Saturday, June 30, 2007

Spiritual Playpens

Love is the way to maturity. Selfishness stunts growth and keeps us in a spiritual playpen. The world is full of emotional babies, crawling over each other, screaming, "Mine! This I want, and this I shall have, and never mind what it does to anybody else!" What a relief, what peace, when one who has reached spiritual adulthood, who by love has grown out of himself, comes along. He freely gives up his own aims and ambitions, his safety and his cherished plans, his possessions, his feelings, anything at all that will help and says my life for yours. Such a one comes as a rescuer.

To give myself up is the last thing I think of doing. It looks like weakness. In God's eyes, though, it is power.

"We who share His weakness shall by the power of God
live with Him in your service" (2 Cor 13:4 NEB).

~Elisabeth Elliot

Friday, June 29, 2007

I Couldn't Resist

I love this new Photo Show program....think I can convince Bob to buy it for me? :)

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

Indiana Beach

For some reason I didn't get any pictures of Jozie, my poser! I will have to ask "Aunt Jaclyn" to email some to me and then I will update this little Photo Show!

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

The V Dub's Were in the House!

Well, again, I have had quite a long silence! Levi and Jaclyn came to visit last week and stayed a couple of days longer than they intended. We had a wonderful time shopping, sight seeing, watching movies, and hanging out. Bob got to spent some quality "man time" with Levi at the shooting range and I spent some "lets go shopping!" time with Jaclyn.

I learned to knit! I am so excited! I am about a quarter of the way done with a poncho that I started on years ago (literally, I've had the yarn and instructions since before we moved from MI!) for Jozie for Christmas. Hopefully it will be done in time for this year! :) Jaclyn is the best teacher! Thanks Mrs. V! She also taught Jozie and Luke but they found other things more interesting (like pestering Uncle Levi) and abandoned them indefinately...maybe next winter when we are spending a lot of time indoors they will pick it back up again! :)

I got Jaclyn started on her first scrapbook. She is going to scrap her summer vacation because she is going to be doing a lot of traveling. I took her to hobby lobby and got her hooked up with a cute little book and also some stickers. Then I brought her back home and let her go through my tote of papers and stuff. She didn't take near enough! LOL

We visited the Indiana Dunes for the first time since we've lived here only to do it on the day that the beach was closed because of lightening! We sat on the beach in the swealtering heat waiting for the beach to reopen but ended up leaving the beautiful sun and sand for the cooler climate of the central air at home! Maybe next time we will actually be able to get in the water...

Jaclyn started her own blog while sitting at the dining room table here at the house! Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! Have fun! :)

Luke with the storm behind him.

The White Bellies on the Beach! a.k.a. Jaclyn and Levi

Monday, June 25, 2007

I Heart Jones!

I submitted one of my pictures to the Jones Soda Co. to be put on one of their bottles! Jaclyn told me to submit my gnome picture so I did. I might try a few others too. Here it is if you want to check it out! Vote for me while you are there. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Am I the Only One?

Grrrr....My kids fight CONSTANTLY lately! If they aren't fighting they are best friends but I'd say about 75% of the time they are fighting! And not just taking toys (but that is part of it) but they are yelling at each other and even hitting each other! Calling each other names and saying mean things to each other. Jozie gets bruises and scratches from Luke about once a week. Is this common? Am I the only one? I know that some would say that they learn from their parents but Bob has NEVER hit me or do we fight that often. When we do fight is quick and over with before you know it. We do yell when we fight like most people but it's rare - like once or twice a month. When we have disagreements it's nothing like the kids fighting, that's for sure!

I don't know what to do! I have tried to separate them but they just start making faces at each other and start laughing, so there goes the discipline purpose of it. I've tried the give-your-brother (or sister)-a-hug-and-say-you-are-sorry thing but that doesn't seem to work because the one receiving the hug and apology is usually angry and not in the mood to get it. I have tried soap in their mouths but the result isn't lasting, the name calling still persists, only with different words than what the soap was for...the list goes on...I need my Lisa Whelchel book, Creative Correction, but it's packed in a box somewhere, probably in the garage, and it's unaccessible right now...Grrrrr....

