Saturday, July 22, 2006

Word Verification

I don't like to have to do this but I'll have to anyway. Word Verification will be on again for a little bit because I was hit with 268 spam comments overnight -- literally, overnight. They weren't there last night but this morning, my inbox was filled with 268 junk emails.

Monday, July 17, 2006

On Spiders And Sleeping In

"Bee-EEEP, Bee-EEEP, Bee-EEEP..." the alarm clock sang it's happy song at five this morning.

I shuffled out of bed and groped my way across the dark room in the direction of the annoying sound. In my sleep fogged mind, I wondered why I was the one getting alarm this morning since Toby always gets it. This was a first in a long time for me.

Then it dawned on me that I just simply got out of bed to shut it off before he did. Nothing complex about that. It's strange how sleep can make even the simplest scenario seem like a complicated set-up.

I managed to shut the thing off and then made my way back to the warm blankets. It finally hit me that Toby had to get up now and be off to work in 15 minutes. I adequately reminded him of such but he of course already knew and had been prepared for such an early morning intrusion to a good night's sleep.

While he sat up, I laid down. Sleepily, I consoled myself with the fact that after I made his lunch and he left, I could go back to sleep. I mentally decided to sleep a little longer after I got his lunch packed when suddenly, I felt a little flutter on my shoulder.

Assuming it was just another long hair that had fallen out of my head again, I reached back to retrieve the annoying strand. Instead, I grasped a dime-size moving thing in my own bare hands.

I instinctively threw the thing across the bed and of course it landed on or by Toby. I don't enjoy merely looking at small moving things that flutter when they're on my shoulder so to have to touch one with my own bare hand, is a much worse experience.

There was a gasp, a shudder, a quick cry for light (all by me) and immediately Toby had the light on, his hand in the air and the spider killed before I even knew what was going on.


"There was a spider in our bed?" I squeaked.

"He's dead now," was the brave man's response.

"Thank you for killing that spider," I said.

"Yep, but he's dead now," he said, detecting the lingering fear I had for that leggy, crawly creature.

I kept remembering the additional sounds happening in our dark room when I had first expressed my disdain before the light was even on. While I was gasping, shrieking (in a whisper decibel, mind you) and calling for light, there was another response coming from that brave man.

His sound carried more of a desperate, here-we-go-again tone to it. But still, he killed my avenger and didn't even expect a thanks.

As I headed downstairs, I asked Toby where the spider came from.

"A mommy and daddy spider, " he replied wisely with a smirk. "But he's dead now," he reminded me again.

While preparing Toby's lunch downstairs in the kitchen, I thanked him yet again and somehow managed to yet again mourn the fact that a spider was in our bed.

"But he's dead now," was his steady response.

As Toby kissed me good bye before leaving for work, I wondered out loud if the spider was in our bed or if it jumped on me when I shut the alarm off.

"It was probably in the bed," he said confidently.

But, then with a tone of a warrior in a shining armor who had just rescued a damsel in distress, he assured me with, "He's dead now."

And off to work Toby went.

I went upstairs after he left just to make sure that there had indeed been a spider earlier. I thought maybe with our sleep clouded minds, perhaps we both had experienced the same illusion at the same time.

I walked in the room and towards the bed. The bed looked so inviting, I'm sure, but I didn't even look at it. I don't trust the comforts of infested beds.

Poking around behind the dust ruffle I found to my dismay, a deceased spider; evidence to the fact that I had indeed experienced the earlier intrusion.

"Yep, he is dead," I echoed Toby's quote for the day and headed back downstairs. For some reason, the spider's death still doesn't assure me enough to enjoy the comforts of my own bedroom.

And going back to bed is the last thing I'm going to do this morning, in case you
were wondering.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another Template

I did it again. Hopefully this one will work better this time...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Have A Goodly Heritage

This morning while getting a cup of Chai in my house of sleeping children, I kept stumbling over a prized plastic semi truck. Not far from where the semi was parked, two green tractors and an empty trailer sat waiting for busy hands to put them back to work.

I made my way back to the office and passed a pink potty-trainable baby doll laying face down with it's bare rump in the air, a little blue sock, a play camera, a box of wipes and a turned-over step stool, all are symbols of my children's favorite hobbies.

