Friday, October 31, 2008

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Nadine has been sick now since Tuesday. She's been running a really high fever and we have not been able to get it to drop below 100 degrees. However, she has spent the week counting down until today! She was so excited for trick or treating! Yesterday she told me "Mommy, I don't wanna be sick for Halloween!" I told her "I know baby mommy's gonna take you to the doctor tomorrow." She said, "Mommy, I don't wanna be poked but I no wanna be sick for Halloween!" It was so stinkin adorable. They have put her on an antibiotic, but we didn't see our doctor, so this doctor wasn't sure what was wrong with her but thought he should give her an antibiotic since it's the weekend and all. You can see in one of the picks very clearly that she doesn't feel good!

Julie came over and trick or treated with us at my mother-in-laws house. We go to her neighborhood because it is small and we know everybody, plus she makes potato soup, which warms the belly very nicely. This evening though it wasn't a requirement since it was 70 degrees. It was still delicious though!

The kids had a blast. Jourdyn wasn't so into it. She went back to Grandmas half way through. But for Rowan and Nadine it's prime trick-or-treating years! There were a couple of house that were deck out for the day and they got a little scared. But hey they got candy and that made it okay! Nadine found her teachers house! Which she was really excited about since she hasn't been to school most the week!

Rowan took a nasty spill in a driveway and busted his lip open. He fell many times but this one time was on concrete and his face went straight into the cement. He got up, cried a few moments and was off again to live and tell and of course, get more candy!

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"Always vote for principle,
though you may vote alone,
and you may cherish the
sweetest reflection that your vote
is never lost."
-- John Quincy Adams

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Decorating Dreams

If you have been in my house you know that my living room, dining room, dinette and kitchen area are all open. I had always dreamed of having a house like this, and I do love it! However, it has for the past year driven me nuts because I couldn't figure out how to decorate it. I love color!!! My old house the colors were bold and beautiful and with this one I have relegated them to three or four shades of tan and some aqua because what is done in one area has to carry through to the other areas. The biggest problem has been my lovely country blue countertops and walls in my kitchen. What do you with that shade of blue peering through the house?

Well, over the past week, I have figured it out! Right now, I have chocolate brown curtains with aqua sheers. I've linked to the picture of it. I found a material at Pottery Barn that I absolutely love! It will take what I already have and build color from it! It's a very classic looked but reworked for a modern twist! It's called Seraphina! It has oranges, yellows, reds, greens and the blue from kitchen counters all tied into it.

My plan is this: to drape each living room window with a sash of the material on top of what is already there, add red and orange throw pillows to my couches. Find a coordinating print for my grandpa's arm chairs and for a couple more throw pillows. I want to find a big sign for over my couch...kinda hard to explain but it's basically a parking garage sign (orange with white circle with big black P in the center of it). It will look good.

Then I want to use this same material to cover my dining room chair cushions. And find orange/red curtains for there and a cool accent rug for underneath.

In the kitchen I just have to pull the red and orange and green in because the blue is already there. I will mostly use this same pattern for the window covering in there!

I have the whole thing envisioned in my head! It's going to be great! I went to Joann's yesterday hoping I would find a similar material at a cheaper cost than Pottery barn. However, I didn't. And I discovered that at Joann's upholstery material is anywhere from $29.99 to 55.99 per yard and amazingly the material at Pottery barn is only $20 per yard! What stinks is I need about 15 yards. It's gonna cost $300.00 for the material. Which is why I entitled this decorating dreams...

Christmas is coming though and I'm not one for telling people what to get me! A gift is a gift! But gift cards from pottery bard would be a fantastical gift!!! I think I am going to start saving though! Because I really love the idea!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Costume Shopping

Last year, I was in need of a costume for Amy and Jason's halloween party (which sadly we missed this year because of our visit to Virginia). I eventually found something I could use at Walmart. But not before Rob and I traversed the city of Toledo going to all the various costume stores looking for the perfect costumes to wear. We never really found them. Mostly because all of the women's costumes looked like they should be worn by a hooker: the skirts were cut so as to reveal the hinny without ever having to bend over, the tops had necks lower than the Grand Canyon. I could have been Strawberry Shortcake or Snow White but only if I was staring in some semi-pornographic spin-off of some of our most cherished childhood cartoons.

