Sunday, July 31, 2005

Jonathon "popping" the flowers. Posted by Picasa

James putting his marshmellow gun together. Posted by Picasa

Jeff entertaining himself. Posted by Picasa

Rachel-2months & smiling Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Squirrel and stuff

For those of you who were attempting to hold me to my word on a post yesterday regarding this squirrel, my apologies. But I'll give you the details today.

Toria actually found the thing, but I think she was hesitant to remove it herself. When I saw the poor creature, he was about twice his normal size, very wet, and was stinking up the hallway! I will comfort Diane R. by saying that this squirrel was not found in her apartment, though perhaps it was the culprit who stole her candy last week and thus has reached an end it fully deserved!

Ok, so the squirrel was found....drowned in the toilet! UGG!!! That would be bathroom three of the women's quarters in the main house. He was as stiff as concrete when Brandon removed him to a more appropriate location and oozing stuff into the toilet water. It was gross! Of course, the boys really enjoyed seeing the sight. While Brandon was trying to figure out how to remove it from the water, he mentioned using my hot dog tongs. For those of you who occasionally dine at our house, I am happy to report that my hotdog tongs stayed safely hidden in the drawer and he used some pliers instead. The squirrel is now buried ( in the most liberal way possible) in the woods somewhere nearby and stinking up some other creatures abode no doubt. I'm thankful it's out of the house though!

This squirrel reminded me of another we found when we had been here for about a year. We have a stash of stuff in the attic that I occasionally dig through to find some long lost item that I want. One day, I was moving some things around and discovered that some staple goods we had moved from GA had been stuck in the attic, only all that was left was the box and the plastic bags. Later we found the contents stuffed into various items for storage- like split peas in the ice skates...haha.

Ok, so anyway, another time I actually found the squirrel- dead for some time. You see we had this plastic that goes over a table to protect the surface. It's clear plastic and it was in the attic, rolled up and standing up next to our stuff. One day Brandon went up there to look for something and lo and behold, a squirrel had gotten into the middle of the plastic roll, but alas, it was too slick for the creature to clumb back out, so there he was- dead as a dodo- inside the roll, about halfway up, with is paws and legs spread out and plastered to the sides as if he had been holding on to that spot for his life hoping he could inch up a bit more after he got his breath- only I guess he never did.

Ah well, if those rodents would just find their own house and leave ours alone, they wouldn't get into these predicaments!

Also for today's blog- our family went to Adam's playground for the morning. It was a great excursion and I'm happy to report that it was much more successful that our last attempt to go to the playground. The last time was a couple of months ago and when we arrived the playground was missing. I am not making this up- the entire playground was just a big parking lot! Well, they relocated the playground and got new equipment for it. Now it's next to the pool (where there was a swim meet happening for youngsters- quite fascinating) and there are tons of slides and climbing things as well as some shady areas and picnic tables for the old folks. There are also some great swings. So, we had a jolly time there, at an early lunch and came home in time for naps. Whooo hooo!

Naps....ahhhh....Happy Sabbath to me!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Funny Stories and Amusing Situations

Jonathon fixed me "breakfast" in the sand box this morning. What looked like a leaf with sand on it was actually "bacon with gum and baking powder"!? And then he pulled up a bucket of sand and asked me if I wanted "chocolate eggs"? I'm encouraged to know he will have some creativity in the kitchen, but I hope I can stomach his creations!

Anybody need a door shut? Let me send Jeff to your home. Recently, he has had a major obsession for closing doors. There is one door that he particularly loves- Jonathon's bedroom door. That's because he can slam it and it bounces back open. So, much to his delight, he slams it over and over and over and over. Ahhhh....I'm praying for all the little fingers nearby.

Ok, so anyone know what to do first one moment you have two children fighting in the sand box, one child in the living room fussing because he's sick, and one child nursing up in the office?

or how about: one child half way through changing a dirty diaper, one child sitting waiting for his turn, one little girl screaming because it's time to eat, one cheesecake dripping in the oven, and one very loud fire alarm going off?

Or another: one stinky pants, one child needs to wake up from a 4 hour nap or he won't sleep, one child standing at the stove eatting the cooked carrots out of the dish with his hands because he's too hungry to wait for dinner, one phone call in which the phone dies in the middle of the conversation, and one ring of the doorbell, oh, and one child being held who needs to be put down for a nap?

These are just a few actual examples of predicaments of late. Being a mom is fun, but it sure is busy.

of course, there are the happy relaxed moments Jonathon teaching Jeff how to jump in puddles and the two of them having a blast for a good long while, James going to get the mail with Daddy and coming back standing just a little taller because he was "helpful", Jeff eatting zucchini by the handful just because he likes it, Rachel smiling everytime Brandon talks about oil prices (don't ask me why it's oil...but other subjects do not get the same reaction), and many other things.

