Monday, April 30, 2007

Chillin'

Braylon loves his Elmo chair. He got it for Christmas and it usually sits by the window in the living room. He likes to sit there and watch cars go by and look for "his" squirrel. While I was in Kansas, he moved the chair to the middle of the room, covered up with his blanket, leaned back and put his hands behind his neck.... just chillin'. I just was not quick enough with the digital camera to capture it. He would get into position, I would click... and then 10 seconds later the camera would take the picture. Dang..... but oh man he looked cute. He also found his stocking cap from the winter. I believe it was in his toy box. He wanted it on so of course, we put it on. Then.... he had to pose for the picture. I couldn't resist. He's just so cute. And that smile.... well that smile is directly attached to my heart.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Time in Kansas

I thought that 12 days in Kansas would be a long time. I thought that surely after 12 days, I would be full to the brim with things I had done with my children and with Braylon John. Not so. The time went so fast - and my "fill" was only barely past the 1/8 tank mark. :)

When I arrived at the KC Airport on Saturday afternoon, it was all I could do to wait for my suitcase to arrive on the carousel. Then it was off to the car rental area - and then the LONG drive to Clay Center. I made a quick stop at Target in Manhattan 'cause there were a few things that I wanted to purchase for Braylon. It wasn't long after I arrived in Clay Center that my girls arrived home and I got to see them! They looked wonderful! They looked healthy and happy and just absolutely perfect in my eyes! Mr. Braylon John was kinda cranky. He had been in a tuxedo "all day long" (or so he said) and was ready to be free. I think he knew me - I truly do. If he didn't, it didn't take him long to warm up to the idea that Nana had returned to play.

And play we did. I got to read all of his books numerous times. (Did I say numerous? I meant over and over and over....) We played "Put THIS bug in the bughouse...." and we played "Stack the Playdough cans". We ate fishsticks and poptarts... and we read some more books. I loved it when in the middle of a page he would turn and look at me... and then give me a hug. Wow... way to melt my heart.

Speaking of hearts... my girls and I had some great heart talks. It was time - it was the perfect time. I admit - it had been awhile since we had been able to speak from our hearts - but we were able to and I was so blessed.

Josh and I ended up going to St. Francis to see my mom and to see Aunt Tena - which was such a bonus! Mom looked good and there was a small tug at my heart when I left her.

It was just good.....absolutely good. I wanted so much more and I wish that I were closer. For now - this is the way it is and I will have to deal with it. But I know this - it won't be long before I return 'cause I started to miss everybody the minute my car drove out of the city limits.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The very thought of it.....

Today is Thursday.
Tomorrow is Friday.
Then Saturday.......and I'm just not sure I can wait.
I'm flying to Kansas Saturday morning. I mean... I'm FLYING to Kansas Saturday morning. My heart is already flying and my brain is dizzy with excitement.
I don't think I've ever been more excited to see my children than I am now.
Well, there was that one event....it was after the first day of Kindergarten. The bus finally pulled up at the end of the lane.... and my little five year old child got off and walked down the lane to the house. I had let them go for only a half day but to me, it seemed like forever. I had so many questions. I had hugs I hadn't used all day long. I wanted to play. I wanted to chat. I wanted unlimited time with them.
The only thing different about then and now... is that I'm going to be the one getting off of the "bus" and walking down the lane to see my children. And it has seemed like forever. And I have questions. I have hugs. I want to play. I want to chat. And I want unlimited time with them.
Today is Thursday...
Tomorrow is Friday......

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Dad

My cousin Dick sent this picture to me of my dad and my Uncle Bill. This is a great picture of both of them - and really is the way I remember my dad. This picture tells so much about him. This picture helps me remember a lot of what made my dad who he was.

First, Dad was very close to his brothers and sisters. This picture was taken at a reunion and he and Uncle Bill were just talking. He always got along with his brothers and sisters and it showed.
Second, if you look closely, he has a toothpick in his mouth. Dad always chewed on a toothpick. I don't know why, he just did.
Third - Dad has a great tan at this point. That's because he worked outside all the time. His job took him outside all day long and then he worked in his garden in the evenings and weekends. I think my kids might remember being in the garden with him. I don't remember so much about it. I'm not sure he had a garden when I was a little girl.
Fourth - he had on his white hat. Two things about that. He was a country boy - and kind of a cowboy. He owned a ranch at one time. He rode horses and loved cattle. Wearing this type of hat was not foreign to him. It suited him. Secondly, the white hat was perfect for him. He was a "good guy". He was fair, honest and a good man. He deserved to wear a white hat.
I like looking at this picture - its a good way to remember my dad.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Observations while standing in line at Starbucks

For Christmas, Jay got me a Starbucks card. Its not a credit card, but rather has a certain $ amount on it and it can be refilled online when the total gets low.

