Friday, June 29, 2007

Farmers won't stop harvest!!!

You'd think that they would be kind and courteous. You'd think they could hold off for just a few days. I know their entire yearly earnings are sitting in those fields...but come on! (That's sarcasm if you aren't quite sure!! :-)) I have talked to a few farm families and they say that the harvest is incredibly good this year. YIPPEE!!

Ok...the asthma finally got the best of me. At 4:00 this morning I was sitting in my bed crying. I couldn't lay down or I couldn't breath...I couldn't sleep sitting, I had taken a nebulizer treatment which made me a shaky, on edge mess! Warren woke up and told me that I WAS calling the doc and going in TODAY!!! So, like a good wife, I obeyed! Why didn't I just do this on Monday?? I have 4 new meds to take, and I feel GREAT!!!'s my favorite part...two of them are "trial samples"!!!! Yes, that means FREE!!! THANK YOU GOD! Hopefully by the time we return to town the harvest will be done.

So...I will probably be offline for a few days trying to finish up getting things ready to go, then going...I'm not sure I'll be able to get online at my in-laws...they are on DIAL-UP!! Didn't know they still had that! :o) Just kidding Brad & Jenny....I'm sure we'll be too busy playing with the kiddos to sit on the puter all day. I'll miss all you blogger buddies...and it will take me a few weeks to catch up once I get back! Blessings to you all!


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday!!! I'm so much more thankful this week than I was last week.'s a list of some of the things I am thankful for this week!

1. My Nebulizer! Wheat harvest here is making my asthma act up more than it EVER has before...if not for my nebulizer, I think I would be at the hospital. Although the medication makes me a bit shaky, I can breath, and THAT is something to be thankful for!

2. My Hubby! He is such a wonderful husband, provider, protector, friend....I don't tell him how much I appreciate him nearly enough. He really is great! Thank you God for giving me such a wonderful man as my husband. Please help me to show him how much I love and appreciate him.

3. Vacation!! We leave this weekend to go visit my hubby's family in North Dakota...I don't think they start harvest for at least a few weeks, and maybe they will be done here when we return! Now that would be GREAT! We are so excited to see family again. We live so far away from them that we only get to visit once a year, so we can't wait to see how the cousins have grown...and the new baby cousin! we come!

4. My children! They are such joys. They play well together (don't get me wrong, they fight to beat the band some days, but they really do entertain each other often!). They are learning unconditional love, forgiveness, and faith in God. I'm so thankful for them! Their hugs, kisses, tickles, giggles, and smiles. I love them...thank you God!

5. Christian Radio...just love the Christian music and programming. It's nice to be able to turn on the radio and not worry about what my kiddos are going to hear.

6. VBS...and VBS volunteers! It's all coming together! Thank You, God, for moving people to help. Please help us to do your work and spread your love. Please send the children and parents who need to know about you, and help us to show them your love.

7. "Cheap"'s down to $2.89 which is down from a few weeks ago of $3.15...just in time for a road trip!

8. Cool nights and mornings that allow us to turn off the AC (save a little $$) and enjoy the fresh air.

Well, I could go on and on, but that dear hubby is outside in the nice cool morning air mowing the grass. I would like to have a yummy breakfast waiting for him when he comes in. Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

July 4th Giveaway

5 Minutes for Mom is having a bunch of really great giveaways!!! I'd love to win any of them! Ice cream maker and swimsuit...weekend away! fun would that be??

Works for Me Wednesday

HOWDY!!! Well, I have two things to share today for Works for me Wednesday.

First dough! My kiddos love to play with the stuff, but I was always worried that they would scratch my table with the cookie cutters. Plus, play dough leaves an icky residue on the table. Now, when my kids want to create, they just pull out a place mat (the plastic with foam type, cushioned!) and create away! This keeps my table clean and protected, plus they can hold up their creations for pictures.

My second WFMW tip is a trip (or any special occasion) countdown. I used to use paper chains, but that didn't always seem to work. If we forgot to take a link off, we were off a day, and I don't always have colored paper around to make the chain. So...we write our countdown on the bathroom mirror. We use a dry-erase marker, so we just use a tissue to wipe off the current day. Every evening when brushing their teeth, the kids take turns to wipe off the day. Of course then we have to count to make sure we know EXACTLY how many days till the special event. It's a fun way to keep track, plus no more questions about how many days until....I tell them to just go look at the mirror!

Well, that's what works for me! Head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for more great ideas!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Honor your Husband...Update!

Well, we are well into another week, and I think I'm doing ok on my goals. With the cyclists here last night, Warren was at church until almost midnight, and then left again around 6:00 am. He enjoys talking with people, and if anyone asks him any theological question, he loves to talk about it!! Then in the morning, he went to prepare breakfast for the young people. We didn't see much of him, but I was ok with it! I wasn't upset or cranky that he was gone. I understood. These young people are doing a lot right now, and just having time to talk with someone meant a lot to them. Oh, and how they loved his meals!!! (Go to Allison's blog and you can read all about'd think they never eat!) But I think I was supportive and loving. He also took part of today off to catch up on some sleep, and to spend time with the kiddos and I. He watched the kids so I could go to the adult lap swim at the pool...I was able to swim an entire mile!!! He usually goes, but he encouraged me to take a turn today, thanks honey!!!
I am praying for him, and trying to greet him at the door. I also have a ton of fruit for snacks. We spent time together this afternoon while the children were resting, and it was nice to be with him...I almost forget what it's like to be with just him! There are so many things that we give our attention to during normal day, it was nice to be with him. I REALLY LOVE YOU!!! (just in case Warren reads this! :o))
Well, that's an update for now. I took some pics of the kiddos playing ball. Andrew finished his last T-ball game today, and Abbigail has 2 more games. I'll try to post the pics tomorrow.
For now...I'm off to dreamland...ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz............Nighty night.

