Sunday, December 31, 2006

Raining on New Years's Eve

The weather is always a safe topic in Minnesota - as it was in Colorado. I seem to have picked two states that believe that if you don't like the weather, what an hour. Well, that has not been the case this winter. I feel like I am living in Seattle. We rejoiced over the one inch of snow that we got the Saturday before Christmas - this is very unusual to have to wait this long for snow. I was wishing that I was stuck in the storms in Denver. We haven't seen a good old fashioned blizzard in Denver in many years. Here in MN, we were just wishing for snow instead of rain. We watched the storm with quiet envy - especially the snow mobilers. We had hoped to go snowskiing today - isn't going to happen since the temp is 40 degrees and rain. It just doesn't seem right to ski in the rain? I am praying for my family in Denver.

Thanks for reading.


Christmas 2006

I have truly enjoyed being the parent at Christmas time. The kids don't get everything that they want - only three gifts! It is a different philosophy, but we figure that Jesus only got three gifts, so why should they get more? It really makes us think about the best gift based on our budget. As they get older, they get more expensive. We have decided that even though babies have expenses - it is nothing like having a teenager - phones, computers, clothes, etc. The baby is happy with a bottle and a clean diaper. How life changes so quickly! The big gifts this year were all electronic. Charity got the cellphone she has been begging us for and we got Eli a gameboy advance sp. He had a gameboy already, but the screen did not light up.

I got the corner curio that I had looked at at IKEA. It is a simple design. We did have one delimma. For those of you that have purchased from IKEA, the furniture needs to be assembled. The directions have not words - only pictures. The picture forgot to mention one minor issue - that the predrilled holes for the door had to be placed on a particular side. Most of the time the directions are great - not this time. Roger and I had a choice - go back to step 4 from step 20 or move the magnets and predrill a couple of holes. We choose the seconde option. The door is now on the opposite side then the picture in the catalog shows. I guess that things in our life are not always picture perfect.

Roger got his coffee maker 1200 DCC brewmaster. He has been needing (?) a different coffee maker for awhile. He is sort of a coffee snob and the old standby Mr. Coffee just wasn't cutting it. So, now he has a timer with different settings. Much more complicated than our VCR settings.

I hope that you all had a great Christmas with family and friends.

God Bless


Friday, December 22, 2006

Lense implants

I am basically blind without contacts or glasses. Many people that I work with have taken the huge jump and commitment and gotten lasix. I went in before school started in September to see if this was a possiblitlity for me. It really isn't. Apparently, my cornea isn't deep enough to cut anything off of. I was greatly disappointed after finally getting the nerve up to call about the procedure. I really don't mind wearing glasses or contacts. I have dry eyes caused by the climate I live in as well as being on thyroid medication. Wearing the contacts just makes the whole thing worse. I can wear them for about 10 hours before I get an eye headache - you know that kind where you just want to dig your eyeballs out of your head. So, I have been exploring other options.

My eye doctor is part of this lense study. They are trying to get this particular type of lense approved by the FDA. The lense is implanted inside the eye, behind the cornea. This requires surgery where they make a tiny incision and place the lense. This lense has been used in Europe very successfully for the past ten years. There are always side effects anytime you have surgery - especially elective surgery. I just can't imagine waking up seeing... I could get an infection - in fact, this is the most likely cause of problems. Sense this is still experimental - the cost would be almost free instead of 3-4 thousand for each eye. I am thinking of pursuing it. I have a introductory appointment Jan 4th. They will run some more tests to see if I fit the qualifications for the experiment. After all this worrying, I may not even qualify anyway.

So, if you are into praying, say a quick one that I make the best choice.

I will write more after Christmas.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wanting a surprise for Christmas.

I love my husband and all the wonderful things that he does. I appreciate that he kisses me with bad breathe and doesn't complain that I am wearing those sweat pants again! He is my opposite - concerned about housecleaning items that I didn't even know needed cleaning - like behind the refridgerator or the stove. He is much more into exercise while I prefer sitting (I do that very well!)

So, because he loves me, he tries to get me gifts that I want for Christmas. I try my best not to guess what it is. I like to be surprised. It is hard since we share all bank accounts - he must wait until after the December Visa bill comes to shop. I think that I know what I am getting - exactly what I asked for. It will be a great gift. The kids are doing a great job not telling me that they went to IKEA when I had conferences. It is hidden is several boxes throughout the house, and I have been advised not to snoop. I don't mean to snoop, I just pick up toys and have to go under the bed for stray matchbox cars. I really don't want to know!

