scooper at a dog kennel (ye-ah, MOM signed Jo & I up for that one!)
23. House Cleaning Lady (after the lady said she didn't have a toilet bowl scrubber and just used a paper towl...I don't think I came back!)
24. Summer Babysitter (those kids were nuts--& all I wanted to do was talk on the phone, watch Y&R & practice my cheer routines...rah, rah, rah!)
25. Bowling Alley League Babysitter (I watched the rug rats in the bowling ball locker room while Mom bowled on Monday nights at Cheney Lanes)

Okay...well, that wasn't toooo many, was it? Just for fun.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Fav Song

"Be Thou My Vision" is one of my favorite songs. I found the following video on another blog site after googling the title for Kai. We sing one of his lullabys to the tune w/lyrics from the last verse of "Away In A Manger"--he wanted to hear it this afternoon. Please enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Planning

I always liked the beginning of each new school year. New pencils, new crayons, new TrapperKeeper, new clothes, new teacher....yaddax3. Now I'm 11 years removed from the last time I began a new school year. Yikes...that makes me sound old. Oh yeah...I IS old!

So now it's time for my munchkins to experience the whole 'new year of school' thing...but with a twist as we are homeschooling. Granted it's just pre-school for now, and to them just an extension of what we already do each day with reading and games and coloring etc...but I still want it to be special! So today I spent the afternoon planning out what our weeks *hopefully* will look like. Eric took one look at my meticulously wrote out plan and scoffed "So when are you doing all your running around? I'll bet you'll keep to this for maybe one week." Ah-ha, a challenge...guess I'll have to prove him wrong and stick to it for at least a week and a half...maybe even 2 weeks!

Seriously though, I purposely planned with lots of wiggle room...and school is only 2 mornings a week this year so I think just having a schedule wrote down will help us stay on track if things start rolling out of control. For now, this is a picture of me, relaxed and ready to embark on a our new homeschooling adventure. Maybe in a couple months this picture will change into a crazy psycho woman. But I doubt it. Oh, and in case you wondering why I rambled through all this...I really just wanted a new picture for my profile and thought I'd give myself some therapeutic blogging time. TTFN!

Friday, August 24, 2007

'Puter Nerd

I guess I'm now a computer nerd. Besides blogging, I'm on myspace, facebook, cafemom, have my own website, get all my recipes online, google things left and right, communicate mainly through email, pay all my bills, and today finally figured out how to download my checking account balance directly into MS Money so I never have to use a pencil and calculator again! Whew! (The funny thing about the whole download my checking thing is that when I was a working girl (I use that term loosely), I was part of the helpdesk team that assisted customers in figuring out how to do just that! How many years did it take me to jump on the bandwagon???)

Well, anyway, just wondering if any of my bliends (that's Rustin's new term for blogging friends) are on any of thee above. Surely you are. Send me an add & we can be 'puter nerd friends together!

BTW, Eric bought me a snazzy new 19" flat screen monitor last weekend! Yeee-eeee! I is so excited!

Hey! Hey! Vox Dei!

Vox Dei Community. That's it! The brand-spankin' new name of our church. I like it even more now that I've seen the prelim graphics for some of the handouts and flyers etc. Cool. Oh yeah, so what's "Vox Dei"? Well, for us "non-philosophical" and "never took a lick of Latin" folks out here it is "Voice of God".

The meaning behind this name is about as deep and wide as the story of God gets, so if ya want to read more check out this over at the Myth's blog. Or you can go to our website!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Baby Who?


So Eric picks up a Baby Einstein DVD that I have set out to return to a friend and tells me about a new research study (you can read about it here). These DVD's apparently make our kids dumber. Lovely. Well, I'll just be glad we never plopped our kiddos down in front of one. We stuck with other mind-numbers like Sesame Street & Little Bear. I mean really, do we think that TV of ANY kind is really going to help our kids improve their cognitive activity? Sitting and staring sure makes me think hard, what about you? Ha. I say, let's just go for moderation in all things. That's all for now. Thanks.

