Thursday, August 28, 2008
I'm sharing it because it is something that I learned about today but I am also sharing it because I am proud to know this soldier. I prayed for him and his brothers as they were serving our country overseas. I listened with great saddness as his father described his injuries that he suffered while serving in Iraq. I anticipated each update that kept us abreast of his progress that he was making in his recovery. I prayed, along with so many others, for his healing. Then, I proudly shook his hand when he returned home. I thank the Lord that I was able to thank him in person for the sacrifice that he made for our country...that he made for me and my children.
It's election season. Everyone has an opinion. I've already stated that this is a McCain commercial. If it's gonna tick you off, then I invite you to read another post or even go visit another blog. You may watch the video below, but please, no negative comments. I love to have healthy discussion. I love to learn about the issues and other viewpoints. But, I've seen ugly hate spewed all over blogland. Feel free to disagree but if you comment, please do so respectfully. This one's personal and no matter which side of the aisle you're on, we can agree that in this great country we are each given the freedom to express our opinion. Here is his...
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
There aren't many beach days left of this summer, so we took the opportunity this evening to bring our dinner down to the beach. It's sad knowing that this may be our last time swimming at the beach for the season.
I found this rock along the shore and showed it to my daughter. We used it to write on a nearby boulder. She was fascinated by the fact that she could write with the rock. She had so much fun writing each of our names across the boulder.
I used to do the same thing as a kid on this same beach.
Somedays, I wish I lived far away in some exotic location perhaps with mountains or waterfalls or valleys. Sometimes, I long for new experiences. Then, a simple rock can remind me of how much I love the familiarity of my little life. Watching my children learn and explore in many of the same ways that I did when I was a child, reminded me of that. Yes, I'd love to travel the world but for right now, I'm learning to embrace the familiar and look at it through the eyes of my children. Because for them, what is old and boring to me is new and exciting through their eager eyes!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
We had a little discussion about the cost of airline tickets and the cost of gas. With the current outrageous price of gas, we were curious if flying would actually be more cost effective than driving. This curiosity led my husband to find online sites that actually calculate how much you will spend on gas based on where you start and end, your car, current gas prices, and what type of gas you get. Drive Pricing has an easy one to use. If you don't know your MPG, it links you to fueleconomy.gov to figure it out. What a great tool!
On my search, I also found this handy tool. You click on your state. Then, you click on the city closest to where you live and it will give you the prices of gas a various gas stations in the area. Pretty cool.
So, what did we decide? Our final decision had nothing to do with gas and everything to do with having children. We are going on vacation close to home for the pure reason of saving our sanity. What use is a vacation if it stress the family out so much that you need a vacation to recover from the vacation? As long as we have fun as a family, the distance from home doesn't matter.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
OK. I'm gonna talk about the Zoo again. We really enjoyed the Lemurs at the zoo. Today I took some time to look up some information to share with the kiddos.
A Google search led me to this picture of a newly discovered Mouse Lemur. Isn't he cute?!?!?
Saturday, August 23, 2008
We learned a lot. I'll let the zoo signs and photographs tell you some of the most interesting things we learned. (To read a sign in a larger size, click on the picture)
We learned about how rhinos mark their territory. Yuck...
The strange ways that Kangaroos rest...
We learned how the Zoo helps penguins...
We learned about how Lemurs are fed in captivity...
We learned about the Zookeepers jobs...We learned that bats could hold the cure for heart attacks and strokes...
Of course we learned about one of my favorites, the goats...
And, how to brush them...
We learned about fish, inside and out...
We learned how to identify different types of sharks and stingrays...
Daddy and the 4 year old learned what they felt like too...
Even my cup of Dr. Pepper taught me fun facts...
All four kiddos from both families learned that elephants are BIG! That is the one animal that our daughter requested to see. While we were walking toward the elephants, she exclaimed, "How come they're so big!"
She has only seen them in pictures and she told us that she thought they were MUCH smaller. She was truly amazed at their immense size.
The baby just kept pointing at them and saying, "Oo - oo!" He kept making the sign that he uses when he wants something. He was rather disappointed to learn that he would NOT be touching.
I AM EXHAUSTED! It was a fun day but there were ZERO naps taken until our car ride home. Morning and afternoon naps were missed. The kids were incredibly well behaved but I am all tuckered out. Good Night.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I have been to too many sewing websites than I care to count. All have offered me tons and tons of troubleshooting advice. I called and called and called the Singer helpline and every time I called, the message told me that they were only available during certain hours and that if it wasn't those hours to call back during those specific hours... never mind the fact that is WAS within those hours! I have even gotten the sage advice of my mother-in-law who is quite the seamstress. All to no avail!
