Monday, April 28, 2008

A Special Day

Wow!! Two posts in one day but someone very special to me turned 65 today! Yep, it's my mom! I'm not going to write too much about her today because there is another special day coming up in a couple weeks. I will, however, say that I am so blessed by living close to my parents. At this time in my life, my mom is probably one of my closest friends. I didn't even put together that this is her first birthday without my dear Grandmother. Happy Birthday, Mom!! You're the BEST!!

A Second Chance

Last night while at a women's function at our church, we received word that a couple in our church were suddenly killed in an automobile accident. We were suddenly thrown into collective shock and grief. Almost 30 minutes later, as the word spread, we received another call that somewhere in the giving out of the details, someone got something mixed up. The couple was not in the accident. It was a step-grandson of theirs and the couple was fine.
I think this was the first time I have experienced the feelings that come from unexpected tragedy. In those first moments, when we thought the worlds of everyone who knew this couple was changed forever, things that seemed so important suddenly weren't so important anymore. How many times in our life are we given a second chance with something like this? A chance to re-evaluate? When everyone left last night, we left a little closer and with a whole lot more perspective on the frailty of life. You just never know and in a matter of minute, your life can be forever changed!
I have pondered these thoughts all day. This couple will never know the depth of emotion and love that was poured out on their behalf. And I believe that we as a church community will quite never be the same.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring Cleaning....Finally!!

I've finally been bitten by the Spring Cleaning that it's almost May!! Emily and I spent several hours yesterday and today giving the kitchen a really good cleaning. We moved some stuff around and got rid of some things in an effort to clean and get rid of clutter. I still have a few more things to do in there before I can officially say that the kitchen is "Done" but we're close!! Next up will be the dining room!
Cliff has torn my bathroom apart. We replaced an ugly vinyl floor with porcelin tiles. They just didn't work. We lived with it for 2 years and that was enough. Yesterday he took up the tiles and the layers of old vinyl down to the plywood. He's replacing the subfloor and and flooring. What a mess!! I can bear it as long as I know it is temporary. As I always tell my kids, "You can do alot of things as long as you know it's temporary." After the flooring goes down, we'll finally finish painting and that will be all the improvements we'll do in the bathroom this year.
The Bloggy Carnival is over for this quarter. There were almost 1000 drawings and prizes to be won!! I have no idea how many I entered!! Tonight I found out I won one. I won some books (I think around 6 or so) from Karen at her blog, Work and Roll. I'm so excited!! I love to read and evidentally, Karen reads new releases for a living!! What fun!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shoebox Swaps

I had read about the themed Shoebox swaps at Monica's and Carrie's blogs. They pick a theme like "Cozy" and "Refresh" and all the items you place into your box fit into this general theme. It always looks like so much fun so when the Spring Swap came around with the theme, "Bloom", I decided to give it a try.

I was paired up with Lindsie. It was a first swap for both of us. Lindsie did a great job with my box. It included a garden stake, a new book, some flowered scrapbook paper, and a mosiac/beaded plaque that she made. It was perfect. I hung the plaque on my front door right away!!

It was as much fun as it looked and hopefully I'll be able to get in on the next one. To see more swap pictures, check it out here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another Book

We had yet another storm tonight and yet another power outage! I had about an hour before it was time to leave for church so I used the time to finish the book we started in our Women's Prayer Circle at church.
The book is "Fresh Faith" by Jim Cymbala, who is the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. I enjoyed this book so much! What I came away with was a renewed sense of hope and faith in God and his Word. I learned so much and in fact, plan to re-read it because there were so many valuable lessons in it's pages.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Moving Things Around

Ok, so we started off the day doing a version of musical chairs with cars. My mom borrowed a pick-up truck from her neighbor and he took her car to work. After I took the kids to school, I took my car to her and drove the neighbor's truck home to pick up Cliff. Amy took Cliff's car to work as her's is broken down. Still with me???