FLYing Lessons

So I'm learning to FLY. I've always wanted to be a butterfly and flit around then soar on the wind...okay, somedays an eagle would be nice so I could get an even better view. But...this is flying of a different sort.


I'm a tad bit of a scattered kind of gal. One thing to the next, project to project to project, little bit o'this, little bit o'that...ya know (in flyland they call us SHE's--Sidetracked Home Executives)! Anywhoo, this causes piles of things not done to magically appear around my abode and those little piles have a tendency to turn into the dreaded CLUTTER! Yuk! I just hate it. So one of my little projects is always trying out new methods to get my picking up and cleaning in line.



Enter the FLYLady.


I had heard about her off and on over the years and actually joined her group back in '99 when she was just starting out...but back then I was a working girl w/no kiddos at home so it didn't stick...though I should have tried. Good grief...would you please get to your point, Reese? Sometime in June, Jodi (that's my sis) said she was trying the FLYLady stuff so I decided to give it another whirl. Let me tell ya...I'm a new woman! And my home is a new place! Not perfect mind you, but the FLYLady methods help scattered gals like myself learn to build routines that keep things neat and tidy w/out overwhelming us with guilt or a ton of work.


You'll have to go to FLYLady.net to check it out for yourself, but here are some of the things now built into the routine of life around our place:


1. That clean and shiny kitchen sink!
2. No more yucky bathroom to clean thanks to the swish & swipe!
3. A load of laundry a day keeps CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome) away!
4. I get dressed & ready usually before 8 a.m. everyday (this is a biggie since I LOVE PJ's!)
5. Clutter is starting to get up and leave.


It's certainly a Martha Stewart "Good Thing". I could ramble on and on about all this...as I love finding something that works in my pursuit of my profession...but tis late so will leave it at that!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Link to CO Pix

This weekend is drawing to a close, and I haven't posted a lick about our vacation! Ahhh...but Eric has worked many hours putting up a ton of pix here. Fantabulous! I'll hit the hi-lights later. I do know it must have been a good vacation since I'm still exhausted...slept in til almost 10 a.m. this morning...probably would have been noon if Elena wouldn't have woke me!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Beginnings and Ends

Ah, the end of vacation. Today was the buffer day...yesterday we traveled about 12 hours in the car from the Colorado Rockies to Home Sweet Home. Tomorrow it's back to work...Eric to the J.O.B. and me to...well, let's see, no food in the house so grocery shopping and maybe some garage saling? This weekend I hope to start to post some pix etc. of our time in the mountains. I'm still in amazement that I managed to survive seven whole days w/o checking my email!

As for beginnings, our team that has been working on a new name/brand for our church arrived at a decision this afternoon! Yay! I'm totally excited about it...the meaning, the uniqueness, everything. Of course, being sworn to secrecy for two weeks and two days won't be particularly enjoyable, but I'll survive. I'm only sorry that Tisha's "JackCass Church" idea* didn't make the cut.

Then there is the end and beginning of a new year of life for moi. Yes, I am shamelessly promoting my birthday which is this coming Monday, August 6. And, yes, I like presents. But, no, I am no longer broadcasting my age since my dear lover says I can't pass for 25 anymore. Bring on the face cream!

*(In case you're not familiar w/this area we're close to "Jackson County" and in "Cass County".)

Peace...

Monday, July 23, 2007

No Sun Today

The clouds are blanketing the sky today. I think that is a good thing. My heart is blanketed too...just sad. One of my friends from college passed away this weekend. Tommy was 32 and died of a massive heart attack. Man, that just doesn't seem right. He was one of the first people I met my freshman year, and we were in all sorts of organizations together & also many classes as we had the same major. Below is the email I received...I don't personally know the person that wrote it, but they captured Tommy's essence very well--so I won't try to duplicate it in my own words.
It Is Silent In the Jungle---AGAIN!!

