29 June 2008
27 June 2008
26 June 2008
- Now that I have officially resigned from church, I cannot tell you how much more I am enjoying being with my children. I don't know why it correlates for me, but it does.
- We have been enjoying our backyard so much this year. Last year, Dennis fenced it in and put up the play area. This year, we've been out there every non-rainy day. Daniel and Annalivia can play for a long, long time in the sandbox. We have to strip them down and shake them out every time we go inside. Daniel has sand in his hair literally every night. He may or may not have been the one to put it there.
- I love Daniel's current stage of development. It is just delightful to watch him learn to communicate, play jokes, enjoy moving around, learn to jump. It really is a wonder.
- Daniel has been reading books to himself lately. His favorite is a deconstructed (not in the literary sense) copy of The Little Engine That Could. He points to the characters and yells a lot.
- He's also a big fan of tractors and lawn equipment. We went to a playground last week after ballet clahss and he just stood there watching a guy mowing the park. Swings and slides cannot compete with the combustion engine, apparently.
- This week, we slept too late to get to ballet clahss. Annalivia was remarkably unfazed.
- Annalivia has been singing a lot of songs lately. She has a great ear for music. She can return to the home key no matter where we've been and loves to make up songs. Her phrasing is great. I also love to hear her sing "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us Be-Joyce and be glad in it."
- She is also fascinated with the idea of childbirth and can often be found snuggling and kissing her dolls, talking about their beautiful chins, etc. And she's taken to renaming her dolls, which were previously given the perfectly-respectable names of characters in Kipper and Angelina Ballerina to things like "Gootie" and "Gook" and "Sweeha".
- I feel like I am channeling Bob McClure lately, going through the house, flipping off lights. I'm practicing my grandfather's "Somebody's paying Cilco!" sing-song for when we move south. (cilco=central IL light company)
- We have decided to not move any of our pantry when the time comes, so I've been making dinner from canned, frozen, and refrigerated ingredients lately. It's saving grocery money, but it's not very exciting.
- We may not have to worry about whether our garden will be producing after our departure. The crows have been swarming it, pecking at the ground, and eating off of it lately.
- Today is Dennis' second-to-last day at the place he was worked for 12 years. It's the end of an era.
- We have done no packing today, yesterday, or the day-before-that, or the week-before-that. Tomorrow doesn't look good, either.
24 June 2008
23 June 2008
About ten minutes after she had gotten down from the table, she came out into the living room with her mouth full of pancake telling me that she liked MY pancakes. And the syrup on them. I didn't associate that I hadn't actually put syrup on my pancakes and that my plate was already washed and draining. So I wasn't alarmed until she came back to tell me she had spilled syrup on the counter. Suddenly, I realized what had happened. She had dumped the ENTIRE bottle of lovely, expensive Grade B Trader Joe's maple syrup onto the plate of extra pancakes that I had hoped would be breakfast for the next few days! It was a mess, not to mention that the syrup was gone and the pancakes were ruined. I will confess, I did not respond gracefully.
But after a very gentle smackdown by someone far wiser than I, I have realized that it was funny in its own right. And I wish I would have grabbed the camera and laughed a little instead of getting all ticked off.
I guess I've got a lot to learn when it comes to handling sticky situations.
22 June 2008
19 June 2008
18 June 2008
17 June 2008
15 June 2008
Church went well. Everyone is so demonstrative with their affections now that I'm leaving! It's refreshing.
After church, we got in the car and drove north. We came upon a small town that was having its annual Fire Department Waterfight Day. The firefighters were decked out in their gear and had out two firehoses. They were aiming them full blast at a plastic barrel and trying to get the barrel over the other teams' line to win a "round". We joined about 40 spectators for a few minutes to watch the crazy ritual, realized I had left the camera at home, and moved on.
We then drove over to the Mississippi River and headed up towards Galena. Right along the river, we saw a large BNSF coal train and travelled with it for a few miles. It was right beside us and the kids were over the moon to see the big orange train and coal cars so close.