Oh, one last story before I go back to mom duty. The other day I took Jonathon and Rachel for a walk and Jonathon said he wanted to "go up the hill and see those people" (visit Fairview residents- several elderly individuals). On the way up he aske about Mrs. Hansen who is recovering from surgery due to cancer she is fighting. I told him that she was sick and then had to elaborate by saying that she had "a bug inside her that made her feel icky" Well, apparently Jonathon latched on to that idea because when we arrived at Fairview and visited Mrs. Jewell, Jonathon looked at her and asked, "Do you have a bug that makes you look yucky?" Hehe, she laughed and laughed and thought it was so funny. Of course I laughed too. Then we had a nice little talk about older people and how they have wrinkles and it's ok. He had been pointing to her forehead when he asked the question.

Ok, that's all for today. I hope to have some pictures soon- If I get on the ball, perhaps they will be here before we head to GA next week.

Oh, oh, oh, I forgot to tell you...Brandon got to remove a dead squirell from the house today. Guess where it was and what happened to it???? Hahaha, I'll tell you tomorrow.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Yellow Jackets as Landscape Architects

Earlier today Jonathon got stung by a yellow jacket. It was his first insect sting and he responded as he does to most other tragic moments- he wailed “MAAAAAAMA!” I calmly waited at the door for him to arrive. He showed me the sting- just below his thumbnail and then I asked him what happened…

“I got stung.”, he said.
“yes, but where were you?”
“I was by the tree that the bug flew out of a hole in the ground and stung me!”

Well, I put some medicine on it and covered it with a band-aid, hoping that would distract him from the sting. Of course, periodically throughout the rest of the morning, he would tell me it hurt.

Later in the day Brandon was outside and having heard about Jonathon’s sting, he asked him to show where he got stung. Jonathon took him over to a tree in the front yard and from there it was obvious to Brandon where the yellow jackets were coming from…they OBVIOUSLY had placed several sticks sticking straight up in the opening to their home as decoration….those smart things! Of course…perhaps someone else put them there….

Ha! Jonathon deserved it!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Grateful Heart

So I finally got some of those pictures up for you to see- from our vacation. We did have a great time. However that is not the main subject of this post.

This is one of those serious posts that I feel obligated to write, lest- as my kids say, "That man died, because he didn't say 'thank you' to Jesus". So here's a list of things I'm thankful for in the week past.

A great homecoming from our trip.-- We got back in on Sunday and had enough time to unpack a little before going to bed. It made for a great start to the week. The boys also had a severely needed bath that night and I prepared for my first week with noone here to call on for help.

A speedy repair on our van. -- While in Maine, we had some car trouble, only a little bit- a squealing noise, but got it checked out while there and the man said we would need a new air compressor and a new idler pulley. Well, that was more bucks than we really wanted to dish out, but when we took it in this past Thursday, the mechanic said the compressor was fine and that the squealing noise was the fan belt and that was because the tensioner needed replacing. So we spent half the money expected and got the van back in the same day!

A fun outing at Burger King. --Our family went out to eat for dinner after picking up the van from the shop and we had a great time. Jonathon and James really enjoyed the little play area and Jeff really enjoyed his food. Rachel did ok between being held and sitting in her car seat and I didn't have to make dinner. It was a winning situation all the way around.

Jeff's feeling better. --Of course, most of you probably didn't know he was feeling bad, but he was. Early this week, he was really fussy. It was an odd sort of thing, he didn't really have a fever, wasn't congested, not vomiting or anything, just really lethargic and wanted to be held all the time. He wasn't pulling at his ears, so I didn't suspect an ear infection and even though he is cutting some teeth, none of my kids have had problems with that so far and this went on for several days. I finally narrowed the problem down to a couple of things. Maybe it was teeth (I doubted it), maybe he had a headache for some reason (but then again, the several days thing made me doubtful), or maybe his neck was out of line and sore and needed adjusting. Well, the last was the one I acted on and Brandon took him to the chiropractor. I'm not sure if that was the problem, since Jeff really can't tell me what hurts yet, but he's been a different little boy ever since. He's back to playing and running around instead of spending the whole day laying on the couch and whining. The doctor didn't charge us for him either! So Praise the Lord for healing!

