Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November Daybook

{Outside My Window}  Cold and rather dreary.  No rain so that's good.  No snow either, so that's boring, but it's okay.  I love snow most from the comfort of home and we have a bit of running around and traveling to do this week.

{I'm listening To} Well, I was listening to the following.  I started this post yesterday.  The girls playing with 9 month old Sarah.  We've been babysitting once a week for our little friend.  It's mostly Callie's "job" and I'm here for support.  It's been good for Callie to build her baby sitting confidence and Kate just loves her.  I do too! ;)  She's so chunky and squishy you can't help but love her. 



{I'm Thankful For}  Seeing as it's November we have been thinking about this maybe more than usual.  The girls made a list one day.  Callie's list contained just what you would expect from a teenage girl....music, movies, books, food, friends.  I think family was on her list somewhere. ;) Kate's was as expected too.  Her friends, her stuffed animals and Mommy and Baba.  I think she listed her animals one by one which took up most of the paper. 

Right now I'm thankful for a break in routine.  We will be visiting my parents soon and I can't wait to go and hang out with my family.  To hear the cousins and playing and staying up too late talking.  Eat our favorite foods and make memories.

I'm thankful for these ladies here.  We have been meeting together for about 16 years.  Through thick and thin we have prayed for each other.  Through marriages, births and burials too.  I love them dearly!



I'm also thankful for the December ahead.  It's my favorite time of year and we are going to celebrate with joy!

{I'm Thinking About}  Too much really.  It's hard to "let go and let God".  I wonder who came up with that phrase.  We seem to be in a period of testing this past year or so.  Maybe two years.  And not just in one area, which I guess is how it usually is.  I'm not sure how well we're passing the tests.  Cameron and I are united and we know God is in control and that he is teaching us through these times.  Also, there are many around us who are going through much, much worse.  I keep talking to Callie about keeping things in perspective and I'm trying to practice what I preach.

{In the Sewing Room}  Not much, but I'm hoping that will change soon!  I do have some things brewing in my head.

{In the Kitchen}  Well, this is where part of my over thinking thing is happening.  We recently had Kate tested for some food allergies.  They tested her for 10 foods and she was allergic to all but one.  So, if she's allergic to all of those, then it's pretty much guaranteed there are more.  Only one was labeled a "high" allergy, strawberries.  The others were "mild" or "moderate".  The good thing is that since they are mild to moderate we have a little time to come up with a game plan.  We can wait until after the holidays and there are three birthdays in our house between Dec. and Jan, so we won't do anything drastic until after her birthday.  I guess another good thing is that it explains some problems that she's been having not just with her skin, but other areas too.

Food is such a way that we celebrate everything and a way that I show my love to the girls and to Cameron too.  Beatrix Potter's birthday?  Let's have tea and scones!  First snow?  Hot chocolate!  Some body's birthday?  Let's go out!  Being gluten free had already thrown a little cramp in our style, but now? 

Now thinking about food just stresses me out and is depressing.  I know I'm not alone either.  There are more and more people dealing with these kinds of issues.

{I am Reading}  Let's see.....I am currently reading "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" by Dr. Paul Brand and Phillip Yancy.  I'm also reading GAPS: Gut and Psychology Syndrome.  Not exactly a fun read, but it may be our best chance at helping Kate over come her issues.  This diet cuts out pretty much everything to give the intestines a chance to heal and then add things back to the diet, hoping that the foods will no longer cause a reaction. 

A couple of weeks ago I finished another Kate Morton book.  The Distant Hours.  It was just as good as The Secret Keeper.  She is an amazing story teller!  In a week or two I'll probably order another one from the library to take South with us for Christmas break.

{One of My Favorite Things} Movie dates with Callie.  I've gone to see a few things I wouldn't have on my own and every time I've enjoyed it.  She's good for me!


 


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

{Fall Moments}

The rest of the year is basically my "favorite time of year".  First there's fall, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas.  I love spring, but I really love fall and the first part of winter.  {We'll just pretend the second half of winter doesn't exist!}







 For those of you not in the mid-west, this would be a giant corn maze.  Thankful for the tower in the middle, or we may still be in there!



Dipping leaves in beeswax.  Gingko leaves are our favorites.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bearing One Another's Burdens

My first idea for the title was "Moved".  But I thought it might cause blog confusion.

But when I think about this week the first word that comes to mind is "Moved".  I have been deeply moved by people I know and by people I didn't know until now and by some who I may never know.

Last Saturday, during Callie's party, we found out that, on Friday night, a family we knew had lost their father to carbon monoxide poisoning due to a gas leak in the house and that the mother was unconscious, had been transferred to an Indianapolis hospital and was not expected to live either. 

I'm not exactly sure how well my parents knew this couple.  They are about the same age probably and I know they attended some joint church social gatherings and I know their grandchildren attended the Bible camp where my parents work.  One of the couples sons and his family attend the same church as one of my sisters.