Illini 4000

Last night we had a fun experience. A group of about 15 college aged young people from the University of Illinois, rode into town. I say rode, because they are on bikes! They are called the Illini 4000, and they are riding across the country (approx. 4000 miles!) to raise money and awareness for cancer. They spent the night in our church basement and we were privileged to spend the evening with them. My kiddos love "playing" with new people, and one of the young ladies, Alex, was a lot of fun!
This was a very wonderful group of young people. They all seem so mature, with good heads on their shoulders. While most people their age are working during the summer months, trying to earn the almighty buck...they are giving of themselves, their time, energy (riding a bike across America...TONS OF ENERGY!!!) and their hearts. They are taking time at each stop to work on what they are calling their "Portrait Project." They are trying to talk to people who have been affected by cancer, either personally or a close friend. They all went to the hospital to spend time talking with a member of our congregation named Emily. Emily has battled cancer numerous times in her life. Seventeen years ago she was told she had about a 20% chance of survival, and she beat it! She is fighting for her life again, and this time has decided that she will probably not continue with treatments. She wants to enjoy the time she has left, not be sick and suffering from the treatment. We pray for Emily (and her family) often, that God would grant her strength, courage, and peace.

I was just amazed at the courage of these young people...actually doing something about a cause which they believe in. Way to go guys!! I'm proud to have met you! I pray God continues to keep you safe on your journey.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Marriage Monday

This week, Christine, at Fruit in Season, wants us to focus on supporting and encouraging our husband in their line of work. This should be easy for hubby is a pastor. What more honorable vocation exists? But do I honor him and encourage him? Not all the time. He is a great pastor, with great goals for our congregation. But sometimes I make him feel guilty for spending so much time working. I feel abandoned when he has meetings and can't be with me to help with the kids, or go to a game. Instead of being upset, I should be proud. He's working for God! He's teaching people about the Grace and the gift that God gave us. He's an instrument of the Holy's not like he's sitting around watching TV or ignoring our family.
I love him so much, and I am so proud of him and the job he does. He is a wonderful pastor, the people really like him, too. I need to make an effort to listen to the sermons more...I joke that I haven't heard a sermon for 7 years (since our first was born)...but that is almost true. I try to keep the kiddos quiet so they don't disturb others around us, but I don't pay much attention because I'm so involved with them. I need to ask hubby for a written copy of the sermon, so I can follow along, or read it after church if I am unable to REALLY listen.
So... I will continue to work on my goals for the last week, but I will also add a few new goals.
1. I will encourage him in his vocation...and be so grateful that he can come home during the day, even if he's unable to be home in the evening.
2. I will try make our home a warm, relaxing environment to come home to. In order to do this, I need to clean up! It doesn't feel very relaxing right now, it is too cluttered! I need to get off the blogs and get to the house. goes another week! Blessings to all of you and your marriages.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I joined a blog challenge this week at Fruit in Season The idea is to make honoring your husband a priority in your life. With the kids and all their activities, and my responsibilities in the home and church, hubby isn't always put in his proper place on my list of priorities. So, this month I am going to make it a point to put him first.

"Choose a few small goals for yourself each week and make sure to post them. Write them on post-its and put them on your mirror, in your car and your purse, or anywhere else you'll see them. Keep a journal for the month about successes and struggles. What is hardest for you to do? What comes easily? How is your husband responding to your efforts?"

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." are my goals for this week.
1. Greet him as he comes home. Stop what I'm doing and greet him with a hug/kiss and make him glad he is home.
2. Tell him how much I appreciate how much he does for our family. He really is a wonderful provider and protector and I just don't tell him enough how much I appreciate him.
3. Help him with his goals of being healthy by prepare healthy meals/snacks for our family. We all need to eat healthier, and I can encourage that by what I prepare! are my goals. I'll keep you posted!


Wheat Harvest...ALLERGIES!!!

Well, wheat harvest has begun around here...and it's going to kill me! I don't remember it bothering me this much last year. We went to a friend's softball tournament last night (they won the first game 19-0...and they won the second game & the championship, too...way to go Stephanie & Shannon!!!)...and the farmer close to the fields was harvesting his wheat. My throat was itchy, my nose was running, and my eyes were watering. I just figured my claratin was wearing off. My asthma started acting up...and it came on fast! Then my friend, Roger, had to go home because his asthma was acting up so badly. During the night I kept waking up with my asthma...I took my inhaler every two hours...then at 5 I got out the nebulizer and used it. That finally seemed to help. Although, my heart was beating so fast and hard that I couldn't sleep. Hopefully it will be better today!!! I guess it's a good thing we're getting out of here soon...maybe I'll miss most of the harvest!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Homemade Cherry Limeades

The other day I participated in "Works for me Wednesday." If you go to Rocks in my Dryer, you'll get tons of great, tried and true, advice. Here is my favorite! A recipe for homemade cherry limeades! It's so easy!!! Why didn't I do this years ago??? Now I can enjoy one anytime! YIPPEE!!!