The reason for the car swapping?? Mom bought several large-sized items at Nebraska Furniture Mart and Cliff & I picked them up. Those were taken home and we then picked up her new lawn mower. At mom's house, Cliff & Jacob removed a sofa from an upstairs office and brought it to my house. They then removed my sofa (which was beyond repair). Jacob was then taken to track practice and I accompanied Cliff to the dump where we disposed of said broken sofa so we don't get ourselves in this situation again!!

After taking the truck back to the neighbor's and picking up my car, we heading to our little neighborhood grill for Tuesday's half-price hamburgers because neither one of us felt like cooking tonight.

Actually it felt really good to get so much accomplished today. We've got a long list of projects that need to be accomplished around here so hopefully we'll keep the momentum going!

Now I'm heading off to enter a few more drawings over at the Bloggy Carnival and then to bed.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Memory Album

While going through my pictures a year or so ago, I found pictures of me with each of my sons. The cool thing about these pictures is that they were both similiar poses, and both boys were 2 months old. I had found a poem in a magazine that captured the feeling of these pictures. I put them all together on this scrapbook page that is in my "Favorites Album."
The poem is as follows:

To My Sons:
I look to you with hope and pride,
I see your future brightly.
Your deep concerns and aspirations
I will not take lightly.
The future is a mystery
that everyone explores.
I'll share your possibilities,
Embrace your distant shores.
I'll answer you when questions stir,
encourage you, implore you.
But life's a challenge shaped by God
a gift I can't live for you.
So live it well; respect it fully;
play your spirit out,
Seek and then discover
all the best that life's about.
Remember that you're not alone-
My love is always there.
The challenge that defines your life
I am there to share.
You're on a voyage into time,
A trip to somewhere new.
You may not always see me there,
But I'll be there with you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Quick Update

In spite of a serious case of nerves, Amy did very well on her audition. By the time we went over to meet with the Financial Aid counselor, her scores were already posted. She scored the highest score she could possibly get which results in a very nice, re-newable scholarship. After all the scholarships are tallied, she should be able to raise the rest of the tuition money by working hard until August. She was absolutely thrilled and I was very, very proud of her!!
Thanks to everyone who was praying for her.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Busy Weekend

Tomorrow we are heading back to Bethel for Amy's music scholarship audition. She & I have been working on her solo pieces all week. Amy & her friend, Danielle left tonight so Cliff and I will have a quiet ride with none of the kids tomorrow.
I am currently knee deep in a video project for Sunday. It's probably one of the most complicated ones I've done to date.
Between tomorrow's all day trip and the video, I don't even have time for Show & Tell this week. I'll be gone tomorrow so I probably won't be posting again until Sunday.
Just a quick reminder, though, it's time for the Bloggy Carnival again. Last time I won 3 apron, a book, and my blog makeover. Here's the link. The fun starts Monday morning!! For those of you who've never tried it, there will be links to over 700 blogs where each blogger is giving away a prize. There's all sorts of stuff to be won!! It's a blast!! It will go on all week. Have fun and I'll see you Sunday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Birthday

Due to flooding in the cellar, taxes, and a migraine, I'm a day late in this post!!

20 years ago yesterday (April 14) Cliff & I were blessed with what I believed was a little angel from heaven. We didn't find out until her delivery what the baby was. Cliff was so excited he yelled, "It's a Girl!!" I was so happy! We already had a son and I was wanting a girl. We had chosen the name, Amy Elizabeth. Amy had a head full of dark
hair and the slightest little up-turned nose. She was so cute!

Amy was such a good baby and a good girl. She's got one of the greatest dispositions of anyone I've ever met. She's so even-tempered. She loves life, loves to play and have a good time. She's alot of fun to be around!

I'm so glad she decided to go to Jr. college and live at home these past 2 years. Once again I find myself watching one of my children grow away from me. As a mom, this has probably been one of the hardest things I've ever done...let go. I'm watching on the sidelines as she is building her own life and making preparations to leave our home late this summer. It's a bittersweet time because I'm so glad she's so strong and independant and a woman of faith but on the other hand I've been struggling to figure out how or where I fit into her life. I have a whole new respect for my mother as she sat on the sidelines and watched me get ready to leave our home in New York to go to Jacksonville, FL with my new husband.
Time has passed far too quickly. Yesterday I brought this beautiful baby girl home and today she is 20.

