Monday, May 31, 2010

An unlikely pair...

Life is funny.
There are seasons.
I am one of those people who has a few really really good friends.
I love lots of people, but only get real deep with a few.
And it seems like in each season of my life there is one that stands out.
If you are one of those friends, you know who you are.
I'm not afraid to tell you. :)

Six years ago, one of those friends appeared in my life.
And it could only be a friendship ordained by God.
Because on paper, we could quite possibly be the most unlikely pair.
She is quiet and an introvert.
She thinks before she speaks and "laughs on the inside".
She hates beer and sports bars and college football and mushrooms and olives.
She never wears sunglasses. (at least she used to never wear sunglasses.)
She's not a fan of planning crafts with her kids or baking.
She prefers time alone and silence over parties and noise.
She doesn't garden or recycle and she throws away her pop cans. (can you IMAGINE?!?!)
Nearly my perfect opposite.
Theoretically we should be enemies.
Or at least think eachother is ridiculous. :)

But we are not.
She is one of "those" friends.
I think because the things we are passionate about run deep.
The least of these.
Our families.
We have so much to talk about...

We've been all over together.
The city, the ocean, the mountains and to Africa and back.
Not a single day goes by that I don't see her or talk to her or text her.
If it does, something must be wrong.
Such a huge part of my life.
She has made me better.
I am not the same person I was 6 years ago and Jody is a big part of that.
She has been this gift given to me during a time when I was teetering on a scary edge.
A lifeline.
And I hope I have been the same to her.

But the season is changing.
And Jody is leaving.
My friend.
My confidante.
My "person" for the past six years.

I'm super sad.
(how's THAT for expressing how I feel?!?)
Beyond sad.
No words to describe the sadness.
But the time has come and our lives are taking different paths.
Not sure what the future looks like for either of us.
But I know we will always be a huge part of each other.
Just like those other friends over the course of my life.

So very thankful that God saw our potential together.
That we didn't find each other ridiculous.
Life has been better because Jody was in it these last years.
Friends forever.
No doubt.
Love you, friend.
I'll miss you like crazy.
But have not a single doubt you will be doing big things wherever you end up.
Oh, and I'll be calling, texting and emailing regularly.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010


we stayed 2 nights and then came home today.
it was totally fun and i hardly took any pictures.
saturday we kayaked with the kids and it was so great.
they loved it and so did we.
the kind of day that sticks with you forever.
and it was topped off with the landers visiting our campsite.
it's kinda fun to host from your campsite.
there was one requirement...andy had to bring his guitar...

he obliged.
felt so go hearing his music ring through the campground.
a little mini worship session...much needed by this crew.
i love church in the campground. it's my new favorite thing.
and i must say, it was bittersweet.
i'd have these moments of "wow...this is so awesome."
and then followed by a pang of "man, this totally sucks. i cannot believe they are moving."
and it's been like that for a few weeks now.
trying to enjoy this time and soak it all up, but then imagining life without them here.
let's not go there.

anyway, ayla has always gotten the biggest kick out of jody.
which totally cracks me up.
they are opposites.
kinds of like jody and i.
but they have spent lots of time together.
definitely a bond.

a large group of children walking a few dogs.
don't know some of those kids.
don't know those dogs.
but i do love life at the campgrounds.
it's like a big community.
totally fun.

we ate supper and roast marshmallows and watched the sun set.
love them all so much.
pure comfort.
talking about anything and everything from jesus to global warming to hot dogs to rachel ray to becoming a dowser.
oh...and jody got to hear me sing a little karaoke.
which she also found amusing.
pretty sure that will stick with her for a while. :)

so let's just focus on the good stuff.
it was a fun night.
my heart is full.
so thankful for their friendship.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

pretty proud of myself...

we are camping this weekend.
but it was a close call.
we had planned to go to the campsite and set up the camper tonight, and then realized that all the campgrounds would probably be full by then. plus, brigg has baseball and paul gives blood and yada yada yada. so i took it upon myself to go reserve a campsite this morning. the plan was to get it reserved and then drive the camper over later.
well we are still learning about all these camping rules.
apparently this is not how it works in a first come, first serve campground.
you must have your camping unit there to put on the site.
and i did not have our camping unit.
nor did i have the car that can pull the camping unit.
nor have i ever attached the camping unit to the car that pulls the camping unit.
but i had looked at the weather.
and this campsite is on a lake.
and i was determined today. we WILL camp. and we WILL kayak...if it's the last thing i do!!
so i went and switched cars out with paul.
and i attached the camping unit to the vehicle that pulls the camping unit. (i'm sorry, but camping unit just struck me as funny today. so i'm saying it a lot. it's funny.)
and then i looked at it and thought, "there is no way i am going to be able to back this camping unit into a camping spot. i think i need to call my dad."
so i did.
and he was available.
he drove with me the 20 minutes to the campground and we got it parked. we got one of the last two available spots!
so happy!!
we are borrowing one kayak and renting another. teaching the kids to kayak on a very calm, quiet lake.
there is fishing and hiking and boating and camping in our very near future.
and it looks like it's going to be a perfect weekend for it!
now...we just need to find some firewood.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Meet Willow...

