Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Have Two Weeks

I have two weeks to get myself under control. Ha! As if that will happen! I've had 42 years to try to get my life under control and it hasn't happened yet. Why do I think I can do it in two weeks?! BECAUSE I HAVE TO, that's why!

In two weeks our family is going to be heading to the airport to endure a 10 1/2 hour flight, a 5 1/2 hour layover and then an additional 2 1/2 hour flight (that is, if everything goes as scheduled) before we finally reach our destination: ASUNCION, PARAGUAY! Before then, though, I still need to sort through the kids' stuff to find summer clothes that fit, pack that stuff, evaluate MY summer clothing situation, finish shopping for our stuff, organize all the things that we're taking for Colegio Privado Adonai, stuff for Karen and Oscar and the boys, Jason's treats, gifts for my friends, etc. Nancy (our friend who is coming with us) and I have to figure out what we're going to be doing when we take over Jason's classes for him while he zips up to Miami for his cousin's wedding; what games, songs, activities we're going to teach the kids, how we're going to handle classroom management when we only know English, and on and on and on.

I also have to make arrangements here for the young ladies that will be staying at our place while we're gone. I need to make sure I tell them where everything is, when they need to pick up the newspapers from the porch, why certain vents in the kitchen bang like crazy and scare you to death during a wind storm. I need to show them how to use the washing machine, the answering machine, the gas stove. I need to explain where our mailbox is down the block and further down the next street. I need to remember to tell them to make sure that the door into the garage is closed tight so that it doesn't blow open with the gusts of wind.

At least I can check a few things OFF of my list already!
  • The visa applications have been filled out and done and redone so many times! Now we're just waiting for the response from the Embassy of Paraguay
  • The forms have been filled out at school for the boys' absences
  • Sunday School responsibilities have been taken care of
  • Final Watkins orders placed and will be delivered by the first of next week
  • Neighbors told and emergency numbers given out
  • Fun little activities for the boys on the plane have been arranged by another friend
  • Suitcases are pulled out and some clothes have just been dumped in
Ok. I guess I'm not doing too badly. Sure, it's still overwhelming when I think of all the little details that I need to take care of and all the things I have to remember to pack, like the toys for Edson, the t-shirts for Brandon and Gaby, the peanut butter, spices, and other treats that will remain unnamed since I know Karen is reading this! Ha ha!

I'll make it! I guess I don't have to have my life under control in two weeks' time. I just feel like I have to. I'll just roll with the punches and do what I can ... all with a super sore throat, achy body, chills and fever that so conveniently hit me on Sunday! ~Blech!~

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Stand Corrected

See why I love the fact that Fred is so tech-savvy?! He found our wedding pictures on the hard drive when I thought I had exhausted all possible locations!
Here we are in Phoenix ten years ago on our wedding day!

Fred and Martha Weinhardt

March 27, 1999

Phoenix, Arizona

Ten Years

Yesterday Fred and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. I wanted to post a picture of our wedding, but ten years ago, we didn't have a digital camera so I don't have any stored on our computer to share with you. Our scanner has been dead for some time now, so we don't have that available to share a picture either. Oh well. That's probably ok because if you saw a picture of us then, it would make us look quite aged right now! Just use your imagination, ok?

Here are a few of my thankful thoughts from the past ten years:
* I have been given a godly husband
* Fred and I have become best friends
* We have learned to have the same tastes in a lot of things (except spicy foods, but I don't think that will ever change)
* I actually enjoy living in Canada now
* Our personalities have balanced us out over the years
* We enjoy our family tremendously
* I love having a tech-savvy man for a husband (so that I don't have to waste my brain space on things like this!)
* I trust my husband
* I have fun with Fred
* Fred tolerates some of my weaknesses (like not always having a clean house)
* We enjoy our ministries together
* We have the same spiritual beliefs and goals
* Our families have given us solid backgrounds on which we are building our own family
* I'm confident in the security of our marriage...it's for life!
* I love Fred!