Anyway, here's the chance you all have been waiting for to give it to me with both guns and tell me what I need to do to better my parenting skills! :) Because something must be wrong here and I am clueless as to how to figure it out!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


So here we are, the whole family, with Big Russ and John.

On Saturday Luke and Bob got to hang out with one of their heroes, "Big Russ". Bob was thrilled when they asked him to go to the airport to pick the team up (kinda like a little kid)... he was surprised to see that when he got there he was only about 5 hours late (not Bob's fault, luckily, it was the event coordinator who got the time wrong)! According to Bob the one thing that you do NOT want to see is a 6 foot 3 in., 310 pound man angry...but that's another story!

Originally we met Big Russ when he was with the Power Team and visiting a local church. He has a very dynamic personality and a heart to bring the lost to the Lord. Some of the kids that Bob works with in juvenile placement came to see the concerts and Bob was able to personally introduce Big Russ to them. The first thing that he asked them is if they were saved. The boys were CLEARLY intimidated by this huge man but Russ just told the kids that no matter what they did that he loved them and that God loves them too. He lead one of the boys in the sinners prayer right there with his hand on Bob's shoulder like they were old pals or something. :) Luke was there to witness it all and I'm glad to see that he not only sees Big Russ as a big, strong, fun guy to hang out with but also as a man who isn't afraid to stand up for God.

In their final performance of the night Big Russ broke a pair of hand cuffs off his arms (I didn't get any pictures this time because I was way too busy but the second picture in the above link shows him with the handcuffs on). They were real police standard black handcuffs. That is one of Luke's favorite parts of the show so Bob sneaked the broken handcuffs for him. I say sneaked because they could give anything else out as souvenirs - broken baseball bats, bent hammers, broken bricks, etc. - but they weren't supposed to let the handcuffs out because the chain link only pulled out of the housing and the bracelet part was still intact. Luckily Bob still had the key or Big Russ would have been going home with some new bracelets and that wouldn't look so good on an ex-con! :) So Luke got his second Big Russ souvenir but we can't give it to him because after Big Russ got them off, the key was lost. Knowing Luke he would decide to try them on for size, even though he knows he's not supposed to only to have to go to the police station to get them off and explain the whole thing!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

OK, Where Have I Been?

That's probably the question that you have all been asking yourselves over the last couple of weeks....or at least that's what I imagine my meager "following" to be wondering. :)

The Friday before last we got a call that my grandmother was not doing well. She had just collapsed at home after a morning of running errands with my aunt (which means that she sat in the car because she had a hard time getting around - except for her hair-do of course!) and ended up being taken to the hospital by ambulance where she was put on life support until some final decisions about her could be made. On Saturday morning she was taken off life support and never took another breath. It was definitely hard for my mom and our family. She has been through so much over the last couple of years with so much time in the hospital in intensive care for this and that with her emphazema being a major problem. She fought her way back to us numerous times when we thought the end was near. I think the hardest part was that we expected some major hospital visit with another stroke or pneumonia to take her slowly and painfully. There was also a recent diagnosis of unconfirmed lung cancer. So we thought that would take her. We thought she still had some time, some fight left in her. Her last words were, "I just can't do it anymore."

Rose was a beautiful, wonderful, feisty woman who everyone loved. She will be dearly missed by numerous friends and family.

Some of my fondest memories of my time with grandma were the times we got to spend alone together. She always wanted to play cards or "shake the dice", or have her nails done but my favorite time was the afternoon we spent together canning tomatoes, just on a whim that they were out there and had to be taken car of or they would have gone to waste. We thought we would get a couple of courts but ended up with 10 or so. I wish those times with her could have been more. Most of them were when I was living near her while I was going to college. I didn't grow up with her because we lived so far away and wish I could have known her better.

