Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lost Little Boy

Yesterday I was over visiting Izzy N' Emmy's mommy and read of her very own "Amber Alert" experience. It brought to my mind my own frightening experience back in the day - when the kids were little.

Every year on the last day of school our town has the Pet and Doll Parade. The kids dress up in costumes and/or dress up their pets. I don't know what it's like these days, but back then, the parade began at one end of 4th Street at the oldest school building in the city - the original high school which is now a middle school. They paraded about 8-10 blocks to a nice park, where they were then served ice cream on a stick.

I think this was the second time we had done the parade. My in-laws and I dropped the kids off, then headed to a spot toward the end of the route to watch them go by, then rush to the park to join them. Never having been much good with costumes, they just came up with whatever and had a great time. We didn't dress up Fritzie, the dachschund - I think we did that the year before.

Kristen is in the green dress (mine), sunglasses, and large yellow hat. (Editorial note - I just clicked and enlarged these pictures and discovered that sometime in the last 30 years, somebody circled themselves!)

Kev is beside her with the baseball uniform. I can't for the life of me remember where we got that.

When we got to the park, I saw Kristen standing there with her ice cream. I asked her where Kev was. She was 5, if I recall. She looked up at me with those big innocent blue eyes and said, "I don't know. I just turned around to say, 'Isn't this good ice cream?' and he wasn't there!"

Yikes - there were 900 kids in the park. No sign of Kevin anywhere. Talk about instant panic. It hadn't been long before this that Adam had been taken from that Sears store - the little boy whose father then began America's Most Wanted, and whose murderer has just been identified all these years later. My first thought was that he looked so cotton-pickin' cute that day, somebody could just grab him and take him home to be theirs.

The next thought was that we had walked over to the parade from our former house, which my in-laws had bought when they moved out here. To get to the park, we had to walk over a little stream. We ran over there, relieved to find that it was well protected from a child falling off the little bridge.

An older couple from our church lived across the street from the park. We went there to ask to use their phone (LONG before cell phones) and called the police. As I was sticking my head in the police car giving them the vital statistics of my adorable little blonde boy, a call came in from the parade coordinator - Harvey Ruegsegger. He had just received a call from someone in the school office. Kevin was sitting on the counter in the office, having a Mountain Dew with the cheerleaders, who had helped with the parade. It seems that he had decided to head back to where he had last seen me - 3 years old, walking by himself, crossing the busy street, and heading back to the school, 10 blocks away, with his little bat slung over his shoulder.

I cannot describe the relief. I can't even remember if I went down there or if they brought him back to the park. The band director had spotted him, picked him up, and took him to the school office. I actually ran into him at the 4th of July celebration recently and thanked him again.

There were some ramifications that lasted for awhile - Kev became very clingy and shy. He didn't want his picture taken. He didn't want to be the center of attention. He didn't want to go to the county fair parade later that summer - the idea of a parade was too daunting - he thought he had to be in it, I guess.

I had been thinking of taking a little part-time job in a school cafeteria to make a little money and try to ease him into being away from me for just a couple hours a day. When Kev found out about that possibility, he said, "Mommy, can't you just stay home and be my mommy?" Nuff said.

The next year he did go to preschool two mornings a week, which eased him into "Show and Tell" and class pictures and prepared him for kindergarten the next year.

He got lost again as he got older, lost in a way only God could find him. Thank God, He did.

Totally and completely changing the subject - please remember to pray for Kristen at Smoke Free Mama as she begins her nicotine-free life! Thank you!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Potpourri and a Prayer Request

Anybody who has read me for long knows that music is a huge part of my life. I love the old hymns, gospel songs, southern gospel quartet music, some of the contemporary choruses (if they make musical sense). What I love most is that so often just the right song is on the schedule for Sunday services, or the choir song is just what I need.

Yesterday morning I was praying and telling the Lord that I needed him more than ever before. Suddenly it hit me that these were the exact words we were going to be singing in choir just a bit later. It was a medley of "I Need Your More" and "I Need Thee Every Hour." My hubby has a lovely voice and he had the solo part in this song.

