Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Fun times in the neighborhood

What do you get when you cross VBS (Vacation Bible School), 12 watermelon, 105 kids, stormy weather, stitches and a traveling husband?

One very weary woman named Kim.

Jeff is down in Florida until tomorrow afternoon. We started VBS yesterday morning. All of our kids are involved. I was looking forward to the 2-1/2 hours each morning for some quiet time. However, this morning I stayed to help with snacks for 105 kids. I ended up cutting 12 watermelon and filling 6 super duper coolers with water/ice. It was fun watching the kids have a good time in Jesus' name.

The kids and I spend the rest of the afternoon inside because of the horrendous heat. We cleaned up the bedrooms and watched a movie. We had dinner and while cleaning up the dishes, I dropped a glass in the sink. It took a huge slice of my right pinky with it. I knew without looking that I needed stitches. Great.

I get all of the kids back into the van. The younger ones are flipping out because I am bleeding and hurt. The sky is looking pretty ugly at this point, which upsets Gracie even more. We get to Urgent Care and wait. Finally, we get into the exam room where it is decided that yes, I need stitches (5).
I also need a tetanus shot. ::groan:: The nurse numbed my finger, which hurt more than moderate labor. Good grief almighty...I came up off the bed a little bit.

We leave the building to a lit up sky, rumbling thunder and one flipped out Gracie. She hates storms with a passion I have never seen. We finally get home and find out that we are in for a rough night. There is a big band of storms rolling through, complete with wind and hail. The emergency broadcast screamed across the TV and there was a tornado sighting in 2 counties over. Great.
I made sure everything is stocked in our downstairs bathroom and get the kids busy on a project.

I always miss Jeff when he travels, but right now? I *really* miss him.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Baked, fried or broiled?

Those are your choices for Midwest living these days. Good gravy...it is hot. Very hot. And humid. Very humid. The two do not mix, at all.

For the last 3 days we have been under a heat advisory. The air is thick, heavy and still. The temp is 90, but with the humidity, it feels like 105. This is Indiana. We can do snow, wind and ice...but extreme heat? Not so much.

And yes, for those in the Western portion of the states, there is a distinct difference in heat. Dry and wet. Dry = tolerable. Wet = miserable.

You know it is going to be a long day when every morning is met with lighting strikes and thunder, yet not a single drop of water falls from the sky. We are hopeful for a couple storms to roll through tonight or tomorrow. We need the relief.

Thank goodness for air conditioning and ice cream. ::smile:::

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Movie recommendation

I don't recommend many movies. I think most of the stuff put out by Hollywood is junk these days. Having said that, I found a gem today. The March of the Penguins (http://wip.warnerbros.com/marchofthepenguins/) <<---click for more info

Jeff won some movie tickets at the hospital last week. We took the kids this afternoon.
It is a documentary. It is *so* beautifully filmed. Very enjoyable, something for the whole family!

For those with sensitive children, there are some animal death scenes (due to nature) but they are not hyped up or gorey.

Don't wait for this to come to video. You need to see it on the big screen for the photography, if nothing else.

And Hollywood? Pay attention. What does it tell you when a documentary takes a spot in the top 3 movies for the weekend?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

When did this happen?

When did I become the mother to an almost 13 year old girl? How can I be the parent of a teenager? How did my first baby grow into such a beautiful young lady, in such a short period of time?

She has her own opinions, dreams, likes and dislikes. She speaks her mind (even when I prefer she didn't). She sees the world around her and senses adventure. I see the world around her and see fear. Oh, don't get me wrong -- I don't live my life in fear, but I do wonder what kind of world we are raising our children in. It is unsettling.

Still, it pleases me that she smiles and runs forward. She has goals and dreams. She wants to reach the stars and never let go. We are blessed to be her parents.

Right now, our sweetie is at a party with church youth group. Her social life is picking up at an alarming speed. Such an exciting time. Jeff and I are beginning to discuss issues that seemed so foreign to us a few years ago. But, here we are...parenting a young teen.

With that, I will sign off for the night. The party is over at 11 and I have to go pick her up.
I can't wait to listen to her excited words and giggles as she explains the evening on the way home. Good times.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Fluffy post

In an effort to keep the blog up to date, I have a few more things to share.

Five colors/patterns I like:

light pink
polka dots
crisp white (yeh, I know it isn't technically a color....)

Five TV shows that I miss:

Thirty Something
Northern Exposure

Five popular movies I have never seen:

Stars Wars (any of them)
Lord of the Rings
The Godfather
Harry Potter (never read the books either)
anything horror related (Friday the 13th, etc.)