My fellow Gorillas, the Jungle is again silent this Sunday!! We have lost another close and wonderful Gorilla. Tragedy struck again yesterday afternoon as Tommy Riggs, Associate Athletic Director, was suddenly stricken with a massive heart attack and died while visiting family in the KC area. At this time details regarding memorial services for Tommy have not been announced and as soon as they are I will post a new email as I am sure many of those reading this message will wish to attend.Tommy was only 32 years of age-----------much, much too young to be taken from us!! But we all know "he giveth, and he taketh away". He has some unknown intent for Tommy and one thing is sure---whatever the assignment is, IT WILL BE HANDLED PROFESSIONALLY AND IN A TIMELY MANNER. That is how Tommy Riggs worked and lived his life.

A bit more about Tommy---shared with you from a short news story in the Morning Sun earlier this a.m.Tommy served as Chamber of Commerce President at the ripe age of 17 in his hometown of Chetopa, Kansas. That gives an indication of the leadership skills he developed early. He graduated from Pitt State in 1998 with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing. During his tenure as a student he served one year as student body President, thus using more leadership skills. In1998 he was named PSU's Outstanding Senior Man, a huge accolade. Tommy was very instrumental in bringing the Kansas Shrine Bowl to Pittsburg in 2002 and again in 2006. He also played key roles in the expansion and construction of skyboxes at CSS.

Tommy worked 9 years for the PSU athletics dept, the last four as Associate Athletics Dir for Marketing and Promotions. He was involved in anything and everything to promote PSU athletics locally and nationally. But he also promoted PSU in general, not just in athletics. He was ALWAYS THERE.From a personal standpoint, I first met Tommy when son Scott enrolled at Pitt in 1995 and I began a wonderful re-association with my alma mater.Then, when I serve my two year term as President of the KC Gorilla Club, Ilearned first-hand what a wonderful and great person Tommy was/is!! Never did I call down to Pitt with a question for Tommy that I did not get a reply to my needs. He got it done!!! Whatever it was!!!

I can tell you that Tommy Riggs spent countless hours and days and nights even the past few years coordinating and managing the great events at Arrowhead Stadium. Many aspects of those venues would not have taken place without his direct involvement and work.His latest effort, just announced a few weeks ago, is the broadcast of the2007 season-opener on CSTV as well as the Fox Southwest TV networks. He wanted that badly!! And he GOT IT!!----he wanted and got it for the Gorilla fans, not selfishly for his own glory. That was not how Tommy Riggs worked!! On one other personal note, every time I would meet Tommy, he would smile that great smile, stick out his hand for a solid Gorilla handshake, and then would say "How's Scott?' That personally is what sticks in my mind about Tommy. Might seem a small thing but it is BIG to me!!

Tommy Riggs, you will be missed, you ARE missed---by family and friends and by some who do not even know you but whose lives you have touched in many ways through your tireless efforts on behalf of our alma mater. St.Peter's "team" now has a new member and we will all be together someday for another game or two. Until then we know you will be watching!!!To Tommy's family I send condolences and our sincere thoughts of deepest sympathy at this tough time. I would only say "Remember the good times,they help to heal the sorrows."God Bless Tommy Riggs!!!

Once a Gorilla, Always a Gorilla!!Go Gorillas!!

Casey

For those who say big men should not cry, I beg to differ with you on this heavy-hearted Sunday. Big men DO cry!!

So enters a new stage in my life, and I'm sure many other of my friends' lives...that of mourning the passing of a friend. My prayer is for peace & comfort today.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Boy Stories

Today's outing was a marvy trip to Crown Center. We took in a play at the Coterie Children's Theatre then had a picnic at the food court and headed for the annual running through the fountains...a KC tradition that I hope will be a fond memory for my munchkins!

