Monday, March 17, 2014

Twins: Music history

Jesse: Well, did you know my guitar teacher told me today that Johnny Cash was really in prison? And then he wrote that song about the prison blues.


Sara: Well of course he was in prison - he stole that car!

(Reference: "One Piece at a Time", Johnny Cash)

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Milestone

10 years ago...
...we had recently moved to Preble County for Eric's work, found a house on a major road, and knew no one except the realtor.

...we had 4 children ages 4, 2, 1 and 1 and I was pregnant with our unexpected 5th.

...the doctors were very worried about the baby's health - a suspected fetal anemia - and my 4th c-section in 4 years.

...God blessed us immeasurably with a perfectly healthy little girl that He in His wisdom granted us...

....and we - on the way to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning - named her Leah Hope.

Dear Leah: You are a cheerful, kindhearted daughter that bring us much joy! We can't believe you are in double digits now. You love to read at night and you remember lots of what you read and like to share it. You are enjoying your own room and the chance to be alone and think. You and Delaney have been cooking more together lately. You had a fun sleepover with your friend Anna. You love to sit on Daddy and his name for you is "". You are not afraid to voice your opinion or stand your ground with your siblings. And of course you still love to hum! You have great questions about God and the events in the history of how He interacts with people, and we pray you always seek Him. Happy birthday!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Another First, for the Fifth

How does it feel to always be the last to do a first? Not as much build up and excitement from the family, perhaps? Parents who seem a little scatterbrained until the last minute when they tell you how important it is to do your best and that this is "your first ___!"? Help and attention divided between 5 instead of 1, or 2, or 4?

My prayer, dear number five, is that you can remember that this first in your life was a great milestone and big accomplishment. You worked hard to learn new things, and followed your book's instructions with earnestness not seen around here in a while. You were gracious when the hope of a new bike turned into time with Daddy fixing up what you already had.

When the big day came, you donned your gear and wheeled in your bike even though no one else in the building looked like you or had to bring something so different. You spoke clearly when signing in and didn't glance back once when it was your turn to be judged. And even though you told us later that you forgot what the exact job of the back brakes were ("sorry, Dad!"), you answered the judge's questions and did a great job! You even won an "A" ribbon and State Fair Representative! In your first 4-H judging ever. Great job, number five.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Shoes, TV's and Puzzles...Oh My! (and more shoes)

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.

That's a verse - SO true - that runs through my brain as we sort every year. And sort. We got a lot of donations (thank you!!) earlier this year, and for some reason we just felt this might be an "off" year. And so began the running Heather-brain commentary: "You should be more specific in your donation requests"..."Everything's fine"...."Is this even worth it?"..."What does worth it mean? Why do you have to try and control everything?".

What does the Lord do with all that? He takes the body of Christ, our obedience to putting one foot in front of the other, good and bad weather, and prime barn-sale real estate and raises nearly $3000 to send to His work in Liberia, one 25-piece children's puzzle at a time.

 We all know that crunch time is here when Pam and her girls show up to fill all those empty table places, rearrange with fresh eyes, and price thousands of items. So thankful for them!

 Every time I look at a picture, I think of 10 other ways of setting things out. But when I'm doing it, I think - yes, this is right. It's a disease.

Umm...The Year of the Shoes is an understatement. I finally got the last tub out on the last day of the sale. I think we sold about 2/3 of all that we had, but that may be optimistic-hindsight-thinking. I also tried a new clothing arrangement for pants and shorts, but I'm not sold (ha!).

Not as many bikes as usual, but our outside items (not all pictured) went quickly!

Marriage Enrichment Counseling True Life Example from Barn Sale '13: the frosted shower curtain television. There's a lesson every year, folks. Will share our informative talk "How to Avoid Complete Marriage Meltdown" for the small-ish fee of feeding our children.

 Wish I could've remembered to take pics of all those who donated and helped! The Murphy's were new initiates to the Barn Sale this year, and fit right in. The Bayers and Allison Smith also came for the first time. Thanks to ALL!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Full Circle

Just think: last year, no Suburban, no boat. Looking for a welder, got a great deal on a boat (and trailer!). Sold the van, bought the Suburban. You never know what next year will look like. 

Eric had to make the "maiden voyage" at one of the lakes he frequented growing up - Elk Creek Lake in Washington County, IN. It's an absolutely beautiful area and one of our favorite places to hike and relax. 

Boys out first. Captain Ahab and his crew? I must note here that when we were leaving, Eric was checking to make sure we had everything and couldn't find some items. Levi said, "Oh, everything was kind of a mess so I organized it all into the boat compartments." Ha! His mother's son. 


The girls enjoyed their time waiting, finding lots of tadpoles and other interesting creatures. Science class on Saturday, baby. 

Girls' turn! Eric said the fish may have been scared off by the continual "sonic booms" in the boat as Leah shifted and turned. Unfortunately, no fish supper for us, but a great afternoon and a fun new experience. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

California Dreamin'

Eric and I were able to take a nearly-free trip to Ventura, CA in early April because of a business tour he attended. Woot! As is only proper after a trip, I am giving a report: Three Things I Learned About California

1) There are hills and mountains, and then there is the Pacific Ocean. There is waaaay less in between than I thought. At some points there is no in between.

2) Television meteorologists in mid-southern CA have to work really hard to come up with new ways to make 4-5 degree temperature variations sound interesting and important.

3) Even if your flight gets rerouted and delayed twice, and you end up getting to your beach-front hotel 12 hours later than originally scheduled, bone-tired and dehydrated, you are still in a beach-front hotel at 65 degrees in early April.


View from our hotel

Our hotel

View from the pier in Ventura

 Looking back into Ventura from end of pier

My walk around downtown - beautiful

 Santa Barbara

Dutch town of Solvang in the mountains/wine country

Friday, February 15, 2013

Points for trying

The assignment: write an emotional appeal about something; play on your readers' emotions

Levi's result:

Today is a special day - a famous day, a day that should be spent in relaxation. It's Valentine's Day! Yes, all the kids toiling away at and in school need some time off. So, please, support the Kid's Abuse Cause today!!