I took the kids and left after church on Sunday with my mom for the 4 hour trip to MI. I spent the next few days helping out with laundry and dishes, and such around my aunts house (the aunt who was taking care of grandma for the last couple of years) while family came in and out and brought tons of delicious food. The funeral was beautiful and hard. The church was packed. We left on Thursday afternoon to head back home.

Friday we spent running around finishing some last minute details for a Christian music festival that we volunteered for that ran all day Saturday. It was unfortunately a pretty big flop (I'm not even saying the name on purpose...I don't want someone leaving me nasty or rude comments!). They were expecting something like 5000 people - it was at our local fair grounds - and probably only had about 500. To make matters worse the big name bands that were supposed to play didn't because 1 didn't show up until the last minute and didn't end up playing because of severe thunderstorms that came through in the afternoon. There was a lot of hard work put into it but unfortunately it was poorly coordinated and advertised for and probably too much money for the little known bands that we had there. Then the 2 big ones that we did have didn't get to play anyway.

We are exhausted and still recovering from our lack of sleep over the last week. Even the kids worked hard (but probably played harder!) for the music festival. I was pretty proud of them. :)

My little brother Levi and my wonderful SIL Jaclyn are coming to visit us this weekend and we were thinking of going to C*hic*ago on Saturday but I found out today that the h*m*s*x*a* pride thing (I was intentionally vague for obvious reasons! This is a family blog!) is this weekend so I'm not sure I really want to take my kids to the "big city" - as they call it - only to have to keep their eyes covered and content some how or another censored for a majority of it... grrr... we may just end up going to Mich*igan Cit*y for a little town festival they are having with music and food and a community garage sale! Plus they have an outlet mall there....very promising!!! Community garage sale and outlet mall all in one weekend...How will I ever handle all of the excitement?! LOL Either way I am going to figure out how to get her to that outlet mall....we will have 3 days!

Becca...what is C*i*ago Summer*fe*t in Lin*oln Pa*k like? Will there be any residual from the you-know-what there? Is it good for kids? Or do you know? Email me! :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

I am my father's child.

Remember when you are younger you swear you will never be like your mother? You won't do to your children what they did to you, you won't talk or act or walk - mostly out of teenage anger and frustration from not getting your own way! - the way they did, etc.? Well, I succeeded! Mostly...I have a tad bit of my mothers attitude in me but more than ever I find myself being, acting, teaching, and disciplining my children just like my dad. We were never really close while I was a teenager, probably mostly because he was unsure of how to deal with a teenage daughter! When I was little I remember some of my favorite times were spent with my dad.

In the years since I have grown into my own person I have seen us both change. He has really become more of a friend and I could talk to him everyday!

I'm proud to say that I am my father's child.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

I also want to honor my Father-in-law today. Thanks, Dad, for such a wonderful husband. Thank you for being the father to him that you were, and still are, because of that he is the man he is today. And I know you will be reading this are one of my lurkers! :)

John, you have take care of me at times like I was your own. I couldn't be more greatful for those times.

And last but not least! Happy Father's day to my husband! :) I love you! Thank you for being such a hard working dad for our kids and providing everything that we need. :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Belle's Big Day

Today Jozie followed in her cousin's footsteps. She got her hair cut and is donating it to Locks of Love! Ever since she saw that her cousin did it, she has wanted to do it and I keep saying that we'll do it next week. Today "next week" finally came because I had cash in my purse and decided this was the best use for it. It's summer and all that long hair is hard to keep up plus it's ho*t and he*avy on her head. Hopefully this will make for a cooler summer for her this year!

She looks like she could be Amie's more than ever now!

PS I am not doing this in a slide so Rebecca can see the pictures too! :)

Just a Little Update

I just have to tell you that the aprons that are being shown at Apronpalooza are amazing. I am being inspired and excited and now I want to get myself a new apron! If you haven't checked it out do so now! Don't delay! Run, don't walk! You will be missing out! There are 3 contests a day and most of them have 2 winners.

But, I guess if you don't go, than I will have a better chance of winning!

Voice Of Truth

Oh,what I would do
To have the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win,
you'll never win."

