Saturday, April 25, 2009

Our Saturday....

You know you're itching to blog when you find yourself taking pictures of bugs and flowers. I looked up the classification of this and it said it was a "Leaf Footed Bug". It was HUGE. And it flew. I caught it while the kids were sleeping and took it outside. It flew back to the window I removed it from. At least it's on the other side now.
These are Winter Roses and do much better as a cut flower as they just fall down being so top heavy. They're always my first to bloom every year.
We walked to the library today for a multi-cultural celebration. It was lovely, it's nice to live so close to such an active library! We were sad we missed Churros the Latino clown,
I heard later that he showed up late.
The kids have napped and we're off to the church to drop off flowers, food, cups and do sidewalk chalk with the teenagers. We're gonna write out some Psalms and draw happy pictures to welcome people for our Grand Opening tomorrow.

As a side note, I completed my first two e-bay transactions as a seller today. It's not so bad when the weather is nice enough to walk to the post office with the kids. Another reminder of how nice we have it living downtown. But...alas the kids do need a yard to play in, so we're showing the house again on Monday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

This and that...

I hope the weather is beautiful where you are and that you're feeling well and enjoying life to it's fullest today. I know you are because you're reading our blog!

I was putting laundry in the washer and I looked beside me and our seven month old is STANDING UP! I laughed out loud, that sort of surprised loud laugh and she wasn't sure whether she was doing a good or bad thing. She had used a full laundry basket to pull herself up. She doesn't crawl yet, though it won't be long. She has been successful in rolling across the entire living room. Even as we speak, she is sitting up on the wood floor and pushing herself backwards with her bare feet. So, we have mobility, albeit primitive.

Juju has also cut TWO teeth now! This was much bigger news, I think, when her big brother did the same, but it still makes the news, just not the front page. I finally got a good picture of them, see?
Here our model is wearing an original Becca shirt from 1977,
it was embroidered by the model's great grandmother in Tennessee.

Our church is having it's GRAND OPENING this Sunday at 9:30am
in case anyone should want to come join us!

We've had an exciting week regarding our house. Sunday and Monday we more than Spring cleaned, we Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter cleaned. Tuesday the entire realtor company we're using walked through our house and we were officially "on the market". That day they called and told us one of the realtors wanted to take a couple through the next day. So, Wednesday night we made ourselves scarce and our house was shown for the first time. That day, we got another call that two more families wanted to view the house Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately, both of those cancelled right before the visit, but both want to reschedule. So, we've been encouraged especially since there's been some interest and we still don't even have a sign out yet. I'm not sure why there's not a sign out yet, but I'm not losing sleep over it.

Right before we leave for our house to be shown, Ben and I:
  • Vacuum and wipe floors
  • Wipe down the tub, sinks and counters
  • Clean toilets
  • Deal with anything left out on the counters or tables
  • Change any poopy diapers outdoors to keep the stench out
  • Open all the blinds and turn on ALL the lights
  • Pick up litter from outside
  • Deadhead the flowers
  • Throw a few chocolate chip cookie dough balls in the toaster oven to make the place smell like home
Let me know if there's any other good ideas we should do. We've been eating out a little more to keep the messiness to a minimum and I've strictly been forbidden to bake as my husband doesn't want to clean the mess. I'm a messy cook, but put my almost 3 year old helper into the mix and you might as well take a five pound bag of flour and just dump it on my floor. It looks the same.

What seemed a monumental task last week, has become somehow doable. I mean laundry. I'm trying to keep the place clean enough that you don't see piles of it in baskets around the house or sitting out to be folded or put away. I'm trying to follow the FlyLady routines to maintain the house. The cleanliness is novel, we all like it, not sure we can sustain it though. Hopefully, the house will sell fast.

Above is a picture of the mosaic that was two years in the making. When Z was about Juju's age, I took a pottery class and made the clay base for this sign with the numbers glazed on it. I had the pieces of tile sitting on top in our basement for the last two years thinking it would take forever to glue them all down. Well I did it last Friday in about two hours. Saturday Ben grouted it, Sunday he mounted it!

Just HAD to share!
Finally, I found these two blog entries worthy of sharing. Actually, I wished I'd posted them myself, so instead of stealing I'm linking you to the blogs on which they were found:

Beneath the Couch Cushions - This video should NOT make a person cry, but it did me, tears of joy, I'm so weird!

