Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Monkey Riding on the Back of an Elephant?

Something happens to people after they live with us. Sarah lived with us a year and then moved to California. Darja lived with us and moved to Colorado. Presently, Sue is counting down her last days here and heading back to Korea.

I didn't take it too personally until I happened to read a blog post recently written by Darja. (You can read it for your self by clicking here if you'd like.) She came to visit and then... low and behold I found ourselves part of her writing.

Sunday was spent with another group of very important people- the ever-growing Isaacs family. I swear they’re playing a sick game called ’let’s see how many living things can live in one house.’ They’ve got 4 kids, a foreign exchange student, a dog, and now a second dog. I won’t be surprised if the next time I visit them, I find a monkey riding an elephant in the living room. And April will find a way to make it seem so normal. Don’t know how they do it, but they’re great for opening up their lives to a bunch of shmucks like us, and I always enjoy visiting with them. It was such a beautiful day, too.

I have often felt like I was living in a circus. Come to find out, others think that too... and then they move... far away. Hmmm.....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wild Turkey

I'm hitting the wild turkey!!!

Or should I say, we hit a wild turkey.

We've been home from vacation for a month now and I still can't get over the fact that while we were minding our own business and cruising through the state of South Carolina, a wild turkey decided to go on a suicide mission and use our van to carry out his death wish.

We saw him setting on the side of the road. He began to lift his wings and Paul said, "Don't your DARE START TO....." BANG!!!

I thought he hit our windshield until I got home and noticed the huge dent in our hood. A dent that looks exactly like someone threw a frozen turkey at us.

I also remember Paul saying, "Did you look in the review mirror and see it explode? Feathers were flying everywhere?"

NO I didn't see that! I was too busy trying to get over the fact that 1) a wild turkey was even on the side of the road and that 2) he had the audacity to his us. Jerk!

I am happy to say that that was the most eventful thing that happened on our vacation. And, why it even surprises me, I'm not sure. We all know that when I travel, things happen.

We had a fabulous vacation. We left on a Thursday right when the kids got out of school . We drove to Asheville, NC. Where I scored an amazing deal on a hotel and tickets to the Biltmore.
On Friday morning, we ate breakfast with the locals and then we toured the Biltmore (more on that later).

We left Asheville, Friday afternoon and drove to Greenville, SC. One of Paul's best friends in all the world lives there. Dave and his family took us to dinner at the Mellow Mushroom (my favorite pizza in all the world), and then we came back and celebrated Paul's 40th birthday with them. We crashed at their place! Nothing life a family of 7 crashing someone's house!

On Saturday morning we got up and drove to Hilton Head. Our great friends, Shawn and Bill (a married couple, girl and guy... haha!) gave us an unbelievable ocean front condo there.

We had awesome weather the whole time. It did rain one morning and so we headed to Savannah, Georgia for the day. I've always wanted to go to Savannah and it lived up to my expectations. I am now trying to decide which southern city is my favorite, Charleston or Savannah.

On Thursday evening of our vacation, Paul's very best friend in all the world flew in for his birthday. His name is Jon. There is no way to describe Jon Tice. I think he's one of the greatest men in all the world. His packed full of everything: Godliness, wisdom, humor, wittiness, kindess, etc... I could go on and on. He's one of those people that's like a breath of fresh air. One feels better just having spent time in his presence. Paul and Jon had a great time. They golfed on Friday and Saturday with Jackson hanging with the men. He got his first taste of golf and on Friday and declared that, "the best day of his life."

After spending a week in Hilton Head, I totally get the hype. It's one of my favorite places now. I love the low oak trees with the spanish moss hanging from them. I love that the whole island feels like an island. There's no commercialization there. There are no billboards or signs and the buildings, even McDonalds and Wendy's look like they are part of a plantation.

It had been a long time since our family had been on a vacation and we have one of the best weeks ever!

Eating breakfast with the locals in Asheville, NC.

The Biltmore

Shelby and her friend Bridget... being 12.