Thanks Proverbs 31 woman for sharing!

To one glass of ice, add two lime quarters (squeezed), 3 or four maraschino cherries, two teaspoons of the maraschino syrup, and fill with Sprite (or Diet Sprite) -YUM!!

We had them with our supper last night, all the kids wanted Warren and my maraschino cherries! They were great!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Tammie!!

It's Tammie's birthday! Tammie was my college roommate, and best bud! We haven't seen each other in a few years, but I still think about her often, and email with her sometimes...but I couldn't let today pass without sending her a birthday greeting! SO....


Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday!! What am I thankful for this week? (To be perfectly honest, I'm a bit down today, I'm not feeling all that thankful, but I KNOW God has blessed me.)

1. I am thankful that today is a new day...yesterday was not the best day, and I'm thankful that today is all new!

2. I am thankful that my children are learning forgiveness and unconditional love (I need it after yesterday)

3. I am thankful for air conditioning!!! It is supposed to be in the upper 90's and 100 for the entire week...thank you God for AC! And a pool!!! And a cool, (dry!!) basement that has lots of toys where the kiddos can play when it's too hot to go outside.

4. I'm thankful for the gift of children...I've been reminded this week just how precious and fragile the gift of life is. Thank you, Father, for protecting my children and loaning them to me for these years. Please help me to be the best mother that I can me to be patient and kind, loving and wise. Help me to always remember what a blessing they are!

5. I'm thankful that our "vacation" is only a few weeks away...time to travel and visit family in North Dakota...we're all excited! The kids are so excited to go visit their cousins, and meet the newest cousin (Addison Kate)...can't wait to kiss those little cheeks!

6. I'm so thankful for our health. Last year we were dealing with a mysterious hair loss issue...Bethany lost most of her hair! But this summer, her hair is thick and full...Thank You, God!!!

7. I'm thankful that the youth group at our church has been blessed with their fund raising activities! Their trip to Orlando is almost entirely paid for! What a blessing!

8. I'm thankful that even when I'm not very thankful, God continues to bless me. Thank you, God, for knowing what is best...even (especially) when I don't. Please help me to see the wonderful blessings in my life.

Thanks for reading...go on over to Iris to see more Thankful Thursdays.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This is my first here goes!

I decided at the beginning of the summer, that my kiddos were going to have limits on their TV time and computer time. I didn't want to spend all summer telling them that they had watched enough tv, or been on the computer long enough. I knew that whining would ensue! So...I printed up two little tickets for each child, one Computer Ticket and one TV Ticket. Each ticket is worth 30 minutes of time. The computer ticket can be broken up into time increments if they want (play 15 minutes now, 15 later...etc) and can be used for our Wii or the computer. The TV ticket is worth one show or video...but only 30 minutes! If they want to watch a full length movie, they must combine their tickets! This way each child gets to pick one show each day. They get to watch a total of 90 minutes of TV. They can also share their computer time if there is a game they want to play 2 players...but it's their time that is clicking away. I keep a kitchen timer on the computer desk to keep track of the time.

Once the child has played their computer time, or picked their TV show, they give me the ticket. The tickets are kept on clips on the each morning I just replace them. Oh...and they can't use their tickets until their morning jobs are done. They must have their beds made, be dressed, and rooms must be picked up (which isn't usually a problem since they are supposed to be picked up before they go to bed).

This has eliminated so much whining! No more "Mom, PLEASE, just one more show!!!" or "But he/she got to play longer than me!!!" Nope...just hand over the ticket and the choice is made. Plus, if they misbehave or act disrespectful, the punishment is that they loose a ticket for today (if they've already used today's tickets, they loose tomorrow's). This has worked so well for me!! Hope someone can use it, too! I'd love to hear if someone uses this and it helps their family!

Check out Rocks-In-My-Dryer for more WFMW!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme I cheated, I tackled it on Monday. Tuesday during the month of June is TOOO busy to do any more than normal! With t-ball and storytime, it seems like we are on the go for the entire day. So...yesterday I tackled it fridge. know it is way past time to tackle the beast when you open it up and think something is dead inside. I made this comment to the hubby, and his response was "I hope there is nothing ALIVE in there!" Ok, gottcha!! :o) So, I took EVERYTHING out...shelves, drawers, baskets, food! The only thing I didn't empty was the ice bin which was emptied last weekend. I washed everything, walls, floor, shelves...EVERYTHING. Then I went through all the food and threw away anything with a old date (gross confession...I found salad dressing with a date of 05 on it! EWWWW!!). I filled an entire garbage bag of old food! So...what do you think??? (Next step is cleaning off the top!)


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Where have we been????

