30 December 2010

plan b

Today the boys and I were supposed to have lunch with Matthew's godmother, Stephanie. But sometimes things come up. So, when we were planning to leave at ten, at 9:15 we found ourselves "all dressed and no place to be".


Oops.


Well, that did give me time to get some laundry going. Then I decided that since I had been planning to buy the boys lunch anyway, we might as well head into town for lunch.



We'd called Jon to see if he wanted to join us, but unfortunately, he was unavailable.


We drove through the drizzle and fog to A-town and had a delicious lunch of "2 for $20" buffalo wings and chicken tender baskets. Water for me, Mt Dew for Matthew.


Mini- cheeseburgers, fries and Sierra Mist for Caleb, in case you wondered.


Matthew's best friend Eric lives about 2 miles from where we had lunch so he asked me if I would mind stopping to see if Eric was home. He was pretty pleased to see that Eric was indeed home and that Lisa (Eric's mom) said Matthew could stay the afternoon if he'd like.



Caleb and I went shopping. Alas, we have come to the conclusion that the only way to get a cheap 7' artificial Christmas tree will be to be at the store as soon as they open next December 26. There was not a tree of any size in the whole place. Not really surprising.



The cashier asked Caleb if we had a real tree. He told her no, it's a fake and she said "well, I see you must have a cat" hence, the bag of Cat Chow on the counter; all her brain cells were firing, that one. She said that she has a real tree and that her cat kept drinking the water from the stand.


Bat cat.


She did say that it should be that the older Dina gets the less interested she'll be in the tree. For Dina's sake, I hope she's right.


And Caleb has decided that Pretzel M&M's are "wonderful". Have at 'em, kiddo.

27 December 2010

Two Years

Two years ago today, everything in the apartment was packed and ready to go.



We waited for family and friends to arrive, who had generously donated their time to help us load a truck and drive to the new house.

Loading didn't seem to take as long as it had ever taken before for any other move.

As we drove out to the new house, it was foggy and starting to get icy.

When my in-laws arrived, it was downright nasty outside.

We have a large 5-day cooler which we loaded with food from the refrigerator from the apartment. As soon as I finished unloading the cooler at the house, my first thought was "Who's gonna take the cooler back to Appleton?"

Good food was brought in and we ate well after most items and boxes at least found the appropriate floor of the house to stay.



I cried while my father-in-law offered a prayer blessing us in our new home.

I'm tearing up thinking about it even now.

We haven't made many changes, even cosmetically, since that day. But with each passing day, it feels more like our home.

And we've no plans to leave it anytime soon.




23 December 2010

suitcase of cheese

We seem to be having a bit of an Everybody loves Raymond moment in this house.

The laundry was washed, dried and folded. It was even taken up to the top of the stairs.

And there it has sat.

Since Monday.

I don't know if we've just been too busy or if we're having a battle of wills here.

Hopefully, it won't end up like this:

18 December 2010

most wonderful?

You know how if you can't say something nice, you shouldn't say anything at all? Well, that goes for the title of this post. Not necessarily the body of the post.

You've been warned.

The store has been insanely busy the last week or so. I know, I know, the Christmas rush is on. And most people are perfectly pleasant, wish others a "Merry Christmas" and that sort of thing.

Those aren't the ones.

You've seen them out and about, I'm sure. They're the ones circling the parking lot trying to get the closest space. Rushing in to the store like they're on fire. Slapping their purchases down on the counter without a word.

Or better yet, rolling their eyes and huffing loudly when there are more than 2 people in any one checkout line.

Didn't people learn to be patient in Kindergarten? Everybody gets a turn, cripes.

As a store employee, I smile and ask if they found everything okay. Would you like a bag for that item today? Thanks for coming in - have a great weekend!

What I really wanna say....my Mom told me to keep to myself.

How are you surviving the last minute Christmas rush?

14 December 2010

when life gives you sick days

Sunday morning we awoke to several inches of new snow and quite a bit of blowing and drifting. We'd decided late Saturday that we weren't going to even attempt the hour drive to church, especially with it being my weekend to work.



Good thing we got a call that services were cancelled; that lessened the guilt.



So Sunday morning, Jon broke out the snowblower for the first time of the season, Caleb played out in the snow, Matthew played his trumpet at random times and I watched a little football.



Don't ask me to talk about how the game turned out. Madness.



About two o'clock, I thought that maybe I should check my messages to see if just maybe work had decided that I need not come in for the 3p-8p shift.



No such luck.



But I did find a message from Carrie, taking me up on the offer to watch Justin in the morning the next day so that she could take Kyle in for his 2 week checkup. I called Carrie back and told her that of course I'd drive out and watch Justin and that I'd see her around 8:15.



(I haven't gotten any pictures of the new baby, but I will. Darn camera batteries were completely dead last week when I visited...)



Imagine my surprise when I am paged at work for a phone call shortly before 5pm. It's Jon, letting me know that I might wanna call Carrie immediately and see if she had a backup plan; Caleb's just gotten sick and he cleaned up a mess to prove it.



Lovely.



I call Carrie and of course, her being her, she says it's fine, that she needs to figure out how to juggle both boys eventually anyway and to not worry about it. I still felt terrible for having to cancel. And sad that I wasn't going to have the extra time with Justin. Sad.



So, long story short (sorry) neither Caleb or I got much sleep Sunday night. And, of course, I called the school first thing yesterday morning to inform them of Caleb's absence.



Matthew left for the bus at 9:15 since there was a 2 hr. start delay due to severe windchill. And Caleb drove me crazy from that moment on.



"Mama, can I have some 7up?"

"Mama, can I have some crackers?"

"Mama, can I watch a movie?"

"Mama, where's Dina?" (the cat)



That child has a tendency to talk non-stop. I have no idea where he gets that.



Once he spent about an hour playing computer games with no more measurable symptoms, I went to take a nap. And he was none too keen about sleeping in his own room last night, but I needed to sleep in my own bed. And he did just fine; was bouncing into bed last night, out of bed this morning and went back to school. Whew.



Matthew did inform me that his band director has the flu and is still at school, so he may be next.



I just love this time of year.

12 December 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,


I walked into the store yesterday and all I could hear was the jingle of the stupid bells that you had around your ankle.

For the record, you're way too skinny. You might wanna try some carbs, cheese and ice cream to fatten up. It worked for me.


Just so you know, I think that your time is limited in this house. I was already asked why it was that I had to go Christmas shopping. You may not need to stop here for 2011. Just have Rudolph and his rockin' team fly your anorexic self right past here. I'll take care of the rest; I'm the mother, it's my job apparently.


I'm pretty sure that because of my poor attitude, I'm not going to get what I really want for Christmas this year and that's fine. Just bring me a new watch and a new wallet and I'll work toward getting what I really want.



My dad would tell me that I'll just appreciate it more that way anyhow.


This post brought to you by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop #62.

Mama's Losin' It

06 December 2010

this boy


and I made these




yesterday afternoon. We ate a few and then the rest went into the freezer for Christmas. While the picture makes them look like PlayDoh, I promise they don't taste that way. You can get the recipe here.


Then this morning, the same boy informed me that if I got him the two most coveted items from the toy catalog, all I'd have to spend is this:

Too smart for his own good.

05 December 2010

stream of consciousness

The van is on the fritz again. One minor thing started happening as soon as the weather got cold, then Wednesday morning on my way to work the "check engine" light came on. Jon took it next door to the auto part store to get a diagnosis and TWO codes came back, both transmission related.

