Tuesday, November 30, 2004

::::waving the white flag::::: TRUCE!

I pray this note finds all of you in good health and spirits.

Life is insanely busy for the family.

My mom was here all last week. She left last night. It was wonderful to have her with us for Thanksgiving.

There is a stomach bug in our house. It is a nasty beast. It started with Caleb. It moved quickly to Gracie. It lingered with them for 2 days before hitting Jacob and Paige late last night.
Last night, Jeff and I were up ALL night dealing with sick kids. I was up to my knees (literally) in dirty clothes and linens. At one point, I didn't feel so well while surrounded by messy towels.

After taking my mom to the airport yesterday, I had to get Paige and Sarah to Nutcracker rehearsal. It was the technical run-thru. We were at the Performing Arts Center until 10:45.
A very late night for all of us.

On top of sick kids, errands galore and snowy weather -- Jeff had to fly to New Jersey this morning. He won't be back until tomorrow night. Not a good time for him to be traveling.
Pray for his safety while he is flying and so forth. It means a lot to me.

I am also asking for healing prayers over all of the kids. A special prayer that Paige mends quickly and Sarah does NOT get ill. They have opening night this Thursday. They CAN NOT be sick.

Last, pray for me. I am tired and feeling stress. I need His grace and assistance right now.

Be well. Be blessed.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Friday, which means....

...the weekend is upon us!

First, let me say YAY! We are staying home today! All day! Praise God.
I was getting ready to paint my van yellow and add a meter to the dashboard.

I am going to clean the house, top to bottom. The girls have a very light lesson load today. They are going to help with things around here -- call it a life skills day!
I told them if we got everything done we would pull out a few special Christmas decorations.
Em also has a friend spending the night, so she has extra incentive to get her room taken care of.
Speaking of Christmas decorations -- for the past few months I have been looking for a nativity scene with Mary holding Baby Jesus. This is hard to find, which I find very odd. I know Mary held her sweet Baby Boy. I choose to think of His birth in that manner.
Anyway, Jeff surprised me yesterday with this set Willow Tree Nativity.
It is so simple and beautiful. It will get a special place on the mantle.

Tomorrow, Paige and Sarah have Nutcracker stuff all afternoon. Emily and her friend have a birthday party tomorrow as well. Jeff has to work out in Ohio, at a sister hospital - so once again, I will be wearing my cab hat.

With that, I will sign off for the day. I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to get it done. I also have to finalize our Thanksgiving menu and figure out a time to go shopping (when I won't get mowed down by the rest of the city, doing the same thing).

Love and blessings to all.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Lucky 13

Today, Jeff and I celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. What a blessing.

I remember the evening he told me he loved me for the first time. I remember the night he proposed. I remember the months of planning for our wedding. I remember our family and friends gathering with us to join hand in hand on our wedding day. We are not just husband and wife, we are best friends.

In the past 13 years we have seen a lot of change. We have gone through job changes, school, deaths in the family, births in the family, major moves and serious medical troubles.
We have spent quiet days lounging in the house without a care in the world to chaos on a Saturday morning as 6 children join us in bed.

Through it all, one thing was certain. Our love and commitment to one another. Together, with the Lord's leadership, we take on each day as a family.

To all of our family and friends, thank you for standing with us on this journey.

Love Boat

Monday, November 15, 2004

Monday? Really?

Where did my weekend go? How can it be Monday, already?

My grandmother was right. Time goes by faster and faster with each passing year. I didn't believe her when I was young. I get it now. I get it!

We spent most of Saturday in Nutcracker rehearsals/costume fittings. Everything is coming together so well. We start our first run-thru work next week. Hard to believe.

Saturday evening, Emily had a party to attend. After dropping her off, the other girls and I went to the bookstore. There was an American Girl party. Lots of story telling, crafts, snacks and fun. I was able to browse around, without little arms tugging at me. Bliss.

