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Monday, December 31, 2007

Tops of 2007

As 2007 comes to a close, I have been reflecting on the year past, collecting the good times we had...

We had some neat trips...we went to Asheville, NC over Spring Break...discovered the Mellow Mushroom (if you've not had that...it's good pizza with a really funky cool atmosphere). In the summer we went to Disney and our little one got to meet Mickey and friends for the first time. Over Labor Day weekend, we traveled back home and I performed my first interfaith wedding of one of my former youth group members. It was both an honor and a privilege to be a part of her big day. It's hard for me to think of her as a woman now...wow has time passed. This fall I got to attend the Youth Specialties conference in Atlanta. That was a good trip too. I got to meet new people...meet some fellow bloggers and learn about the new and exciting things going on in youth ministry.

This past year was full of firsts for our little one...he had his first step...his first words....his first haircut...his first birthday. Our oldest lost his first tooth and started first grade.

It's been an exciting year...we've served over 5,000 people dinner at our Thursday night service...and each week new people join us.

I hope this next year is as exciting and fun. I look forward to seeing what God has for us.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

When Santa Came To Visit

Santa came to our house like he usually does on Christmas Eve. Our little one was not real thrilled to see him.

Even though he didn't like seeing Santa, our young one was excited Christmas Day to see the packages from Santa to him.

Maybe next year he'll like Saint Nick better.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone. We had a good day today...opening presents, eating breakfast casserole, visiting with family in person and on the phone, J cooked dinner tonight and it was very good...we played and sang and just chilled for a while. It was good to be in each other's presence.

One of my favorite presents this year was a wonderful joy and surprise...the boys adopted a Compassion International child for me. They decided I needed a little girl to take care of too. She is so very cute...only three years old.

What a great gift. Thanks guys!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Merry Christmas Eve! Our tree is finally up...our stockings are hung...and we're finally kinda ready.

We are here having fun, getting ready to start cooking and preparing for the evening church service, tracking Santa's trek over Europe. We're hoping Santa will stop by maybe before the evening service and definitely sometime during the night.

Trying once again this year to figure out how everything's going to get done by tomorrow. Oh well, it'll all work out...it always does!

May you and yours have a very, Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Silently Watching

Today I woke up with a voice similar to Mickey Mouse...not exactly what I had planned for today. Our choir was doing selections from Handel's Messiah plus one of my favorite Christmas hymns. I love singing this time of year because I can harmonize better since I already know the songs, their words and their tunes. Because I couldn't sing without coughing or the fear of sounding like some kind of cartoon character, I stood silently listening to the congregation and choir sing. It was WONDERFUL! I loved listening to the sounds of the voices joined together.

I imagined in my mind what it would've been like to be a shepherd hearing the angels sing of the arrival of Jesus.

Although I was disappointed I couldn't join in song, it was nice to have the music wash over me.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Could It Be?

Could it be? Could Rick Rodriguez really be thinking about leaving WVU for Michigan?! How interesting and almost strange. First Beilien now Rodriguez? That might be good.

I hope whoever goes to U of M will do better against the Buckeyes than in recent years.

I guess he wouldn't have to change the color of his duds too much. Although I am a little scared about the yellow uniforms...I really don't want to see the Big Blue running up and down the field in Maize. I like the color, but not that much.

We'll have to wait to see.

Liked the Movie, Didn't Want to Live It

Today was the first day I've gotten to take away from work. After I dropped off the little one I decided to go uptown in the continuing search to find pretty much the only thing our oldest has asked Santa for...a Wii. I don't know if you have been following the hype, but they're pretty much the most sought for commodity this season. They're being sold on Ebay for in the upward of $500 - $900 depending on what you get with it.

So today started my personal hunt. I went to our downtown store...found only 5 people in front of me and the clerk said the truck would soon be arriving. We waited. I hoped. We found out there are only 3 consoles per box. OK, I thought, we need 2 boxes. The guy only delivered one. ARGH!!!

OK...I don't take defeat that easily...I began to call other stores...found one that had just one left....I was on my way...going fast enough I thought but not too fast. I get there...sold 6 minutes before ARGGHHHH!!!!

So, the hunt continues. I couldn't help but think of Arnold Swarchenegger and Sinbad in Jingle All the Way. I always kinda liked the movie...thought it a little far fetched...but now I understand. No underground workshops for me, though. If we can't find it I think Santa's going to have to write a letter of apology to our oldest...and we'll look at that for a birthday gift.

Continuing now to do prep work for Christmas...have lots of energy and I need to expend it somewhere.

ONE BOX???!!!!!!! SIX MINUTES????!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What Did She Think?

Today one of the movies my oldest and I watched was The Nativity Story. I had wanted to see it when it came out but with our youngest being so small, we didn't see many movies last year. We watched parts of it in youth last Sunday and I really wanted to see the whole movie. It was really good! Very well done.

J asked me questions throughout and that was pretty cool...teaching him the deeper story of Jesus' birth not just that he was born in a manger and people came. We talked about Herod and how mean he was...we talked about the scholars...the wise men who traveled a long way to see Jesus. We talked about the long distance of 100 miles, a two hour trip by car, but how Mary and Joseph did it by foot/donkey...wow.

Having 2 boys of my own, I just wonder what was going through Mary's mind during all of this. It seems as though each year around this time I have these same wonderings. She took a big risk saying yes...she could've been stoned to death. There was the long trip that would have been very difficult at 8-9 months along. The birth in the stable would've been not under the best circumstances especially without a midwife type of person.

I wonder what she thought when Simeon told her her heart would be pierced. Did she look at him as he grew and see unlimited possibilities...the kind I see when I look at my boys? Did she know the heartache that was in store for her son...for herself? It's this time of the year I wonder what she pondered in her heart.

How did she feel? What did she think?

Snow Day!!

Our oldest had a snow day today. It was nice to be able to work at home on my sermon for Sunday...and spend time with the guys. I kept the little one at home today too since the roads were slick and the road to his school is not real fun when it's slick.

A lot of times when we've had snow days I don't get a lot done but today was a wonderful surprise. Sermon first draft is done...which is pretty early for me, but I have a big meeting on Saturday (Conference committee on nominations of which I am chair meets for the first time to begin our work ugh!) so it's good to be pretty well done. Just a few more things to do to prepare for worship this week and I'll be set.

We didn't make any snow angels or snowmen or really venture that much out of the house but it was a good day. Sleeping in a little...playing off and on...and watching some pretty good movies...it's been a good day.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Afraid of Emergence?