I am actually thankful for whatever it is. He is a practical man, wanting the gifts to be used and not just sit on a shelf. I guess that in that way we are very much alike.

I hope that you get all that you want this Christmas.

God Bless,


Saturday, December 09, 2006

The story of Riezzee

Many might be wondering where the "riezzee" for my blog came from. My family is quite familiar with the story - and I am sometimes embarrassed and flattered by it all at the same time. I have always had a nickname - but it has usually been negative - not really something that I would want to be called or share with someone.

I am a high school chemistry teacher. I teach 10-12th graders - intermingled by grade. Sometimes this makes for interesting combinations of students. Well, last year I ended up with lots of boys that were devoted to the sport they played. For the first semester, I pretty much had the entire varsity basketball team - not in the same class, but spread out fairly equally. In the spring, I ended up with a couple of wrestlers and one of the senior pitchers. It turns out that throughout the past few years I knew most of the baseball team as well. So, I finally used one of my fringe benefits of teaching and attended some of the games for free - Eli accompanied me. He isn't so much into the sports as he is into running around the gym/ballfield and getting snacks during the game.

Anyway, somehow-throughout the term-they coined the name Riezzee from my last name. My husband wasn't sure about the respect issue-finding that our youth is lacking that. To me it was still respectful-and I have been called many disrespectful things. It was borderline. I warmed up to it and that is who I am to this group of boys. I never really want to be liked as an equal with my students, but it is a hard line to walk. How do you impact them without getting to know what is most important to them?

Most of them are seniors this year - and so goes the name. I have always wanted personalized license plates, but never quite found a phase that fit. So, with the renewing of my plates, they now say "Riezzee". It only took me ten years of teaching to find my stride - so for me this is a shining moment.

Thanks for reading


Monday, December 04, 2006

Visiting friends in Faribault

We spent the day in Faribault with some friends of Roger's from college. It seems that he used to skip chapel at Northwestern College and go hang out at Starbuck's down the road with his fellow Education Majors. And these are the people that are teaching our children? I say that totally jokingly.

This is the first time that I have met them face to face. We have received their Christmas cards for years, so the faces are familiar. They are a great group of people. We were invited down to see a church play that one of his friends were in. We had dessert and watched.

We are definately spoiled by our professional productions at our church. Yet, we had to step back and realize that this was a small country church in Faribault. Was this reaching the people in their community? Was it a growing church? We were being slightly judgemental and comparing so many things. We are all a part of the body of Christ, with different purposes - all working together to bring people to Christ.

As churches around the country present the gospel to thousands this Christmas, in different ways, hearts will be changed! Praise God that he made us so different and never stops to reach us where we are.

God Bless,

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I blog mostly for myself. It is the best way to process all that happens in my life. Thanks for reading and participating in the ups and downs of life.

Notice the date on this blog. Tickets for the summer music festival called Sonshine went on sale two days ago. This Christian music event of the year is held in Wilmar, MN during the month of July. It is an outdoor festival with four different stages of music playing from 10 am until 10 pm. We went last year as a family and had the best time. The temperature was fairly unbearable, so we are hoping for a cooler three days of music this next summer. We are actually hoping to invite some friends of ours to join us. It is a worshipful party - with the typical teenagers and concession stands galore. Last year a powerful thunderstorm arrived when the Newsboys were suppose to play. It was actually cancelled. Eli was so heartbroken. He just loves their music. He sings with it loudly in the car.

So, the tentative list for Sonshine next year is listed on the website - the Newsboys are scheduled to be there once again. So, come July 12-14th, you can find us in Wilmar, MN rain or shine, enjoying music being played for Jesus.



Our church has sermons in a series fashion. The most recent series title is "Why?". You can listen and even view some of the most recent messages at
. The most recent one touched on the topic of fear. It is interesting that in my ABC's of me that I listed fear of failure as my fear - this is the example that Pastor Bob used in his message! This is the same fear that he has, so I listened especially hard.