Sunday was church. It was another wonderful message. Our church is undergoing so many changes, but God is faithful. We are staying on course. I am excited at the direction we are heading. We don't want to become the biggest church in town, but we do want to become the biggest bunch of believers in town. There is a difference! Our path is to become lights to the city. We are on our way.
We spent the afternoon hunting for a winter coat for Emily. All of a sudden, she up and grew on us. Normally, we try not to do shopping, etc. on the Sunday -- but if a girl needs a winter coat -- a girl needs a winter coat. We finally found one we could all agree on at Kohl's.
Thank goodness for their 50% off sale! She doesn't wear a child's size jacket anymore. 'Nuff said.

Sunday evening I headed back to church, alone. I needed that time. We study the morning message more in-depth. It is a small group, so there is opportunity for fellowship studying and so forth. I also met with the pastor about Wednesday evening programming. We are on the same page, which is great. That is half the work. He also presented me with keys to the church. That was a surprise. I feel honored and a little weird. :::: laughing ::::

Today we are staying home!!!! No exceptions. We need to have some down time. The laundry is out of control and the girls need to tackle their rooms. We also have some new history lessons to go over. Thanksgiving is next week. I have so much to do before my mom arrives.
::: deep breathe :::

Have a blessed day. We keep all of you in prayer.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Thank you!

Today is Veteran's Day. A time to reflect and give heartfelt thanks to the true heroes in our world.
We all know someone who served in the military. Today, take a minute to call them (or write a note) to say, "Thank you."
Not only will it make them feel the honor they deserve, it will make you feel good too!

Happy Veterans Day

It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer, Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
~author unknown

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

They say it's your birthday!

Today, our cutie Paige turns 8 years old. As the boys like to say, "Happy Happy Day Paige."

I remember so well the evening Paige arrived. She was so perfect. She was our largest baby, weighing in at 9 pounds 6 ounces. I think a pound of that was in dark curly hair.
She was (and still is) the sweetest little girl.

The birthday princess requested chicken and dumplings for dinner. For dessert, a traditional cake and ice cream feast. Decorations will be Strawberry Shortcake (the doll).

In other news, we hit 22 degrees last night. Even I think that is cold!! We should only see 43 degrees today. The girls have swim team. It is an indoor pool, but we still have to walk out to the van after swim time. I think I am going to run by the sporting goods shop on the way to practice and find some swim caps. I don't know if they will wear them, but we can try.

Not much else to report this morning. I pray you have a super day!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Be careful! Wash your hands!

Have you see this story?
AOL News - At least two dozen people in North Carolina infected by E-coil <<~~~click to read

This could happen in any state. I know we visit our zoo often, complete with petting area. We also attend many festivals in our area -- often touching different critters.
Hand washing is vital to keep a serious thing E-coli away. A simple, under the water dribble is not enough. A *good* hand washing includes soap and a 30-40 second scrub.
E-coli is very resilient. It can live on hand rails and other common touching grounds. I don't say all of this to cause obsessive compulsive behavior, but we do need to watch over the kids (and ourselves). A lot of folks only tie e-coli to under cooked meat. That simply is not the case.

E-coli aside, we all know it is flu season. The best way to help fight this illness is through proper hand washing. So, suds up!


:::::insert witty title here:::::

Did you have a nice weekend? I hope so.

Jeff had to work on Saturday. The kids and I spent the day around the house and running a few errands. I also pulled out the last of the petunias in the front yard and cut back the lavender.
It is time for the plants to go to sleep, only to wake back up in spring.

Sunday was spent in church. I tell ya, with all of the changes being made, God is showing our body of Christ amazing things. While change is never easy - it is often necessary. God is pruning the body so that new fruit may grow. It is my prayer that the congregation can loosen their human hold on the past and embrace the adventure ahead of us.

After church service, Emily went home with a friend. They live out in Hicksville, OH - which is about 25 minutes from here. It was odd knowing that one of our children were in another state all day.