It's still "under warranty" for what that's worth, so it goes in tomorrow morning and is supposed to be done by Tuesday.

I'd tell you how the whole situation makes me feel but my mother taught me never to say those words.
----------------------------------------------

We have about 1/3 of the Christmas shopping done. We went yesterday afternoon and actually only had to make two stops to get everything we were looking for- for now. I may have made an error though, in telling the boys that we were going shopping- C said "Why do you have to go Christmas shopping, Mama?" I thought quickly and said "Well, you know how you get one gift from us and Santa brings the rest? We're going to shop for what we're getting you." He immediately produced his list of toys from the Fleet Farm catalog.

Then late last evening he said "Are there presents in the car?" It won't be long before Santa's cover is blown in this house.
----------------------------------------------

The cat has been quarantined to the back half of the house. She won't stay out of the tree despite our best efforts so that was the only solution. She's not happy about it, but she's been chewing through ornament strings.
-----------------------------------------------

Wednesday and Thursday were great days for sales in cosmetics. I didn't earn much PM either day, but the boss was over the moon about the overall sales total and he told me that the PM's will come. It was nice to be acknowledged for the sales at least.
------------------------------------------------

We ended up watching a parade that our kid wasn't even in this weekend. There weren't enough bus drivers to get the entire marching band to the beginning of the parade route on Saturday and our kid was one of the ones left behind. When the bus went back for the second load of kids, they were diverted due to the parade getting started and when they finally arrived at the lineup, the high school principal told the driver to take the remaining musicians back to the school.

When we didn't see M as the band went by, we just figured that he'd ended up on the other side of the street and we missed him. Imagine our surprise and shock when we picked him up at school thirty minutes later and he told us that he didn't even get to participate in the parade.

29 November 2010

whose universe?

The news was on as the boys were getting ready for school this morning. During a commercial break, the "solar system" Jimmy Dean commercial came on.

From the dining room, C pipes up "Mom, why are all the other guys going around the sun guy?"

"Haven't you learned anything about the solar system? All the planets revolve around the sun." I told him.

Grinning from ear to ear, M quips, "That's because the son is special."

Of course, my boy. Of course.

24 November 2010

My ABC's of Thanks!

Finding Joy  The ABC's of Thanks
I thought I'd link up for the ABC's of Thanks on this snowy Thanksgiving Eve eve.
a) Animals. As family pets.
b) books. I always love having new books to read
c) coffee creamer. I look forward to the abundance of new seasonal flavors this time of year
d) Diet Coke. Enough said
e) examples. My Mom and Dad for sure.
f) friends. I don't know what I'd do without mine
g) gravy. Goes great with mashed potatoes
h) husband. He's far from perfect, but perfect for me
i) ice cream. Yep.
j) jobs. It's great to be employed
k) kids. all kids; they're our future
l) love. God's love for me. Amazing.
m) music. I've always loved music.
n) november. which reminds us that we're all greatly blessed
o) optimism. I'm not very good at this, but I'm trying
p) plumbers. available as soon as we call. Yay.
q) quiet. especially on my day off
r) restful evenings. when my husband has everything taken care of when I get home
s) Starbucks. double yep
t) teachers. they work SO hard to teach our kids. be thankful if your kid gets a good one!
u) umbrellas. kept us dry at the end of soccer season
v) vacations. whether with the kids or not, it's nice to get away.
w) water. clean drinking water is so essential
x) x-tra capacity washer which makes laundry easier
y) you, my readers and friends
z) zany life, but we wouldn't change it
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever!"

16 November 2010

we tried

and I'd say for the most part were successful at getting a great pic of the boys for the Christmas card this year.

Getting a picture of Jon and I was another story entirely.

We started out with M taking it and there were many problems. Not the least of which being that we were indoors so the lighting was awful. Then there's the added issue of Jon wearing the same color as the background; even shooting in black and white, that didn't work.

After almost forty five minutes of trying and failing to get something decent, we just stopped trying.

Jon did say something about waiting until we visit my parents and getting a picture then. I'm not a patient person and I sometimes quite often get a "burr in my saddle" and kinda want it done NOW...but ultimately to get what I want, I guess I'll have to wait.

Good thing Walgreens photo can get them done same day.

So, I leave you with some outtakes from my shoot with the boys yesterday. After more than a dozen posed shots, things started to get out of control. It tends to happen.

And it's okay.






12 November 2010

kids say the darndest things

I came home from work last night to discover that M was telling C that he needed to stay upstairs. When I asked what was going on, M told me that C hadn't been staying seated on the bus in the afternoon.

Um, okay. Where's the problem? Right here.

When M told C that he needed to spend some time upstairs, C's response was quite abnormal and VERY unacceptable.

It involved the word that starts with the sixth letter of the alphabet and rhymes with "luck".

I told C that if I EVER catch him saying anything like that again, he was gonna wind up with a blistered butt. That I didn't care who says it and gets away with it, he was NOT to be even thinking things like that. And if I heard that he did, he was going to be able to experience what Lever 2000 soap tastes like.

Kids.

05 November 2010

sometimes it's better not to know

My mom always said "you don't know if you don't ask". And that has come in handy for me several times over the last couple of months at work. If I'm doing something new and ask about procedure or policy or whatnot, most everyone is happy to give me the information that I seek.

It helps me to know.

But there are cases where it's better not to know. And it serves me right if I asked because I think that "if you don't want to know, don't ask" could apply sometimes too.

A couple of nights ago, there was an older gentleman leaving the store carrying a bag from the pharmacy. He looked kind of sad as I smiled at him and told him to have a good night.

That's when he proceded to tell me that he'd just had his third radiation treatment earlier that day. But he guessed that the bright side was that he only had two more treatments to go.

I'll admit that my brain kinda froze here. Most of the time when people launch stories at me it's just to complain that our store "didn't have what [I] was looking for". And in those cases, I make the situation right as best I can; either by running to an aisle or the stockroom for product or paging management for assistance.

I couldn't fix this one and it really bothered me.

When the customer left the store, Nathaniel and I just looked at each other and didn't say a word. While I don't in any way regret my interaction with that customer, I was just again reminded that I have to be prepared to hear whatever may come.

03 November 2010

blah, blah, blah

To tell you that we had a wonderful weekend celebrating our anniversary wouldn't cut it. Not even close. We went to the museum, visited a beautiful park and a furniture store all on the same day and there were no little voices saying "are we done yet? I'm tired" Or hungry or whatever the case may be.


Blissful.


And it's really too bad that we still have too many bills and not enough money because I can tell you that if the situation were reversed, the first thing that we'd do is pay off the mortgage with the next thing being that very same day we'd call about getting a whirlpool tub installed in our home. But only if we could also soundproof the bathroom so we couldn't hear incessant knocking and requests for "ice cream in a bowl" from the other side.


Yep.


And when I get tired and frustrated with my work schedule and the hours that I'm forced to keep, I just have to continually bear in mind that such an anniversary weekend would have never been even close to possible without my income. And that makes it better.


We're taking a long weekend this month to go visit my family. Again, if my work schedule is generously accommodating. And I can't wait. That means that we're home for Turkey Day, but I'm working 9-1 that day anyway, so it's okay. Hopefully our invite for dinner still works out...