I was reading Marko's post about a youth worker whose church seems to be leery of the Emergent church. It reminded me of a post I was going to write last week after watching the NBC news I think it was on Friday.

The story was supposed to be how the emergent congregations were getting to be less conservative...I think...but it took an interesting twist at least in my mind. There was this 20-something preacher who had come out of Jerry Falwell's church and created this emerging congregation in South Carolina.

All of this I thought was cool. But then there was this comment made about how the mega churches are very concerned about the emergent congregations. The megas are seeing their congregations beginning to age and I guess they don't like that the emergent churches are reaching out to gen-xers, milleniums and others. So, what will those mega churches be when these aging persons get too old to come out? Well, the comment made by the new reporter was that they were somehow trying to discourage people from being involved in emergent churches because they wanted them for themselves.

Can't we all work together to share God's love and grace with others? Why is it that some are so competitive for members? I don't get it.

Favorite All Time Christmas Specials

I am so glad that the Family Channel has the 25 days of Christmas...tonight we watched Rudolph's Shiny New Year and we are planning to watch the Year Without a Santa Claus...one of my all time favorites. At the same time we're taping the Charlie Brown Christmas...another good one.

I love sharing these stories with the guys...it helps me to feel young again and makes me happy to see the kids watching them, dancing to the music and liking the shows.

So, what are your favorite holiday shows?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Tin Man...Not Sure What to Think

I watched the first segment of the Sci-Fi miniseries Tin Man...a different take on Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz. I'm not sure exactly what I think about it so far. Parts of it are interesting and make sense...other parts are a little bizarre and confusing.

Perhaps when it gets further in it'll all make sense. It's interesting...in the original movie I love the scarecrow...in this take on the story I like Glitch...the man/person/being who has "lost his marbles".

In this tale we've added an evil sister...robotic parents who raised the Dorothy character instead of her own mother.

Part two is tomorrow...we'll see what happens then.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So Here I Go

OK...couldn't come up with any excuses for why I can't go, so I'm off to get my teeth cleaned tomorrow at 11. I'm hoping I don't have to have an x-ray...and therefore we won't find any cavities if one exists. I guess even if they do...I can always go back later...yeah, way later...maybe next year later.

Prayers would be appreciated about 11 tomorrow morning.

Thanks!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ugh, It's That Time Again!

I just realized again that I have to go to the dentist for a cleaning Wednesday. YUCK! Have I mentioned lately how much I HATE dentists?! And, I've been grinding my teeth lately so I'll have the wonderful TMJ garbage too. UGH! I hate this stuff. Hopefully, I don't have to have an x-ray I'm afraid of a cavity...not that I've been hurting (other than my TMJ grinding junk) but just afraid. Well, I guess it's better sooner than later.

Did I mention that I often change my appointments at least twice before I actually go? Yeah, I have a feeling that the dentist office takes wagers on whether I'll show or not. I'm out of excuses...I guess I'll go.

Unless....there's some other reason I can't. Hmmm.....any suggestions?

(Side Note: Actually, my dentist and her hygienists are really pretty good and do not resemble the drawing....but in my mind, that's how I see most dentists.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My Baby's Growing Up

My youngest had his first haircut today. He was such a brave little one...no tears at all...except when Jim held his head so our stylist could cut his hair in the back. Below are some pics from this semi-sacred and milestone-ish day.

He's getting to be such a big boy....he's growing up. GULP

Below is a video from today too.



Friday, November 23, 2007

More Pics from Atlanta

Gavin took this picture of Eli, Marko and myself. Then there's a picture of my friend that showed me around the town.

Twenty Years Later

This evening members of my high school class are gathering at a local (back home) club to share stories of the "Good Ol' Days". We're not going. Why, you ask...or perhaps you really don't care. I'm going to tell you anyway.

1. Thanksgiving is a busy time in our church and household...because of our Thursday night service, Common Grounds, which ministers to over one hundred people each week who are homeless, trying to restart their lives or disenfranchised. When we started this service almost 4 years ago, we thought we'd be reaching students at Marshall University through contemporary music, food offered by donation and a different style of preaching. But God had different ideas...people came and they brought friends. But I digress. We had our 2nd annual Thanksgiving dinner at which we served 137 people. So, that is one reason we didn't travel back home because we wanted to be able to chill without traveling.

2. My senior class was made up of some very non-nice people. These were the folks that made your life miserable if you were smart, went to church, didn't drink, or were different in any way shape or form from them. These were the folks who agreed to be in charge of the reunions from our graduation on. These were the folks who had our 5 year in a woods where they used to party and expected everyone to chip in for the keg. I didn't go to that one either. So, why would I want to spend money to have an indigestion causing dinner with people that I didn't like then and don't really want to spend time with now.

3. For our 10 year reunion, Jim and I had just gotten married...I was skinny, tan....it was good. We had just gotten back from our honeymoon and went. I thought maybe they'd be different (I'd heard that from my cousin) but it was the same ol' same ol'. First of all, my invitation came to Carol Snyder Methesco (the seminary I was attending at the time) McKay. I didn't realize I had married some fictional character named Methesco. Hmm....where was my free tuition. When we got there I thought things were going to be different, but uh no. People were given awards for having the most children. This one chick who used to be a good friend of mine in 6th grade...who didn't graduate with us but left the end of our sophomore year...was "voted" best dressed and most successful. Not rally sure what she did...but there you go. I visited with three good friends while the b-squad still sat in the corner and talked about people. I thought they'd be different but they weren't.

4. This year they "couldn't find me" to send me the invitation. My parents go to one of my classmates who is an optometrist. He asked if I was coming for it. My mom told him I hadn't heard anything about it...this was about 3 weeks ago if that. He said they didn't know how to find me. I don't buy that story. First of all, my parents live in the same house that I had lived in all my life til I left after college. Second, there's the internet...on which you can find so many people just by Googling them. But, somehow mysteriously I got an invitation in the mail. My thought is they invited people only after they found out they didn't have enough money for the club.

5. My real friends won't be there. There is a group of us who really don't want to be around the negative influence of our high school peers. We've talked about having a anti-reunion reunion. One where we can sit and chat and catch up.

It's sad to me that people don't change. I feel as though when I went to college I grew up. I'd love to get together with those folks...we shared lives for four years...we became a part of each other's lives and will remember one another forever. Those I went to seminary with are like family...we experienced so much together...we can get together at alum days and it's like we never left. But these folks...some of which I have known for 34+ years are some of the most distant people I know.