However, I have learned all about the tension of my machine and how to adjust it. I have learned how to remove the needle plate, clean the feed dogs, and how to clean and lubricate the hook in the bobbin case. (I learned what feed dogs are!) I relearned how to thread the bobbin (just in case that was the trouble) and how to thread the upper thread (just in case again). I've relearned how to change the needle.
I learned all that and somehow something worked. My machine is now working and today I was able to finish this project. I have no idea what the problem was but one of the million things that I tried actually worked and now I can sew!
The project that I have been working on is a Gratitude Wrap following the free pattern by Soulemama. Thank goodness it's done!
The pockets of this wrap are supposed to be filled with some items intended for writing notes of gratitude. However, this is headed to a friend who has a close friend moving. I am hoping that this, in a small way, will help to make the distance between these two not seem so far. So, this is not so much a gratitude wrap as it is a friendship across the miles wrap.
Every time I read what's on that notebook, I think it says, "Oh the joys of wild living!" Funny.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
This evening, while out with some girlfriends, I got the call...
"Honey, it's me. Every thing's OK now, I just want to let you know..."
My heart was racing. Which kid? What happened? How bad? Give her lots of hugs!
My daughter had been jumping on her mini trampoline which happens to be in her bedroom. She tripped while stepping off of it and fell head first into her bed frame. She has a pretty good cut down the middle of her forehead. My hubby called his parents to come help with the baby while he tended to the injury. Luckily, they were able to come right away. Being a head injury, there was a lot of blood, but the three of them (Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa) decided that it didn't need stitches. So, when I got home, I researched how to make the call of when you need to stitch or not to. It seems like they made the right choice, although I think this is one of those that sits the fence. Do you or don't you...such a tough question?!?!? She was asleep when I arrived home, so I can't actually see the injury under it's bandage. I just hope and pray that the right decision was made.
Updated: This morning, I got to take a peek at the cut. It looks pretty deep but not gaping. It's probably not necessary to have it stitched. Poor Daddy! He feels just awful about the whole thing. Our kiddos are so lucky to have such a loving, gentle, and compassionate Daddy!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Today, I tried a new way of doing freezer paper stencils... painting with two tones. I took the positive image and painted the negative with two colors. I used green for a grass effect and blue for a sky effect. I didn't wait for one color to dry before starting on the other. I wanted them to blend together a bit.
I was happy with how it turned out and hopefully the five year old birthday boy will think so too!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Have you ever tried White Nectarines? We picked some up today at Walmart (of all places) and they are delicious! Both kiddos LOVE them. They are so sweet and the taste is fantastic. The texture is perfect... not too soft but not too hard with a little crunch! Yummy!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Then, my friend encouraged me to read the book and even delivered the book to my home!!! So, I read a bit and I was hooked! The text was engaging and held my interest. I was pleased to find out that it wasn't a story about bees. Mind you, bees to play a huge part in the story but it's not all about the bees. By the way, after reading the book, I do get the title although, I'm still not sure what's so secret about their life. Hehe!
While the story was fun and quick and interesting, there were several parts where I felt that I had to stretch my imagination to believe. Some examples...
- Spitting on the white man's shoes...was she stupid?
- The jailbreak...it was so-o-o easy!
- Ending up at the right house on the first try...they were wandering and just stumbled into the right place?
- Being welcomed as a white girl into the home... Sure, c'mon in! That's not likely to happen!
- No one questioning what a white girl was doing there... in that day, I find this particularly hard to believe.
- A white teen and a black teen driving together through town without question... wouldn't he be beat up just for looking at her?
- The statue of Mary thing... ya, that one took a lot of imagination!
Despite all those, I still enjoyed the book. It was a bit of a fantasy to believe that a girl could stumble into such a great situation accidentally. But it offered hope. I was impressed by all of the coincidences that were throughout the book. It made me suspend reality and believe that sometimes life can be like that...good things popping up out of nowhere!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Song lyrics | Everything Glorious lyrics
Here is a link to an interview with David Crowder where he is discussing the song. It's an interesting link if you want to see what he looks like...definitely not your traditional worship leader look.
Great song. I'm glad I learned it!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Last month, during the County Fair, our little boy really enjoyed riding on the push tractors in my Agricultural Education building. Lately, he has been trying to ride his sister's tricycle or bicycle, both of which are too big for him. We thought that he could try to ride on the tricycle but he is too unsteady and has had a few tumbles off of it. I began thinking that we should consider looking for a reasonably priced (ie. garage sale) pedal-less ride-on toy.Yesterday, while my mom and daughter and I were out, our route took us by the fair. I instantly had a solution. I have two ride-on toys that sit in storage for a year. They only get used for one week the entire year. We could use one of those and have it back in time for next summer's fair. I swung by and picked it up.
He LOVE, LOVE, LOVES that silly little toy! Although he isn't using it much for riding on. He is using it to practice walking. It has a handle in back so that kids can push it. He loves holding onto that handle and walking all over with it. I had no idea that this toy would be a tool for helping him learn to walk!
