Friday, June 27, 2008

Real Life Romance

I wrote last time that K and A have been enjoying pretending to be princesses. I failed to mention that another reason for this is the on-going romance here between LovelyDaughter and JD that is fascinating to the girls. If I knew how, I would show you the cute cards the girls made for LovelyDaughter.

One of them shows a bride and groom. The bride is carrying either a flashlight or a bouquet, and the groom has an enormous ring in his hand. Everything has arrows pointing with labels identifying each thing. Between the bride and groom is a large red something that is labeled "KISS."

After all, "true love's kiss is the most powerful thing in the world."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fake it till you make it

LovelyDaughter and I took K and A (my Brother's girls) out for a Girly Day today. Actually, it started yesterday. LovelyDaughter dressed them and herself up in fancy dresses and hair garlands, and they had a tea party. That was so much fun that I rented the movie "Enchanted" to watch in the evening.

So today we decided to continue the feminine princess theme by going shopping. We bought a new outfit for K, and a fancy dress-up dress with sparklies on it. Also, thrift store jewelry for both of them.

Tonight they are both wearing their "princess" dresses, with their hair braided on top of their heads (thanks to LovelyDaughter).

The interesting thing about it all is the impact playing princess has had on the girls' behavior, particularly K. She has taken great joy in feeling beautiful and saying "please" and "thank you" and wiping her mouth daintily at the table. I was very pleased by that, so I refrained from scolding her for putting her elbows on the table and eating her bread like a chipmunk. Instead I complimented her on her patience (she was the last one when the ice cream went around), and on her pretty necklace and hair. To which she responded gravely, "Why thank you."

There are some issues with K that we have to deal with, because of things that have happened to her, but small changes are encouraging, and if we can send her home from here feeling beautiful and worthwhile I think it will have been worth the effort and occasional frustration.

Besides, acting like a princess is a first step in becoming one.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Gold at the End of the Rainbow

LovelyDaughter and JD wanted some pictures taken of themselves, now that they're "official", so DrummerDude took his new camera and they went outside for a photoshoot. One of the pictures they ended up with was this:

(If you look close you can see the new "sparkly" on LovelyDaughter's hand)

LovelyDaughter says JD is her gold at the end of the rainbow.

On another note, my Brother is here with his two girls, who are nine and eleven, so I am cooking for ten people for the next two weeks. We are also all sharing ONE bathroom. Thank goodness we have an outhouse for emergencies!

So if you don't see me around much, it's because I'm probably cooking, or shopping for groceries. Or waiting my turn in the bathroom....

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Balanced Life?

So what does it mean when some people think you aren't busy enough, and others think you're TOO busy?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

TT#32: Thirteen Random Questions and Their Answers


Another Thursday is upon us, and I have another list. This time it's thirteen random questions out of a "getting to know you" thing that was going around some time ago.

1. What color are your socks right now? Ha! I'm not wearing socks! It's sandal weather!

2. What are you listening to right now? The sound of GuitarGeek typing, and the house fan running. Otherwise, it's very quiet here at this moment. Which is actually very unusual and strange.

3. What was the last thing you ate? A piece of Dove chocolate (dark, of course).

4. What is your favorite drink? Cold water from our well.

5. What is your favorite sport to watch? Ice dancing, or maybe gymnastics. Those are considered sports, aren't they? I'm not sure.

6. Have you ever dyed your hair? Nope. I have no plans to do so, even though I'm starting to turn gray, but who knows what I'll feel like in ten years?

7. Favorite food? Ummm. Fresh homemade bread? Chocolate? How about both-- at the same time. Sounds good... I'll be right back....

8. Last movie you watched? Enchanted. Which I actually enjoyed. It's as if Disney did a spoof on themselves.

9. What do you do to vent anger? talk talk talk cry

10. What is your favorite season? Fall.

11. Hugs or kisses? Hugs. Well, unless you're Hubby, then both.

12. Cherry or Blueberry? Cherry.

13. What is on the floor of your closet? A stack of shoe boxes, a laundry basket, and a big teddy bear (that Hubby actually won for me at a carnival dart game a few years ago. Isn't that sweet?)

The Leg Bone's Connected To The Shin Bone...

"When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it-- don't back down and don't give up-- then you're going to mystify a lot of folks." Bob Dylan

I ran into this statement somewhere a while back. I think it must be true. People don't always understand other people, and can't always comprehend someone else's values, priorities, and passions.