Twenty years...where have they gone? I can't believe it's been that long. But all the same, I'll pass on seeing these folks this year cuz quite frankly, I don't want to go back in time.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope all of you have a Wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving. May we all remember with love and gratefulness the blessings that we have received. I share this picture that I got from Jim's mom...I love the Wizard of Oz and thought I'd share this laugh...

Happy Thanksgiving!! Enjoy some turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes and definitely pumpkin pie. Watch the Macy's parade...see Santa arrive...watch some football...take a nap...enjoy the day!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Guest?

This morning as I was rinsing off the highchair's tray in our kitchen sink, something in our backyard caught my eye. I looked out and saw this HUGE bird. At first I thought...now don't laugh..."God has sent us a turkey...but how will we kill it?" But then it turned around and looked right at me.

It was a hawk. And it was eating something in our yard. I looked and everything was gone from what I could tell. An unusual Thanksgiving visitor.

Our neighbor's daughter said she thought it may be a baby hawk. She went to grab her camera but by the time she got back it was gone. She said that it's very rare to see a hawk that close (she used to be a park ranger). These are some of the pictures we got.

The Luggage Finally Arrived

Because of my exhaustion from traveling, I didn't blog Monday and yesterday was hectic trying to get stuff together/caught up that I didn't write then either.

It's amazing how things change just a little sometimes. The one thing I was a little wiggy about over this trip was losing my luggage...something that's kinda happened to me before. Before our youngest was born...actually I was 6 months pregnant with him...we went to San Diego. It was Memorial Day weekend and we were on our way back. We were to fly into Chicago because I didn't want to go through DC. Well, it was storming in the Windy City so we sat on the runway waiting to take off. In doing so, we missed our flight back to Huntington. The night before air traffic was jammed too because of similar conditions. So, we were stuck...we were in Chicago...no luggage and stuck for 2 days. Being 6 months pregnant I found no humor in this at all. We were lucky, though, and got hotel rooms (we were traveling with my husband's boss) at a place that was a mile from a huge mall complete with a Motherhood store. So, we were ok.

Anyhoo ever since that happened I've been paranoid that I'm going to lose my luggage. My flight out of Atlanta was delayed just a little. It was in the beginning of the holiday rush. There was fog early in the morning. Some flights were delayed and so the gate where my flight was to take off from was packed. There was talk from the Delta folks that we were close to our weight limit and they needed to know who had kids (not something you really want to hear). We sat on the mat waiting to take off as our fuel level was reduced.

My hour layover in Cincinnati turned into about 20 minutes. Needless to say my luggage didn't make the trek across the airport. We got into Huntington and no luggage.

Normally this would freak me out...and I was upset cuz some of the souvenirs I bought were in that suitcase. But at least I was home. Yesterday my luggage finally showed up. All's really good.

The last day of the National Youth Workers Conference we were encouraged to write the title of the next chapter of our life. The theme of the conference was Storyline...becoming a part of God's bigger story. Looking Forward, Not Looking Back is what I wrote for this next chapter.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Random Thoughts From NYWC - Day Five -There's No Place Like Home

I'm waiting at the airport now after a day of listening, worshiping and preparing to travel. My flight takes off at 6:30...I'm hoping nothing is delayed or anything. I wish I was home already instead of waiting but it won't be long.

It was a good day today...we saw The Skit Guys, Lost and Found and Marco lead the closing seminar. I met a gal from Phoenix and we had a lunch together. Check in here went quicker than I had anticipated and they said they were looking for a major rush later, so I'm glad I came early.

I had an early dinner and have been sitting blogging and waiting for my flight. It's almost time to take my Dramamine...

I wish I could click my heels and say, "There's No Place Like Home."

Lost and Found, Bob and the Kit Guys

Lost and Found - a musical comedic group (left)




Then we heard from Bob Stromberg....




Finally, we heard from The Skit Guys who taught the signers and all the rest of us some very interesting things...including the sign for passing gas. Thanks, guys!

Random Thoughts From NYWC - Day Four

I didn't blog from the conference yesterday because by the time I got back to the hotel, I was exhausted. Plus, I still had to pack to go home. So, let's see if I can remember what I did yesterday.

Worship was wonderful, especially with David Crowder...I just LOVE his music!! This picture's not the greatest cuz I was sitting toward the back and I took this off of the screen. But, he was WONDERFUL!

Oh, yesterday I forgot to mention this CRAZY and I mean CRAZY band called the Family Force 5. I think that many of our youth group kids would just love these guys. They were quite wild, including the lead singer donning a pair of silver gloves/hands on one of the songs.

Anyway, back to Sunday. So we had worship with David Crowder...then Doug Fields from Saddleback talked. The talk was good...it was about envy and Doug talked about the story of Joseph and his brothers. Following that I had lunch with a gal named Paige and her husband, they were from Radford, VA. And then attended some media classes in the afternoon. Some really great stuff was shared there on how to make powerpoint slides...I have a book and hope I can replicate what they did.

Following the tech workshops, I met up with Mary and we went to the Varsity. The largest drivein in America...the drive in was also seen on the movie We Are Marshall. Anyway, after that we went to this mall and looked around and then I made my way back to the conference.

Last night Marqus Loughlin did a dramatic reading about Abraham and Sarah...boy that was powerful. And then Lost and Found, Bob Stromberg and The Skit Guys performed. This was the first time I'd seen any of these.

I found The Skit Guys hilarious. I wanted to hear Bob because he's coming to our church in the spring for JesusQuest a youth rally (more on that later) and Lost and Found is a favorite of a good friend of mine.

After meeting up with Eli and his wife, Jenn I planned to go to the late night comedy time with
these last performers and boy, was it funny. I'll post pictures in the next post.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Random Thoughts From NYWC - Day Three

Today is day three for the NYWC in Atlanta. Today started off really well. I LOVED the talk by Phyllis Tickle...she talked about how the church is in the midst of a change...that every 500 years or so through history, the church has changed in a significant way. Her thought was that the emergent movement is the change that has begun.

I got to catch the Michigan game with some new friends....unfortunately the game didn't turn out so great. Next year, my friends, next year.

I went over to the CNN Center to check out some stuff and picked up a little something for my youngest. Then went over to the conference site to look around again.

Caught up with a few people then went to the evening session in which Louie Giglio talked. He was WONDERFUL...he told us that our anchor in life and in faith should be the cross...I liked that analogy.

Chris Tomlin was our worship leader and Family Force 5 played also.

I'm going to hit the hay cuz early morning tomorrow. Night all!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Random Thoughts From NYWC - Day Two

Today was a day filled with connecting with new friends and seeing a couple of old friends.