C went on a field trip to "the caves". I asked him if he saw any bats and he said yes, but that his teacher told the kids to not shine a flashlight at them as they are starting hibernation. Eeew. Jon was pretty pleased with that C was one of the "cleanest boys to get off that bus"; crawling through "muddy" caves all day is what we'd been told they'd be doing so we were pretty unsure of what to expect. That was a pleasant surprise.

M has a "Rock and Roll" concert this week. We missed him playing "Amazing Grace" on the trumpet on Sunday morning. When I mentioned that to Jon he said "It's okay, we live with him; we can ask him to play whenever we want."

Wise words.

At some point over the weekend, C's coat disappeared. And he only had one coat. Something about some little boy may have mistaken it for his and taken it home sometime on Sunday, but no such luck in finding it. So as of yesterday, C has had four winter coats in 5 years due to things like broken zippers and cases of mistaken identity.

The tags are still on the new one in the event that the less-than-a-year-old one remembers where it lives and returns home, but we don't hold out much hope.

To balance all of the coat buying out, we did realize that the last new winter coat that M had was just as he'd started fourth grade, but it's still completely frustrating since boxelder trees do not grow money.

That's all folks.

27 October 2010

Wordless Wednesday - one of these things doesn't belong*


*there's a story here...and you'll hear it, I promise.

26 October 2010

today

Today it's pouring rain. Today is "Red Ribbon Week" at the elementary school. Today was "dress like what you want to be when you grow up" day so Caleb went to school as a "crazy scientist".

Today, I'm waiting for the plumber. Today, I'm hoping that the bill from the plumber won't put the finances behind for the rest of the year. Today, I've been told that the plumber will arrive "this morning"...how's that for specific? Today I was also told that the "less water you run, the better" so I'm sitting here in my sweats wondering if I'm going to need to get in the van and go to the corner gas station to use the bathroom.

Today, I'm missing our apartment complex maintenance man, Luis. Big time.

22 October 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday #10




1. Ah, another week finished. How DOES that happen? My favorite moment of the week was having coffee on Tuesday with my dear friend, Esther. Actually, I had a chocolate peanut butter freeze and it was FANTASTIC.


2. Speaking of freeze, we're in for a chilly spell. I even sent C to school in a heavy jacket. My boss says that this weather just reminds us that the next season and all it brings will come, like it or not.


3. Saturday M has a soccer tournament and then the season is done for another year. I made most of the games. He spent most of the time in the goalie box this year and he does pretty well in there. He had some incidents with jammed fingers but nothing too serious.


4. I shouldn't have to work when I have PMS. I'm way too tempted to tell that lady who tries to take advantage of our coupons and then return the merchandise the next week for full price where to stick it. She's way too condescending. Every stinking week.


5. I need a haircut. I'm totally sick of my current hairstyle but have no time to get to town to get a cut. I'm this close to calling Jon's neice to have her cut my hair.


6. Halloween hasn't even arrived and the riser shelves are full of Christmas stock at work. Not to mention the entirely full bay of Christmas candy. We started getting Christmas stock on the truck the end of September. Oy. Comes earlier and earlier I guess.


7. One more week. It better go quickly.

21 October 2010

on that day

My sister stood beside me....



His dear friend beside him...



we gathered with our family....




and I wouldn't change a thing....





Happy fifteenth anniversary, babe. I love you more than you will ever know.

18 October 2010

food, glorious food

Here are some recipes that we've either tried recently in our house or are on the "waiting" list. You know, for some day when I can just focus on "what's for dinner?" instead of that and six hundred other things when I'm lucky enough to come through the front door while it's still light out.




We had Pioneer Woman's Three Cheese Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce last week. Since my local store didn't have shells in stock the day I went shopping, I used manicotti. And while I think that manicotti are a pain in the neck to stuff, it was still totally worth it.

You need to try it, and soon.

She posted a Chicken Cacciatore recipe that we'll be trying soon too. Her recipes are always good, and it totally doesn't hurt that she also takes drool-worthy photos. Seriously.




My dear friend Esther does Menu Plan Monday over on her blog. While I'm totally not motivated to do something like that myself on a weekly basis, she does give me some great ideas for dinner. And her recipe for Nacho Chicken Casserole is on my list for sure.

And today's cookie recipe. I'm a sucker for cookies, as my pant size can attest.



Then there's What's for Dinner Wednesday over at Three Times the Giggles. While it's a fairly new feature, I can't wait to see the recipes that are posted. You know, while Helen is chasing triplets and gestating. She's a busy gal.



As I look outside, I can't help but notice that the clouds are getting in the way of the sun today. And it's chilly outside. And inside. Having absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I forgot to turn the heat back on last night after turning it off yesterday afternoon. Nothing.

And if I didn't already have PW's Chicken Spaghetti on the menu for tonight,- which you need to try if you haven't- I'd definitely feel the need to make beef stew. If I had the ingredients in the house, that is.

Minor detail.

But because I'm feeling generous- go with it, it IS Monday, you know- I'll give you my Mom's tried, true and totally tasty Beef Stew recipe.

And put it on the list for dinners for next week. Pronto.


Beef Stew

Here's what you'll need: 1 pound stew meat, 1 small onion (diced), 2 beef bullion cubes, salt and pepper, 1/4 t. garlic powder, 1 T worchestershire sauce, six cups water, 6 medium potatoes.
Here's what you do:
- Cut the stew meat in 1" pieces. Coat in flour and brown in oil.
-Put in large pot with water, onion, 1 T. salt and 1 t. pepper, worchestershire and garlic. Simmer three hours, adding water as needed.
Your house will smell AMAZING. Trust me.
- Add diced potatoes and cook thirty minutes.
- After thirty minutes, add a slurry of 4 T. flour dissolved in cold water and stir. Continue to simmer until potatoes are done- about thirty more minutes.

Mom sometimes added carrots to the stew, sometimes she didn't. You can add the carrots with the potatoes, if you choose. Personally, and I think she knows this, I prefer the stew without the carrots.

I know, I know, I need the veggies. I don't care; I don't like cooked carrots. And I'm the mom, so I don't have to eat them. But I will eat raw carrots in great numbers. Go figure.

Make this stew, you WON'T be sorry. And the other recipes too.

14 October 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday



1. I got lucky enough this week to be able to be home for cooking (and eating!) dinner every night this week. That's rare. And next school week, I'll be home at the beginning and the end; working until eight pm the three nights in between.



2. But I'm proud to say that due to the first sentence of #1 being true, there hasn't been a pizza or a hotdog spotted in the house all week!



3. We had quite a 'Project Runway' moment at work this week. As in 'one day you're in, and the next day, you're out'. Sunday evening, I worked with one assistant manager, Tiffany. I had Monday and Tuesday off and when I went to work on Wednesday, I just casually asked a co-worker who was "on" for the morning. Her response was "Mr. Douglas (the manager) and that girl who replaced Tiffany." WHAT??? Yep, here today and gone tomorrow. Transferred out just like that and immediately replaced. It took me a couple of hours to wrap my brain around all of that.



4. Caleb reminded me no less than one hundred times this week that in order for his class to take the most recent field trip, there had to be three parent volunteers. Thanks, son; not like I don't already feel guilty. (It all worked out and the trip was a total success.)



5. Matthew has taken up the saxophone. He's doing well, but finding the differences between a reed instrument and a brass instrument to be a bit more challenging than he thought. hee hee.



