Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the old wineskins and in with the new

2010 is drawing to a sudden end... in 47 minutes at the beginning of my typing this.  This year has gone by very fast! In fact, in (now) 46 minutes draws the end of the first decade of this new millenium.  This decade has gone by just as swiftly.

Many changes. Many adjustments.

In this decade we have gained a daughter & a son; gained (& lost) a daughter-in-law; gained a son-in-law and watched one of our daughters pull further and further away from us until she finally decided to run. Our eldest son moved to another country. We have changed churches and have had encounter after encounter that has changed our lives and brought healing and restoration to our family. We have made many new friends - many whom have become engrafted into our family.

What does 2011 hold in store for us? What does the second decade of this millenium hold for us? I can only offer a few good guesses and assumptions but I do know that whatever it is, it will be threaded with goodness, success and God. Because of God!

This new year brings us into a new level of life... grandparents. It does seem strange for me to say that but having all ready spoken to, felt move and loved this grandbaby makes it all the more real and all the more exciting! We embrace 2011 and all it has to offer us with excitement and anticipation knowing that growth, joy and more changes await us.

This year finds us ringing in the New Year in a town we know no one, in a hotel where our stay has no end in sight (well, it does but I think you know what I mean. How long we are here, we are not sure the number of days.). We were able to connect with our church via streaming video, set up specifically for us, and I was able to participate in our corporate prayer time  via my husband's cell phone (as he has an international airtime package). It was great to be able to connect with them and disappointing when the connection ended.  My two youngest children lie peacefully on their bed, sleeping after exhausting themselves in the hotel's pool yesterday & today.  My life, our life, while not perfect, is certainly good and certainly rewarding.

Happy New Year, friends. My prayer for you is that 2011  brings you abundance - abundance of love, joy, peace, success and stability... (but I won't limit you to those good things alone)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stranded at the drive-in

Brookings, SD...

Yep, we are here for a couple of days at least - from the sounds of things. The interstate is closed. We have safety. We have food. We have two beds. We have each other. We have made some new friends who are in the same stranded boat as we and we have enjoyed visiting with them in the hot tub.  Oh yes, we have a pool and a hot tub.

We are missing our friends and family back home, as well as the conference and New Year's Eve celebrations we have going on at the church tomorrow but we are safe and warm and that is what is important. We will get there when we get there.

So, we are stranded at the drive-in but we are certainly not branded a fool.  We have let everyone (including bosses) know that we have no idea when we will get home so until then... we are laughing, telling stories, wrestling, swimming, and enjoying these bonus days of uninterupted family time!

Hope you are all safe if you are in any of the areas affected by this poor winter weather...

First NFL football game

Alternately titled "GO, CHIEFS, GOOOOOO!!!!"

 All access passes (other than field and locker rooms) had these two doing what they wanted to watch the Chiefs make it into the play-offs on Boxing Day.
 But that wasn't the best part of the game for either of these guys...
It was simply the fact that they got to hang out with each other, drink way too much soda pop, eat ginormous stadium hotdogs, and make funny faces at the camera and probably laugh uncontrollably at each other while burping and all that other boy stuff we ladies don't neccessarily want to (or want to admit to) doing...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I uber love hotels

Most times, unless the weather takes a frightful turn - and even then my husband has moved baracades to go around them- he & I drive straight through on long trips. Our 24 hour trips to KC have not been any different but... this time we have Jellybean and Bug with us and we wanted to have a very nice, relaxing time with them.

Hotel there and hotel back! Yeah baby! We searched a bit on the internet and picked two hotels that we liked that have waterslides or play areas so we can get rid of pent up energies in the pool area and make some fun memories.

Here are a couple from the way down...



 Pink panther and Allie the bunny were too tuckered out to play... they got the bed ready for the kids {wink}
Two exhausted, happy, wonderful children!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Road Trip!!!

In our family, we leave ridiculously early on road trips, use as much sleep time as travel time as we can.  This is what it usually looks like in our car...






But I say usually like I don't sleep.  It usually looks like me sleeping in the car and occassionally waking up to capture moments like these but they are much cuter sleeping than I am!

In three days we will be piling back into our car and travelling from whence we came...

Monday, December 27, 2010

My grandbaby

Right now... only one more month to wait for this precious bundle!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I don't really have much to say today...only because I want to spend this time with my family. Really enjoying our time with LB! Lots of laughs, love and fun!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, FRIENDS!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

National Lampoon's Our Vacation Day 4

Up to right now this vacation has been almost everything we believed for it to be. It has been full of laughter, singing, stories, snuggles and family. As of last night, it was also full of the heart-broken tears of a girl who expected a friendship to pick up right where it left off 5 years ago. It most certainly didn't play out in real life anything like how she had played it out in her head but my dear Jellybean is doing much better after a discussion with her mama and daddy and some words of wisdom and snuggles.

