The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.


Things you don't want to see next door...

April 30, 2007 - 4:46 PM

Our neighbors to the left are a bunch of college boys. 2 of them are sons of the home's owner. I think their dad made deals with them on cheap rent if they did yard work because their yard, when they bought the home, was a regular forest.

Today they were out doing some yard work... first just mowing the lawn. They then took a break to play that bean bag beer drinking game? Then you could hear a chainsaw from the other side of their house. (They were out in this pit of trees and weeds chopping down for a bonfire the other day, so I assumed they were working on the same pile.)

Then, I heard the chainsaw right next to our house.

I rushed to the window to find the 3 guys, all in shorts only, all with Pabst Blue Ribbons in their hands, and all in the process of cutting a wedge at the base of the 20 foot tall tree in between their house and our house.

I didn't know whether to watch or not.

When I am watching a movie or tv show and I kind of know something anxious is going to happen or you know something will go awry I have to stand up and move around and pace and peek and pace some more. This was no different. However, our boys were highly entertained (and distracted by the loud noise) and I figured I should watch just in case it did come straight for our house I could grab the boys quickly.

The guys noticed our watching and put on a little show of stupidity and the tree (thankfully) came crashing down right in between our two houses, a space of less than 10 feet. They showed off more stupidity and then all took chugs of their beers for a job well done.

Leave it to me, the mom, to then chat with the blond son about this that and the other and then conclude with, "Does your dad know you were doing this?" To which he responded, "No, but I did tell my mom. I hope he's not pissed."

I really wanted to take a picture for you, but I also did not want to inflate the egos any more. Oh my!

Garden Attempts by Novices - Take 7

April 30, 2007 - 1:36 PM

Jesus was not joking when He said it was all about the soil.

Last week, Monday - Wednesday, we got 3 inches of rain. We went out to our garden on Friday and it was a big muddy pie. I figured we would not have to water until Monday at earliest. However, by Sunday our muddy pie turned into this...

Dry soil

Dry to the bone. Cracking all over.

Now with seeds, I have read, the key is to not let them dry out or else they will die and not grow. This sight made me nervous to say the least. Leslie had watered earlier in the day Sunday and hers too had dried out to this point. Amazing! What I now know, is that since our garden site is on a windy hill the soil will dry out a lot faster than if it was somewhere with natural wind protections in place. This is good stuff to know. I had also been told earlier that having raised beds will dry out your soil faster. So now we have the combo of wind and raised beds and we will have dried out soil a lot if we don't stay on top of it.

After a night

After one night, this is our soil. Not as scary as the first for sure.

Growing Strong

Our broccoli is growing strong though. (Pictured after a good watering.) I thought it would be tough getting these guys rooted with their weak stems and the intense wind, but these have made made their roots go down deep and strong and they are here to stay! Our maggots mats are staying (for the most part) too!


Our onions are taking root too. (Pictured after a good watering.) These were by far the most fun to plant and easiest! Since these guys have all taken root, I have a lot of leftovers and if anyone wants some please let me know!

In this phase, I think the thing I am learning most about is the soil. It is SO about having good soil. Sometimes good soil is just the stuff you find in your back yard. Sometimes you have to work your tail off for some good soil. Our garden soil I think is the kind you have to work your tail off for. We have had to break our backs working to get it ready and now we have to work our tails off to protect it and maintain it. Again, just like we maintain our daily walks with the Lord.

I can definitely tell we will be learning about weeds/sin next. Being out in such a windy place too, I think our weed quantities are higher than normal. You can also see from our photos our new next fun step in detail. They are very tiny right now and can see how they will be a chore for the summer. Ezekiel will be a big help here and if we can help Jeremiah along, he will help too. Miriam though, she'll just have to play in the mud, :)!

This whole experience is definitely a good learning experience for the kids and I!

Side note: It makes me think once again how God said that people will know there is a creator even if no one told them. Just watching these plants grow, or for a jungle person somewhere, they too can watch the flowers and plants grow and see what the cycle is like and all the parts involved in making it happen. Amazing.