Today, Jourdyn and I headed out the Halloween USA to find a costume for her. Last year, we didn't look for a costume for her. She was an oriental girl because we already had the robe. My dad had brought it home from Japan for my grandmother and since she passed away it's been in my posession.

Once at the store I was rather annoyed with the state of our world. I wasn't shocked about it. It was more of an anger that fumed inside of me. There wasn't a good selection to chose from. The costumes that were child-like (doctors, The Incredibles, Disney characters, clowns, etc) were virtually non-existent except in smaller sizes and the costumes that were still available in Jourdyn's sizes were nothing but smaller versions of the costumes that haunted my memory from last year for women.

Yes, there was the same exact Strawberry Shortcake costume and I would love to say that it was longer and more appropriate since it was for girls. However, had Jourdyn worn it and bent over the whole school would see her rear-end and everything else. She would have had to wear a tank top under it to cover the non-existant cleavage that she has. And it was complete with thigh high tights! It's absolutely crazy! And people wonder why girls are being used for sex toys at younger and younger ages. And the even more crazy part is that Jourdyn wears a 10/12, they offered this costume in 4/6. I was glad to see though that there was an over-abundance of these raunchy costumes for little girls, which means that people aren't buying them. (At least I hope not, because it could also mean that they fly off the shelves and that's why they have so many, to keep that from happening.)

Needless to say after nearly two hours in the store. We found a Teen punk witch costume that appropriate covered her body, but did not fit into my standards of what my children can wear. Many people might ask why they even get to dress up given our spiritual convictions. I have always allowed my children to participate in Halloween but they have never been allowed to wear evil, demonic or scary stuff. Christians are called to be light in a dark world, or better said, Christ should shine through us to our world. So I still wasn't satisfied. We left and went to Target for another hour and a half to dig through their leftovers, which were basically the same thing, but a little more covering. Is it not enough for a little girl to be a nurse? Why is it that she needs to have a short skirt, an exposed belly?

The kids had a little fun though. They tried on masks! Jourdyn is not allowed to wear any face concealing items to school on Halloween so masks were out of the question. Nadine is wearing Bart Simpson here. And I didn't get a pic of it, but right after I took this pic of her as Bart, Rowan reached over and punched Bart straight in the side of the head! Good thing it was a rubber mask and quite large, because Nadine didn't feel a thing. It was quite funny though! And who could blame him, Bart Simpson is very annoying!

I decided to have Jourdyn fall back on an oldie but goodie. She's going to be a baby. She was cool with it! Heck, she got a new pair of jammies with feet and everything. Rowan got some new pacifiers out of it. And after an afternoon of arguing and explaining exactly why every single costume left was not appropriate, I got myself a new pair of shoes of the clearance rack!! Aren't they cute? I can't wait to sink my tootsies into them!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The rest of our weekend!

So we've talked about Friday and about Saturday's activities at the games. Saturday night we all went back to Derek & Jackie's to have a little get together. Unfortunately Nadine got sick and I spent the evening in bed with her. But I did get to see everyone arrive and say hi. Sue & Barney were there and we haven't seen them since Derek & Jackie got their new house several years ago. Chrissy & Rob came down and they brought their friends Melody and Tom (I believe). Of course, Mary and Dan stopped back by. And I guess they all had a lot of fun or at least they were very noisy because just when Nadine would get to sleep, they would begin laughing again or being loud about something. They all had a blast and Nadine just had a belly ache and wanting mommy.

On Sunday, our two families all headed out to Short Pump Town Center for the day. It was beautiful out and the kids really needed to just get out of the house, and since it rained all day Friday, it was too muddy to let them play in the yard or at the park. We pulled in next to a car that had a small child (maybe 7 years old in it) and no parents. Jackie and I waited for a while and no one came back, plus they were parked way out in the parking lot away from the mall. We decided to call mall security to come over and check on the child and to keep their eye on him. He was quite small. People are CRAZY!!!!!

I found a great store at Short Pump. However, they are only in California and Virginia. C28. It is named after Colossians 2:8 - all of their merchandise is Christian based, yet modern and relevant to teens and young adults today. I was really impressed with the store. The sales person asked my name and told the story of the store. When we left she asked if we had any prayer requests. It was very neat.

