Friday, October 31, 2008

Grandparents Day, Little Trickers & Lots of Butterfinger Bars

Wasn't it just beautiful today here in Indiana? It felt like summer again...I hung out some laundry, took a short walk & opened the windows to let the warm fall air in. A great way to end October!! Today was Grandparents Day at Caedmon's school. Grandma picked him up this morning before school, spent the day with him there and took him to Arby's & Wal-mart afterward at his request. It was a special day for both of them.

And the weather was also just perfect for trick or treating tonight! No coats needed. This year was an easy year for costumes. We were able to use what we had which means more money in my pocket. :)

Let me introduce you to Peyton Manning and Princess Kaiya...
I love traditions and this year was just another repeat of last year. Trick or treating at the businesses in downtown Auburn, the Wal-mart scavenger hunt and supper at Wendy's afterward...oh, and all butterfinger candy bars go to mom. :)

The kids love trick or treating with their cousins.
This year we lost another older cousin to the world of teenagers (my niece Maci), but gained another little baby butterfly (my niece Emmi).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Date Night with Sarah Palin

Saturday night was a date night for Kevin and I. We left home around 3:30 in the afternoon and headed straight to the Coliseum for the SARAH PALIN RALLY!!! I was beyond excited and so thankful that Kevin was able to pick up the free tickets for us earlier this week. They were available on Thursday morning at 10:00. He got there at noon and the tickets were gone by 1:30.
Here is a picture of her arriving in Fort Wayne on Saturday evening just before the rally.

As we pulled in the parking lot at the Coliseum a little before 4, this is what we saw. The line went out to the road!! The next day, we read in the paper that this was the longest line Fort Wayne has ever had. My mouth dropped open and I commented to Kevin that it had to be a line to get into the building. He didn't believe me at first and said it was for something different...I was right. :)

When we finally made it into the building, we were standing shoulder to shoulder with thousands of people. It was tight and warm. Not too far from us, we spotted a Sarah Palin looka like. I wanted a picture with her so badly and was contemplating asking her when an older woman fainted beside us. The Sarah Palin look a like came over and tried to help (I guess she was a nurse). I was tempted to take a picture...would that have been inappropriate? Kevin said yes, so I didn't. Police officers, fire fighters and EMTs squeezed through the crowd to help the older lady and ended up taking her out on a stretcher. I felt bad for her. She didn't want to leave because she was afraid she would miss seeing Sarah Palin. I didn't blame her!!

I told Kevin about ten times that I was so thankful we didn't bring the kids! He got two extra tickets in case we wanted to take them glad we decided against it!! We were able to find someone else to take the tickets on Saturday morning.

One by one we filed through a security gate manned by Transportation Safety Administration personnel. Then we moved to another area where, with arms outstretched, we were scanned by Secret Service members with a security wand. We emptied our pockets and they went through my purse. We made it to our seats by 6:00...two hours from the time we got out of our car in the parking lot!!!
Hank Williams Jr. revved up the crowd with some music.
Sarah and part of her family walking out on stage
The coliseum was packed with over 15,000 people.It was sooooo worth the wait to see Sarah come out on that stage with her family. My sister asked me what some of the highlights were for me. I loved seeing her family with her. She was genuine and real. I loved her spunk. When she talked about her stand on the value of innocent human life, everyone rose to their feet and the crowd roared...that was my most favorite part of the speech.
Here's a short video of Sarah at the beginning of her speech.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

