Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Happy Anniversary

14 years ago, I became a wife. I love you David. Thanks for completing me and I look forward to many more years of being your helpmeet.

"Lord God, heavenly Father, You instituted holy matrimony, blessed and honored it with the presence of Your Son at the marriage at Cana in Galilee, and continue to protect and preserve it. We thank You for the fatherly love and grace which You have bestowed upon David and Glenda throughout their marriage. You have accompanied them with loving-kindness and tender mercy, visited them with Your comfort, strengthened them in sorrow and sickness, and crowned their life with every blessing. You have enabled them to walk in marital love and fidelity, holding them to each other in sickness and in health, in adversity and prosperity, and granting them strength, patience and faithfulness. Be with them, O Lord, until the end of their days, even as You have guided them in the past. Be their health, strength, refuge, and life. When the days of their earthly pilgrimage have ceased, graciously bring them to the marriage supper of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that they may dwell with You and all Your faithful and rejoice in Your joy forever; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever." Amen

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Kiss Those Bricks Tony!!!!!

What a fabulous race today at the famed Indianapolis Speedway. Tony really had a great car and was so fun to watch racing. I love the Indy track. I used to go there for class field trips in 5th and 6th grades to watch practices for the Indy 500. Growing up in Tony's hometown, and attending school with him, I know how much he loves racing and winning in general, but especially at this track. And now he's done it twice!!! Woo Hoo!!! I love watching him and am so excited that he is so successful at what he has always loved to do.

My favorite moments of the race:
1. With 12-15 laps to go, Tony says on the car radio, "Here Kitty, Kitty," in reference to #29 Kevin Harvick, then in the lead.

2. After passing Harvick for the lead, Tony takes both hands off wheel going down the backstretch close, if not over 200mph in order to take a drink. How calm must you be to do that?!?!?!?

3. At the end when interviewed by the reporter who asked how this win compared with his first Brickyard 400 win two years ago, Tony replied, "This one is for all those fans who root for me every weekend and put up with all the b---s----."

Thanks for winning it for me Tony! I'll always root for you every weekend. Now I'm just a little bummed that David and I went last year to this race and our least favorite driver won. But I at least got to watch this one on tv, unlike the Chicago race Tony won two weeks ago and I was at a picnic.

And just for Barb the Evil Genius, "Go Twins!" :-) It was a great day for sport watching in our household!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Life Lessons Learned

My sister shared some important lessons she has learned in her life and asked me to share some of mine. After quite a bit of thinking, here are mine.

1. It really does matter what church you attend. This is a matter of life and death. Either your church preaches Christ and Him crucified which leads to life, or it fails and preaches some other message that only leads to death. Does this mean that all those attending the first type of church will be found in heaven and all those attending the second type will be found in hell? No. But the Holy Spirit works through God's Word and where it is found preached, there Christians will be found listening. Some churches, however, throw in other words and it isn't only Christ and Him crucified. I'll use Prof. Marquart's analogy I heard in a Seminary wives class some 12 years ago. The word of God is the oil in the lamp (you know, the old fashioned kerosene-type). If it has rocks in it too, the oil will still allow the wick to burn, but the less rocks, the better the burn. Find a church without so many rocks and allow God's word to be preached to you and the Holy Spirit to create and sustain faith in you. Need help on where to find such a church? First read this and then look here.

2. Discipline is hard. Whether it is disciplining yourself in good habits or your children, it takes constant repetition, diligence, repentance, and perseverance. I fail miserable at this and am constantly battling to do better and am resigning myself to the realization that this will always be the case. I won't one day be good at it all, but will always need to improve. Such is life on this side of heaven. But just because it is hard to keep up with daily reading of the Bible, daily exercises, daily chores, etc., doesn't mean it is time to give up. Just start again and again and again and again....