We had Red Robin for lunch. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you! I found Rowan and Nadine's costumes at Pottery Barn Kids at Short Pump. I am very excited about them. Nadine is going to be a banana and Rowan a spider. Nadine says that if we got Rowan a pig nose then he could be a spiderpig.

I cannot believe that October is nearly over! Jourdyn still has to come up with a costume. She gets to dress up on Friday. She has to pay $3.00 to do it but is a little anxious about it.

So we headed home at about 9 pm after visiting with our friend, Heather (Jackie's sister) and her new baby Tristan for about 30 minutes. Rowan just loved Tristan. He was a very good baby sitter, other than calling her him the whole time, he gave her her pacifer and her blanket and a toy. He was very concerned for her and wanted to hold her. It was extremely cute.

I drove to the Ohio line and Rob drove home from there. We arrived home at 6:30 am. I layed down for an hour then took Nadine & Jourdyn to school and Rowan and myself to MOPS. I couldn't miss it - we got to make an entire scrapbook today! It's great I'll show it to you later this week!

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Richmond Highland Games

For years we have been saying that we would come down for the Richmond Highland Games and this year we finally made it! We will probably never miss it from this point!! They were fantastic.

On Saturday, the boys kilted up and headed out for the games! They didn't participate, well at least not in the games. They did participate at the beer tents however, and there they were a smashing success!

If you don't know, Rob and I had a Scottish wedding. Before Jack passed away, family heritage was something that Rob and him cherished together. Going to family reunions and festivals together. It's only fitting that Derek, Rob's best friend found himself a Scottish woman, Jackie! And ever since, we have all been pretty much joined at the hip even though they up and moved on us 9 years ago. We traveled down at least once a year, but more like 2 or 3 times a year to visit with our family down there.

We have not been to games since 2002, when we went to Chicago with Jack and Maryann for a family reunion. So it was really great to get out there and celebrate the Scottish heritage, as well as the Irish I have hidden in between my Polish genes.

There are lots of pictures so be prepared to sit and stare for a while. Rob was excited because he got his sporran finally. (Which is the little man-purse that hangs at their groin area.) The kids saw Hee-land coos! (Highland Cows) and it rained like cats & dogs! It was 70 degrees though. We spent the whole day at the festival listening to bagpipes and watching celtic bands. I got some goodies for my boy. You'll see them in the next post. Jourdyn got a sweatshirt and so did Rob. Nadine and I got Scottish cookies!!!

We met up with Mary & Dan! Jackie's parents. They are always a hoot!!! And of course, Mary and her broag fit right in at the festival! I have lots of video! But I have to process it and get it on youtube before I can get it on here! So keep watching for that. And Jim we gave your green socks to Derek because his kilt is black and it looks great with it!!!

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High School Musical 3

This past Thursday our family headed down to Richmond to visit with our friends, Derek and Jackie and their beautiful kids, Carl, Stirling and Ainsley!!! They are so much a part of our's kinda weird to even call them friends!!!
Jackie had her high school reunion on Friday, so Rob stayed at their house with Rowan and Nadine, while Jackie & Derek headed down to Virginia Beach and Stirling, Jourdyn, Ainsley and myself all headed out to see the long awaited....HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 THE SENIOR YEAR!!!!
We made it a girls night out. We ate dinner together at Chili's, where we talked about school dances, favorites movies, friends, make-up and boys! (God help me!!) Then we headed to the theatres. The good's cheaper to get tickets down there. The kids are only 6.50 and up here it's all one set price. The bad news...the candy and pop are more expensive down there. And dumby me didn't think to hit up the Target right next store the the theatres.
Well, the movie was great! It was a theatre full of screaming, excited pre-teen and teen girls. The best part was watching the dad's that were dragged to the theatres to watch the movie with their daughters!
In the third HSM, Troy and Gabriella finally kiss at their prom. I think it was completely unnecessary they could have done the scene without it. But the great news was that the whole theatre let out a "EEWWW Yuck!" (Including my girls!!!)
They had a blast! And so did I!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A day of visits...

to three different doctor's today. It started off with Nadine at her pediatric urologist! Up until June 2007, Nadine suffered from chronic UTI's. They were really bad. She was constantly in ER's and at the doctors. She had test after test done. And then our Primary care finally sent her to a specialist. And low and behold, the severe UTI's stopped..not because of anything they did, they just stopped. Or she just stopped complaining...perhaps it became a "normal" pain for her. Or perhaps she learned that if she says something than that means needles, uncomfortable tests and so forth. I don't know. But she really hasn't had any of her through the roof fevers since then. So we'll count it a blessing.

