Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday to My Boys!

I just realized that I never posted any birthday pictures of Timothy and Christopher's birthdays! Maybe that's because my cake this year was the most pathetic cake I've made in a long time. And that's simply because it was Timothy's request! When I asked him what he wanted this year for his cake, he said, "I want a grown-up cake, you know, the kind that's round with frosting all over it and candles on top." So I made him a grown-up birthday cake with some Cars candy on top from Grandma and candles for Timothy and candles for Christopher.

Here are some of the cakes that Stephen tried to convince his brothers to ask for, after seeing them at the Wayne County Fair. I'm glad that Timothy stuck to his decision because there's no way I could make these cakes. (The favorite was the Monopoly board since the boys are soooo into Monopoly at this time!)

Here is the only picture we have of the boys' cake this year. It was a busy day on their birthday with Timothy's first day of Kindergarten and the Open House at school, and I just didn't think that this cake was really too worthy of lots of pictures. Notice the lower left hand side of the cake is sliding off? I'm telling you, it was a pathetic cake this year. I felt badly about it, but the boys were thrilled! (Also, the coloring is poor on the video. Our kitchen wall is NOT pink! And the junk you see in the background is just a figment of your imagination. It's not really there. They just don't make video cameras like they used to. Haha!)

So Happy Third Birthday to Christopher and Happy Fifth Birthday to Timothy!

video

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What A Great Day!

I don't want to spend much time on here tonight, but I just HAVE to recap my great day!

1. Customer Appreciation Day at my chiropractor's! I got a free adjustment for a neck that hasn't been able to turn for weeks!

2. Her massage therapist was also there giving out free mini-massages! Woohoo!! Got a free massage, too!

3. I was HOPING that I could also say that I won a draw for a free massage, but they never contacted me today, so I guess I didn't win. But that's ok because ...

4. I won the draw for a lavender wand from my Aunt Heidi's blog today!! I can't wait to receive it because I have developed a real love for lavender.

5. I spent a day in a barn with the Lord! A Christian woman who lost her husband several years ago has turned her barn into a place of retreat for those who need to spend time with the Lord for healing. I had the privilege of going there today and didn't even realize until I turned into the driveway and saw the name on the mailbox that it was my optometrist who is a friend of the Weinhardt family! Because my "invitation" to spend the day there was through a third person, I didn't realize that it was her place until then! What a wonderful day!

6. I spent several hours praying and reading the scripture today and a lot of spiritual healing took place. When I left, I felt a peace that I haven't had for a long time. I was able to have uninterrupted time to cry out to God about some wounds that I had allowed to fester and asked Him to clean them out and bind them up. I'm ready to move on. I'm worn out from all my crying today, but as any woman knows, crying always seems to help! The vials of tears that God collected from me today are many, and they have gone from bitter tears of anguish to sweet tears of thankfulness.

7. I met up with the rest of the family at our local community center where they had a little kids' fun fair today and had free hamburgers, popcorn and cotton candy for supper.

8. The boys and I just finished a game that they borrowed from the library. Christopher won and that's a good thing since he's overtired and winning made him happy again.

9. Tomorrow is Sunday and I'm looking forward to a day of worship at church. I'm teaching Sunday School again and I love my class (despite those that try to chit chat the entire time).

10. Once the kids are in bed tonight, I get to spend time with my husband who I've missed the past few nights. He's been at his dad's helping him out while Mom is in Germany visiting her sister. It seems like I haven't seen Fred for days, although we have been together taking care of kids and an elderly father.

There you have it, my friends! A recap of my great day! How was yours?

Friday, September 25, 2009

God's Great Sense of Humor in Answering Prayers

God answered a prayer for something that some may think a silly thing to pray about, but for me it was HUGE! You see, I lost a crinoline this week. A crinoline is the slip that a bride wears under her wedding dress to make it poof out. I had a crinoline, and this week it was not there when I went to look for it!

My friend's daughter is getting married on October 24 (Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!) and her seamstress told her to check with me to see if she could borrow my crinoline. I've had it for the past 10.5 years and have let many of the brides at church borrow it, and the seamstress knows that, so Kathy asked me if they could borrow it for Shelly's wedding. "Sure!" I told her, and we planned a fun little coffee date out of the exchange of the crinoline.

Monday morning I went to pull it out of the top of the boys' closet, where it has always been, and it was gone! GONE! I'm not sure how one can lose a crinoline, but mine was GONE! Fred and I searched every nook and cranny of this house, including inside suitcases, boxes, under beds, behind computers ... I even looked under every bathroom sink (not knowing why I would have ever shoved it under there). Nothing. Nada. Nope. Nowhere.

I contacted the last several brides and asked if I might have let one of them borrow it and I forgot. Nu'uh. I called the mother of the last bride that I know had it, just in case, but we both relived the moment that she handed it back to me in the parking lot at church two years ago. I knew she didn't have it.