Roger said that this message hit a little too close to home. The world causes us to fear so many things, from germs and bacteria that cause death to fear about real things like terrorism. Our fear is a natural response that protects us in truly dangerous situations. On the chemical side - people like to go see scary movies because it produces natural hormones that give you a sort of a high.

The verse Pastor Bob emphasizes is the "Perfect love drives out fear". The bible says "perfect love", not conditional love that we receive from friends and even family sometime, but love without limits or conditions - the kind of love only our Lord Jesus could give you. If you read through the bible when angels appear to humans, they start by saying "Do not be afraid", yet we are fearful. The sight of God is going to be an amazing and fearful sight.

I keep working on accepting that unconditional love of Christ and realize the I am "Fearfully and wonderfully made" and the I am "created in His image". I have worked and worked on trying new things - like selling Creative Memeories for a couple of years. I really wasn't very good at it, but I learned so much through the process. I learned that I can share about something I love without being rejected. I am trying to apply this to sharing about my relationship with Christ. By trusting God, I can take risks and realized that I am loved regardless of the outcome.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

ABC's of Me

I am so new to the blog world, that I wasn't sure what this meant when I read Cheri's blog and she tagged me to share the below ABC's about me. So here it goes

A - Available/Single? Nope, married
B - Best Friend? Roger, my husband
C - Cake or Pie? Pie - preferably pumpkin or french silk
D - Drink Of Choice? A&W Rootbeer, but I mostly drink water during the day at work.
E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? Contact lenses (so I am a little vain)
F - Favorite Color? Purple
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Gummy Bears
H - Hometown? Denver, CO
I - Indulgence? Scrapbooking
J - January Or February? Neither really - I live in Minnesota and these are the coldest months. The skiing is better in Feb - so I choose Feb
K - Kids & Their Names? Charity - age 13, Elijah - age 7
L - Life Is Incomplete Without? My family
M - Marriage Date? December 17, 1994
N - Number Of Siblings? 3, Brother-35 years old, sister-16 years, sister-14 years
O - Oranges Or Apples? Apples - Honey Crisp if you can get them.
P - Phobias/Fears? Fear of failure - I tend not to try new things if I think that I won't be good at it.
Q - Favorite Quote? Depends on what movies our family has watched lately. Too many to count. An old one from Ferris Bueller that we just re-watched, "Who could expect me to go to school on a day like this?"
R - Reason to Smile – I am known by the creator of the universe.
S - Season? Summer because I get to be home with my kids
T - Tag Five People? I don't know anyone with a blog except Cheri, but I would love to hear from Uncle Vic, Jennifer Carr and my mom
U - Unknown Fact About Me? I enjoy sappy romance novels
V - Vegetable you don’t like? Cooked spinich
W - Worst Habit? Watching too much tv
X - X-rays You’ve Had? Finger and knee (both from boating incidents a couple of summers ago.
Y - Your Favorite Food? Chinese or Mexican - I could eat those any night of the week.
Z - Zodiac Sign? Aries

This was fun! Thanks for getting me in the loop!


Sunday, November 26, 2006


I often wonder what we will do when Thanksgiving becomes my holiday. At the moment, Roger's mom gets the honor (or work) of doing the meal and having us over to her house. I get Easter - by my choice. I brought a puzzle this year and the kids fought over which of the 100 dish channels to watch. I would like for it to be a more meaningful day for us. The weather here was beautiful - in the 50's on November 23rd. We took a walk outside and Eli was riding his bike. It just didn't feel like winter was around the corner.

We did go to church on Wednesday. That was the best time to just sit and focus on what Thanksgiving is all about. I time for worship and taking of communion. Sometimes it is good to have time to focus on all that we have. Our past sermon was about having the "Good Life". In truth, we are living the good life and forget. My prayer is that I won't forget throughout the year. The Lord gives and takes away...

I am thankful for all the Lord has blessed me with - the best husband and kids, as well as all the material blessings. I know that this can change instantly. Lord, give me the strength and character to stay thankful...


Saturday, November 25, 2006

They arrived on the cauliflower...

Eli came home last week and was telling us about his day and what he learned. Some days he doesn't tell us anything and sometimes he has a story to tell. I figure that I should leave the communication lines open - they say that boys just stop talking when they hit puberty... Anyway, he was telling us about the story of the first Thanksgiving. He told us that the pilgrims came over on the cauliflower...Roger covered his mouth to keep from laughing and discouraging him. Eli is very sensitive and wouldn't quite understand why Dad was laughing at him. I did my best to keep a straight face and correct him that is was the Mayflower that the pilgrims traveled on. He kept on going like nothing happened. Here is a great theme for veggie tales if they ever run out of ideas... Thank you Eli for laughter..


Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Okay, I will confess that I am a closet NASCAR fan. As a kid, I thought that this was the most boring sport with cars just going in circles for miles and miles. I suppose that this is still true, but I am now more interested in the strategies and position of the different drivers. I have also started reading up on the history of NASCAR. Okay, so it started from bootleggers transporting moonshine - aka Dukes of Hazzard. Well, at least there is a legal place for lead footed drivers to race each other instead of on the highway with us slow folks.

This obsession began with having a son. Eli likes anything that has a motor and moves fast - airplanes, fast cars, trains, etc. Roger was channel surfing one night and came upon a race in progress. Roger just liked the name of one of the drivers - Jimmy Johnson. It had such a ring to it. Eli watched the end of that race and Jimmy Johnson actually won! Jimmy Johnson then became Eli's favorite driver. Number 48 is now well known in our house. Charity's favorite driver is Jeff Gordon - because they share a birthday (I also secretly think that she finds him to be cute!).

I knew nothing about NASCAR three years ago, but Eli wanted to know more and when a next race was. I went on the internet and found out when the races were and learned about the point system and all. I started to get into it as much if not more than Eli. I liked that they prayed before a race and keep the drivers accountable off the track as well as on the track - unlike our american football players. It is definately biased - and aren't we all. Some drivers seem to get away with more than others from what I can tell.

So, the season just ended this weekend. We were cheering for Jimmy Johnson to win the Nextel Cup - the chamionship ring for NASCAR drivers. After missing it by points in the past couple of years, he finally won. It was a great thing - prolonged by many caution flags and setbacks. I hope that you get a chance to see it in February for the Daytona 500. My house will now get the cleaning it deserves and my family will have hot meals again on Sunday. It has been a great season.

God Bless


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


As a teacher I sometimes feel overwhelmed by grading and always being in the spotlight. I truly believe that this is God's calling and somehow He will help me get the grading done as well as still having time for my family. I really try to leave the office at school and give all my remaining time to be with my family - even if some days that means vegging in front of the tv watching a movie.

Last week was the end of the quarter, so I was fiendishly grading finals and labs to enter during our workday on Monday. I had to make one call for a student that cheated, and decide to "bump" up other grades for the ever desirable "A". Ultimately, it may or may not matter. I have never had the opportunity in conversation to share what my grade was in high school Chemistry - nobody really cares anymore. But, to the college bound high schooler - it feels like life or death.

I know as an adult, that not very many things require that much worry or stress. I was an incredible case in high school - planning and plotting. I suppose it helped me get where I am today, but how much did I miss out on concerning relationships? It is truly a balancing act.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

7 am cell phone call

Just a short note of humor. I was getting Eli ready to leave for the morning when my cellphone vibrated in my pocket. I thought it was odd to get a call so early, but it was only my husband. He wanted to warn me to take the empty shotgun shell cases out of Eli's pocket before he went to school - I said that yes, this would be a problem in school. Apparently, on their walk the night before to find evidence of deer they found these and Eli wanted to keep them as a sovenier. Like I said before - boys are so very different!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Small Group

As I have mentioned before, we attend a large church. This is a great benefit for programing - especially for the kids. Eli loves to go to "Club K Rock" and play video games and sing worship songs. Charity has found a great small group on Wednesday nights with a bunch of girls that have interests like her.

The one problem is that you can get lost. You can show up and leave and never feel connected to another person in the body of believers that you just worshipped with. We, Roger and I, have been trying to find a way to know more people and get connected. I got to know some people by serving in the senior high ministry for a couple of years. Roger is now helping check-in kids for our kids ministry on Sunday mornings. These kind of things help the church body feel smaller - even in a crowd of about 8000 attending on a weekend.