Well, lately she has been complaining about some of the symptoms again and I have seen some of the symptoms. So we called up her specialist and took her in. We have to wait to see if the tests come back positive or not. But the specialist thinks that her bowel movements may have something to do with her symptoms this time. So, me being the loving mother that I am, I get to sit in the bathroom with her each time she goes for the next three days; recording the amount of her urine, and stools. Not just the amount but the shape, the consistency, and the frequency....oh, I love my kids!!!!

It's very reminiscent of Rowan as a wee one. And of Jourdyn at Nadine's age.

Then we were off for my yearly girly appointment, which is always fun especially with Rowan and Nadine standing by as point guards! As we were leaving, Pam the receptionist who we have known, well since Jourdyn was born, was asking me how Jourdyn is doing. So I told her, well, "I have sixth grade girl full of hormones, starting her girly stuff, growing boobs and even more full of attitude." She said, Oh it only gets worse. Interesting though...she also said, "Well, hope she don't get pregnant." Which of course, sparked my curiosity, you know, why would she say that about a 6th grader. So I asked back "That happening a lot lately?" She sadly said, "We are seeing it more and more every day, 6th and 7th graders in here pregnant, because they wanted to try something new. What'd we expect sex is all they see these days."

I'm so scared for my children. I'm so scared for this world. We have got to start speaking up about what's right and wrong. We have got to start teaching our children morals and values. Our children, my children are not growing up in the world that I grew up in. In 6th and 7th grade, we weren't thinking about boys. We were still into sleep overs and playing dress up together. Pray for our children. Because we are heading down a path of destruction that is going to tear them apart. It's going to tear our families apart.

My last visit was to the dentist. This was Nadine second visit to the dentist. She did wonderful! They said that she is a lot better than most of their adults! And no cavities!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

This is the week...

we've been waiting for!!! This Thursday we get to head down to Derek & Jackie's for a visit. But not just any's for the Richmond Highland Games. I, for one, am completely excited to see hundreds of men in kilts throwing large objects for no reason other than to show how strong they are!!! Especially Rob!!! Well, I don't know if he'll be throwing large objects but he is going to wear is kilt. We were going to buy him a utility kilt to wear for the weekend so he didn't ruin the one he wore for a wedding. However, I just decided that he can wear it and if necessary we'll get it cleaned.

My next class also starts today: Intro to Biblical Studies, an in-depth study of the books of the Bible in their historical, cultural, and literary context. Matters of canon, text, content, structure, theology, chronology, geography, and archaeology will be dealt with. Doesn't it sound fun????
Honestly, I think it will be. Just a lot of reading in the next 6 weeks. The good news is after December 5th I am done with classes until January 26th!!! So almost a two month break!!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ghouls, Goblins and Ghosts

Well, fall has indeed arrived in Ohio. And Halloween is just around the corner. The weather here has gone from 80-90 degrees last weekend to 30 degrees this weekend. Sniffles abound in the family and excitement builds for Trick or Treating in just a couple of weeks. The kids are anxious to pick out their costumes and I'm anxious for the potato soup my mother-in-law makes us every year for our trick or treating experience.

I had wanted my children to all do a Wizard of Oz theme, however, they aren't into it. So now I have to be clever and come up with some cute costumes. I believe Rowan is going to be a golfer. If I can find him plaid pants. I have the little sweater & shoes already just need the pants and a golf set. I might let Nadine just wear Jourdyn's old tap dancing outfit and be a dancer. I think she would like that and it would save me a small fortune. We'll see though. And as for Jourdyn, she'll be whatever she decides within my rules of nothing evil, sinister or scary.

Speaking of evil, sinister and scary, Amy, Rhonda and I all headed out last night to the Haunted Hydro in Fremont, Ohio. Other than Cedar Point Halloweekends, which I haven't been to in years anyways, I haven't been to a haunted house in forever. I believe since before Jourdyn. But maybe we went one year with Chuck and Charlene, I remember us talking about going to Detroit to the big huge one up there, but we didn't go. The question is did we decide on a local house, so Char help me out with that memory.