Here are two snapshots of the adventure of being mom to a little boy:

#1. Eat lunch at food court. Change boy into trunks in food court w/towel wrapped around him. Done. Turn attention to Elena. Turn back around to watch boy. He's gone. Another little kid says "he's up there" and points to the escalator. Sure enough. Boy rode all the way to the top by himself and was trying to scooch himself back on to ride down the "up" side. I sprint up the steps two at time -- pull something somewhere -- and grab him just as a custodian helps pull him off and away from danger. Jeeeeez.



#2 Ma'am--is that your little boy?? I look up to see Kai w/his pants around his ankles, happily peeing in the grass next to 100 other children merrily running in the fountains! All the parents around are chuckling...so as any good mom, I yank out my camera and take a shot while running towards him to help pull up his trunks. "I go-ed Mommy!"

Ya just never know what's going to happen next, do ya?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Put Your Pants On!

I've said that phrase WAY too many times over the last couple week. Oh---not to Eric---Kai is potty training! He's actually pretty well done potty training & we are super glad--can you say no diapers to buy?! Now we just need to find a trick to get him to put his own pants back on when he's done. Not so bad when we're inside...but one evening while playing outside, I gave him permission to do the all-time favorite boy thing of peeing outside in the yard. He now will drop his drawers at the first inclining when out then stand there hollering for me to help cause he can't run to me with his pants around his ankles!

So moms of other boys say we're lucky since Kai isn't yet 2 1/2 and pretty much fully trained. I think it all depends on the kid for the most part...but as with many parenting issues (i.e. wearing hats, taking naps, keeping rooms clean etc.), a bit of actual, hands-on training goes very far. A friend gave me the book "Toilet Training In Less Than A Day" when Elena was little. Though it didn't work exactly in one day as the title implies, it sure does teach the routine of getting to the potty quickly, pulling the pants down, dumping the little pot in the commode, flushing and putting the pot back! They are also supposed to learn to pull their pants back up, but as I mentioned before, that part we somehow missed. But no asking them 20 times a day if they have to "go" or setting the timer and taking them every 20 minutes for 6 months...I think they call that "Mommy training". They learn to know when to get there quick!

We waited to start until he was staying dry during naps and mostly at night. Did the book...he wasn't interested but learned the steps. Waited a few weeks...got REAL tired of changing gross poop...and just tried again by totally stopping diapers and putting him in cloth training pants (pull-ups only for outings and bed). That was the 18th of June. Today's the 15th of July. Last week while visiting at my sister's he stopped using the training potty and is on the big dude. We're going to purchase real "big boy" pants today! Pshew! Yay! Good Luck if it's in your future!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Passion

A few of my posts start out about one thing in my head, then morph into something with a bit wider scope. Today I went garage saling (I know, SHOCKER, to those of you who know me)...and I thought I'd blog about my fab finds. Being that saling (that's my own term, thank you) is one of my more frivolous passions in life, it made me reflect on what the other passions are that define the essential "me". Hmmm...I think I maybe have been reading too many philosopher's blogs.

So...sort of off the top of my head, here are my top few passions in life:

1. Pursuing excellence as a wife and mother. This involves lots of development of relationships with others in order to obtain experienced and trustworthy advice...as well as lot of reading...lots of God's good grace...oh, yes, and trial and error! Hopefully as time goes by, more trials will result in fewer errors!
2. Contributing to furthering God's kingdom through serving the community of the local church. Building relationships, deepening my pursuit of Godliness and hopefully becoming more the woman Christ wants me to be.
3. Homemaking...the ongoing process of making my physical home a refuge and comfortable environment for my family and visitors. Unfortunately, this DOES involve cleaning...I'm working on yet another system to make that process as easy as possible (there's a post floating around in my brain about that).
4. Ah, YES, GARAGE SALING! This spring-fall pursuit of the "find" is really a relaxing retreat from the hustle and bustle of "normal" shopping that must be done in order to accomplish #3 above and sometimes even #1. If I could somehow manipulate it to serve #2 I'd be ecstatic!