But that's okay. The Bible itself tells us that we are all different, like the parts of a body. In fact, the body is capable and strong because of the diversity of its parts, and it is unhealthy (as well as unthinkable) to have one part of the body reject another part for being different.

I think I can just GO FOR IT, and be what I was created to be.

And as soon as I figure out what it is, I'm going to.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Love List

Today I'm taking a cue from Meg Fowler who most Fridays does a "love list," and invites her readers to do the same. Sometimes she has a theme, and sometimes it's just a random list of things she loves. Her lists can include anything from lip gloss to hockey stars, which just shows how interesting and random of a person she is.

My list, being as I am an ordinary, not-very-interesting person, will be probably ordinary and not-very-interesting, but it will be all about things I'm lovin' this very minute. Because this very minute, life is good. There haven't been a lot of minutes like that in the last year or so, with everyone either sick or depressed. But today? Today I'm lovin' it.

I love...

Playing my new violin
The way my new violin sounds when I play it
The way my new violin sounds when I play it with an amp. Very cool, y'all.
Watching JD and LovelyDaughter interact with each other
Kissing Hubby
Back rubs
And head rubs
And foot rubs
Basically, whole body massage
Hearing DrummerDude mowing the yard
Listening to GuitarGeek play guitar
GuitarGeek's crazy sense of humor
Family laughter around the supper table
New kittens (when I'm not worried about how many we have)
MB3's big strong shoulders and hands
Feeling God's presence
Answers to prayer
Good worship music
The smell of cut grass
When something in the Bible jumps out at me with whole new insight
Eating good food, and realizing that I cooked it!
Fresh homemade bread
The smell of line-dried laundry
Clean sheets
Brand new socks
When my hair does exactly what it's supposed to
Having friends over for supper
Playing my violin on the worship team, and finding out my mic was ON!
Hugs from friends
Ginger ale with lime and mint on a hot day
Dressing up and feeling pretty
Reading a good book and feeling like I just took a vacation
Camping in the rain
Making s'mores over a campfire
Finding checks in the mail
When the money goes around
Waking up to a clean kitchen
The sounds of the birds singing in our yard
A good night's sleep

Do you have things you love today? Put your own list in the comments if you like.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Living in the Glory of God

I read this post today, and it struck a chord with me. Jeana writes about seeing the glory of God in ordinary things, particularly when those ordinary things are exactly the things God has given you to do.

You see, we are in the midst of great things happening at church, and there are meetings galore, which may not mean much to you, but as a member of the worship team, it has quite a bit of impact on our family.

Plus, if you haven't heard yet, there is a great revival going on in Lakeland, Florida right now. They have been having huge meetings every night for over forty days(or is it sixty?) now, and it's still going strong. The meetings are being broadcast on GodTV, as well as being live-streamed on the internet, so every night there is the option to watch the revival and see what cool stuff is happening.

Because--of course--we want to be involved and interested in the things God's doing, especially when it's really great stuff like people being healed or raised from the dead (no kidding!). It would be downright unspiritual, wouldn't it, to not be?

And yet. We are in the middle of incredible doings--God's doings-- in our own family. We've been watching how God has brought JD and LovelyDaughter together, and we see the plans He is putting together, and we have our own part in those plans to work on as well. My brother and his girls are coming soon for their annual two-week visit. There are family reunions to attend, a wedding to plan, friends to keep in touch with. A honeymoon/missions trip to help JD and LovelyDaughter get off on. Life is very, very full, and very, very good.

But there isn't much time for watching revivals, or going to meetings. Not as much as maybe we might want. We've had to make choices, and sometimes those choices disappoint other people who would like to see us do something else. (We've even had to scratch our garden plans this year.) It's been a little difficult. I've been struggling with guilty thoughts. On the one hand, I don't want to miss what God is doing. But on the other hand-- well, I don't want to miss what God is doing.

When I read what Jeana had to say today, I realized with great relief that I am in the right place doing the right thing. This-- this place, this time-- is just what God has for me. It may not be a giant revival meeting. But it's a place full of the glory of God.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Here are the pictures I wanted to post yesterday....

This is JD:

JD and LovelyDaughter:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The News is Out!

At last! I have permission to tell the world the news I've been keeping secret.

Remember JD, our new friend? Well, he's more than just a friend. He is LovelyDaughter's soon-to-be-husband, and we are all terribly happy and excited about it. In fact, I can hardly think about anything else, especially since they are not letting any grass grow under their feet, and the wedding will be in August. Yes, THIS August!