I am enjoying our time; we all are. Jellybean and Bug wake up every morning with our friend's golden lab snuggled up with them, see their brother every day and we are having completely uninterrupted time as a family including having a great night (sans the "friend incident") at church last night.

Here's to another great day - enjoying our family, enjoying our friends... and I wish the same for you.

Merry Christmas Eve, my friends. Remember: People are the treasure!

(We even get a white Christmas as it is currently snowing here in Kansas City!)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's 3 AM

And I am pretty sure I just developed a severe allergy to being vertical...

Just sayin'

Monday, December 20, 2010

Early to bed, early to rise, right?

Right! The four of us are heading to bed, well all but me all ready have, and it is 9:11 PM. Some might think we are recouping from a traumatic yesterday but no, we are preparing for an early rising.  Yes, at 3:00 AM we will be hauling our butts out of bed, settling them in our car and heading to spend a week and a half Christmas vacation - some with our oldest son and some with just the four of us swimming, playing, eating, watersliding, laughing, etc.

We have everything packed including the most important aspect... when we take this vacation, we are not taking a vacation from God; we are taking it WITH Him. He is the part of our life everyday and I can say with certainty we don't plan on vacationing without Him!

Anywho, if I am spuratic with posts know that I am laughing, loving and enjoying my family. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! 

I hurt

Yesterday's accident has left me a very hurting unit today. I have barely slept last night. Each time I closed my eyes I had an instant replay of our accident, each time I moved I was reminded of every stiff muscle (extremely stiff muscle). Yes, I am still very thankful for those very stiff muscles being the extent of my injuries but that doesn't prevent them from being any less sore and making work that much more difficult (in about 2 hours).  BigDaddy thinks I am in shock still. Last night, as we lay trying to sleep, I kept crying and was unable to control it. I felt stupid because I really am so grateful that we have such minor injuries and that our car is 100% but I could not control the crying.

Once everyone was given a clean bill of health and we had been pulled out of the snow, I did snap a couple pictures (you know since I had my camera with us to take pictures of our family Christmas and all). There is nothing graphic just the vehicles and such (as I said no one was seriously hurt in this accident).

 This is where we were in the ditch (our final destination), on the south side of the road.
 This shot is how high the snow is at my window, thus the reason I could not open my door at all.
 The kids keeping warm in the sleeping bag we kept for "emergencies" we never thought would happen to us.
 An unsung hero, the tow truck (driver) pulling us out. Sometimes I think people forget how critical they are in emergencies, the dangers they face in these accidents and the sights they come across (without the training emergency personel have).
 A bad shot, but this is where the tow truck driver pulled us out from. It was deeper than it looks in the picture.
 RCMP on the scene. What a great bunch of police officers we have in our area. The kids were grateful and were able to say "thank you, Mr Policeman." to the two officers who stayed at the scene with us.

 The snow on the inside of our engine and we had all ready been scooping snow out of there. It was packed solid!
This is only some of the snow we had taken out of the engine compartment.  The rest is still under the car.

I didn't feel right putting up pictures of the other girl's car. That is not my place. But I think I have tired myself out a bit now - at least enough that I may be able to catch a nap before I have to get ready for work.

Thank you, God!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

We give Him glory (and a PSA)

This afternoon we were on our way to the city Rush, my mother and step-father live in to go have a Christmas supper with them.  Everyone was excited and anticipating a great visit.

As we drove we pulled up behind a car that was being driven a little um, unsafely, so my dear husband thought it would be safest to pull out and away and get ahead of them. Just as we pulled out we hit a stretch of glare ice on the highway, our traction control kicked in and we lost control of our car.

At that moment we should have rolled our car down the embankment of the "on-coming traffic lane" but we did not.  Big Daddy did his absolute best to try regaining control of the car but to no avail. We then did a 180, slide backwards for a few yards and began to do yet another 180. As my window was passing the driver of the other car's window, we made eye contact with each other in an incredibly strange & eery moment that seemed to last minutes instead of mere milliseconds. We tapped, yes, tapped the very corner of her back bumper, spun out of control again, did another wierd spin of some kind and wound up half buried in the ditch of the lane on the highway we were headed in the first place.

The girl of the Charger (the other vehicle) spun out of control, rolled down the embankment of the ditch we should have initially gone down and totalled her car. When all the snow cleared, we found her bottoms up near the tree line of the ditch. She has some minor scratches and bruising but is otherwise (currently known to us) fine.  We were all bumped around and, obviously, frightened but let me tell you something; I began to pray and we felt the presence and protection of God come into our vehicle in such a powerful way.  The only damage to our car is two minor chips in the paint and a small corner in one of the signal lights chipped out. (Please know, I am not saying this to make it seem like God spared us over her because we are special or something but simply telling you how this played out and that He did protect us)

As we play the accident out in our heads now, it really should have played out a lot differently and with fatal results for the members of both vehicles but God positioned our car in such a way that it did NOT t-bone her as it should have in our first or second spin and technically, we should have rolled before that point with a near (or actual) fatal outcome. God spared the lives of the people in both vehicles today - 5 people are alive because of His goodness and His mercy!

