Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Swine flu paranoia getting out of hand...

Thanks to my friend Nicole for sending me this picture and letting me know I'm not the only one who overreacts to these things...

And for giving me a great laugh!! Hope you did too!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What a Man...

I've been waiting a while to tell you about this guy I know. But I couldn't figure out how to talk about him without sounding like I'm boasting. So here's what I realized. Being married to a totally awesome guy really says very little about me - you can just ask my parents who both know that I married up (it does say two things and I'll get to that later). No, you wouldn't have to know me very long to realize that I don't deserve this man who is so patient and humble. A guy who so genuinely desires to work hard and do the right thing that even people who may not agree with his spiritual leanings tend to trust him. He's a guy who is reliable and intelligent and when he sees a problem, he tries to solve it or help the other person solve it. And what does having a husband like this say about me? Well, I think I was faithful in seeking God's will to choose a mate.Second , I know how good I've got it. And even though I could never make it clear enough that I am blessed beyond measure, I still try.

So what has Mr. Perfect (for me) done lately? Three cool things.
First, he is training for his first half marathon in October. He has run a few 5Ks over the last 3 years but this is a 13 mile journey. I got a few shots early one Saturday morning...When he told me he was going to do this, he said he needed a higher purpose and so we talked about and prayed about who he could help. He chose Al & Phyllis Beavers. You can read all about it here at the blog we set up to tell about it. You can also read an article from our local paper here. He has had an amazing response which has also really encouraged him. I am so proud of him for all of this.

Also, he recently moved from being a teacher to a "Dean of Students" at his high school. The new position is like an assistant principal and he has been dealing with a lot of behavior issues as well as curriculum and teacher issues. It adds two weeks to his responsibilities at the beginning of the school year as well as the end.

Finally, he is about to be ordained as a Deacon in our church. We do not have elders so this would be the equivalent in many churches. The group of men that are being ordained have spent the last 10 months studying together and learning about their awesome responsibility to lead. I think he is ready.

So thanks for listening, at least I know that my mother in law will read this! :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Confession

I am what I would consider to be an incredibly loyal person. I find it intensely distasteful to abandon the ones you love in favor of something new or "improved" (remember I'm the one whose daughter inherited my tendency to not want to hurt my stuffed animals' feelings?). Anyway, lately I've had a wandering eye. I feel like if I confess it here, perhaps I can get a little accountability.

It started when I heard my friends talking about how cool it was. But I resisted the urge to consider such things and even thought a little less of them. But then once, when I had a few minutes alone, I found myself being drawn in; and that's how temptation begins. Nothing happened and I felt really guilty and sort of fled the situation. But then there I was with all three kids and I was tired. And I gave in.

I went to Giant Eagle. I'm usually a Meijer or Kroger kind of girl. Occasionally even a Carnival foods woman. But this new Giant Eagle has been wooing me (it seems) with its slick ads, double coupons and (irresistible) free child care while you shop. For so long I've ignored its attempt to impress me with that beautiful produce and artfully displayed bakery items. But yesterday I could no longer resist. And frankly, I think I'm in love.

Let me be clear. I spent more money there at one time than I've ever spent on simply groceries. I know that is their tactic. I'm on to them. But I loved it anyway. And I only bought necessities and things that I had a coupon for (and only if those were on sale). Plus, unlike Meijer and Kroger, I only came home with food and not other random items (lunchbox, new shirt, ice cube trays, etc.). I used to fantasize about carefully prepared grocery lists and coupon lists that I stuck to and from which I refused to deviate. I dreamt of time to spent pondering the per ounce price of grated parmesan vs. the block. And now those dreams are coming true.

My next step is to plan a date night with my wonderful husband. We'll take advantage of the free child care, head over to the little restaurant area of the store and enjoy our (maximum) of two hours. A little bit of heaven.

But shhhhhh, don't mention it to Kroger please.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mator's First Day

Last week, my just barely three year old Mator had her first day of preschool. This is a one day a week preschool sponsored by our local parks and rec called Alley Park Kids. Doodle did this a few years ago and it was a great way to get used to being away from home, working with other kids and following directions. Plus, it is a lot of fun!

Mator has been having some "issues" with leaving us lately. I think it is just related to all the changes in her life-moving to a big girl bed, getting rid of binkies and potty training-but she doesn't do very well when we leave her somewhere. In fact, she tends to be that kid whose cries escalate to a scream and they have to be removed from the classroom so that the teacher doesn't lose her hearing and the other kids don't misinterpret her tears to mean, "Hey guys, why don't you cry too? It is SOOOO much fun!"

So after we dropped off the big sisters we headed over to Alley Park (or snake school as her friend from church who also goes there calls it). She was very excited, and in fact had been counting down the days for two weeks. Here she is right outside the school.
Here she is right INSIDE the school. Notice the different smile. The nervous smile. The "you said you would stay with me the first day and you really meant that, right?" smile
Here she is waiting for the first activity. This smile is either still pretty nervous or something like, "Are you ever going to stop taking pictures? I mean seriously, I just took three steps and sat at this table. Whoopty-crap!"And this is at Mc Donalds after school-we're back to a real smile:
Doggone, she's cute, if I do say so. And no tears. Yet. This week I'm going to leave for part of the class. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pond Paradise

We are super blessed to have year round fun in the form of our pond across the street (well, it's technically my dad's pond, but he shares!) In the winter we skate on it, spring sends us looking for tadpoles and baby turtles and most of the year we can go out on the canoe or pedal boat for lots of fun. But the best part, according to the kids, is summer time swimming.

Each year it seems there is a new, exciting addition. This year, my brother Frank added a dock to the "deep end" making it possible to dive into the almost 15 foot deep section.

Here are Doodle, Muffin and Mator "surfing" near the island. Doodle was even able to stand for a couple seconds without Daddy's help!
Justine is diving off the new dock.Doodle began to make a"mudslide" next to the new dock and then everyone else helped too. It was very slick but bumpy on the tush!
Here's Frank and Wilson in the canoe.
Muffin is jumping off the dock.
I love this shot. It shows 5 of the 8 grandkids- Jared (doing a pencil off the dock) Doodle, Muffin, Elle and Justine. Then my dad is in the background, surveying his progeny. In the far background is our house. It looks really close thanks to the magic of aperture but it takes about 6 or 7 minutes to walk across the street and get home.
And finally, despite my better judgment, I present me-my first day in the pond (and only time so far). On a hot day, this is the life!