Week One is closing and I successfully made it the entire way. --This being the first time I've been totally "on duty" as mom, I was a little apprehensive about how things would go, but I'm happy to report that the week was great! I got unpacked, cleaned up the house, played with the kids, remembered Rachel- most of the time, and didn't die from exhaustion. One trick I'm learning is to involve the children in what I'm doing and make it fun for them. So, three times this week Jonathon (and James a couple) fixed dinner with me, once we made a dessert together. We took two nice walks together, they helped me with several "5 minute Room Rescues" (a FLYlady technique that works wonders) and I felt like I connected with them and got things done at the same time.

I'm relatively content and happy. --I can always find something to complain about, but things recently in that category seem to be minimal, so I'm very grateful. The weather is pleasant, my family is happy, I'm not dead from lack of sleep yet, and God has been merciful once again to give me the grace I need for the situation I'm in. My Mother continually reminds me (and I need it) that God doesn't give us grace for tomorrow's work, he gives it for what we're doing today. That has been so true. Before I had Rachel (and each child for that matter) I've wondered how in the world I would be able to manage the next one, but when the next one is here- there's grace to go with it. Of course, it's my responsibility to not weigh myself down with extra obligations so I can tap into that grace and use it effectively, but it's there- just for me and when I use it and don't jump on several other band wagons, I find myself happy, content, and fulfilled in life. That is a treasure!

Well, that's all I'll mention for now. I'm so thankful that God is watching over me and meeting my needs in such practical ways. Hope you all have a blessed Sabbath.

Jonathon watching "The Magic School Bus goes to Outer Space" If you had a close up look, he's holding a couple of jacks that are his "stars". He was pretending to fly through the solar system with the kids on the TV. Posted by Picasa

James' favorite activity- laying in the water and blowing bubbles, or drinking it. Yuck! Posted by Picasa

Jeff having a jolly time. He only went this far into the water unless someone was carrying him. I really didn't mind not having to worry about him drowning! Posted by Picasa

Jeff and James in the water. The trike was a neighbor's idea of a water toy for little boys. It was a hit! Posted by Picasa

Jonathon and Diane swimming on vacation. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Confessions of the Inept

I'm now convinced that this whole concept of machines against women really is true. I think they really do have something against the female race. Perhaps you've never heard of this idea- as my husband just confessed. Well, I bet you have, you just never gave it a name. I'll give you several examples to help you out.

Example 1: Wife comes in from the garage to the husband sitting on the couch reading a magazine.
Wife: Honey, I just tried to get the garage door to go down, but something is wrong with the switch. I pushed the button, but nothing happens.
Husband: Uhhh...ok, I'll take a look.

This is the point where we see the machines take action, for at this time the husband goes out to the garage and looks at the garage door, then the button. Then the husband pushes the button and......down goes the door- easy as pie.

Husband: Hmmm....looks fine to me.
Wife: (Stunned) What!? How'd that happen. I tell you it wouldn't work!

There you go- a perfet example of machines (and maybe men too) against us ladies!

Now I'll share two first hand experiences with this.

First, most recently, it was just yesterday that I mentioned that my camera was on the blink. Well, the main problem was that I couldn't get it to come on. For all you critics out there, I did check the battery, the cords, and all that stuff, but when I flipped the switch- NOTHING. Nothing happened. I tried for a good 15 minutes to get the thing to work and IT WOULDN'T! So, I told Brandon that it had a problem. He said he'd look at it. What did he do? He went up there, turned it on, downloaded the pictures, and that was that. Just as nice as you please, that camera did exactly what it was supposed to do, no glitches! So what I want to know is what's a camera got against me. I've never cursed at it, thrown it to the ground, told it I was finding a replacement, or anything!

Maybe some of you at this point are thinking, "Well, it's obvious that there really wasn't a problem, like when I had a computer problem one time and I asked my brother-in-law what the problem was, he said it was a PEBKAC problem. For those of you who don't know about this difficulty it's short for Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair. That was not funny at the time!

So the other story that I have as evidence of machines against women is to prove that there really are problems and it's not just us women making things up. This happened years ago, but you can ask others in my family for varification, this really did take place.

I once owned a '85 Ford LTD. It was my father's until it was on its last leg and then he gave it to me. Well, one day while I was driving the car I notice that it looked like the steering wheel was smoking. I'd never heard of this happening before, but smoking it was and I was certain of it. When I got home, I mentioned this to my Dad and he said he'd take a look at it. So out he goes for a little drive and when he comes back he reports- no smoking. Several times while I owned this car, it would do this and sometimes I would take it to my Dad right away so he could see it in action. Always, however, it would be just fine while he was in it. No smoking.