Our city lost a police officer yesterday because of a similar accident; he was 30 some years old. We mourn his passing and the loss his family and our city has endured with the loss of an incredibly wonderful police officer.  I thank you God for your mercy in today's accident, sparing the lives of 5 people who don't deserve it any more than the next.

We are stiff and sore; Bug & I moreso than Jellybean and BigDaddy but we were both on the passenger side of the car and absorbed most of the bouncing, jostling and banging around. Tomorrow may be difficult for sore muscles to raise us out of bed but I am grateful for such a little problem.

On our way home, after being pulled out of the ditch from the tow truck driver, our car overheated. When we stopped & opened the hood to see what was the matter, our engine was PACKED with snow.  With both BigDaddy  & I digging out the snow, we were stopped on the side of the road for a half an hour. 

Wait time buried in the ditch was an hour and a half; ten minutes later "stranded" on the side of the road for another 30 minutes.  Here is where my Public Service Announcement comes in: When you are traveling ALWAYS, ALWAYS, AWAYS keep a winter survival kit in your car!  We were fortunate that we had brought the kids' snowpants, had a sleeping bag and made them remember the toques and mitts.  Besides that though: granola bars, candles, water, flashlight, batteries, etc.  For a more comprehensive and professional list look here (remember though that this list is geared toward Canada but I am certain it would come in very handy for at least the northern States!)

Fabulous Time

Last weekend BigDaddy & I went to my staff Christmas party (for the doctor's office). Everyone had a great time. I am pretty sure it was one of the most fun work Christmas parties I have been too.  It started off with the staff meeting (spouseless) at the office, splitting into teams and racing off in two separate vehicles to fill the requirements of a photo scavenger hunt.

Items to photograph included bagging someone's groceries, ringing the Salvation Army bell, bonus points if someone donated to us, police officer in uniform, bonus points for hugging him, sitting on Santa's lap, bonus points asking him for plastic surgery, someone born in another country (not from our team), someone hanging a spoon from their nose (not from our team), entire team wearing lampshades, entire team in a small space with the picture saying "I can't believe we all fit in here", plus many, many more...

It was a blast.  Here's your proof.
 Convincing a fast food restaurant to give us A fry.
 Two of the team members sitting on Santa's lap (so glad one of our team members had a Santa outfit...)
 Looking lovely in our lampshades... don't you think?
 Carolling at someone's house
 Getting a safety tip from our local firemen and getting a picture of them/team with the firetruck.
 Our team celebrating our victory (winning the scavenger hunt with a $50 gift certificate for a spa each)
Is "V" for vision, victory or peace?

Supper was absolutely delicious! Greek ribs, caesar salad, rosemary baby potatoes, carrots, two kinds of cheesecake...  Lots of food, laughs and stories. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Baby legs

 Roly, poly baby legs!  Adorable baby legs belonging to an even more adorable baby...

But then...

I could be a smidge biased, given I am "gramma" to these cuties!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Baby Snugs

 How cute is he? I mean really?

He was pretty thrilled with being able to play with the ornaments on the tree during this photo shoot - a big taboo until that point.  He sure lives up to his nickname. I LOVE snuggling with this handsome guy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Doing better

Time, prayer, relying on God, family and coming out of shock have helped us all (those involved) to "feel better" about the whole situation.

Knowing my friend is doing better has made a world of difference.  My heart hurts for her... for the fact that they now need to tell people, that people will have questions and will, unknowingly, put their foot in their mouths. There  will be awkward moments, painful explanations and I will do my best to stand behind her when she needs a safe place to fall & beside her when she needs support.  I will do what I can, when I can, for as long as I can...

...because that is simply what friends do.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The weather outside is frightful

As I sit here in the warmth of my home, I hear the wind as it gusts - bringing with it a sea of snow, sometimes rain, sometimes ice pellets. It makes me feel absolutely frozen.

I am sad tonight. A lady very near and dear to my heart, someone I love, admire, respect and would do anything in this world for had a miscarriage today. They held their baby girl in their hands for a moment to grieve what never would be and then had to let her go. Through my shattered heart I can not begin to fathom the pain that they feel and so I surround them with my prayers - asking for God to flood them with strength, wisdom and peace... and all the other things they need that I can not begin to put a name to.