It seems like forever since I've posted...even though it's only been two days. Thursday after I posted about Thankful Thursday, the kids and I rode along with hubby on a few hospital visits, just to keep him company and get out of the house. One was in Meade, Kansas. After he visited the woman, we went to the "Dalton Gang Hideout" It was pretty neat. Apparently the sister of the Dalton boys lived there. Her home was up on a hill, on the south end of town. Just past the house was a ravine, going down to a creek. Their barn was down the ravine. A tunnel was built from the barn to the house. The Dalton gang could arrive from the south and no one in town could see them. Pretty cool, huh?? We got to walk through the tunnel up to the house which is now a museum. They also have a mock up of an old west town...just the building fronts. There was a jail and an undertaker (complete with an old time coffin...we all posed!)
And where are the pictures you may ask...I don't have any!!!! Last weekend, the youth group did a big fund raiser, and hubby took the was accidentally taken home by another family, so I haven't had it for a week!!! I'm going crazy! I think I'm addicted to taking pics of my kids. There have been so many times this week that I've said "Where's the camera? That's a GREAT picture!" For example...Bethany had an accident, and I told her to go put on some clean clothes...but she only got about 1/2 way there and was distracted. She got completely naked, and then decided to listen to her sister's headphones. She was sitting in the patio (naked!) with headphones on her head, just bopping away!!! WHERE WAS MY CAMERA??? I am hoping that the woman who accidentally took our camera home will remember to bring it to me tomorrow! I NEED MY CAMERA!!!
Today has felt strange. Abbigail went on a trip with her girl scout troop, and has been gone! She left town at 7:00 this morning, and will return around 9 or 10 tonight. I'm sure she'll sleep like a log! They went to Hutchinson, the Cosmosphere. It is a cool space museum. I haven't been there in years, but I remember it being really neat. They were going to go to an IMAX movie, too. I told the leaders that if they needed another adult, I'd be happy to go, but they had it covered... :-(. I miss my baby!
Tomorrow is Father's Day! Happy Father's Day, Honey! I am so thankful that my children have such a fun daddy! He likes to take them fishing, swimming, and wrestle with them. He is doing a great job of helping them to learn the important things in life! Thanks honey, for loving our children, and being such a great dad! I love you more and more each day. Seeing you having fun and loving our children makes my heart sing!
Also...Happy Father's Day, Dad! I am so thankful that you are my daddy! I love you, so much! Thanks for always being there for me. Thank you for your's never to late to become what you were always meant to be!!! My dad is amazing! He decided about 6 years ago, that building houses is not what he was put on earth to do! He is going back to school to become a pastor!!!!! We joke that maybe he'll be ordained a day or two before he retires, but I know he will do it! Keep up the good work, Dad...I'm SO proud of you!!
January was one of the most stressful and scary months of my life. Dad was in the hospital with a terrible infection in his leg. I thought we were going to loose him a few times. We later found out that the mortality rate for his kind of infection is about 33%! I'm so thankful that he beat the odds! Also in January, we lost my Grandpa. Mom, I know tomorrow will be difficult on you...your first Father's Day without your dad. I wish I could be there to give you a hug! I love you!
Of course, I can't forget my Heavenly Father on Father's Day. Thank you Father, for loving me and sending your Son to die for me, so I can come to live with you someday. Thank you for forgiving me when I fail. Thank you for being the perfect example of a loving father for us to follow.
I hope everyone in Bloggyville is having a great weekend, and Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Yippee! It is Thankful Thursday! I have so much to be thankful for today...and some of it involves yesterdays crazy weather! we go-

  1. I'm thankful that our patio leaked, which sent hubby downstairs to look for a bucket, where he found WATER!!!! We received almost 3 inches of rain in about an hour. He found the water about 1/2 way through the storm, giving us the next 1 1/2 inches of rain to stop the leak, and start cleaning up! If the patio had not leaked, we wouldn't have gone to the basement until this morning...then the entire basement would have been soaked! What happened was the window well filled up with water since the rain was coming down so hard, and the water was over the entire window...which leaked. The water was coming in so fast that I put m y hand on the wall, in the stream, and could divert the stream into a bucket.
  2. I'm thankful we hadn't gotten to that wall in finishing the basement...still concrete, no drywall!
  3. I'm thankful for wonderful neighbors who didn't hesitate in letting us borrow their shop vac.
  4. I'm thankful for a husband who went out in the downpour to get the water out of the window well, thanks honey for taking care of us, and our home.
  5. I'm thankful that the carpet doesn't have padding underneath, and will dry out with fans!
  6. I'm thankful that nothing of value was sitting in the water! (ok, enough about the basement...onto other thankfuls!)
  7. I'm thankful for a day with no t-ball games this morning!
  8. I'm thankful for my crazy kiddos...thanks for keeping your momma laughing!
  9. I'm thankful for other mommies who understand the busyness, and offer to help with rides!
  10. I'm thankful for my mom and dad...thanks for giving me a firm foundation on which to grow, I pray I'm half the parent you guys are!
  11. I'm thankful for Abbigail's tender gets hurt easily, but it is so caring and loving. She gives sympathy and empathy to everyone and everything she encounters.
  12. I'm thankful for great, caring librarians who have planned an exciting, fun summer storytime! The kids had a blast at the first storytime, they can't wait for more!
  13. I'm thankful for great friends who are coming home from vacation today!!! I've missed you Jacque!!
  14. I'm thankful for a to-do list that is getting shorter!! Yippee!
  15. I'm thankful for volunteers to help with VBS!! I don't have to do it all by myself! Thanks guys and gals!
  16. I'm thankful to God for giving me strength to make it through day to day. Thank you for forgiving me when I don't follow You. Please forgive me when I don't use my time wisely. Please continue to help me manage my tasks and my time. Thank you for loving me, and always bringing me back to you!