6. Fall has re-arrived here in Wisconsin. We were so spoiled with the gorgeous weather the last several days and now we're back to what's "normal". It just no longer allows us to live like winter will lose our Upper Midwestern address.



7. Two weeks from today begins our big anniversary getaway. Jon's getting a big kick out of the fact that I, a HUGE planner, have no idea where we're going or what we're doing and I'll just have to go with whatever it is. Don't tell him, but I'm so happy that he did the planning that I. DON'T. CARE. I'm sure it'll be WONDERFUL.



See more quick takes at conversiondiary.com

12 October 2010

and to you?

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted the following as his facebook status:

God is....

He got some of the answers he was expecting, the "standard ones", if you will.

God is GREAT. Sure.
God is love. Of course.

But that got me thinking. Not that the standard answers are wrong, because it's very true that God is great and He is love, but are they good enough?

You know the answer. Of course not.

If we don't dig deep to discover who God is to us, what's the point of relationship with Him?
He wants us to be in relationship with Him, but not the "Hey, how ya doin'?" "I'm good" and keep going kind of relationship. Rather, the "really listening, trusting, leaning on Him" kind.

Not that all of us are good at that all the time.

Things get going well and we tend to lose sight of what God means to us. Thinking that we can do things on our own. Forgetting that all we are and all we have comes from Him.

Then a crisis strikes, be it a serious health type crisis or just a run-of-the-mill "too many bills and not enough money" kind.

And we wonder where He went. All this time, it's true that we may need an adjustment in how close we are to God, but it's not because He moved.

He's there, we just have to pay attention. Get our eyes off our own issues and focus on the fact that He loves, He knows, He's in control.

We can't see, but He can. And that should be comforting, if we're in relationship with Him.

Who is He to you?

11 October 2010

do it again

Friday evening after school, M needed to get to town to meet the quizzers to leave for Saturday's meet ahead of time.


It takes almost an hour for us to get to our destination.


After we dropped him off, C and I hit a drive-thru as a "special treat", since it was just he and I for supper.


Chowing on his apple dippers in the seat behind me he says "Mom, how long till we get home?"


"About forty-five minutes", I replied.


"Oh", he said. "I waited for forty-five minutes before. I can do it again."


heeheehee

08 October 2010

thirty

That's the number of hours that I "twenty to twenty-five a week would be perfect, thanks" put in last week.

I covered for our senior beauty advisor so she could go to a family funeral. That wasn't a problem and I was happy to do it.

This week, after two very long, eleven to eight days, I was looking forward to being able to get away until Sunday afternoon.

I've been working eleven to eight quite a bit lately.

Until last night when as the assistant manager was about to take a phone call, he said "Don't go anywhere." Um, okay.

He gives me extra projects at work from time to time, so I just figured that he was going to give me something to do for the last two, very long hours of my shift. Uh, nope.

"Would you be able to cover So-and-so's shift on Saturday? She has a school commitment and can't be here."

Enter where my mouth responds faster than my brain can think. That happens often, sorry, Mom.

Immediately forgetting how dog-tired I was, I mentioned something about impending work for Jon and if that wasn't happening this weekend, I didn't see any reason as to why I couldn't cover the shift.

Jon didn't answer his cell the first time I tried. When I tried fifteen minutes later, I was sorta sad to be informed that the work has been put off until November.

For good reason; namely our anniversary get-away at the end of the month, but there goes my built in excuse. Lovely.

If I'd been taught to lie, I'd have been able to come up with something on the spot, you'd think. Something like Kayla's excuse about needing to help chop down a tree. While AB (assistant boss) could tell it was a totally manufactured excuse, ahem, a lie, he couldn't do anything about it. Thanks, Mom and Dad...to wrestle with my conscience wasn't really what I needed at the end of a long day. haha.

So I entered the office and said that I'd be happy to cover the shift on Saturday. And I'll do my best to be cheerful about it, at least until noon.

I sure hope they remember this.

06 October 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday- trumpets*



*Matthew and Jon's sister, Kathryn.

01 October 2010

lift me up

Tuesday night, Jon took me to dinner for my birthday. We went to Red Lobster and I throughly enjoyed a pound and a half of snow crab legs, ceasar salad and baked potato.

Who has room for dessert? I didn't.

After we finished dinner, we headed to Shopko. I was in need of new tennis shoes; I'm finding myself in them more often for work and the pair I owned were pretty worn out, aka, losing the padding inside the left shoe.

This happens about every 18 months or so.

We've gotten fortunate enough to hit a major sale every time I get to the point where "okay, I have put this off long enough, and I need new shoes NOW". The last three times we've gotten away with a good pair of shoes under forty dollars.

Jon was really helpful in finding the brand I was looking for and he helped me decide between one size or another. I decided on the seven and a half and we started to head for the checkout.

This is when I spotted the section of "wide width". That's so me.

In about 15 seconds, I spotted the shoes I needed in seven and a half wide. Jon put the first box back on the shelf.

Then, as we're wandering the store looking for a glass vase, I keep tripping. Like the floor is jumping up at me about every three steps. Jon teases me about whether my drink was spiked at dinner.

About five minutes go by and suddenly it dawns on me that my shoe is feeling like the fit is wrong. The shoes that I'd worn all night. I stop to the side of the greeting card aisle and then the light goes on.

My half-inch lift is not in my shoe. Where is it then?

I'd left it in the first pair and it was now in the shoes on the shelf.

Thankfully, Jon retrieved it for me then I put it in my shoe and we paid and left.

How weird would it have been for some other woman to find my lift when she tried on that pair of shoes? Good grief.


30 September 2010

Wordless Wednesday- birthday surprise


(if only I didn't have to keep them upstairs so the cat didn't eat them)

29 September 2010

perfection personified...or not

This post is running around on facebook. I read it. Part of me was glad I did and part of me was screaming "WHY can't you mind your own business? Must you read every link that people post?"

Here's the deal. Just like in highschool, people still put on a front. They portray what it is that they think you want to see. Perfect body, perfect hair, perfect husband with perfectly obedient children.

"Hogwash", my grandpa would say.

And the following is where I get down and dirty. Read if you want, or stop here. Either is fine with me.

I'm so far from perfect that it's scary. (I better not hear my husband scream "AMEN" over cyber-space or he is DEAD.)

I carry around close to fifty pounds on my body that I don't need. I liked to blame it on pregnancy, but that kid is fourteen now. Even blaming his brother, that ship has sailed. I eat way too many sweets, not enough vegetables, drink too much fully-leaded coffee and I haven't been on the treadmill in weeks.

My husband sometimes drives me NUTS. He's sometimes a know-it-all who deserves to have his opinions shoved down his throat. But aside from that, and the fact that I sometimes feel like his mother and not his wife, we get along pretty well.

Seriously.

We have money worries, but really, who doesn't? Sometimes they keep me up at night; like losing sleep will add thousands of dollars to our bank account. Nope. Losing sleep just makes me cranky and then I yell at my children over every little thing and feel horribly about it for hours afterward.

Sometimes I wish the boys didn't fight so much. And while we're being real, sometimes I wish that we hadn't had children at all. But I feel guilty about that. A lot. To be able to travel to Paris or London or take in an African safari instead of having to constantly supply new pants and shoes to replace the outgrown ones would be heavenly.

Until my husband and I got sick of each other. Which would totally happen.