We kinda love her.
And it was very hard to leave her.
We get to pick her up a few days before the 4th of July.
The kids are counting down the days.

These were the 4 we had to choose from.
Kinda blurry, but the kids were wired trying to find our perfect puppy.

And actually, Ayla was kind of partial towards the black ones, but Paul and I were pushing for the an apricot one.
The black ones were pretty cute though.
Ayla kept saying, "she loves me!"
It was so very cute.

A fun fun night.
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puppy love...

call it what you will.
but we are in love.
and she is so so so sweet.

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Added bonus...

on our way back from picking out the puppy, we met erin, luke and drew in des moines for supper.
it was so fun!!!
and seriously...drew.
could he be any cuter????
oh those eyes....

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unrelated, random update on life...

is it possible that i might be slowly, slowly coming out of an extended funk?
let's hope so.
i'm starting to feel like i might not just be going through the motions. i'm planning things. looking forward to things to come. it's good!
plus, don't you just love it when someone shares a mutual "quirk" with you? when they tell you about it and you go, "oh my gosh!! ME TOO!" just makes you feel better about your psychotic issues. right? :)
someone shared that they get a little crazy when they are trying to get things together and planned to leave town. she may have called it "crabby". well yes, i TOO get crabby. that's the nice way of saying it. paul may have a different, more colorful descriptor for it. but remember reading about it before? thank goodness i'm not the only one!

and water! lots going on with water!! have i even mentioned water lately?? i don't think i have.
BUT...this is super exciting. there is a group of us who are planning on walking the BIX7 with (empty) jerry cans on our backs. An opportunity to raise awareness in the community and a good reminder of what people go through to access clean water on a daily basis. If you are interested in joining us, sign up HERE, and then email Angie at to let her know you'll be joining us!

Fun, right?!?

We are going camping this weekend. Close to home, but it should be fun. There's a lake and boat rentals, and hiking trails. So looking forward to it. Feeling like we need to slow down and just BE together. It will be nice. So glad the kids enjoy being outdoors as much as we do! The campground is all first come, first sever basis, so I'm going to try to go reserve us a spot early on Friday. I know it will be a busy weekend. Hopefully that works!

Tonight we are heading out to go pick out our puppy. Again, the kids are so excited. We're pulling them out of school a half hour early since we have a long drive there and back. It will be fun, but I'm sure we'll have to drag them away without their puppy. We don't get to bring her home for another month or so.

OH! And this is fun. I admit it, I bought a St. Joseph. (don't tell paul. :)) And guess wha?. We have a showing on Sunday. hee hee. I think it has something to do with the statue. Although I ordered it and I'm not sure it will actually be here by Sunday. Darn it. And trust me, I am NOT getting my hopes up. It's silly to do that. We've had plenty of showings. But thankfully we'll be camping, so I won't even be thinking about it. Just happy to get some activity.

School is out June 8. We go back August 24th or something like that. That makes for a short short summer. We're going to have to be very intentional with our time. Working on planning a few fun activities. So many things we want to do! I'm so ready for the summer to begin!

Ok. I think that's it for now. Say a little prayer for us Sunday at NOON! Hoping they love love love this place. We shall see.
If you've made it this far, congratulations! I feel better now that that's all off my chest! :)

rain, rain...go away.

Or at least the thunderstorms.Lani has been so excited to use her umbrella that she got for easter.

But Ayla...oh Ayla....
These thunderstorms about kill her.
Serious serious fear.
Results in no nap and probably little sleep tonight, too.
They are calling for more storms tonight. Ugh.
Here she is when we picked up the kids from school during the thunderstorm.Hiding her face...

And Brigg...after running into the house.
(when did he turn 16??)
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Writing letters

Had another letter writing session the other day.
It was so fun to write to our sponsored child in Sierra Leone now that I've actually met her!

