Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 Random Things about Me

I’ve seen this floating around several places and I thought it looked fun. It actually took me awhile. I’m not a very random person.

1. I don’t have a favorite color.
2. I am way behind on my photo albums.
3. I enjoy sewing, especially quilting.
4. I’ve lived in 7 homes since Justin and I got married.
5. We lived in our house in Cincinnati for the longest—nearly five years.
6. I taught high school special education for five years.
7. Both of my children were delivered by midwives.
8. I went to the Wesley Foundation in college to find a husband because some great couples from my church met there.
9. Guess where Justin and I met.
10. I can quote quite a bit of scripture, but I can never remember the verses.
11. I named my oldest daughter after one of my students.
12. My first real job was working in the stacks of the library at the university.
13. I do about ten loads of laundry a week.
14. I sang in the school choir and in three high school musicals.
15. We had an exchange student from Denmark, named Sie, when I was a senior in high school.
16. I’ve never left the country and had never even crossed the Mississippi until we came to buy our house.
17. I am the bill payer in our family.
18. Justin and I got married between my sophomore and junior years of college.
19. I never finished the last act of Macbeth that I was supposed to read and present to my English class because my grandfather died.
20. On grocery day I bribe my children with McDonald’s.
21. It started last year when I had sciatica so bad I couldn’t make it through the grocery and make lunch too, but now I’m better and it’s our routine.
22. I love coffee with a touch of milk and some sugar.
23. Our yard is shaped like a piece of pie—it narrows to a point in the back. Weird.
24. My “foreign” language in college was American Sign Language.
25. I never learned how to ride a bike.

Random Pics of me:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Snow, snow, snow. Not enough to play in, but it keeps coming slowly—making a lovely mess. To top it off the heat in our van seems to have quit. We’ll have to see what we can do about it, if it is ever warm enough to get out there and take a look. Hopefully it’s a simple fix. For now we’ll just have to be sure everyone is bundled up nice and warm before we head out for our errands.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Gabby and I stayed home from church today because she was grumpy and running a low grade fever--probably just a side effect from her MMR shot, since they told us we might see a fever a week later. While she was napping I played around an updated my blog settings!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dreamin' of Vacation

I was never one for dreaming huge big plans for trips to Europe or an expensive car, but I have to admit there’s an idea that’s been flitting around in my head. I’m cold and I hate to be cold, so I would like to go somewhere warm. I also never thought I’d say this, but I’d like to go somewhere warm without the children. Just for a couple of days. We’ve been caught inside in the cold for quite some time now and we’re all climbing the walls—and neither of my girls have taken a nap in TWO days. The idea of spending a few days in the warm sunshine, while our two children are cared for by someone else… Hmm.

I’d like to go on a cruise. Justin of course thinks this is a great idea—if we go to Alaska. Who wants to be cold on a boat? I can be cold in my house. I don’t guess I’ll get my cruise. At least I can dream.

For tonight I'll have to settle for a bottle of wine, well not the whole bottle.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I went to the dentist today for the first time in *ahem* years. It was actually a great experience. I had a horrible time when I was a kid. See some of my adult teeth didn’t knock out my baby teeth. So the dentist I went to as a child, in all his wisdom, set about extracting each of these little teeth one at a time. So I repeatedly went to the dentist, each time to have yet another tooth pulled. Suffice to say, I never finished this ordeal and have run from dentist the rest of my happy little life.

Well, now I’m a big girl. I’ve given birth twice. Not to mention this lingering fear of what might be wrong with my teeth that I know nothing about as I bush and floss away. So I finally decided I better go get my mouth checked out. I got my x-rays done and I sat nervously wondering how many cavities there were and if any other teeth (besides those baby teeth) would need to be taken.

In walks the dentist. He looks at the films and then inspects each tooth. There are NO cavities. I was in shock. He agreed that those three baby teeth will need to come out. He also recommended orthodontics to line everything up, since they are all a mess crammed in there on the bottom. I asked about my one lonely wisdom tooth. I figured if we were talking braces, it would probably come up at some point. He said we should probably have them all taken out. I asked if it looked like they wouldn’t come in that we skip them and just do the one. He ordered an extra x-ray and after it came back he agreed the two that are below aren’t likely to come in and I don’t even have one on the top right. Odd, huh?

So I’ll have to see an oral surgeon, who will let me snooze my way through the operation. That sounds much better than the crying I remember doing when I was eight!