Well, dad came over and watched the wee ones and Rob was working, so the three of us were off. I haven't been to Fremont in forever and definitely not in the dark, so we were a little lost. But we found it. Whoever came up with this idea was ingenious. The Haunted Hydro is in an old water treatment facility. The building itself is extremely creepy. And the mood lighting, the wandering zombies and the moon (that we believe they probably paid to have hanging in the sky as a prop) and just standing outside would have been too much for many. But we ventured in and came out alive. Although right at the end Amy dragged Rhonda and I into a full sprint to get away from the chainsaw guy!!!!

Here's a pic of us being scared. If you want to see all the Haunted Hydro pictures then watch the smilebox but beware it is ghouls, goblins and it's your choice! :)

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Safari

Melissa and I headed out today with Rowan and Izzie to Port Clinton to see what kind of trouble we could find. Our first stop was Bergman Orchards on Rt. 53, where the kids got to ride "Big Brown" the horse and pick out fun-shaped chocolate. Miss and I picked up apples and pumpkins! And some apple butter too!!!

Then we were off to African Wildlife Safari. On our way we were able to see a flock of swans, yes, it was swans, not a flock of seagulls! Anyways, they were wading in the water just off Catawba Island. They are very majestic birds.

Once we got to the Safari, the two kids were ecstatic. There were monkeys, llamas, porcupines, kangaroos, warthogs, and lots of fun animals in the walk through portion. We visited them and then piled back in the car to do the drive thru safari. They give you a cup of pellets to feed the animals as you drive through. We had deer, elk, alpacas, llamas and a couple giraffes that tried to climb into my van.

It was fun. Afterwards we drove into Marblehead to get perch at this restaurant that I heard had good perch.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Apple Pie Phase 1
Apple Pie phase 2
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Today, is Rob's birthday!!! Nadine and Jourdyn woke up and went straight to see daddy to tell him happy birthday. After we picked up Nadine from preschool, we went to Applebees for lunch. Rob is on second shift so we weren't able to go to dinner. The other day Rob and I baked an apple pie. It turned out very very good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Parenting Seminar

You know, this week has really given me more evidence that God really does hear my prayers. He listens and when I am genuinely seeking Him, He answers.

I got up on Monday and went to MOPS. I explained already how that went for me. While at MOPS I found out about a parenting seminar that TCS was putting on at Cedar Creek Church on Tuesday night, last night. Deborah from MOPS has children that attend TCS and she was giving out tickets to go to this event to see Josh McDowell speak.

I was able to arrange child care on short notice and accepted the tickets. Rob's on second shift so he wasn't able to go. After being there I wish he could have. I have a couple of Josh's books and new that it promised to be a good evening of great parenting advice. I rode with my friends, Josh and Melanie and we met, Holly & Tim, Angela and Charlene and three of her older kids there. Surprisingly we ran into Andy & Barb Lauer, as well.

The first half Josh spoke about having convictions. He defined conviction as knowing what you believe, knowing why you believe it, and living it. His research says that 95% of Christians do not have any convictions. They may know what they believe but they can't give you a logical reason why they believe it's the truth and he didn't even want to go into how they aren't living it. Faith is the usual answer of why we believe something is true. However, faith is a product of truth, not a producer of truth. We have faith in something because we believe it to be true, we don't believe something to be true because we have faith in it.

So many people today don't know how to defend the Bible's truth. But time wise there is more evidence for the New Testament being true than there is for any of the writings of any great thinker. The oldest manuscripts of Aristotle are 1400 years removed from his originals. The oldest manuscripts of Sophocles are 1500 years removed from his originals. Meaning the oldest copies we have of these authors were copied over and over and over for 1400-1500 years. The more something is copied the more likely there are mistakes today. The New Testament manuscripts that we have in existence today are only 50 years removed from the originals. Meaning that they are most likely 1st-5th copies of the originals.

Today only 7 of Plato's manuscripts exist, only 49 of Aristotles but with the New Testaments today we have 24653 manuscripts that we can use to verify authenticity of what we call the Bible today. These two statistics when added up make the New Testament 99.5% pure text.