I need You more,
More than yesterday;
I need You more,
More than words can say.
I need You more
Than ever before,
I need You, Lord,
I need You, Lord.

More than the air I breathe,
More than the song I sing;
More than the next heartbeat,
More than anything.
And, Lord, as time goes by
I'll be by Your side,
'Cause I never want to go back to my old life.

I need You more,
More than yesterday;
I need You more,
More than words can say,
I need You more
Than ever before,
I need You, Lord,
I need You, Lord.

I need Thee every hour,
Most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine
Can peace afford.
I need Thee,
O I need Thee!
Every hour I need Thee!
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee!

Everything else we sang just fit in and soothed and/or challenged my soul. I am so thankful for music and for those who have the gift and inspiration to write and compose.

As a bit of an update, the babies had a fussy week-end, but we're convinced that it is the teething process now more than the flu. They are each cutting really big molars in their really tiny mouths - more than one each. I can only imagine how much it hurts. Thanks for your prayers.

I am doing a study with Chuck Swindoll that I found in my stash of devotional books recently - it's called Living on the Ragged Edge, and it is an intense look at Ecclesiastes, the journal written by Solomon. We all think of Solomon as the wise king who prevented the baby from being sawed in two and gave him to the real mother. But Solomon really struggled with life, and let it all out Ecclesiastes. Chuck Swindoll says this in the first paragraphs of the second chapter of his book:

"God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (I Samuel 16:7b). . . . We frequently act out a role, seeking to falsely impress others rather than truly reveal ourselves. In doing this, we may appear to be stable and successful when we are actually troubled and frustrated. Some of us peel off our masks and admit our struggles from time to time, but few of us remove them permanently and make vulnerability a hallmark of our lives. Solomon chose to take this step when he made his journey available for all to read. The result is a book that reveals the hopelessness of finding genuine happiness apart from God."

We all enjoy this blogging adventure or we wouldn't spend so much time composing posts, visiting our friends, commenting, even e-mailing and phone calling people who we may or may not ever meet in real life. So many of you inspire me with your writing, and with your devotion to God, and with your prayers for all of the requests.

When I told God that I needed Him more, I was very serious. I want so much to be transparent to Him. Sometimes we don't let everything "hang out" in this venue, but we do catch a lot of each other's hearts and souls. I don't want to be one who gives the impression that I have it all figured out - because I certainly don't. Having been a Christian most of my life, and wanting to do His will at all times, I still have such a long ways to go. Many of you are truly helping me in this journey.

Kristen and I, as you know, had to go private on our blogs a few months ago. It was hard for me to do that, because I love doing the kinds of posts that bring new people over, such as Show and Tell Friday, for one. But I so appreciate those of you who have stuck with me and make the extra effort to log in and read and comment.

Now for the PRAYER REQUEST part of the package today:

Kristen has created a new public blog today, in hopes of generating some prayer partnership for her new journey - she was inspired by Barb's honesty and transparency of the last two weeks with her STOP SMOKING challenge. I have been so concerned for Kristen's health because of this destructive addiction that she developed somewhere in her life's journey. But she is finally at the point of knowing she has to quit. Nothing anybody else says or does to convince someone they need to quit does much good. But seeing someone else, someone who has smoked longer than she herself has been alive, succeed and bare her soul has been an inspiration to Kristen.

Please go over to her new site, Smoke Free Mama and join her in the journey. We know we can count on your prayers!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Update on the Last Dreary Post

Thank you all for your kind comments on my last post - it has been a dreadful week, but we got through it. Now to get the houses back to normal!

Yesterday, both babes were still really puny - even the doctor used that term. They had follow-up appointments from the trip to the ER with their own doctor. They just weren't themselves, but I went ahead and took the big girls (no school yesterday, so I had both) to our Friday library trip, then to Wendy's for a quick lunch before I headed back to the church to play the organ for a funeral. I had dressed for the funeral before leaving home so I didn't have to make another trip home. Kristen joined us there for a quick bite, and to take the kids home so I didn't have to make the trip to her house. Thank goodness I was standing up holding Katie when she lost her last bottle - again. Unfortunately, Kristen was holding Emma on her lap when she followed her sister - they do everything together! The poor young guy who had to clean up! The poor older couple who was sitting in the corner booth, hemmed in by all the mayhem!