Second Side Note: The kids were all given plants from Pap & Trish this last Thursday and they too did not appreciate all the extra sun and were looking mighty sad yesterday afternoon.  However, we have since nursed them back to health and they are up and at em!  Yeah!  Thank you so much for the vi

I *heart* our Trani Shop

April 28, 2007 - 8:21 PM

Do you have a good trani shop? If you don't you should move to IC and meet our guys. They are so great! You could judge them on their work alone, but that would do a disservice to the full experience of going to a trani shop.

We first met them through our Lincoln 2 years ago. She was giving us some minor issues and we took her in to PT, not knowing what to expect. (Our mechanic whom we trust here in IC recommended them so we went.) When we called for the appointment the guy on the phone said, "Come in at 8 and my brother will drive your car around the block and tell you what is wrong with it." See, you know you're in for some fun from the get go.

I had our 4 & 2 year old boys in their car seats with me and as soon as I pulled up the brother comes out and motions for me to slide over to the passenger side. He then takes us for a ride around the block. We get back to the shop and his brother comes and tells us we can wait while they replace some part. Their shop is as dirty and as grimy as humanly possible without being at the dump and with 2 little ones I was anxious. However, survival came in the form of 2 race cars and their countless pictures of them.

The brothers had 2 stock race cars in their shop, up close and personal for two wide eyed boys. One they had someone else drive and race, the second one brother's son raced. The boys were in heaven for the next 45 minutes while the brothers worked side by side to fix our car. When they were done they told is about their next race, just down the interstate in WL and that we should go. (Which we indeed did, it was my birthday present!) Nothing can beat that they were so incredibly friendly!

This week, when our Buick started having trani fluid leakage issues, we took her back to those 2 brothers. They had moved to a "nicer" shop a block away from their old shop, and they had sold their stock cars for Harley's, but they were just the same. The dark haired brother drove our car, then they talked together to diagnose it, then they fixed it together and the whole time they were incredibly friendly and gracious and very grimy.

Then, the part I forgot from our last meeting, their mom is their secretary. She is, probably, 75, white haired and really tiny. She will happily tell anyone about her arthritis. When I met her the first time she was just as chatty and kind as her sons and this time was no different.

Outside of the fact that after leaving their shop you want to take another shower for the day, you cannot beat the conversation and expertise - the Buick is running like a new car! I would recommend them to my dad! (And that is saying something!)

How does your garden grow?

April 25, 2007 - 10:33 PM

I keep thinking about this piece of art work by Josh's mom titled, "How does your garden grow?" I keep thinking of that as we have been gardening this last week and a half. I know the story behind the piece is much deeper than the title suggests yet I can't get it out of my mind.

I also keep thinking of the passage in Mark about what kind of soil seeds fall upon in Mark 4:2-9, "He (Jesus) taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: "Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times." Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

I also keep thinking about how working our soil to get ready for planting was hard work. It took hours of digging and clump busting and soil preparation with extra additives and water and more clump busting and more work and killing cutworms and protecting earth worms and how this was all done to produce just the right crop.

I also keep thinking about the passage in how God clothes the lilies in Matthew 6:27-30, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

I also keep thinking about the poem April shower's brings May flowers actually goes "March winds and April showers, Brings forth May flowers." And how wonderful God created the seasons for the blowing of seeds and pollen to the rain helping plant the seeds down to the sunny helping bring the seeds up.

Then I think about all the life lost and saved this last few weeks. The lives lost last Monday in Virginia, the life started in our soil, the lives saved through the ban on partial birth abortions, the new lives created in wombs and the one taken. That doesn't even account for all the other atrocities going on around us, a tornado that just killed 11, a serial killer still on the loose, a bomb threat here and there, etc.

Then I think again about God's sovereignty. He weeps with us all. He weeps through the deaths, He rejoices in the life, He is concerned about the tiny-est of tiny lettuce seed and He is heartbroken for the genocides that persist. He will work all these things for good, He does not like that they happen, but He will wipe all our tears one day.