After much, MUCH prayer and tears, begging God to remind me where I may have put that crinoline, I wrote an e-mail to another friend of mine and asked her to help me pick my brain and figure out where in the world that thing could be! Little did I know that while this e-mail was floating around in cyperspace and being read and answered by her, Kathy, Shelly and I were out looking at cheap and junky crinolines that might have to do. I even dug through racks of used clothing at Value Village and Goodwill because I had promised Shelly a crinoline and by golly, I was going to give her one! But no one had anything.

I came home, still all worked up about this whole thing and sat down to an e-mail from my help-me-pick-my-brain friend, Corina. She said, "I think we have a bag in the closet downstairs that has a crinoline in it, and I think it's yours!" WHAT?! God, did you just answer my prayer?! On a whim I wrote to Corina asking her to help me think, and lo and behold, SHE IS THE ONE WHO HAS IT?! She's been married longer than I had that crinoline in the first place, and her daughters are nowhere near marrying age, so why did she have my crinoline in her closet?! Oh yeah!!! She had borrowed it for our couples group at church last year, but for some reason, that evening was cancelled, the wedding dress and crinoline went into the closet and we all forgot about it...until yesterday!

I know some of you are reading this saying so what?! Why this whole post on a missing crinoline? Well you know what? If it's a small thing to you, that's ok, because to me, this was monumental! You don't know the agony I went through this week looking for that thing (Ask Fred. He can vouch for my agony. And the boys who heard all week, "Where in the WORLD can that thing be?!") I confessed to God that I thought it might be a silly thing to ask Him to tell me where that crinoline was, but He cared! He cared so much that He let me write that e-mail out of the blue to Corina, and He cared so much that He let her and her girls remember that I had let them borrow it! God loves me! And He loves to answer my prayers in funny ways! I'm sure He's done this to you before, too, hasn't He? Well, go ahead and give Him the praise for it, because He deserves it! Thank You, God, for finding that crinoline for me! Now Shelly and her mom can breathe a little easier, too! You would have been a beautiful bride even without that thing, Shelly, but I'm so glad that you can now wear it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Volunteering

Today I got to volunteer in Stephen's French Immersion classroom. Wow. I wish I could be a fly on that wall every single day! I learned more French today than I've ever learned in my life! As I was sitting at the back table stapling little French books, I had to think about Liliana in Paraguay. While Nancy and I were teaching English to the first graders, Liliana was sitting in the back marking her students' work and trying to be inconspicuous while she repeated all the words we taught the kids! That's what I was doing today! I almost shouted out loud when I knew the word for "mouth" before any of the kids did!

I also found it interesting to watch Stephen in action at school among his peers. He was so much more gentle and calm than he is at home, and responsible, too! As the Capitan of his group, he had to get and put away all their supplies, make sure the desks were straightened, etc. He did so good... AND WITHOUT BEING TOLD A MILLION TIMES! I felt like I was watching a stranger. I did notice, though, that I heard his name mentioned a lot by Madame because during their circle time he liked to pester those near him. THAT was not a surprise to me!

Being back in the classroom today ALMOST made me want to run home and see what I would need to do to get my certification up to date here in Canada. ALMOST, I said. While I would love to be back in the classroom again, first grade is way too young for me, so that was a deterrent today. Plus, I went home with a pounding headache and was reminded that having three little children constantly asking me questions and hovering in my personal space was enough just now, let alone twenty of them! They had just come in from recess, and boy, could you smell! I mean, boy could you tell!

Yeah. I miss teaching. No question about that, but I believe that God wants me here at home for my kids at this time and He's letting me have the joy of volunteering in my kids' classrooms where I can still participate, but not be 100% responsible. I had a great day at school today and would love to go back!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

First Day(s) of School

Stephen started school on September 8. He was quite excited to be moving on up because he was going to be in first grade after all! He was looking forward to going to the big kid playground at school and being able to go every single day instead of only Tuesdays and Thursdays, like Timothy. That excitement lasted about one day! By the beginning of the next week, the excuses started: "Mommy, whenever I think, I don't feel very good. I can't go to school today."
I can tell that this is going to be a rough year for us in the mornings. Our bus driver not only likes to be prompt, but she likes to be EARLY!!! The first day we made it with only a minute to spare. Several other mornings so far we've made it just in time as well. I hope this isn't going to be a pattern.Two days later, Timothy had his first day of Senior Kindergarten. He was a pro at getting ready in the mornings and was up and dressed for his "very busy day" (as he prayed the night before) long before anyone else was stirring! It's nice to still have him home on Mondays and Wednesdays because he and Christopher keep each other company and play very well together. I can tell they miss Stephen because they have their bored moments, too, but life sure picks up again as soon as that bus comes in the afternoons!This year Timothy doesn't look as tiny as he did last year when he got on that big yellow bus! I think, though, that I got more choked up over Stephen this year than I did the past few years! He's my firstborn and even though he is definitely the live wire around here, I was sure that I would miss him because he would be gone every day! And I do. But I also appreciate the decline in sibling rivalry for a few hours a day as well!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The (Short) Life of a Goldfish

Saturday, September 12, 2009 we went to the Wayne County Fair in Wooster, Ohio.