Well, the time came when I wanted to get rid of this car and get a different one, so Dad paid me for it (wasn't that nice since he gave it to me?) and then he gave it to Frank for his first vehicle. Frank had not had the car very long when one day he had to move it from the grass to the driveway and then went inside for a couple of hours. While he was inside, he heard the horn start honking by itself. When he examined the car further, he was surprised to see that it was on fire inside....coming from the driver's seat area. The short story is that the fire dept had to come put it out and that the car was basically an empty can when they were finished. Burned right out. Where did the fire originate??? Any guesses??? Yep! The steering wheel column, where there was a short in one of the wires. I'm glad I got rid of it!

So there are a few examples of machines against women. I could tell you more, this war is fought often in my life and in the lives of my close female family members, but this will give you something to chew on. By the way, if any of you guys out there have some sway over the machines, tell them we don't mean any harm.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cute remarks

Well, I was going to post a bunch of pictures so all you wonderful people could see how much fun we had last week, but alas, my camera is on the blink and will not come on for me to download the pics to the computer, so until some intelligent person figures this machinery out, you're out of luck.

Instead, I will let you in on a few little comments that the children made recently that I found amusing.

James looked at me across the picnic table this last week and after seeing a bug said, "Mama! We have vermin!" I discovered later that he learned this from his Dad. I'm not sure I like all these new day I found Brandon trying to prompt him with another saying to go along with a little hand motion. James was rubbing his hands together and laughing an evil laugh and Brandon told him to say: "Ha ha ha! I am Joseph Stalin!" ....Just so you know where he got it.

Jonathon is moving in a more spiritual direction however. This past week while at the lake, one night he lay in his bed trying to sleep when someone began to shoot fireworks right outside. He got scared and I told him to ask Jesus to help him not be scared. Well, as soon as I left, a huge firework went off with multiple rounds and I was sure this would scare him more, so I rushed back to reassure him. He looked at me and said, "It's ok, Mama. I prayed to Jesus and He is helping me not be scared." WHooooooo hoooo!

Yesterday, Jonathon was building with blocks in Jeff's room and I went to see the progress. He pointed to one structure, "This is Ninevah." And then pointed to another structure, "This is a mountain. It's Jerusalem. The people are going from Jerusalem to Ninevah." Then, this morning he claimed he was building, "the city of Jehovah". At least he's getting something out of Bible reading.

Ok, Rachel has reached her limit of computer bonding for the evening, so I'll leave you now.

Monday, July 18, 2005

We're Back

Our family (minus Brandon- who stayed behind) is now back from our little vacation. We had a lovely week at a little lake front cabin up in Maine. The weather was perfect. It was hot enough to swim each day and be comfortable in the water and yet cool enough to sleep at night. Since I grew up swimming in water the same temperature as bath water, this was a huge plus to me. It wasn't bath temp, but it was refreshing and warm enough that I didn't have to shiver.

The boys really enjoyed the water and played on a beach type area next door for most of the time. We also watched lots of movies and played with cars and trucks. Many thanks to the generous individuals that let us use their property! I'll try to have some pics up soon.

I also think the length of time we stayed was perfect. The children had a great time and it wasn't until Saturday that Jonathon said, "I don't want to live at this house anymore." I'm glad he enjoys home enough to want to go back!

Ok, in honor of it being 6 am and my failing attempts to communicate, I'm leaving anymore comments for a later time when I might sound a bit more interesting. As of now I have the distinct feeling that I was hit by a mack truck! Good day to you all.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Checking in

Family convention has come to a close... almost, and therefore I am in a state of normalcy for a couple of days. My family headed out this morning to return home in a station wagon that was so loaded it looked like a low rider. I hope they make it the whole way without dragging the ground! It was so good to have them here, but I must confess, it's always great to get back to just us, too. I'm sure most of you who enjoy guests can understand the feeling of "glad to have them" and "glad to have them go". So they went.

Today we are enjoying a nice family Sabbath. There is a group brunch planned for 11am today, but since our children woke up at 5am this morning I think we'll count that as lunch for us instead.

This next week you probably won't here much from us either. I am planning to go with "D.R." and the children to Maine for a week. We are looking forward to a great little break. Brandon is going to stay here and have a little vaction all to himself! So, I'll update you on our exciting little events next weekend.

Have a great Sabbath and a wonderful week!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Rachel's one month picture. Yep, she's already a month old!! Posted by Picasa

James just wants to be Daddy. Posted by Picasa

This was James' idea of playing with waterballons. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 01, 2005


I remembered one thing I was going to share-
I was thinking of Andrea the other day. I like Andrea, but I was not thrilled to be reminded of her snake story when I was on my walk with the children and I stepped on a SLUG!!!! BAREFOOT! Ewwwwww! Slimy!! I didn't even have the luxury of it being dark outside.