Another thing that we have done is join a small group on Monday nights. We are meeting with 3 other couples. It is such a wide variety of people and lifestyles. It always amazes me! I think that I get numbed into thinking that other people have the same kind of life that I do. One of the couples lives in an older house, very blue collar, little formal education. Their house is comfortable, but on the older side. The second couples house that we visited was on what I would consider upper class. All the house was nicely decorated, matching furniture and everything. Our house is fairly small - 1200 square feet total. I was so nervous. What would they think? I don't know why this crossed my mind, but even as a bible believing Christian, these thoughts cross my mind. I am praying about not judging, especially by material things. Society has such a hold on that. Success equals stuff.

Just to end this, we are starting to make connections. I don't know how long this group will work, but we are putting ourselves out there. We are taking risks in the hopes of finding a couple to hang out with outside of small group time and possible create a deeper friendship. thank for reading.

God Bless,

Saturday, October 21, 2006

MEA Weekend

In Minnesota we get the third Thursday and Friday off for teacher meetings - fondly known as MEA Break. This falls at the perfect time, about 7 weeks into the year, to catch your breath and relax. As a teacher, I have not ever attended these meetings. They tend to not be the kind of training (read political) that I want or need.

Roger has used this long weekend the past couple of years to go bow hunting for deer in North Dakota with a friend of his. Last year was the first time out of three outings that he killed something. It was on the last morning of his trip. I was worried that the meat would be wasted, but the kids loved the summer sausage that we had processed. We have become venison lovers. So, his hopes were high - but no luck. They saw lots of deer, but nothing within bow range. He is trying to find some time in November to go for gun season. I do believe that the bug has bit him.

Meanwhile, I get to be home with the kids and entertain them. Besides, Charity still has swim practice and I actually don't mind being alone for a few days. I truly love my husband - we can just get on each others nerves and this break is good for us. Here is the scenerio - Roger and I have a totally different view of what it means to relax. I like to watch movies, read books, take the kids to McDonald's playland and maybe get some scrapbooking in if I am lucky. He can't quite sit still that long. He will "putter" - fix the lawnmower, wash the cars, etc. As you can see, I think all of those thigs are work. I also know that if he didn't do those things that they would never get done. He is the perfect match for my lazy disposition. So, when we have time off together, some of that time will include "work". But, over MEA break, I have the time to spend however I want - and the kids know that as well. So here is a synopsis of what we did over MEA.

Thursday: I still had my list of errands to accomplish, so the weekend had a few of those. We went to get Eli's tooth pulled that would not fall out on it's own - 15 minutes and $86 later it was out. I pulled out my scrapbooking and planned to just leave it out the next few days. I was hoping to find an hour here or there to work on it. We stayed up late after dinner to watch a movie and have dessert in the living room (not usually done with dad home).

Friday: I actually got up early to take the car in for an oil change, and brought back some donuts on the way home. I love to be the hero. Then it was time for haircuts and more scrapbooking. Eli's friends from next door came over to entertain him.

Saturday: I had to start picking up after the messy weekend since Roger would be home after dinner sometime. We had a late pancake breakfast and more just hanging out.

The weekend itself was not eventful - just how I like it. It was a perfect break for the normal craziness of our life. For example, Monday night - small group (more on this later), Tuesday, swim meet at home (I keep score), Wed - youth group, Thursday - another home meet, Friday - the car goes in for more service and Charity leaves for a youth group retreat. Some weeks I never know if we are coming or going.

Hope all is well with you!

God Bless

Friday, October 20, 2006

Swimmer Girl

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I would talk about Charity and her natural ability to swim. As a parent, I wanted my child to have some form of physical activity that she enjoyed and possibly excelled at. I was not really into sports in school, unfortunatly work came first. I found my extracurricular passion in choir and the winter musical. I was a drama queen at heart. I was never good enough to get any parts, but I so enjoyed hanging out at the theater.

Anyway, this blog entry is not about me, but about my daughter. We tried several sports as a child during the summer. The first one we tried was soccer. She has never really had the aggressive personality to take the ball and be in someone's face. She would kick the ball if it came to her, but don's ask her to chase someone down and take it from them. This was just not her style. So, I learned that any sport that would require contact was not going to be for her - besides, she hated to run. We then tried dance. I signed her up for a couple of dance clinics. She loved to memorize the movements and hear the music. Even though this was not a contact sport it was physical activity. Truthfully, I dropped the ball on this. Her body shape is too much like her mothers - let's just say it is not a dancers body. Besides -she also hated to sweat.