sweet surprises, picture bloopers & big head birthday cakes

Last Friday afternoon I was taken off guard at home with a knock on the door. It was & chocolate in hand. "Happy Sweetest Day!" "Happy sweetest what?" was what I was thinking as my mouth dropped open. I had no idea it was sweetest day and was totally taken off guard by his wonderful romantic gesture. Thanks honey!
I guess they came at a good time...we'll call them the prefight flowers. You see I had planned to take some family pictures for Christmas cards on Saturday afternoon and had mentioned it to my darling husband earlier in the week so he would be prepared. He doesn't always enjoy taking pictures as much as I do...I can't understand that one...but anyway, I thought it would be wise to give him some advance notice. Saturday came and when I brought up the fact that we would be taking pictures, there was a bit of retaliation and forgetfulness that pictures were planned for that day. He also forgot to mention to me that he was planning to go to a benefit dinner that evening. We took the pictures and made it to the banquet and all was well. Most of the pictures taken are displaying the genuine happiness that our family normally feels, but there are a few with painted on smiles over gritting teeth. That's real life for you.
Kevin surprised me again and apologized publicly to me the next morning in our Sunday School class. :)

We're saving the good pictures for you to view when you receive our Christmas cards, but I thought I would let you view the family picture bloopers.
Notice only one certain member of the family having trouble staying focused on the camera.
On Sunday after church, we travelled North to celebrate Ruby's birthday which was last Tuesday and Kevin's coming up on November 4th. Always a joy to be with family. The three girls in the family split the meal so that Mom could have a break. I made the birthday cake...a yummy three layer cake with white creamy filing between the layers. It was called "The Perfect Chocolate Cake with Perfect Chocolate Frosting" straight out of the Atmore Christian School cookbook. I think my sister-in-law Sarah would have been content with a bowl of frosting only. She went around searching for leftovers off our plates.

And you can't be at Grandma's house on a Sunday afternoon without popcorn, pop and silly hats.

Friday, October 17, 2008

8 things...

I was tagged by my cousin Heather to give eight answers to the following questions. Here you go.

8 things that happened yesterday.

1. Thought about exercising but decided to sleep longer.
2. Prayed really hard that I wouldn't run out of gas on the way to school. I had a 10, 4, 3 and 3 month old in the van with me.
3. Thanked God that I made it to the gas station.
4. Helped my niece with her spelling words.
5. Talked baby talk to my 3 month old niece trying to make her giggle and smile.
6. Did one load of laundry.
7. Read to my kids.
8. Left the kids with my husband to make supper and went to the Library by myself for some peace and quiet.

8 favorite places to eat.

1. Cork N' Cleaver
2. Carrabba's
3. Pokagon Inn on Mother's Day
4. Beside a campfire
5. My mom's house
6. Texas Roadhouse
7. Northwestern Zoo Day Picnic
8. Cracker Barrell

8 TV shows I love to watch:

1. American Idol
2. Little House on the Prairie
3. Fox News

sorry...don't watch much tv.

8 Things I am looking forward to:

1. Heaven
2. Getting the phone call about our new baby
3. Celebrating birthdays with family on Sunday
4. Cabo Trip
5. The next date night with my husband
6. Spring
7. Naptime
8. My next hair appointment

8 things on my wish list:

1. I wish I could experience what it's like to feel a baby move inside my body.
2. I wish I could stop people from getting divorced.
3. I wish I could freeze time when our family is on vacation together.
4. I wish my house would automatically stay clean and organized by itself.
5. I wish I had my own photography studio.
6. I wish I didn't have any gray hair.
7. I wish our government would seek God's wisdom.
8. I wish I could protect my children from the evil of this world.

8 friends I tag:

1. Nicole
2. Ashley
3. Jaime
4. Jessi
5. Kris
6. Aimee
7. Julie
8. Angie

Looking forward to reading what the rest of you post!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Here we are on a Monday morning...not my most favorite day of the week. It was hard to pull myself out of bed this morning after having four days of sleeping in a little longer. Caedmon had a Fall Break last week on Thursday and Friday and it was pure delight to see his face on Thursday morning when he realized he could stay in his pajamas a little longer and play with his toys the whole day. We didn't plan anything extraordinary on those days other than running a few errands on Thursday. Caedmon just wanted to make sure that he would get to have room time...a simple request. It felt good to have him home. A picture of the kids after errands on Thursday. I noticed the fly on Kaiya's cheek after taking the picture.