There are probably more things I could add to this list, or perhaps SHOULD add to this list...but being that this isn't a course exam or anything...it will do for now.

Okay, so now onto my good finds of the day:

#1 A Nordic Ware mini bundt pan for 50 cents! Retails around $30. I've wanted one of these for a while. The molds on mine are all the classic fluted bundt shape.





#2 A VTech Kid's Laptop for Kai. Elena plays her "Barbie computer" laptop constantly and Kai also loves it (he doesn't care yet about the boy/girl distinctions like playing with something all shades of pink and a dancing princess on the front). This will likely be a Christmas or BD gift for him. Oh, $1, btw.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Safe & Secure

Did you know car seats expire? I think I'd heard about them only having a lifespan of 6 years or so...but, as in most things, figured it was a marketing ploy to get me to buy the "new & improved" version of what I already owned.

Enter a quest to find a seat for Kai so his back wouldn't hurt 5 minutes into every ride. I found a message board on a car seat website called CarSeatData.org and with it, a wealth of info all about car seat safety, including these links to info about expired seats:

http://home.comcast.net/~dcbsr/test/Britax_GMTV_Check_It_Fits_Child_Facing_Forwards_ten_years_old_seat.mpeg
That's the crash test footage of a 10 year old Britax seat...harnessed ripped right through the back, ejecting the dummy.

http://www.childrestraintsafety.com/manufacture-expiration.htmlfety.com/...xpiration.html

http://www.epinions.com/content_4753956996

http://babyproducts.about.com/b/a/257283.htmom/b/a/257283.htm

My car seats were 11 years old--I got them from friends, so I knew their history--NEVER buy a used seat from someone you don't know personally! So time to go shopping....after tons of great advice from the Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST) on the carseatdata forum and LOTS of time doing research here's what we ended up with:

This is Kai's Cosco Scenera. I also learned that having your toddler sit rear-facing for as long as possible adds loads to the safety factor...and this seat can be rear-facing until kiddo is 35 pounds! Kai thinks it's rather novel and I think the recline it gives is helping w/his back complaints. He has 5 more pounds or 3 more inches to grow before he has to face forward.





Here is Elena's posh new ride. It's a Cosco Alpha Elite Apex covered with a fab suede-like fabric and ever-so cushy. This seat allows use of the 5-point harness until 65 pounds! It can also function as a booster seat with the regular seat belt. When she is 5 or 6 and ready for a booster, we will just purchase a regular dedicated high-back booster and move Kai into this seat with the harness.

I'm so thankful for the advice I received while shopping...it's really overwhelming with all the choices available...and I didn't want to skimp on safety even while keeping to a moderate budget. I was truly amazed by all the safety data...here are a few things to keep in mind:
  1. Keep your kids rear-facing until the MAX weight limit of the seat
  2. Keep your kids in a 5-point harness as long as possible...usually until they outgrow the weight limit of the harness. Only switch to the seat belt if they can sit with it correctly the ENTIRE ride (i.e. no strap behind the shoulder etc.).
  3. Infant seats typically have a lifespan of just 6 years, convertible seats 6-8 years depending on brand. Look on the bottom of the seat for your expiration date or call the manufacturer.
  4. The right car seat for you is the one that fits your car, your child and your budget!
If you'd like detailed info on these or other car seat topics, visit this link on CPST Tiffany Brown's website, Sacred Journeys: Selecting & Using Safety Seats

Keep those kiddos safe!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One more baby girl!

What a wonderful week--2 nieces born! My sister, Mackenzie, and her husband, Brad, welcomed Annalise Cadence into the world on Monday morning. She was 6# 10 oz. and 19" long and has a pile of soft light brown hair. Pud had a midwife and gave birth at a birthing center called the "Birth Inn" in Wichita (yay! I had a midwife with both of my babies too!) and everything went just fine. I'm excited to visit and meet the little one...but not sure when I'll be able to make the treck with the summer calendar as crazy as it is. For now, pictures are up over on Jodi's blog if ya want to see Annalise. Congratulations Mackenzie & Brad! Now the real fun begins.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dig It?

