Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'd be rich if....

I would be able to go on a great shopping spree if I had a dollar for everytime, in the last few days that one of my children has something like this:

"How many days until Spring?"
"When is it going to be warm?"
"Only ___ days until February is over, right?"
"Is it almost summer?"
"I think we should pray that the weather gets warmer."

The children are really getting cabin fever. Jeffrey was talking this morning about wishng it was warmer so that they could play outside, plant things, and play in the pool. Oh, I'm longing for those days too. Can't come soon enough.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes...Con't.

The children are home from school today, have the day off because of President's Day. Jonathan and Jeffrey were in their room playing, when I walked in. They told me that they were doing "surgery", and Jeffrey informed me that "no one is to interuption us". After I made sure that no irreversible mess would be made, I left so I wouldn't "interuption" them. I realize surgery is a delicate thing, and concentration is of the uttmost importance.

Hope everyone has a good day!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes...

In the past several days my children have said some of the funniest things. I just thought I'd share.

The other day while sitting at a stop light, a semi truck, without a trailer, passes through the light in front of us. Jeffrey says, "Mom, that truck didn't have any pants on!" I asked him what he meant, and because the truck didn't have a trailer, he said it wasn't wearing pants. Not sure where that came from, but it gave me a good laugh.
Also, tonight after church, Jeffrey came to me and said, "How many more days until I get married, about 20?" I said, "No, lots more than that", and he said, "Well, how many?" I told him I had no idea. I wanted to say, "20 more YEARS, maybe!"

Today DaNae came to me and said, "Mom, what's an empty 3 player?" I just wanted to laugh. I didn't correct her, but I did manage to explain to her what it is.

And tonight, Jonathan was reading off the name of a percussion band that he was watching on YouTube. It was something like "Black Lightning Percussion", and he said "Black Lightning Pursecution". After listening to it for a while...well, yes it could be persecution.

Can't wait to hear some of the stuff Makayla comes up with.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

County Romantics

A couple of weeks ago I entered "our story" in our local newspaper. They were searching for the most romantic couples in Clinton County. We did not win first place, but our story was "worthy of mention" and we were acknowledged in today's newspaper. If you're interested in reading the article, click on the link below.

In the post directly below, I included more excerpts from the "story" that I submitted. It was a nice surprise to open the newspaper today and see it recognized there.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day - Valentine!

Today I would like to say Happy Valentine's Day to my very best friend, my wonderful husband, Paul. I am so blessed to have him in my life. He is so supportive of me in everything that I set my hand to do. He is always there for me, and quite frankly, he spoils me. I don't know how I would ever make it without him. Just recently I sat down, and put on paper some highlights from the day we met, until now. I am including just some short glimpes into that story here today.

The first threads in the tapestry of our love began to mingle on April 21, 1993. My husband, Paul, is from Upstate New York, and I am from Indiana. At a conference in Dayton, Ohio, eight hours from Paul’s home, and two hours from mine, we both convened, and the shuttle on the loom of our love began to weave our story.

On that day in April, we exchanged addresses and pictures, and I said good-bye, for the first time, to the man that I was destined to marry. I walked away from him that day with lots of questions and doubts, truly wondering if I would ever see or hear from this young man again. Through the years, as we’ve looked back, we have been amazed over and over again how that two people, who lived hundreds of miles apart, attended a convention of nearly 5,000 people, whose paths casually crossed, and our lives were changed forever. Meeting him that day was no “twist of fate”, it was providence.