I had to smile when I realized that even when my house is silent and my children are still tucked in their beds, I find proof of their lives all over my house even before they've started their days.

As I stepped across the kitchen to get a spoon for my drink, I went over the semi and past the trailers right through a field of bite size dehydrated watermelon pieces left over from last night's supper. I have to wonder sometimes if my children don't intentionally do such charming things just so I don't forget about them while they're in bed.

Each strewn toy and each drop of sticky watermelon juice on my kitchen floor are all precious tokens of the fact that my children are alive, strong and healthy. How thankful I am for the little proofs and testimonies of God's faithfulness in the health and well being of Landon and Janae's lives... even if I hav--- get to trip over semi trucks while fixing myself a cup of hot Chai in the
"The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage."
Psalm 16:6

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


This is probably the craziest month we've ever had since our wedding day. Though today, right now, this very minute, I don't feel very crazy because the crazy part of this month is lingering as an impending doom just days down the road but all within the confines of July.

If I wish to have a feeling of craziness wash over me, I just saunter over to the calendar, browse over the days and soon my heart rate rises, my breath comes in quick pants, my brow breaks out in a sweat and I feel crazy. I don't even have to turn the calendar page to find such good reasons to feel crazy.

The itinerary goes like this...

July 7th, time unspecified as of yet. Hopefully, there will be a big sigh of relief this day. That's all I can say for now but read on to a further date if you're wondering why July 7th is marked on our calendar.

July 14th, 8:00am - 12:00pm: Whole House Inspection on current place of occupancy. This means, I steal my children from their warm beds early in the morning, evacuate them out the door and feed them cold toast and juice for breakfast in the van.

Then, while we're gone, some guy that has nothing better to do than pick apart people's houses and find more work for them to do before they move in two weeks, will come over and inspect my house. Believe me, if he started in the laundry room he could save himself about 3 hours and 57 minutes worth of "work" that day... "Yep, this place definitely needs to get the laundry done before the buyers move in..."

After July 14th, there will be endless days of nothing to do until July 25th. I really shouldn't say "nothing to do" because if someone spends that much time in our house just walking around nitpicking things, we'll probably have a whole list of things to do.

I imagine he'll come up with the following:
  • Mow yard (Toby claims he doesn't need to mow anymore since our house is now sold and there's no need to impress prospective buyers.)
  • Clean basement shower (hasn't been cleaned since we got the new bathroom upstairs 2 years and 5 months ago -- we've lived here for 2 years and 6 months.)
  • Paint over juvenile pen art on kitchen door.
  • Patch walls where a creative two year old peeled off the last 7 layers of paint in his room.
  • Locate key to back door lock. (who locks their house in Seward?)
  • Collect delicate and intricate cobwebs in basement and place in proper trash receptacle.
  • And finally, replace or repair front living room window where hand prints plastered glass so intense, the results give the viewer a very unclear vision of the out of doors.
  • Plus, add the laundry to that and a need for groceries if he looks in the fridge, and we'll have our work cut out for us for at least a week.

Now fast forward a few days...

July 25th, 6:49pm: Omaha International Airport. My inlaws are flying in from Haiti for a two month furlough. All local family will drive to retrieve them from the airport. Local family means us and Toby's brother's family. Not a huge family reunion but quite a gang nonetheless.

July 26th, time unspecified as of yet but this date is anticipated with much anticipation considering their may not be a full working out of details if certain paperwork, financing and plans cannot be arranged by certain people. The occurrence planned for this date? Closing on new house. There is a contingency clause on the acceptance of our offer though. In the event the sellers cannot arrange the details for their next piece of property by July 7th, our offer on their house will become null. Void. Of none effect. And we will be homeless. Because on -- well, read on to a further date.

July 28th, time unspecified as of yet. Closing on our house. Do not send mail to my address here in Seward after this date. (Unless of course you desire to welcome the new occupants to this house into their new home after we move out.) Hopefully, as long as everything goes well July 7th, everything should go well July 26th which means we will not be homeless by July 28th.