I had met the couple maybe two or three times and I know their daughter in law just a little bit from the same church camp.

All that to say, we knew them, but I only barely new them.

But how could you hear this news and not be heart broken for them?  Both parents in one night!

All Saturday and Sunday we watched for news of the mother.  I wasn't hearing anything so I started looking on Facebook.  I saw that one of their sons and I had a mutual friend.  This was quite surprising to me so I sent my friend a message.  Turns out, they had gone to college together and had been great friends.  My friend is out of the country and has a house not too far from the hospital.  She asked me to please let them know about the vacant house and tell them that they were welcome to stay there.  She has another friend who went to wash sheets and make sure everything was ready for guests.  At first it seemed the house wouldn't be used, but then a different son who lives on the opposite side of the country (so far that it took them almost three days to get here) arrived with his family of six and needed a place to stay.

I talked to the daughter that I knew already and she told me of people they had never met bringing food, offering shelter, money given for travel expenses, a whole bed and breakfast in their town offered for lodging for family coming from out of town.  I think I saw that a local heating and cooling company made all the repairs needed at no charge.  This is bearing one another's burdens and fulfilling the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).  I'm not sure I've seen it on such a grand, spread out scale before.  Mutual friends of mutual friends helping out people they've never even heard of before.

Moved!

What has moved me the most though, is seeing how this couple had impacted so many people and the messages those people were leaving on Facebook.  They had both been teachers and the notes people have written have made me wish I had taken the time to get to know them better!  These were two people who loved the Lord and apparently loved people and took the time to care for others.  These were two people who had a fascinating life living abroad, working for the Peace Corps and helping others and she was even a home economics teacher in another country.  But I never took the time to say more than "Hi". 

It's my loss and I've wondered over the last couple of days what else, who else,  I've missed out on because of busyness or pride or indifference. 

I hope it will be the last time!

{Please, if you think of them, pray for their family.  They were very involved parents and grandparents and will be leaving a huge hole}

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Book Lover's Birthday Party

When Callie was little we used to have what we called a Friend Party one year and then the next year would be the Family Party.  Every once in a while, it would be both.  Over the years though, as the number of cousins increased, it sort of evolved into a most years being "just" family.

I don't organize games, I don't pass out favors, I don't rent restaurants or party rooms.  There were games and maybe a balloon to take home in the younger years, but really, all they care about is having fun together.  As long as there is cake (or sugar in some form) and presents and lots of laughter, that's all anyone really cares about.  I've seen some (several) adult men fall asleep at our parties, but no kids have ever fallen asleep or complained because there was no bouncy house in the back yard!

Anyway,  I wanted to decorate and being an October birthday, there is often a fall theme going, but I wanted something different this year.  What does Callie love more than anything?  Reading.  I had seen some really neat things done with old book pages so of course we went to Pinterest to see what we could find.  My criteria was that it be simple and easy.  Callie does not like to do crafts that much and I didn't have time to spend on elaborate decorations.

Here are some of the pins we found.....a book "cake", these votive holders and of course a few other ideas that we didn't use.  Kate likes to be crafty and she came up with making a paper chain with old book pages.  It was really quite cute.  She asked for some pages and disappeared and then came down with one a bit later.  I think she asked, "Is this okay for the party?"  So sweet!  Callie wanted her book cake to be less "childish" than the picture on Pinterest so we just used an old pair of her glasses to go on top.  It all turned out perfect.  It was so Callie!  And so easy and free!!  You could use funny pages or copy pages from favorite books, there are a lot of ways you could go with these ideas.


 




 

 


The best part was actually something I thought of all by myself.  That's rare, I'm usually just copying someone else!  While looking at all the book page ideas I thought it would be great to have everyone write a poem to read to Callie at the party.  Funny or serious, whatever they wanted to come up with. 
 
It was so great!  The kids and adults wrote things and read them.  Some were funny, some a combination and some more serious and they were all awesome!!  I couldn't even pick a favorite if I had to.  They were all so creative and just perfect for Callie. 

Here's mine......Roses are red, violets are blue.  Your 15 now, boo hoo hoo!  Brilliant isn't it? LOL

And of course there was cake too.  Ice cream cake.  Yummy!




 

Terrible picture quality here, but I can't have a post about Callie's party without Callie!  I took more videos than of her than photos this time.
 
 
This was probably my favorite party yet!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Happy Birthday Callie

When Callie turned one, I cried for a week.  That hasn't happened since then......until this year.  She is turning 15 this year.  FIFTEEN!!!! 



How did this happen?!  How can it be that I have a daughter this old?  I get chocked up every time I think about it.  And I've been thinking about it for a month.

I remember the race to the hospital like it was yesterday.  I actually told Cameron to run the red lights if no one was coming.  We barely made it to the delivery room before she was born.   And the nurse at the doctor's office had said, "Well, just come by and we'll check you out."  Ha!! 