I ordered pics of our time together in SL and am including them in our letter.
Such a neat experience.
Again, as I do everytime I post about this, I encourage you to sponsor a child.
The kids love doing this together and it's so fun now that they can both write to their child!
I can personally vouch for the integrity of Children of the Nations' program.
When they knew we were going to be in the country, they drove all of our kids down from Banta to meet us.
It was a very long trip and so amazing.
We also sponsor 2 other children through World Vision, also a very reputable organization.
It's such a great way to expand yours and your child's backyard.
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Monday, May 24, 2010


Jody walked in my kitchen today to find me washing windows and scrubbing light fixtures. Fairly certain there was a look of disbelief on her face that I've never seen in all my years of knowing her. And for good reason. I was washing a light fixture that I had never washed since we moved in. I decided to go by the motto this morning "If you clean it, they will come" (buy it.)
We'll see.
But Jody thinks I'm nesting.
Preparing for our new puppy.
And she may be right.
We got an email from the owner this afternoon and she wants us to come pick our pup out this week. So we'll be doing that on Wednesday. Then we have to leave her and wait another 4 weeks before we get to bring her home for good.
That gives me another month to nest.
And sell this silly house.
(btw...i'm resorting to burying a st. joseph. i'm not opposed to trying anything at this point. desperate times call for desperate measures. now where do i find one of those statues??)

i'm ready

for summer break.
just sitting here this morning thinking, "i don't want to take the kids to school today. i want to play in water and eat popscicles.
i want to go on a picnic and run around the park and take pictures of my kids.
i'm so ready for school to be out.
so ready.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Oh my...this was funny.
In Brigg's 8 and under baseball league, they do "coach pitch".
Each team's coach pitches to their own team.
So today Brigg and I loaded up to head to his tournament in Iowa City and as soon as we got there, word started to spread.
This tournament is "kid pitch".
I could see Brigg's coach start to panic a bit.
WHAT? He had called in March and been told that it was coach pitch.
Apparently there had been a misunderstanding.
they had a crash course on the mound just minutes before the game.
Truly, not a single player knew how to pitch...but they all wanted to! :)
Brigg shouted, "This is the best game EVER!"
And he got his turn pitching...

And I just prayed the whole time that he wouldn't knock out a batter.
God answered.
And the kids had a blast playing with these new rules.
They could also steal bases, which made them all very happy, too.

Paul stayed home with the girls.
So it was just me and Brigg.
I could fully focus on the game.
It was nice.
And they lost one and won one.
They'll be playing again tomorrow.
I do love baseball...especially in 80 degree weather!
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Friday, May 21, 2010

whew...i've almost made it.

paul gets home tonight!!
thank goodness.
single parenting all week has nearly killed me a couple times.
ayla has been a monster.
terrible twos would be an understatement.
it's been over a week since paul and i have seen eachother.
he had a training all week and then passed a big test today to get certified in something.
i can't remember what it's called.
it has to do with rating homes on their energy efficiency.
so proud of him. only 50% of the class passed. so he is relieved.
he's heading home and right into a busy busy weekend.
baseball tournament in iowa city for brigg.
piano recital.
and then our friends, steve and amy, are having a adoption fundraiser on sunday.
it will be a perfect way to end our weekend...surrounded by friends.
listening to andy's band play and supporting the smiths.
and it will just be nice to do it together as a family.
anxious for him to get home.
can you tell??

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dirty summer feet...

Today after playing at the park with no shoes...

And then little miss drama/attitude/personality came out to play..

This was around 10:00.
And she stayed and played until 1:00.
Now she's sleeping.
We'll see who shows up when naptime is over.
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while we're at more

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

found in the archives...

my sister-in-law asked me to send her a pic from a trip to NW iowa in 2007.
i came across this photo and tears welled up instantly.
it was june 1, 2007.
almost exactly 3 years ago.
how does this happen?
and how do we make it STOP?

my one and only boy.
love him so so much.
lately he just seems old.
he seems a bit more protective of me than he used to.
he defends me always.
he laughs at my jokes.
he sings with me to the LOUD music in the car.
he's social and active and forgets to eat.
and he's turning 9 in july.
i don't even want to discuss what number that is half way to.
for real...i just don't.
my him.
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Monday, May 17, 2010

oh my goodness...

our puppy is 2 weeks old today.
we will get to pick her out next week sometime.
just try and tell me these are not the cutest little things you have ever seen.

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