What are you thankful for? Check out "sting my heart" for many more thankful lists!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Akward Moment

Here's another funny story from our family in the recent weeks...Warren (a pastor) was visiting one of our members in the hospital. (She has cancer, not doing well...prayers are appreciated) He decided since it was a pretty serious situation, that he should wear his clerical (the pastor's shirt...think priest and you're there!). Well, after he visited the woman, he ran to Wal-Mart to pick something up. He called and asked if there was anything I needed. I had just discovered that Abbigail's swimming suit was coming apart at the seams (almost brand new...not a happy momma!), and asked him to see if he could find one that was decent and reasonably priced. He called me a few minutes later. He was in the little girl section, looking at swimming suits...they were almost all bikinis...not for my little girl! Anyway, he said that he felt weird. There he was, in his clerical, looking at little girl bikinis! People were giving him the strangest looks! Needless to say, he didn't come home with a new suit for her! :o)
(No, that is not my hubby...I don't have any pictures of him in his clerical...he's MUCH more handsome!)

Chicken or the egg??

Which came first you might ask? Well, Bethany seems to know the answer!

Abbigail has been asking questions (you know...why do boys have a penis? How does that baby get into a momma's tummy? Is there a baby in MY tummy?) lately. So I've been talking to her about some of the specifics...mostly about her body. I've told her that all women and girls have eggs inside and the daddy adds his own special seed and then God makes it grow to be a baby. (No discussion on how daddy this point!) So she proceeds to tell every woman/girl she sees that "You have eggs inside your tummy." Including Bethany. Well, Bethany knows all about eggs. She LOVES cheesy eggs for breakfast! So yesterday she had a very concerned look on her face and told me that a chicken was coming out of her egg in her tummy...and she doesn't WANT a chicken in her tummy! You try explaining to a 3 yo that it is not THAT type of egg!

So, you tell me...Which came first??

We made it!

We made it through our crazy day! Today we only have a t-ball game, and that's it! Seems pretty easy to me! It's not supposed to be too warm today, but it's SOOO humid! After the t-ball game, the kids played with umbrellas and their bikes while I cleaned out the van...I think I need a shower! It was so humid, and no wind! That's really odd for Kansas...probably means a storm is coming! :o)
I didn't participate in Tackle it Tuesday yesterday, because I thought just making it through the day would be enough...but today I need to get caught up. So here's my list
  • clean out the van
  • sweep/mop kitchen and bathrooms
  • clean bathrooms
  • put away laundry
  • wash Andrew's bedding
  • read with my kiddos!
  • go swimming

Sounds doable to to see how much actually gets done!

***Now I REALLY need to mop...milk was just spilt on the kitchen floor...don't cry!

**Update: The floors are done, laundry put away, sheets in the dryer...we were walking out the door to get in the van (swimsuited, sunscreened...ready to swim) when I heard THUNDER! Now it's raining buckets! Guess I have to clean the bathrooms! :o(

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Crazy Day Ahead

If I make it to bedtime tonight, I'm going to deserve a margarita or some other yummy cocktail!
First we have to be at T-ball at 9:45.
Then I have to leave the T-ball game and take Bethany to Library Story-time at 10:15.
Storytime goes to 10:45, but t-ball goes till 11:00...hopefully my kiddos won't be left waiting for me!
At 11:00, Andrew has storytime, until 11:45.
Then I'm treating us to Pizza Hut for lunch.
1:30-2:15 is Abbigail's storytime.
NAPTIME is next...I think we'll all need it!
To finish off the day, Abbie has a game at 7:00.

Of course, today is the day that Warren has a meeting 2 hours away, and a bunch of members to visit between here and there. He thinks he might be back in time for the late game. :o)

Oh, God, give me strength and patience to make it through today!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Saturday was a long, hot, tough day!

Saturday was my Grandpa's estate sale. I wanted to go be there, to support my mom and her sisters (and her brother...but he's a pretty tough cookie! :o)). They ended up doing all of the supporting...I did all the crying! Not exactly how I'd pictured it.

I want to tell you some of what I remember about my grandpa and his two wonderful, he wasn't married to 2 women at the same time! I can remember going to "the farm" to visit my grandparents when I was little. I would wake early in the morning, and go upstairs as quietly as possible, if I woke anyone, I'd have to share my grandma...and I wanted her all to myself! No matter how early I woke, she was always in the kitchen. She would either be sitting on her stool, or leaning on her crutches. Surely something yummy was cooking! I would give and get a morning hug...then we would start talking and looking at the kittens out the window. She loved those kittens! But unfortunately, she couldn't go outside to play with them. My grandma had a major infection in her hip, and from that point on, she could only walk or stand with the help of crutches...and there were stairs to get outside to those cute kitties. She would point out her favorite, and being the obedient granddaughter (and kitten lover myself) I would go outside and get it. I would bring in the little fur ball and we would pet it and play with it. I'm sure the kitten got milk or some other tasty treat! But we always had to make sure the cat was outside when Grandpa got up...or got back from checking the cows. Grandpa didn't like animals in the house, so out the cat would go! I cherished those early mornings with my Grandma Vera! I can remember "trying out" her crutches every time we went to visit, just to see how much I had grown! Grandma spent a lot of time sitting in an old yellow recliner, a tiny recliner by most standards, but it fit her body perfectly!

