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 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 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.


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 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.