July 29th, specific time will be forth coming. A wedding will occur between a friend of Toby's family and her fiancé. We don't plan to go but since we have no plans previously written on this blessed day of blessed matrimony, for fear we may be sitting at home bored with nothing to do, we just may have to zip 6 hours north to South Dakota to witness the blessed event of our friend and her fiancé.

*(Let us all observe a moment of silence for the appreciation of hot keys that provided the apostrophe over the "e" in fiancé. What would we do without a proper apostrophe for fiancé? To find those hot keys, I almost lost this entire post as a handsome computer geek mastered the art of hot keying my blog. The trick? Alt 0233 but you have to hold Alt down while fingering the numbers in and then let up Alt to see the result. Or, if you want the ` over the "e" the other way, you hold Alt and punch in 0232, let up Alt and voila, è. Amazing.)

Okay, so back to my itinerary... July consists of a host of topics for me. WHI (refer to July 14th) will be the onset of the sure slide towards a snowball of busyness, then guests arriving, then moving, then a wedding and then finally, August.

I'm sure amidst all this stuff going on, my darling children will pull some pretty good projects off during the month. They never cease to amaze me at the ceaseless way they never cease to amaze me. (If you caught that, good. If not, either I'm ready for bed or you are.)

Last month consisted of a tragic paint spilling all over the living room floor an hour before a house showing thanks to the helpful mind of a blue eyed little miss. (picture of the catastorophe here.)

Another episode included Creative Substance Graffiti sponsored by Landon an hour before another house showing.

We were surprised one day by unusual writing patterns on the kitchen door and no suspects at hand.

And then there's always just the usual everyday stuff like eating plant dirt, streaking windows with cute hand prints, putting an entire bottle of Dramamine pills into a mouth but thankfully not swallowing even one of them, leaving the house without telling Mom, and washing the toilet bowl.

One things for sure, my kids keep their guardian angels busy and their mom on her knees!

In case my blog is inactive for awhile, you can re-read my itinerary and find out what I'm doing that day or did the day before or will be doing the next day.

Another thing to keep in mind, after July 25th, I will not have my computer anymore because my father-in-law will be using it at their "house" while they're in the states. I'll still have Toby's computer but if I don't update too often, it's because Toby's on his computer and not me. I should get my computer back some time in Sept./Oct. In all honesty though, I'd rather have my inlaws around than this computer. :)

Stay tuned for more updates in case I get a chance to update.

*Edit.. the apostrophe over the word that describes a man engaged didn't translate to Blogspot very well. My apologies. If only Blogspot cooperated as well as Word...

Monday, July 03, 2006

Who Is My Family

In a booming and exploding neighborhood on this eve of July Fourth, I'm confronted with an even louder spiel of noise: chatter and laughter of families gathering late at night to set off fireworks and spend the dark night lighting up the skies while visiting.

Amidst the banging, booming and explosions, smoke filters through yards and down streets while one after another firework is set off in another explosion of noise, awes and wows.

The fireworks tonight are quite popular considering this is a July Fourth city. The banging and popping is spread from north to south in our city and hardly a street is spared from this obnoxious and explosive celebration.

I always wonder why we celebrate with exploding rockets the freedom we have from the Revolutionary war when it was the exploding rockets that made the war. It's like fighting fire with fire, in my opinion.

Nonetheless, July fourth has always been my favorite holiday and I love the sparks, noise, smells and people that gather to celebrate. The bigger, louder and more shocking a firework, the better. And the more people there to see it go off, now that's the best.

But even louder to me than exploding rockets and pretend grenades, is the laughter and chatter spilling down the streets and across yards. Families gathered from all over to celebrate the holiday and just be together. The noise of conversation is louder to me than the most impressive firework our neighbors set off tonight.

Children scampering about, dancing around the dying embers of the ruined fireworks. Dogs barking. Responsible fathers carefully lighting rockets while sons dare to get closer to the flying sparks. Mothers chatting and laughing around a circle of camp chairs and babies squealing and crying.

Families together. That's what family is: together. When you're sad, family is there. That's why at funerals they reserve the front half of the church for family. When you're happy, family is there. That's why entire sections of chairs at weddings are strictly for family. When something big happens in your life, family is what surrounds you.