Five things on my current grocery list:

paper towels
cottage cheese
brown rice

Five favorite flowers:

peonies (big fluffy pink ones)

Five things we did today:

slept in (swim is over...no more early mornings)
cleaned the kitchen and den
went to the store for a gift
helped Em get ready for a party
watched the sky turn all shades of black and grey (big storm rolled through)

Fruits I love:

grapes (red ones)

Five favorite restaurants of all time:

Cheesecake Factory
PF Changs
In and Out Burger
Super Mex
El Paso Cantina (now closed...we had our rehearsal dinner there the night before they closed their doors for good)

With that, I will sign off for today. Jeff is in school this evening, so it has been a long day around the house. It is time for ice cream (for the kids) and relaxation.

Peace and love to all.

Monday, July 18, 2005

12 words

I have decided to become a conscientious objector to the culture war.

The end.

Friday, July 15, 2005

"I am a Christian"

Someone posted this poignant poem on a message board I frequent. It really touched me, so I wanted to share it with all of you.

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.

Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Zoom. You can't catch me now!

Lookie me!

No more dial-up servicee. No more 2 hour downloads. No more wasted time.
We were offered an amazing deal with our cell phone carrier for wireless DSL.
Here we are!

I heard people talk about fast connections and speedy downloads, but never experienced it myself.
Now I know what we have been missing all this time.

"Beep Beep" (said in my best roadrunner voice)

(For those that haven't been in contact in a while...check your mail.
After 7 years, we now have a new email.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The things kids say....

Things kids say

"This is boring me." Caleb, on the way to the store

"Momma, your skin feels like Belle." Jacob, comparing my skin to the cat (not sure if he is saying I am soft, or hairy)

"That is Princess Grace to you." Grace, to one of her sisters

"I need to dance, daddy." Paige, in all her drama

"Will I need a change of clothes for that?" Sarah, to Emily when told "You don't want to go there with me right now".

"Mom! Like. Well. Like. Mom!" Emily, at 12-1/2.. enough said

Deep thoughts from a mom

The terrorist attack this morning drew me back to the morning of 9/11.
I was pregnant with the boys and confined to bed. The TV was my companion and the constant news haunted me. I would turn it off, only to turn it back on 5 minutes later, hoping against hope that it was a bad dream.
My heart goes out to those in London.

I got to thinking though. How can we fight terrorism?
I have no answers, but I have a lot of questions.

1. Who are we fighting?
Extremists? Religion? Evil? Ourselves?

2. How do we fight this war?
Are we fighting the same war? Can we win with our current tactics? Should we fight in the same manner as the terrorists?

3. Can we win?
How will we know when the fight is over?
Do we have what it takes to win? Are we diligent enough? Patient enough? Or, are the terrorists more resolved in their ideology?

4. How can we work with our Allies when we can't work with one another (in the US)? How can we boost up another nation, when we can't boost up ourselves? How can we find agreement in the world, when our nation finds agreement on nothing?
We have the extreme R screaming at the extreme L, and vice versa. We have politicians playing semantics on the senate floor instead of doing their job. We have 24/7 news channels portraying every negative thing under the sun.

5. Can the Middle East handle our idea of democracy? Maybe. Maybe not.
We have been working on democracy for 200+ years and we still don't have everything settled.
Compared to what Iraq had before, the freedom they are experiencing right now can be the open line that region so desperately needs. Once they get stronger, a person will say, "Hey. That makes more sense than strapping this bomb on my body. Let me try their way."

6. What about our children? Our grandchildren?
What kind of world are they going to experience if things don't change? Do we want them living like the people on the Gaza Strip? Fearful to go shopping? Driving down roads nicknamed "Blood Alley?"
None of us want that for our babies. We have the chance to prevent it. We have to work together. We have to be more patient. We need to let our well trained military get the job done. Unless we are on the fields, shoulder to shoulder with them, we need to stay out of the way.

There was a commander in the former USSR that stated "they would get to the US through the people. They would turn the Americans against one another. We would crumble from the inside, out." The USSR is no longer here, but did their ideology stick around? Are we seeing it come into play?
It pains me to say it...but I think so.

I have faith. We can turn things around. Will we?
As a mother, I pray that we do.


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Stand strong. Stand tall.
Together..we can bring a better way of life for our children.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Lake pictures

I have to keep reminding myself that it is Wednesday. Monday holidays always throw me off.

I wanted to share a couple pictures from our weekend. The first is of the kids at the lake. It was a terrific day.
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This is a picture I took by one of the trails. I have pictures like this from Idaho as well.
I want to get a collection of these pictures together for framing. I think it will look great in the den.
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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

As I clean my scrapping space

Yes. I am one of "those" people. I adore scrapbooking. I love being creative with paper, pictures and words.