I sat with their oldest daughter for an hour tonight, the one who also happens to be my neighbor and good friend as well, and we simply held onto each other and loved on each other.  I don't think words can ever suffice. 

I plan to make some freezer meals for them tomorrow after work. Try to help, try to limit the things they need to contend with while they grieve.

I have tried to be strong, tried to focus my attention on them...

But do you want to know something ridiculous? The whole straw that broke the camel's back? The whole I can't believe this is what is bringing me to tears?  As I sat typing this (continue to type this) I looked over at our fish tank and saw that Jellybean's goldfish, Rosie, a feeder goldfish we bought 18 months ago, has just died.  And it brought me to tears to the point I can barely see what I am typing...

Grief is strange...

Monday, December 13, 2010

It just keeps going and going and going

Kinda like the energizer bunny but, you know, not pink, and without the drum...

But wow have the last few days weeks gone by fast. I've tried to come here.  I visited a few of you. Work and church have been super busy. Baking for bake exchanges. Eating too much at Christmas parties. Writing a skit for New Years Eve (which is finished! This time it only took 6 hours.). Booking hotel rooms, places to stay with friends, people to watch our reptilian and fishie critters, buying gifts, getting them to the people we won't see, making arrangements to see family before Christmas, getting passports and birth certificates out and packed...

Whew!  I am tired just writing that list out and that list isn't even close to being a comprehensive list.  Let's not forget all the "last minute" photo shoots...

Anywho, all that to say, I think the chaotic part of this is done and I just may not be lying if I say "I am back".  I'm not sure yet but maybe it won't be a lie.

Enjoy your family! Enjoy your friends! Please, eat your Christmas baking responsibly {grin}! I'll see you in the funny pages!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Smash!

Yes, this lovely lady's name is Smash... well, at least that's what her sister calls her.  At one point Bug had a supreme crush on her and wanted to marry her... I believe he has moved on now but that doesn't change the fact that she is a beautiful young lady who I am honored and priveledged to know and love.








Now, to get these photos onto her USB drive...

Monday, December 6, 2010

You gotta keep 'em seperated medicated

Jellybean is medicated - highly medicated.  We took our girl to the minor emergency clinic this afternoon when the severely stiff neck she had yesterday took an extreme turn for the worse. Thoughts of meningitis flooded BigDaddy and my minds and figured we wanted to check it out - better safe than sorry right?

Anyway, GREAT news! No meningitis.  WHEW! {'Cuz that would be scarey} Dr F does figure that she has some pretty serious inflammation in her neck though and has her on a pretty good muscle relaxer, you know, given the fact that she doesn't really even take Motrin or Advil all that often.  Plus, he wants her alternating between doses of Advil and Tylenol...

Hello, Loopy...

and guess what she has decided to do during her laying in bed resting time... trying to find a good position so she can read her Bible without it hurting her neck...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Caution: Slippery When Wet

and I am totally not making reference to my teen years when I was struck and deeply fascinated by Jon Bon Jovi...

 Bug is sick but BigDaddy is in a land far, far away called "Not-even-in-cell-coverage" for this week.  This means that mama, that would be me, had to miss another day of work (which, thankfully, my wonderful boss is cool with) anywhoodles, I got the kiddos dressed. Correction: Jellybean got ready & dressed for school while I conviced Bug that he had to get pants on so we could take his sister to school - he came down in pajama pants {sigh}. (Battle choosing commenced at this point and he left the house in his pajamas - not making a big deal out of a not-so-big of a deal)

Bug & I arrive back home; I stick my key in the lock to open the door and KABLOOEY! {Not making that up; that is TOTALLY the noise I heard; it may or may not have been followed immediately by a crash and a sploosh but it all happened so fast...} Chaos and confusion quickly ensued. We were struck by an explosion of junk as our closet shelf took that moment to collapse on itself with all of its contents tumbling down.  This may not have been that big of a deal (or that big of a clean up) had my honey not decided that that needed to be the spot for his deep fryer FULL of oil (you know, instead of it going downstairs on the shelf with the rest of the odd-time a year usage items).  I am covered in oil, my back entrance is covered in oil, shoes and boots are saturated in it and I have now successfully tracked it into every level of my home.

I am heading now to WalMart to get some more papertowels to try and absorb it some more and get rid of the extreme slipperiness of my floor. {heh, who knew that walking to the kitchen sink for a drink of water was an extreme sport?}

Pictures will NOT ensue.  I am not taking my camera anywhere near that oily mess for fear it will consume my camera as much as it has consumed my back entrance.  I trust your active imaginations to envision the carnage in appropriate and worthy measures. You are welcome for the imagery and the giggles.  I do what I can to give you, my bloggy-world peeps a laugh, a smile, a chuckle... even a guffaw {whatever THAT is!}