We stopped an an army depot near the river and on the way into the depot, saw a home in the backwaters of the Mighty Miss, flooded to the extent that it was an island. On the way out of the depot, we saw a HUGE snapping turtle -- probably two feet long -- in the road. Annalivia and I got a really, really close look at it when Dennis pulled over. It was ugly, but very, very cool.
On the way to Galena, the sun came out and we had just incredibly lit vistas everywhere. Galena was nice and we had gelato and then drove around a bit and headed up to Dubuque. There is flooding everywhere, but we mainly just drove around and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
From Dubuque, we headed south along the river and saw cranes, swans, and turtles. We went through a little Luxembourg village and near an abbey. We saw a huge ELCA church that rivaled any Catholic church around here. We followed a beautiful, charming little road a couple of miles and saw a neat old farmstead, a very old cemetery and a chapel built by a devout Catholic after a treacherous trip across the Atlantic from Luxembourg in 1852.
We saw a beautiful little town by Lock and Dam #12 and missed our chance to have homemade pies. But we drove through more flooding to Clinton, bought a picnic and then headed to a great little park in Fulton where the kids played for an hour.
Then we headed towards home and took a little sunset-lit walk through the slough, listened to the frogs and the red-winged blackbirds and enjoyed an incredibly brilliant red-hued sunset before heading home to baths.
It was just a perfect, wonderful, impulsive day, spent with the family, grateful for Daddy, and all that we enjoy. I wish I would have gotten pictures, but it was very special and I suppose the lack of photos mean this day was uniquely ours.
Hope everyone out there had a wonderful Fathers' Day, too.
13 June 2008
I know that's not the conventional way to do it, but I also know that sending a letter first to this congregation who really is more like family would be a terrible way to announce this departure. They'll get the letter on Sunday.
But only once. :)
11 June 2008
10 June 2008
09 June 2008
We had to be in central Illinois this morning, so Dennis took a vacation day today and we went down to Peoria after church yesterday. We took a winding journey through the country and ended up at Glen Oak Zoo -- a little non-fancy zoo in Peoria. We walked around on a sweltering day, had ice cream at a local landmark, and then headed to a hotel where we swam for a while. Then we got pizza for dinner, took a drive, and came back. This morning, we went and visited the great-grandparents, did some playing and lunching, and got in a grandma-and-aunts-and-cousins visit in the afternoon. Then we headed home.
It was a great little mini-vacation. I felt like we got to do something different and that's a nice feeling as I see the same-ol' dishes and laundry facing me at home!
05 June 2008
I met with the folks in this family who are members of the congregation today. It was a good visit. We had lots of conversation, lots of laughter. I've apologized directly to those who are most hurt -- not church members -- but still part of the family. I feel as though I have done what I can. I've realized through talking with some of you that part of my guilt is misplaced. Part of it isn't, but I appreciate your wisdom and willingness to speak truth in love.
In other news -- we found out that the insurance company of the woman who hit us back in Sept'06 has agreed to pay us the full limits of her policy coverage. This is huge! And it means that the lawsuit could perhaps be resolved in the next month or two or three. I am praying for it to be resolved sooner rather than later, but y'all know me -- I'm impatient. :) It is very good news, though, and I'm grateful for it, grateful for this day and how things have gone, grateful for all of you out there. Thanks, friends.
04 June 2008
03 June 2008
A prayer for this season of life, found somewhere online, sometime in the past...
Jesus of the road, Jesus of the street
Jesus of the sky, Jesus on the beat
May I come with you, along your roads today
and see where you are, and what you do and say
and be involved, in some small way?
May I do it, Jesus?
In your name I pray.
02 June 2008
About 25 minutes later, we turned it off and sampled.
With fresh milk from the dairy, we get SO much cream! We can have a quart and a half of homemade deliciousness every week, if we want. Next week's version may have to be made with fresh strawberries from my brother in law's garden! Mmmmmm.