Daddy let Stephen play a ping pong toss game (this is Timothy in the picture, but Stephen played first). Why?! I have NO idea, because the prize was a goldfish! "Don't worry!" Daddy said. "He'll never get a ball in one of those bowls!"

Well, he did! He got that little ping pong ball in a bowl and he won a goldfish!

How in the world are we supposed to take a goldfish back to Canada with us, without it dying first?! How about a plastic water bottle? Ok, fine, but really, HOW do we get it back to Canada without it dying first?! (By the way, we did NOT have a passport for little SeaGirl, nor did we claim her at the border. Since she was only worth $1.00/7 balls in the game, we figured we didn't need to claim her ... besides, we seriously thought she'd be gone by then!)

The plastic water bottle worked and SeaGirl came to live with us for five days until I found her lying on her side at the bottom of the fishbowl.

Yesterday, Daddy explained the realities of life and death and funerals and the process of what happens when you flush a toilet. Thankfully it wasn't too traumatic for anyone and after the whoosh of the toilet, the little fireman ran off to put out fires, the architect returned to perfecting his Lego ship (notice it in the lower righthand corner?) and the little bouncer bounded off to find a leftover balloon to bat around. Whew! We survived our first pet.
Good-by SeaGirl! We enjoyed you while you were with us!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why I Have Not Been Blogging

So, you want to know why I haven't been blogging? Well me, too! I really have no excuse except that silly one that I keep using: I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DOWNLOAD MY PICTURES! (Fred has this intricate way of downloading on his laptop and then putting it on a drive to some day/some how get it onto my computer. However, after it's on my computer, I can only access it from this ONE computer, but then I want to blog from another computer (yes, we have more than one in this house ... Are you surprised?), but I can't because the pictures are not on the hard drive, but on some pin drive somewhere, blah, blah, blah. Whine, whine, whine. Sorry.

The other reason is because things have been moving pretty quickly around here the past few weeks. School started (pictures are somewhere on some computer or other apparatus that I don't have access to!), the Wayne County Fair happened, Timothy and Christopher had birthdays on Tuesday, Meet the Teacher Night occurred, and canning tomatoes took place. My trusty little computer here is slowing down, after all, it IS getting old. Because it's getting so slow, sometimes I think it's not worth the time to get on here and try to post anything because two paragraphs can take me 45 minutes to write and post! Fred cleaned it up for me last night (Isn't he sweet?!), but my excuse is now that I still don't have current pictures to post.

So just to update a bit here, Stephen is in his second week of Grade 1, French Immersion at school. He's really loving it. He comes home and tells us the newest words that he learned. Even I know that some of them are incorrect in the way that he's pronouncing them, but hey! For a kid that can't read French, he's doing great! He even wanted to watch a cartoon in French today because, "I am learning lots of French, so I'll probably understand it before you do." After about five minutes he was ready to turn it off. Soon! Soon, he'll be watching it and understanding it!

Timothy, sweetheart that he is at five years old now, told me that for this year's birthday cake he wanted "a grown-up kind. You know, Mommy, one that's just a circle with frosting and candles. That's all." But then we went to the Wayne County Fair and he and Stephen fell in love with the Best of Show cake ... MONOPOLY! Daddy took a picture of it because that's the closest we'll ever get to having a Monopoly cake! Timothy ALMOST changed his mind and wanted the round watermelon one with the ants on it, but he ended up getting excited about a plain, round one with chocolate frosting and some Cars candy from Grandma. Whew! That was easy!

Christopher is now three and has decided that he will indeed start Sunday School on Sunday, as long as he can play with cars. I'm really hoping they have cars in their Sunday School room because I'm going to be teaching the Grades 3/4 class and I won't be able to deal with an upset three year old because there are no cars in his Sunday School class! Maybe I'll let him put one of his own in his pocket to play with AFTERWARD!

We're thankful that God has been providing us with some part-time work, contracts and one-time jobs. Some days it's easier to trust than others, but God has been good! He also provided me with a super-easy before and after school babysitting job for some kids from Turkey. The second grade girl is also in French Immersion, so she and Stephen have really hit it off. The boy is in Timothy's class... but he doesn't speak ANY English! This will be a very interesting year for sure!

There you have it! When I get the pictures downloaded to where I want them and can use them, I'll post them. Until then, use your imagination!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Water Fun!

Summer is almost over. I'd better post these pictures of our water fun this year before it gets too cold to look at these! (Notice Stephen's cast here? We had to tape a plastic bag around it because we found out the hard way that it wasn't waterproof, only water resistant. There IS a difference!)


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Our Baseball Team

The other day the boys and I were outside in the backyard playing baseball. As we were getting ready to play, Stephen yelled, "I'm the batter!" Timothy yelled, "I'm the pitcher!" And Christopher yelled, "I'm the Narrator!"

Two bigger boys and one mommy fell to the ground in laughter as the little three-year-old Narrator looked at us in confusion. The start of our game was delayed as he joined us on the ground laughing.