Monday, October 22, 2007

The return of sense and sensibility


Well, she's back and life is back to approaching normal. She and Jill and the rest of the team arrived at 11:15 last night, so we're all a little tired and cranky. She had a great trip with many stories. If you're interested in seeing some of the photos, they have some on the Church's website at:




Otherwise, I'll put a bunch into a photoshow in the next week or so and publish it out. I'll also be selling the complete photo collection for $2995.00 for anyone interested. Just make the check out to "Over the Top Roofing Inc." Please no further questions at this time.
I'm going to go and take a nap now, before I go to bed.
Buenos Noches.
Jim


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Houston, we have splashdown!


Well, I've come to the end of what I might term "a bit of a long week". I seem to be battling a case of CFS...Constant Fatigue Syndrome. A weariness that can only be explained by two children, two felines and a mentally challenged, infant canine. I came out the victor, albeit battle scarred and limping. Dazed and confused comes to mind. But to keep this from being a big downer, I'll change course and focus on the positives of the week. Things like;



  • Ben never once got beat up at school because I dressed him funny.

  • Toby didn't get lost or run away, though I think he was thinking it might be a more stable environment.

  • Chester and Isabel seem unfazed by the whole deal. Of course they sleep 20 hours a day.

  • I found the matches to 3 odd socks today. Boy I'm setting the bar low. I need to get back to work.

  • The carpet only has 2 small holes in it from Toby. (Hey, it could be worse.)

  • I can still recite my address and social security number...if you catch me before 5 PM

  • My kids still love me, though after another week, even that might be chancey. ;-)

In a nutshell, here was my day. Let Toby out to pee, breakfast, wake up kids, let Toby out to pee, Church, walk Toby, lunch, let Toby out to pee, take a bike ride, let Toby out to pee, take kids to dog exercise area, Toby pees, back home, Toby falls asleep, blog, let Toby out to pee, go to Steves for pickup of Donna!


Hey people it's been a great treat to blog this past week. It keeps my writing hands oiled. Thank you to all of you for your comments (the positive ones at least.).


Thank you too, to all of you for your prayers and support this week. We couldn't have done it without YOU!


If I get a chance, I'' try and continue this blog for a week so you can witness my single-parent post partum depression, (or not).


God Bless You.


Love,


Jaime


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Are we done yet?

Blogspot's image upload is giving me grief, so no photo today. A video at the bottom though!

Picture my cat Izzy here --->>> {:-X<

One would think that the weekends would be easier as a single parent, but they aren't so much. Some of it is my doing, as I'll explain later, but in general, the world of dirty laundry and pet maintenance doesn't stop on Fri. Sure, there's no "work" for Dad, but as I can attest, "work" was the least of my problems this week. Heck, I'd even say work was fun this week. My quiet cubicle, my computer (sans kid grime), my cd player, why, I might even go tonight and put in a few hours.





Seriously though, it has been a good day. God chose to have mercy on me by sending two of the best weather days of the year our way today and tomorrow. That has made all the difference. There's nothing worse than stress cloaked in gloomy weather.





Sarah rolled in at 7:30 AM from her overnight lock-in thing and promptly fell onto the couch until about 11:30. She said she had a good time despite the bus being an hour and 45 min. late.





While she slept I picked Ben up from his friends house and took him to his soccer game. The game was better than last week in that they didn't get skunked. At one point they actually led 2-0. But then the glory went to their heads and they ended up losing 4-2. I was telling one of the other parents, at this point in the season I'd take a TIE! Hey, 2-2. I can live with that. Next week is the last game of the season, so I'll be the ugly parent on the sideline if they don't win. I'll be the guy ridin' the ref and tripping the oponents as they run by. It's only a penalty if you get caught, right? (Nice message for the kids there.)





Ben played a good game though. He's mainly defense and has finally got the "clear the ball to the outside" thing down. I'm proud of him nonetheless and only will only make him practice twice a day for another week. (I'm KIDDING!)





How can you leave a dog on a leash for an hour, during which time he finds time to dig a foot-deep hole and eat dirt, only to bring him in and have him pee on the floor within 5 minutes. What is that? Note that I usually discover his accidents via my sock. Whenever I step in it my first thought is "Oh, I hope thats water I just stepped in." Like water just appears on the kitchen floor regularly. It never is of course, so I end up tossing the dirty socks into the black hole I call a wash machine. 3 times out of 4 they both come back.





