Sunday, June 28, 2009

Monkey Ball

Monkey Ball is a game Greg created years ago when the kids were much younger. It used to be played with a tiny wooden bat and a tiny ball... today it is played with a soft bat and ball. It has continued to grow and change through the years; new rules are constantly being made and old rules are challenged. It makes for a great game of arguing and rough housing. I obviously do not play!



No way... it is out Dad.... it is on the curb and it is out! Greg: No.. it is still touching the grass.. it is IN!.




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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Oh, I love the rainy nights.....


I promise not all my blog titles are going to be titles of songs from now on... just happened the past two posts fit perfectly with songs. :)

Last night we had the most fun with our kids. Our cousins from out of town had just left our house after spending the day with us (which made for a great day too) and it started to rain.

Not just a little rain... it started to pour. Leslie walked into the front room and said.." It isn't lightening can I go out and run in the rain? It looks so inviting." I looked at her and said "Sure, go for it." She ran out into the other room and shortly later she and her brother were running out the front door. Greg and I walked outside onto the porch and we looked at each other and Greg said "Let's do it."

On the count of three we all ran out into the cold pouring rain. It was a shock at first because it was 10:00 at night and it was kinda chilly when we were wet. ( could I put a few more "w" words together in a row?)

Because it was raining so hard the water was building up in the streets, which gave us an avenue for splash wars.


Murphy thought it was great because he was allowed to run in the street, which he is never allowed to do.

Our neighbors thought we had lost our minds.... maybe we had, but it sure was fun. There is nothing like family unity when you are doing something out of the ordinary.... Kinda like dancing while no one is watching. It was late at night, no one was around and it was just the four (5 if you count Murphy) of us running around in the street while the rain fell from the sky. Spontaneous fun is the best!


It was kinda like we were breaking the rules but not really. I mean it isn't against the law to run in the street or to run in the street when it is raining. However, typically people try to stay out of the middle of the street and out of the pouring rain. We were purposefully running in both and it was great.

I had just said earlier that day that it didn't feel like summer yet for some reason. Last night, after our first run in a summer rain storm, I now feel summer has arrived. Time for lemonade and lightning bugs. Now, if this were a movie I would queue the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Have a great day and don't forget to pause in YOUR day to smell the roses or to dance while no one is watching...... even if it is in the middle of the night, in the middle of the street and in the rain. :)

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reunited and it feels so good.


Sorry, couldn't help the corny title... I used to love that song.

Anyway, my 20 year high school reunion was this past weekend. I have spent the past 9 months helping to plan this reunion and it was great to see it all come together.

After all the planning, meetings about planning, unmentionable hours on the computer searching for classmates, phone calls, emails, and facebook messages. I can honestly say, after a wonderful weekend, it was all worth it. Not sure my family would agree, but I loved every second of the day and I am sad it was over so quickly.

We started out with a family picnic Saturday from 11am-3pm. We had a great turn out and great weather; it was so fun to see all my classmate's children running around. They looked like mini classmates. :) Everyone brought their own lunches and we provided a big cake for all to eat.







That evening we all met back up at Cena for our evening dinner. We reserved the entire restaurant for the night and it was great fun. I become more and more sentimental about these things as the years go by. We have already lost 2 classmates in the 20 years since graduation and it makes me sad to think of losing more.

Graduating from a private school, we had a small class compared to those in a public school and to me, we all felt like family. I cannot explain how great it was to meet up with these wonderful people and share memories and laugh all night long. Looking at each of them as they walked through the door I could place them with a memory from elementary school, middle school or high school. I have nothing but fond memories from my years at Dayton Christian and I will hold these memories close to my heart.

I think Claire and I look exactly the same don't you??? Well.... maybe Claire. :)




As I looked around the room on Saturday, looking at the faces of these dear people, most of whom I grew up with, I had a very sad feeling come over me. We will be pushing 50 the next time we all get together like this.... how many more will we have lost next time? I love each of these friends. We may not stay in touch and life may lead us in different directions but each of them have a special place in my heart. I have already attended 2 funerals for classmates and one for a classmate's child... I don't want to attend anymore. We are all still 17 in my mind's eye and the loss is very difficult. I said a prayer Saturday night that the good Lord will bless each of us with another 10 years of life and may we all come together again in 10 years with nothing but good times to share with one another.


Back to my family. My family was so gracious and really sacrificed a lot in order for me to make this all happen this past weekend. Not to mention Greg had to attend with me while I ran around playing hostess and visiting with classmates. Good thing Greg has become friends with some of my classmate's husbands so at least he had people he knew to talk to (No one really is a stranger to Greg though... he can make friends standing in line at the grocery) Greg told them all as we were leaving Saturday night that it is nice they could meet and catch up and how very nice it is that they can just pick right up where they left off. :) Such a smarty pants.

