Friday, October 21, 2016

Whatever Happens in Memphis, Stays in Memphis

Last week I went with my parents and youngest sister on a little road trip.  We went to see our cousin who is currently in Memphis with her husband and son, Cash.  They are there for Cash, who is being treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  

It was a great trip and they are one amazing couple!  They have a wonderful support system back home, 9 hours away, taking care of their other two boys while they are taking care of Cash and helping him get the best care possible.

We got a tour of the housing that has been provided for them and the hospital too.  It made me think when I grow up, I want to work at St. Jude :)  It was so awesome to see this place and to see other families who are there and being helped.   The Target house is so cool!!  Obviously these people would rather be in their own homes, but this is the next best thing!  

This fountain was sooo cool in real life.  The elephants are made of some sort of metal that almost looked like leaves or paper mache.

There were probably over a hundred of these pictures of elephants along the walls.  I don't remember the exact details, but the elephant is a symbol of hope and healing (I think that's what the sign said).  So famous people of all kinds either colored or drew their own versions of elephants.  I should have taken pictures of more of them.  Some of them were especially creative.

There is serious work being done there, but we had lots of fun too. 

 Someone might have gotten lost in a restaurant trying to find their way back from the bathroom. 

 Someone might have snored during the night and in the van. 

 Someone might have laughed until they almost...well, never mind.  

Someone might have told crazy lies to a two year old.  Like, "We can't ride the wagon right now because it needs a bath" and "you can't get down because there is space poop on the floor"!

Someone might have refused to share dessert.

And Someone spent several hours with a little boy who was slightly whiny and clingy so his wife could go out with her family.  {Thank you Andy}


So far Cash has been able to bounce back pretty well from each treatment.  He has many more to go so if you could keep Cash and his family in your prayers we would all appreciate it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


As of two weeks ago, Callie is 17.  Seventeen!!!

She's all about cousins and friends, Starbucks when she has money to burn, goofing off with Kate, all things Marvel but especially "Bucky", her Daddy's flannel shirts, baseball caps, taking selfies (which she insists she's not doing), reading all kinds of books, taking pictures of her friends, watching as many movies as she can get away with, dreaming of trips to New York, Disney, California, and making videos.

Callie is generous, kind and just like most teenagers, she sometimes drives us crazy!  But she is stuck with us, like it or not.  We are so thankful for the excitement and laughter she brings to our lives.  We would be so bored and lost without her!

 Yes, she got a box of Kleenex for her birthday.  It has Captain America's picture all over it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday With Words {Mere Motherhood}

I read quite a bit this summer.  Thus the state of my garden! 

Oh well.

Very rarely do I order a book as soon as I hear about it.  Although, when I do, I usually blog about it so it might seem like I do it a lot, but I really don't.

As soon as I heard that Cindy Rollins had a book coming out I knew I wanted to read it as soon as possible.  For those not familiar with the name, Cindy is a mother of nine, home schooled them all and now writes and pod casts for Circe Institute.  She used to have a blog that was full of inspiration and the wisdom and perspective an older mom of many can pass on.  I had just found her blog a few months before she stopped and was pretty bummed.

So I ordered the book and I was not disappointed.  

While it is all good, all encouraging and filled with food for thought, I think my favorite part was in the very beginning in the authors note.

     "Some of you reading this look back on those early days of mothering through a long tunnel of memories, good times and bad.  Your now fashionable gray hair is well-earned.  In spite of all those surging new-mother hormones of love, you know now that motherhood is sanctification.  Perhaps way more sanctification than you ever bargained for.  It is not the kind of dust-bunny sanctification that makes a Facebook Meme.  There is no trite way to explain the heart-wrenching joys and sorrows you have seen.  There is no way to warn the mommy next door or your daughter-in-law.  It is a walk of joy that often includes the tearing off of the old dragon skin one painful layer at a time, made all the worse because you didn't even know you were wearing dragon skin.  No one ever does."  (emphasis mine)

Now, I'm not so far into this that I have fully grown children, old enough to be married.  Technically, I'm in the next group she mentions, "the middle years."  But I am far enough into it to understand what she means here.  I've realized that "tea parties don't cure sin."  I realize now that I absolutely can not be the "perfect mother" I thought I was going to be because I'm covered with dragon skin. Dragon skin I had no idea was there and was quite shocked to see.

I found this encouraging because it is so easy for me to put other mothers, especially those of large families, on pedestals.  "Look how sweet all 10 of her children are and I can't make two get along!"  Really, it's quite silly, I know.  To think those other families don't have issues, arguments,  disobedience, etc. going on in their home is so foolish!  But, that's what often runs through my head, especially if it has been a bad day.  So to hear that I'm not the only one with dragon skin just felt good!  Then there was this, "You are not alone.....God is real.  He is there.  He doesn't just love your children; he loves you.  I have been young, and now I am old, and I have not seen the righteous forsaken.  We do not write our own stories; we just think we do.  My story belongs to Jesus, so I already know that it has a happy ending."

And the book hadn't even begun!

There is much encouragement here and a lot of remembering what it was like raising nine boys and one girl.  I can't even imagine!  There is even an old, dilapidated farm house that made me quite thankful for mine!  I think any mom would enjoy reading Cindy's book.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Back To School

We have two sets of back to school pictures because I forgot the sign the first day! 