I broke one of our Sunday rules and went shopping in the afternoon. I needed to get Paige her birthday gifts. She turns 8 on November 9. Such a fun age!

In the evening, I headed to church alone. Emily was being dropped off there and we decided to stay for the evening service. It is a more intimate service. I'm glad we stayed. It was so moving. For the first time, Emily and I had the opportunity to share in communion. As I prayed with her, I was so touched with the young woman holding my hand. She is an amazing kid.

I found out yesterday that my mom will be here for Thanksgiving. I am so happy. I haven't seen her in many months. It will be a special time. She will arrive on 11/22 and head home on 11/29.

In my email, I have a set signature that shows a count down to Christmas. Only 46 more days!
While I adore the holidays, I also realize that we received the best gift thousands on years ago.
So, for that I have changed the ticker to read, "Only 46 more days until we received His gift."

I will sign off for today. I have a mountain of laundry to tackle, as well as lessons to cover with the girls. Have a great day!


P.S. Anyone else watch Extreme Home Makeover? What an incredible show! We watch it as a family each Sunday. The show is such a blessing to people. It is humbling and moving.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Little things

A new Target opened up down the road from us a couple weeks ago. Actually, it is a major remodel from a previous, older Target.

This morning, the kids and I made a trip to Target. We had visited once before, right after it opened. I know it may sound funny to some -- but I truly *adore* Target.
With list in hand, we went down the aisles, ohhhh and ahhh'ing at all of the goodies.

Even cooler? They put a Starbucks in this Target. Get out of town! It was like they picked my brain for the perfect marriage of economic success.

Blinking Heart 2

While there I found a CD I have been searching for for several months. It is The Gift by Kenny Rogers. Normally, I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a CD by this artist -- but this is a beautiful compilation of Christmas music, based around the true meaning of the holiday - Jesus.
On the CD is my FAVORITE Christmas song, Mary, Did You Know. It is a duet with W. Judd.
I have heard many versions of this song and their duet is my favorite. It sounds goofy, but the song just makes me tear up and feel so grateful. On second though, it isn't goofy! It is awesome!

If you have never heard the song - you can use this link. It will play the version I am speaking of. Make sure your speakers are turned on. Mary, Did You Know? <~~click

I remind the kids all of the time -- never forget why we have CHRISTmas. His name is in the word to remind the world.

In other news, for those that sent money for Nutcracker videos or tickets, thank you. I have purchased everything. I will hold tickets for those attending. I will mail the videos as soon as I receive them.

Have a super day. God Bless you and yours.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Thank you, Mr Kerry. Thank you for having the class and fortitude to look ahead and do what was right in this situation.

About 15 minutes ago, Kerry conceded the election to President Bush.

Now, as a nation -- let's move forward.

Post election insight

I was up until 3:30 AM, watching the coverage. What a horse race. I am so incredibly proud of our nation. We got out there and voted! Awesome.

Now, for my insight.

1. The Democratic party has lost their way. Not only have they lost sight of their plans, but their own party is severely divided.

2. Kerry/Edwards underestimated the traditional core values of this nation. The numbers prove it.

3. Kerry made serious mistakes when dealing with the Middle East. Instead of explaining his plan, he sounded arrogant and condescending. Plus, no leader of the free world should look for a pass or test when defending our country.

4. If you have a plan, tell us how you formed it. Don't tell people, in a debate setting no less, to check your website.

5. The wives. Yes, it does matter who you married. I think Ms. Heinz hurt more than she helped.

6. Conviction and fortitude is a good thing. Stand up for your beliefs, even if you are standing alone.

The winners.

1. Mr. George W. Bush. Congrats, Mr. President.

2. Couch pundits and FOX News. They were balanced, slow to assume and quick to report.

3. The Senate and House. Republicans are in a strong hold.

4. The Clintons. Mark my words -- they will be back, guns ablazing in 2008. I have a sneaky suspicion that they cast votes for GWB. Hillary wants that Oval Office. (I will share my views on that at a later date).