Gavin - I finally got to meet Gavin and chat with him over lunch. It was cool to put a face with the blogger name. I did notice his uncanny resemblance in both appearance and sound of his voice to Jack Black. I also met another of Gavin's friends, but right now I can't remember his name. Sorry...I'm really bad with names.

I also met Mark Oestreicher for just a bit. And I really liked his talk today. He told us to waste time with God...I like that term...just hanging out with God. How cool!

There was a lady from Missouri who had a little girl that was so very cute...made me miss my little guy. There were two Taylor students from Ft. Wayne who actually knew where I grew up...that was cool. A dude working one of the booths at the expo who is a Michigan fan...GO BLUE...who told me that we can catch the game at the expo on one of the TVs even though the guy who runs the booth is an OSU fan.

Oh, I forgot to mention seeing my good friend Todd which I went to seminary with. It was good to see him and his family. He's working for Youth Specialties so I hope to see him tomorrow so we can chat a little more.

And I saw the professor I had for youth ministry.

Mark Yaconelli talked about the Dark Night of the Soul as being the time when God works on us in secret to deepen our relationship with God. He also said that it is during this time...the time when we feel as though everything's out of wack and nothing really makes sense...that God is expanding our understanding of God. The boxes that we have placed God into are no longer sufficient.

Following this, I went to dinner and was shown around Decatur by Mary. Now I'm tired and have an early morning tomorrow. And looking at the clock, I think I'll go to sleep.

Night all.

Random Thoughts From NYWC - Day One

I had intended to post yesterday but by the time I tried to log on, our internet here it was down. So now I have two days of conference to catch up on.

Yesterday wasn't really a conference day as I arrived in Atlanta and was trying to get acclimated to the area and see what all was going on. I got into Atlanta at around 3:15 and had to navigate through this airport which I'd never been to before. I finally found my luggage and waited for Mary. We met up and took MARTA to the hotel. I got checked into the hotel...my room is on the 26th floor. Mary and I went over to the YS conference site and I got checked in (after walking a few miles).

Later we went to The Underground and had dinner at a pub there. On our way back, a very helpful individual tried to evangelize to us on the way by the Phillips Center where Bow Wow was playing. Mary told him we were both pastors (which I suspect made him even more sure we were condemned forever) and assured him that God loves him.

From all the walking, traveling, and evangelizing, I was exhausted. So back by 8 to prepare for Friday.

The pictures are views from my room.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Almost Ready

Well, my bags are almost packed and I'm getting ready to go. I'm heading out to the Youth Specialties Conference in Atlanta tomorrow. I'm looking forward to learning some new things and discovering new techniques. There are new connections to make and old friends to see.

I'm looking forward to meeting up with my friend, Mary who's been in seminary for the last 2 and a half years. We're going to check some things out too.

I'm still trying to figure out where to watch the big game on Saturday. I'm hoping Michigan will pull out a win...we'll see what happens.

But I will miss my boys. :::::Tear:::::

I'll be blogging from Atlanta tomorrow if time allows. See you soon!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Why Is It?

Today since school was out, I spent most of the day with my oldest. I told him that we could have some mommy and J time. He's been wanting to see The Bee Movie so we made plans to go see it today. I misread the site and thought the movie started at 12:30 instead of 12:50. Thinking we were running a little late, I hurried my 6 year old so we could get a good seat in case everyone had the same idea we had.

We patiently waited in line for our lunch/snacks...which sometimes is a challenge at our theater...then we made it to our seats.

Now, remember, we're like 40 minutes early thanks to my misreading...so we're the only ones in the theater. We had our choice of seats and wound up 2/3 of the way to the top in the middle.

Now comes my quandary...why is it that even when there aren't that many people in the theater, people insist on sitting almost on top of you? And why do the ones that like to kick the backs of seats or tap their feet incessantly have to sit right behind me?!

There are plenty of seats in the theater...the whole back row was EMPTY...but a grandfather and his 6 grandchildren had to sit butted right up next to us. Then on the other side, there are plenty of seats but the guy insists on sitting right next to me? Why is it that people don't say something when their children are kicking your seat repeatedly? Maybe it's because they're busy almost yelling at each other to be heard cuz they just have to say a few things right now in the midst of everything?

I don't get it. The theater did fill up after the movie actually started, but at the time we were being invaded there were plenty, PLENTY of seats.

Friday, November 09, 2007

It's a Good Day

Today was a pretty good day. I relaxed at home during the day, had a nice dinner with my guys, and after dinner got to watch The Wizard of Oz with the guys. Our youngest didn't seem to have an appreciation for the world's greatest movie yet...but that will come with time. Our oldest kept asking questions about the plot and characters...

"Mom, what happened to that lady that took Toto at the beginning?"

"When did the Wicked Witch of the West turn green?"

"Why didn't everyone fall asleep in the poppies?"

These are the ones I remember. Having a good dinner, chillin' and watching Wizard of Oz...now that's a great way to spend my birthday.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The War Has Begun

Today I finally really got back to it. I'd been planning to go for quite some time but resolved to go today. I started back into my Y routine. I went to my water aerobics class and was surprised how good I feel now. I've been trying to watch a little bit more of what I eat and now I've made that leap again to be more active.

The class was basically the same with many familiar faces. I'm excited to be back to it.

I also found this neat site called How to Lose Weight with a Website and Spreadsheet. I had debated counting calories or looking at weight watchers but this site intrigued me. I also liked the site Calorie King which helps you find out how many calories you are eating a day.

I'll keep you informed as to how this is going. I don't want to have to wind up on Biggest Loser some day.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

My New Addiction

I'd like to share my new addiction. My friend Mary introduced it to me last night and I have played it quite a bit since then. The exciting thing is that while I play (and I warn you it is addicting) someone is getting fed. It's a site called freerice.com and can be found at that link.

This site is done by the United Nations who will donate 10 grains of rice for every answer you get right. All of this in an attempt to stop world hunger.

The site is a word game...it'll give you various words and a list of potential meanings. I realize that 10 grains is not a lot...but since it's so addicting, you can find yourself playing for quite a while. I found myself saying if I can just get to 2200...then I'll quit.

What could be better? Playing a game, learning new words, AND most of all, helping to feed people. So cool.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Jerry and Tori

I have been suffering from an ear worm lately. No, it's no the latest superbug...you know it's one of those songs that gets into your head and just won't go away. I had always liked the chorus but hadn't really listened to the words of the verses until just recently.

Our oldest got a Kid's Bop CD and this song was on it. I listened and listened and then looked at the words more closely.