Happy 10th Anniversary, Honey! It's been ten years of ups and downs, scary times and wonderful times. After all this time, it is still evident that God put the two of us together and is blessing our relationship. He is using us for His work and I'm thankful to be your partner in it all! I'm looking forward to the next ten years with you! I love you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tigger Update

Well, Stephen saw Sam for the first time since Sam came back from Disney World. Can you believe that Sam forgot to give Tigger Stephen's letter?! From Stephen's reaction to this, I am concluding that I am more disappointed than he is. Stephen is thrilled that Sam also got to see Mickey AND Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and Goofy (but not Pluto).

So there you go. You can put your minds to rest now. Tigger did NOT get Stephen's letter, but Stephen is ok with that. I'm feeling sad, but that's ok. I'll get over it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sausage Cake

Sausage Cake. Hmmmm. Does that sound appealing to you? Well, evidently it sounded more appealing to the boys than Egg Casserole which is what our meal was last night. Fred and I thought this casserole was pretty good, but the boys were doing their gagging-whining-refusing-to-eat routine because of it.

Since I had made a whole 9x13 pan of this Egg Casserole, I was NOT going to let it go to waste, so for lunch today, I cut it up in little squares, heated it ever-so-lightly in the microwave and put it on a plate in front of the boys. You would have thought that I was serving the most incredible meal in the world today! Christopher started bouncing in his chair screaming (yes, screaming) "Cake! I want CAKE!!!" I told him firmly that we had no cake and he needed to eat his lunch. The poor kid could hardly sit through each person's long-winded prayer because of who knows what!

After the last Amen, his arm shot across the table and grabbed the biggest piece of Egg Casserole that I had cut and said with such contentment, "Caaaake!" I was expecting it to come spewing out of his mouth when he realized that it wasn't a real cake, but no! He shoved it in and asked for more and more! The other boys started complaining that Christopher had the biggest piece and no one was saving any good ones for them, etc, etc.

I guess the key is to call Egg Casseroles Sausage Cake instead because two-thirds of our leftover casserole was devoured at noon ... all because it was cake today.

Here's the delicious recipe. Call it what you like. It's good either way!

Egg Casserole/Sausage Cake
6 slices of bread, cubed
1 lb. sausage
2 c. grated Cheddar cheese
9 eggs
2 c. milk
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Butter a 9x13 pan. Put bread on botom. Brown sausage or bacon and put on top of bread. Add cheese. Mix eggs, milk and Worcestershire sauce and pour over sausage. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until set and slightly brown.
We served ours with creamed spinach when it was a casserole and sliced beets when it was a cake.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Multiplying DVD's

Stephen asked for my help today when he wanted to watch It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown from the library. He had the DVD player opened and was pushing button after button asking, "Which one do I push to find an empty spot?" Our old machine is a five disc CD/DVD changer and it's always confusing, even to me, which buttons do what.

So I went over to help Stephen, popped the DVD into the empty spot that came around, instinctively shut the door and I knew immediately that I had done something wrong! I could tell that there was already a disc in there and I just threw another one on top of it. The door was now stuck shut and the poor machine was whirring like crazy! I gathered quite an audience as I muttered aloud as to why boys were playing with this in the first place, and oh, was Daddy going to be upset when he came home to find out that we had ruined the DVD player with THREE library DVDs stuck inside, etc, etc, etc. I didn't realize that Stephen had slipped away while I was doing my not-so-encouraging muttering. I turned around and saw him curled up in a ball on the chair crying.

Of course my heart melted, so I quit messing around with a door that I couldn't open anyway on a machine that had just eaten three library videos and I went over and took Stephen into my arms. I tried to reassure him that we would need to confess to Daddy what we had done and ask him to help us. If Daddy couldn't fix it, then we would have to pay the consequences and buy new videos for the library. I had no idea if Daddy could fix it or not, but I knew he wasn't going to be happy when he heard what happened!

Well, Fred just unscrewed the 254 screws on the DVD box (ok, maybe not that many screws, but there were an awful lot!) and took the top off. He started questioning me on who had been shoving all the DVDs into the machine and why wasn't I watching the boys when they were playing with this and what in the world were they thinking?! I walked over and looked inside the five disc changer and saw NINE discs in there. Yes, that's what I said. NINE DISCS!! We started pulling them all out and I picked up two, obviously home-recorded ones that said Black Hawk Down #1 and Black Hawk Down #2. Well, I started questioning HIM on those! We were both standing there in disbelief as Fred said, "I've never seen those before in my life! I don't even know what that is!"