Anyway, after saying how fun it was to walk down memory lane and visit with dear friends from my past, it is also nice to have all the planning behind me so I can now focus on my wonderful life in the present. :) Summer is here and I am so blessed to be able to be home with my kids... now I can enjoy this time with them. I am blogging right now because being a mother of teenagers is very lonely in the morning hours..... usually do not have company until at least 11:00am. :)

So, in wrapping up I am thankful for my friends of the past, grateful for the love in my present life and am excited to see what God has in store for us in the future. How fun will it be next time to show graduation and wedding pictures of pictures of our kids... and maybe grand kids? Not me of course... I will be WAY too young for grand kids at the age of 47. :) ha ha.

Class of 89..... we are still lookin so very fine. :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Building Hope


This past weekend we were given the opportunity to build hope at our church. Habitat for Humanity brought materials to build 3 homes. One to be built and moved to Springfield, another to be built and moved to Lafayette, and the other would stay local, right here in Dayton.

The future owners of the house to stay in Dayton came to the church to help with the build. It was amazing to have the opportunity to meet them. They are a family who moved here from Rwanda in 2006 and they have two twin boys who couldn't be older than 2.




The morning started out with bagel, donuts and coffee followed by an awesome worship time to get our hearts in the right place to start the build.

It was a great day to build.... last year it rained so we were thrilled to see the sun this year. Each group was given a bucket with hammer, nails, tape measure and markers as well as one sheet of paper with the directions to build one wall to a house. We all split up to grab the specific pieces of lumber listed on our paper and met back at our spot to start assembling. Mark was our "nail boy". He would fetch more nails for us as we ran low. :)

It was amazing to look across the parking lot of our church and see all the groups working together and hear all the hammers echoing.

We worked side by side with great friends to build a home for a family who is so grateful for a God who never lets go. He saw this family through rough times beyond anything you or I could imagine. He never let go of them, and He lead them to a group of His children who would lift them up and show them His love through their work. It truly was a blessing to be part of it all.

Here are some pictures of us hard at work.... God is good!

Some father son action with Mark and Jeff Seitter


The Leslie's working together.... our Leslie and Leslie Savage



Nick and Mark Seitter banging it out..... they haven't worked together like this since they built sand castles together in Daytona Beach years ago. I love it!



Our good friends the Wickham's were building right next to us...




Mark texting......


Camera almost caught Les texting but she was too fast.... phone behind her back. :)

I was forced to do math......


Then Les and I were told to work on this piece of the puzzle. All pieces had to be flush...




Is it flush yet???????

NOPE!!!

We finally got it all flush and did it the correct way only to find out we had to make two more for the other two walls we were going to build.. This particular part was our nemesis.

Here we all are with our first wall......two more to go :)


After building the walls we took the black marker in the bucket and wrote scriptures, uplifting quotes and sayings to the families on the walls. Greg came up with the best..... he wrote this on the header of the window frame.... very clever that Gregory.



Once all the walls were built it was time to lift them all onto the trucks....


This was one truck full.... one complete house ready to be delivered to a family.

One house, the one built for the local family, was built on sight (well, kinda built) for everyone to see at church over the weekend. Here is the finished product....



This was again an incredible, humbling experience and we hope to do many more builds with Habitat for Humanity. Next time we hope to build on location.

Thank you Lord for your love, for never letting go and for always being a constant in our lives regardless of the storms that may blow through. We may never face the trials these families have gone through to need these homes, but my prayer is may we always remember, even when we are down... there are always others going through bigger trials, climbing bigger mountains and crawling up out of deeper valleys. Sometimes you get a better view of life from your knees, and this weekend brought us to ours. We felt very blessed to arrive back at our home later that day.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Chorus:
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth


Matt Redman

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Peanut



This blog is for sweet Peanut. Our Aunt Candace had to have her sweet Peanut put to sleep this week. Peanut was a wonderful dog and I know this decision is weighing heavy on their hearts. I thought since we have pictures and memories of Peanut (and since we are across the country from them and cannot say a few words at his grave) that I would honor him in my blog.


Peanut was the kind of dog you fell in love with at first sight. He had a bouncy personality and was ready for fun any time of day. He loved to play, go for walks and snuggle. I know you are reading this and thinking..." well, he sounds like any other dog"... he wasn't. There are some dogs who come into your life and they well exceed all others and Peanut was one of them.

We too had a dog in our life that well exceeded all other dogs (another blog another time) so we know how hard it is for Peanut's family to say goodbye to him.

Peanut loved to steal our socks out of our suitcases when we would visit. He would sometimes sneak in while we were sleeping and nose open our suitcase for his enjoyment. When Peanut would sit and look up at you he had the perfect little pose; his feet would come together like a ballerina in first position.

He would spend hours playing with our kids when they were younger. He would entertain them by grabbing one of their toys and then running off with it. He would stay just far enough out of reach that they could never catch him.

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Peanut would stay pool side with us during our stay with him. He would sun himself on our towels, shirts or anything else we laid by the pool. He also loved to sleep in the bird bath and on the coiled up hose. We will miss our sweet Peanut.



Rest in peace sweet Peanut... we will always remember you and be grateful for the joy you brought to everyone.