Our house is sometimes cold and drafty. I can't decorate at all and I haven't even finished painting the dining room, which I started in March. Some days I wish that we hadn't left Appleton at all.

But I have a couch to die for. Or so I've been told.

At times I am bored to tears in church service. Some weeks I hate the music, I hate the tradition, I hate the cliques. Even in our small congregation, that stuff gets in the way. The class I teach is most frequently only my kid, and I feel like I can teach the lessons at home, so why bother prepping for Sunday morning; but I do it anyway. While I'm in awe of what God has done for me, sometimes I'd just like to be able to sleep in on Sunday morning and treat it like any other day.

And my dad was a preacher while I was growing up. It's true.

Sometimes I'm terrified of losing my parents. My Mom especially. My brother and sister don't really like each other that much and I feel like Mom is what holds us together. So when the time comes that she isn't there anymore, what then? Will I never again have the chance to have all my neices and nephews in the same place at the same time?

I wish my siblings would put all the crap behind them. And as the oldest, I feel like I have this to say..."GROW UP". We're adults now, guys. Or at least we're supposed to be.

I spend the first 10 minutes of every day at my new job terrified that my boss will come to me and tell me that he's decided that I'm not really a good fit for the job after all. And I love my job, but there are already customers (and one coworker) who really get under my skin. The one woman who will find the ONE ITEM in the store with an incorrect sign and demand two of said item...she bugs the crap out of me.

Thankfully, I haven't seen her in a week or so. Of course, I'm sure that now I just jinxed myself.

And maybe we can't even afford to send the boys to state schools when the time comes. Maybe I know that in my head the college degrees that they work for will mean more to them, but I still feel guilty and a bit terrified that we won't be able to afford to help them at all.

And in addition to all the other things they'll blame me for, they'll blame me for that too.

28 September 2010

I'll nap if I want to

It's my birthday. Again. I told a customer at work last night that I plan to stop aging now. This is it. Thirty-six is all.

If only it worked that way.

I'm so blessed. I miss my family tremendously on my birthday, but I know that they are thinking of me. And I have amazing friends who send cards and greetings every year. That means a lot.

I have HUGE plans for today. I'm having coffee with Esther this morning while her daughter is at preschool. Then I plan to come home and sneak in a bit of a nap. Or at the very least, rest in the peace and quiet.

Then maybe I'll eat some ice cream. In the middle of the afternoon.

And finally, I'm going to enjoy dinner with my husband this evening.

Can't think of any better way to spend this day!

24 September 2010

blah, blah, blah

Again, I'm posting totally late. I blame Walgreens for hampering my blogging. If only I could blame Walgreens for the fact that the dining room table is littered with papers, bills and objects of all kinds.

I got the weekend off work but it'll be hardly restful. C and I leave in the morning for a missions event about two hours away. We should be home around six pm. Jon will take M to his nine-thirty soccer game in the morning. I hate missing soccer, but I promised C that I'd take him tomorrow. It's just one game.

Then Sunday will be my father-in-law's final service at the pulpit . I've lost track, but I think that it's over 40 years. And of course the family is getting together for that 9am service. We'll have to leave here around 6am to get there just in time.

I called my mom this morning to tell her that we weren't going to be able to visit for Thanksgiving. Again, I blame Walgreens. Something about "all hands on deck" for Black Friday.... I was sorta relieved that she didn't answer; it's easier to NOT cry to the voicemail. Oy.

Guess Jon got something booked for our anniversary. He sent me an email today that included the word "whirlpool". And I don't think he means the dishwasher. At least I hope not.

Tuesday is my birthday. I've got plans with my friend Esther for coffee in the morning and plans with Jon for dinner in the evening. In between, I may take a nap and eat some ice cream. It only happens once a year, after all.

Have a great weekend!

17 September 2010

granted

First, there was #5 of this post.


Then, there was this post.


Guess some couldn't stand the suspense. I hadn't thought to ask permission initially to share what I'm about to tell you, so I had to leave you hanging while I sought out whether I was in the clear to divulge the secret.


Turns out, this part isn't a secret.

Lucky, huh?


I shall leave you in suspense no longer, my dear friends.

My best friend's baby who will be born in early December is.......









































another BOY! Woohoo!

15 September 2010

that won't work...and a new baby

I'd originally set out to do a Wordless Wednesday post, then it dawned on me that Jon had taken the tower to the office. Something about needing the harddrive. And I don't have any pictures loaded to the laptop; I only have access to them from the desktop.

Oh well.


C told me this morning that his teacher has the same game that we have here. And she has the Clue Jr. books too. And she spent a lot of her own money for the things in her classroom. And her husband told her not to spend anymore, but she spent an additional $100 to repair the math books.


I said "Wow, she tells you guys everything, huh?"



I had dinner with my bf last night and her baby boy. He's almost 9 months old and so adorable. And as I mentioned in this post, I've known for only a couple of weeks that she's very pregnant with baby #2.

Now when she was pregnant with baby J last year, I could have possibly been the only one who didn't know that he was a boy. I'd simply asked her not to tell me, as I like that kind of surprise.

When we sat down to dinner last night, one of the first things I said was "So, did you find out the gender of this baby last week?" She said yes.

"And you're not gonna tell me?" She reminded me that I didn't want to know. Right. I like surprises.

I played with the baby the whole time we had dinner. When it was time for me to head home, she asked me to stay with J so she could run to the bathroom. No problem.

When she returned to the table, I said "Hey, I have a question. If I was to ask you if you'd tell me the new baby's gender, would you tell me, but keep the name a secret once you choose it?"

Obviously aliens had taken over my brain. Who am I?

She said "Sure"

I took a deep breath and said "Okay, tell me."

WHAT?? This is nuts! I don't really wanna know, do I?

When she said "It's a .....", I got so excited I started to cry.

I can't wait for the birth of the new baby!

13 September 2010

monday musings...on a positive note

Why is it that weekends away from work go so quickly? At least Jon and I got to go for breakfast on Saturday morning; seemed forever since we'd been able to do that.


All the football teams we care about in this house posted wins over the weekend. That's exactly how it should be!

Worship was great yesterday, with the exception of my "technical difficulty". Seems that in our rush to get to church early for choir practice, I left my purse on the kitchen counter. That left me without my phone, without offering for Sunday School and most importantly, without my thumb drive containing the lyric powerpoint for worship. And we were over halfway to church when I said to Jon "Where's my purse?" Gah. I confessed my blunder to our music director who told me just to type in the selections not in the hymnal and that we'd just use the hymnal for the rest.


A copy of all my powerpoint files will find its way onto the desktop in the church office this next weekend. No crisis, but I was a bit nervous that on the very first weekend that I forgot the powerpoint in two years the district superintendent and his wife would be visiting. Yep. And Shawn Del didn't even fire me.


But on a positive note.....


On A Positive Note Button
Beth over at Laugh Until You Cry created this carnival that I thought was great; to start off the week with something positive! So here's my entry...

I'm working two 11a-8p shifts this week, but the upside is that I get time to myself in the morning once everyone else is out of the house...to watch the news, slowly enjoy my coffee or write (or read) blog posts. That almost makes up for being at work till almost bedtime for Caleb.
Have a great Monday, everyone!

10 September 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday


1. I apologize for the lateness of this post, but I worked the opening shift this morning and got home at 5pm. Then I changed clothes and made dinner, checked homework and spent some time with Jon and I'm finally getting the chance to sit at the laptop.