The Schrembecks - Just outright informative, please read if you have kids and use Vick's VapoRub!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On a lighter note

Daddy: "Dear"

Z: "Dear"

Daddy: "Jesus"

Z: "Jesusus"

Daddy: "Thank you"

Z: "Say thank you" :^D

Daddy: "for"

Z: "for"

Daddy: "our"

Z: "Arrrrh" [like a pirate]

Daddy: "food."

Z: "food."

Daddy: "Amen."

Z: "Ah MEN!!!"

Modern Day Mayberry
Last Wednesday the front page story of our local paper was about a couple (yes both the husband and wife) who held a couple of burglars at gun point while they waited for police to show up. The poll question that day was "Do you keep a gun in your home for protection?" I was a little surprised when the next day I read that 62% of the 600 people that participated in the on-line survey said that they do own a gun for protection. I do too, we own several, but still! I really think that says something about our region that so many keep weapons.

Ben and I have been challenged lately on this subject at our new church. It's technically Mennonite, though it feels more like a non-denominational church. It's not conservative, so no dress code, but like their more reserved brethren, they are staunch pacifists. I grew up a military brat and have my carry and concealed weapons license, as does Ben. We're unlikely candidates to be rethinking our position on war and weapons, but we're seriously open to the peace loving views our new pastor preaches to us. Could we have won the Taliban with bread instead of nukes? I don't really know, but I like the ideals. Jesus wasn't exactly for retaliation or violence. I'm still on the fence about what I'd do if someone broke in. Not sure that there's a firm Mennonite stance on this. I'm pretty sure I know what Ben would do, but then again, he's always surprising me. It's fun to talk about anyways.

Made in God's Image and Loved

I always read the obituaries. If I read the newspaper, that's what I read. My Grandpa would say he reads them to make sure his name's not there. I can't remember the last time I saw someone listed in the obituaries that I knew, but today I did. It made me sad. Her name was Kim Stutzman. She was 53. I knew her from my front door. You see, she was my Jehovah's Witness. I was nice to her, and she came back. I didn't really want her to, but she did. I thought, why would I send away a perfectly nice person who comes to me and wants to talk about God? I can't imagine Jesus pretending he wasn't home. So, I let her in.

Kim was a professional J.W. She'd been schooled with the best and was very cautious to protect herself from any non-Watchtower material. I insisted on using my Bible when we met, but, of course, she'd been prepped for that one and directed me to specific verses that were the same in her Bible. So we met under the auspices that we would discuss God, but really we were both trying to convert the other. My friend, Betty, told me she's won two J.W.s over to Christianity, and now they won't send any more over to her house. Perhaps I thought I could do the same. As if I had any power in this issue at all. Though I'd been raised a Christian and taught how to share my faith, even had a few lessons on dealing with cults from my Christian College, I still was in way over my head. She'd been educated almost daily by the Watch Tower Society at her local Kingdom Hall for over 30 years. If we were taking bets on who'd win our debates, I'd advise you to place your money on her.

She was good. Even if I did get a point in here or there, I lost all credibility by becoming consumed with being "right" or "winning". I did research between our meetings and printed out good articles that used only Watch Tower quotes to refute itself. I handed them to her at the end of one of our meetings and for one moment I was real with her, not out to conquer. I told her how concerned I was for her. "Just as much as you're concerned for me, I'm concerned for YOU." I asked her to please read the article and tore off the last page that was not Watch Tower quotes, when she explained she could not read anything that was not Watch Tower or from her Bible. She did read it, and was happy to report she could not see any problems with what she read. Through such different eyes we see.

Soon she got sick and had two nice ladies from the Hall come by and tell me she wouldn't be able to visit me for a while. They asked if they could come over and I said, "Sure!". I made tea and we had a tea party. Having learned from Kim what to expect and what didn't work, I tried a new approach. I just listened. I laughed with them. I was real with them. When they told me how many hours a week they had to be at the Hall, I genuinely said, "Wow! That's a lot of time! You guys sure have to do a lot!" I thought for a moment I could see some wheels turning. I loved them the best I could in an hour or so. I sent them with a note for Kim, wishing her well. They never came back.