They got to their doctor's appointments, and he advised just an ounce of formula at a time - to give some nutrition, but to mostly keep them hydrated with small amounts of water and/or Gatorade. Poor little things.

They went to bed early, thankfully. This morning EARLY, Kristen called to report that she awoke to the sound of little tiny voices conversing across the room from their cribs. What a joyous sound. It's as if they turned a corner overnight. Thank you, Jesus!

She laid them on the family room floor to get their one-ounce bottles - Katie couldn't wait for hers and tried to manhandle Emma's from her mouth. Kristen turned around as she was fixing Kate's bottle to see that Emma had climbed up the stairs and was crawling around the living room - the first time she's had the energy or desire to do this for several days. What a relief to see them somewhat back to their feisty little selves.

We'll still be taking it really easy with them - you know how we tend to overdo it when we start to feel a bit better??

Thanks for your prayers and concern - keep the babes there on your list for a bit longer, please! And enjoy the last round of pictures from the shoot -- the dress was one of the props the photographer has on hand - we had to take them separately, since there was only one dress!

Katie hates anything on her head - at least we can tell them apart!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Week in the Life of Grandma Dawn

When I retired, last June, I had lists of things I was planning to get done. Some of them have happened, many have not. But a week ago, I decided to delve into DC's list - a horrible task he has referred to time and again - I keep telling him I do not want to do this job - but more than anything, I don't want him to do it by himself. I have a great fear of what he will consider worthy of the garbage pile or recycle bin. I speak of the dungeon - the BASEMENT.

At least we have a basement - the graveyard of all things unused, but not necessarily forgotten or useless. And of course, the holding place of many things that are used occasionally enough that they reside out of sight. Unless you have to go down and look for something - there, as they say, is the rub!

So - a week ago I shocked my sweet hubby and began tackling the mess. I made a good start, but haven't been able to get back down there. But a good beginning is better than nothing, right?? Nobody will ever mistake me for Barbtha when it comes to cleaning. I will never have a spotless house all at one time. But I have done a lot of decluttering since I retired. I took before pictures, but was too ashamed to share them! Tackling the basement is huge for me. I'll keep you posted!

As far as I can remember, the week-end was okay - if my memory doesn't fail me, which it often does these days. If I thought hard and long, I could come up with the memories - but it's not worth the effort! Starting Monday, things began to get a bit dicey.

Monday morning when Kristen checked her on-line courses, she discovered that she had 4 assignments due in the next two days. I agreed to keep the kids most of the day in order to save my Tuesday off. Things were going well until about noon when little Katie-Bug ejected her most recent bottle - all over me. This began a series of such ejections the rest of the day - I decided to save her mom from this news until absolutely necessary.

Coincidentally, at almost the same moment in time, the same thing was happening across town with their Mommy. The rest of the day slid downhill from there. She was so sick that I went to the store for some emergency meds - when I delivered them to her house, she could not lift her head from the pillow. I had to leave her there in that condition because I had her 4 little girls at my house for the night - I had to pick up jammies and clean clothes and get back home to Grandpa and the chaos - AFTER I went to the grocery store for my weekly shopping which I had put off all Saturday. Bad move on my part, being so lazy on Saturday (now I remember what I did on Saturday - NOTHING!) I had noticed a slight headache all afternoon, but by the time I was finishing my shopping and it was around 8:00 p.m., I discovered that I was leaning on the cart to support my aching and tired body.

When I got home, I realized I didn't feel well at all. I took a shower, wishing to rid myself of the nasty flu germs that had been surrounding me all afternoon. My head finally hit my pillow around 11:00 - only to be joined in my bed by the two big girls
- Grandpa knows this is going to happen, so he's in the guest room sleeping blissfully!

They no sooner were snoring beside me (well, actually almost pushing me off the bed), when I hear the babes - I had put them down at 6:00 with just water, not wanting a repeat performance of the afternoon. They were starving, so I gave in and fixed them bottles, stumbling back up the stairs to bed, totally exhausted and feeling worse by the minute.