Now this morning I miss him and daddy being home with us. I'm left with remnants of the weekend...dishes in the sink, popcorn on the floor in the living room, laundry to do and rice krispies to sweep up from breakfast. It helps to think about the events of the weekend this morning and I'm thankful to God for all His blessings on our lives. The weather was amazing this weekend...even a little hot. The Fall colors are really popping out everywhere and what a joy to soak them all in as we drove around this weekend. Our worship leader on Sunday talked about how leaves have to go through many cold nights to reveal their beautiful colors. He made the comparison to people who after going through difficult times in their lives also have beautiful colors revealed.

On Saturday we spent the day at Kevin's parents house making applesauce. We had our work cut out for us with five bushel of apples to tackle. It went well and it was nice to have the guys there to help out, even though they had their own opinions on how everything should be done. The kids were in charge of washing the apples. They washed themselves along with the apples, but the apples did get washed which was the goal. They had a ball playing outside the whole day. The men were in charge of the cutting and when Grandpa pulled out his machete, I thought Grandma was going to have a heart attack. They kept Ruby and I hopping inside to keep up with the cooking and straining.
Here's a picture of Kaiya being comforted by Grandpa with ice cream after receiving her very first bee sting.

A lot of love went into making this sauce for you, Jason & Joyce!
Thanks, Ruby for all your hard work in pulling it all together! It was a fun day!

On Sunday after church, we attended a baptism of two little boys in our church. It was held at the pool of a couple that attends our church. Caedmon had a lot of questions about being "appetized" and the "bathatizing" that took place that day. We explained it to him a bit and went on with our day. During lunch out of the blue, he said "I want Jesus to be in my heart". We asked him why (thinking his reason might be just to be able to get baptized like the other boys) and he answered "because I love Jesus". We explained to him what it meant to have Jesus in his heart and Kevin prayed with him. It was a special time and I'm thankful we were all together as a family to see our son ask Jesus into his heart. This is what is making this Monday not seem so bad after makes my heart cry out with joy to know that my child loves Jesus and wants Him to live in his heart!!

Jesus loves me! this I know, For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Again, it was a beautiful day on Sunday and we had to do something outside so we took the kids on a train ride to a pumpkin patch. It was busy and we had to wait 45 minutes to ride the train, but the kids did great and we kept telling them how exciting it was going to be. It was finally our turn and we loaded the train with great anticipation. It was a beautiful ride through the woods, but when we reached the "pumpkin patch" there were no pumpkins left. It wasn't a real pumpkin patch...they hauled in pumpkins from somewhere else and basically threw them out in the middle of a field. The idea was a good one, but not planned out so well. The train ride made it worth going though. We let the kids each pick out a gourd to take home and stopped by this old truck on our way out to take some Fall family pictures.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Top Ten Things I Love About You

Kevin and I have been teaching a class at our church with curriculum based off the movie "Fireproof". Each week we play a clip from the movie and tie it into a discussion in the class. It's been a humbling experience for us as we feel we certainly are not experts on the topic of marriage and don't have a perfect marriage ourselves. God planted a seed in us though while we were at the marriage conference in North Carolina and we had no idea He would be having us teach a class on the subject only a few weeks later. Here we are five weeks into the class already and I know that we have learned just as much--if not more--than those in our class. Some of the highlights from the class so far have been focused on how uniquely different God made us as men & women. Ephesians 5:21-33 talks about how men primarily need to feel respect from their wives and women primarily need to feel love from their husbands. Wives are to respect their husbands as the church respects Christ and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church presenting her as blameless and holy to others. What does that practically look like though? Men need to feel a sense of accomplishment and that their work matters. Kevin feels respected when I am excited about his business and communicate that to him and others. Women need to feel like their husband is thinking about them. I feel loved when Kevin steps in without me asking to help with the kids or household chores. I feel loved if I've shared a deep struggle with him and a few days later, he asks how I'm doing.