Then a couple of summer's ago, she was taking level 6 swim class and her instructor suggested the summer swim clinic. This was swimming from 7-9am, 3 times a week. Charity went for it. It was really hard at first. Then she decided to try out for the high school swim team. They did not make any cuts and the girls on the team were so welcoming. It really made her transition from elementary school to junior high much more bearable. In the spring our school offers Synchronized swimming - which is basically dancing in water. I knew that this would be a great fit for her - she loved music so much!! She went for it.

We are now official parents of a swimmer. I have jumped in to help with scoring and meeting the parents - sort of scary for me. She always does her best and is able to compete without having to push,shove or steal something from someone. She is competing against her own time. Just to brag on her a little bit. She swims the 200 Individual Medley. This is where you swim 50 yards of each stroke - butterfly (her best but not necessarily her favorite), backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. She ended the season last year with a time of 3:00 minutes. She has shaved off six seconds this year to a 2:54. This is amazing. It is not Varsity times quite yet, but very good for an 8th grader. She is hoping to qualify for sections next year.

I am just so proud of her, mostly because her parents just aren't swimmers. I can - but it is not pretty and Roger would rather have the boat come to him. So, if my entries have been few, I can just say it is because I am sitting on a hard bleacher in 100 degree heat cheering on my amazing daughter.

God Bless

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Our church has been dong a series on friends the past few weeks. If you want to hear the messages for free - go to our churches website at and either download or listen online. It really has me thinking about whether or not I truly have good friends. A friend that I always read about in books that could finish your sentences and would show up just because.

I have tried to make myself vulnerable. I thought that I had these kind of friends in high school, but because of my mothers drinking and unpredictablility, I never really let anyone in. I hid behind my grades and academic ability. I still keep in contact with those friends - many of them including me on family trips because we never went on any trips as a family. I am hoping that I was a good friend to them in spite of my huge problems.

In college I met a great group of people through Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship. I remember the laughter and how close I felt to God during that time in my life. I still had tons of baggage, but I was able to process that and realize that I still had choices in my life. My friends helped me to see that my past should not determine my future. I don't even know where my best friends from college are - or maybe we weren't as close as I thought we were - or maybe as Pastor Bob says, we were just friends for a season. My leader is now a priest in the Episcopalian Church and from what I have heard living openly homosexual. My other friend use to live in Amarillo Texas with her family - haven't heard from her in ten years. I just wonder what is wrong with me that I can't seem to connect long term. My husband is my best and longest friend that I have ever had. I am truly thankful for that.

Yet, what surprises me is that those people that I thought were fringe friends in college have kept in touch. I could call or visit them if I need to. I continue to seek out that mutual friend - someone that needs me as much as I need them. Someone who has the same interests and faith that I have - so that we can connect on a deeper level. I have planted my life here in Minnesota - so it would be nice to have that kind of friend close by. I keep praying that even with my introverted personality that I can find that soul mate.

God Bless

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Eli's birthday

Hello all! It has been a few crazy days since I had an entry. Eli's birthday took on mammoth proportions - and he only turned 7. Here is how is played out...

Wednesday - the day before his birthday, he jumped off the ladder of the neighbors bunkbed and hurt his foot. He was questionable to go to school the next day. This was not good since he was bringing Zebra cakes to share and some boys were joining him on the bus for his bowling party.

Thursday - the big day. He can walk on his foot, so we send him to school and hope that nothing is broken. No swelling or extreme pain like with the broken arm (10/2/05) and collar bone (8/15/06). He was actually just cleared of the collar bone two days earlier. Boys are definately different to raise than girls. His friends arrive on the bus, we bowl, have McDonalds, cake and open gifts. This was much more than I could handle. Roger was a huge help...

Friday - Eli gets a party at daycare. I arrive to plates full of uneaten cake (the frosting is missing) and a great gift - a remote control jeep. What a great gift!

Saturday - the party continues...Eli gets packed up to spend the night at Grandma's in Belle Plain (1 1/2 hours away). This is what he wanted to do. And Grandma and Grandpa survive. Luckily the weather was very nice - in th 80's - so they could go outside and play. He got to go to McDonald's again to a playplace - very fun!

Sunday - We pick the boy up from Grandma's and head over to an indoor water park. We played for about 3 hours - until he could play no more. He rode in tubes and body slides. His sister definately approved of his choice of family activity.