Over the months our relationship had grown stronger and deeper and in October 1993, I flew to New York to be with his family for the weekend. In past conversations we had spoken of marriage, and I was somewhat suspicious that he might propose soon. In anticipation of this event, I wrote my answer, which would be “yes”, in the form of a poem. (I later stitched this poem in cloth…my own tapestry, of sorts, which now hangs on our dinning room wall, and gave it to him as a gift for Valentine’s Day.) As I suspected, on this visit, he did propose, but it wasn’t just any ordinary proposal. You must understand I’m married to an extraordinary man. He had a master plan. For dinner he took me to a lakeside restaurant with candlelight, live music, and fine cuisine. Dinner was delightful and the he decided to take me for a drive. Before we ever met, he would often drive through the country, enjoying nature, and one night he happened upon this “spot”. It was on the top of a mountain that overlooks Canandaigua Lake (one of the Finger Lakes), and off in the distance you can see the lights of the city. He decided then, when he ever proposed, this would be the place. Of course, I did not know it, but this scene would be the backdrop of our destination that night, October 23, 1993. When we arrived he asked me to wait in the car for a few minutes, and told me that he would come and get me when he was ready. After what seemed like an eternity and a lot of thumping in the trunk, he returned for me. As I got out of the car and turned around, what greeted me made me melt. There along side this country lane, he had set up a table covered in white linen with a candle burning there, and a dozen roses lying on the table. To the side was a chair draped in a white cloth as well, illuminated by white, battery operated Christmas lights. He guided me to the chair and told me that this chair was for me. I don’t think I will ever forget how I felt in that moment, on a mountainside in upstate New York. This man had done all of this for me, and I felt like a queen. He knelt down on one knee, took my hand, and with trembling voice, and tear brimmed eyes, he asked me the most important question of our lives. As I mentioned earlier, I had written a poem as my answer, which was quite lengthy. It wasn’t until I got to the last line that he found out my answer. He has admitted that it was a long wait. That day threads of lasting memories, and total commitment became part of the tapestry of “us”, and every thought of those moments strengthens the very fiber of what we were and what we have become.

I don’t think that I will ever forget the way that I felt two days later when he took me to the airport to fly back to Indiana. Those were the days when everyone could go to the boarding area and wait for the plane to depart. We spent those last few moments together, and then the moment to say good-bye had arrived. We clung to each other until we could cling no longer, and through our tears we said good-bye. Carrying a dozen roses, memories of a marriage proposal, and a breaking heart, I turned and walked away from my husband-to-be. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I boarded the plane, took my seat, and then raised and lowered the window shade three times to signal that I loved him. We backed away from the terminal, took to the skies, and more threads, dark colors mingled with bright, found their place in this showpiece that we continue to weave.

On September 24, 1994, another golden thread was added to our tapestry, and our journey of married life began. I wouldn’t trade one day of it, for the journey has been remarkable. Oh yes, there have been tough places, like uprooting our little family to relocate to Indiana and all that that entails: new job, new home, etc. We’ve faced hospital stays with two infant children, wondering if they would live through the night, had our financial reverses, and wondered if the sun would ever shine again. But through it all, the threads that we are weaving just seem to make the fabric grow stronger. You see, he still brings me flowers, or surprises me with my favorite candy bar. I tuck a love note in his lunch box, start his car on a cold winter morning, or fix him a candle-light dinner, served after our four children are tucked snuggly in bed. We also regularly give each other S.H.M.I.L.Y. (See How Much I Love You) gifts. We purchase little gifts for one another and leave them for each other in obscure places for the other one to find. We still like to go on dates, since we didn’t get to do much of that in our “dating” days. We work hard at having these alone times, and over-night get-a-ways as often as we possibly can. In addition to all of these things, we still keep in touch very closely throughout each day. The thread of communication was securely woven into the foundation of our relationship. It is one that has not unraveled or frayed, but has grown stronger with every passing day.

Everyday I am amazed at this beautiful tapestry we are creating. It is a piece of artistry that will adorn the passageway of my children’s memories for the rest of their lives. It is an heirloom of love and devotion that we believe they will aspire to pass on to their children. Day after day, thread after thread we are weaving a piece of art that is second to none. A delicate piece of art is beginning to emerge…and it is a masterpiece!

I love you, Honey! Happy Valetine's Day!

Be sure to check out the next post about our Dinner Party!

Valentine's Dinner Party

Last Friday evening Paul and I hosted a Valentine Dinner Party at our home. This is something that we have done several times. It's kind of a special thing that we started back when we lived in New York. One year we did a "50's Hop", and it was more a Valentine party. That was the very first one we did. Since then, we've tried to be more formal, and go with a dinner. This year we did that as well. I made between 40 and 50 ice luminaries that lined the porch and driveway. Unfortunately, it was not dark enough to get the full effect, but they looked better as the evening darkened.

This was the entry table. There were three roses on this table, they're just hard to see in this picture.
We started off with fresh fruit and chocolate, stuffed mushrooms and punch. There was a short "get acquainted" time, and then we went into the dining room for dinner.