Now, this is meant to be an argument to use on scholars and skeptics who trash the Bible. But with 99.5% pure text, I'll take on faith that the other 5% has been protected.

We learned about four lines of reasoning that skeptics have when looking at the Bible and how to rebutt them.

1) We can't trust the authors. However, most of the writers were eye-witnesses of the activities written in the New Testament. Mark was a scribe writing Peters first hand story. And Luke was hired to verify all that was being written and witnessed, finding it all true. (I John 1:1-3)
2) The writers just wrote what they wanted people to believe. However, because these writings were written when eye-witnesses to the events were still alive these writings were scrutinized. (Acts 2:22, II Peter 1:16) The readers of that day were there, they saw what happened. If one of the biblical authors lied or made things up or exaggerated they would have been called out on it. If Jesus didn't say "I am the truth" it would have never made it into scripture.
3) People die for lies all the time. Yes, lots of people die for lies but they always believe its the truth. 11 out of 12 of the disciples died horrific deaths because they believed that what they saw and experienced was the truth. Not once did they deny it. (Acts 1:1-3) If it were a lie, they had to know it was a lie and they wouldn't have all died for it.
4) People might argue that lots of people die for a cause, but the disciples great cause had died on the cross. Why would they have died for a cause that was already proven false? Unless the resurrection really happened and they again had a great cause to die for.

Now, you may ask, all this ties into parenting how? Because we lose our kids spiritually (and sometimes physically and definitely emotionally) because we can't give them answers. Real answers about our faith. The stats used to say if your kid wasn't a believer before the age of 18, they probably never would be. Now that age has dropped to 12. If you child doesn't know what they believe and why they believe it by the age of 12 - they probably never will. That's scary! No, That's terrifying.

The answers to my prayers came in the second half...the first half was great but it really made me think of even more reasons I've made a mistake putting Jourdyn in public school.

So my prayers were answered in the second half.

Truth without relationships leads to rejection.
Discipline without relationships leads to bitterness & anger.
Rules without relationships leads to rebellion.

And as much as I am involved in my kids lives and as much as I do with them. I learned that I'm not doing enough or at least not the right things. Josh McDowell gave 7 A's of building relationships with your kids (really it works with any kids that you have in your life whether yours, or grandkids, or students).

1) Affirmation of Emotions - Romans 12:15 - gives them a sense of authenticity
2) Acceptance - Unconditional - Romans 15:7 - gives them a sense of security
3) Appreciation - Matt. 3:17 - gives them a sense of significance
4) Availability - Mark 10:14 - gives them a sense of importance
5) Affection - John 12:13-16 - gives them a sense of lovability
6) Approach their world - I Corinthians 13:5 - sense of your being interested in them
7) Accountability - gives them a sense of responsibility (and love as well)

Looking at these 7A's - I can see exactly where I have failed, exactly where I have fallen short on accomplishing these tasks. Or more so the importance of focusing on these things everyday not just randomly. So if you come to my house and see the 7A's hanging everywhere - please know its because I need a reminder to be there for me and I need to memorize them and apply them.

I know this is a long post but I have to tell you one more thing that Josh said that I really liked. When we quote Scripture to others, but we aren't living it - we're sinning!!!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Apple Run Results

On Sunday, we didn't hang around for the results. We figured that Rob didn't win first place or anything so he wasn't going to get anything. Well, Eddie told him at work that he took first place in his age group. So we called the Chamber of Commerce today and found out that it wasn't first place, but second place in Men 30-34. Which is AWESOME! Overall, he took 48 out of 176. He might be getting some kind of trophy, I'll let you know what we find out!

Rob has signed up to run the 2008 Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk in Fremont on Dec. 13th. Check out his personal Race website for more info:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Afternoon

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After MOPS, Dad came over and we took Rowan and Nadine to the zoo because we had 80 degree weather here today. We parked on the Trail side and only walked that side of the zoo. So we saw polar bears, seals, giraffes, zebras, wolves, and all the african savannah animals. And we rode the train. The kids had fun, as usual! And we wore them out!