I wish I sent more notes to Kim, not that I knew her husband's name to find her in the phone book, but I could have asked the other J.W. ladies when I ran into them around town. They remembered me as the lady who made tea for them. From her obituary, I learned that Kim has two daughters, wasn't always a J.W. and was a very good house keeper. I'm not surprised, she seemed like one of those super women who seem to have it all together all the time. I write about her so others may remember that those people who come to their door are still people...people wanting to talk about God no less. It literally could be a matter of life or death.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I just put all the dishes away and prepared a package for sending...finally a couple of minutes to myself....

Gremlins have invaded our Wighome. You know how they start out cute and fuzzy then with a little water, they turn into tiny little monsters? Turns out at around six months, a little Wiglet will turn into a gremlin when they start cutting teeth. Juju was the happiest baby that was ever happy on happy day, then cried and fussed non-stop for four days. She had a temperature of 104.4F and we DIDN'T rush her to the ER, can you tell she's a second child? The fever left and a tooth took it's place. It's not big enough yet to take pictures of. We distinctly remember when Z turned into a gremlin. He didn't stop being cranky from teething until he was two, then we entered a new phase that looks more like Jurassic Park.

I just heard something over the monitor. Wait...false alarm. Shew! Quiet again!

It's probably not all that bad. It dawned on me last week, that probably because of my being an only child, I forget that this stage will pass. I've never watched a child grow up before. I didn't live around any one family long enough to see all the changes in their children. I only saw myself grow up, and I was too busy growing up to think about it at the time. So, my husband lovingly reminds me that these long nights and longer days will soon pass. Which kinda makes me sad.

Now I hear Juju talking happily over the monitor, she's determined to wake up's time, so that's OK. I'll be back....

Many hours later...they're BOTH napping!!!

The Wiglets need space to run, so we're putting our house up for sale in a couple of weeks. We've already signed the papers! We see it as putting a fleece out (like Gideon) and seeing if it sells, if it doesn't it wasn't meant to be, if it does, then we have God's blessing and will proceed. We will not be making any bids on houses until this one is sold. We did that last time and it took a year to sell the old house. We had a bridge loan from a friend, but it was still a bad move as it accrued tons of interest. We learned. We know it's a bad time to sell, but it's a great time to buy, and later it'll be vice versa, so what's the difference? Seriously, if you know something I don't, do share!

Juju hasn't been sleeping more than a half hour for her naps the last couple of days, so I'm hustling!

Last bit, I sorta kinda got a job! It doesn't pay, but I'm still excited! I'm going to be part of a homeschooling co-op next school year when Z will be 3 and old enough to be part of their pre-school. It's one day a week and all the moms go and do something whether it be clean-up or coaching one of the classes (they're not teachers). They have a caterer who does a cooking class, a lady with German parents who teaches German, a veterinarian who teaches a science lab (and brings in dead animals to dissect!), and now they have a counselor teaching a college and career exploration class! Oh, and they have a lot more classes than I mentioned, there's a hundred kids in the co-op!

The co-op does not replace home school curriculum, but does supplement it with labs and extra classes they might not have at home, like gym, yearbook or Latin roots. There will be about 15-20 kids in the high school class (yes, all four years) next year and I don't know how many of them I'll actually have in my class as there are other high school classes at the same time. I'll be using this resource from Crown Financial Ministries as my text book and guide. It seemed to cover all the things I want to go over with the kids:

she's up...

....15 minutes later, she's fed, I'm back.

  • What areas of vocation are you interested in?
  • What vocations fit your personality and abilities well?
  • What college majors lead to those jobs? What other credentials might be needed?
  • What colleges have the majors you are interested in and fit your preferences?
  • How will you pay for college?
We'll also be:
  • Shadowing several jobs in areas of interest to each student and answering questions about each of them about pay, hours, etc.
  • Attending college fairs
  • Taking personality and vocation tests to increase personal insight
  • Creating a time-line customized for each student marking important dates such as ACT/SAT testing dates, college application dates, etc.
  • Role playing how to interview
  • Having a college financial aid expert as a guest speaker
  • Learning how to get and keep a job
So, I'm super excited to get started. Here's my friend's blog who invited me to join the co-op.

OK, I've got a half hour to fold laundry before I get the kiddos up to go to the airport for my drum lesson. (Of course there's a drum set, guitars, bass, hand drums and a keyboard at my hubby's work...short impromptu jam sessions help them think!) And I'm off!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Holistic Wigness

How are we? What is new? Let me share with you holistically....