Listening to the words brought up some memories that I hadn't really thought about in a long time. I was reminded of a few people from my past...Jerry and Tori. I had known Jerry from the time I was in kindergarten. We went through school together...sometimes in the same class others not so much. In high school we were in the same science class...I'll never forget the day that Jerry decided to stick his pencil in a plug of the desk just to see what would happen. When flames came shooting out Jerry was sent to the Principal's office. When he returned back to class, I was granted a new lab partner...and our friendship grew. We worked together in our after school jobs and just hung.

I was in college when I got the call...my friend Della called to let me know that there had been a tragedy. Jerry was dead. He had gotten stoned and had a fight with his girlfriend. She threatened to not let him see their daughter any more...and he couldn't handle it. Between the desperation he felt and the drugs surging through his body he decided to take his own life. I never really got to say goodbye to Jerry...his funeral was during finals week and I couldn't get away. Every once in a while I miss that old friend.

Then there was Tori...a girl who had been one of my students when I taught. She was also a drug tragedy...one day she came into my class asking about drugs and drug abuse and the next day she had died in a car accident. She had been inhaling an aerosol can's fumes while driving and hit another car head on. I still have a picture in my teaching stuff of her with her class.

Jerry's been gone for 17 years now...Tori's been gone for 14. But their memories remain.

With these two in my mind, I read the story about this song. According to The Fray's lead singer and songwriter, Isaac Slade, this song was influenced by his experience while working as a mentor at a camp for troubled teens. There was a boy who was 17 at the camp who was dealing with a lot of issues and no one could figure out what to do to help him. One thing that the young man needed was support from those who cared about him.

The lyrics can be found here.

And here is the video.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Go Cleveland!!!

It may be time to break out the ol' Indians flag.

My friend from college, Jim Vanderpool is most likely beside himself.

GO CLEVELAND!!!

Why Is She Like That?

As I've written before, I've been watching The Biggest Loser. I definitely have my favorite trainers. In prior seasons I was really fond of Bob...he's so supportive and kind in the way he helps his team lose weight.

Jillian was not one of my favorites because I always thought she was mean. But, when I saw a lot of my water aerobics instructor in Jillian, I gained a lot of respect for Jillian...I saw in her "meanness" a caring...when I found out one season that she had struggled with her own weight, I became even more fond of her.

Last season, Jillian was gone...and replaced by Kim. I don't know if it's her Barbie doll appearance or what, I just don't think she's that great of a trainer. I was watching the show and thought...what is her deal?! Then last night Kim tried to influence the vote of her team by encouraging them to vote their only woman off. I don't understand what's up with Kim...I don't really get her workout techniques...nor do I think she is that greatly supportive of her team.

If push came to shove, I'd love to have a trainer again like Jillian...when I was working out with Mary's direction (my aerobics instructor) I lost more weight and inches than I did when I was walking 3 miles and riding the bike 5 miles three times a week. Mary coached you in ways that were tough yet caring...yeah, that's what I'd like. Maybe the trainers should be voted off....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Girls of the 70s and 80s Remember

I got an email today from one of my longest and dearest friends...it was a forwarded email which I usually just glance through and that's about it...but the first picture caught my eye and I had to read more. I called my oldest over to share with him some of these pictures and memories.

I may have forwarded this to some of you, but others of you can enjoy this too.

If you were a girl who grew up in the 70s and 80s, if you just grew up in the 70s or 80s or if you had children who did...these pictures will bring back some memories....enjoy!

If you were a girl in the 70s or 80s you had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that actually worked. I didn't have that but knew some who did.

You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it. Mine was blue with a white daisy basket.

You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels...the wheels on mine were red.

You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!) OK yeah, maybe.

You had nightmares after watching Fantasy Island. Nope, but I did want to visit it.

You had either a "bowl cut" or "pixie" not to mention the "Dorothy Hamill." People sometimes thought you were a boy. Mine was a pixie.

You had rubber boots for rainy days and moon boots for snowy days. Yeah! You owned a "Slip-N-Slide", on which you injured yourself on a sprinkler head more than once. Nope Mom thought they were too dangerous.

You owned "Klick-Klacks" and smacked yourself in the face more than once! Nope

Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession. I didn't have a Holly Hobbie sleeping back but my parents still have my Hollie Hobby sheets that they break out for the twin spare bed when we're in town.

You wore a poncho, gauchos and knickers. I'm ashamed to say yes, yes and yes.

You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon. Uh, yeah.

You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple satiny shredded outfits, or the Sunshine Family. Was Marie anyone else's villian as they played Barbies? Mine lost an arm so she was the evil lady. I didn't have the Sunshine Family, but knew people who did.

You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze. The swing set tipped over at least once. Mine didn't have a trapeze, it had a glider and a slide...my dad dug deep, deep holes for the legs to go into which made the swing set go up and down as you swung higher and higher but it kept it from tipping.

You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color. Yeah, with the little dangly bead ribbons.

You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with the hard sole & the buckle). Nope. You also had a pair of salt-water sandals.

You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture. Go Half-Pint!

...and you despised Nellie Oleson!

You wanted your first kiss to be at the roller rink! All skate!

Pong! ("video tennis") was the most remarkable furturistic game you've ever heard of!

Your hairstyle was described as having "wings" or "feathers" and you kept it pretty with the comb you kept in your back pocket. Mine was a pink tie dye color.

When you walked, the "wings" flapped up and down, it looked like you were gonna "take off".

You know who Strawberry Shortcake is , as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie.

You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic. With the thermos inside some were glass inside and broke the first time you dropped them. I had a Holly Hobbie lunch box...it was metal....but it had no thermos.

You are your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard was your boyfriend. I was partial to Bo.

YOU had Star Wars action figures, too! No...but I did dress like Princess Leia.

It was a big event in your household each year when the "Wizard of Oz" would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags! It was a big deal...we wouldn't do the sleeping bag thing. I still love that movie...has to be one of the best!

You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: "Who will I marry. Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or David Cassidy?" Oh yeah...Shaun...Da Do Run Run."

You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame soundtrack record album. Only had Grease...on 8 track.

You tried to do lots of arts and crafts like yarn and popsicle-stick God's eyes, decoupage, or those wierd potholders made on a plastic loom. Yes, yes, and yes. My parents still have some of the potholders I made.

You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts!

You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker.

You had subscriptions to Dynamite and Tiger Beat. Nope, no subscription...but my dad would buy me a Tiger Beat or comparable each week when he went to the news stand.

You learned everything you needed to know about girl issues from Judy Blume books. Are you there God, It's Me, Margaret. Loved Judy Blume.