Monday Madness

My oldest daughter, Jourdyn is a gifted child. While being gifted is truly a blessing, it does have it's downsides. Her mind tends to wander. She tends to think about things that don't really concern her, like quite often she will make decisions for me and never tell me about them. She did this many times with school sports opportunities. She'll get a paper about it and because it costs money, she'll assume that I won't let her do it or that we couldn't afford it or something like this. There are many more issues that exist, however, I concerned all of them a blessing and a gift from God. What is happening now is what's driving me crazy. Take all of the gifted child issues, add puberty and it's lovely attitude and don't forget to add the general bull-headedness and always right attitude she gets from me and you have a glimpse of my life with a middle-schooler.

Right now grades are the issue. They are slipping. They aren't horrible. She's not failing but she's gone from a straight A student to a B/C student. There have been a lot of changes this year: puberty, entering middle school, a public school, me going back to work part-time, the list probably goes on. So some of this is just adjusting.

Her GT teacher said I should give her consequences for not doing her homework, cause that will work....I really love how the assumption is that Jourdyn hasn't had consequences up to this point. As if, they have been in my home and know my procedures and parenting techniques. So here's my question: What else do I take from her? What additional consequence do I give her for not doing her work? (Which is typical of some gifted children - they feel they don't need to do it because they know it or just because they are bored)

There are no video games in my home. There is limited TV time. There is no phone calls to take away. The computer has already been taken away. There's her piano but that isn't really able to be taken away. There's Caravans, Bible Quizzing and youth group...but honestly, I believe Jourdyn's spiritual welfare is more important than her grades. So to some extent I can use these activities as enticement to do her work but in the past when I've done that it hasn't worked. So what? What do I do with her?

It's Monday today. And it's the beginning of the school year, which means a new year of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). Today, I picked up Melissa and Izzie and headed out for MOPS. Once I got there. Many of my friends began to ask me how things were going and how Jourdyn was adjusting to public middle school. And I couldn't help but just cry. I hate crying and I especially hate crying in front of people. But I am at my whits end with the whole situation. And I don't know what else to do.

We had a presentation today at MOPS about Moms in Touch. Moms in Touch is a prayer group of moms. The video was all about the power of prayer changing the lives of our kids in school, the lives of their teachers and administrators, etc. It really spoke to me. I pray. I pray a whole lot. But I was left asking myself: do I really pray enough? Or am I praying the right things? Or am I praying for the right person? Maybe it's me or maybe I need more prayer for her about specific things? Or maybe I'm just not praying and expecting? Or maybe...well I don't know...but I know that even with prayer...there are things that I have to do and things that she has to do to move in the right direction. So I definitely need to pray more for guidance as a mom. Because God knows that on some level each day I fail miserably at this blessed task He's assigned to me.

This was my Monday afternoon is a different story....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fire Training Smoke House

At the Apple Festival, the fire department had a smoke house training facility. Jourdyn, Nadine and I got to go inside and see what it would be like to have a house full of smoke. We learned what to do if our house was on fire!

Oak Harbor Apple 5k Run

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This weekend is the Oak Harbor Apple Festival. We used to spend much of the weekend there when we lived out that way. Now we don't so there have been a couple of years that we haven't even gone at all. Not much has changed though. There are more food vendors than there ever were before and not much else. Well, there are Apple Dumplings and Berardi fries, so those alone make it worth the trip.

However, Rob decided to run the Apple 5k Run with Jeff and Darlene again. This time Eddie one of their bosses showed up and ran as well. Jourdyn, Rowan and Nadine enjoyed the excitement of the day with Grandpa throwing acorns at each other.

The thing that I enjoy the most about these races is the atmosphere of the races. Everyone lines up to see the runners off with cheers and good lucks. And everyone waits to see them in with the same cheers and praises for the person who finishes first as for the person who finishes last. Both runs Jeff has finished before Rob and Darlene. When he is done and after he gets a drink, he goes back and finds them and finishes the run again with them. Jeff and Darlene are such wonderful people! Very cheery and friendly! I'm really glad that they have convinced Rob to get into the races.

Towards Christmas there is a race called the "Jingle Race". They put bells on all the runners. Rob's excited for that one! Hopefully one of these days I'll be able to get out there with him and run.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Erie Orchards Field Trip

On Friday, Rob, Rowan and I took Nadine on her class field trip to Erie Orchards. The weather was beautiful! In the 70's and sunny. We went on a hay ride into the orchards where everyone was able to pick three apples each. Nadine picked all Red Delicious and Rowan picked two Golden Delicious and one Red. Rob was trying to figure out how to get Granny smiths but had to get golden delicious. Afterwards, we saw how they make their cider and how they shine their apples. We had hot cider and donuts! Nadine had lots of fun!