Then I think again about the phrase, "Do you know for certain?" Do you? Do you know for certain what answers lie out there? Death is happening all around us. Billy Graham reminded me during his comments regarding the VT shootings that one thing is for certain, we are all going to die someday. Everyone is going to die. Either by life, someone elses's hand, accident, or not, it will happen to us all.

Then I think again about what is out there after death. Is it a void of nothing, is it a reincarnation, is it a new planet you live on, is it nirvana, or is it a heaven and hell?

Garden Attempts by Novices - Take 6

April 21, 2007 - 1:56 PM

More water.  More prayer.

We watered again today.  My friend Leslie had her lettuce seeds coming up after only a couple days.  We have yet to see any action on our seeds.  Again, I figure if we don't see anything by next Friday we will replant.  Our site is really windy too so our broccoli plants are getting a run for their money but thankfully the store we got a lot of them from had them in a windy spot as well.  The maggot mats stay down only with the help of those mud rocks but no cutworms have attacked them yet. 

I have never been so nervous for something to grow in my life! 

Garden Attempts by Novices - Take 5

April 20, 2007 - 2:41 PM

More watering. More planting. More mud.

We started off the day strong at 9AM. Everyone was on board, making "maggot mats" for our broccoli and cabbage, and doing some final mud clob breaking up. We actually stayed fairly on task with our planting in the beginning. Jeremiah and Miriam had their own little section where Miriam was planting some wilting broccoli and Jeremiah was planting some little flowers he picked out. Ezekiel was my main helper but overall the first 2 hours were a beaut!

Happy Workers

The cardboard under our seedlings are "maggot mats." We figured since we had killed a lot of cutworms while working our soil that maggot had to be close to. Our bible of kid's gardening said to make this things and place them around your plants such as broccoli and cabbage and cauliflower. We obliged. Also, a little tip we learned from a neighbor, use old carpets for your walkways to keep out weeds in the walkways. You can use straw/hay or plastic even, but carpets have remarkably stayed down really well on our windy site.

Water trek

That white speck in the center of the photo is Ezekiel at the water spicket. I am standing with our site to my right. They actually cheerfully got water for the first two hours but after that cheer left and grumbling came. We had a sit down to talk about that toward our end and then they all cheerfully joined in the help once again.

After two hours

As I mentioned after about two hours they were due for a break. What did they do? Dirt + Water = Beaver Dam. The walkway in front of our peas became the "perfect" place for their mud puddles and dam. At the snapping of this photo Jeremiah accidentally put his foot in the water but did not care one bit!

Where are his shoes?

Right when it was time to go, I went to get Jeremiah again. This time he was completely stuck and could not get out. Can you see his shoes in there?

Done for the day!

We made it though! Covered head to toe in mud (not dirt) and soaking wet from the waist down, but all are still smiling! What a day!

Things I learned today while gardening with kids...

  1. Have a section just to make "however." I had dubbed this front section of our garden as just that and boy am I glad I did. Jeremiah wanted to on his own plant the flowers he picked out and Miriam too wanted to just do it. I was a lot less stressful for them then on the spacing, lining, etc. They could seriously do whatever they wanted and it was great! I gave them basic concepts, like how deep to big and the fact that spacing is helpful and such, but they did it and it looks great, scattered, but great!

  2. Watering without a hose is doable. At least in the beginning, while their attentions were good and cheerful, they made great water gatherers. It really saved me a lot of time and the loved every minute of it. Plus, since we had read that we are supposed to water all the soil around our plants/seeds/seedlings as well, not just their rows, there is a lot of watering to do. Then, just knowing that we are supposed to water the whole area for a straight 15 minutes after our first planting it mad

Garden Attempts by Novices - Take 4

April 20, 2007 - 7:36 AM

Today, we planted & learned a WHOLE lot!