3. Education is more important than sports. This coming from a gal who loved sports and played in whatever she could from 5th grade on and wanted to be a professional cheerleader at some point. Those are happy memories. I still love sports and enjoy watching and sometimes participating in them. But the education I received (or didn't) is what is (or isn't) helping me today. Teaching our children to love learning and to seek out answers to questions will serve them their whole life. Focusing solely on one sport or another only lasts so long. Help to develop in them a love of reading and learning. Teach them how to find things in the library and take them there regularly. Have books all throughout your house and talk to them about what they are reading. Give them long lasting friends like Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy; or Heidi; or Tom and Huck; or Phileas Fogg; or Harry; or so many others. Friends they can learn from and share with their own children one day.

4. Real food tastes real. Cooking and eating from scratch is how I grew up. But as I am now responsible for the food on the family table, I've learned even more that anything processed is quite bland and there are so many different tastes and textures that heighten tastes buds and make dining quite enjoyable. Salads made with different lettuces than iceberg and homemade dressings are more tasty. Whole grain breads are delicious and much more filling. Real maple syrup makes homemade, whole-wheat pancakes or waffles absolutely delicious. Snacking on fresh fruits of the season is filling and enjoyable. Use real butter and real cream, they taste so much better and are better for you, just don't go overboard. Think in moderation. So save that white flour and white sugar for your homemade cookies and cakes as treats. Try new recipes, expand your gastronomic repertoire and you'll find just how bland is the food in the middle of the grocery store.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Simple Summer Supper

We wait for this each year. Tonight was the first night we enjoyed. Thanks to a member's generosity we were given fresh garden tomatoes. I promptly fried some bacon, peeled and sliced the tomatoes, cleaned the lettuce, toasted the bread, fixed some deviled eggs, and made a pot of fresh sweet tea.
Ahhh, the joys of summer food.

Personal Style

My friend Melynda, who was tagged by our friend Jane, tagged me with this one. So here goes...

Personal Style Quiz
Rules: You have to choose one of the two. You cannot answer "neither" or "both." You can indicate that you like both or neither, but you must state a preference.

Animal fiber or plant? I suppose plant is more practical. But there is something about leather, that always draws me.

Natural or synthetic? Ah, natural

Ornate or simple? Simple.

Color or Neutral? Color!

Pastel or Vibrant? Vibrant, I'm not much of a pastel person.

Blue/Green or Red/Orange? Red/Orange, and really I liked these way before Tony drove the Home Depot Chevrolet. But that just makes it even better, I'm wearing a #20 orange t-shirt right now.

White Gold or Yellow Gold? Yellow Gold.

Gems or texture? Hmm, am I suppose to know the difference? Okay I'll pick, ummm, texture. No wait! gems..... No wait! texture....., really I don't have a clue.

Watch or no-watch? Watch when I'm going out (unless I forget), but nothing while I'm home.

Comfort or fashion? Comfort.

Trendy or classic? Classic.

Cables or lace? Cables, I think.

Heels or flats? Why do I have to choose? Hmm, well heels, there is something about them that is well, sexy, but I wear a lot of flats.

Flip-flops or sandals? Sandals

Skirts or pants? Skirts for dress, pants for casual.

Geometric or floral? I like both done well. I hate big floral, little floral is so pretty. So hmm, I pick floral.

V-neck or turtle-neck? I pick v-necks but don't own many because the girls would try and escape, so keep them harnessed in turtle-necks. Plus, they're warmer - don't you remember where I live?!?!

Skulls or butterflies? Quite the extreme on this one huh? Butterflies

Loose or snug? Loose.

Long hair or short? I've had both and like both, currently long. I don't know what looks better on me, the curls so determine what it looks like from day to day. I think I'll pick long, at least today, at this moment.

Headbands or barrettes? Neither. Headbands never stay put, barrettes pull it to tight. So I use little clips or bobby pins. Oh shoot, my daughter just read the rules and cried "foul." So to pick, hmmmm I choose headbands, cuz I like the look on other peoples' heads.