Today, I finally bit the bullet and pulled everything out of my scrap closet (and extra walk in closet in our bedroom). It isn't very big, but a desk, lighting, bins and shelving fit nicely.
The problem is me. I'm not real organized when it comes to my hobbies. Oh, I try. Within a couple weeks, I get distracted and chaos ensues. I close the door.

Anyway, everything is cleaned up now. It isn't perfect, but it is workable. That is enough for me. While staring at a pile of baby pictures from the kids...I started to jot down some ideas.
Because I treat this blog as a personal journal of sorts (I print the pages each month and save in a binder)...I wanted to share the ideas here.

Sweet Things About Babies and Children
Baby's first tooth
Toddler vocabulary
Decorating a nursery
Encouraging children to run with their creativity
Babies fresh from a warm bath
raspberry kisses
Being cute as a bug
Kids playing with kitchen items
Blue-jeaned kids
A 3 year old's imagination
Watching a toddler eat jello
Teaching a baby to play pat-a-cake
Finding the "perfect" name for your baby
Listening to the coo of a newborn
Singing children
Running your fingers through fine baby hair
Kissing little feet
Baby powder on a baby bum
Sleeping babies
Little kids having a tea party
Cuddles and hugs
Crocheting a baby blanket
Snuggling your nursing baby
Watching a child chase his shadow
First smiles
That first birthday cake
Drawings on the fridge door
First trip to the zoo
The pockets of little boys

The best laid plans....

We drove to Chain of Lakes for our afternoon/evening of fun but were turned away. Seems everyone else had the same idea. The park was at capacity and for safety reasons, the rangers were turning people away. Just as well. I don't like massive crowds.

We went to a local park, had our lunch, and watched the kids play before heading home.

In the evening, we headed over to Leo-Cedarsville for their firework display. It is a quaint little town, right next to Grabill - which is an Amish town. The display was held in an empty field, right along the St Mary's river. There were Amish tents set up for funnel cake, kettle corn and ice cream. Yummy!

We put our blankets down and waited for the show. While waiting, the kids ran after lightening bugs. There were a good amount of people there, but it didn't feel too crowded, you know?

At 9:20, the show began. So did the screams and tears. The boys and Grace freaked out. Badly. They dove under the blanket sobbing. Jeff and I tried to comfort them, but it didn't work. It just got worse with each boom and crackle. We had to leave.

We hiked back to the van and discovered that we couldn't leave until the show was over. It was pitch black and there were people everywhere. So, we sat in the van and watched from a distance. The kids calmed down. Emily and Sarah sat on the hood of the van so they could see better.

You know...you'd think with a last name like ours...the kids would be more easy going in this regard? HAHA.

Oh, and you haven't lived until you have to take twin 3 year old boys into a porta potty in the dark. Fun times, let me tell ya.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Time for the US to party!

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Happy 4th of July!
There is so much that can be said about this important holiday, but my thoughts are not clear enough to put them into words. I thought I would post some links for those interested.

Our family will be heading up to Chain of Lakes State Park this afternoon for a celebration.
This is an awesome state park with something for everyone.

Yesterday at church we sang some patriotic music. It was very moving. At the end of God Bless America, the congregation yelled out, America Bless God.
Have a wonderful (and safe) day!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Taking the back roads

We had a wonderful day yesterday. We went for a long drive, complete with snack foods, loud music and camera. Unfortunately, I forgot new batteries, so the camera was of little use.

We hopped on one of the many state roads. We ended up in Shipshewana after about an hour. Such a gorgeous area! A postcard haven. You can read about Shipshewana here
(click)~~~~> Shipshewana.com - The Heart of Northern Indiana Amish Country

We also visited many of the shops, including a meat/cheese market, old fashioned toy shop and several yummy chocolate places.

In our area, we have a large Amish order, but it isn't as touristy as Shipshewana. I enjoy driving through the dirt roads, watching them plow the fields, tend to their massive gardens, care for their beautiful farm houses and enjoy family/friends.
There are a few small shops hidden here and there, and I have been blessed to meet several Amish and Mennonite women that enjoy conversation.
With their guidance, my small garden this year is thriving! You should seem our enormous tomato plants. Happy happy.

We are heading out to the lake for a picnic this afternoon. I made BLT's with fresh peppered bacon from Shipshe. This is the thick cut, all organic meat that puts the beauty in being a carnivore. ::Smirk::

Have a fun filled day! Blessings to all.