This marks the beginning of a new era, not only for them, but for me as well. LovelyDaughter is the first of our children to be married, so now I begin the role of mother-in-law, and I hope I do well. (And please don't even speak to me about grandchildren yet...One thing at a time!)

I have to admit that when they first told us the news I found emotions I didn't know I had. I've been talking to LovelyDaughter (in fact, all our kids) about marriage, and what life would probably be like for us and them when the time came, and I was objective and sane, and TOTALLY prepared. People, I do not like to be taken off guard with things, so I prepare myself ahead of time.

And then suddenly, out of nowhere, some completely irrational, emotional woman came out of hiding and began shouting in my head things like "Oh my baby girl! Take care of my baby girl!" and "Don't take her away from us!" and "How can any BOY be good enough for my daughter?" You know, nice, calm stuff like that.

It took me a couple of weeks to soothe that crazy person, whoever she was, and get her out of my head. I think I'm fine now, thanks to prayer, and LovelyDaughter's sympathetic understanding. She assured me she was not throwing me out of her life forever (I knew that, really, but it helped to have her say it...) And, wonderfully, JD seems to like me--and my cooking-- and I LOVE that! And he loves Lisa completely and totally.

Well, maybe "loves" is too mild of a word, but anyway, it's good. Very good.

{There are supposed to be several pictures here, showing off our new couple, but I think the entire United States is uploading stuff to Blogger tonight and my photos WILL NOT load!!..GRRR. So, since I'm impatient, you'll get the story now, and the pictures later. Sorry.}

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Jazzy Evening

Saturday evening Hubby and I went with friends out for dinner and a concert. Doesn't that sound very upscale? I even wore a dress. We were ritzy that night, my friends.

The concert was an evening of jazz, which is not a music style I listen to much. My opinion of jazz is a tennis shoe, a cowboy boot and a BB chain in the dryer, with a little trumpet or sax thrown in. After Saturday evening, my opinion hasn't changed much.

Every song eventually ended up sounding the same. In thirty minutes, the band played three songs. Three ten minutes songs. With very long improvised solos by each instrument, in every song. That would be a piano solo, a string bass solo, a drum solo, a trumpet solo, and a saxophone solo. In every song. And my opinion of jazz improvisation is that you hit every note in the scale (and some that aren't) as often and as fast as possible.

However, there were some good things about the concert.

One thing is that jazz musicians, at least the band we heard, are EXCELLENT musicians. Believe me, it takes some talent to hear one beat in your head and play a different one. Personally, I think the drummer was doing his best to never ever actually play on the actual rhythm of the song. It takes a lot of skill to do this and keep the music from self destructing.

Related to that, the trumpet player was I think the BEST trumpet player I've ever heard. My previous experiences with trumpet music involved words like strident, sharp, and loud. But this trumpet player had me thinking of words like creamy, and smooth. He could also play the longest notes I have ever heard played on a breath-based instrument.

Another thing I enjoyed is watching the musicians enjoy their own music. I could see they were really feeling it, even though I couldn't.

I also liked seeing how they interacted with each other as band members, communicating where the song was going next, and giving each other space for their solos. They just seemed to really like playing together.

And finally, we learned when we got there that the concert was being live broadcasted on NET radio, which is Nebraska's NPR station. We were in the studio audience! So if you happened to be listening by radio that night, you would have heard us clapping. (Does this mean I'm famous?)

So, all in all, I think I enjoyed the concert. Even though we did leave at intermission. An hour of tennis shoes and BB chains was enough.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Where the wind comes sweeping o'er the plains

So. Okay. I'm catching my breath.

Today is the first sunny, dry day in almost two weeks, and I have been madly running around doing things that couldn't be done in the rain. Most notably, the laundry. 

We don't have a functioning dryer, so we hang everything up outside on the clothesline in warm, dry weather, or on an antique rack by the woodstove in cold weather. 

The problem comes when we have warm, wet weather. Nothing gets dry anywhere on those days. Outside on the line the laundry gets rained on; or it gets almost dry, but not quite. Then we bring it in to hang by the stove (which is not burning, since the weather is warm) and the clothes may or may not finish drying, depending how much humidity is already in the house. 

This, of course, creates a backlog of laundry, especially with six grown people, and let's just say that the only reason I personally had clean underwear yesterday was because I went and bought some. 