You thought Olivia Newton John's song "Physical" was about aerobics. (??It's not??)

You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes, or shoelaces with heart or rainbow designs. Yeah buddy.

You wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer. Not so much, but I do remember my mom said they were half naked shaking their butts.

You drowned yourself in Love's Baby Soft - which was the first "real" perfume you ever owned. Didn't everybody?

You glopped your lips in Strawberry roll-on lip-gloss till it almost dripped off. I can still taste that nasty strawberry flavor.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

You Say It's Your Birthday?!

Happy birthday to the most wonderful, handsome, loving man who is my best friend. I hope your day is wonderful and filled with fun and surprises. We love you!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So, What'd You Have?

Tonight I'm posing a question to a reader and a friend (you know who you are)...what did you have to eat tonight between the hours of 8-10 PM? I opted for the graham crackers. I was very sad to see Jerry go home.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's Time for Some Recognition

It seems, at least in the last several years, that the OAC (Ohio Athletic Conference) needs a little bit of recognition when it comes to Division III football. Out of ten conference teams, four of them are in the national division III top 25...with number one Mount Union, in our conference.

For some of these other schools it's easier to be ranked higher when you don't have to play a Mt. Union or a Capital, etc.

Northern won again today against the Blue Streaks of John Carroll 23 - 13. Way to go, guys!!

Let's hope Michigan fares as well against Penn State.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

For a Time as This

This week one of our youth talked about this song by a guy named Tay Zonday. At first I wasn't really sure what I was going to find. Then as I went online and found it I saw that it was compared to the likes of William Hung so I expected something really bad. But this song not only has a guy singing who can sing pretty well, he has an unusual voice and looks a little like Steve Urkel, but don't let his appearance fool you.

In recent weeks, we have heard sad stories of hate and racism in our midst. This song is pertinent for such a time as this.

I have put the video that someone made to it which is also pretty well done in spite of the little cartoon like picture of Tay on the bottom corner, but his video is found on youtube if you'd like to see it. Here is Chocolate Rain...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Now That's Football!

OK this week was more like it. My Polar Bears won their game against Muskingum 27 - 9 while the Wolverines finally had a victory over the Fighting Irish 38 - 0. I was a little nervous about the Bears because it was a little ify looking early on. I wasn't sure what was going to happen when Notre Dame came to Ann Arbor, but the game was good. It was good to see a little bit of the old Wolverines show back up. AND, Mallett looks really good. Sorry Chad Henne, but your job description may change.

Hopefully this losing streak, they hadn't lost 4 in a row since like '69, is over.

Yea Teams!!

A Night Away

Last night our oldest stayed over night at a friend's house for the very first time. This event was planned about a week ago and he was so excited that he came home from church and began to get his stuff out that he wanted to pack. Every day we had the countdown to slumber party until finally Friday came. I got him from school, we packed his bags and then took him over to his friend's house. He was so excited. I helped him carry his stuff up to the house and then he brushed me off as he ran off with his friend.

Our youngest didn't know what to do without his brother. I think he went back and forth thinking he was at school and would be home soon. It wasn't until bath time that it really became evident that big brother was gone. He kept looking at the door of the bathroom like, "Where is he? Why isn't he taking a bath with me?"

He seemed to forget until this morning when our oldest got home and a little while after I asked our youngest if he wanted to go see J....his eyes lit up and he was ready to welcome big brother back home.

J had an AWESOME time.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Getting Ready for Some Football

Well, it's Friday night and tomorrow is a big football game. What will the future hold for my favorite teams tomorrow? Go Bears! Go Blue! Go Herd! I'll be nervously watching/listening.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering

Our world stood still....we all sucked in our breath and waited to wake up from this nightmare. A friend came over to watch our boy and told us to turn on the TV. It looked like a scene from a bad movie as we tuned in to see the second plane hit. What was happening?! This was no longer an accident, a miscalculation...it was done with deliberation...it was done with hate.

I looked at my little baby...he was just about 8 months old...what kind of world would he know? What was happening around us? Would we ever really know? I hugged him tighter trying to protect him from the evil that was outside. Trying to shelter him somehow, some way from the "real world" where bad things happen for no reason to good people.

I called a good friend who was scheduled to leave that day for London. Where was she? Was she in the air? Was she safe? The lines are busy...please try again...Everyone was trying to call the ones they loved. Finally I heard from her...she was safe...she was in the states....she was at home....she wasn't leaving.

So many people lost their lives that day and the days to come. For what? I guess just so someone could make a point about how much they hated us.

Six years later and it seems like just yesterday that we all walked around a little stunned and kinda in a daze. We saw the people on the news...holding up pictures...searching for loved ones...searching for hope. We came together. We joined together in ways that only tragedy bring. We gathered in the church to offer prayers...prayers in different faiths. We were one if only for a while...if only to help each of us begin to heal.

Six years later and things are pretty much back to "normal." We go through our lives so eager to get quickly from here to there. We don't really pay attention, real attention, to those around us unless they're in our way, we want something, they are close to us.

As we pause to remember, let us pray for love. Love for each other...love that can conquer evil. Let us pray for continued healing. May the rain that fell today remind us of the tears we shed that day six years ago. And may we seek to reach out to one another...in the name of love.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

What?!

The day started out relatively well....Marshall showed up in force against WVU and did a pretty good job even though they didn't come out with the win.

Ohio Northern beating Millikin at the half with a score of 14 - 0 but then I lost my internet connection and couldn't listen to them on the Bear any more. Now that I'm back online I can't find out what happened as they still have the half-time score up. Update: Just heard the score on the Bear...the score was a big 42 - 0. Way to go Bears!!

But the big disappointment today hands down has to be Michigan WHAT ARE THEY DOING?! Last week was bad enough, but I chalked it up to the fact that they usually don't do that well in their first games. But today it's like they're on vacation. Come on guys, let's go. Hoping the second half will be better.

Friday, September 07, 2007

It's That Season Again!

I'm so excited...it's football season again! Although last week's game for the Wolverines looked more like a high school team playing a college team, I am hopeful that they will redeem themselves against the Ducks tomorrow. Hopefully more folks will show up tomorrow than just Mike Hart.

Ohio Northern begins its season at home against Millikin, Illinois. The cool thing about tomorrow's game (other than the fact the Polar Bears are playing, of course) is that 100% of the money from ticket sales will go to help the areas impacted by the recent flooding in northwest Ohio. It was quite disturbing to see Findlay look like a river ran down Main Street. So it'll be fun and a great way to raise money for a good cause.

