Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's My Birthday and I'll Blog if I Want to!

So far, I'm having a pretty pleasant day. The weather is very cool today, for the end of June in Minnesota. I'm not complaining though, because as much as I LOVE summer, I can live without the sweltering heat and humidity we've been having the last couple of weeks. Having just turned 51, (I guess I have to update my profile), I've begun having frequent hot flashes the past few months. They're much worse when the weather is hot too.

Anyway, today is not only MY birthday, but also my cousin Bonnie's and my youngest sister Kathy's. Bonnie and I were born on the same day, 51 years ago. Here is a picture of the two of us when they were visiting Minnesota last September:
My sister, Kathy was born on our 11th birthday. Although you wouldn't know it by looking at her, she's celebrating "the big 4-0" today. We had a party for her on Saturday. She kinda figured her husband "Fuzz" was bringing her to her surprise party, but thought that was going to happen somewhere else after they went to have dinner and drop off her boys at our parents' home. I guess we fooled her... the party was right there at their house. Here she is in her white-tiger- print- birthday-cowboy hat that our sister Laurie got for her:

I'm hoping to go see "My Sister's Keeper" and maybe have dinner with my hubby tonight, and then possibly meet up with Kathy for a birthday drink somewhere. I'll let you know how all that goes. Happy Birthday, Bonnie and Kathy!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #30 Wildly Beautiful!

I don't know what kind of flowers these are, but found them growing wild between our backyard and the row of pine trees. Does anyone know what they are?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fun With Finn!

After the tragic loss of my grandson CJ's dog "Bart", all he could talk about was getting a NEW dog. His mother, Jessica searched on Craig's list for one that would be a good fit for our family. She wanted one that was not too big, not too small, one that loved children and was okay with not being the only dog in the house...and one that wasn't going to cost a whole lot of money. At last, the search is over. She and CJ and I went to go pick up "Finn" yesterday, while Molly was gone to Valley Fair with her youth group.

We surprised Molly with him last night when we went to pick her up at church. He's about 2 1/2 years old, and is a purebred Papillon. "Papillon" is the French word for butterfly, and these dogs are so named because with their ears erect, their faces have the look of one. They told us that he's actually on the large side of the scale for the breed, but that's okay. He's about the same size as Bart was...which makes him quite huggable for a 4 year old boy.

Jessica was able to adopt him for FREE and his previous owners even threw in his bed, crate, toys...and a "Coach" collar. The couple that had him had two little girls, ages 5 and 3 and had just added a baby boy to the mix 4 weeks ago. They decided that with the new baby and all, they just didn't have time for Finn anymore, and they were pretty excited that his new owner was a rough and tumble 4 year old boy that would love to play and wrestle with him.

So far, Finn seems to be a pretty good dog, and I have heard that as a breed they are very smart, good with children and are known to be "eager to please." We shall see. The thing that I do not like, is that he seems to have taken a liking to my bed. I am NOT really a dog person, I mean, I can tolerate them living in my house, I just don't want them in my bed! The worst thing was, he decided to jump up there right after his bath last night! Eeewwww, wet dog smell, not my favorite "oderant". I stripped the bed and washed everything. He's going to have to learn not to do that again, if him and I are going to get along. I'd just close my bedroom door...but it's hard to lock a curtain.

(Finn, laying at his master's feet)

Two Family Birthdays This Week!

My step-daughter, Sarah turned 28 on Tuesday of this week. It's hard to imagine that I've known her now for 10 years! I watched her graduate from H. S., and then she was off to college...earning her L.P.N. and finally her R.N. She married Brad a little over 4 years ago, and they live in northern Minnesota. They are enjoying their life together with their dog Buster, and waiting on God's timing to be blessed with children. Happy Birthday, Sarah!

The other one with a birthday this week, is my son Joel. He turned 26 yesterday. I was due to give birth to him on May 19th...but he was evidently not too eager to come into this world, and hung around for an extra 29 days! He was not my biggest baby...but he was close. He weighed in at 9 lbs .5 oz and was 22" long. He is now somewhere around 6'4" and probably weighs close to 200 lbs. He is living and working in a town just about 30 miles to the west of us. He's still single, but maybe one of these days he'll meet the right woman...and start working on a family too. Hey...I can dream, can't I?

This is Joel on his 4th birthday, with his new Big Wheel. Do you think just maybe he looks a little bit like his nephew, CJ in this picture?

This is what he looks like in a more recent photograph. Happy 26th Birthday Joel!

Depending on what time of the year it is, we either have 2 girls the same age and 2 boys the same age...or we have 4 of them in row. Now that these two have had their birthdays for the year, our childrens ages are 30, 28, 27, 26, 25, 21...and 12.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #29 There'd be no Rainbows without the Rain!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

SISTERCHICKS in Wooden Shoes ~ Book Review and Giveaway!

SISTERCHICK n: a friend who laughs with you till you cry and cries with you till you laugh; a gift from God.

I have a few "sisterchicks" in my life, some of them being actual blood sisters, and others that are ascloseassisters to me. I have never personally had a pen-pal, but do have a few cyber friends, that I have subsequently met in person after getting to know them online. For that reason, I could totally relate to feeling like you've known someone for years, the first time you actually meet them face to face.

In SISTERCHICKS in Wooden Shoes, "Summer" goes to the Netherlands to meet her longtime pen-pal, "Noelle" after getting some not-so-good test results from her doctor. Instead of waiting around for further test results, she plans to take some time out of her life to finally meet this friend from afar...just in case it's her last chance to do so. They have a wonderful, crazy time during their week together. I found this to be a fun book to read, it didn't take long, and there were some funny parts, as well as some rather emotional ones.