But the Voice of Truth
tells me a different story
and the Voice of Truth
says "Do no be afraid."
and the Voice of Truth
says "This is the for my glory."
out of all the voices calling out to me
i will choose to listen and believe
the Voice of Truth.

Oh, what I would do
to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
with just a sling and stone
Surrounded by the sound
of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armour
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out
my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
time and time again
"Boy you'll never win,
you'll never win."

But the Voice of Truth
tells me a different story
and the Voice of Truth
says "Do no be afraid."
and the Voice of Truth
says "This is the for my glory."
out of all the voices calling out to me
i will choose to listen and believe
the Voice of Truth.

But the stone was just the right size
to take the giant down
And the waves don't seem so high
when I'm standing on top of them looking down
And I'd soar with the wings of eagles
if I could just ignore the sound
Of the waves and the giants,
the waves and the giants in my mind

Lord, you've not given me a spirit of fear
But of power and of love,
and of a sound mind
So from now on,
I won't let the tempter's lies
turn my eyes away from the prize

That you have set before me.

That you have set before me.

------Casting Crowns

Monday, June 04, 2007

Neighborhood Garage Sales Rock!

On Sat. morning I woke Bob up early (8:30 really is early for him!) and we the morning WITHOUT children (well, at least for one. Jozie came with us to the second one) at 2 different neighborhood garage sales. I spent $10 on some adorable clothes for the kids and books for them plus 2 small purses for me.

I also found a bike for Luke, a Schwin, that he badly needed, but that didn't fall in the under $10 catagory. I probably spent too much on it but it was a near perfect condition Schwin and it was the only bike in 2 neighborhoods that I found! Period! I was desperate and it was on my list so I got it. I should have passed it up but I couldn't. I knew how excited he would be about it. I was right. After he rode it around the house a few times he immediately went over and rang the neighbors doorbell to tell her about it. She had company at the time but when they were gone he spent a good 10 minutes talking to her about his bike! I didn't know he had such a connection with this neighbor. She is the mother of one of his children's church teachers so we kind of know her but I didn't expect him to run right over to show her. I guess he was so excited he just had to show someone! My dear girl didn't say a word about not getting something big like Luke got. I got her a couple of books but she could have cared less, she isn't that excited about reading! She was just as excited as he was because she "helped" me pick it out. She's a good girl. :) If I were her I would have bee mad because I didn't get one too!

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Looks like fun! Check it out!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

My Life In Macro

I went a little macro crazy today with my camera. Luke wouldn't sit still for me to take his picture - what's new? - so I took pictures of veggies in the grocery store in honor of him and one of his cars. It was fun!

BTW, all pictures were taken in our yard - except for the food, of course! Our garden didn't grow that fast!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Swimming Pool Garden

Here is our Swimming Pool Garden. Definition: it used to be a swimming pool but now it's a garden. It was in extremely poor shape when we moved here. It would have had to be completely redone in order to actually swim in it - there were trees and brush growing out of the middle of it. So we had it filled in and now it's our garden. Not as big as we'd like but all the same, a garden. This picture was taken this morning with my clothes hanging out on the clothes line in the back ground. Our garden is shamefully bare. Not a seed or plant in it yet...that's to come tomorrow.

Till Death Do Us Part?!

Today, while riding in the car on the way to the dollar store, my son asked me a question. And me, being the oh-so-good-listening-Mom that I am, just answer, "Yah, sure Bubba," without much of a thought. He was in one of those talking moods that he gets in where the verbage flowing out of his mouth just doesn't seem to end. So I will admit, I went on auto pilot while my mind went elsewhere and my ears listened to the sound of a question. Not until Kristin gave me a funny eyebrow-raised look that I snapped out of my reverie and asked, "What?"

"Do you have any idea what your son just asked you?", she said.

"Sure, what was it?", I asked.

"He just said, 'Mom, when you die can I bury you in my back yard?' and you just said, "Yah, sure Bubba!'"!

I guess I had better make a plan for when I die (I know it's called something, I just can't remember what right now) so I don't end up si*x feet un*der - next to the dog house!