It wasn't long after going back to bed for the third time that it hit me - full force. I'll not go into gory details, but suffice it to say that I ended up sleeping on the big girls' make-shift couch cushion bed on the floor of the family room in close proximity to the other very important room. My dear DC realized that he would not be going to work Tuesday, but would be doing my job.

I have to say I've not been this sick in years. I didn't realize how many words it would take to fill DC in on the particulars of getting the big girls to school - where their clothes were, what Care Bear needed to take with her, the code to Feisty's school front door, the code to check Feisty in at her pre-school's attendance computer, the extra piece of paper he had to sign (which seems like overkill to me, but seems to be a state law and a school rule combined), the procedure when he got her there, and on and on and on. I had no energy to talk and was relieved when things settled down.

Bless his heart, taking care of the twins was a bit overwhelming. But he did it all so patiently. I appreciated it so much, in the midst of my abject misery. When it came time for Care Bear to go home from school, he reversed the processes and took them all home - and he was tired! Not only that, but the bug had caught him by early evening. He then missed another day of work.

We're all better now - at least the adults. Kristen was sorely behind on her work, but even her most seemingly heartless prof proved he is actually human and gave her extra time to get the assignment in.

The big girls seem to have escaped, but the little ones ended up at the ER today to be rehydrated from their continued bouts with diarrhea and vomiting. It has been quite a week! Needless to say, both of my "days off" this week were forgotten as I spent Tuesday unable to move and today at the hospital. My "word of the year" is getting another good work-out - flexibility!

Before all of this hit us on Monday, though, Feisty and I had been having such a great day. Being the middle child with a very outgoing, Type A older sister, and the younger sister being two of them, she sometimes gets squeezed, if you know what I mean. But when it's just the two of us and the babies are napping, she can be delightful company.

I wish I could remember the exact conversation, but the best part was the end when she created a great new word - "hurtyish." It's a great descriptive word, don't you agree?

I was loading the dishwasher and she decided she needed to wash a few of the plates before they went in - she did a great job and when they were finished, she said, "There, clean as a lizard!"

I get amused and somewhat amazed when I realize all of the things these kids will always take for granted, because they've always lived with them. For instance, if we're reading a story and she needs to do something in the middle of the book, she'll say, "Pause it a minute!" Just cracks me up.

Well, this may go down in history as one of my longest, and maybe most laborious, posts ever. But I had to put it all down to believe it. I close with something to cheer us all up -- another entry from the photo shoot.

Have a great week-end!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Interview with Linds

Linds sent me these questions a few days ago - she gave me some goodies! Here goes.

  1. What do you love most about living in Colorado and why?

    My parents moved to Colorado while I was in college. I'll never forget the first trip my sister, brother, and I took to our parents' new home - spring break my junior year. We loaded our common car with kids from Colorado, who helped pay the gas. That was my first time in Colorado. Three years later, after graduation and teaching in southeast Kansas, I moved here. I've been here ever since - 37 years and counting.

    What do I love most? That's a hard one to narrow down. I love the mountains - not so much hiking in them, but watching them from a distance, the changing colors at different times of the day, the snow on the peaks shimmering in the sunshine, the smell of the evergreens drifting down here on the summer breezes, driving through them, photographing them. I love the fact that it can snow one day and it's gone the next. (Of course, there is the occasional blizzard, which isn't so much fun). But what I really like about living here is the dry air. It does get hot in the summertime, but most nights, it cools off so that you actually pull a cover over yourself during the night. I don't do well in humidity, so this is the place for me. I love the four seasons - sometimes spring is gone in a flash, but autumn usually goes on and on. It all boils down to the air - I love the air in Colorado. And the blue, blue sky.

  2. If you could have chosen a different career, what would it have been and why?

    When I was a little girl, I played three main things - teacher, secretary, and mommy. I grew up to be all three. Turned out I didn't like teaching all that much after all. The mommy gig was great, but when we needed another income, I was fortunate to have three great, different, interesting jobs as secretary, or as it's called now, administrative assistant. I can't say I ever longed for a different career. I loved staying at home with the kids and I was blessed to enjoy the jobs I ended up doing. So it's good.