Juju, who just turned 6 months last week, is now over 19 pounds and is rapidly catching up to her brother in diaper size. He wears a size 6 and she's in size 4! She wears 12-18 mos clothes and some of those don't fit her in the thigh and bottom region (her most blessed areas). She's fought two colds in a row, recovered only to suddenly be cutting a tooth that makes her nose run lots. If her nose doesn't run, it's probably not our daughter. Poor thing has had nose issues since she was one week old. Otherwise, she's happy as a lark (that's one metaphor I don't usually mix up). She's the most roley poley, happy little muffin I've ever met!

Z is pushing 40 pounds and is thinning out, as you might notice from the slideshow. He is rambunctious and all boy. His little shins are covered in bruises, his nose often bloody. Some days his little bottom gets spanked more than once. His little Wigbody is constantly moving, fidgeting, or wiggling. He is ALWAYS dirty. Ben's still super fit, and has been playing soccer on Sundays with some guys from our church. We all have fun watching Daddy play soccer.

I've been busy producing the sustenance for a six month, 19 pound baby girl. She eats one meal of yogurt a day, otherwise it's my job to support those giant, lovable, cellulite rolls (hers not mine).

Juju's little WigMind is just amazing. She learns so fast. She's become quite adept at letting us know that she DOES NOT like her nose to be wiped. At all. We predict she will be an avid talker and eater.

Z knows his alphabet, reads short words like "No," "Stop," "Go," and "Hop". He knows numbers through 14 (except 7), and animals and their sounds (even strange ones like, "What does the porcupine fish say?" "Ouch!"). His speech is rapidly becoming more articulate. Our little man who we thought would never speak clearly now says "Fox Knox Socks Box" and "Welcome to Sodor!" Though he has a bit of a brogue, we can't quite pinpoint. "Pine cone" is "Pin coon". He also knows most shapes and colors, but not all. We're currently working on opposites and on important the rules such as, "Thou shalt not touch other people's parked cars," and "Thou shalt not place thy feet on ye neighbor's head."

Ben is being pushed mentally at work, and his business, praise the Lord, is growing. He just hired a new guy who seems to be a good fit for our little airport family. Ben is also using his brain power at our starter church's first building, which needs a lot of fixing up before our grand opening on April 26th. (Hint, hint, come one, come all!!!)

I have recently started drum lessons...yes, drum lessons. I'm pretty jazzed about it. I'm to learn on both a regular drum set and djembe. Ben and I will be beginning Spanish classes right after our church's grand opening. With the help of my friend, Clara, I created a new and improved schedule to organize my mind a little. With that and my two month long meal plan (thanks Dana!), I feel like a new woman!

"Juju's got spirit, yessiree, Juju's got spirit, enough for three!"

Z's been expressing himself through art lately. He'll say, "Paint!" and we often do. I enjoy painting with him and have made this a part of our weekly schedule. He's been enjoying the books that Grandpa and Grandma J send through their USO Unified Through Reading Program, which I mentioned in a past post, and we all really like this one for a unique children's Bible story book:
Ben and I have been enjoying leading the worship at our church. He plays guitar and I sing and play a mean shaker egg. I also teach Sunday School here and there, which I love doing. I'm reading through a One-Year Bible with my cousin, Jamie. I love this quote I just found, "Where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy." Psalm 65:8b I want to write a song based on that, isn't it beautiful!?

Otherwise, I've been learning to let go of self-centeredness and anger and to subsequently enjoy life more fully. It's funny how when one gets up in the middle of the night with one's baby that if one does it with a poor attitude, it's rather miserable, but if one just does it and accepts that one's baby is simply awake and that a grumpy mood won't change that, that one can rather enjoy being up with one's baby in the middle of the night.

My mom gets credit for helping me realize this. She said in her sweet sort of way, "Sometimes when we're upset, it's because we want things to go our way, like we're God." So, I guess I realized I'm not God. Which is a good thing, both that I'm not and that I realized it. Sadly, I'm pretty sure I'll forget this important fact from time to time. If I were God I wouldn't forget now, would I?

All around we're doing quite well. Hope you are too. Thanks for visiting! We so appreciate our readers!