5. The citizens of America. The voting numbers are amazing.

The losers.

1. The Democratic party. It is time to re-vitalize the party and figure out your platforms.

2. ABC, CBS and the like. So much for "just reporting the news". Could they be anymore biased in their views? I think not.

3. Tom Daschle. The people have spoken. Good-bye.

*** President Bush will carry New Mexico, Nevada and Iowa. Even if he loses those states, the electoral vote will end in tie. When that happens, it goes to the House. Bush wins.
As for Ohio, the margins are just too great. Kerry could win all of the provisional votes and still not take Ohio. It isn't possible. I understand the need to count all votes, but calling in mass lawyers does not help your case. Mr Kerry, sir, it is time to concede. Do the honorable thing and move aside.

With that, I will sign off for the day. Peace.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I did my part.......

..............did you?

Have you voted today? I sure hope so! It is one of our most precious and important freedoms.
Election Day

I was thrilled to see the big turn out in our local area. All of the polling places were filled with people. Jeff voted before work. He waited for about 45 minutes. I voted later in the morning. I took the kids with me (so they could see how the process works) and we were done in 15 minutes. Awesome.

I have spent much of the day in quiet prayer. I pray the the Lord's will is done with our election process. I pray for a decisive and peaceful answer by tomorrow.


Monday, November 01, 2004

Get out there!

If today is Monday, that means tomorrow is Tuesday. Tomorrow isn't just any Tuesday, it is Election Tuesday. A big day!

Are you registered to vote? Do you know your local polling places? Do you know the platforms of those candidates running for local, state and national government? If not, start reading.
You can find just about anything you need on the Internet.

Did you know that the largest voting turn out was back in the early 60's? Of all registered voters, 38% showed up to vote that day. That was considered the largest turn out in history.
I am forever the optimist, but even I balk at those numbers. How often do you hear 38% when describing a *large* turn-out.
Frankly, I find it very disturbing. We can (and should) do so much better.

Right now, we have our military over in foreign land, fighting for freedom. They are fighting for the very freedoms so many of us take for granted each day. They are fighting for the rights we have been gifted with through the years. One of those biggest rights, is to have a say in who leads our country. Do you realize how blessed we are to be citizens of the US? Sure, we have problems and issues -- but in comparison to what *could* be on our daily agendas, we have it pretty darn good.

It may sound inflated, but I honestly think this election is *so* important to our country.
Yes, every election counts -- but the 2004 election could change the course of so many things.
Did you realize that the next president will have the honor of bringing in 2, possibly 3 new Supreme Court Justices? Those men/women will serve their term for 20+ years. That is a lot of power and consequence.

Last night, Jeff and I attended a city wide prayer group. It was held at our humble little church.
There were about 450 people there, from 7 different local churches. It was an amazing evening, filled with worship, fellowship, prayer and communion. While it is *never* the Pastor's right to tell his church which way to vote -- we were urged to vote with our conscience and Bible.
That is what I intend to do. I know God has this whole election process wrapped up. He knows the final outcome. He knows His plan for our nation. However, because we have free will --- there is always the potential for us to make a mess of things. And, we will.

Part of the reason for the chaos in the 2000 election was because so many people did not vote. They were apathetic. They thought they didn't matter. They were wrong. The biggest number of folks that did not vote? Christians. Of those Christians, it was the women who mostly stayed home! I urge all of you reading this --- let your voice be heard. One voice can (and does) make a difference. If you know someone that needs assistance in getting to the polls, help them. Their voice matters too!

Please join me in prayer? I pray that His will is done. I pray for a strong and honorable leader.
I pray that we know the *final* outcome of the election process by Wednesday! I fear that if we have another 2000 scenario, our democracy as we know it, when pertaining to elections, will be forever changed. Despite the potential for problems, is that really what we want as a nation?

One voice. One prayer. One person. Strong.
Many voices. Many believers, together in prayer. Many sharing in fellowship. Indestructible.