2. I'm back to teaching the first through third grade Sunday School class. I really enjoyed the first time around; had some great students, most of whom are either in middle school now or right on the verge of middle school. I feel a bit differently this time around; there aren't as many children in my class and one of them is my own. It's more challenging to teach with my own boy in the room. But it's gonna work out fine.

3. Speaking of work, every customer with a problem came in to the store today. Our manager just handles one problem at a time. But my favorite moment of the day was the lady who came in and bought a pack of Newport Light cigarettes in a box. When I asked her if she wanted a bag, she said no, that her husband was out in the truck and he doesn't know she smokes, so she'd just put them in her purse. Instead of chuckling, which I wanted to do, I just smiled and said "okay". I'm not sure what she was thinking.

4. I got my first full paycheck this week. And all but about a hundred dollars went to put new tires on the Honda the next morning. Easy come, easy go, I guess.

5. Come to find out this week, my best friend and her husband are expecting baby #2. The surprise comes in when I say that she just had an ultrasound this week that confirmed that the baby is already 25 weeks gestation instead of the 8-10 weeks the clinic staff thought. Baby J (#1) is gonna be a big brother before his first birthday! Crazy stuff, but I'm super pumped for another baby to get my fix!

6. Fall has arrived and I even made the first batch of potato soup this week. And had leftovers in my lunch at work this afternoon. I love fall; too bad I have to get a year older every time it comes around.

7. I had an irritating experience this week at a retail giant. And I won't be visiting that local establishment again. But that scored me some points with my boss, since that would potentially mean some more business for Walgreens. My discount on items is only an added bonus.

Have a great weekend!

06 September 2010

labor day


* if you follow this blog via networked blogs on facebook, you'll need to click on 'view original post' to see this post complete with the pictures. thanks!*

It's sometimes hard to believe that fourteen years ago today, I had my own personal labor day and gave birth to the most perfect six pound, six ounce little man. From the minute I held him, I was in love and he has never ceased to be the best thing that ever happened to me when I was the ripe old age of 21 years and 344 days.


(two days old- just sprung from St Vincent Hospital)

I've enjoyed watching him grow. I loved watching 'Pooh's Grand Adventure- the search for Christopher Robin' again and again. And again.



(nearly three, with his favorite blanket)


I cried when I left him on his first day of Kindergarten. I was the only one. He'd been home with me almost every minute since that warm September Sunday when we sprung him from the hospital and I wasn't ready for his independence. But he was and his teacher loved him.


(how is he ready for school already?...two days short of six years old)

He's a great big brother who lives life with an interesting mix of protecting Caleb and teaching him all he needs to know and wishing that Caleb would just go away.



Aren't all sibling relationships like that?

I'm proud that he's our son. I'm pleased at the smart, responsible, caring young man he's become. I'm more than thrilled that he loves Jesus with his whole heart, soul, mind and strength.



Happy birthday, Matthew. You make us proud.

03 September 2010

And God said "Let there be balance." *

God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael, the archangel, found him, resting on the seventh day.

He inquired, "Where have you been?"

God smiled deeply and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made."

Archangel Michael looked puzzled, and said, "What is it?"

"It's a planet," replied God, and I've put life on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a place to test Balance."

"Balance?" inquired Michael, "I'm still confused."

God explained, pointing to different parts of Earth. "For example, northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while southern Europe is going to be poor. Over here I've placed a continent of white people, and over there is a continent of black people. Balance in all things."

God continued pointing to different countries. "This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice."

The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land area and said, "What's that one?"

"That's Wisconsin , the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful rivers and streams, lakes, forests, and hills. The people from Wisconsin are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent, and humorous, and they are going to travel the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking, high achieving, carriers of peace, and producers of good things. Champions shall come from here!"

Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then asked, "But what about balance, God? You said there would be balance."

God smiled, "I will create Minnesota, wait till you see the clowns I put there. They will field a football team to provide entertainment; they will wear purple and play in a domed stadium."

Michael inquisitively asked, "Why a domed stadium?"

God chuckled and said, "You see Michael,...even I don't want to watch them play football."

*thanks, Steph!

31 August 2010

if she weren't so cute....


maybe he'd stop making her wear his cap. Nah.

30 August 2010

It's Monday, but on a positive note.....

What a weekend!

And I mean that. Parts were great, and parts weren't so great.

J took the boys and a friend of M's to the minor league baseball game Saturday evening. Even though the team lost, I think that a great time was had by all. A visit to BK before the game and then soda and cotton candy during the game were the highlights for the little brother, that's for sure.

Work on Saturday went well, with the exception of that I couldn't get to the customer who was trying to carry three gallon jugs of water before she dropped one and it spilled all over the floor in front of the photo counter. After I called for the manager and every drop was cleaned up, she apologized to me saying that she knew that she should have gotten a cart to carry her water. And I just reassured her that these things happen and that really, it's not a big deal. She did get a cart to carry her water out to her car though; a gallon jug always loses the fight with an asphalt lot.

Don't ask me how I know that.

And for the not-so-great part, let's just say that my 13yo son is heartbroken. Through no fault of his own, a relationship that he treasured looks to be over, at least that's what I understand, and he's not happy about it at all. And there are extenuating circumstances to this too. It's not pretty.

But on a positive note.....

On A Positive Note Button
Beth over at Laugh Until You Cry created this carnival that I thought was great; to start off the week with something positive! So here's my entry...


....we've had more than one opportunity this last week to stress to M that it's really important that he make some decisions in life NOW and stick to them, because there can be lifelong consequences if you don't. And he seems to understand and be on board.

I wonder if it's too early to start with C.

27 August 2010

seven quick takes Friday


1. Here we are again, Friday. Most people look forward to the weekend, I just look forward to which ever days of the week (usually three) I don't have to dress in navy and tan and go to "the pharmacy America trusts". But I'm loving my job, some cranky customers aside, AND I finally got paid this week, so that makes it even better!

2. As I'm sure you know, school starts Wednesday. C can't wait. And I can't wait! Teacher meet and greet is this afternoon. I'm so excited, yet a little sad, that my baby is in grade THREE. Where was I when this happened?

3. Speaking of my baby, my other one who's growing taller than me by the minute- he got to go to the Brewer game yesterday with his Poppa and Uncle and some of his cousins. It's always a great time, I hear, and yesterday was no exception. Except that the Brewers lost and M has never seen them pull off a win. But it's a win for Poppa, since he's a lifelong die-hard Dodger fan.

4. My mom's having her other hip replaced in October. She said that her doctor said that she could live with the pain or look at the surgery schedule, so she's taken his (at that time) next available opening. I won't travel to be with her during the first week of her recovery this time (sob!); she didn't want me to have to worry about taking time off work so she said that Dad has plenty of pto and he'll stay home and take care of her. I'm still gonna call and check on her every day. :-)

5. I'm headed next weekend for a quick trip to IL to visit some friends and I can't wait! I was lucky enough to get all of Labor Day weekend off (WOW!), so I'm gonna take advantage and go away alone for the day. I'll get to hug my friend (YAY!) and play with her adorable son (YAY!) and I'm super excited.