Finally, the "big game", WVU at Marshall. Now I have to admit growing up in northwest Ohio I had never heard of Marshall until I came down here...and I really didn't get the whole fan thing until I started looking deeper into the history of the football program especially in the 70s. But now with the knowledge that I have gained I must say I'm a Marshall fan. 'Course two of the guys in this house I think will be rooting the other way. Hopefully my youngest will be on "my side" he's at least going to dress like it.

May the best teams win tomorrow (the ones I'm rooting for!)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Great Weekend

Sunday afternoon I was given a great opportunity. Several months ago (I can't remember how long ago it was) I was contacted by one of my former youth group "kids". She told me she was getting married and wanted me to come back to Ohio and participate in her service. I was humbled and touched by this request to have a significant part in this new chapter of her life. It had been a while since I had seen her (I think it may have been at my own wedding 10 years ago). She had gone to college, received a PhD at Berkley and now lives in California.

The wedding would be outside something that always makes me a little nervous with the weird weather we've been having. But Sunday the weather was gorgeous. Tina made a beautiful bride and the day was really neat.

It was good to connect with Tina, her sisters and her family again. The interesting thing was...years ago, when I was 2 or 3, I was the flower girl in her aunt's wedding. It's kinda a neat little circle of events there.

Congratulations Tina and Brian. Best wishes for your new life together.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Getting in Shape

I found this statistic on Dan Kimball's blog, Vintage Faith: In 2004, a survey of 2,500 ministers found that 76 percent of Christian clergy were overweight, compared with 61 percent of the general population.

Also it was recently released that West Virginia is 2nd in the nation for obesity at 29.8% just after Mississippi at 30.6%.

Both of these statistics are cause for action. The focus for our Annual Conference over this next quadrennium is stewardship. We're not only looking at financial stewardship but also environmental and physical stewardship. I'm hoping to do a better job of all of these myself...but wonder if it's because we so often try to care for others before ourselves that self-care is put aside.

As a society, we're a fast food nation wanting things really quick and eating on the run. I'm hoping to just slow down and take time to be more physically fit. It's hard to care for others when your not in good health yourself.

OK, so now my plan is to really start watching what I eat, to exercise more frequently and to try to live a healthier life.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Oh Man, Not the Jets!

I didn't think I'd ever say this, but it looks like I may be rooting for the Jets this year. While I was looking at the Northern website to get the email address of one of my former math professors who lives in Findlay I checked out the ONU athletics page.

From time to time we have had players from Northern who have made it to the pros. Stacey Hairston was the first one I knew...he was 2 years older than I was and when he graduated, he got an offer to play for the Browns. He played almost every week until he got hurt. Jamal Robertson is now playing for the Atlanta Falcons after playing for the 49ers and the Carolina Panthers.

This year, Jason Trusnik has signed as a free agent with the Jets. He'll be playing as a linebacker and will wear the number 48. Throughout his career as a Polar Bear, Jason racked up 43 sacks, and 85 tackles for a loss. He got to play in the Aztec Bowl last December leading Team USA to a victory...in that game alone he had 8 tackles, 2 sacks and was named one of the co-captains.

So, even though I'm not a big Jets fan (which could be a risky thing to say here in Herd country) I'm going to start watching those games. Congratulations, Jason. Have a great season!

Cleaning up the mud

In the news over the past week have been stories about the flooding in Ohio. The floods occurred about an hour from where I grew up. I was watching the news the other night when they showed Findlay and remembered how I frequently visited Findlay when I was in college at Ohio Northern. The street that I remember driving down to get to the mall looked like a river.

When I spoke to my parents they said they were OK but that Ottawa was really hit hard. I have several friends from college who lived in the Ottawa area.

Most of the time flooding problems wouldn't even really cross your mind living in northwest Ohio. But it can really be a mess with the terrain of that area of the state. It is EXTREMELY flat so there's no place for the water to go. As if the drought wasn't bad enough for those who farm the land in that area now they have received the antithesis...way to much rain.

Please keep these folks in your prayers as they clean out the mud and guck.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Lead is Out

We received a note from our boys' doctor in the mail today. Our little chewer/biter is free from lead and anemia (which I guess they checked too). YEA!

Ten Years Ago

Twelve years ago July 12th I met Jim online in a chat room. We talked for a while online then continued our conversation on the phone. From that day on we talked every day. Soon it came time to exchange pictures...what would he look like I wondered...I knew I liked him, but how shallow was I, really? Would he like how I looked? Which picture should I send?

When the mail came that day, I could hardly hold my breath. I opened the envelope and was so happy to see the picture inside. He didn't have two noggins...he looked great.

By the end of the month we had arranged a face to face meeting. He would drive from Charleston to Wapakoneta where I had lived at the time. Wapak is on I-75 so I was a little concerned about meeting him because I didn't want to be some casualty somewhere. When he got into town he called me from his hotel and I got ready to meet him. Everything went wonderfully...we met and it was wild...I felt like I had known him for years. For our first date we went to a local restaurant (along with a friend of mine) and had dinner. The next night we went to see the movie The Net.

The weekend went well and way too fast. We made some plans for when we'd see each other again.

On Groundhog's Day Eve 1 1/2 later, Jim proposed. The room was wonderfully decorated...with a yellow brick road, ruby slippers, a Cowardly Lion and a little box at the end. Need I say I LOVE the Wizard of Oz? In the box there was a glass plaque that was etched with this poem:

Carol, you are wonderful.
You are funny, beautiful, smart and kind.
The love we share, I thought I'd never find.
You fill my life with a special joy,
In a way I've not felt since I was a boy.
As I've grown, and become a man,
I realize just how lucky I really am.
Each day, my love for you grows stronger.
I hope we'll be together for eternity or longer.
I have been blessed by God To have you in my life.
Now I am asking you Carol, "Will you be my wife?"

I remember reading these words and wondering why all of a sudden Jim was down on the ground. Then I got to the last line. WOW. You just can't say no to that.

So, we set the date for August 23 at 1:30. The day before when we got into town we went into the church and our good friend, Jim who was pastor of my church, asked one of my best friends, "Do you want to tell her or do you want me to?" I'm thinking what in the world is going on?! Lisa was supposed to sing for the wedding so I thought maybe she wouldn't be able to...but it turned out our organist had to work the next day and wouldn't be able to play for the wedding. I was a little upset but not nearly as mad as I was when I found out he had known he had to work for 8 weeks before, had not asked off for it, and hadn't let me know. Jim (the pastor) called my former piano teacher who had previously been our organist and had asked her to come...she agreed. Whew! That hurdle was over.