 

 


 



 


Callie came a little early and very fast.  She has surprised us over and over ever since.  Her hilarious personality when she was younger, her deep interest in other cultures and history, the way she loves other little girls instead of looking at them like pests (sister not always included), her long, looong legs, the way she can argue with you until your so confused you don't even know what day it is, the way she still loves to hang out with her parents and give us hugs and kisses, and the way that she marches to the beat of her own drummer, have all been surprises.  {The arguing should have been no surprise.  What goes around comes around!}



Things that really weren't a surprise?  Her curly hair, her love of books, her love of food {she is her father's daughter!}, her love of dressing up being a typical girl, in the good sense. 

And here is where my thoughts just get all jumbled.  All the joy of being a mother, but yet there have been hard days too.  I can't think of one without thinking of the other.

I have to say though, I wouldn't trade being her mother for anything.  For fifteen years now, I've been called "Mommy"  and it all started on October 7, 1999.

Happy birthday Callie!  I love you to the moon and back!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

{In the Library Bag}

I have two new favorite books to tell you about today.  Both of them were so so good!  I stayed up way too late reading, but it was our Fall break from school, so what better to do?

The first one is a memoir of sorts.  The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma is the story of her and her father and their experiences reading together.  It is a wonderful story and I enjoyed every minute of it. Starting some time in grade school I believe, her father read to her every night, right up to the day that she left for college.  It's very interesting what ended up happening in her father's professional life.  He was a public school librarian and his school system decided to throw out most of the books and just have computers.  You can just imagine how he reacted to this.

I first saw The Reading Promise mentioned at Amongst Lovely Things.  I was intrigued so I requested it from the library.  Last week Sarah had Alice on her Read A-loud Revival Podcast (which I've mentioned before are awesome!!).  Apparently their story is going to be made it into a movie!  {I hope they don't ruin it}

The next book I read was a novel.  I was a little leary after the last novel!  When I started The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton I wasn't so sure I was going to be able to get into it.  I'm not sure why, it just took a while.  However, this book ended up being crazy good!  Towards the end there was a twist that I was totally not expecting.  That, for me, is one of the marks of a good book.  I'd love to go on and on about it, but that would ruin it for you.

During our weeks of school I try not to read too many page turners because then I'm tempted to stay up too late and read too much, but I immediately ordered another Kate Morton book from the library.  I couldn't help it. 

The girls and I are reading Peter Pan together.  We are enjoying it very much.  It's been years and years since I've seen the Disney version, or any of the other versions, so when we are finished I think we'll have to get the movies and see how they compare. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Man Makes Plans......

and God laughs.  Isn't that how the saying goes?

The last week has proven this to be true.  Thankfully, we started off the week with a beautiful, peaceful picnic a the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  I love this place.  The outside is just as great as the inside and the weather was perfect!  Just cool enough for a sweater and warm enough to sit in the sun with flip flops on.  We ate our picnic, the girls goofed off with the phone camera, I did a bit of knitting and Cameron tried to get a nap.













The first wave of excitement was when Cameron was offered a full time position with a new company.  This was a huge answer to prayer and will hopefully be a really good move for him.  He was given the start date of October 1 which would mean he had two weeks with no work. 

Never fear, the Honey Do List to the rescue!  I was just a bit excited about some things that could be done.  Also, knowing he would be working a newer, more demanding job during their original days they planned to be here, Cameron's parents decided to go ahead and come up early.  We were also hoping to take the girls to the pumpkin patch and maybe pick some apples.

They left Monday morning, planning to be here sometime Tuesday.  Late Monday morning, the new company calls and says they would like to move Cameron's start date up...to the very next day!!  While this was also an answer to prayer (would have been four weeks to first pay day), it did sort of throw a wrench in our plans.

We had a nice visit with Granny and Poppy, although I know they would have liked more time with Cameron.  He was busy upstairs watching training videos and having all kinds of conference calls and such.  He was excited to be getting started, but I know he wished he could be visiting more too.  And I KNOW he wished he could be working on that Honey Do list! ;) 

He actually did get one project done and Poppy helped finish that up.  The rest shouldn't take too long on a Saturday morning. 

I had a list for myself too and planned to be pretty busy Friday planting bulbs and doing some yard work.  I didn't feel too great when I woke up, but thought nothing of it.  I started a big breakfast of grits, egg souffle and sausage to fill up Granny & Poppy for their drive.  The more I cooked, the worse I felt and Cameron had to finish it up.  I felt pretty crummy and after they left I went back to bed.  I actually slept for four hours!  This after a full nights sleep.  Not in my plans to be in bed half the day!!  I'm praying it's just a fluke and that no one else gets it.  Especially Cameron!  He really doesn't have time to be sick right now. 

So our fall break was filled with job excitement, some running around with Granny and Poppy and..........

A working dishwasher!  Do you hear the angels?