  3. What is your favourite hobby and where did you learn to do it?

    My favorite thing to do, which I guess you'd call a hobby, is reading. It always has been - as I've mentioned in the past, I read while I'm walking, on the elliptical, on the treadmill, on the exercise bike, at the doctor's office, at stop lights, in line anywhere - give me a book and I'm a happy person.

    Other than reading, I have loved sewing, knitting, crocheting, crewel embroidering, and cross-stitching. Before I had to go private with my blog, I did a 6-week series on "Friday Show and Tell" which I called, "I Used To . . . " Because, you see, I don't do any of those things any more. I used to love to create my wardrobe and Kristen's. It was my delight to find a pattern and make it my own - putting fabrics together, choosing trims and buttons - it was such a great creative outlet. I learned sewing basics in 7th through 9th grade home ec. Those were the days when we had an entire semester of sewing and a semester of cooking through all of junior high. I learned so much, and loved it. I was also fast, so got to do extra projects and/or help those who were slower. I'll never forget the thrill of putting in my first set-in sleeve, my first zipper, my first belt. I didn't sew too much until after college, when my roommate taught me so much - she was a very accomplished seamstress and she was a great teacher and role model.

  4. What is your favourite school memory?

    I loved school, so narrowing this down is difficult as well. I loved learning to read, writing, belonging to clubs, choir, newspaper staff. I didn't like anything related to science. I loved most of my teachers. We moved several times, so I experienced school in the north, south, and midwest. I went to small schools and big schools. I think I'd have to say my best school memory is my time spent as co-editor of the Ram Tales - the newspaper in our small high school. I've blogged about this before, but some of it bears repeating. Our journalism teacher was also my favorite English teacher - she was such an inspiration. She challenged us every day. She was instrumental in facilitating so many interviewing experiences. She prepared me for college and was the one that I kept in touch with and went back to visit until her death just about two years ago.

  5. And, because I loved answering this one in my interview, how would you describe yourself as a flower, a car, or a food?

    I would like to think of myself as a daffodil - such a cheerful, encouraging flower - coming up through snow and ice - full of determination and optimism.

    Food - well, make me something chocolate or a fresh-out-of-the-oven caramel roll. Comfort food. I like to comfort people!

    Car - I think I resemble my minivan - utilitarian, not fancy, able to carry lots of "stuff" and keep on rolling.

    Thanks, Linds, that was fun!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day from LOVEland!

This is a bit of a re-wind from last year, with appropriate changes.

Way back in 1946 an idea came to Postmaster Elmer Ivers, Chamber of Commerce President Ted W. Thompson, and his wife Mabel. They had a vision - a vision to share the romantic name of our town of Loveland with the whole world.

So it came to pass, in the February of 1947 the Loveland Valentine Remailing Program was born. Since 1947, literally millions of valentines have touched the heart strings of loved ones with Cupid's message hand stamped and remailed from Loveland, Colorado.

Since 1962 a high school senior girl has been chosen to represent the program and the city as "Miss Loveland Valentine". Personal appearances representing the City of Loveland take this ambassador around the state of Colorado. An appearance at the Colorado State Legislature and a personal visit with the Governor are just two of the highlights in her busy schedule.

In 1964, a specially designed Valentine card was produced to offset some of the expenses of this costly program, and the Official Loveland Valentine's Cards continue to touch the hearts of people around throughout the world. Loveland Valentines can be purchased through the Chamber of Commerce , from their Official Loveland Valentine web site, or through any of the participating Chamber merchants. Every year there is a contest for the card's design. Here is this year's winner, front cover and inside message:

The painting depicts US Highway 34, which meanders past Lake Loveland and leads you to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The heart-shaped messages on the light posts can be purchased by anyone who wants to leave a very public "heartfelt" message to someone they love. It's fun and a bit corny, but is the "heart" and soul of our town. It does represent somewhat of a hazard as you drive and try to read the messages!