I swear they live to make Emme cry!

Our condo was in the center, one down from the top.

Harbour Town for dinner one night.

If you stood in the kitchen in our condo, you could see the ocean out of 3 windows. AMAZING!!!

Savannah for the day!

Emme spent many hours watering the cement at the pool.

We saw lots of jellyfish.

and crabs. And we saw dolphins every single day!

Paul, Jackson and Jon getting ready to golf.

I loved this beautifully landscaped areas between the pools.

Emme was uncooperative during my photo shoot. She had just woke up.

Ah... so pleasant when she wakes up! NOT!

I can't wait to tell her what a jerk she was one of these days.

I hope they grow up to be best friends.... cause they sure don't act like it now.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Whoever Says There's Not a Difference Between Boys and Girls.....

Whoever says there's not a difference between boys and girls is full of malarkey.

When I have a friend that hurts my feelings, it affects me for awhile. Even if they say, "I'm sorry." and I accept and forgive, I walk around feeling all pitiful for awhile. I can't let it go. It eats at me and I nurse it. I try not to. I really do, but it's like I just can't get over it.

It's not the same with boys. They can beat the crap out of each other one minute and the the next minute they're like, "Hey, want to go climb that tree?"

I have the opportunity to watch both of the sexes play out their respective roles in this house of mine.

Friday, Jackson went over to play with our neighbor, Trayce. Jackson and Trayce have a lot in common as they are the same age and have played on a couple of different sports teams together.

So, Friday they were playing when their friendship went south. Trayce called Jackson a jerk.
Jackson retaliated. He said, "Well, you're a jerk!" And, then he followed that up with a remark that cut to the soul. Jackson said, " You're a jerk....AND.... and... I know more Jesus facts than you!"

SO there!! Take that!

I know more Jesus facts than you? Who says that? And, what does that even mean anyway?

What is wrong with my kids? My littlest hates Charlotte, the little girl on TV with Primordial Dwarfism and Jackson brags about how many Jesus facts he knows? Again... we really know how to love people. Feels so good to say we are a missionary family. Want to support us?

Jackson came home for about 10 minutes. That was boring because we have a house full of girls and Trayce has a house full of boys. So, Jackson put all of his snow gear back on and marched over across the street.

He walked straight to Trayce's house and knocks on the front door.

Knock, knock knock.

Trayce came to the door, "Yeah?"

Jackson says, "Hey Trayce! Want to play?" Acting as if NOTHING happened 10 minutes ago.

Trayce said, "No. You called me a jerk and told me you knew more Jesus facts than me."

Jackson, piling up his list of sins, very emphatically says, "No I didn't!!"

Trayce said, "Yes you did! You called me a jerk and told me you knew more Jesus facts than me."

Again, Jackson said, "No I didn't"

"Jackson!! Yes you did! You called me a jerk and told me you knew more Jesus facts than me!

Jackson said, "OK!! I'm sorry! Want to play some football?"

Trayce says, "Sure!"

And, there you have it. The difference between boys and girls... all wrapped in how many Jesus facts you may or may not know.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Jackson's Teeth

Jackson. My one and only precious little boy.

Seriously, does he not look like the classic all-American boy?

Don't answer that.

Don't burst my bubble if you don't think so.

Don't get me wrong. The boy has his issues. He's as squirrelly as they come. He never sits. Not even in school. The teacher tells me he stands... with one leg bent resting on the chair. She also told me that since winter, she has implemented exercise in her room. There's no outdoor recess with all the snow we've had this year. The whole class has to exercise, but it's really for just Jackson.

That's what she told me.

At home, Jackson spends more time walking on his hands than he does walking on his feet. And, if he's not walking on his hands, he's spinning on his head. I don't know what that's all about. I don't ask. As long as he's not aggravating someone... I don't really care how much spinning on his head he does.

We try not to be home too often with Jackson. This winter he plays indoor soccer, he wrestles and he plays basketball. 'Is that too much?' you ask. You come live with him. We have to do something with all his energy.