How do we do this, especially if our spouse doesn't give us love and respect in return? That's a hard question. In the movie, Caleb asks the same question "How am I supposed to show love to someone who constantly rejects me?" And the parallel here and answer to the question is because that's what Christ does for us, over and over again. He loves us even though we constantly keep sinning and rejecting him.
Kevin and I are both very competitive and that makes for some very interesting arguments. We both want to win and then the crazy cycle can begin...I say something disrespectful, then he responds in an unloving way. But when I think about Christ's response to me even in my sin, I'm reminded about how He wants me to respond. Now do I always respond the way Christ wants me to? The answer is no. It's a daily thing to try to strive for.

Some friends of ours are sharing the teaching responsibility with us by taking every other lesson. My friend Jayne made an excellent point last week in the class. We all do dumb things like run the van into the garage door (oops, that was me) or get a speeding ticket (won't mention any names)...things that we already regret and beat ourselves up over. How do we respond to our spouse when it's them that did the dumb thing? They already feel bad about it and we shouldn't on one hand, feel afraid to tell them what happened or worry that they may get upset and on the other hand, rub it in and nag them about how stupid it was. This was a good reminder for me not to fall into the nagging cycle that I sometimes do.

Each week we've been giving the class a "dare" for the week sometimes taken from the "Love Dare" book that was used in the movie. The book is a really neat tool and I would recommend it to anyone. It's a forty day journey to strengthen your marriage. Each day starts with a little devotional then ends with a "dare" for that day. For example the first day was as follows:

"Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse AT ALL. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret." I think what stuck out to me the most that week was that I stopped and thought before I spoke. It was a good challenge.

Last week our friends gave us the dare to write down the top ten things we love about our spouse then go on a date and share them with our spouse. This was a great exercise as well. So on Friday night we had our date night. Here's my list for Kevin:

Top Ten Things I Love About My Husband

10. I love your sense of humor – No one can make me laugh like you can. You make up the best goofy songs & poems. You want me to be happy.

9. I love your blue eyes and the handsome body that goes along with them!

8. You are incredibly smart. I’ve learned so much from you! You are my walking encyclopedia and dictionary – You know a lot about many different things. You are very confident in who you are.

7. You are fearless and calm and you counsel me on many of my fears.

6. You give the greatest back rubs frequently without getting them in return.

5. I love that you challenge me and love me enough to tell me the truth. You are full of integrity. You give me a different perspective on situations and don’t say things about others that you wouldn’t say if they were standing right beside you.

4. I love watching you be a Father to our kids. You love them enough to discipline them and at the same time have the most tender heart towards them. You are devoted to our family.

3. I love your commitment to provide for our family. You are very driven to succeed and work very hard so that I can live my dream of staying at home with our children.

2. You are a people person and care very much about relationships with family and friends.

1. I love your commitment to put God first in your life and our family. It is a priority to take your family to church and Sunday School every Sunday and to spend time daily in teaching them about God. I appreciate your prayers for me every morning before you even get out of bed.

You’re my BEST friend and I couldn't imagine life without you!

Okay, no pressure here after all that. KJB better weigh in and make a few comments about the hot blonde in my arms:

Top Ten Things I LOVE About Sherri

1. Her caring and compassion for others; this goes beyond just her friends and is the true Biblical meaning of the word.

2. Her love and devotion to Christ. Sherri is committed to the Word and is a challenge to me to stay on track.

3. Her unconditional love and acceptance of my family. She has a positive uplifting spirit about her that serves to attract, not divide.

4. She shares common interests of mine...such as conservative politics!

5. She is very supportive of my business...Our business.

6. She constantly challenges me to improve and grow...up!

7. She's HOT! And committed to physical fitness, health and good family eating habits.

8. One awesome cook...who said the key to a man's heart is through his stomach? Yep.

9. She's such a great example to other women. You want a woman who doesn't gossip or get catty? Sorry, this one's taken.

10. She loves me even with all my faults.

11. BONUS. She is extremely gifted and creative with photography, preserving important family memories.