It's not your friends. It's not your job. It's not your doctor. It's your family.

And when your family isn't there, you feel a void. Each firework you watch go off just isn't the same if it's only you to watch it. The bang isn't as loud. The sparks aren't as bright. And the mess to clean up the next morning is a lot bigger.

On nights like tonight when everyone and their brother are together, I think of Jesus.

While he (Jesus) yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him,
"Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without desiring to speak with thee."
But he answered and said unto him that told him,
"Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?"
And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said,
"Behold my mother and my brethren! For whoseoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
Matthew 12:46-50
I'm reminded again that nothing on earth is where we find our joy, our fulfillment, our happiness. Lasting peace doesn't come from people or things. Even family will fail us. But when each one lives for God and not for himself, we will find true blessing in fellowship.
I've been challenged lately to remind myself that the only reason I reach out and bless others is because I'm doing it for the Saviour. I don't do it for myself and I don't even do it for them. I do it for God. That takes out all striving, all "me" and all fear of disappointment. Because to do something without being influenced by having respect of persons, makes me shine as the person God made me.
As the bangs and pops die down outside, I think of the families heading indoors. Little ones to clean up and tuck in. Food to put away. Itineraries and schedules needing to be made for tomorrow. Goodnights will be spoken instead of goodbyes since times of parting between family members is so brief considering the celebration will only continue tomorrow.
I'm a smidgen jealous, that I'll admit. But how glad I am to know that when I do the will of God, Jesus calls me His family.

Getting Married And Settling Down

About the time you think that life is settling down, it suddenly lurches in a direction you've never gone before and you wonder why you ever assumed that some day you'd get married and settle down.

Well, I've gotten married but the settling down part just isn't happening.

But then I think of all the chaos around me in other's lives... the tragedies, the deaths, the broken relationships, the goodbyes, the worries, the health issues, the shattered dreams and I realize again that it's not what I'm doing in my life but Who's doing it. That's what replaces the longing I have for that-settled-down-life with an unchanging and ever abiding peace no matter what turns my life may take.

Seeing how hard some people do have it, I'm prompted to count my blessings.

My number one thanks of course is the assurance I have of heaven. To know I am loved by the Everlasting God leaves me eternally awed.

My number one "earthly" thanks is the sweet blessing of having such a wonderful husband. No matter what may happen in my day, I know that at the end when all my work is done, the day is gone and the night is late, I can go to a nice clean bed at night with the man that loves me and who works hard all day to provide for his family. Not only do I have him as a companion but in the presence of my beloved, I can sleep and rest. I think of that verse in Psalms, "He giveth His beloved sleep." How thankful I am that I can share that sleep from the Lord with my own beloved one.

Another number one thanks I have is for my children. The sweet reflection of innocency and admiration in their eyes when I greet them every morning is a blessing I could never describe. The joy of being a mom and of watching my young ones grow, gives me such pleasure. Their health, happiness and hilarious outlook on life, keeps me so full of joy and thanksgiving. Children truly are a blessing.

(It's hard to number my blessings so I think I'll just continue to number them all as number one.)

Besides the joy of being heaven bound, enjoying life as a wife, and living with the sweet little heritages I have from the Lord, I continue to be blessed by my family and friends. The blessing of having loved one around me encouraging, helping and praying for me, gives me such strength. How often I remember that a life without friends or loving people around me, would make a very sad and lonely time on earth. I continually am thankful for the people in my life.

So, having counted my blessings I am once again reminded that even though I'm moving from a 2000 sq. foot home and lots of storage to a 1344 sq. foot home and no storage, I will still have the same strong man to rest with every night. Even though my children will be packed in their rooms like sardines in a tin can, I will still be greeted by their sweet and admirable eyes every morning when I squeeze in to extract them from their beds. And though my life my take a pretty exciting turn right now with packing and moving, I know I can still have friends and family thinking about me.

No matter what turn my life may take, as long as I'm in the center of God's will, I know the Everlasting Hands will not let go of their hold.

And who ever said settling down was the fun part of "getting married and settling down" anyway?

Toby and I at the Bed and Breakfast birthday surprise he planned for me over the weekend. It was so fun and he made it so special -- including a dozen red roses waiting in our room.