Garden Cowboys/girl

Truth be told, this photo was taken at the end of our work day. I wanted to point out two things besides the obvious, that they are all wearing their cowboy hats, and I photo-shopped one of Miriam's eyes...

1. The fact that they are all soaking wet from the waist down.

Dirty Pants

The garden has an old pump spicket that we can use. It has a lever you pull up to get the water out. The water comes out gushing like a fire hydrant. The boys were on water patrol and subsequently got very distracted by its force. Miriam then would sit wherever the boys had just poured their water. (And, yes, Miriam is wearing her skirt over her pants. And, yes, I was not thinking when Miriam left the house that she was wearing a white shirt.)

2. There are seeds in 2 of our beds!

The dark soil is our seeds!

We did actually get seeds in the ground today, but the process was definitely a learning one. Like remembering to water everywhere not just the raised beds. I forgot that one last night so this AM we will go and water abundantly.

Here are some other little things I learned from today in gardening with kids...

  1. Seed tape! We did not use seed tape but when we plant our after frost date veggies I am SO buying it! Seed tape is this sticky stuff that you can lay out seeds on and is really helpful (I've read) for those pesky tiny seeds. Today our goal was to plant some lettuce seeds. I did not remember that those seeds are teeny of tiny. While Ezekiel did a great job making his furrow, the 1" spacing is probably more like 1/8" and who knows if they can even survive in that state? I know even at 1" you are supposed to thin to 6" but we'll see how this works.

  2. Soil prep only when needed. Getting the soil ready on Monday and planting on Thursday was tougher than I thought. By today the soil was hard again, and clumpy and I couldn't help but think of the verse about seeds falling on rocky soil. Though these rocks were only made of mud, they seemed like they would not promote growth at all. We had to work really hard to get our soil back to good soil to take root in. (I am sure there is a beautiful analogy in here.) Tomorrow we are going to try and plant some broccoli and I think I will be bringing some extra top soil to help liven up the soil. Again, we'll see how that works.

  3. Hide the watering cans until needed. That was by far the toughest part sue to the fact that those watering can and water make for so much fun, who needs seeds or work? Ezekiel was still on task but Jeremiah and Miriam were living it up for sure. (I think Jeremiah and Miriam would do much better if they each had their own personal gardener at their side keeping them on task.)

  4. Who knows what's growing where? Unfortunately with the tiny seeds around, and awkward kid fingers, we could have lettuce growing in our entire garden. Even our peas, which are a huge seed, were scattered by Miriam in lovely little patterns not straight lines. Who knows what, where, or when we will see anything. I think we will layout with more string next time in order to remind to plant ONLY along this line, etc.

We were recommended to plant in stages to staggered harvests, separating by a week. We are going to attemp

Garden Attempts by Novices - Take 3

April 18, 2007 - 11:05 PM

No gardening done today... much disobedience instead.

We did manage to get our pre-frost crop purchased, in both seedling and seed form... though not without causing much of an over-boisterous ruckus at the nursery. (I think that is a total redundant description but I can think of no better way to explain it.)

While we have discussed this before today, our kids learned firsthand the lesson of how our actions can reflect not only ourselves, but can serve as a testimony to Christ, for good or bad. It was a good reminder of how actions, our love for others, our treatment of strangers, reflects what we believe about Christ. Incredibly tough as it were, it was a good character building afternoon for us all.

I did learn a few things about gardening...

  1. Our spring frost date here in IC is theoretically May 15th though most people use May 10th.

  2. Asparagus take 3 years to grow and as such can't be grown in our rented land.

  3. But if we could plant asparagus, we'd plant it like our leeks. If we have an in-yard garden some year we'll know what to do.

  4. They don't recommend planting parsley yet, not until after the spring frost.

  5. There are a ba-zillion types of lettuce! I know in the store there are a lot of varieties, but in seed form there are 3 times as many! How to choose!