Loveland's "Valentine Sweethearts", Ted and Mabel Thompson have now passed away. The Loveland community feels their absence. To commemorate their vision and love of Loveland, their memory lives on through the annual Valentine Re-Mailing program. A bronze relief of the Thompsons is featured in Thompson Park on 4th Street in Loveland. (portions copied from the Loveland Daily Report Herald).

An average of 200,000 letters are stamped each year. I read that Oprah even sent her cards here one year for the Valentine cachet. People from 110 countries send their cards here for remailing. This is what the 65 volunteers stamped on the 200,000 letters this year. The valentine program is so popular that there is a volunteer waiting list of 45 people. Here is this year's cachet that was stamped on envelopes by those many volunteers:

Finally, my own personal Valentine to you:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday

I will be posting the answers to my interview questions from dear friend Linds in the near future. But first I thought I'd give you a glimpse of my week.

It snowed a bit yesterday - big, beautiful flakes. This morning everything was a winter wonderland - and quite treacherous on the streets and parking lots. I loved the look of the sun coming up on this frosty, 20-degree morning:

The moon was gorgeous last night between the trees. I wish I could have captured that. But I went to the patio right after I shot the sunrise and caught the moon heading down to the mountains in the west. Can you spot it hiding among the trees in the first picture?

The big girls went with Grandpa DC over to visit Great Grandma on a recent Sunday afternoon. Great Aunt G is the caretaker for Great Grandma - and is a "great" great-auntie. She had given them a huge bag of jewelry that she had cleaned out of her stash. They were thrilled! And they had a great afternoon with her - she's so creative.

BTW, Grandpa DC had taken them to W*l-Mart and let them each pick out a new outfit -

So this morning I tried out a new breakfast food on the girlies - oatmeal/banana/pears, I think. Do you think they liked it??

They were much happier with their graham crackers with peanut butter.

As a surprise for Kristen for the twins' birthday, I took them to a photographer who loves working with twins. It was the hardest thing I've done in a long time to narrow down 100-plus poses to an affordable package.

The photographer has a web site where she posts some of her favorite pictures. Check it out here. See if you can find them - there are several shots of them.

Final note - from the mouths of babes! The girls went to celebrate my dad's birthday the other day. Care Bear asked, "Grandpa, who did you like - Obama or McCain?" Dad told her that he really liked McCain. Care Bear said, "I did too, but I hope Obama does well." Wow.

Monday, February 09, 2009

For Such a Time as This

Last night at church we had a wonderful time. We had a young man who came to fill us in on a new project our denomination has begun - called Extreme Peru. There are many aspects involved, but the bottom line is that there will be new church plants in 7 major cities in Peru in the next few years.

Our denomination has been in Peru for many years - the northwest part of Peru has been growing Christians for these many years. The rest of Peru has not been infiltrated with our missions very much. That is about to change.

I was the missions president in our local church for 30 years, just retiring this past May. I was also on the district missions council, so have been deeply involved in missions most of my adult life. I at one time felt a call to be a missionary myself, and that is a long story which I may relate someday.

While I was the missions president, Work and Witness projects began to come to life - laymen and pastors would get together on a project somewhere in the world. The local church raised funds for the building project, the team members paid their own way, took vacation time, and went somewhere to minister - coming back never to be the same again.

I always wanted our church to be able to participate, but we were small and the amount of money seemed overwhelming in those years. Finally the day came when several folks from our church went with a district team. This was a way of getting our feet wet. As a matter of fact, it was a trip to Kenya, working on the college campus where Kevin eventually ended up, and where he met Sema. Then there was a trip to Venezuela. The bug had bit our church in a bit way - we would never be able to go back.

As I sat in church last night, I began "connecting the dots," and was amazed to realize all that God had put together that I can now see. A new pastor came - his son graduated with his master's degree in Spanish after spending time in Costa Rica. Trying to decide God's will for his next move, he went to Peru as a short term volunteer.

Our church went to northern Peru to build a church - DC and Kev were part of that team. Pastor's son was there to be part of the team. It wasn't long before pastor's son fell in love with a wonderful Peruvian young woman. She became a part of our church family, mostly from a distance, when they were married. Before long, they became commissioned career missionaries, and have since been sent to Argentina.