So I decide to reward my kids today for their long week of chores and bad food by getting them each a game. I took Sarah to Evil-Mart and we got her a Thrillville game for the computer. Having made the mistake in the past, we made sure it was on CD-ROM media. We'd bought a game before and it was on DVD which our computer can't read. That was a $20 mistake. THIS time though we were the heads-up saavy consumers and bought the CD's.





It took about a 1/2 hour to install, as it was on 3 cd's. When it was done, when we hit play it read something to the effect of "Sorry stupid people, your computer sucks and you're out $30 bucks". Those technical messages are getting so personal lately.





So on come the tears from Sarah, who of course is exhausted from her overnight thing. Never fear, Superdad will take care of these Bozos and see to it that I get our money back. Off I go back to Evil-Mart and the return counter. I plead my case, complete with my own set of tears, and the heartless clerk just looked at me with pity in her yellow eyes and tsk'd me. So superdad calls Sarah and explains that it was mostly my fault for not reading the hardware specifications and that I would eat the $30.00 so she wouldn't have to. $30.00 to an 11 year old is about 1/2 her net worth and I felt terrible. (Read: Sucker) Needless to say we'll be getting no new games ever for this PC.





All week I've been looking for the measuring cup (mostly for the mac-n-cheese measurement), and was convinced Donna took it for her seminar in Guatemala. Today I found it in the not-supposed-to-be-here cupboard. I have no idea how it got there, though I have been making Ben unload the dishwasher this week...Hmmm...maybe there is a correlation after all.





Things I want to thank God for this week:





1. Supportive friends and family with encouraging words. (Esp. Mom, Dick and Carol)


2. Patty and Brad for Dinner thursday night.


3. The Dennerts, Mazza's, and Huskeys for letting Ben stay with them.


4. Jodie for picking up/dropping off Sarah last night.


5. Great weather


6. Macaroni and cheese


7. Mark for his Chocolate Chip Cookie delivery. (They're good!)


8. The monsoon sound system in my Santa Fe


9. My wife, Jill and their missionary team.


10. This electronic marvel we call the web. It has enabled us to keep in such good contact.


11. Sarah and Ben stepping it up, and keeping me laughing.


12. Norah Jones' velvety soothing, calming voice.


13. Casting Crowns for keeping me focused upward through the week.


14. Paco and Jenni and all the host families. You are awesome people. God Bless You!


15. All the words of encouragement about this blog from everyone.





So, I need to go fold the laundry now...or maybe during the football game...definitely before I go to the airport.





Below is Chester and Izzy at Bathtime...





Love you all.





God Bless.





Jim











Friday, October 19, 2007

What does 7 Times 45 equal?


At breakfast this morning, Ben asked how old he would be in dog years. I quickly computed 7(dog years) x 9 (Ben years) and told him 63 years old. Sarah said that that was wrong that "dog years" should be calculated as follows: 10 years for the first year, 7 for the second , then 3 for each year after that. Not to be showed up by his sister, Ben said it was actually 7 years for the first year, then 5 years for each subsequent year. Ya know, when I was a kid it was always a 7:1 ratio, pretty simple stuff. I don't know if these kids are blowing smoke, or if they're teaching something different in the schools now days, or what. I only know that it interrupted a perfectly good bowl of oatmeal, and now of course I have to google it to find out what the real answer is in case it should actually matter someday.

I had one of those scary moments on my way home for lunch today when you don't remember like 1/2 of your ride. I remember getting in my car and my first turn, the rest I don't recall until a mile and a half later. Don't remember the turn signals (though probably did do them), the mirror checking, brakes, nothing. About all I remember is singing the chorus to the song I had on the CD player at the time. Evidently that was more important to me than focusing on navigating my 1/2 ton killing machine on wheels. Scary stuff, but I've heard other people say they've done the same thing. Auto-pilot.

Whipped up an omlette for lunch today. Well, it started as an omlette. It ended up more like gifted and talented scrambled eggs.

If you know my wife at all, you know she's a piler. She has her stacks of stuff, all very important and they are spread throughout the house. There's the "critical pile", that sits next to our kitchen phone. It is absolutely sacred ground to be touched by none but her. There's the "receipt pile" that sits in the computer room that is either awaiting entry into the bank account or for one of the kids to knock it over, whichever comes first. There's the "island pile" that sits on the kitchen island, but never lasts more than 4 hours or so. And, well, you get the gist.

I actually used her critical pile this week and when Sarah asked for a paper related to her overnight deal for church, I actually found it.




