Monday, March 31, 2008
I did NOTHING to help. I spent the morning shopping and wrapping a shower gift and spent the afternoon attending the shower and shopping a little more. Dana even took care of Lisa while I was gone!
At 5:30 PM the parents of Dana, Mark, Rachel, Jordan, and Stephanie assembled at our house all decked out in their favorite NCAA apparel. We came together as a rather dissociated band—in various combinations we represented three different churches, three couples who had sat through basketball tournaments together with younger boys, three couples who had been in a homeschool group together, and three men who work together. The only thing that all of us had in common was the friendships of our children. We talked, got to know one another, ate (taco salad, empanadas, corn fritters, layered tortilla casserole, and cheesecake--mmmm), laughed at each other (the ‘mystery’ part of the dinner means you don’t know in what order your courses will arrive or when you’ll get your utensils—Linda’s fourth course was three forks and a knife, you can just imagine the other three), and we even got caught up in Steve’s aeronautical excitement and all stood in our driveway in the cold at 8:30 PM to watch the space station fly overhead.
One mom told Dana that her husband hates new situations, avoids all social situations, and fears interaction in groups. She was stunned that he agreed to come to the dinner, but was in utter amazement that he joined in the fun of the dinner, conversed, and stood up in front of the group when it was his turn playing “25 Words or Less”. Better yet, the next morning he joined his wife and daughter (both relatively new Christians) at church for the first time.
Using her favorite word, my Dana is amAzing!!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
We left at 7 PM on a Thursday for a 14 hour drive to Coldwater, MS where we spent three days with long time friends the Hairstons. We took a walking tour of Memphis, talked, drank sweet tea, talked some more, attended "Mark Webb's church" (not really his church of course) in Olive Branch, MS, and stayed up into the wee hours of the night talking more.
In Memphis with the Hairstons
Had to get a picture with Elvis for Aunt Susie!
Two days, three business stops, a vomiting child, a motel night, a swing through New Orleans, an evening meal at a gulf side seafood place, and two fever ridden children later we were in Elmendorf, TX with Uncle Kyle's family for their spring conference.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The ACF (American Culinary Federation) sponsored a trade show and chef competition in Milwaukee yesterday. Ellen and three of her culinary classmates entered the entree competition and ended up taking all top three cash award places. Ellen scored 49 out of 50 to take gold and first place with this creative dish. The judges interacted with the contestants during the judging and gave them advice. Ellen was told, "Don't change a thing," "I love your plate," and "I think yours is the best one here." When she pressed one judge with, "Isn't there anything you would suggest?" he told her, "Turn you plate clockwise 45 degrees so the meat is at 6 o'clock [as pictured]." Minus one point for the 3 o'clock meat!
Way to go Chef Ellen!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Note: We celebrate in memory of my dear friend, Paula Gessler (1961-2002), who first dragged us into the bee in 1996 so her kids wouldn't have to study alone. They HATED it, never did compete, and are now accomplished in their own fields, a real testiment to her continual encouragement and support of home education and dream following. Thanks to her, my children have been able to pursue a few dreams of their own.
One of my boys gloated that, “Research has proven that women use almost twice as many words as men on a daily basis.”
“Of course we do”, I said, “because our conversations are primarily with men and children and we have to repeat everything we say.”
Did I mention that yesterday was "one of those days".....???
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Suddenly, an idea dawned on him, "Hey Dad, can I eat the bacon with a pickle?" His ingenuity won the day, and Dad was left laughing. However, that still didn't solve the problem of what to do with a leftover LT.
Monday, March 10, 2008
We did a U turn in our 15 passenger van on the city street, nearly taking out a pedestrian and a light pole, and neared the church building in time to see Marty and Kelly pulling out of the lot. We followed their van honking and flashing our lights. If Keith was a serious driver at all times this would have alerted them that something unusual was afoot. However, his playful side is too often revealed behind the wheel and the van in front of us simply joined in the fun by flashing lights and braking randomly. We figured we could catch them on the 45 mph 2-lane highway leading out of town. As we tried to pull up alongside them they sped up, no doubt thinking that a mock drag race was on. We finally succeeded in overtaking them, got both windows rolled down, and while we flew down the road I screamed, “YOU WANNA COME OVER?” They began to conference the decision and knowing our time was running out (we had to turn) I added, “WE’RE STOPPING AT THE BANK! MEET US AT THE HOUSE IF YOU WANT!” and we turned back to town.
Fifteen minutes later we pulled into our driveway to see they’d accepted our offer. Apparently, the young people all had their cell phones in high gear altering their plans and decided to move their gathering to our house as well. We ended up with us 4 old folks (the parents), 8 young adults/college students, 8 high school students, and 9 early and preteens. A quiet game night turned into a group of 29 and we had a ball. I served our usual Sunday night meal of popcorn, added carrots and cookies, and everyone went home hungry. It’s obvious they don’t come for the food, but I’m delighted they all just want to come!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Northwoods Baptist Church Camp will be held the week of August 25th in Eagle River, WI. The cost of $35 per week per person (age 4 and over) or a maximum of $250 per family for the week is to cover the food. Families, couples, and singles are welcome.
My children are counting down the days (173)! Join us!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
“That’s OK,” Keith said, “The children all remember it anyway.”
“Really?” I replied, “We were there in 1988 with Joey, Keith, and Ellen who were 3, 2, and 7 months! Which ones do you think remember it?”