While they were still in Peru, our church took another trip down there - this time to Arequipa, way down in the south, close to the mountaintop Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

DC went on this trip as well, and their project was the beginning of a district center building. The team members fell in love with this place and decided to go back two years later, this past summer, to continue work on the project. Nothing had been done in the interim.

The group came back from that trip determined that this building would be completed sooner rather than later, and that we were the ones who should do it, since we had so much invested already. They presented the vision and passion to our congregation, and our pledges for mission giving this year were double the norm - more than half to go to Arequipa. The money was to go down there to buy supplies and pay locals to do the work - they can do it much more economically.

Enter Extreme Peru. A dynamic young man was scheduled to speak at our church last night. We were anxious to hear what was happening. Little did we know that Arequipa was scheduled as one of the projects for this new aggressive, assertive project. When the young man came to speak to us, he spent time with our new missions president, who was also the person who had arranged the two previous trips to Arequipa. She was able to fill in the blanks with this wonderful young guy as to our piece of this amazing puzzle.

Rewind to last July - the sad time in our church when Dan died - he was the son of our current president. Dan had been to Arequipa on the first trip and was scheduled to go the next month - instead he went to heaven. The building, when it is completed, will be named in his honor and is scheduled to be dedicated in August. Quite a few of our folks are planning to be there.

At Dan's funeral, a young woman from our church was irrevocably changed. She shared with us last night in the service that the affect Dan's legacy had on her has led her to a purpose in her life. She will be one of the young folks heading to Peru with Extreme Peru.

Do you see what I see? The hand of God has been on this entire project. There were times as missions president that I wondered why we kept concentrating on Peru. Why couldn't we go somewhere else where there were big needs? I see it all clearly now - God had a definite plan, and His will is being accomplished - in such an amazing way. If you're interested in more specifics, check it out here.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Thursday Trivia

Wow, where has this week gone?? We had another spring-like day today - it is amazing how energizing it is to have sun and warmth in the middle of winter. I was sitting on my patio yesterday afternoon, believe it or not, reading my book. I heard the mournful sound of the coon hound next door, which is not my favorite thing to hear when I'm trying to relax in my yard. I looked over my shoulder, because he sounded closer than usual. Lo and behold, I discovered that two boards had fallen from the fence and that hound dog had his nose sticking through the gap. It made me a bit nervous, thinking of the fact that dogs can squeeze through mighty small spaces if they are of a mind to. So I decided to head back inside - a short reprieve on the patio. DC fixed the fence tonight - thanks, Hon!

Added to the wonderful weather today, I had the day to myself. My sweet daughter, Kristen, has restructured her life to give me Tuesday and Thursday free. Now anyone who reads my posts knows that those little girls are the light of my life. But if you read between the lines, you also know that I'm pretty tired a lot of the time - it takes a lot of energy to keep up with them. And I don't believe in staying home all the time - getting them in and out of the car is a cardio/strength training workout all its own. So - thanks, my dear, for a chance to feel really retired a couple days a week. We'll see how it works out - she'll be burning some midnight oil to make this happen.

My laptop has been acting very weird the last few weeks. I'll be typing along (and I type quite fast) when all of a sudden, the word I'm typing will jump up into a new line and land in the middle of another sentence. Often I'm not even watching my screen, but just typing away and watching t.v. or the kids. Sometimes a whole paragraph will be highlighted and disappear in a flash, before I even have a chance to stop typing. It's been incredibly frustrating and a terrific waste of time. So I took it to the computer doctor yesterday. Imagine my aggravation when the guy called me back to tell me that they had "typed the alphabet 10 times and nothing happened." I'm afraid I wasn't really sweet - I was rather insulted that they would think I dragged the three kids and my computer in just for the fun of it. I went back in there today (by myself!), set it up, prepared to just show them the problem. Of course - it's like when you take your car in and it acts perfectly fine - NOTHING HAPPENED!

Since I got it home, it has done it a couple of times, but I am making a concerted effort to keep my hands off the mouse pad. I cannot figure out why all of a sudden this has happened, considering I've had this computer for over a year and it never did it until the last few weeks. Well, I just have to learn to type with my hands in the proper position, rather than resting on the computer. Life is full of challenges!