The only thing we can figure out is that when we bought this player at a yard sale four years ago, the previous owner must have "lost" their DVDs and figured the machine was junk so they sold it to us, dirt cheap! I'm thankful that my wonderful, technology-wise husband was able to open the machine and restore it back to health. It's not in the best of shape tonight. It's still moaning a bit, but at least it works and we have found all our lost DVDs, plus some!

Friday, March 13, 2009


This morning Stephen said to me, "Mommy, Sam (his friend from school) is going to Disney World next week for March Break. He's staying for seven days." He told me a little bit more of Sam's upcoming adventures and then he looked at the clock and asked, "Do I have time to write Tigger a letter? I want to give it to Sam so he can give it to Tigger."

I wasn't really sure how to react to this. He never once asked to write a letter to Santa, but here he was asking if he could write a letter to Tigger! Since I could see how important this was to him, I got a sheet of paper, a pencil and an envelope. He asked me to write it because he wanted it "to be neat and spelled right." I asked him what he wanted to say and he said he didn't know, what did I think he should write? My suggestion of "Dear Tigger, I love you. Stephen" was too gushy, so he settled on "Dear Tigger, I think you are funny. Love, Stephen."

He proudly put the letter in the envelope, licked it shut and wrote TIGGER on the front. He carefully put it in his backpack on top of his lunch box so that he would remember to give it to Sam. When he got home today, he excitedly told me that he gave the letter to Sam and Sam promised him that he would deliver it himself to Tigger when he sees him next week in Disney World.

I can almost bet that every day this next week we'll be hearing him question whether or not Tigger got his letter from Sam yet. I know some of you parents wouldn't let your kid do something like that, but hey! He was so excited that his best friend was going to see Tigger next week FOR REAL and there really was no harm in letting him have a little bit of excitement over this. To be honest, I think I'LL be wondering if Sam gives the letter to Tigger next week! And wouldn't it be great if Tigger would write a letter back?! One can only hope!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Poor Christopher! This helmet is almost as big as he is!

Now that almost all our snow is gone, I thought I'd better post pictures from our snowmobiling adventure almost a month ago now. Our friend, Margaret, and her sister, Liz, invited us over for an afternoon of snowmobiling fun! The kids all got to go for little rides, and then Daddy took off on his own for a more adventerous run - testosterone style.

Taking Stephen down to the bush for our hot dog roast!

Timothy, Justin, Andrea and Stephen enjoying Margaret's yummy chicken noodle soup!
Roasting our hot dogs over the fire in the bush.

What's a campfire without roasted marshmallows? I lost count of how many Timothy had!

Mommy and Christopher enjoying a moment together on a cold, wobbly plank of wood by the fire.

The Weinhardt Boys

Christopher, Timothy and Stephen

Snowmobiling is done for the year, but we hope Aunt Margaret invites us back next year when it snows again!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Facebook is funny. It's supposed to be a kid's thing; a teenager's hangout. Today I hit 150 friends, although just as I was typing this, another person asked to be my friend. That concept in itself is hilarious! My mom had to ask to be my friend when she joined Facebook! Who would have ever thought that their MOTHER would have to ASK to be friends with them, and in such a public manner! (Mom, of COURSE I'll be your friend!! :)

I got my first Facebook invitation almost two years ago from my nephew in Paraguay. I didn't know what it was that he was trying to get me to do, so I just ignored it. Then his brother asked me to join. I figured it was some Paraguayan thing, so I ignored it again. A few months later, Liz told me that she joined because she wanted to keep up with her kids. A few days later, Karen and I were on the phone together as she walked me through the process of signing up for this latest social network thingy (for lack of a better description).

So here I am on Facebook to keep up with my teen aged nephews and niece and out of 150 "friends", 20 of them are grandparents, 90 are parents and 136 of them are over the age of 25. So much for this being a teenage thing!