Shoulder bag or handbag? Shoulder bag.

Maybe Jane and Melynda should trek north and we could go shopping together at that big mall. I tag Jenny (yes I'm still working on your tag of me) and Cheryl. If they pass the test, maybe they could join us for a shopping extravaganza?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Friends, Food, and Fun

Saturday we had the pleasure of having Laura and family over for dinner. What a great treat for us. I tried a new pork recipe, which I will use again, and baked some fresh buns. With sides of corn on the cob and a salad, plus fruit pizza for dessert, we feasted while visiting.

What a nice treat for me to visit with one of my Looper friends. I learn so much from them and I relish the precious moments we can visit in person and then send each other off with hugs.

Laura's mom, Caroline, was with them. What a dear, sweet lady. I hope she wasn't too offended (although I know she was greatly surprised) by how dirty my kids feet were and me waiting to put away the food until after we had visited for awhile. It's hard to take the country out of the girl even if the girl is out of the country!

We took the pictures right before they had to leave (way too soon). Now that they know the way, we look forward to their next stop whenever that might be.

The kids had fun meeting new friends. My three youngest especially enjoyed little Ben. They found it fascinating that he liked our ceiling fans, and the cord on the vacuum. Ben had more helpers than he needed most of the time, and by time to leave, he was ready for his bottle, and a nap. I hope he slept well for you on the way back to your hotel!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix

Tuesday was David's birthday. To celebrate, we took the family to see a matinee of the new Harry Potter movie. I give the movie a 4 star rating, while David said he would only give it 3 stars. Overall, I liked the movie. Yes there were some things I didn't like, but as a movie, I liked it.

One thing I really liked is that the students seemed to be wearing their Hogwarts robes more than not. In previous movies, it drove me a bit batty that robes seemed to be optional, which isn't the case in the books. That shouldn't be so hard to get wrong as a movie director.

I liked the characters of Luna and Neville and Hermione. Luna in the book gave me the impression of a weird, superstitious, sort of girl. In the movie, she came across more of a loving, caring, yet ditsy sort of gal. Neville is coming into his own is he not? It has been a joy to read about him growing up in the books, the movie just seemed to speed up the process more so. But I like Neville and Luna both, I see them as good friends. Hermione's character was better in the movie. In at least one other movie, both David and I felt that the director was trying to make her into a pin-up symbol; or as David put it, "Her-hottie, not Hermione." This time, she was simply the good, thoughtful, caring friend that comes through so well in the books.

I liked the character of Dolores Umbridge and the portrayal of going after complete power. The sort of innocent demeanor, platitudes, and then using ones authority to change the rules to give oneself more power still amazes me. Rowling did an excellent job of capturing what this is, and the movie did a decent job of showing it. Whether it is a political party in history or currently, or even in a church body, this is the way it happens. Newspapers aren't necessarily reliable, yet the masses believe what is written and attitudes change even from day to day. It never is good for the "little guy" who must endure whatever educational decree, or synodical decree, or law of the land, which almost always takes away more freedoms than it is said to be giving. Those wanting complete power continue making laws to guarantee that power and always see actions of others as wanting to take over their power.

I liked the DA meetings and found it interesting how the movie director chose to end those, not at all like the book was it? But that is the way all movies based on a book will be won't it? Two completely different genres can't communicate in the same way. Although, I do agree with David that maybe to enjoy the movies more, don't read the books. Yet we can't understand how someone who hasn't read the books will understand what is happening on the screen. On the screen things jump around and having read the books, we knew what leaps were being taken and could connect the dots. For example what exactly is "The Order of the Phoenix?" If someone hadn't read the book yet watched the movie, I'm not sure they would not know what it was except the title of the movie. Another example would be Harry's dreams. I don't think without reading the book, those dreams make a lot of sense.

