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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Something to make you smile!

We have had a crazy day.

The antibiotics prescribed for my daughter's Lyme Disease caused a terrible allergic reaction, leaving her with large red welts covering her arms, legs and stomach. We have been given orders to keep her cool, still, and distracted so that she doesn't scratch too much. Not an easy request of an itchy 5 year old. In an effort to entertain her, I was scouring the web and found this funny video. Thought you would all get a kick out of it!

And we thought public transportation couldn't be fun!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Childhood Treasures

Today we were in the grocery store when my daughter suddenly noticed that "Baby-child" was missing.  Her younger brother immediately began to wail, and we spend the next 10 minutes going back through all of the aisles looking for his precious toy.  During this time, my oldest was sadly whimpering "We lost the baby, we lost it, what are we going to do?"  This only added to the torrent of tears from her brother.  I'm sure that several people we passed truly believed that I had misplaced an infant.

I'm happy to report that "Baby-child" the tiny plastic horse with two missing hooves was found - in our own cart, underneath the nectarines.  To my little boy, the joy of this discovery was better than an offer of ice cream.  "Baby-child" is is not just any plastic horse, it is one of his personal treasures.

This crazy event got me to thinking about how unpredictable and amusing kids' preferences can be.  Here is a list of our favorite things:
  • Bare feet
  • Daddy's garage
  • Flowers - not from a florist, the ones found on our dirt pile are the best
  • Music and all of the jumping and spinning it causes
  • Bugs
  • Water (as long as we avoid the word bath)
  • Miniature anything
  • Crafts - the messier the better
  • Banging
And last but not least:
  • "Baby-child" the two legged horse


We had a great time during our trip to Nashville.  Check out these photos:

It looks as if they were all taken outdoors, right?  Guess again!  Every single one was taken inside our hotel.  

We stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Resort during our visit in Tennessee. It is a seven story, nine acre (yes, NINE ACRE) hotel that is basically it's own biosphere. Inside are meticulously maintained gardens, cascading waterfalls, and an indoor river with fish, ducks, etc.  Not to mention an entire shopping district, at least a dozen restaurants, a spa, arcade, nightclub, and radio station.  All under enormous glass ceilings.  Nashville was experiencing a heat wave during our visit, but we were wearing jackets because the building was so cool - I don't even want to know what their air conditioning bill is every month!  

So if you ever want to go to Nashville, but for some reason don't want to leave your hotel and really see Tennessee, this is the place for you!  

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Safe Me"

Have you ever thought about the things that make you feel safe?  

Last night we had a HUGE thunderstorm - the kind that blows the rain right in, soaking the floor and spraying everything with water.  The lightning bolts were amazing, and the rapid thunder booms shook the house.  

My 3 year old was woken up, not by the storm, but by his parents frantically running through the house slamming windows and turning on the lights to find all the supplies needed to sop up the water that had blown in.  After all the exciting activity he, understandably, had a difficult time falling back asleep.

After lying in bed with him for a while, I tried to pull my arm away (it had fallen asleep).  He quickly  pulled it back requesting "safe me."  He wasn't asking that I do anything to stop the storm - he just wanted to feel protected from it.

I realized while comforting him, that I needed the exact same thing.  

Our week has been a whirlwind of activity.  At the doctor's office alone we dealt with permanent marker to the eye, walking Pneumonia, a paralyzed face (Bell's Palsy), and we are waiting for Lyme disease test results.   Add to that the fun activities brought by two different groups of visitors that we haven't seen in years, and packing for our upcoming trip to Nashville. 

In the franticness of daily activity, I need to feel as if everything will be okay, regardless of my circumstances.

What makes me feel safe?  
  • Knowing that my children are happy
  • Spending time with close friends and family
  • Having an organized home
  • Accomplishing the goals I set for myself

 . . . but most of all, I need for God to "safe me."  When my day is busy, and I feel as if I am constantly playing catch-up, then it is most important for me to spend time in prayer and Bible study, but, unfortunately, those are the days when I am least likely to follow through.  

So - How to feel safe in the middle of life's daily storms.  Here is my plan.  This process serves two purposes: it gives me a decent amount of quiet time to think through my priorities, plan our meals and activities, but more importantly, it gives me a chance to place my plans before God - who often throws them all to the wind because His plans are better.

     1 - Wake up before my family every weekday.  This has been my goal for a while, but my implementation has been inconsistent.

     2 - Turn on the coffee-pot (my morning energy).  Skipping this step is not pretty!

     3 - Hop in the shower

     4 - Sit down with my coffee, calendar, to-do list and Bible.  My minimum goal is to spend 15 min. in scripture and 15 min. praying through my day's plans.

     5 - Take on the day!

CS Lewis (one of my father's favorite authors) put it this way "It comes the very moment you wake up each morning.  All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals.  And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

MacGyver Cabinet

Do you remember the 80's TV show MacGyver? Basically, it is about the adventures of a very resourceful secret agent who can save the world with a simple paperclip or rolled up newspaper. If you've got 30 min to waste, click here for a flash-back.

Well, every once in a while, I believe that I am married to MacGyver.

For our anniversary a few years ago, I received a small flat-screen television. During renovations it was stored away, but last night my sweetheart finally finished the project he has been working on, and plugged the TV back in. This is not just the normal, hang the TV on the wall kind of thing.

He created a hidden slide-out compartment in the back of one of our upper kitchen cabinets. Inside is the TV, the tuner for our overhead speakers, and space to store the remote. "But," as they say in the commercials "Wait . . . There's More . . ." the interior of the cabinet swivels so that it can be seen from the kitchen or dining room.

Okay, so here is where the MacGyver part comes in. The electrical cords would get all tangled if we were simply pulling and twisting them randomly. So, how did he fix this problem?

An Exhaust Pipe!!! Yup, there are two pieces of the old exhaust pipe from his truck cut to create the swivel mechanism, and the upper one controls the cords.

Recycling at it's best!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Lord's Prayer

Ready for an Awww... moment?  Click on the title above to hear my little boy's 3 year old version of the Lord's Prayer.  (I think you will then need to click on today's date to have it play - let me know if you have any trouble)

White dress update - we are now on day 13!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dragonfly lifecycle

We had a great experience at camp this weekend.  The kids went down to the dock and discovered a dragonfly emerging from it's nymph stage.  

Over the next 3 hours we watched it slowly change.  Look closely at the wings and thorax as they grow - you can click on the pictures for an even more amazing view. 

Grandma (Nina) was the center of attention as she explained to the what was happening:

The immature dragonflies (nymphs) are completely aquatic.  Most of a dragonfly's life (approximately 70%) is spend in this underwater form, using gills to breathe beneath the water's surface.  It molts, shedding it's skin, several times.  

Just before the last molting, the nymph emerges from the water and  grips onto a solid surface using the pointy claws on it's feet.  Now that the nymph is exposed to air, it begins to breathe.  As the nymph changes, the skin splits at a weak spot behind the head, and the adult dragonfly slowly sheds it's skin for the last time revealing fully formed adult wings.  

After emerging, the dragonfly actively pumps fluids into it's wings, and they change rapidly from small and curled, to shiny and strong.   

It's amazing that God could create something in one day so aerodynamic that it can hover in mid-air, out of a creature that wasn't even able to breath air the day before.