So it occurred to me that while my wife is away, I am actually beginning to understand how she ticks. At the same time however, it occurred to me that her experience in Guatemala may be changing her enough that she will come back determined to deconstruct her piling technique, or worse yet, change it on me. That would be just my luck. Start to understand the female mind and they change it on you. I'll keep you posted on what transpires. (Any bets?)




To take this a bit further, and this is not griping, just an observation. Why is it that just when I figure out where the pans and tupperware goes, the whole system changes? It goes back to that neuron preservation thing I talked about yesterday. Once you hit 40, there should be a rule that everything in the kitchen needs to stay where it is. Hey, if the system works, why mess with it? As a computer guy, the only thing I can equate it with is, say every four months I moved all your files to a new folder and then didn't tell you until you couldn't find something. I'm not anti-change, I'm just a slow re-learner I guess, at least in the kitchen. It's a strange phenomena in the female genome. Some sort of nesting thing or something.

Ben had been bugging me to have a friend over tonight because Hunter couldn't make it here from MN with his mom. I agreed of course. Well this morning Ben gets a call from a friend who asks if Ben can sleep over. (Remember Sarah's on an overnight thing too.) Ben asks me and I say "Well, let me think about it...OK!!!" Proof positive that God strengthens and refreshes you when you need it most.
As a result of this, I had a chance to have Dinner with Steve at Lulu's cafe. We talked about the women in our lives and Steve showed me his latest home improvement project, a banister. I wish I had his knack for working with his hands. The good thing is I'm always learning from him. He's a good friend.

Word from Donna is all good. They had a "fun" day in Antigua today and when I checked the weather it looked like it was 73' and sunny. I trust they enjoyed it. She has said time and time again, she's not sure how she can describe the experience to people when she gets back. I guess you'll have to hear it directly from her once she's back. I miss her.

Otherwise, things are good here. It has been a good week for me to reconnect with Ben and Sarah. It has given me an appreciation for all Donna does to keep the kids and I from looking like orphans. Today I sent Ben to school in fatigue pants and a powder blue striped shirt. Does that match? Ya know I figured hey, it's Friday, and if he's OK with it, I'm OK with it. It's no worse than me going to work with blue pants, brown shoes and black socks. (they looked blue in the light.) I did a lot of standing that day.

Well, I'd better run. I'm sure there's some laundry that will need dusting if I don't put it away soon. The kids and I are getting real used to this living out of the laundry basket though. No drawers to open, just look in the basket (Sarah's on the left, Ben's on the right) and paw around till you get what you're looking for. Tidy, no, but effective.

Below is Toby at his finest.

Jim

Thursday, October 18, 2007

8 Minutes of Serenity


The circumstances of the week have required me to drive to work every day, so I can drive back at noon, let the dog out, and drive back to work. This really is a stupid human trick because I live 1.8 miles away from work. I can barely roll my windows down and I'm pulling into work.


This drive however has become my little bubble of bliss, my bastion of solitude, my no-think tank if you will. It is my chance to turn my music to my volume and just check out for 8 minutes at a time. I call it "8 minutes for Jim"; a time when I don't have to pick up any socks, stop the dog from tunnelling into the back of the couch, or try and remember who's turn it is to play first on the computer today. Grant me this one wish...please bury me in the Santa Fe with Casting Crowns rattling my dead old fillings. I'll need a double sized lot, but if necessary, you can compact me prior to burial. (Think Green) That truck is my favorite place on earth...at least this week it is.


So I pull up to a stoplight behind a cop today on my way back to work. The light changes and the cop doesn't move. "Should I honk?", I think to myself? My instinct almost made me. That would have made an interesting discussion I'm sure.


We had dinner at the Barretts' house tonight. Poppyseed chicken. Real Food. Mmmmm!!! When they weren't looking I stuffed some in my pockets for lunch tomorrow. A doggie pocket, so to speak. We had a great night just talking and watching the 3 crazy dogs assert their whatever for 2 hours. Lots of noise going on, but not a lot of brain neuron activity, thats for sure. Thanks to Patty and Brad for everything. It's good to have good friends to pull you through.


It was another absolute pristine day today. 73' and sunny. Good to be alive.


I cannot believe the amount of junk mail we accumulate in a week. I couldn't believe it before, when Donna just filtered my junk down to me. Near as I can tell, I have lots of money and everyone wants a take.


The most irrelevant piece of junk mail for the week was an automatic membership to the NRA, that came complete with a plastic card with my name on it. If any of you know me, you know how ludicrous this is. The instructor in my military class in high school said I needed to get my eyes checked when he saw my target from the rifle range.


