Friday, November 27, 2009

2 voices in my head.

When Jack (age 7) realized he was going to have 4 days off of school...he began planning breakfast in bed for me. Don't ask me why....he thought I should have it. I wasn't going to argue...I loved the idea. So on Thanksgiving day while Donovan got up in the wee hours of the morning to work on the new house....hours later I hear someone them get up at the ripe hour of 7:30 and hear all 4 of them messing around in the kitchen. I got up and was instructed to get back into bed. Another awesome idea! Isabella took the role of head chef and instructed the rest of the crew on things to do. Like..."get me the bread, put this in the toaster, get a not that one a big person one...." Then I heard Isabella tell Suzy to ask me what kind of jelly I wanted on my toast. Pitter comes Suzy...."Mom, do you prefer grape or strawberry jelly?" I LOVE it! Isabella also "encouraged" cards to be made. This was my favorite part......
If you look close you can see what William (age 5) was thinking....

You can see his sister helped out by labeling his turkey that he drew. I needed just a little help figuring out what he wrote. "it tastes like chicken"
I love it! I wonder how many cards Hallmark made this year that had those same words??? And really how many moms get breakfast in bed on Thanksgiving?

I'm so have these people in my life.

Like the rest of you...I am in a coma of turkey related awe. Yummy feast on all of the awesome treats of the season. I love the relaxed atmosphere of the holidays. Sitting around and playing cards or looking at old photo albums.

My immediate family was not able to get together this older sister had another small stroke 2 weeks ago and my younger sister had a sick child. That leaves the baby sister that just came home from college for the week. So we went to visit her and happened to stop in at just the right time....for lunch.

I wonder how many of you had egg rolls, sticky rice, curry turkey, ham, and roasted turkey this week?

Lovin' the eggrolls.

Who much time painted trim took? Well I guess we "did" know this last time we built...but some how we blocked it out of our memory. In between the Thanksgiving feasts we've been spackling the small nail holes, sanding them, caulking, and then taping off the trim getting ready to spray the final coat of paint on the trim. It's a nice look but right now in the midst of it...we are ready to shoot ourselves.

quote of the day:
William: "You know I have two voices? One in my head and one in my mouth and I can hear both of them at the same time."

Sunday, November 22, 2009


This past week I used Donovan's van to pull a borrowed trailer loaded with our new cabinets (the bottom half anyways.) Since the fine work was crafted by a local Amish man...I did the "hauling." I dropped him and his wife off at the building site along with the cabinets and then went into Goshen for some errands I had to run. It started with some Christmas shopping, lunch, groceries, and then before I knew was 30 minutes until the kids got out of school and I still needed to pick up the cabinet knobs. I had just enough time, if I had NO delays. I pull up to a line of traffic that was waiting for a train. The guards were down with no train coming. Just waiting. And waiting. So I looked both ways two times, and then proceeded to go across the tracks...feeling pretty cool about myself avoiding this delay while the other suckers were waiting endlessly on some "malfunction" on the tracks. Let's face it sometimes it feels pretty fun to live on the wild side. So I just barely get across the tracks to see in an open parking lot around the corner is a police officer. Waiting and watching me. Talk about a sinking sick feeling hitting you smack dab in the face. I knew I was sunk. I knew I was toast. He pulled slowly out, put on his lights, and over I went. All the while feeling the sick, sick awful feeling of regret. Mr. Officer came around the car and while I shook with remorse I struggled to get my license out of my wallet that has never been removed from this wallet. I'm just gonna insert here that I have not been pulled over for 16 years. I'm just sayin'. While Mr. Officer was checking my registration and license...I sat there and just cried. Cried silent tears of sheer worry.....silently crying because I didn't want the 3 year old to ask questions I didn't want to answer. Knowing all the while I was going to get what I deserved, and why was I so stupid? Thinking of the ticket I'm sure I will get....regretting the money I didn't want to spend on a the ticket I deserved. Letting the stress of the week pile up and release in these minutes while I saw a printer printing on Mr. Officers dashboard....while looking on my rear view mirror.

While I waited I couldn't help but correlate the similarities between this judgment and the doom that I was headed before before Christ ruled my life. Thinking of how knowing at one time in my life I was doomed for hell and deserved it. I had committed the sin and deserved eternal death. But having Christ come in and save me from death. Paying that price for me so that I can live with him eternally. I think it struck me so profound...because so few times in my life do I feel like I am on the "hot seat" waiting for the judgment to be given. And it spoke fresh to me that afternoon what a high price it is to die for someone else, for something they did, and knew was wrong. How awesome our God is!

So...the rest of the story. The officer walked up and took one look at me, and had a questioning puzzling look on his face. He said, "it's NOT that bad. You put your life and your little one's in danger..but a ticket's not that bad." I told him in some jumbled up mess of an explanation that by now I was probably going to miss my kids getting off of the bus, the bus driver probably wouldn't leave off the kids because William is just a kindergartner and I HAVE to be there for him to get off, and told him I was mad at myself for being so stupid, and that I know I deserved the ticket...but how I'm mad I was in such a hurry...and blah blah, blah....