So then I went off to have my teeth cleaned. The gal was great. She said I take great care of my teeth and that she’d never even know that it had been long since I’d had them cleaned. She seemed concerned that I was uncomfortable, but it was a nice quiet time. No children asking questions, screaming for my attention, or knocking anything over. It was like I would imagine a trip to the spa.

I think I’ll have to do this more often.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Child's Prayer

Kate says grace before dinner each night. We taught her a simple grace that she repeated for quite some time. Recently she's been using other prayers. I think she learned a different one at MOPS and now she's making her own prayers of thanksgiving. The other night, as she was saying her childish prayer, she prayed, "Dear God, all creation, butta butta boo. In your name, Amen."

"Thank you for saying grace Kate, but next time, can be sure to thank God for our food."

"Sometimes it gets a little lost in my head."

I think sometimes it gets a little lost in all of our heads.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weathering Some Stormy Days

I haven’t posted in a few days because, well, sometimes when a bit of a tornado passes through you need some time to sort things out. Life has been a bit tumultuous here. We are trying to process quite a bit of financial information regarding Justin’s place of employment. It will affect a great number of people, reaching far beyond our little family. While this will cause some difficulties for us, we pray that the problems are no greater than ours for all the others around us. We’re praying that we will be able to keep this position, since there will be cuts made. We pray that those that lose this income will be granted all that they need to make it through the coming months and years ahead.

We’ve weathered some difficult times in the course of our near ten year marriage. Moves, the loss of friends and family members, planned children (that still somehow surprised us), lots of school(!), changes in careers, and many personal trials. Through this we have always known that God will provide. There were times that we’ve wondered why our plans weren’t what God chose, but things have always worked out, God’s way. We found out Gabby was on the way right after Justin was told he was going to be let go from his last position, but we were granted this job. I believe that if He chooses for this phase of our life to end, it’s only because He has another place that He’s working on. (Matt 6:25-34) Somewhere we might not have looked had we been comfortable here. If we’re to stay, we will be glad in His mercy to let us continue to build our relationships here and to be provided for financially through this position.

I’m considering outside employment too. That’s been something we’ve talked about off and on for awhile, wondering when in the lives of our children this transition would be best, but at current, it may be our only “choice.” Perhaps there are children in a classroom in need of me. If that be, then perhaps this series of events was the only way I could be motivated to return to work. Perhaps my children need some time apart from each other. I truly don’t know the whys, and I may never know. I do know I felt prompted to get my teaching license; perhaps it was “for such a time as this.” (Ester 4:14)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" - Jeremiah 29:11-13

Praise be to the Father who sits upon His throne.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Telephone, Telegraph, Tell a Katie

Another round of what she heard s. what we actually said...

I am not diffused!

When I said, “Please don’t confuse her,” to Justin.

Is this oppressive?

After I told her one of her gymnastic feats was impressive.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Notes from Crazyville

So, it’s crazy cold. We're all going stir crazy. We’ve all been cooped up quite a bit, so here’s what’s going on in La La Land.

Last night at dinner we had soft tacos. After eating all the filling out of her shell, yes she is my child and sometimes eats things in pieces. Moving right along… She picked up the shell and bit holes in it. She lifted it up and called it her mask. We were laughing so hard that we couldn’t tell her it was rude to play with her food. I even went and got my camera. Bad parenting I know, we’re working on it.

Then today Justin decides to grill hamburgers. It’s literally freezing, in the teens, and he thought it would be better to have them grilled because it tastes better. I have photographic evidence of his crazy grilling. Note, if you ever attempt this—it takes longer than usual to get the burgers done because, well it’s FREEZING!

That brings us to the baby. I know she’s one, but she’ll be the baby until—I don’t know until when. Anyhow. She’s been on a kick where she doesn’t want to take a nap. The second we go to run errands though, she’s out. I wind up dragging her sleeping out of her car seat. Often she doesn’t even wake up. I’ve gotten pictures on two separate occasions, though it happens with more regular frequency, of her asleep in the chair at home after I brought her in and couldn’t get her awake right away.

Oh me? How nice of you to ask. I’m freezing. I grew up in a warm house, here it’s stinkin’ cold. 67 degrees. Brrr. I wear socks and shoes. In the house. [side note--I hate shoes and socks.] I tell you it’s getting out of hand!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Non-resolutions list...