So, after 4 days of parties, we celebrate another year of blessings and joys with our youngest.

This week looks better, so look for further entries about Charity and her swimming escapades.

God Bless

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A child's bent

Our school district has made an effort to improve reading levels for every student. Part of the plan is to give each student 15 minutes a day to read - including at the high school level. You can only imagine how well this works. My only request of my students it that they are quiet so that I can read during that time.

I have been reading the Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado. His chapters are just short enough that I can finish one in about 15 minutes. Very convenient. The book is basically about finding out how God designed you and being able to use your gifts to benefit the body of Christ as well as live a fulfilling life.

I just finished a chapter called "Decode your kids code". This chapter came at just the right time for me. I took Charity shopping last weekend, and I just couldn't understand why she wanted to shop alone. I intended it to be some quality fun time together, but to her it was just not fun. We each had a different view of what shopping meant. I see it as a chance to be together and she would rather just shop on her own. She has a different "bent" than I do. Lucado said that this is normal. We bring home this new being and sometimes expect that the child will be like us - same likes and dislikes, as well as function the same as us. He used the verse from Proverbs, "Train up the child in the way he should go and when he is old he won't depart from it". Lucado broke it apart and explained it to mean that "the way" is translated as his/her "bent" or "natural tendency". We need to help them find their own "bent" and help them be the best at whatever that is. For now, Charity is enjoying swimming even though her parents aren't very athletic. We are doing our best to encourage her. Also, it is our job to do the training. Only God can do the rest and bring them to faith.

This was an eye opener to me. Looking at this familiar verse again and gleaning something totally new and useful. I am continually amazed at the Bible - it is the living word of God. The Spirit speaks to us through it like nothing else. I am the trainer to help Charity and Eli to see their God given gifts and talents - to help them be the best them they can be.

That's all for now

God Bless

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Busy Week - like which one isn't

This is going to be an overwhelming week. I truly thought that when the children got older that life would be easier. I was completely wrong. Oh, to go back to the time when a cardboard box was the best entertainment in the world.

Charity is an avid swimmer and is committed to practicing and watching it on tv. One of her heroes is Micheal Phelps of Olympic fame who keeps breaking his own records. She feels free and graceful in the water and is a natural - unlike her parents that would prefer to have the boat come to them instead of swim to the boat. This week she has two swim meets. She has done a great job at balancing academics, church and swimming. We even encouraged her to go hang out with friends this weekend. She is so driven (wonder where she gets that?).

I am going in for a consult for getting Lasix eye surgery on Monday. I am excited and scared all at the same time. I want to be a candidate, but then can I really go through with it? Two people at work had it done and my pastor - who in a sermon even said "What are you waiting for?" We finally made it a priority and have some money set aside. Hope it all works for the best. What a miracle it will be to see without assistance.

It is also Eli's birthday this Thursday. He will be 7 and wants to have a party. We decided to let him invite a couple boys after school for bowling, dinner and then cake. His real treat will be spending the night over at grandma and grandpa's. He has been begging us. Now if we can just find a friend to take Charity - Roger and I could have the house to ourselves...

To top it off, it is Homecoming week at school. Therefore, the students will be more out of control then usual - all hyped up about the game. I get to relive it every year - and it is kind of fun. It is a hard week to try to teach anything though.

Hope all is well with you...

God Bless

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mole irritant

We have the plague of moles in our yard. We have tried every gadget available and can't seem to get the rodents - sort of like squirrels in that respect. I am sure that God had a plan in mind - something to ask at the information booth.

Last summer we caught our first mole. This was not a catch and release type of catching, more like and instant death kind of catching. Roger pulled the trap out of the ground and was surprised to see the limp dead body of a mole. He called me to "deal" with the dead body. I threw it in the trash (note:trash day was a week away) We did not have much success beyond that last summer.

The mole irritant saga continued this summer with the first mole siteing. I was planting the garden and I saw a mole above ground. I walked quickly (rarely do I run) and asked Roger what he wanted to do with this stray mole. He told me to grab a shovel. I wasn't sure why - so I asked him. He said to bash it in the head. So, when it comes to moles we aren't the most humane. So that was the 2nd mole - this to went into the trash and caused us to wash it down once again from the putrid smell.

The 3rd mole arrived drowned in our backyard pond - must have been suicide over the brutal death the week before. Roger then found a better trap and has managed to catch 3 more moles. Each time put into the trash - guts and all to fester until the next trash pick-up.