The menu for dinner was: greek salad with feta cheese, chicken parmesean, linguine with alfredo sauce, and homemade breadsticks with more cheese sauce.

Dessert was: flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.

And we never would have made it without our wonderful waiter: Jonathan. He did a wonderful job keeping drinks filled, removing plates, clearing food from the table, as well as serving dessert. Thank you, Jonathan for a job well done. You truly are learning how to have a servant's heart.

I asked everyone to bring their wedding pictures along. We had a great time looking through each album, and finding out how many ties we had to one another through this one and that one. We were reminded over and over again just how small our world really is. We played a game about how well we know our spouse. We also did a quick evaluation to find out each other's love language, and we also found out that every seven minutes there is a lull in the conversation. :) Later the ladies spent time in the kitchen together, cleaning up the mess (thanks everybody for your help), and the guys hung out in the living room. Around 11:30 the party was over, with lots of memories made, friendships strengthened, and hopefully each one felt a deeper appreciation for our mate. We had a wonderful time, and will look forward to doing it again. Guests who attended were:
Rhonda and Dan England

David and Sarah Fry
David and Cathy Watson
Kevin and Beth Wilhelm
Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Birthday Get-A-Way Weekend!

This past weekend, Paul took me to Indianapolis for the night. He took me to dinner at the most wonderful place I believe I have ever eaten. It was Maggiano's. Another couple friend of ours met us there, and we dined "family style". We had two appetizers, two salads, two pasta dishes, two meat dishes, and two desserts. Everything that we had was absolutely wonderful. There was nothing that we ate that I would not recommend. We will definitely go again.

The atmosphere was wonderful as well. There was live music, and it was definitely a "dinning experience". One that I will not soon forget. You ought to go!
Then we stayed at the Hilton. It wasn't extremely fancy, but was nice, just the same. It was great to be away and "re-group". We went shopping for a little while on Saturday morning. We were afraid we weren't going to get to go because of the weather forcast, but everything worked out in the end. Thank you Mom and Dad, Cathy, and Sarah for making it possible so that we could go away, and for all of your help with our children, and thank you Honey, for a wonderful time away.
Here is a picture of my birthday cake. Now that's my kind of CHOCOLATE!!!! It was really good. Thanks honey!One last picture of the little "old lady". I'm not getting any younger.
Since Paul took it upon himself to tell everyone that today is my birthday (in a post earlier today), I thought I might as well share it with you in pictures. Be sure to check out my other posts that I added today as well.

"Little Mother"

It just amazes me how young little girls know how to "mother". Makayla is only 14 months old, just now starting to take her first steps, and the instinct to "mother" is just there. On Friday, she was in her room. She saw her little doll laying on the floor, she toddled over to it, picked it up, grabbed her blanket laying nearby, then toddled over to the cradle, laid her baby down, and covered the baby up. I stood and watched her for a few minutes and was just intrigued by what I saw. She's already being a little mother. Here she is covering the baby up.
A-oh! (she says).
Cuddling her baby. It was so cute because she was in her own little world for quite a long while.

Sitting down to rock the baby. She would pat the baby. It was all just so cute.

Fun Cookies, Food & Funny Faces!

Thought I would post a few pictures of some of the things that have kept me busy this past week. Our church school has a missions fundraiser every year, and the kids are to bring things in to sell. We've been making cookies for the kids to sell. Here is a picture of our giant M&M chocolate chip cookies. I thought they turned out cute, and they sold them all.
Then I made some Amish Sugar Cookies and put hearts made out of sanding sugar on them. They are ready to go to school tomorrow. We'll see if they sell as well as the chocolate chip cookies did.Then a few of decided it was time to do another food exchange. I made chicken casserole for the exchange. Now I have a lasagna, a chicken casserole, and Shepherd's Pie all in the freezer ready to eat. I love it~!
And then, on Thursday night we were having pizza for supper. Makayla wanted a bite of my piece. When she tried to take a bite, she got pizza sauce all over her nose. It was so cute, because then she tried to lick it off. She's quite the ham.

Happy Birthday Catrena

I finally figured out how to get in my wife's blog but don't have any electronic pictures of her here at work to post. However, I would like to take this opportunity to wish a very Happy Birthday to my lovely wife and let her friends know today is her birthday too! This may get me in trouble but it's worth the risk!