I also don't think that Harry's anger came through in the movie like it did in the book. I remember reading this aloud to the family and felt many times uncomfortable reading this to my children as I didn't want them to imitate Harry's behavior. But it did provide many opportunities for David and I to discuss with the kids what happens when you only look at yourself and don't consider how other people around you are feeling and how the devil uses this again and again and again.

Another thing that a book can do that the movie couldn't is explain without using the exact words a moral or theme. But how nice I thought it was that the last part of the movie we are left with the words of how friendship is worth fighting for.

Again, overall I liked the movie even though I think the books are much, much better.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Water Fun

In June, we traveled south to visit my mother. For the last 6 years, that meant traveling south all the way to Cape Coral, FL. In the fall of 1999, my mom and dad bought a second home in FL and were going to start wintering there. Alas, my dad died in the spring before coming home to IN, mom decided to sell the farm in IN and move permanently to Florida. We didn't mind the visit at all. Mom sold the house she and dad had bought and purchased one on a canal with a pool. It was such a nice place to relax and get away from the weather up north.

Our kids absolutely loved the pool and visiting the beach. Thanks, in part, to the many visits to mom's, my kids became water bugs, fearless of the water and enjoying all the fun one can have. Therefore when mom decided it was time to move back to Indiana, my kids were sad that there would no longer be a pool to spend playing in hours upon hours of the day. Ah, but my mom had a few tricks up her sleeve for our visit.

She purchased one of those wet slides for them to enjoy, which you can see they happily tried.

She also had my nephew put up a tire swing for them, something they simply loved.One day she took us to breakfast at my sister's restaurant. Here we all are together after filling our bellies:From left to right bottom to top: My sister Lynn, her granddaughter Sydney, Mom,
Nathan, Ellie, Abby, Sam
David, Hannah, My sister Margie, me

Margie, is the owner and cook of "The Corner Restaurant," and she does a very good job.

After our late breakfast we headed to a nearby campground and quarry to enjoy the afternoon in the lake. Boy was it fun! The water was cold, but with so many things to enjoy we stayed fairly warm. The lake is quite deep and we all wore life jackets (included with the price of admission). But others who were enjoying the lake didn't wear life jackets. To do so you would need to be a very confident swimmer and not mind having to tread water or swim all the time while not on a toy.
Here is Lynn with Sydney. For a reduced rate, those not swimming can sit on the dock and watch. Sydney enjoyed the lake although it was pretty cold for a little one.Here we all are enjoying the giant trampoline. The yellow thing (yes that is the technical term) jutting out provided lots of laughs. One of us would try to get to the end and wait for someone else to jump on and launch us into the water. The kids were definitely more coordinated than either David or me.Everyone but me made it to the top of the "Rock Slider." Here is Ellie with Sam not far behind.

But wait, my mom hadn't finished all her tricks yet. On the day we were heading to WI, to visit my younger sister and then to attend the CCA Symposium, she arranged for us to stop at my aunt's house in Indianapolis, who just happens to live on a lake.

After a delicious lunch, my cousin Kim took us out on the boat for a ride.
Here are the kids enjoying their first ever tube ride. Two of Kim's kids are showing mine how to enjoy the ride. They really liked this and didn't want to stop.

My aunt Phylis gave each of the kids a ride on her wave runner.
Here is Hannah and Sam showing how much fun it is.

And of course with all this fun surrounding us, David and I couldn't resist a turn on the tube. Thanks to mom's urging, Kim went a little crazy trying to make us lose control, but we didn't! We hung on the whole way! Of course, now David has been seeing the chiropractor trying to get his neck back in the right place after all that bouncing! :-)

Even though mom now lives in Indiana, my kids won't miss her pool in Florida. They had so much fun this vacation they keep talking about it and are looking forward to their next visit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


When a friend hurts, sometimes all I can do is pray since I live so far away. Know my friend, I hurt with you and will always pray for you.