I'm finding the comments that go back and forth between the mothers and grandmothers the most humorous of all! Some of them are quite witty (Alrene!!), some are faithful commenters (Heidi and Cynthia), some are very into updating their status, even every hour at times (Sabina). Some post great pictures of their families, some comment on their kids' videos (Liz), some join every cause in the world that gets thrown their way.

I have enjoyed Facebook very much simply for the fact that it has brought me back into contact with so many people that I haven't seen in years and years! It has also helped me gain yet another method of instantly getting in touch with someone if I need to (as if we need more ways!). It has brought back memories, strengthened relationships because of the instantaneous and simple comments and connections that can be made and it has given me the opportunity to encourage people on a day to day basis, especially when prayer requests are made throughout the day. The downside: it has also wasted my time and I don't even look for hatchlings like some of you do!! I get sucked into going into someone's profile to look at family pictures or to read their notes or who knows what else and before I know it, I've spent way too much time on there. Facebook is fun, but if you're not careful, it's just like any other computer-related temptation out there. It can steal your time away before you know it!

There's another Facebook that I want to spend more time browsing: Jesus' Facebook. He's got a TON of friends and He asked me a long time ago if I would be His friend. Now that I'm His friend, though, I want to be sure to spend more time browsing HIS profile pages than anyone else's. I have a feeling that time would be much better spent (this is said with a very facetious tone of voice). Anyone else feel the same?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A First Time For Everything

Now I understand one of the reasons why parents are told not to leave their children unattended in the bathtub. We've been spared this incident for over five years, but I guess there really is a first time for everything.

Tonight Timothy and Christopher were in the tub together and they were quite content playing so I zipped into my room to get ready for church. I was only gone for less than a minute when Timothy started to scream, "MOMMY!!! I hear something that stinks in here!" (Yes, those were his exact words.)

I ran into the bathroom and was SHOCKED at the sight! There were little blobs of poop all over the floor!!! Both boys were still in the tub. Timothy had just done his business about an hour earlier so I knew it wasn't from him. But Christopher doesn't climb out of the tub himself, so I didn't even imagine that it came from him.

As I was standing there in disbelief, another chunk came flying across the room while Christopher whimpered, "I don't like that!" I looked in the tub to see him scooping up yet another chunk, ready to hurl that one across the room! The poor kid was so traumatized by the STUFF in his bath water that he was trying to get rid of it in any way possible. He was sitting there shuddering like a wimp and just looking very repulsed!

Fred heard the commotion and came in, followed by Stephen. We were all standing there just staring, not sure what to do first. The water was quite murky by this point because of all of Christopher's attempts to eliminate the waste (pardon the play on words). My dear husband quietly told me to deal with the kids and he'd deal with the STUFF. I turned the shower on them (while they both screamed that they didn't want the shower) and Fred carefully picked up all the remaining chunks and then got the boys dressed while I scrubbed out the tub.

I must say that I am thankful that we made it through five years of parenthood without having to deal with this. Maybe my pride needed a little work because I HAD been quite proud that I never had to deal with this before. I hope that this first time was also the last because I was ready to puke dealing with this right along with Christopher who looked like he was going to do the same as he was sitting in it all.

BLECH!!! My stomach is still queasy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Winter's Influence

You know you've had too much winter influence when things start to creep into your mealtimes. We are a house of boys. Each one of them has played airplane with their food or open-the-garage-door-and-drive-the-truck-inside types of deals when eating those dreaded peas on their plates. They are quite transportation-oriented, if you stop to notice what they're doing.

Tonight at supper, Fred was trying to encourage Christopher to finish his mashed potatoes instead of sitting there making Stephen laugh. Fred gave one last threat to Christopher that if he didn't finish his potatoes, then Fred was going to eat them, gravy and all! Christopher does love his mashed potatoes, so that spurred him on. He grabbed his spoon and started very carefully shaving a bit of the pile off when he looked up at us and said, "Watch out! Snow plow's coming through!" And then he finished the rest of the mashed potatoes with the help of his snow plow.

I do believe I've had enough of winter already, although I fear I may have to endure it awhile longer. We've never had a snow plow at our table before, but I have to say that it did a pretty good job on those mashed potatoes!