The rest of the wedding weekend went really well and very fast. The music was WONDERFUL (Lisa this means you, too) and to think our organist/pianist only had less than 24 hours to get the music ready. The cake was cool (Duff-esk before Duff was doing cakes) it was shaped like a church.

That was the day I said yes to spending the rest of my life with my best friend. Now it's been 10 years. Where did that time go?! We have two beautiful boys and have had a bunch of adventures.

Happy Anniversary, My Honey, I love you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Getting the Lead Out

Yesterday I took our 1 year old to the doctor for his 12 month appointment. He's growing to be a healthy, happy toddler. While there he got two shots and then the doctor wrote up an order for a blood draw to check for lead. She said they were checking all of the children that came in just to be sure.

We went to the floor where the lab is and began to wait. The guy who checked us in asked if we had an insurance company we'd like to bill it to...I thought about saying, "How 'bout we bill it to Fisher Price since that's why we're having this done."

After the lady behind the counter at the lab check in asked if my "little girl" had ever been there before to have blood taken, we went and sat and waited for the inevitable.

I'd already had to hold him down for his shots, but nothing had really prepared me for this. When we had to take him to have his newborn screening redone I stood and cried as he cried. This time I had to hold his arm as they tied a tourniquet on his little arm...one woman held his arm while the other swabbed and got the butterfly syringe ready. I was trying to focus on calming him down when something caught my eye. I almost came unglued when the woman with the syringe proceeded to move the needle around until she found a vein. I don't like it when someone does that to me let alone when they do it to one of my little ones.

I appreciate the doctors being vigilant in their attempt to nip any lead problems in the bud. However, I think the phlebotomists could have been just a little nicer. The one lady just wasn't very nice.

It took me back to my childhood with the two Nancys that were nurses for our doctor. One was nice and when she gave you shots they didn't hurt. The other was really mean and when she gave you a shot it was like a bull in a China shop.

Thanks, Fisher Price, for outsourcing your labor.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to My Youngest!

Today was my little one's birthday. It's hard to believe how fast this past year went. It seems like just yesterday that I was holding him for the very first time. We had a GREAT party with friends and he had a great time. A BIG thanks to those who came over and spent time with us on this special day.

Our little birthday boy had his very own mini cake that he proceeded to mold, shape and devour.

Our oldest wore one of the shirts he wore when his little brother was born. He is so fond of his little brother even though he sometimes tries not to act like it. I think this picture taken a year ago speaks volumes. The smile on our then 5 year old's face says nothing but "I'm a proud big brother. Our boys have a special bond each are the other's favorite people.

It's hard to believe how fast the time has gone...Happy Birthday, little one!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

364 Days Ago

I remember like it was yesterday. I was HUGE, HOT, and ready to see this little one that we'd been waiting for for a long while. Family members were in town ready to see this new addition to our family.

The house was pretty much prepared, our bags were packed and we were anxious. Our friend Betsy came over to stay with our oldest and would be meeting us at the hospital the next morning.

We woke up before the sun the next day and made our way to the hospital in the dark. I remember I was a little concerned because my chart had not arrived at the hospital (my doctor had put it in her bag and accidentally taken it home with her). So, as they hooked me up to the monitors they kept saying well we're still waiting on your chart.

Finally the doctor came in, Jim got dressed and ready to go. We headed off to the OR. Jim had to wait outside while they got me prepped.

There were many awesome aspects to this day. I went into the OR about 8 am or so...and they have prayer each morning at 8 am. The "crew" that was in there with me paused and one of them said, "That's exactly how I like to start surgery...with prayer." The next thing I know we're picking out what music to listen to during the birth. We picked out someone's (I can't remember their name) mix CD. It included the song Girl, Your Really Got Me Now by Van Halen. And away we go. After a little bit of puking due to the anesthetic I heard, "Are you ready? Here he comes."

My littlest boy was born. He came out screaming, peeing and perfect!

Wow what a day. I can't believe it's been 364 days since that early Friday morning.

Happy almost birthday!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wet Pants - A Story of Grace

I received this story from a friend and want to share it as a story of grace seen through the eyes of children.

WET PANTS

Come with me to a third grade classroom..... There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks
his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, "Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat."

He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered. As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is
carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap.

The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!"

Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else - Susie.

She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. "You've done enough, you klutz!"

Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, "You did that on purpose, didn't you?" Susie whispers back, "I wet my pants once too."

May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good..

Friday, August 10, 2007

My Big Guy

Today my oldest had his first big field trip. He's in a summer program here in town and they took a trip to the Columbus Zoo about 3 hours away. We woke up in the wee hours of the morning (none of us are real morning people in this house) to get to "school" by 6 am. As we were on our way, he noted, "The sun isn't even up as early as we are."

There were a few houses that had lights on either outside or inside. "Isn't that nice, Mommy, they have their lights on to help us see our way."

We got to the school...he eventually boarded the bus and they were off.

When I took our youngest to "school" today, he kept looking at the empty car seat beside him like, "Uh...Mommy...I think we may have forgotten someone."

They were gone all day and got back around 10:30 tonight. We all got in the car to go pick him up. He told us stories of all the animals and all the adventures he had had. I think he had a really good time.

When we got home our little one heard his brother's voice and woke up. They shared some really great hugs. And when I put the little one in his bed, he kept staring at his brother to be sure he was still there.

It was a great and L - O - N - G day...and now I'm off to bed.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Next Best Thing

I have been watching Scott Baio is 45 and Single lately. This show is much better than My Fair Brady...at least Scott has acknowledged he has some issues to work out before he thinks about tying the knot and is trying to do something about it.

One theme that keeps running through the conversations that Scott has with his ex-girlfriends is that he was always looking for the next best thing.

That idea has struck me. How often do we look for the next best thing? Have there been times when we have missed out on truly enjoying something because we've been looking for what is coming next? Maybe instead of worrying about whether there's something better out there we should stop and appreciate the moment we are currently in.

Who'da thought Chachi could teach us a valuable lesson.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Wow...Has Time Passed

It's almost August and I can't believe where the time has gone. I was looking through old posts and saw one of my oldest when he was having trouble sleeping in his room by himself. He looked like such a little guy then...now he's getting more and more grown up. Our youngest will turn 1 this next month...WHAT?!

We'll also celebrate our 10 year anniversary this year. I found this picture of the flying monkey with the hour glass...I thought it was cute and very appropriate. Have I mentioned lately how much I love the Wizard of Oz? It seems just yesterday since Jim proposed on the yellow brick road by the Lion and the ruby slippers.

Boy, time has flown by...and it's been great, exciting adventure!