After Grandpa would get up...or come back (it seems he was always up before the sun, checking the cows or the fields), my brother and I would beg for rides in the tractor! What a special treat for two city kids! Our favorite was going out in the winter to feed the cows (ok...I know they aren't all cows, but hey...give me a break, I'm a city kid!). That big huge bail of hay would be put on the back of the tractor, and it would unroll across the field. That was soo cool to watch, and seeing the cows come running from all parts of the pasture. Cool!

When I was in Jr. High, Grandma & Grandpa decided to move to town. That recliner moved with her, but not the cats. About 18 months (give or take a few months) after moving to town, my Grandma Vera died. This was the first time someone I really knew and loved had died. I didn't know what to do. I can remember my brother being a tough guy, and not showing too much emotion...until the funeral. I can remember him sitting in the pew, his shoulders just shaking.

A year or so after Grandma died, a friend of Grandpa's started dragging him to the local "Singles" functions. Dances and such for the older set. He didn't want to go, but eventually did. At one of those dances, he met his second wonderful wife, Wilma. They eventually got married, and started traveling! Oh, how they loved to travel. Alaska, Hawaii, all over the US! I never thought of my farmer grandpa as a traveler...but oh did he love it! Wilma brought a spark of life to Grandpa, and a joy to his eyes that we hadn't seen in a long time. She was wonderful!

Here's irony for of Grandpa's favorite companions during his last years was a cat! Snooty adopted Grandpa and Grandma Wilma, and was even invited into the house! Snooty would climb the ladder with grandpa to hang Christmas lights. Snooty would curl up on grandpa's lap when he read the paper. Snooty was always there to nuzzle and love...inside and out!

About five years ago, Wilma had a stroke...and it wasn't until this happened, that we all realized how many problems my grandpa was having with his memory. She was the brains of the operation, he was the brawn! Wilma never did recover from that stroke, and passed away a few months later. That was also a very hard time. Grandpa would lay down for a nap, and wake up wondering where Wilma was. I don't know how many times he was told she died, and for was all new. She died at least 20 times for him. So very sad. He was worried that he had done something that had caused her death. He was worried that her son, Butch, was angry with him. We were all broken hearted, for him, and with him.

Grandpa hated the nursing home, so my wonderful aunt took him in. A nice lady would come and stay with him in his own home during the day while my aunt worked, then she would pick him up and take him out to her farm to spend the night. This went on for a couple of years. His health and memory continued to fade. Last summer, he was in the hospital and they discovered that he had cancer in one of his hips. He was too weak to try treating it, the treatments would have killed him. He didn't understand why he couldn't get up out of bed (his hip was broken) and why he couldn't get out on that tractor and work the fields! He got downright angry at times that we wouldn't let him out of bed! This time was very difficult for my mom and her siblings. The next 6 months would be difficult, as well. In January, Grandpa got really sick, again. But this time, he couldn't pull himself out of it. At this time, my dad was also in the hospital fighting for his life. We went to visit Grandpa, so that I could say goodbye, but also so I could make sure he knew that his youngest daughter (my mom) loved him dearly, and wished she could be there herself to tell him that she loved him. But she couldn't leave my dad and drive 4 hours away to see her dad! Talk about stress, and heartbreak! My husband (a pastor) and kids and I said the Lord's Prayer with Grandpa before we left. Grandpa died about 20 minutes later. I think he held on just long enough for us to leave, because my kids kept saying "Is he dead? Is he going to die now?" They were so scared that he was going to die while we were there. Thank you Grandpa! My mom was able to make the trip out for his funeral (one of my dad's siblings stayed with him at the hospital).

My Grandpa was a wonderful example of a quiet, but mighty, faith. He began every meal with a prayer, and never missed a church service if he could help it. He always served as an usher. He loved God, and knew that God loved and forgave him. He wasn't the kind to bash you over the head with his Bible, or give you a guilt trip...but you knew where he stood. He was very ornery! Wrestling and tickling with grandpa was always one of the funnest games. It would usually start with one of us cousins trying to get the pliers out of the holster on his belt. And then...the fun would ensue! He would take us for rides all over the farm and surrounding country roads on his motorcycle.

Ok...back to this weekend. My aunts have spent months going through the "stuff" at the house and in the shop (grandpa's huge shed full of his stuff). That had to be so hard! I thank them for doing this difficult job. Walking up to Grandpa's house and seeing all of his furniture on his yard and driveway...I just started crying. Especially when I saw Grandma Vera's yellow recliner sitting next to Grandpa's black one. My cousin Jenny and I couldn't stand it anymore, and went into the empty house. Just then they auctioned off those two chairs (I think they went for $10 each...they were pretty old)...we wanted to scream, but instead we cried. Whoever bought those chairs has no idea of the story behind them. They don't know that that ugly yellow chair fit Grandma so well. That she would rest her weary body there so many years ago. They don't know that that black vinyl chair is where a tired farmer would come rest between working the fields and tending the cattle. They don't know how many times grand kids would pile on top of him to get him to wrestle with us. They don't know what wonderful people used those chairs...they just don't know. Yes, Saturday was a very hard day. I cried off and on all the way home. There is nowhere to go back to. Another family will soon be moving into the house in town. The farm is still there, but I haven't been there in years. I can go to Quinter to visit my aunts and uncles, but Grandpa's house is no longer Grandpa's.