Couple that with the fact that I sold my 12 guage and got golf clubs when I was 40 because I figured I could only hurt myself so much with golf clubs. (If you've seen me golf, you'd think I was swinging a 12 guage.) I've found that I've hurt myself far more with my clubs than I ever could with a stupid gun. Heck half of my trophy shots when hunting never happened because I had the saftey on. They pushed gun safety pretty hard in High School. I got an A in that part. So, needless to say the NRA will have to do without me. Sorry Charleton, you'll have to pry my sand wedge from my cold dead hands. (It's my most used club.)


I don't know where the time has gone this past week. Not enough hours in a day. There are certain items around the house that I have been meaning to pick up since Donna left. Because of my preoccupation with dogs, kids (and blogs, I'll admit), all I've had time to do is make a mental note. My thoughts are like this:


Note to self:


1. Red flip flop in corner in dining room.

2. Scoop kitty box that kids keep missing.

3. Either file away or throw away water heater brochures next to computer.

4. Give Toby a bath...he stinks.

5. How we doing on milk?

6. One of Ben's clean soccer socks is under his bed.


I could/should/will get to each of these items eventually, but am not quite sure of when at this point. Check back tomorrow. I think this is how people drive themselves insane. Petty little things like this drive out the neurons that people need to remember to get dressed before going to work, or to flush.


How is is that when I finally got to folding the laundry last night I come up with 4 odd white socks. All different, all orphans. I could almost understand 3, but 4 just seems like we have a sock issue, ya know? At least 2 of those should match, then I'd understand. I may have found a match earlier when I was sweeping up the cat litter that the dog had managed to spread between the washer and dryer. There was an orphans sock back there, but not knowing whether it was dirty or clean, I have to wash it again and as a result may never see it again. Or it will multiply itself assexually and morph into a new, 6th unmatchable style. The suspense is killing me, really.


So tonight I'm trying to get Ben to start getting ready to go to the Barretts, and he's chasing the dog around with a harmonica sending him into a terrier frenzy that is only curable through veterinary exorcism. I mean, I can't make this stuff up, man. This makes the Simpsons look well adjusted.


Well, I'd better get back to the killing some healthy neurons. Believe it or not this blog is almost therapeutic. If I could type it laying down on a couch, I'd be in business. (There's that money maker I've always wanted.)


So all, it looks like I'm going to make it to Sunday, though we do need milk...


God Bless.


Jim

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Maps and Legends



So I stop at a Mobil Gas station for milk on the way home. It's priced at $3.80/gal. No way I say, I just paid 3.00 on Mon. at a different station. So I go in protest to said station where I promptly pay $3.89/gal. Where is this milk from, the Middle East? I've seen price fluctuations, but this is ridiculous.





It was a gorgeous fall day here today until 4:31 when it started to rain. Yep, I get out of work at 4:30. Hmmm...





Things are much better today so far. Of course, I'm kidless at the moment, but that will change within the hour.





I know it's getting late in the week because of some telltale signs around the house. Signs like:






  • The laundry I did two days ago still has not folded itself or put itself away. What is the wait-time on this, can anyone tell me?


  • We are almost out of Mom's homemade desserts (cookies and brownies). Sarah and I will either bake some choc. chip cookies tonight or its oreos for everyone!


  • The dishwasher is has only been run twice or so since Donna left. I attribute this to the fact that it's mostly filled with bowls...which speaks to our diet.


  • How come when I tell Ben to finish his homework this morning, he suddenly remember homework that is "even more important" than the stuff I want him to do. Suffice it to say I baited him with a paragraph about the Moon today. I didn't hold his hand with the pencil in it, but I did the next closest thing.


Tonight is "south of the border night" in honor of Donna. I'll be making tacos, a dish I mastered as a bachelor. Can't go too wrong with that, right? Either that or Cereal, I haven't decided. (Only kidding!)



All in all it was a good day today. The night may change that, but hey, I'll run with the small victory for the moment.



Incidentally, the image displayed above is one of the cool maps I maee today. As Donna will attest I love my job (most days) and am fortunate to be doing something I love. As I tell people, I walk to work, though occasionally I RUN home . Also there is a short video below. I've never tried this so no guarantees!

Until tomorrow!



Jim




Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Groundhog Day


Are we there yet? As expected, this was likely the longest day of the week. With School, Soccer, and Boys Club and Nexus, it just keeps on going. If I didn't know that Donna was having a long day as well, I'd complain. (I am anyways ;-)


Lesson #1 learned today: Making lunches ahead of time is only "organizational" if you then pack the lunch in the backpack at Go time. Yes, I got the call from Sarah, luckily before I headed to work, so made the dropoff w/little interruption.