In addition to the moles, our trash has been the recipient to an unopened 4 lb rotten bag of pre-pressed hamburgers and a squirrel that fell into the pond during our week long vacation. Needless to say our trash-can is the cleanest in the neighborhood. It has been a great smelly adventure.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sharing the story

We are members of a large church in the Mpls/St. Paul area. It has doubled in size from 4000 to 8000 regular attenders since we started attending in almost 3 years ago. God is using the body of believers to reach our local community. We recently opened a second campus and it was already too small once it was built. Like the Field of Dreams said "Build it and they will come" - that has been true in our case.

Our prayer when we built our house was to be a light in the neighborhood that He placed us in. We finally broke throught the barrier of garage doors a couple years ago. We now know at least by name the people that surround us. God has provided opportunities for us to invite our new friends to church. We don't always follow His lead, but the more often I do that, the easier it is. At first, I thought this was all about the other people. God has been teaching me more about myself through this process. I need other people to survive in this world. It is about making friends and sharing experiences, hopes and dreams. God honors all of this.

I am hoping to spend more time reflecting on how amazing this God is that chooses to use us lowly people for something so great.

God Bless

Friday, September 15, 2006


Okay, I will admit that I listen to talk radio. I can't claim that this is the best source of information, but it often times helps me put issues into perspective and makes me laugh. On the Joe Soucheray show in the afternoons, they have been discussing the strange behavior of squirrels. I have never had any issue with squirrels as long as they stay out of the path of my car. Well, I knocked out a squirrel today with my car. I didn't exactly hit it with the tire part of the car, but saw if rolling around on the street in my rearview mirror. I wasn't about to stop for the rodent. I agree with Joe Soucheray, stomp on the buggers!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I was reading in my quiet spot (aka the bathroom) an article from a WillowCreek publication on restoring fallen leaders. Isn't it amazing that God speaks to us in such a variety of ways when we voice our questions. It used the same scripture about Paul in Romans 7 - about doing what we don't want to do. Sin entangles us. It did state that leaders are to be held to a higher standard since those following them are affected by their sin - not necessarily commit that sin. There is a possibility for division, anger and pain to those that follow. It also laid out steps to follow to reconcile the leader. I guess that was my concern in my last posting - how do you help the leader move forward?

Now onto a lighter topic. I work in a high school and I happen to have my work time over the lunch period. I work in the combined office of math and science. During lunch I overhear much more than I want to hear. A couple of ladies are continually complaining about what their husbands don't do. I must say that I am incredibly blessed to have a husband that willingly helps clean - and is actually more concerned about it than I am. I tend to be the slob. More of our arguments about chores are more about him letting me help out - otherwise he would do it all. I have come to learn that this is not normal - but is there really anything normal about my life? It is such a blessing to have him partnering with me in all this.

Because I am a slob at heart, me and the kids will often rebel - and he knows this. If he has conferences or something in the evening at school, we will eat our dinner in front of the TV in the family room. This can be messy - so we do our best to hide the evidence. He always finds out. Our mantra is "Don't tell dad!". We love you dear!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What about Grace?

I am totally new to the blog world and I was inspired to start a journal to capture my thoughts about what God is teaching me.

My husband and I were having a discussion last evening about Chuck Knapp "resigning" from the morning show on KTIS. We believe that the people in power at the college gave him no choice. His divorce was not allowed in their rulebook. Our question was what about Grace? Is Chuck Knaap in a position of leadership? Is allowing him to stay on staff too controversial? By staying on staff does that mean that divorce is "okay"? Or because we are Christians does that mean that we are now perfect? These are the questions that we struggle with.

We obviously don't know the details of why the divorce is occuring and maybe there is a greater reason that the college released him. We (as a couple) have just been so blessed by experiencing God' s grace to forgive us. God continues to use the gifts that He gave us regardless of our previous sins. When as a church are we going to extend grace to those of us in the body? We so easily extend grace to unbelievers because they don't know the truth - but what happens when they do believe? Do they stop sinning? I think that is a lot of Paul's stuggle with doing what he shouldn't do. The struggle between body and spirit.

My prayer today is that I am reminded of the great gift that I have and be willing to share grace with fellow believers as well as unbelievers.