I do take comfort in knowing that I have what no money can buy. I have the memories of a wonderful Grandpa...and two wonderful Grandma's! I also have the assurance that I will see all three of them again one day. That is one wonderful thing about the Christian faith...death is not the end! Death is the doorway to a promise, a hope of eternal life! I am not sad for Grandpa, he was so weak and frail...he wasn't happy. I am sad for me. I will miss him! But, I WILL see him again! Thank You, Jesus, for that Hope!!!
If you've read this far, I thank you. Thank you for letting me pour out my thoughts and feelings. Thank you for 'listening' and loving me anyway. If you were blessed enough to know my Grandpa or either of his great are blessed indeed! (The top picture is when Grandpa was able to come to my home for a visit...shortly after my youngest was born. The other two pics were taken the last Christmas Grandpa was relatively healthy. I don't know if he knew who I was or not, but he knew we loved him. And he kept telling me that I had the cutest kids he had ever seen! Thanks Grandpa!!)


You know you're a parent when you can't name the child you want to call! "Abbie, I mean, Drew, I mean Beth..." Who knows who you really wanted to call! Maybe George Forman had a good idea when he named all his kids "George." You call one name, and they all come running!
Last night Warren and I were joking around with the kids, and I tried to say their names all at once, and it came out "Babbado" Ba (for Beth) abba (for Abbie) and do (for Drew)...I think I'm onto something here!!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Is it June, or January???

Ok, two days ago we had the a/c going, it was 95! Last night at Abbigail's game, it was 50, with 30 mph winds....BRRRRRR!!!! Poor kids were bundled up with dirt blowing in their eyes. Today's high is 72, so I guess swimming is out for today! :o)
These are our dear friends, Stephanie and Shannon. They (and their parents, Roger & Jacque) braved the cold and wind to come cheer Abbie on! Thanks guys...we love you! This is the only picture that even remotely came was TOO dark to take pictures. We got home about 10:30!
Here is a close-up of Andrew's chin. It's doing ok, thanks for the prayers!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Favorite Fotos

First of all, yes...I know Photo is spelled with a ph, not an f. :o) BUt here are some pics of what we have been up to!

First off are some pics of the zoo. The little blondie is my niece, Ella. My dad was even able to go with us, and use his scooter to get around...thanks Dad, for joining us for the fun! The petting zoo was fun!
This is my sis-in-law and my other niece, Ava.
Come on, Papa...let's "Ride 'em Cowboy!"
Oh, my momma's heart, be still! Be careful up there!!!
Our first trip to the pool...what a great way to cool off!
Are you hungry little birdie? (it's spaghetti, not a worm!!! :o))

Happy Birthday Abbigail!

Abbie's Birthday Hit!
Andrew gets a hit, too!

More Thankfuls...

I'm thankful for caring, concerned friends, and coaches.
I'm thankful for a kind county health department that gives out advice for free.
I'm thankful Andrew's chin gashes can be cared for with butterfly bandages and not stitches.
I'm thankful that his t-ball t-shirt is red.
I'm thankful that if there are scars, they will be under his chin, hardly even noticeable.
I'm thankful that God helped me to not FREAK out!
I'm thankful that he has calmed down.
I'm thankful that he is ok.

Who would have thought that the most dangerous part of t-ball would be walking through the dug out? He tripped over a glove and landed on his chin. As long as we quit asking him to look up so we can see, I think it will hold together and will heal without stitches. Thank you GOD!

Thankful Thursday

YIPPEE!! It's Thankful Thursday! I have come to LOVE this day. Remembering your blessings is great, but taking the time to put them down just makes it all seem so much more real. This week, I am thankful for...
1. Abbigail, my big girl...I still can't believe she's 7.
2. Andrew & little loves.
3. Warren...thank you for taking care of us and making me laugh (thanks for appreciating me, dear!)!
4. air conditioning! It was 95 here yesterday, and the first day we used our AC this year.
5. moderate is supposed to be back to a high of 82, no need for the AC!
6. my blogging buddies...I have been doing this blog for less than a month, and have already "met" a bunch of nice ladies.
7. coffee with sugar free french vanilla creamer...YUMMY!
8. Proverbs...I am reading through the Bible, and recently finished the Psalms, and am more than 1/2 way through Proverbs. My favorite verse from today's reading is Chapter 16, Vs 31, "Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life." I've been getting a lot of gray hair lately, and as dark as my hair is, the grays REALLY stick out. I know it's a vain thing, but it's really starting to bug me. Thank you God, for showing me that gray hair is nothing to be ashamed about! (This is only partially tongue-in-cheek)...there are SO MANY wonderful Proverbs...I can't wait to get to 31 & meditate on it for a few days!
9. T-ball and's so much fun to go watch my kiddos play, and I get time to talk to other mommies...I love this mommy-talk time! I love getting to know other mommies better!
10. generous friends and family...I posted earlier this week about a wonderful package from my mother-in-law, and the blessing of a family pool pass from a family at church. What a blessing, and I am so thankful!
11. sleep, and getting to sleep in on summer mornings!
12. that the finally starting to work on my little ones. They are still coughing, but not NEARLY as bad! Thank You, God for returning their health!!!!!!!
13. God's love, faithfulness, forgiveness, and promises fulfilled. Thank You, God for never leaving me, even when I don't follow you. Please continue to lead me as I continue to try to follow you. Please show us the answers we seek. Thank you for forgiving our "great and many sins." (My grandfather used to finish every prayer with this phrase...I miss him! He passed away in January, and this weekend there will be an auction to sell his belongings...God, please give my mom and her siblings strength they need to see his possessions being sold and separated.)
I could go on and much to be thankful for, but I NEED to get going...T-ball in 30 minutes!!!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

My Baby is 7!

