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