Happy Birthday, Amy. Know wherever God takes you in your life, your mother loves you and will ALWAYS be here for you!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

National Anthem

There's nothing I like better than hearing kids sing...especially kids who are so passionate about singing!

I came across this on another blog today. It will give you chills!!!

Colds, Snow, and Floods

My, oh my oh my. It's already been an interesting weekend!!!!!
  • Everyone's been under the weather with colds.
  • Today my ears and throat hurt.
  • I've been helping one of my adult kids deal with the reality of being an adult :-)
  • Our sump pump went out and my cellar has been flooded TWICE!!
  • It's quite possible we'll have to replace the hot water heater as we have no hot water!
  • It's cold and has even been snowing on and off today

And that was only FRIDAY!! I try to see the bright side on days like these and in comparison, my problems could be a whole lot worse!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Show & Tell Friday

I have scrapbooked in one form or another since I was in 5th grade (about 30 years!!) My earliest ones were purchased at a dime store like Woolworths. I kept things like birthday cards, postcards from trips, school programs, special letters, wrapping paper from gifts, party decorations, newspaper clippings, school awards, and all sorts of other things. They are too high up in a closet to get down and photograph. Some of the scotch tape has lost it's stickiness, the pages have yellowed, but they are still special reminders of my childhood.

These days I scrapbook some of the same stuff but I don't use scotch tape anymore. This shelf in my bedroom holds some of my scrapbooks. It's a collection of my kids' lives and accomplishments, our life as a family, special moments, etc. I have more plans for future scrapbooks than I have time!!

While I was photographing some of my pages, our power went out. So I'm only showing some pages from 2 books tonight. Sometime in the future I'll show more.

These two pages are from an album of my favorite pictures. A friend came & took pictures of my daughters & neices in victorian clothing. My sister just happened to have a roll of black & white film. I LOVED how
these pictures came out!

These remaining pages are from an album I made for Josh for Christmas 2 years ago. It's pretty much everything he did in high school. This is one big album!!!! It came out incredible, though. He didn't want to risk keeping it in the dorms so I get to keep it here for a few more years.

Thanks for stopping by. For more Show & Tell fun you can visit Kelli at No Place Like Home.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sick Kids

We've all been hit with cold/allergy know, sniffles, stuffy/runny noses, coughs and scratchy throats. Both Jacob & Emily came home from school totally wilted and dragging. They are both running low-grade temperatures and look awful. Emily walked in the front door, went right to my bed and slept for 4 1/2 hours!! I just finished a round of night-time (help-you-sleep) medicine and sent them to bed. Hopefully they'll be feeling better in the morning, although Jacob wouldn't mind being just sick enough to stay home from school.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Josh's Concert

Last Sunday, I posted here about sharing a musical opportunity with my oldest daughter, here. Yesterday, it was my oldest son's turn.

There are many musical opportunities at Josh's college. No matter how you sing or what you play, they make a place for you. This choir a 44 voice concert choir and for this particular choir, you have to audition to get in. (I remember last year, Josh was so nervous about his audition to this choir.) They sing on campus and also travel around to various churches and venues and sing and perform. Every year during spring break, this choir travels extensively. This year they went north. They started in North Dakota, went up into Canada, back into Minneapolis, through Nebraska, and then back home last night for their final concert of the tour.

The choir is amazing. They are so well rehearsed and have such energy and harmony. Josh is also in a men's octect and I knew they would sing also. They were so good!! But then, to my surprise and absolute delight, Josh and a girl from the choir sang a duet, "The Prayer." He didn't tell me!! They sang so beautifully!! When they were done, the audience response was overwhelming and it was all I could do to not jump up out of my seat and yell, "That's MY kid, that's MY kid!!" I mean it, I literally had to FORCE MYSELF to stay in my seat!!!!!!! Gosh, I was so proud!!!!!!!