  6. Celery can be grown, but is an after frost seed as well.

  7. Buying onion sets from a bulk container are cheaper than a pre-bagged set. But we now have hundreds of onions an if any grow you are welcome to the harvest!

  8. You can soak pea seeds in warm water for 2 hours before planting to promote quicker growth.

Tomorrow, we plant. Here's praying they take!

Garden Attempts by Novices - Take 2

April 17, 2007 - 2:56 PM

Today we put in fencing, some for the second time. We realized after starting it yesterday that we were suppossed to bury it. Today we buried it. We also got to meet some new plot neighbors. Everyone is SO friendly out there (except if you step on their already prepared/planted soil)! What a great place to spend the summer!

Here are some photos of the spot...

Neighbors Land that has not been messed with yet.

This is what your lot looks like when you first get it, 10 x 50 in between two posts with neighbors directly on either side.

Working Cuties!

This is our lot and Leslie's & Amber's lot. Ours is on the right. The raised beds were our labors from yesterday. Although, every person I have met says they don't do raised beds, every book says to do them? Hmmm...

Working Cuties!

Digging the trench for the fencing.

More Working Cuties!

Ezekiel in background telling Miriam to stay off the beds. Even though no one there is doing the raised beds, I think for a visual effect/reminder for our kids, I am glad we are doing them. It helps them see/remember where to walk and not walk.

Sweats like his Mama

My hardest working guy! He stayed on task burying our fence so well. The hardest part for him is that he sweats like his mama and gets freckles like her too! :)!


Garden Attempts by Novices - Take 1

April 16, 2007 - 11:21 PM

We did it... we started our garden today!

It was a good day of work, but WAY more than I bargained for! About 5 minutes into getting to our site and carrying all our tools the (what would you say Leslie ?) 500+ ft walk, and making my first hole in the dirt with 3 kids digging and swinging shovels and hoes and rakes all around me, I realized this was going to take a LOT longer than the 1 hour I planned in our day.

You know how they always say that living on a farm is glamorized and take much more work than they say? Wo/man are they right! Moving around 125 cu. ft. of dirt was really hard work, but wo/man did it feel good!

Here are some things I learned today... more to come tomorrow I'm sure!

  1. Make a list of all the supplies you need to get the soil ready for planting, especially when your garden is not in your own yard. Even though you just want to get out there, first sit and think.

  2. It takes a lot longer than expected to prepare 10 x 50 feet of soil. It is literally a whole day job. If it wasn't for the dedication of Ezekiel at my side we would have not gotten as far as we did in our 4 hours there. (Yes, fours hours! And I thought it would take only 1!)

  3. When bringing along a 2,4, and 6 year old find yourself another adult if you can. While today went surprisingly well, for being incredibly outnumbered, next time, if I did it again, I would find more help.

  4. Work gloves for all kids. I know I have them for all the kids but when leaving the house only one child brought theirs and I forgot to find the rest along with my own.

  5. Sunscreen. Again, if I had made a list or if I was closer to home. I now have my first sunburn of the year. Sunhats for the kids tomorrow for sure!

  6. An experienced gardener in your pocket. Again, I have a black thumb and if they made these or my favorite gardeners lived nearby I would so have brought them along. I realized all our info is from books and once I started talking to actual gardeners they would say things like, "Oh, I NEVER do that." I can't tell if that is because they are so talented with their green thumbs they don't need to do these things or if all the books I am reading are wrong. In my novice-ness I am betting it is their green thumbs for now. I will find out when none of our plants grow that it is the system I guess.

  7. Extra drinking water. I brought some, but not enough when you take into account that we have a Miriam along with us, the messiest of mess makers. Our cherished drinking water ended up all over the front of her dirt covered shirt to make her a mud covered Miriam.

  8. Wheelbarrow. I think this would have made our trips to the car a cinch, though it was doable without. I did find a way to roll a rectangle bag of 40lb peat moss the whole trek. I honestly never knew rectangle could roll so well.