So Rustin tells me Sunday that he 'tagged' me on his blog. Whaaat?? I guess I'm not so "down" with blogging slang yet. Of course, now I feel famous since there is a link to my blog on one of super-blog-man's posts! Though suspiciously looking like a chain letter in disguise, I'll go for it...

5 Things I Dig about Jesus:

1. He's real. As in not phony.
2. When he returns there will be no hiding from him...I like to imagine him swooping down from heaven in the midst of huge thunderclouds & speeding across the sky with his arms outstretched. How AMAZING will that day be?!!
3. He's not afraid to walk away. JJones was the first person to call my attention to that...thanks!
4. Omnipresence. He has been since before creation of our world. Does he think: Been there, done that? Sometimes unfathomable.
5. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5 He holds me, lifts me, always has me.

Here's the deal: I get taggged; link to the tagger (that'd be the Myth); list my 5 things; tag 5 more bloggers--but do I know 5 more bloggers that's haven't been tagged? Well, here are 4:

Jodine
Suzanne
Correnta
Bobbie

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Scrapbooking Suggestions?

Seeing how much I am hooked on blogging...I think I may take a stab at digital scrapbooking-'cause let me tell ya...the real thing ain't happenin'! Have you ever tried it? Bought software and thought about trying it?

Seems iRemember is the only one available for Macs and looks like it's too basic for what I want (okay, looks really crappy). I'd rather not use just Photoshop, though I do have PS Elements on both my PC & Mac. Also saw stellar reviews for Creating Keepsakes software and Art Explosion Scrapbook Factory Deluxe---both PC based. Thing is that I keep all our pix on the Mac so would have to double up or something...not to mention I'd have to sit at the desk rather than on the couch with the PowerBook.
On the other hand, I could just keep blogging about my kids on Silly Rabbits and figure out how to print those out and mount them in a scrapbook! Two birds, one stone. I like that.

MAN-cation!

So is a 'MAN-cation' a vacation for my man, or a vacation from my man? Hmmmm....I'm going to say both! Mainly because I DID happen to mow the lawn again (well, most of it) & am playing solo-parent through a weekend--PLUS I got to enjoy probably one of the best evenings at home that I've had in a long time!

Last night we had our LifeGroup meeting which is always fun. Then after the munchkins were down, my dear friend, Molly, came over for a screening of Pride & Prejudice (seems we've both seen it too many times to count) and time to do our nails. Add in a fine bottle of Riesling and we had ourselves a dandy night!


My kids are now realizing that P&P is one of the only movies I watch given the opportunity to choose. And until last night and this morning's finish...I hadn't seen the A&E version from '95 in quite some time. So now I must muse and wonder which one I like better! Ah, the battle...I love Colin Firth's portrayal of Darcy, but Matthew Macfadyen certainly is more attractive to me...my heart goes a'flutter w/a few of his gazes--ahhh--and when he marches across the field to find Lizzy at dawn w/his jacket in the wind---swoon! As for Elizabeth, both Jennifer and Keira do her fine justice...maybe more passion in Keira's performance, but Jennifer is very believable. The energy in the new version is certainly more intense as they managed to cram the story into 2.5 hours, rather than the 6 it took before, but I really think they both capture the essence of the book in a grand way.

If I had to vote today, it would be for the new '06 version, believe it or not! Something about the intensity of the rain & music that speaks to the heart of their forming love throughout the show. Hmmm...maybe I should watch IT tonight and then re-think my stance. Ooooorr...just say I love them both and say THANK YOU Claire, for introducing me to the world of Jane Austen & YAAAAAYYY Molly, I really think we ARE kindred spirits! (You wouldn't happen to love Anne too? --that's Ann with an "e").

Auntie again!