When a mammogram result comes back abnormal, midlife mama Summer Finley makes a snap decision to relegate fear to the back burner and fulfill a lifelong dream. Summer heads for Holland where she meets up with tulips, wooden shoes, and her best friend, Noelle.

Pen pals since fourth grade, Summer and Noelle have never met face-to-face. Through decades of heart-level correspondence, they have sustained a deep friendship. A week of adventure helps both women trade anxiety for a renewed and deeper trust in God. When Summer confides in Noelle about the abnormal medical report, Noelle finds the freedom to share a long-held heartache, and both women discover they needed each other more than they realized.

Women ages 35 and up, readers of Christian Boomer Lit, and fans of books such as The Yada Yada Prayer Group will enjoy Robin Jones Gunn’s humorous and uplifting style. True-to-life characters and moments of poignancy bring a deeper understanding of the value of life and the gift of true friends. Readers guide and bonus material included.

Author Bio: Robin Jones Gunn is the best-selling and award-winning author of over seventy books, including the Glenbrooke, Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, Katie Weldon, and Christy and Todd: The College Years teen series. The Sisterchicks® series has sold more than 300,000 units, bringing her total sales to more than 3.5 million books worldwide. A Christy Award winner, Robin is a popular speaker, both at home and abroad, and is frequently interviewed on radio and on television. www.robingunn.com www.sisterchicks.com
Win a free copy of this book, by leaving a comment after this post, about one or more of your "Sisterchicks". I'll randomly draw a name from comments that are left on my birthday, June 30. Feel free to leave one new comment each day for more chances to win. My contests are open to readers over 18 years of age, who are residents of the continental US. Thanks and good luck! To purchase a copy of this book, go to Randomhouse.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday # 28 ~ How Tall is a "Typical" American 12-year-old Girl?

About this tall... (the one on the right is actually 4 months OLDER)

Monday, June 8, 2009

V.B.S. Takes Its Toll on Everyone!

Today was the first day of Vacation Bible School at our church. This year's theme is "Studio Go Game Show." It will be every morning this week from 9AM to 12:15. My grandson, CJ is attending with a lot of his friends. I'm helping out with the babies in the nursery, with my good friend Lisa, (QTpies7), and Molly is helping out by leading the worship etc with some other older girls. So far, so good. There were over 100 kids there this morning, not counting the 6th and 7th graders that were there helping out! Everyone is having a great time, despite the rainy start to the week today.

However, ever since school got out last Wednesday, we've been pretty lax about what time anyone goes to bed around here. Hence CJ and Molly...and I were up a bit later than we should have been last night. After we got home this afternoon, I made lunch and sat down to watch one of my favorite shows, and fell asleep on the couch. Molly had been on the computer and CJ was running around playing. I woke up after a few minutes and it seemed rather quiet in the house. I assumed CJ was upstairs with his mom in their bedroom...until I saw a little head lying behind the recliner in the living room...

CJ curled up next to his "trumpet" that he made in VBS

And then I walked into my bedroom and found this...

Molly had decided to take over my bed. I guess I'll call her "Goldilocks" from now on. I tried to get her out, but there was no budging her. It is now after 5:30 and they are both still asleep! I'd better go wake them up, so they don't stay up half the night tonight and repeat this behavior tomorrow!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why Yes, It Actually IS Rocket Science!

At least, it's middle school "rocket science". Molly was studying rockets in her 6th grade science class, and they sent home a form for us parents to order rocket kits for them to launch at school. The options were: a) buy a kit that could only be launched once, b) upgrade to the more expensive one that had a launch pad and 3 extra engines, or c) choose not to buy one at all, and have your child paired with another student that has one. I left the decision up to Ray, and being just a big kid at heart...he chose option b, so that he could play with it at home.

The sixth graders did this on Monday morning at school, and so when Molly got home that day, she and her 4 year old nephew were pretty excited to launch it again here. I told them they'd have to wait for Ray to get home, and when he finally did, we walked to the field next to the house and this is what happened:

The rocket went off without a hitch...after Ray took care of a few minor technical difficulties, and I caught it on video! The only thing was, I thought I had stopped recording after it went off..when I couldn't find the rocket in the camera's viewfinder! (That's why you see me aiming the camera it at my feet, because I was looking to see what I had captured.)

But the funniest thing happened AFTER I thought it WASN'T recording... If you listen closely, you can hear Christian say, "Whoa! Molly's rocketship goes that far?!" Jessica tells him, "Yep." If you can't understand his next comment, my grandson says, "That's a little SCARY!" And then I start giggling. It's a good thing I decided to watch it on my computer, because I realized I actually DID get the rocket coming back down with the parachute...and I had also forgotten all about Christian's comment at the end. We get to launch it two more times now...yay!

Book Winners Update!

I just drew the winner for the book "Dear Mom". And it is...Nicole D! I also need to apologize for not getting the last couple of giveaway books out in a timely manner. They are sitting in my entry way, ready to go...but with not having a vehicle for the past five months...it gets difficult to get them to the post office. I'm so, so sorry! I NEED to remember to send them with my dh tomorrow!!! I will send an email out to Nicole, and if I can get her mailing address yet today, I can send her book along with the rest.

Look for my next book giveaway right here, next week! It's called "Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes" by Robin Jones Gunn.

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