He wears us out, but his looks... Isn't he so cute? Those freckles on his nose?

Well, I thought so. I thought he was so cute. That all came crashing down one day, those perfect looks. They came crashing down because one day when my best friend Janae said, "Jackson's teeth looks exactly like marshmallows. Those little white marshmallows."

I mean look at him! They do!! But, who says this? Your best friend?


With friends like that....

Ok, ok... I confess. In all fairness, one day I told her her oldest daughter had British teeth. But, that was after I saw the x-ray of her teeth.

And, when she said his teeth looked like those little white marshmallows, I laughed about it for a week. I still laugh about it.

Since then, I decided he also looks like a Minion from Despicable Me.

Either way... he's adorable. One day, he'll grow into those teeth... and then I'll miss them.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

LOVE... It can be felt in our home

Cabin Fever has reached an all new level in this house. It's Wednesday evening, 10:36 pm, to be exact, and I have not been out of my house in over 48 hours. Somebody better start hiding all the sharp objects... or the kids better go to school tomorrow.

One or the other.

Even our television viewing has reached desperate levels. Tonight Paul was flipping through the TV in our bedroom and he stopped on a TLC show called the World's Smallest Children.

Now... I'll watch about anything on TLC or HGTV once I've heard like 1.5 sentences spoken.
I'm like a deer in the headlights. "DON'T TOUCH THAT REMOTE!" But, the only time I usually sit down to watch TV is when we watch it as a family. However, cabin fever had set in and I was in my room with Paul... hiding.

I was hiding from all the kids except Emme. She was on my bed with me... playing with my iphone. She can work that thing like it's nobody's business.

The show that night featured a little girl named, Charlotte. Charlotte has Primordial Dwarfism and it seems that, even among others with Primordial Dwarfism, she is unusually small.

I can talk about unusually small because... Emme is unusually small. She might hover over Charlotte by a whopping 6 inches. But, Charlotte's 2 ....Emme's is 3 1/2. So, it's not like Emme's earned any real bragging rights.

While I was deeply invested in this show trying to figure out if Charlotte had Primordial Dwarfism type I or type II, Emme took a second away from "her" iphone and glanced up at the TV.

She saw precious little Charlotte and in a very matter of fact tone, announced, "I hate that girl."
And, then she went right back to her phone.
Oh, the love of Jesus! It is so felt in our home!

I've decided I need to be less concerned about Emme's stature and whether or not she gets enough milk or enough calories... or even food! I need to focus on that child's heart. Apparently, she's got like... little dog syndrome. She must see herself as some Swedish super model or something. Seriously, who does she think she is?

I may not blog again for awhile. I will be spending all my free time reading Emme the Bible.

Here's Charlotte's story if you'd like to read about her:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Part IV-Top Events of the Holiday Season


Part IV ALMOST.......The End of.......... Top Events of the Holiday Season

Dinner and a Movie Family Night-
We always take the kids to dinner and a movie a couple of days before Christmas. This year we went to see the new Chronicles of Narnia movie. I told Paul later, "I didn't want to see that movie but I knew when I did see it I would like it."

He seriously has no idea how to talk to me sometimes. I wish you could have seen his face when I made this comment.

At dinner we gave the kids ornaments. This year they all got a different Peanuts character. I told them how they were each similar to their characters. (We had a good laugh with this.) Then I told them they they were all different BUT I wanted them to always remember they were part of a set. No matter where life takes them... they would always be a set.

We had a great night!
(Thanks to one of my best friends in the whole wide world... Gina for sending us a $50 gift card that paid for our dinner!!)

Christmas Eve
We always spend Christmas Eve with Paul's family. His mom always makes an awesome meal. We ate and then all 11 grandchildren opened gifts. After hanging out all day, we all parted ways for church. We ended Christmas by watching the tv version of Christmas Vacation.

"You serious Clark?"

My favorite line in the whole movie! That and "once he starts, it's best just to let him finish."