We had to make a last minute change to our First Day field trip since our partners in crime education came down with a nasty bug.  Since we have been to pretty much everything in the Indy area, I Googled Indiana fieldtrips and saw a listing for the Museum of Miniature Houses in Carmel.  It was inexpensive, not too far away and I was pretty sure both girls would find it interesting.  We did a little more walking than we bargained for on a very hot day since we either misunderstood directions or were given the wrong ones.  Who knows, but we had a great day anyway and checked out just a tiny bit of the Arts District in Carmel.  We shared some appetizers at a restaurant across the street that I knew Callie would love.  It is inside the original Carmel library, called Woody's Library Restaurant.  It was very good and there were books everywhere!  Perfect for the first day of school.

There is a great list of places to visit in Indiana here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August Highlights

The first thing we did in August was have a weeklong house guest.  I'll admit that I was a bit nervous about the number of days.  Would we get tired of our guest?  Would she get tired of us?  Or get homesick?

 What do you think?  Do they look tired of each other?  She was the best house guest ever!  She even baked some delicious treats for us.   I just realized that these pictures Callie took are from the pool they went to when Callie and Kate went to stay with them.  Oh well, they looked basically the same at our local pool here.  Very happy to be together!  We did miss the other member of this cousin team, Claire.  She was off exploring Washington DC!

A couple of weeks later we were very thankful that we were able to get in a weekend road trip before school starts.  First we headed south to Nashville, TN.  We stopped at the Parthenon, a mall (or two) then headed on to Huntsville, AL.  Callie had really been wanting to go to the Huntsville Space Museum.  I went when I was a kid, but I really didn't remember anything about it.  It was fun and I'm glad we went.  The weather cooperated for Kate's only wish which was to swim in the hotel pool.   Sunday there was a little more shopping and then we headed home.  It was fast, but still very relaxing and we had a great time.  If you are ever in Huntsville you need to go to the Po' Boy Factory!  Yum!!

I even ran into an old college friend in Nashville.  I had been wishing I could meet up with some friends in TN and AL, who I haven't seen in ages, but I knew there just wasn't enough time.  It was so surprising to see my friend outside one of the malls in Nashville!  So I got to meet up with someone after all.

We will be starting school this week so hopefully we'll have some fun first day of school pictures to show soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

One Mess Leads to Another

I'm sitting in a dining room that is currently half painted, exploding with felt for a 4H project, a bookcase waiting to be painted, and two footstools that need to be painted and turned into something else.  To say it is a mess would be quite an understatement!  Not to mention outside chores that need to be done.

 "Three Hungry Mice"

 The Martha Stewart Craft Book For Kids?  Awesome!

I'm normally a "don't start one project until you finish the previous one" kind of girl, but sometimes, it just can't go like that.  In fact with that sentence I'm having a moment of deja vu.  I'm thinking I was down this road before and wrote about it.

I started painting the dining room before the 4th of July.  I thought I could finish it this Monday.  That didn't work out.  I thought I might finish it today, but Callie is gone this weekend and so I decided it would be the perfect time to freshen up her room and paint something she has wanted to paint.  Well last night she informed me that really, she just wants rid of that bookcase because her room is rather small.  So I painted it and it's probably going in the schoolroom and the bookcase in that room will go......somewhere.  So that means all the fabric, patterns and books needed to come off that case. They are currently piled in the school room floor and that room looks like JoAnn's at the end of a Black Friday sale.

Anyway, the place is a mess!  But it's a good mess.  Fun projects, flower beds being mulched and the flowers them selves looking better this year than ever, a little rearranging and changing things to better fit our growing girls and to banish all earth tone* walls forever! ;).

*Earth tones can be very pretty, but in a house with brown wood floors and lots of brown wood trim, brown walls were just too much for me!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Another One Bites the Dust

There often seems to be no rhyme or reason to storm damage.  One house can be destroyed by a tornado and across the street a house stands untouched.  Thankfully, there were no tornadoes here last night, but strong winds and a lot of lightening.

A few years ago we lost two trees in one storm while we were out of town.  They actually fell towards each other, blocking the back door.  Last night, we lost another one in the front yard.  I didn't realize how bad of shape that tree was in, although only one of our mature trees looks totally healthy. Our house is 100 yrs old, plus some, so all of these maples are who knows how old.

What cracks me up, is that this is still standing!

 Some of it fell last year, I don't even recall there being a storm when one of the huge branches fell into the corn field, but there could have been.  We are still working on cleaning that up a little bit at a time.  Chopping.  Burning.  Chopping.  Burning.

What's kind of cool about last nights storm is the way this tree fell.  We live on a very busy road and although the storm didn't start until after 1:00 a.m., there are always a few cars and semis traveling by.  This tree is the closest to the road and also pretty close to our house.  It fell in between the house and the road, causing no damage what so ever.  Thank you Lord!!  Not only would it have blocked the road and people may not have been able to see it until too late, it would have also knocked down power lines. If it had hit the house it would have been right over Callie's room, although by this time both girls were downstairs.

Both girls ended up in our bed for awhile, wide awake while Cameron kept watch on his phone. Sometimes I hate modern technology, but a fully charged smart phone in a bad storm?  Priceless!