The only time he stops is to point out the airplanes that fly over. The boy does love those airplanes!
It won't be long before my baby is walking...YIKES!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Today, three generations of ladies went to the theater and out for lunch and tea. I had the pleasure of going on an a truly spectacular date with my mother and my daughter. We went to a children's theater production of The Princess and The Pea.
Seeing my mother holding my daughter's hand is a very touching site for me knowing that I am the link that connects the two of them.
My mother was able to get spectacular seats for us. Below is a picture she took from our seats before the show started. We had a completely unobstructed view because we sat in the front row!!! The actors were so close we could have walked right up on stage with them. One of the actors actually laid down for part of the play on the stage right in front of us. My daughter's eyes were as big as saucers. I think she may have thought that he was going to plop right down in her lap.
The performance was very well done. Very funny and it kept the little one's attention from start to finish. Afterwards, we got too look at a few of the props. The girl was amazed to touch the bed and find out that it was as hard as a rock. This probably really confused the story in her mind. I can picture her thoughts now... "That girl wasn't a real princess. No one could sleep on this tower of brick mattress with or without a pea under them!"
Then, we went to a Tea Shop that I had wanted to go to for some time. The Tea Shop lunch was actually my mom's Mother's Day present. We've had a tough time scheduling a time to go!
The girl LOVED the presentation of her lunch and was thrilled to get to drink her apple juice out of a real teacup and saucer.
My mom and I ordered the same wrap and it was delicious!!! We had a Smoked Turkey Mango Wrap. It was made with fruit mayonnaise, avocado, sprouts, mango, and lettuce. It was so tasty! I had Chicken Noodle soup and she had Mushroom Brie soup. Both were equally delicious.
Mmmm, I can't wait to go back again. What a memorable day!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
It is so bushy, the kids can barely squeeze in under it's leafy canopy! Next year, we'll have to make it bigger.
Of the two different kinds of seeds that we planted, one has been growing very well and one has not done so great. We've had little flowers on the plant that has grown and climbed everywhere. I assumed that this was the flowering Sweet Peas. The other plant is sort of bushy at the bottom of the tent but hasn't climbed much. I assumed that this was our pole beans and I also assumed that we wouldn't have a very good harvest of beans because of this.
...BEANS!!! Upon closer inspection, we have little beans starting to form all over the tent! We are so excited. Ooooh, we can hardly wait for them to get big enough to eat!
So, now I know what the difference between Pole Beans and Sweet Peas is!
By the way, the picture at the top of the post is one of our daily visitor sto the Nature Tent. We see red dragonflies there all the time.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Today, my heart grew several times it's normal size.
My daughter got it in her head today that we needed to have a celebration of her Daddy. I told her that I thought that was a fantastic idea. Then, I pressed her for a reason. I was curious why she chose today to have a celebration for him. Her reply was simple, "Because he misses us while he works and we love him!"
See, my heart was about to bust!!!
There was much decorating to be done, balloons, artwork and Hawaiian leis for decorations...
Special tissue paper flowers were made especially for the man of the hour...
After Daddy came home, we had dinner together and his had to be on our "Special Day" plate. Then, there was much artwork sharing, story reading and the girl even put on a show just for her Daddy.
The night was finished off with a Daddy/Daughter bike ride.
Thanks, sweet daughter of mine, for teaching me to celebrate the people we love everyday!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
On Mondays and Tuesdays, Thomas the Tank Engine is on our local PBS station. Our daughter is a huge Thomas fan so, for her, it's a great way to start the week. After a half hour of Thomas, a show called Caillou comes on. She has convinced her Mommy that Thomas and Caillou go together well. There are weeks that go by that these two shows on two days are the only TV that she watches. She's not a huge fan of TV and neither and I. But, I can bear a little of it every now and then. At least she's not into Teletubbies, Wiggles, or Barney...all of which drive me nuts!
Anywho, in today's episode, Caillou was celebrating his teacher's birthday. With the help of his mom, Caillou and his friends made Miss Martin a bouquet of colorful homemade paper flowers. Being the crafty daughter that she is, this was immediately on the 4-year-old's agenda for the day! She looked away from the TV and said, "Mommy, we have to make some of those, too!"So, based loosely on what we saw Caillou doing on TV, we learned how to make a bouquet of beautiful paper Caillou flowers.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Well, I use the carrier a lot. It is my "go-to" carrier. When we're leaving to go somewhere, my hubby or daughter will inevitably ask, "Did you bring the Pikkolo?" The baby will even get a huge grin, crawl over and hold his hands up to be picked up when he sees me take it out.
I've used it for front and back carries. It is amazingly easy to put on and very adjustable. It is comfortable for extended periods and has sufficient padding for the shoulders. It distributes his weight quite well. Many people have asked me if my back hurts after wearing him for a long time and it doesn't. I'm comfortable and so is he. It's just perfect. Thanks honey!