Here’s the first update. I’ve received all the paperwork back from the registrar’s office with my official, sealed, transcript, my sealed documentation that I got a real degree from a school that says they taught me basic stuff (like I took English), and my sealed proof that I actually taught in Kentucky. Actually I guess I don’t know what I got, since they’re all in sealed envelopes, but they look like they came from the right places at least.

Today I took my girls to the police station to have myself fingerprinted. I’ve done this before for teaching positions, no big deal—roll my fingers in some ink. Nope. They’ve digitized it. I’m sure this makes crime fighting faster and easier, but it took so long. The computer didn’t like my right ring finger at all. It was 12 tries. No joke. With my three year old and one year old sitting there. Thankfully they were as good as gold, and the officer was quite nice.

Now my packet is off to the state department of education, so hopefully the nice lady that I talked to was right and they will give me a certificate with my valid, but out of date license from Kentucky. She said that it wouldn’t be a problem.

My first year teaching...I shared that messy desk with two instructional assistants and our sign language interpreter (two of them pictured to my left).

As for the rest of the list…Kate now knows “k” and “t”. I’ve slacked this week—yesterday was grocery day and today was MOPS and errands. We worked on scissor skills today though, so that should be worth about three letters right there. Right? No? Okay, we’ll get back to work tomorrow. Justin and I have had one game night and one movie night.

Couch time

Our first attempt at couch time was Sunday evening. The first ten minutes went off without a hitch. We did have to tell Kate we were busy talking several times, but that’s pretty normal. We really do that pretty often, so it seemed that we really are doing this already. Then Kate went to the bathroom. Gabby, now without her playmate, was climbing up my leg. Then as I pried her off of me yet again, we here a plea from the bathroom, Kate needed help. These are things that regardless of how intentional we were had to be addressed, so we did. We got the girls settled back in to playing and finished our time.

Okay, so the first one was typical life with kids. We thought we had it pretty well down though. Right? Wrong.

So on Tuesday we sit down to have a little chat. Kate is mad at the world because she refused her nap. We spent most of our time “talking” straining to hear over the screaming. Not a little wailing now and then a full out scream. It was lovely. It lasted thirteen of the fifteen minutes. The baby was whining, after all her playmate wasn’t playing. I’m not even sure what we talked about.

The rest of the week was much less eventful, pleasant for us, but not much in the way of blog fodder. One time Kate played in her room the whole time, not something she does often, after all the only person she gets to talk to there is herself and she is quite the people person.

Note: not our couch--we don't even own a died when we moved. The poor thing got crushed. We do couch time in chairs. Sad?


It was 6 degrees when Justin left for work this morning. It's cold here in Kansas!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kate’s Imaginary Preschool

Just in case there was any doubt about the level of my three-year-old’s creativity…

Last night we were having dinner and Kate starts talking about her preschool. Let us first note that Kate doesn’t attend preschool now, nor has she ever. She did go to day care between her fourth and eighth month, but I’m guessing she doesn’t remember it. (Just guessing of course because she remembers really random things from over a year ago—like that it was raining the day that I had my last ultrasound before Gabby was born. I guess that’s why she wanted an umbrella—that soaking we got made an impression!)

As the story unfolds, we learn that Kate is attending Panda Bear Preschool. Where is this school? She gives us the name of the road our church is located on—pretty impressive.

Kate, we don’t take you, so how do you get there?

I ride my bike.

(Bike? When did she get a bike?!)

So what color is your bike?

Red, like my tricycle. With a blue helmet.

(Safety first.)

What’s your teacher’s name?

Kate, same as mine.

What do you do all day?

Rock, slide, play, rest, eat lunch, paint, play, go home.

Justin asks: What do you learn at this school.

Three plus two equals six.

(Not quite, but that’s pretty good, huh?)

That’s a pretty decent description of some preschools (from a kid's prospective). How does she know this? My child lives in her head.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Telephone, Telegraph, Tell a Katie

Ever played telephone?

Here's what we sang: Shepherds kept their watching o'er silent flocks by night.

Here's what Kate heard: Shepherds kept their watching o'er Highland Heights by night.

I guess we could call this name that tune too, huh?

We lived in a town called Highland Heights when she was a little whippersnapper, so that's where she got it from, but it's so funny that she pulled that little shred of information and inserted it into a song, when she couldn't quite place the words.