6. J got a new phone this week. He got the Droid, so he's been having fun installing apps and stuff. He's happy; I'm not. Why, you ask? His new toy came in lieu of a raise, and he hasn't had a raise in three years. Not cool. The phone won't buy the eighth grader new pants or shoes. Or feed the "always hungry" third grader. But whatever. Enjoy your phone, babe. (For the record, I know it's not his fault...it just ticks me off.)

7. And finally, would you believe that in just over a week I'll be the mother of a FOURTEEN year old?!? That's nuts. Even as I typed that, I don't believe it. I don't just live in denial, I enjoy every minute of it, thankyouverymuch.

Have a great weekend!

Check out more Quick takes at conversiondiary.com

25 August 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday- once bitten, twice shy...*

alternately titled: manicure bound!
*and if you know me at all, you're pretty amazed that it's been two weeks since I've bit my nails. Frankly, I'm amazed myself.

23 August 2010

Monday Musings

*While logically I appreciate getting all my work hours (26.5 this week) in in a span of three days, I wasn't sure that my body was up to the challenge. Fortunately, things went well and I made it through and will happily go back to work on Wednesday.

**Don't get me wrong, I totally felt as though I deserved a reward for keeping this body on the move all weekend, so I chose two pints of ice cream from the freezer case as the final thing I did at the store last night. And then I came home and ate until my tongue was frozen and I could no longer taste the creamy deliciousness; which, for the record, was about half a pint. It awaits my return to the freezer this evening.

***Just so there's no confusion, I do sincerely hope that most of my work weeks no longer contain the 11-8 cosmetics shift Friday through Sunday. I felt as though my weekend was not my own.

****Jon was tremendously helpful over the weekend making sure that the house was maintained and the boys were still alive and fed. As a matter of fact, when I came through the back door last night, everyone was happily doing their own thing upstairs. That was a good sign that things went well.

*****And payday is Wednesday; woohoo!

******Soccer season practices start tonight. M has played every season but one since he went to Kindergarten. Check out how adorable his picture is!


He was quite cooperative when I said "Hey, can you go get me your kindergarten soccer pic? I wanna scan it in." But then when I started gushing about how adorable he was, he got all embarrassed. Teenagers!

21 August 2010

in the dark

Somewhere around 5:30 this morning, I noticed that there was something wrong.


I was hearing intermittent squeeking and couldn't decide if the fan in the window was just set out to not allow me to sleep or if it could be a squirrel outside the window perched on the deck roof.


About ten minutes later, Jon was awake and went downstairs. When he came back up to the bedroom, he had his flashlight and looked behind the door.


Next thing I hear is "Oh, great...you're gonna want to get under the blankets."


Yep, that's right.


A bat. A nasty, disease-ridden bat.


Behind our bedroom door.


Two seconds later, I heard the "thump, thump" of his shoe making contact with the creature.


Then I could finally sleep.

17 August 2010

sixteen or five

I've known my husband for sixteen years.

In that same amount of time, my co-worker, Aggie, has worked at four different stores. She tells me that she's not sure that she'll make it to seventeen.

I don't know whether to believe that or not.

Five years ago, Caleb was three. Matthew was in school all day and Caleb still took a nap every afternoon.

Five years from now, Matthew will be starting his freshman year in college.

How's that for a little perspective for ya this morning?

13 August 2010

seven quick takes




1. Work is going well. Everybody's really nice and it's a small store, so we get regular customers whose names I get to learn. I'm not really looking forward to working all weekend next weekend, but hey, it's money, right?

2. I spent both of my scheduled shifts this week completing requirements for my new job. Such things as "this is how we provide excellent customer service" "everything you need to know about what to do if a robbery should occur on your shift" and so on. It was all done on the computer, complete with a narrator to complete my "beverage server/seller" class. I had to turn that feature off; I could read faster than she could talk anyway. Monday and Tuesday I actually get to interact with customers which I love. I hated being stuck back in that room.

3. Tomorrow is the annual Fireman's Parade. M is marching, of course; so we will attend. It's a pretty lengthy parade but fun for the kids. The best part of the parade this year is that afterward we're taking the boys to Grandma and Poppa's house to spend a couple of days. Peace and solitude and couple time; woohoo! Minus time spent at work, of course.

4. I didn't get her permission to tell you this, but I have to tell you anyway. You know how my Mom is a breast cancer survivor, right? Click here for the cliff notes on that. I talked to her this week and she casually mentions that she had to have a repeat mamogram. Because there was a "spot"....huh. I'm pretty sure I stopped breathing. But, thanks be to God, it's been determined by several professionals that the spot in NOT cancer; it must just be from reconstruction surgery she had this past January. whew. Talk about a scary few days. But once again, God is good!

5. No ants for a few days. And then suddenly, just one late last night. Ugh. Jon did say he only sprayed about three-quarters of the kitchen, so once he finishes it, we should be good to go. Or else we'll have to hire an exterminator. One or the other.

6. Our fifteenth anniversary is this October. Seems hardly likely, and yet, here we are. We only go away every five years and this would be the year. Normally you'd think we had plans in place already...nope. Guess Jon had a plan in his head for this year while we celebrated our tenth in '05 and he's a bit disappointed that the plan didn't pan out. But I'm not of the opinion that just because that didn't work out we shouldn't do anything! I suppose I'll just have to keep proding him. hee hee.

7. School starts two weeks from Wednesday. I can't wait, C can't wait, M would just really rather not ever go back to school. Of course, I'm sure that's due to the fact that he's been taking full advantage of sleeping very late the last few weeks. The six o'clock wake up on September first is going to be brutal. hee hee hee.

Check out more Quick takes at conversiondiary.com

11 August 2010

red

Remember this post from a few weeks ago?


Well, here's the first of what our patience has afforded us.


And there are more to come!

07 August 2010

dance

Originally published August 7, 2009


Today, August 7th, after thirteen years, our Grandparents are reunited on their anniversary.

And do you know what they're doing?

They're dancing.

I had forgotten how much they loved to dance until one of my Aunts mentioned it this week. In the last couple weeks of her life, Grandma mentioned that she would like to do several things that she had not had the chance to do in years; most frequently she mentioned dancing.

She had been bedridden due to stroke for seven years and I don't honestly think that she had been dancing since Grandpa passed away, but she remembered what it was like and that she loved it.

Mom told a story this weekend that Grandma had told her. She said that Grandma and Grandpa used to go to Lansing and dance whenever Bob Crosby and his band played Big Band music there. And they would dance the night away.

Every chance they got, they'd dance. And they were good at it too.

So today, on what is their 68th wedding anniversary, we miss them both tremendously, but we take comfort in knowing that they are celebrating together today.

Dancing.

06 August 2010

stream of consciousness

C and I had a great time at our church's annual district assembly this week. The conventions were informative, the preaching anointed and the youth-led worship AH. MA. ZING. It's so great to be able to gather with friends from other churches and get reports about what God is doing.

C had a great time in that he got to make some new friends and he did quite a bit of swimming in the hotel pool. Props to the childcare coordinator and her team; nothing quite like dropping the boy off and not having to worry about keeping him entertained for the afternoon!

I got to bring home a souvenir of sorts from Madison too. Seems that I have come down with quite a deal of a head cold. And my throat feels as though there's a Brillo pad stick in it too. Good times. I'm hoping that with some diligence in taking medication and fluids for the next few days that I am good as new very soon. It's not the worst cold I've ever had but just the same I'd like to be rid of it.