"O Lord, give us an abiding trust in Your good will that no impatience or suffering of mind or body may weaken our faith in You. Teach us to say, "Thy will be done," and to accept Your holy and gracious will in all things. Out of the shadows of our doubts and fears, bring the light of Your great mercy toward us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever." Amen

I Walk in Danger All the Way (LSB 716 v1,2,5,6)
I walk in danger all the way.
The thought shall never leave me
That Satan, who has marked his prey,
Is plotting to deceive me.
This foe with hidden snares
May seize me unawares
If ere I fail to watch and pray.
I walk in danger all the way.

I pass through trials all the way.
With sin and ills contending;
In patience I must bear each day
The cross of God's own sending.
When in adversity
I know not where to flee,
When storms of woe my soul dismay,
I pass through trials all the way.

I walk with Jesus all the way.
His guidance never fails me;
Within His wounds I find a stay
When Satan's pow'r assails me;
And by His footsteps led,
My path I safely tread.
No evil leads my soul astray;
I walk with Jesus all the way.

My walk is heav'nward all the way;
Await, my soul, the morrow.
When God's good healing shall allay
All suff'ring, sin, and sorrow.
Then, worldly pomp, begone!
To heav'n I now press on.
For all the world I would not stay;
My walk is heav'nward all the way.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Jokes and Boys

My friend Susan has been sharing some of her favorite jokes. I've enjoyed them all. Here is my 7yr old son's current favorite joke:

Why do dinosaurs not talk?
Because they're all dead.

What I'm finding fun is that my two oldest, both girls, read the joke books, but neither really laughed or enjoyed them like my son does. His belly laugh resounds at some of these jokes. He will also break out laughing at antics on Home Improvement, or Little Rascals where the girls don't. Several months ago, we finally watched Singing in the Rain together as a family. The scene where the guy is dancing/singing/falling down made my son laugh in a way I hadn't heard before. The girls and I were laughing too, but not like Nathan. He was giggling/laughing with tears. He asked to see it again and again and again (thanks to dvr where it is easy to find!) I treasured that moment, and realized even more just how different boys and girls are.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

At the Farm

Tuesday afternoon after haircuts, we went to my in-laws farm for supper. The kids and I stayed overnight while David came back home to work. My main goal was to finally finish Hannah's quilt top that hasn't been worked on in months.

Sewing at the farm is great. My mother-in-law and I sit at her dining room table and sew together. This time her machine was giving her fits, so she did a lot of the pinning and ironing. My father-in-law did the cooking and clean-up, and the kids played outside. I can get so much done when I do this! We finished the quilt top and even planned Abby's quilt (the last of the 5 munchkin's to be done). Here is what Abby's will look like. We chose a different pattern, then just using all 4in squares. I think it will look fabulous once it is done!

Here is how the kids stayed out of the way:The brute cycle which was bought when my husband and his siblings were young and then a couple of years ago we all went in together to fix it up so our kids could enjoy it.

Even I took a break to enjoy a ride and a drive:Yes a little Tony lives in all of us - especially me. :-)

The other time occupier of the chitlins is the grove. 4 years ago at my inlaws 40th reunion all the grandchildren worked together to build paths and tepees. Now whenever a set of grandchildren are visiting, they play and fix it up even more.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Oh Tony!!!

Do you know how disappointing it is to be all excited about sitting down to watch the NASCAR race and then before many laps are driven, the driver you always cheers for wrecks?! Especially when he has won this race the last two years in a row! And especially when in the spring at this famed track (Daytona), he had such a good car and was wrecked then too?!

Well, I guess this means I'll get to bed a little earlier, nah, I'll still watch.

Friday, July 06, 2007


My brother-in-law Mark, his wife Beth, and their four children came to visit us for a couple of days. They arrived in the afternoon of the 4th. I fixed a meal of fish, hush puppies, and corn, enjoying some good brew (adults only) to wash it all down. Next we went outside to fix s'mores around our fire pit, until time to head 7 miles to see the fire works.