Sunday School

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – Acts 2:42 (NIV)

When I was growing up my parents were part of a great Sunday School class. Actually they still are. They’ve been members of this class for about 25 years. The people are wonderful, and after 25 years they have a strong bond. As kids we went to picnics, swimming parties, and (of course) potlucks. My parents served on a lot of committees, saw out some building and renovation projects, and my mom was the church secretary for several years too, so we grew up literally “in” the church. The classrooms were our play rooms, my sister and I memorized the Apostle’s Creed while standing in the pulpit (it was taped to it, so if anyone leading ever forgot it was right there), and we spent a lot of time playing in the evenings with the other members' children.

I have moved from town to town and church to church. I have never seen quite the bond that they have there. One thing that is quite different is that most churches don’t have the on-going classes. They offer a topic and who ever wishes to attend goes until that topic is complete and then everyone switches again. This offers more freedom in study choice, but doesn’t lend itself to the unity of the long term class.

The baby is finally old enough to stay in the nursery, so we decided to join a Sunday School class being offered by our church this past Sunday. It’s a study for families with children, so we’re hoping that this class will give us a link to some of the people in the church we’ve been attending since we moved here 16 months ago.

The first part of the class has focused on how to keep our homes from being child centered. It’s completely counter-intuitive and also the complete opposite of what seems to be screaming at us from every angle these days, but it’s true. We, as a married couple, need to show our children that there is a solid relationship between their parents ad that they aren’t the center of the universe. We think we do a decent job on this, but perhaps there are points we can refine.

Homework for lesson I:

We are to spend have four sessions of couch time. That’s 15 to 30 minutes that we sit and talk while the kids can’t interrupt. We already do this with much less intentionality when Justin gets home in the afternoons. We will be sure to do this, not over dinner preparations or from across the room, like we often do though. As the idea was explained, I immediately thought of Gabriella though. How do we explain this to a one year old. She’s just not going to get it. I understand the point—that we have time to talk and that the children see that we have a relationship aside from them. That will give them assurance too that their parents’ marriage is secure. It seemed questionable from a practical standpoint though. We’d give it a try.

We’ve had our first session and it was pretty funny, but I’ll write at the end of the week and see how it all turns out.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Beautiful Day

We were blessed with unseasonably warm temperatures, so we’ve enjoyed every second of it. What a welcome respite from the heavy coats and bone chilling days. I’m sure there are many of those still to come, but today we are reveling in the warm sunshine.

We went to the park, I took the girls for a wagon ride, and Kate is playing out back as I type. Short sleeves, sun on our faces, windows open. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Thanks be to God for this day.

Psalms 118:24

My Girls

A friend came by the other day while Kate was napping, so it was just the two of us with Gabby. She commented on how quiet Gabby was being that day and I chuckled. Nope, this is just Gabby. It’s hard for people to notice much about her when Kate’s always around stealing the show.

We don’t notice Gabby quietly studying a toy by turning it over and over in her hands, or that she sat still for 15 minutes examining the knots on the knotted quilt. She likes to take things apart. She can empty her bookshelf in no time at all. She’s also good at finding the slightest imperfection in said books and pulling it, ripping the book. She can stack rings and put items into a shape sorter. She’s walking. All those things are in the normal range for this age, but they are all things that Kate didn’t do at this age. Kate was busy talking. To me. Her Daddy. The person pushing the next cart in the grocery aisle. It’s so interesting how two children can be so different. So altogether different.

God granted us two children who will not be the same, but will compliment each other. This will of course mean that over the years there will be strife, when they have differing views, but He knew what He was doing when He sent us our Kate and then our Gabriella, who isn’t quite so gabby, despite what we may call her. They love each other dearly. Besides, this way Kate gets to do most of the talking and Gabby lets her sister distract us while she takes things apart. They already have it all figured out.

Contemplating an ornament.

Psalm 139

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day

Today being the first day of the New Year I was thinking of things I would like to accomplish this year… I’m not a resolutions type of gal, but I do have some things I would like to get done, okay, so it sounds like a list of resolutions, huh?

1. Obtain my local teaching license. If I do it now it’s good for five years and I don’t have to take any classes to get it.

2. Teach Kate to recognize all the letters of the alphabet. 3 down 23 to go! (The letter of the week is ‘K,’ by the way.)

3. Play more games. Justin and I have a stack (and by stack I mean shelves full) of games that we never find the time to play. Now that the girls are fairly consistently sleeping at night I want us to start playing some of them in the evenings.

Happy New Year!!!