After the concert, we were able to spend a little time with him over dinner and it was so nice to have our entire family together again. I cherish these times so much because they are becoming far and few between. Josh won't be home again until probably Christmas and for me, it's such a bittersweet thing. I love him, I want him around. I like having him around but at the same time, I'm so glad he's independant and making his own life.

Thanks for letting me gush all about my son today. I've been flying high since last night!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Just For Fun

Last summer, I worked on a video for a woman who lives just up the road from me. I had to go to her home on several occasions to meet with her. While in her home, I noticed several vintage lunch boxes and was quickly caught up in looking at them. They brought up so many memories from when I was a kid. Well, it seems that the lunch boxes I could see around her kitchen were only scratching the surface. She took me to her upstairs landing and it was wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling lunch boxes! I could have stood there for hours looking at them. They were just so fun! Then we went down to the basement where 4 more display cases were set up, full of lunch boxes. They were just such happy things that brought up happy memories.

From my childhood, I have one lunch box. The only reason it survived, I believe, is that it is a Barbie vinyl lunchbox that I used to hold my Barbie clothes. It's pretty beat up and stored high up in my closet. I can't reach it to photograph it so I found this one on the web that is similiar in style. Mine is Barbie pink. I remember having one the style of the Snoopy one above. I also had this green Peanuts lunchbox (got it for Christmas one year) and the classic red plaid (didn't everyone have this one once?)

These are just for fun. Aren't they fun to look at? Do you remember any of your lunch boxes??

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Show & Tell

I am showing two items from my walls for today's Show & Tell.

This picture hangs in my dining room. I gave it to my Grandpa Adrian for his 75th birthday. We drove from Florida to Kansas (a 24-hour drive) and back over a long weekend for this party. We were so exhausted! Grandpa was so happy we had made the trip! What do you give a man who either has everything he wants or could easily go and buy anything? I decided to go with memories. I wrote how much I admired him, included a picture of both he and I, matted and framed it. He seemed happy to receive it and it hung in his bedroom until he died. When my dad asked what I'd like as a keepsake of Grandpa's, I knew right away I wanted this picture. I was thrilled to recieve it back and hang it in my home. I look at it now and kind of chuckle to myself. This was done in the early 90's. I was so computer illiterate. I'd never heard of fonts or processing programs. I used such a large font because I had no idea what I was doing! I probably centered the title by using the old typwriter method of backspacing for every two letters!! Remember that?

This picture hangs in my bedroom. It belonged to Cliff's Granny. The last time we saw her she was in a nursing home, recouperating so she could go home. She was in her late 80's. During that visit, she told me that the Christmas card I had sent her the previous Christmas was the prettiest card she thought she had ever received. She loved that little card so much, she took it and framed it. I was so touched by that! When she passed away a few months later, Cliff's brother asked if there would be anything of Granny's that we'd like as a keepsake. The only thing I could think of was that little card. Once again, I was so glad to receive this, just as she had framed it.

Thanks for traveling down memory lane with me today. If you'd like to participate in Show & Tell or read other memories, hop on over to Kelli's at No Place Like Home.

A Cold & Rainy Day

It has been cold, rainy, gray, and gloomy today. It's the kind of weather that makes me want to wrap up, stay warm and watch and old movie or read a good book. These kinds of days I struggle to be productive.

My parents are leaving tomorrow to head to GA to see my sister and FL to see my brother. I'm a little envious!! I'd love to get in the car and head to the warm south!! I'm so anxious to see my family and our newest nephew. By the time I get ahold of him, he'll be 5 months old!

Bill seems to be holding his own. There's a possibility he may get to go home tomorrow. His days are drawing to an end on this earth. It's so sad to watch him go through this but once again, it is not without hope. Soon he will be free from pain and sickness and welcomed into the arms of his Savior.

My chains are gone, I've been set free
My God, My Savior has ransomed me
and like a flood, His mercy flows,
unending love, Amazing Grace!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Prayer Request

We just found out today that our friend Bill, who I wrote about here is in the hospital. I don't know details. All I do know is that prayers are needed...not only for him but for his family.