  9. Oh, and before all this, make sure that before you go to the garden store that your trunk is empty! Otherwise you will be squeezing your huger-than-life stroller and your husband's guitar in the back seat with the kids. (Yes friend, I know what you are thinking.)

  10. Pack and Play? Or at least a blanket. If my hour there would have been correct we would have still gotten Miriam home for nap time, but as it was, we worked straight through nap time and Miriam wasn't too jazzed about the grass on her face for longer than a couple minutes and the roll of galvanized fencing wasn't that pleasant<

Happy Birthday Better Half!

April 15, 2007 - 2:04 PM

Not only is today historically Tax Day
BUT it is also Josh's birthday! Yeah!!

Happy Birthday Josh!
I am so glad you were born on this day! I love you!!

Miriam and her daddy

Ezekiel & his mom getting their hands around one year later and the IC Tornados.

April 13, 2007 - 1:45 AM

St Pat's Before from
St Pat's after the tornado

St Pats Today
Where St Pat's was one year later

Soroity House Before from
The "dollhouse" after the tornado

Soroity House now
Where the "dollhouse" used to be one year later.

For some reason, the above images I can't stop thinking about.

And Ezekiel, he has his mind stuck on one thing alone - pizza.

Ezekiel, "Mom, I wish Adam and Eve didn't sin."

Mom, "Yeah? Why's that?"

Ezekiel, "Because then the tornado wouldn't have come and then Happy Joes wouldn't have gotten destroyed and that was my favorite restaurant downtown... I hate sin."

Mom, "Me too."

The Sovereignty of God in my little life

April 13, 2007 - 1:30 AM

In respect to the world's sufferings, wars, genocides, hurricanes, persecutions, our momentary struggles are mere mosquitoes in our ears.  Yet, they do make us who we are...

Today is the one year anniversary of when the tornado hit IC.  One year later, I still can't help but recount how God spared us and showed His Sovereignty to all of those in IC.  

And think about it... a college town, the Thursday before Easter weekend, during store business hours, prime bar time through the ped mall, across apartments and houses where students don't have basements, and again, a college town.  

And think about it... people, students included, actually heeded the warning sirens, employees followed procedures, and those employees who didn't follow procedures actually saved lives because the procedure area would have killed them, it was the day before Good Friday and thankfully, St. Pat's was not full of their congregation, students did what they could to hide under mattresses even in their 3rd story apartments or find the center of their homes.

And think about it... lives were spared.

For me, it comes so strange.  It will forever be the scariest night of my life* and we were not home when the tornado hit our house.  We were driving home from D-port and in our car, we were within reach of one of the tornados that night and God in His Sovereignty spared us.

The sky was the eeriest shade of black the whole drive.  It was illuminated by the most elaborate, brightest lightning show I never hope to see again.  The crashes of lightning came one on top of another on top of another and broke, what felt like, on top of our car.  Between the torrents of rain, the kind that wipers are no good on, and the flashes of lightning that were so bright they made your eyes see spots, the drive was a literal blind shot in the dark.

Josh drove with great skill and the kids all slept (so deeply you'd think they were under anesthetic) in the backseat and I prayed.  The last 8 miles home were the worst.  Just before we stopped for a moment to phone a friend.  They told us about the tornados all around, watched their radar and told us if we were going to go, to go right now.  We left.

Still sheets of rain, still lightning, still pitch black, no stars, no break in the clouds, just black with lightning that made you see spots... and then hail.  Ever seen Twister?  "We've got hail."  I prayed even more desperately.  Then the winds and rain picked up stronger as our car was shaking all around.  Then a loud noise and deep rumbles all around.  We knew it was out there, but only God knew where. 

In my mind, I can only imagine what the scene looked like from above, but I imagine the twister, moving along its path and then God just flicking it with His finger saying, "No, you don't get to cross the interstate, not tonight." 

We couldn't get to our house due to all the downed trees so we tried to go to my sister’s house a few blocks away.  We actually saw her on the street as she was trying to get to our house on foot to see if we were all right.  When we did get near our home, a block away, we talked to all our neighbors outside and they told us how a tornado hit our neighborhood just 20 minutes before.