Well, as I said, I've used it for back and front carries. I've never used it for a hip carry. I had tried but couldn't figure it out. Well, today I found instructions for the hip carry on CatBird Baby's website. I was so excited to try it. It will take a little practice, but I was very happy with how comfortable it is for both of us. The baby seemed really content that he had more room to move his arms around. He was able to see in front of me and behind. That seemed to make him happy.
I do need to work on positioning him a bit better. With him in this position, it felt a little like my hip bone was digging into an area that could cause a little boy a bit of discomfort. I'm going to try to wear him a little higher and a little lower to see if that fixes the problem. I hope it does because I do want grandchildren one day!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Today I learned that the best laid plans don't always turn out the way that you had planned. We went for professional pictures today and we scheduled them for 12:30. The baby could take a morning nap, we'd have lunch and we'd get the pictures in before afternoon nap time. Baby napped, tummies full...yep, it sounded like a good plan. Good in theory, not in execution.
We had the hardest time getting smiles out of the little guy. He was so serious. He was very fascinated with all that was going on around him but not into smiling at a strange lady behind a camera. I have to say, that the studio did a great job trying to get good shots. They even brought in another photographer to try to help get some smiles out of him. It was tough! Here's a taste of what some of our shots look like...
The photographer did take over 70 shots and we did get some good ones. We finally got out of there well after 3:00. Naps were missed and all 4 of us were quite grouchy! But the pictures were done!!!
Another lesson I learned was to ask about coupons. I had brought some with me and wasn't going to bring them out because we had decided to go with one of their in-studio specials. The lady saw that I had the coupon in my bag and asked me about them. It turns out that many of them could be combined. We got our sitting fee waved, a free 10X13, and a CD with all of the images and a copyright release. I was giddy with excitement, we got all of that plus a bunch of prints, two collages and 10 photo enhancements all for just a little more that the price of the CD alone. Yep, I was quite happy! The day, although wearisome, turned out OK.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Today, the Summer Olympics started in Beijing, China. They started the opening ceremonies at 8 seconds past 8:08 on today, 08/08/08. Why, oh, why such a strong focus on the number 8?!?!? Here's what I learned... The word for eight in Mandarin is pinyin which is pronounce "ba." This is very similar to the word for prosperity or wealth which is pronounced "fa." In other Chinese dialects the words for eight and fortune are similar and in Cantonese, the words sound the same as well.
Perhaps that is the reason why my boy gives me so much joy. Or why my hands start to clappy when I feel real happy. Or, the reason why candy tastes so dandy. Maybe that's why we Americans have such a problem with weight. Our pronunciation of eight sounds like weight and it also sounds like all the food we ate.
I'm just being silly, but numerology is something that I don't know a whole lot about and I found this introduction to it by the Summer Olympics rather interesting.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I was so touched by this interview. The family clearly was still grieving but despite their grief, you could see that their faith was so evident in every word they said. They spoke with such passion and you could truly see that they were sharing their heart.
Some of the things that really touched me were:
- As he is being driven away from the house to meet the LifeFlight Helicopter at the hospital, Steven Curtis Chapman has the person driving stop the car, SCC rolls down the window and yells out to his devastated son, "Will Franklin, your father loves you!" What a beautiful lesson: Despite the pain, fear, and devastation that he was experiencing, he was able to look at his son and recognize that his pain was even greater than his own and pause for a moment to express his love and forgiveness. That is powerful!
- A quote from SCC's wife, Mary Beth: "...when it got to the darkest, darkest point, and we went as far down as we could, we might not have even landed feet up, might have landed right on our face, but the foundation was solid and it was there. And we landed and it's a day at a time. " Wow, to have such a strong foundation that not even the death of a child can shake it. I want to strive for that!
- There was a video of the oldest son, Caleb, at the memorial service. Here is the quote from him, "...we prayed for healing for Maria. But he healed her in a way that we all didn't like. But he's going to heal my brother in a way that I think we're all going to like a lot." The lesson of hope is so evident here. Instead of anger and blame. Caleb does not point an accusatory finger at his younger brother, he holds on to hope that God will restore their family and that that restoration will be a beautiful transformation.
- Seeing Will sit there surrounded by a family that loves and supports him. Many times, you see a tragedy such as this tear a family apart. Not here. I can only pray that I be reminded of this lesson in the years that come. Adversity and trial will come. Instead of clinging to anger, resentment, and guilt, I hope that I can cling to faith, family, and hope.
I am deeply moved by the beauty of a family setting down together during their darkest hour to give hope to others. This did not seem like a publicity stunt to me. It seemed like a family that wanted to share their hope and faith so that others, when faced with similar tragedy, can cling to that same faith to sustain them.