My fourth niece was born in the early hours of this past Wednesday! Eric's brother, Travis & his wife, Kim are now the parents of two precious little girls. Zaritha is getting close to being 2 and the new arrival is named Lily May. Me and the kids went to visit them at the hospital and they were so proud to hold and rock baby Lily!



Kim kept laughing and saying things about "next time YOU'RE pregnant...". I just say don't hold your breath on that one! Our quiver is currently reading "full" on the meter!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nick-knack-patty-whack

Sooooo.....Nicknames. I didn't particularly care for the nickname I had growing up. Pee-wee. Nice. Especially didn't care for it when Pee-Wee Herman came on the scene. Could have done without that one.

I have many names I've used to call kiddos over the years: the Lindsey girls were the "Chickadees", my younger siblings were the creative "Little Kids", babies in general were "bambinos", etc. etc. Enter my own cutie-patooties. Elena became "Lena", "Pumpkin", "Princess", "Ladybug", "Munchkin". But what has stuck? "Munch". MUNCH!!! What kind of horrid nickname is that???! Kai, same deal..."Copper", "Copper Top", "BOY", "Kai-boy". His sticker? "Boog", as in short for Booger. AAACK! What have I done??? Maybe it's not too late to undo this madness, but for now, I probably should go make sure Munch and Boog have finished their yogurt.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Nervous? Me?

Actually, and thankfully, not! God surely answered my prayers for a calm heart today as I set up my first official wedding cake! I've made wedding cakes before, just not for real weddings...class, "dummy cakes", anniversaries etc. So that makes this one a milestone in my cake life :) !

It's called a "Calla Lily Illusion" cake and the stems are supposed to look like they are coming up through the middle of the cake...I would do a couple things differently next time, but I won't give y'all details (the artist's eye is ALWAYS more critical...so I'm leaving well enough alone).

When I used the flash (see dorky picture I took of my cheesy self) the black flowers appeared purple-ish, and with no flash it's blurry, but oh well!




Monday, June 04, 2007

God's Hand

My heart is heavy and my mind is trying to sort through a lot of things. A couple months ago, I got back in touch with an old friend from college, Nate, through myspace. He was such a kind person…we had several classes together. Last night I nonchalantly went to see if he had new pictures up on his page as he and his wife, Maria, had a new baby boy in April. I was shocked to see that baby Chaz died May 8 after a head injury from a car accident. It makes me almost physically ill when I think about it and especially now, typing it out.

Even though it’s been years since we’ve had a friendship, I think any tragedy that strikes someone—close to us or not—is hard to understand. Especially when it’s a newborn or child. They are certainly grieving now, and looking for comfort from the Lord. Knowing they are believers is a comfort itself.

My dear friend who also lost a new baby says she thinks it was easier to get through that trial than some of the other ‘smaller’ trials of life. Maybe that’s part of the mystery of knowing Christ. It’s like the BIG things that strike us…oh, we for SURE know that God’s hand will comfort and guide us and pick us up to live life again…and we are more patient. But the little things that are hard to figure out…maybe a financial crisis or a child who seems out of control…sometimes it’s hard to see where God is pointing. I've yet to go through a really life-shaking trial so I don't know. What I do know, is that there is certainly a reason for each moment of life, I just wish each moment was easier to understand.

Our lives all have meaning and purpose…what baby Chaz’s was in his brief life will be completely known once we meet our Savior. I’m sure part of it was to bring joy to their family…joy of a new life, making their other son a brother for the first time, and all the other joyful experiences that are a part of having a new baby. From the online journal they have up about him, it looks like one or two other children received his heart valves via transplant. So even in death, he also brought life renewed to other families!