Christmas Morning
The kids didn't get up until 8:45! Can you believe that?

We always make them wait upstairs until we are ready for them to come downstairs. We have to get the cameras ready etc... It always kills them.

Christmas Eve Pajamas... this year it was a Paul Frank theme

I love it!

The one thing I love about my kids is... I always feel like they are really thankful on Christmas morning. I never think they are disappointed or feel let down. They don't get even get tons of gifts. They get plenty... don't get me wrong.

We always have cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon on Christmas morning which they also think is the greatest thing in the world.

In the early afternoon, we headed to my parent's house. They live about 45 minutes away. My youngest brother was home this year so that made this Christmas special.

We had a great Christmas day!!!

I wanted to remember it was a white Christmas! YAY!

My surgeon brother sitting at the kid table... he totally belongs there too!!

I guess I keep trying get a picture of all these kids for memories sake... cuz it's a lot of work, dang it!

And, Taffy... who does she think she is?
My two favorite guys in all the world!!
Look how little Emme looks next to my little brother!

We decided Chase looked like a Philadelphia lawyer... not sure how this is different from... say an Indianapolis lawyer... but nonetheless when my mom said this I thought I might die!

The day after Christmas I wanted to see my brother one more time before he headed back home. And, since he does not make it home very often because he acts like he's some big shot surgeon that has do all these foot and ankles surgeries, I wanted him to meet Janae. (I still can't believe they'd never met.)

Soooo.... I made this huge brunch. And, for the record, I just want to say that I did it all without a working oven in my house.

I made an egg, bacon and hash brown casserole in my crock pot. I made biscuits in my semi- working oven. (I can make it work if I flip it back and forth between broil and bake) (That's fun!) I made gravy for the first time ever. I also made baked french toast, an egg and chicken quiche, and we had some fresh fruit. (Thank you neighbor Lisa for letting me borrow your oven for the 1,457th time.)

The food was fabulous... at least that's what everyone told me. A great time was had by all... AND I was worn out! Who comes home Christmas night and starts cooking like that?

Oh yeah... me!

Thai Lunch
On the Wednesday after Christmas we had a little best friend lunch. Janae and I went to lunch with our really good friend Courtney and her best friend Emily. It was my first time eating Thai food. (Paul says eating Thai is the sexy thing to eat right now.) (Not quite sure what that means but he says lots of other things are sexy too... like going to a certain church in our area, Starbucks coffee, and various other things.) (For the record, I don't know how to talk to him sometimes, so we're even.)

Anyway, we laughed really hard at lunch. I tried and loved the vegetable sushi. Yeah, went way out on a limb eating those vegetables! And, I LOVE wasabi!! I really like that burn I get way up in my nose. What's up with that? Good thing I don't do drugs, huh?

I didn't like my lunch so much though. On a spicy scale that food can be ordered from 3-9, 3 being low on the scale. I got a 3... and I was miserable. It's so not worth sweating to death trying to eat something. Who are these people who like food that hot?

Janae loved her food. She got some liquid Jif poured over some noodles. (Courtney ate the same thing) To each his own, huh?

At lunch, Courtney and Emily heard my oven story, so they volunteered their husbands to fix my situation.

Thursday morning, these fabulous guys gave up a morning of their vacation and came and cut through my countertop and cabinets. They removed 2 huge cabinets and my cooktop to make room for a free standing oven. Thanks to the same amazing man who bought us a new washer and dryer, we had money left over and combined it with some Christmas money and I got a free standing oven (as opposed to my teeny tiny wall oven that doesn't work) .... WITH 2 OVENS!!!!!!!!! I could not be happier or more thankful!


So, that same day, while I was getting a massage and a manicure, thanks to Janae's awesome husband, Michael, my new oven was installed. Talk about a great day. How fun to go to a spa with your best friend and be pampered!!!!

In the future however, I would like to recommend not doing Zumba afterwards.

Tomorrow... New Years Eve and then I am done with this forsaken holiday post! Geesh!!!