On the 5th, we enjoyed sleeping in, more good food (have you been able to tell that my life revolves around food?!), a friendly game of baseball at the local field, swimming and a hot tub, a delicious supper (Beer can chicken, red beans with rice, mac-n-cheese, strawberry daiquiris), and then a walk down to the local ice cream shop for 50 cent kid cones.

All throughout was talk about homeschooling (yep, they do it too), being a pastor (yep he's one too), parenting (yep they're ones too), enjoying seeing how much the nieces and nephews have grown and matured. What a nice, yet too short of a visit. We all wish it could be longer and as they backed down the driveway this morning, we were all trying to come up with another excuse to get together soon.

Isn't that the way it is? Visitors are so refreshing, and I learn so much from each one, whether they are family or friends. So, you reading this who might need a place to stay, don't hesitate to ask. I get as much from your stay as you'll get with a place to sleep and meals to eat.

Monday, July 02, 2007

David's Surprise

Friday, June 29th was David's 10th anniversary of ordination. Upon finding out that was why we were putting flowers on the altar, a couple of people in the church insisted on the church donating the flowers and serving coffee and cake after the services on Saturday and Sunday. This worked to my favor.

I had wanted to give David something in honor of his 10th anniversary, but wasn't sure what. Upon talking to his brother Paul, and also his good friend Ralph, both pastors, I decided to purchase him a chasuble. I contacted Pr. Curtis and ordered a white one. My mom graciously sent the check so that David wouldn't wonder why I was sending a sum of money to DK Brunner. The chasuble arrived in Thursday's mail and we quickly hid it.

The kids and I went over Saturday near the end of service. After the service, and announcements I walked forward with his gift. David was quite surprised. I explained to the congregation that I had wanted to give him something special and upon talking with fellow pastors, I decided upon this gift. When David opened it, he was very shocked and surprised. Many members of the congregation commented on how beautiful it was. They were able to ask questions and David was able to try it on for them while we were enjoying cake and coffee in the narthex.

So Sunday morning, I did the same thing, except this time I explained that I had surprised him the night before, but wanted them to be able to see the gift as well. Many also asked when he would get to wear it for the first time.

David was truly surprised and very grateful. Later he told me it was perfect and he would have picked the exact thing. What a nice thing to say. With such a positive response from the congregation, we don't see any problem in purchasing the other colors as time goes by.

Thanks so much to Pr. Curtis and to his mother for this great service to the church!


Friday, June 29th was our culinary stop in Switzerland. Another gastronomic treat with recipes I copied and added to my file for future meals. Hannah prepared and taught her siblings on Thursday all about Switzerland and Friday they enjoyed the movie Heidi.

Fruhstuck (Breakfast)
Opfel Broisi (Fried Apples and Bread Slices)
Birchermusli (Cereal - granola)

We really enjoyed the breakfast. For all you campers, the fried apples and bread slices would be a super easy meal to fix over a camp fire. If you're interested, let me know and I'll send you the recipe.

What a delicious dinner it was. Hannah decorated the table in the form of a Swiss flag.

This time I took a picture of each dish separately instead of all together on the table. Our head trustee came to install our back screen door, and commented on how good everything was smelling. It tasted just as good. I really liked the onion salad. Normally I don't care much for fried onions, but these were nothing like what I've eaten before. Much, much tastier.

Kabissuppe (Cabbage Soup):

Mistkratzerli (Baked Chicken):

Rosti (Fried Potatoes):

Zibelsalat (Onion Salad):
Abendessen (Supper)
Fondue Vlalais (Valais-Style Fondue)

For supper, we enjoyed, for the first time ever, a cheese fondue. We used Emmentaler and Gruyere cheeses and dipped cubed, French bread and cubed, cooked ham into the fondue. The cheeses were a bit tangy (I think that is the right word) but still delicious. The children all ate it pretty well, but none overly liked the tart/tanginess of the cheese.