But today is a perfect drying day. It's sunny. It's warm. It's breezy. The air is actually dry! I've run six loads through the washer, and hung them all on the line -- well, one load is still in the washer-- and two loads are back inside already, clean, dry, and folded. 

I know Hubby will be happy. He can stop taking dirty underwear from the bottom of the basket now. It's all CLEAN! 

At least, his is.  Tomorrow, the kids get theirs done.  Weather permitting, of course.

Unless they go buy new underwear, and then we've got a few more days.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

TT#31: Thirteen things I do when I'm supposed to be making supper, or cleaning something

 Thirteen things I do when I'm supposed to be making supper, or cleaning something.

I don't do these all at once, or every time, but I do tend to procrastinate.

I'm not sure why I procratinate cooking meals, because I like to cook. I think it's because of all the decision-making about what to have that pulls me up short.

Now, cleaning? I like a clean house, but I do not like to actually clean it.

So, what else can I do while the dust quietly accumulates and the dishes stack up? I can...

1. re-read old books that I've read many times already (I'll bet I've read Anne of Green Gables more times than you have)

2. play TipTop or Cubis 2 (my favorite online games)

3. read the latest updates to the blogs in my feed reader (if you're in my list of blogs I like, know that I read your blog within minutes of you posting. My feed reader BONKS at me to let me know)

4. follow links from the blogs to who-knows-where (and sometimes I find interesting stuff, too)

5. find someone to talk to (like Hubby, or anyone who's home)

6. check email (often, at all three accounts. Maybe THIS time I actually got mail!)

7. eat chocolate (Dove is my favorite, and I limit myself to two or three a day. I don't want to pull the ripcord, after all, as Hubby says.)

8. look for stuff on Amazon and eBay (I don't buy much, but I will look for certain things. Like right now I'm looking for a replacement for my paring knife that broke)

9. check the mailbox (not the virtual one, the real one) and sometimes even read the junk mail

10. look for interesting things to watch on YouTube (usually stuff like the latest from American Idol, or music videos, or episodes of very old TV shows)

11. write comments on the blogs I read (If I can think of anything to say)

12. check my blog tracker (Who's been here today, and what were they looking for, and where are they from? Those are the burning questions)

13. re-read my own old posts to see if they're worth reading (Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't)

What do you do when you don't want to do something else?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Storm Damage

Last Thursday evening we had some excitement here. You may or may not have heard about the storm system that came through south central Nebraska. The weather people think there were tornadoes in it-- in fact, there is evidence that one touched down just a quarter mile from our friend Swede's farm place. But fortunately for him, thanks to the grace of God, he only had a pivot twisted, and a small branch off one tree broken off.

For others, the storm was more serious. Just four miles east, in the town of Aurora, there was much more damage: buildings destroyed, grain bins crumpled up and thrown around like aluminum foil, signs down, pivots turned upside down, trees broken, semis knocked over (while driving on the interstate!), and even train cars blown over. (In fact, in Kearney, a town an hour west of here, they had ninety train cars blown over.)

During the storm our power went out, and even though it wasn't quite sunset yet, it was dark enough in the house we couldn't do much, (not to mention we couldn't use our computers...!) so when things quieted down, we went for a drive. And of course, along with the emergency vehicles which were out checking on people and damage, we met much of the hometown, all out checking on things too. Even Hubby's folks were sitting in front of their garage on lawn chairs when we went by. We wheeled around to say hi, and Hubby's dad called out, "Do we look like old people?"

We asked them if they were enjoying the parade, since, by the number of trucks going by, it appeared interstate traffic was being re-routed down our road. It turned out later that not only were at least 8 semis overturned on the highway, there were also high voltage lines down across the interstate.

Well, if Hubby's folks were being old folks, we were being tourists, because we went around and let DrummerDude snap photos of the damage with his new camera. He's still learning how to adjust all the adjustments, so many of his pictures did not turn out as clear and nice as he wanted, but he chose a few to let me post here.

Blogger is being a pill, so I can't post captions by each one. Here are captions for all of them:

1) Here's one reason we were without power. The wind picked up a pivot and hung it from a power line.

2) A closer look.

3) You can't see very well, but behind those trees there's a smashed in grain bin. Also at this farm place there was a grain bin blown over the house into the field, and crumpled in to a giant ball. In addition, many of the trees in the yard were broken off.

4) The tattered remains of the storm clouds.