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another Year Older...

The secret of staying
is to
live honestly,
eat slowly,
lie about your age.
~Lucille Ball
So today, I'm 18 with 13 years experience!
Well, my 31st birthday wasn't much different from any other day! Which was really nice actually. Jourdyn headed off to school, and I took Nadine to school. Came home, did homework and dealt with Women's Ministries business. Went to pick up Nadine and then came home and relaxed for the afternoon. When Jourdyn came home we cleaned for a short time and then headed out to Fleitz Pumpkin Farm to pick out pumpkins for our porch.
The kids had a whole lot of fun. Fleitz's have goats and chickens, corn mazes, and lots of gourds and pumpkins. Rowan and Nadine got to have a wagon ride with pumpkins. All the kids picked out their own pumpkins. Daddy picked out one too! Except it was a giant pumpkin and it cost $57, so go figure, we didn't buy it!
After the pumpkin farm, we all headed over to Frisch's Big Boy for dinner. I didn't have any birthday cake, instead I had something even better, pumpkin pie! With lots of cool whip!
Thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes!

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My grandmother passed away a couple of years ago now. I have some of her linens in my linen closet. Every so often when I open the door I can smell her. And if I pick up the linens and put them to my nose it's like burying my face in my grandma's bed. It's always a great way to think about her. It's amazing how our noses and minds can remember a smell.

Today, I had to pick up cookies from The Cookie Lady in Maumee for our thing at church tonight. And I decided to treat Rowan and I to some cookies. She had Oatmeal Raisin cookies, which I have not only not had for the past few years since Grandma passed away, but since she was so sick it's been a really long time since I've tasted one of her oatmeal raisin cookies. The Cookie Lady must have stolen my grandmother's recipe because with one bite my mind flooded with the most precious memories of my grandma. I probably could have ate every cookie she had in her case this morning. In fact, it's 1:30 in the afternoon and I can still taste the oatmeal raisin cookies in my mouth.

My grandma was a baker and there was never a time that we would arrive without her having oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies. Even towards the end, the burnt cookies from her forgetting the oven was on, or the cookies that were missing ingredients were still the best cookies because they were grandma's cookies.

It was more than excellent to have a tangible, physical reminder of her today.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Excellent Ministry

In my class we have been discussing excellent ministry. Is the term excellent appropriate when speaking of church ministry? Or is it too extravagant a goal? And if we can use it what does it mean in the context of ministry?

I believe that excellence is applicable and attainable in Christian ministry. God's excellence is revealed to us in Jesus' cross and resurrection. Jesus' excellence translated into his life through his obedience, his self-emptying, and his self-giving "in vulnerability, in a love that reaches out to all, but especially to those at the margins of society, a love that death cannot overcome." (Jackson W. Carroll, God's Potters)

So then how do we bring excellence into our ministries today. Our ministries must be based and rooted in Christ's excellence, in His cross and resurrection. "Excellent ministry is deeply communal; it involves practices that are focused on building up and strengthening the whole body, which itself is called to be an agent of reconciliation in the world. Excellent ministry is less about exceptionally gifted individuals and more about a community that recognizes and depends on each person's contributions and bears one another's burdens." (Carroll)

A Chicago pastor said this "If our churches are not hopeful places where the gospel that is preached is not about whether the church has lost members or gained members, or about anything that drags people down, then we're just perpetuating a business or something. The church has to offer hope, and not just for people personally but also for the community it serves, and it has to be a place where people find resources for dealing with the world."

I don't know about you, but I long for an excellent church, an excellent ministry; one that is reaching out in love, one that is being the hands and feet of Jesus. One that is building up it's body and using the God-given talents and gifts of its people to reach the world. One that is listening to its congregations ideas and empowering its people to follow their passions, using them to produce a culture of excellence in our church. Excellence is attainable, we have just got to push forward towards it, we have got to remember the hope that is in Jesus' cross and resurrection and share it with the world.

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