And then he hands me what he printed. A warning. Just a warning. He told me to get going...and to be more careful.

Again I was in awe. How do I get out of that...which I deserved? Why did I get grace? I felt so undeserving. So very, very undeserving. Much like God's forgiveness and grace in my life.

P.S. I did make it in time for the boys to get off the bus. :)

Quote of the day:
Suzy: "Mom, I need my boots today because it's raining, right?"
Me: "No, Suzy it's not raining today. God made a beautiful day."
Suzy: "NO mom God makes it rain. Jesus makes a beautiful day."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

people who encourage us

For the last week and a half...the kids are getting dropped off at our new building project by the bus. I find a little spot for them and they work on homework and then it's movie time for them and work time for us. Donovan had all of last week off so we started our days there around 7:30 and stayed long into the evenings. Depending on how well the kids did.
We've had some people along the way who asked to come Donovan's parents, my sister, and in the above picture Aunt Gloria. Wished I could have gotten more pictures of all of our fine help. We also had the huge blessing of having different people take Suzy for the entire day so we would be able to work "3 year old free." As in no distractions! :) Thanks Marlys, Mom, Arlene, & Charlotte! I know Suzy had way more fun being with friends & family rather than painting with us.

And then we got the call that our entire small group wanted a project and was willing to come and work, including bringing dinner!
What a huge boost...physically and emotionally to have this group there that evening. Rose cordinatted a meal and it was so very delicious. We are so blessed to have this small group in our life!
Al and Jake (2 pictures up) worked on plastic sheeting on the the basement walls, Ed and Jb worked on storage/canning shelves...with a little help from Mussie, Noah, and Ryan.
Donovan was working on everything in between....breathing in the paint fumes all the while.
Jason worked on electrical and putting up light fixtures.
Norm was helping on that project of lighting/electrical.

Here's the whole group...well almost....just a few couldn't be there. I love these people!!!
Here's the living room with the finial coat going on the ceiling. Thanks Ed for the use of the scaffolding.
In the midst of this crazy time in our life...came our annual Ikea trip to Chicago. I was feeling like I would need to sit this year out...but Donovan encouraged me to go. I didn't hesitate. It was one night of pure fun, laughter and girl time. Much time was spent eating, a little sleeping, building friendships, and quite a bit of shopping. :) All things I L.O.V.E.!!!

quote of the day comes from my step-mom who stopped in the night we had our small group there for the work night.
Khankeo: "Billie, (My dad) we gotta get a new small that doesn't take their teeth out at night."

I think she'd like some canning/storage shelves made.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

scaring people with your glass eye

This post is dedicated to my first cousin, Steve. The whole thing....I'm just gonna talk about how awesome I think he is!! I love his wife, Jane too...but this time I'm just gonna talk about him.

About 3 months ago Steve was working and while using a nail gun he nailed some wood and a splinter of wood came shooting out and went into his eye. He was taken to the hospital and then later transferred to another bigger hospital with a specialist who evaluated his injury. It was decided that he needed surgery, and at the time he was hoping for partial sight someday. It was a very scary time for him and his wife. Months later after the healing and more doctors appointments it has been diagnosed that there will not be any sight in that eye and now it is affecting the health of the good eye. So this week on Friday my sweet, funny, cool, awesome cousin will be having surgery to remove his eye. After the socket heals he will be fitted for a glass eye.

Last night we were at Steve's parents house (my aunt and uncles) for dinner.....and I was blown away by his attitude in all of this. He chooses joy. He chooses humor. He keeps it light, and just remains fun and FULL of life. I know he has had some very hard times, ups and downs...but he has remained optimistic. Last night several times he would make jokes with us about us being on his "bad" side and how he can't see us. Making jokes and just being so stinkin' funny.

Last night I asked Steve to tell me the story about when the accident happened...and he was telling me "yeah, and then that's when the splinter of wood went into my eye and it was bye bye retina forever..." There were so many times when he would make jokes and he was just his happy, fun loving self. I just sat back in awe of how he handles it. I know I would probably be having a pity party for myself. I would be thinking of all that was lost. He was focused on the good eye he has and the positive. He kept sayin' how fun it's gonna be to scare little kids with his glass eye. He also said him and his friend text back and forth and when ever they write "I" they spell it "eye." See what I mean?? ...this guy is a nut. I love him for it.

I'm ashamed that it takes situations like this for me to see how blessed I am. I can sometimes get so caught up in my day to day irritations or frustrations to realize how very very blessed and good I have it. I think the best medicine for getting so caught up in our own life, being so self focused, and the things we want to change or the things that frustrate to get caught up in your family and friends. Be with them and walk through their day with them. It's a lost art of sitting together around a table and sharing a meal with your family. Unless it's a holiday. I'm guilty of not making time for my family and friends. I hope to make strides of being caught up in my family.

So if you think about Steve, pray for him will ya? He's a great guy and facing a major life change this Friday.