We had to trek through neighbor's yards to get to our house and after Josh did an initial survey that it was standing, we transported our still sleeping kids to home where they slept until morning, never knowing what happened.  We were spared.  Lots and lots of debris, a few broken windows and a totaled yet driveable car, seriously, just buzzes in the ear to losing your whole home.  God didn't hav

The many sides of Miriam, well, 3 sides anyway.

April 11, 2007 - 1:55 PM

1. Last Friday night I was all out of sorts. We were all in the living room, the kids were playing all around us, going in and out of the living room, as I was chatting to Josh about my funk. As I was folding some clothes, telling Josh my woes I watched as Miriam left the room headed for the kitchen and I continued to fold in the living room and the boys continued to do something noisy in their bedroom and Josh continued to talk to me. And immediately, Miriam came back into the living room, carrying my Bible, hands it to me and says, "Here you go Mommy," and then leaves the living room to go the boys' room. I can only assume she was paying attention to our conversation though she was "doing her own thing" and then she heard and need and wanted to meet it the best she knew how. Thanks Miriam!

2. Being one of 3 sickies in our house over the weekend (i.e. Josh, Jeremiah, and Miriam) we have had bowel sagas galore. The other day while, um... passing gas, Miriam says, "I'm blowing bubbles in my underwear." Priceless.

3. Playing Hide and Seek the other day, Miriam found herself a nice little spot. And to make sure she wasn't scared, brought a flashlight in with her. Smart girl! (While not smiling when I snapped the photo, she was giggling right before and after I took the photo. If only they could designed a camera that was fast enough to catch smiles the first time!)

Hiding Miriam

We interrupt my taxes to bring you this important announcement*...

April 9, 2007 - 9:16 PM

It was your typical Easter morning. Mom, home from church with 2 sick kids, having been up all night with random bouts of messes, finally takes the chance to get a shower. She is quickly escaping to the shower to wash off the yucky feeling that comes along with cleaning up lots of vomit when to her horror...

The visitor

Somehow an African Millipede found its way into our IC shower. After telling herself repeatedly that it was OF COURSE a plastic toy, she grabbed for her husband's toothbrush...

Toothbrush test?

But then thought wiser of it and grabbed for the soap bottle to budge it, just to be sure...

Soap Test?

Phew! Plastic. That doesn't mean she reaches out to pick it up with any less inhibitions. She manages to put it on the shelf in the bathtub by tossing it with a like, "Ew."

The Bathtub Shelf

It still looks just a bit too real.  She then places it on the side of the bathtub...

Bath Side

Again, to close for comfort.  The mom, now having wasted what time she did have for a shower, resolves to put the bug in the best spot imaginable...

Final Home

The Cramer Family's First Official Pet!

*Alternative titles could be:

What's in your bathtub? 

April Fool's Day was Last Sunday? Right?

We got our first pet!

Scientists discover African species of millipede in IOWA!

Why Dad always had visitors shake out their clothes in the street.


Thanks for your visit Karl, Maren & Jemima! We love you all!

Kit For Sale

April 5, 2007 - 4:03 PM

I don't know about you, but Knight Rider used to be my favorite TV show of all time. It was quickly replaced by MacGyver at some point in my early childhood, but I will always have a warm place in my heart for David Hasselhoff, and Kit the talking car.


I just found out that Kit is now up for sale for a mere $149,000. If I had that kind of money to spend on a talking car that could drive 300 mph and spontaneously jump 50 feet up in the air, I would be sure to take advantage of this opportunity. If only I had taken Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class 8 or 10 years ago!

Happy to oblige!

April 3, 2007 - 9:13 AM

I love to link to friends & strangers!  If you would like me to link to you, please ask!  (Although I do take liberty through "Planet Rock" I am not opposed to linking to you in addition to Planet Rock!  :)!


Hello World!