Yes, today is the day. Today is the day my baby turns 7! Where did they years go? It seems like yesterday I was giving birth, and ecstatically yelling "It's a Baby! It's a Baby!" As my husband always comments, "What did you expect?"

I want to take this time to tell the story of my first birth. After "trying" to become pregnant for so long, I was finally pregnant! When I first found out I was pregnant, I screamed and cried. Warren kept asking me if I was happy, DUH! I guess he didn't expect the tears! Three weeks later we had the scare of our lives! I started spotting. The doctor did an ultrasound and said that everything looked good, but to take it easy. Sunday nights while we were at the seminary, we were a part of a wonderful Bible Study group. We took turns meeting at each other's homes. The group was coming to our house that week, since I wasn't supposed to get out and about. About 5 minutes before our group was to arrive, I felt a gush. I was bleeding...very heavily! I immediately started crying and called our doctor. He said to meet him at the ER. Our friends arrived while we were waiting for him to call us back. They all wanted to stay at our house to pray for us. Not only did they stay, but they cleaned my kitchen (I had been on bed rest for about 2 weeks by kitchen needed a good cleaning!)

When we arrived at the hospital, the first doctor I saw was SOOO insensitive! He said that with the amount of blood I had lost, there "was no baby." No baby??? No baby? Just like that???? But the wonderful nurse kept asking if he was SURE he didn't want to get an OB consult. Thank God for that nurse! The consult came down and did an ultrasound...there was our little jelly bean, jumping and wiggling...heartbeat flashing away! My doctor came down before I left (he was delivering a baby upstairs). He said to continue to take it easy, but that they didn't know why I was bleeding, but that the baby looked great.

That night, while laying in our bed, Warren and I cried because we were afraid we were loosing our baby. We prayed, talked, and just held each other. He did the sweetest thing that night! He talked to my tummy (the baby) and told her all about Jesus. He said that if we lost her, he wanted to be sure we would get to hold her in heaven. Just the memory of that brings tears to my eyes.

Anyway, fast forward to 7 months later...Warren had graduated from the seminary, and we moved to Iowa where he would serve his first congregation. We found an awesome midwife to help us in the delivery! As I posted the other day, I had "false" labor 3 days before the "real" labor. My parents came when I was in "false" labor, but dad had to leave to get back to work on Sunday evening. Mom thought it would be soon, so she decided to stay. It's a good thing she did! About 5:00 the next morning, I woke up with contractions. I took a shower about 6:30, and then we left for the hospital around 8. Belinda (the midwife) checked me and said that I was only dilated to about 4, my water hadn't broken, so she said sometime in the afternoon, we would have a baby. An hour later, they checked me again and I was now at a 6-7 with a bulging bag...but the nurse said that I would probably close up a bit when the bag of waters broke. Warren said that I gave her a look of death about the closing up comment. Right when the nurse was finishing that comment, the water popped, after getting things cleaned up, they left me to "rest up." Fifteen (yes, 15!) minutes later, I told Warren and my Mom that I had to push. Warren looked at me and said "It's not after lunch yet!" TOUGH! My mom looked at me and said she was going to get the nurse. The nurse came in and lifted up the sheet, didn't even come close to me. Dropped the sheet, ran into the hall and yelled at the other nurse "Call Binky (the midwife's nickname) and get your catchers mitt, NOW!" Belinda arrived about 1 minute later (the clinic was attached to the hospital) and two pushes later, little Abbigail Grace was born. So tiny. 5 pounds 10 oz, 18 inches long. Such a little cutie, full head of dark brown hair. Oh, what an experience! From the first contractions until she was in my arms was a total of about 5 1/2 hours. About 5 minutes after she was born, I looked at my mom and said "I want to do this again!" Everyone started laughing!

My baby is now 7 years old. 7..7...7...are you sure? She can't be that old! She's a wonderful, delightful, sensitive, beautiful, caring, smart, loving, fun little girl, and I wouldn't trade her for the world!

Abbigail, thank you for being my "biggest girl." Thank you for helping me with everything, and being so patient with me while I'm still trying to figure this whole mommy thing out. Thank you for loving me, daddy, Andrew, & Bethany. I'm so proud of how much you love everything, from ladybugs and caterpillars, to small children, and especially Jesus. You are so beautiful, outside, but most importantly, inside. You have the most caring heart I have ever known. I love you!


PS...what did I expect when I said "It's a baby!" I had had 3 dreams while pregnant that I gave birth to a kitten...even dreamed about nursing it (OUCH!) So I was very relieved it was a human child...and the best little girl ever! (until Bethany came along, now they both share that title!)

Don't you just love her long hair? About a month after this picture was taken, she had her hair cut into a short bob...and donated her ponytail to locks of love. What a big heart she has! Cute with long hair, cute with short hair!