Anyway, after a night of fitful sleep and strange dreams, I’ll continue to pray for their family…for peace, comfort, understanding and sometime soon, joy. Please take a moment to pray for them too.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Song of My Heart

My friend Suzanne is a prolific blogger and I always find some kind of goodie in her recent posts--not to mention enjoying the pix of her sweet boy twins! She posted the lyrics to this song on the anniversary of her salvation:

"O Great God" Based on The Valley of Vision prayer “Regeneration”

O great God of highest heaven
Occupy my lowly heart
Own it all and reign supreme
Conquer every rebel power
Let no vice or sin remain
That resists Your holy war
You have loved and purchased me
Make me Yours forevermore

I was blinded by my sin
Had no ears to hear Your voice
Did not know Your love within
Had no taste for heaven’s joys
Then Your Spirit gave me life
Opened up Your Word to me
Through the gospel of Your Son
Gave me endless hope and peace

Help me now to live a life
That’s dependent on Your grace
Keep my heart and guard my soul
From the evils that I face
You are worthy to be praised
With my every thought and deed
O great God of highest heaven
Glorify Your Name through me
Words and Music by Bob Kauflin
2006 Sovereign Grace Music

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Siblings

Brothers and sisters. Have any? I have a few...3 of each, actually. We range in age from 12 to 30-something (ya, I'm NOT telling anymore...actually, I can't remember). Here are some recent pix.


Bo, me, Pud, Jodi and Miss Stella looking at her momma. We were all in Wichita visiting...Mackenzie's baby shower was that weekend and Bo was getting ready to move there from Manhattan.


I love this picture of Jo with her two girlies. We were on the tram at the Sedgwick County Zoo.


Jim graduated from 8th Grade this month...um, is he supposed to be this tall? He was only 2 months old when I left for college--and he's still just as cute!


Hey, this one actually has everybody but Jodi (I guess Elena was her stand-in). Paige, Mom, Mackenzie, Bo, Jim, Me, Jodi (Elena), Mark.

Not so into sweating...

I'm not so into freezing either, btw. But today it wasn't so bad being all sticky gross after a good workout mowing the lawn. Yup, I mowed our football field. First time behind a mower for what, 10 years? Okay, I did do the front lawn on Tuesday, but that's just a quicky. And with E's new super-dooper personal-self-propelled Toro the job wasn't half bad...that means the actual effort put into mowing...not necessarily the result. (I saw lot of those little lines of missed spots tonight while out pushing munchkins on the swings.)

But Eric is home from his 3 day trip to Oak Ridge, Tennessee now, so this event probably won't be reoccuring anytime soon. Yay.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Satisfaction

Is anyone ever satisfied? Well, tonight I experienced satisfaction, if only for a brief moment. Part of our dinner tonight was a salad...all from our garden--the very first harvest. Crisp Romaine, ruffly green leaf lettuce and baby spinach. I carefully trimmed each leaf from the plant, washed them gently with cold water and patted dry. YAY! I really thought the rabbits would eat everything before we got a chance. Plus, it saved me a trip to the grocery store for some veggies as the shelves are gettin' bare around here.

Here are pictures from around our gardens from tonight. We had rain showers on and off today and it was sprinkling when Kai and I went out to take pictures. He is bending down saying "look how cute" to the baby strawberries and tomatoes...he says it in a real high falsetto voice that makes us giggle!





Kai is standing on one of their "stepping stones" i.e. turned over saucers I put in their flower garden so they could water the babies w/o trampling seedlings.



This is my "fancy" iris. I don't know if it's Siberian or Dutch or what, but every year ONE will bloom. I think it's in too much shade, but have been too lazy and inundated with other iris to find a new spot.



Ahhh, my BEA-U-TIFUL purple clematis! Elena gave this to me on my first (maybe second) mother's day. I've moved it a few times, and it really likes this home next to the front steps. I added a twine trellis to get it up higher this spring and am excited to see how high she'll climb.



This is the first of my two new clematis vines to bloom...small white blossoms with purple centers...I love it!



We'll see how long this lasts. Very shallow for all the plants I put in it...plus those New Guinea impatients are in small pots. At least it's a pretty addition to our entrance for now. I bought the shelf at the LifeBridge garage sale and spray painted it, added cocoa mats and soil and wha-la!