April 1, 2007 - 12:52 AM

For the record, this site is not official yet, it is still in test mode. There are still lines and such missing and a few more things to add. It is really a figment of your imagination that you are really here.

Feel free to look and let me know if you break anything by accident... I am still new here myself! I am breaking lots of stuff!

Today I:

  1. Woke up at 5AM at home

  2. Did Paychecks at home

  3. Balanced Accounts at home

  4. Paid Bills at home

  5. Had a lovely drive with Ambre , Inara & Jessica to Ames

  6. Went to a Dutch dress fitting in Grinnell

  7. Ate a salad at Culvers in Newton

  8. Went to a baby shower for lovely Jackie B & Mini B in Ames

  9. Delivered Books in Ames

  10. Went to the post office in Ames

  11. Went to a Seder meal at church back in IC

  12. Went to a play written by a friend's daughter at UI Theatre Bldg

  13. Had Jimmy John's in the ped mall in IC

  14. Chatted it up with Luke & Dexter at Capanna in IC

  15. Went to the old Gabe's and saw our old friend/employee Luke's Band Envy Corps play in IC

  16. Ran into lots of friends from church at the bar in IC

  17. Came home all smokey realizing that I now have to wash my everyday pants at home

  18. Had a nice chat/recap with our babysitters at home

  19. Found out my new site is up and running at home

  20. Went to bed at home

What did you do today?

About Me and This Blog...

April 1, 2007 - 12:34 AM

If you found yourself here, welcome! You are a rare breed!

Just to warn you, this has become my personal / self-serving / introspective / online journal. There are many amazing blogs out there, mom blogs / homeschool blogs / life blogs / skill blogs / travel blogs, all filled with wit and wisdom, but this is not one of them! This blog is just me, pretending to be talking to someone and trying to write down our stories before my mind loses the memories, :)!

I started this blog on April Fool's Day 2007. If you venture into the archives, be warned, as the site has been moved around parts of the older entries have disappeared into cyber space, images have broken links, or the wrong image is in the wrong post, and posts may stop mid-sentence and fall off the earth.

At the time I started this blog, blogs themselves were just starting to pop up and definitely not as prevalent or the money making giants they are today. My husband knew how I loved to talk and share the ridiculous stories of our life and family so he encouraged me to start a blog to write out those goofy stories, because, wo/man!, were they plentiful back then! So I did. And I liked it. A lot.

At the time I started this blog, we had been married for 7.5 years, we had lived in IC for 4 years, we had a 6.5, 4.5, and 2.5 year old, we owned two companies, I had been homeschooling first grade for .75 of a year, we hosted a small house church in our basement, I primarily hung out with single college women, and I was the first one of my friends who got to survive things like toilet training.

At the time I started this blog, all the stuff people now do on Facebook with ease and with a larger audience at their finger tips, people used blogs for. MySpace was still in service. Facebook had only been open to the public for less than a year and hardly the megalith that it is today (Remember only being able to see 10 items on a "wall?" Ha!). With all that in place, my blog was filled with one-liners of kids' quotes, photos from vacations, links to favorite recipes, funny video clips, etc. 

Over the years of having this blog, we have all grown through highs and lows, and my life, like this blog, has changed from a status update of little kid antics to a travel log of our family's adventures with my personal reflections - hence, the now inital warning that it may not always be filled with wisdom. My travel log officially started with our family trip to Eastern Europe, continued with our trip to San Francisco, and contiues to this day. Not always funny-ha-ha, not always filled with wise choices, but today this is my "creative" outlet, which for that sake alone, makes it worth it for me even if no one ever reads the entries. 

 All of this to say, if you are still sticking around, you have been warned! :)!

cute husband

My handsome husband and I, September 1, 2013.


Welcome! I am glad you're here! If you are new and would like to get caught up on what's going on, check out these quick links to get you started:

About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


Fam Q
LM - Czech Guru
RM - CSS Guru
Mrs. Windham
Joe Pyle Wedding Photographer


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