I did a search and found out that there is a Starbucks about two blocks from my work. Score.

I don't go there everyday. That would be silly. I mean, what sort of person would go to Starbucks every single day? Instead, I limit myself to once a week........sometimes twice if its a special occasion. Never three times a week. Hardly ever.....

So, while I'm standing in line at Starbucks waiting for my morning Cinnamon de leche latte, I've had time to make a few observations.

#1 About 80% of the customers in Starbucks wear black
#2 The same police man comes in every morning that I'm there. He drives a motorcycle. I'm not sure how he drives and drinks at the same time.
#3 Hardly anybody just orders coffee.
#4 Lots of people order triple shots of expresso with their beverages. Wow.
#5 Nobody brings their kids to Starbucks
#6 People who work at Starbucks can multi-task.
#7 One day they ran out of those little cardboard jackets and people were kinda lost.
#8 It just looks cool to be walking out of Starbucks carrying your beverage.
#9 mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Eggstravaganza

Our church has an Easter Eggstravaganza every year. They send out thousands of flyers as advertisement in the hopes of reaching lots of families in the area who do not have a church - or who are not Christians. Its a huge event. I mean HUGE. They have six different easter egg hunts: three different age categories with two hunts for each category.

We have pony rides.
We have a moon walk.
We have raffle drawings.
We have blaring contemporary Christian music.
We have a duck pond.
We have a hoop toss.
We have people dressed up in costumes: Buzz Lightyear, Snow White, Woody, Jasmine, The Easter Bunny, Sleeping Beauty

There were lots of volunteers from our church helping in every imaginable way. We had a shuttle going from a far away parking lot to our church. We had people cooking hot dogs, snow cones, popcorn and beverages.

Now - you might ask. What is this telling people about Jesus Christ and how he died on the cross for our sins? Its not telling that story to anybody. Not yet. Its showing them the love of Jesus. Its telling them that the church doesn't have to be a stuffy place where everybody has to wear a suit and where your smiles have to be checked at the door.

It is not saying that we believe in the Easter Bunny and it is not saying that we are substituting anything for our belief in the resurrection of Jesus.

When we woke up today, there was snow on the ground. The wind was blowing and it was 32 degrees. Not a good day for an easter egg hunt. Not a good day to expect people to come outside. But they did. We had over 300 children from the area that do not go to our church. They came out because it sounded like a lot of fun. We know that there are a lot of hungry people out there. This is one of our attempts to reach hungry people. Its not about adding numbers - it is about connecting with people. It worked today. It was an Eggstravanganza.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Comfort Things

Its a chilly evening in DC and I'm sitting here having a cup of tea. That is a very comforting thing to me. It started me to think about the things throughout my life that have given me comfort.

For me, when its a warm summer day, I love having a window open and listening to somebody mowing grass in the distance. I'm not sure why, but that gives me such a comfort feeling.

Watching the curtains blow gently in the breeze.....
Listening to the rain on the roof in the middle of the night.....
The sound of a pot of soup gently boiling.....
Sitting on the couch with a blanket over me, reading a book........
Looking through my collection of sea shells......
Petting a dog.....
Digging in the dirt......
Looking through picture albums....

I couldn't end without naming three things that are definitely comfort items.
Rachael has the snug sack.... and man is it worn......
Chelsie has "The Wheat".... and again, man is it worn....
I have my white blanket....its not so worn, but still gets the badge of courage

Things that give us comfort.....things that settle our soul..... things that bring us back to a place where we can take a deep breath and continue on......

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Lady's night out

Once a month, several of the women in my church go out for a social. We go to one of the nearby restaurants, eat dinner together and just talk. There is no bible study involved, no prayer time... just talking. It serves a wonderful purpose. It helps us connect - it helps with unity within the church. It gives me Sisters in Christ.

It isn't always the same women. Several of us are regulars - but there are others that pop in and out one month and then not another. Its just that kind of thing. There is no obligation. No commitment. And that's ok too.

The age group varries....mean age is probably 40. There are mothers with young children.... mothers with children who are in elementary years and those of us whose children are grown. Its quite a group - lots of experience to share - lots of stories to laugh about.

The one thing I know for sure (sorry Oprah) is that this group has helped me to feel a part of a "community". I have new friendships. I have women who give me a hug because they are glad to see me. I have women who care about whats going on in my life and it feels really good.

Pictures of Lighthouses