Friday, July 31, 2009

Sweet 16

We're back in my hometown where 16 years ago today we said, "I do."
The pastor who married us (and who baptized and confirmed me) is retired.
The church building where we were married is now an Hispanic ministry church with a new church building for my "home" congregation.
The hotel where our reception was held is no longer the same chain hotel.
The bed and breakfast where we spent our wedding night is no longer in business.

But my love for my husband has not diminished or grown tired, but increased as the years have moved along. Sweet 16 and counting.

Now off for a date with my honey. We're going to see (for the second time) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This, That, and Maybe the Other

Last weekend I went to a scrapbooking retreat in Sheboygan, WI. I've never done that before. I've scrapbooked for years and have done one or two "Friday Night Crops" but mostly my scrapping has always been done at home. But a friend at church (who loves scrapping and does amazing page layouts!) has a sister-in-law who is a Creative Memories consultant and was hosting this past weekend's retreat. Mindy invited me to go along, and my wonderful husband told to me to go, that I would be able to get a lot accomplished, and he and the kids could survive without me.

He was right (of course). I was able to finish 27 pages! Woo Hoo! When all there is to do is scrap from morning till night (midnight both Friday and Saturday), and the food (and clean-up) is provided, progress on scrapbooks goes quickly. 15 of the pages are for Joseph's baby album. I did the layouts and Amy will add the pictures. I also left enough blank pages for her to add as Joseph grows. The other 12 pages were the birth through baptism pages of my second child, who is now 12. Boy it felt good to get started on that and make real progress. Once we get a few more rooms reorganized, I will have my table in the office as a scrapbooking only area where hopefully, I will be able to steal a few hours here and there to keep working.

I went to a less than stellar "Lutheran" church service on Sunday morning. But since I was a guest and at the mercy of the driver and host, I couldn't attend the Lutheran church I would have chosen had I been able. It was the first time, I think, that I was thankful the Lord's Supper was not offered and therefore spared of having to deal with why I would have refused.

This week is busy, busy, busy. I need to spring clean several more rooms amidst shuttling kids to swim club practice and various dental appointments. Throw in the fact that this weekend is our church's big 100th anniversary service and my in-laws want us over for noon dinner on Saturday (all the kids/grandkids will be there) and I have vacation (to my mom's) to pack for, you can imagine why I'm not getting anything done. It's simply too overwhelming, and I'd rather not start. But I'd better or I won't be ready for any of it, and then I'll be more mad at myself. There is simply never an end to guilt, although sometimes it makes great motivation!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Something Neat and Something Funny

Our bedrooms are on the smaller side, but with ample closet space. I thought it would be nicer for the children if they had more bedroom floor space and we utilized their closets better. Not that we will do the same thing we did in ours, but something that will provide better storage for all that needs to be stored (clothes, shoes, hampers, linens, suitcases, etc.) in each of the closets. To do so, I decided to remove two dressers (one each from two bedrooms) and sell them. We can only advertise one at a time in our local shopper, so one we did, and it went out today.

I was at Matins when the first call came in. I called the man back and he said he and his wife were very interested and would like to come see it. I mentioned that I had a second dresser if he was interested. He was he said, because they have five children who are outgrowing their current dressers. He and his wife came by later in the afternoon after a wedding, liked both, paid us, and he said he would return with his truck and oldest son to pick them up.

When he arrived with the truck, Nathan and Sam were so excited because, "Mommy, he has an Icthus on the back of his truck." They knew this because our VBS program this year was "Five Words of Understanding" by Pax Domini. David helped load the dressers and he and Devan began chatting. Devan is a Baptist pastor to the deaf in a nearby town. So the dressers went from one pastor's family with five children to another pastor's family with five children. That is the "something neat."

Now on to the "something funny."
David was looking at the mail the other day. He walked into the room I was in and said, "Honey, I know that sometimes the little children will call me Jesus, but this is going a bit far."