I started my new job today. It went well. Everybody is very nice and extremely helpful in offering advice as I navigate my way through the process. Fortunately, I've worked a cash register before, so that's the easy part. It's nice to be back in the "working" world again.

Remind me of that last sentence the next time that I report that I'm completely overwhelmed if you would, please.

Seems as though we have quite a major ant problem as of late. And not tiny red ants either; nope, the big, black ones that can carry away a small pet if it sets its mind to it. Ick. Jon is bringing home traps tonight. We had some spray, but it says right on the can "hazardous to humans and domestic animals" so I don't want to use it around the kitten. Or on my kitchen counter, frankly. Hopefully the traps will do the job.

With that, you're caught up. And I'm off to veg in front of the tv until my next dose of medication.

Toodles.

29 July 2010

let it go

It's no secret that I'm a control freak. Put me in charge and it needs to go the way I say, in the time I say...blah, blah.

But the good news about me is that if somebody else is in charge of something and I'm just taking part in the fun, I'm all good in letting myself go with the flow.

The director of music at our local church giggles when I say "Whatever you want, boss!"

And I mean it. Who wants to upset her anyway?

Alas, my flexibility is not really what we're talking about here. It'd be a really short post anyway and not really worth anyones time, believe me.

Things are about to change around here; don't worry, it's all good. Or at least it will be.

I got a new part-time job; and after being home full time for the last year and a half, I'm gonna be out of the house making money twenty to twenty-five hours a week.

I'm pretty excited because who am I kidding, I really haven't wanted to be home so much in recent months...but finding work near our home proved to be more challenging than I was ready for, actually.

I got lucky in that the manager of my new job felt nostalgic when he saw on my application that both he and I used to work for the same company. Not at the same time, mind you, but whatever.

See? All good.

Here in lies my problem. My very gracious husband has made it clear that he'll see to it that whatever he and the boys need to do to pick up some of the slack while I get used to my new work schedule, they'll do.

But I have to let them. AHEM.

See my problem? If you know me at all, you do.

So who cares if Jon turns the towels wrong side out as he folds them? At least they're folded. Right now, I care. And last week, I couldn't stop myself from making a comment about how he had done it backwards.

Don't worry, I hated myself for it. And you know what else? In my repentance, I put them away just like they were. And then left them that way. That's pretty big, for me.

It's not just towels, either, as I'm sure you figured. Will the dishes get clean enough if I'm not the one to load the dishwasher....I left veggies for supper every night and no one has eaten a single veggie all week....there is cat hair everywhere, can you not see that?.....

The thing is, I've realized that I can't pick apart my help and still expect to get help. Call it maturity or desperation or whatever...I'm gonna have to channel my mother and just be gracious and grateful for the help. That ultimately means that I'm just gonna have to go with the flow around here too.

God help me.

28 July 2010

the rain came down...

We've had so much rain since the boys and I made it home from Michigan that the mosquitoes have quadrupled, in size and number.


Normally, this is the time of year where people around here are complaining about how brown their lawns are and wouldn't it be nice if it just rained so purposeful watering wasn't necessary.

Not this year.

With most of this rain comes the event of some sort of severe weather. Last Tuesday, it was tornado warnings about an hour into band camp at the middle school. Last night it was reported that there was quarter-sized hail falling; we drove into the storm from sunny skies and back out of the storm into sunny skies.


All we saw was quarter-sized raindrops, in case you wondered.

But it rained like crazy again over night. And I know this because I had another one of those nights where I was dead-tired by nine-thirty, so I went to sleep; only to find myself wide awake around quarter after two.


Thank goodness we have DirecTV. Otherwise I'd have to read a book or something.


Fast forward to around ten till seven this morning, Jon kisses me goodbye and walks out the front door. I don't hear him open his car door right away, so I wait...and see that he gets a 6 pack of Coke bottles out of the back of the van.

But then all I hear is "HOLY COW!"

He comes back inside and says "Guess we don't need Eric after all...you gotta see this."



When we talked about taking this tree down on our own, it needed to miss the clothesline post...




and it better miss the wishing well that my Grandpa built for me, or heads were gonna ROLL.


Guess it worked out okay. And we have more firewood to boot. Jon'll just have to uncover the firepit there somewhere. Lucky him.

19 July 2010

if you build it....

It's no secret that Caleb's medicine is helping him immensely. And wouldn't ya know that after three weeks of sharing legos with cousins, he'd have a new appreciation for the stash of blocks that we have here at home. (Small by some standards, I'm sure; but while no one has sat and counted legos recently, we estimate our stash to be around 4,000 pieces.)

Ask Matthew. I guess he had too much time on his hands at some point.

Over the last several days, I've had everything from an army of lego robots to a fleet of cars spread over my coffee table. Regrettably, I didn't think to get pictures of either of those. But Saturday, Caleb decided that he needed paper for a "blueprint". I got kinda excited when he brought me this:


It's widely reported that not to be outdone, his brother built this:

It was later used to smash the rocket to bits.

Many tears followed.

16 July 2010

sometimes you gotta laugh

or you're gonna cry.


Trust me when I tell you that I've done plenty of both in recent days.


The van was in the garage all week. Last night, I finally got clearance to drive it, as the problem seems to be not "drive threatening". That's good. I think.


We've had plenty of rain over the last several days. We spent a portion of Wednesday afternoon in the basement due to a tornado warning in our corner of the county. While we had the radio on for updates we were treated to a waterfall show. Seems that there is a fairly significant crack in the foundation on the west side of the house. Wonderful.


There also seems to be a leak in the roof over the bathroom. If you remember this post, you'll know that I was very happy with the new ceiling.



Now the ceiling looks like this:


I realize it could be worse, but COME ON!

And our 13 year old decided that since he was upset with me yesterday, he'd disappear. When I sent him a text telling him it was dinner time, I assumed he was just a block or so way up at the park. Imagine my surprise when his reply was that he was in the town thirteen miles away.

When I asked him what in the world he was thinking, he said "I was mad at you." Nice.

He's without any tv or computer games and chained to our property for a week. And his phone has been confiscated for an undetermined amount of time.

And the kicker was that he acted like it was no big deal that he took off without a word.

I don't wanna be a grown-up anymore.

14 July 2010

promises

I waited patiently for the Lord;
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and the mire,
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand. Ps 40:1-2


The Lord is my light and my salvation-
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life-
of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1

As for God, His way is perfect… 2Sam 22:31a

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of His covenant. Ps 25:10

I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Ps. 4:8


For the pagans run after all these things,
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself. Mt 6:32-34a

13 July 2010

give thanks!

Money is tight, our options limited but God is still on the throne. In everything that seems to have been going not quite right in the last few weeks, we still have our home and family. We're safe, there's food in the refrigerator and (most) of the bills are paid.

On the whole we are healthy, happy and continually blessed. We refuse to let Satan do his damndest to break up what we have going; our faith in what God has done and is doing and will do for us is bigger than that!

"MY grace is sufficient for you; for MY power is made perfect in (your) weakness." 2 Cor. 12:9

That's good news!

06 July 2010

days to weeks

When we loaded up the van for vacation to Michigan on June 12th, we had no idea that getting home would involve one bus ticket, the boys and I would get two extra weeks with family and we'd have just seventeen hours at home before we were away again for a long weekend.

I'll be back and tell you all about it. Just as soon as the house is cleaned, the fridge and cupboards stocked, the bills paid.......