In case you're interested in another update - this time about my ganglion cyst. Remember the disgusting "before" photo?

I finally went to see my doctor for his advice. He decided to aspirate it - a simple procedure that works some of the time - it comes back quite often. Not to gross anybody out, but when he had deadened the area and inserted the needle, suddenly the syringe began filling up with blood rather than the goopy stuff that was supposed to be there. I think he was pretty stunned and a bit shook up. He was afraid he had hit a vein, but couldn't figure out how that could have happened - unless there was a vein over the bump instead of underneath it.

He held it tightly to stop the flow, then bandaged it snugly, and told me to come back in a week. I debated not going back, but decided to keep the appointment. He asked me if I would allow him to give it another shot (no pun intended!). He ascertained that there was no pulse on the top of the bulge, assuring him that the vein was not in a weird place. He inserted the needle into a different area and succeeded in getting alot of the "junk" this time. He felt so much better - so did I.

It was still bigger than I hoped. But as time has gone by, it has actually shrunk to this:

I really, really hope it doesn't come back!

I have to share some pictures - just can't resist. Emma and Katie had piggie tails in their hair when I picked them up last Friday. So adorable! As is the norm, Emma doesn't mind hats or things in her hair. Katie gets rid of them as soon as possible. Emma is quite the ham when the camera is around. By the time we got home from the library, the hair was not quite as cute as it was in the morning, but she was standing by my chair, just begging to be photographed. Indulge me, please!

Katie just kept playing with her toys. Eventually, she came over for a close-up.

Thanks for letting me share - and have a wonderful week-end!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

No inspiration --

This woman of many words doesn't have much to say today.

We're having a heat wave - not really a tropical heat wave, but a Colorado winter weird heat wave. It's nice and sunny, going to the 60s today and higher tomorrow. The snow is gone.

Somebody sent me this in an e-mail the other day and I thought it would be fun to pass it on - but right now, You know you're from Colorado if - it turns into spring for a few days in the middle of winter!

You know you're from Colorado if . . .

. . . you'll eat ice cream in the winter.

. . . it snows 5 inches and you don't expect school to be canceled.

. . . you'll wear flip flops every day of the year, regardless of temperature.

. . . you have no accent at all, but can hear other people's. And then you make fun of them

. . . 'humid' is over 25%.

. . . you say 'the interstate' and everybody knows which one.

. . . you think that May is a totally normal month for a blizzard.

. . . you buy your flowers to set out on Mother's day, but try and hold off planting them until just before Father's day.

. . . you grew up planning your Halloween costumes around your coat.

. . . you know what the Continental Divide is.

. . . you went to Casa Bonita as a kid, and as an adult (that’s only because the out of towners want to go!)

. . . you've gone off-roading in a vehicle that was never intended for such activities.

. . . you always know the elevation of where you are.

. . . you wake up to a beautiful, 80 degree day and you wonder if it's going to snow tomorrow.

. . . you don't care that some company renamed it, the Broncos still play at Mile High Stadium.

. . . every movie theater has military and student discounts.

. . . everybody wears jeans to church.(Edit: Well, not everyone!)

. . . you actually know that "South Park" is a real place not just a show on TV.

. . . you know what a 'trust fund hippy' is, and you know its natural habitat is Boulder.

. . . you know you're talking to a fellow Coloradoan when they call it Elitches, not Six Flags.

. . . a bear on your front porch doesn't bother you (well, maybe not this one).

. . . your two favorite teams are the Broncos and whoever is beating the crap out of the Raiders.

. . . people out East tell you they have mountains in their state too, you just laugh.

. . . you go anywhere else on the planet and the air feels 'sticky' and you notice the sky is no longer blue.

There's a fun thing going around - go to your picture file, go to the 5th folder, share the 5th picture. Kristen is going to love this one:

Kristen hasn't had much time to post lately. She did put up a piece of art work last night you might enjoy seeing - Olivia, always before known as Feisty, asked her to put this picture on her blog. Head over there, if you have a minute - Olivia will love to hear from you!