He showed me the piece of junk mail. I laughed and laughed. It was addressed to:
Ms. Trinity.

A Growing Boy

My youngest son has now lost his first tooth (not shown in the picture), realized bikes are fun to ride, and is working hard learning to swim in order to join swim club this fall.

Sniff, Sniff, what happened to my baby? Although he still likes to sit on his mommy's lap and give her hugs and kisses, and that makes it all worthwhile.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Spring Cleaning Melting Mommy's Heart

I've been trying to spring clean the rooms in the house, tackling, usually, just one room a day (although it has been far from doing one every day, due to canning or preserving and swim club practices).

Yesterday I began to tackle the boys' room. Those two boys have more knick-knacks and "treasures" than a small museum. Plus the walls are covered with military posters, newspaper clippings and pictures of Vikings or Twins or NASCAR, handmade papers with dinosaur names or snowflakes, the pictures from all their Sunday School lessons this past year, and any number of other things.

All of this makes it hard to clean the walls and I hate all the clutter, but I'm really trying to remember that all of this means something to them. So I ignored the walls and focused on the closet and reorganizing and cleaning what I could. Our bedrooms are quite small and I decided the boys would have more room if I could get rid of a dresser, and move their bunks to another wall. I accomplished this with the help of my husband right before supper time.

When we moved the bed we noticed that our oldest son had put Harry Potter cut-outs on the ceiling right above where his head would be and on the wall right behind we saw that he had cut out these two collects from past Sundays' bulletins:

"Almighty and everlasting God, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, we may come to the unspeakable joys you have prepared for those who love You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen."

"Stir up, O Lord, the wills of Your faithful people that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by You be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen."

And my grumbling heart melted and it was easier for me to see that all of this "clutter" were things that really did mean something to these boys and that God is working in their hearts faith in Him.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Good Day

This morning we were up early and all the children were in the pool for swim club at 8am in the town 17 miles away. While they were swimming, David and I went for a walk, and then Sam, who is done thirty minutes before the others, came out and we played tennis until all the rest of the children were finished.

Our next stop was at the grocery store, they had Bing cherries for $1.99/pound. That was the cheapest we had seen them and we wanted to can some to enjoy through the year. At the store, we asked if we could buy them by the flat, the young man went back to see and came back carrying a box. "This is an 18 pound box and we'll charge you $30 which is an additional discount figuring out to $1.66/pound." Our response was, "Thank you! Can we have another box?" We got the second box, drove home and spent the next few hours canning.

Now I have 30 and a half quart jars like this cooling on my counter:

I would have had 31, but one jar broke. I was able to salvage the cherries, and we've been sampling them this evening.

After the work was done, we rode our bikes to Kamp Dels and enjoyed swimming for a couple of hours before biking home and roasting hotdogs over a campfire for supper, and of course roasting marshmallows for dessert.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Our third day of vacation in Washington D.C. wasn't spent in the city. Being Sunday, (May 10th, 2009) our first stop was Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alexandria, VA. It is a most blessed gift to be on vacation and still be fed with the pure Word of God and the body and blood of our Lord and Savior. We greeted Pr. Esget (a fellow seminary classmate of David's) for a short time afterwards and hoped to meet up with him later in the week, but alas schedules didn't allow. The Wolf's went with us to church (they normally attend here which is closer to their home) so that we could all go together to tour this in the afternoon:

It was a nice tour, and we enjoyed it. Jenn, being 8 months pregnant didn't want to do all the walking, so she sat and watched the ships on the bay. Here are some other pictures of the USNA. (After the tour we took the Wolf's out for a seafood dinner in Annapolis, a nice end to a nice day.)

A sample midshipman's room:

The Herndon Monument (famous for the climb):

The chapel altar:

The tomb of John Paul Jones in the crypt:

To see the latest young men and women who have taken this oath just this week:
click here. God bless them, their families, and the USA.