So in my trivialities of the day, I begin to think about what might be happening in Guatemala. I think about the good that is being done and that has been done by the many who have served before.


It makes me think of Donald Miller, author of "Blue like Jazz" and how he said that he once had dreams of owning a Volvo. When he started to think about the story or movie of a man whose goal it was to own a Volvo he thought it made a pretty boring story. He then challenged himself and us to make a better story, and that's what these women on the trip are doing for themselves.


It makes me think of my 72 year old mother (at the time) feeling moved to answer phone calls in Washington, DC t0 the Katrina victims for the Red Cross. What moves people to these things. It is God's inherent goodness within us being put before ourselves. Something that many people never think twice about. What are we here for? To learn, get married, have kids, work 40 years and retire? Or is there something more? I think we all know there is.


It makes me think of Michael, my ex-little brother in the Big Brothers program whose house always seemed messy. Lord forgive me for judging that poor single mother's housekeeping skills. My house looks like hoboes are living in it after only 4 days of no 2nd parent.


Sorry for the pontification...it's just what's swirling around today.


The rest of the day was pretty much a blur. Walk the dog, scoop the poop, praise the potty outside, work a little, speed home to lunch, more dog excretia, back to work, make some cool maps, speed back home, off to soccer, much unrest among a parent (not me) concerned about the coaches attitude, speed off to boys club.


Boys club was good with the usual mayhem thrown in for good measure. We had balloon races, so I was blowing up balloons until my cheeks were numb. Then, off to gym where the balloon relays took place. No head traumas this week...a good thing...Praise God for small victories. Then off to story circle with worship time and the usual bad powerpoint lyric management. (How hard can it be to hit the down arrow when you come to the end of a lyric? Yet every week it's the same story. Much muttering and mumbling among the boys when the words don't match what's being sung up front. Its a good thing God will take our worship no matter how mixed up it is. Thank goodness God can sort it all out and make sense of it.)


So we finished up with Dairy Queen and a kid meltdown when Sarah allegedly popped Ben's last balloon at home. Ahhh, now that's livin'!


I think I'll fall into bed now.


Until tomorrow...if it ever gets here...God Bless.


Jim

Monday, October 15, 2007

Deep Thoughts and Ruminations





Well, it's starting to take effect. I got on the scale today and I've lost 3 lbs. Hmmm...That works out to about a 10 lb loss by the time Donna gets back. I don't think its from lack of food so much as additional workout. You're kind of in Rev mode all the time when you're the only parent.




Which brings up an interesting story today. I got a phone call from Sarah at 3:45 today confirming that they were home from school. "Great, thanks for letting me know. Bye Bye" I thought to myself. No, from there it went into an argument over who gets the computer first. "Ben got to go first yesterday" Put Ben on. "Sarah said she'd let me go first if I helped her with something." Ben says with the tears starting to flow. Put Sarah back on. "Please let Ben go first" , I say. More tears. "But he went first yesterday and the day before...blah, blach blah" (More tears). Is anyone out there feeling my pain yet?




I reply through gritted teeth that "I can't talk about this now, I'll be home in an hour and we can talk about it then." (Hyperventalation kicks in.) Luckily Sarah sensed the Blood Pressure rise and succumbed to my wishes. I now have complete and full respect and appreciation for my Mom who in raising 6 kids got this kind of stuff regularly. It's a wonder she's not in the loony bin.




Got the kids off to school OK. Sarah was the taskmaster reminding me "Dad, Ben needs to brush his teeth before we leave." and "Dad, it's almost time for us to leave." (I was upstairs). God Bless her. She's keeping me sane. She seems to understand the magnitude of what needs to be done from day to day. She even took the dog out w/o provocation yesterday. Bless her.




I cooked the first real meal tonight for all of us, ravioli and garlic bread. Last night we had cereal for dinner. It's a bit of a tradition around here anyways, and no kid ever got fat eating raisin bran, right?




I started my first loads of laundry tonight. Trying to see if I can keep from turning everything to battleship grey.




Some other random thoughts and questions are below that came across my mind over the course of the evening tonight. I'll call them "Man Thoughts"




1. Cooking multiple items is all about the timing, isn't it?


2. What is the difference between Medium and Super sized loads on the clothes washer? They should have a fill line marked just for men. And furthermore, why no Large? Did McDonalds design this machine or what?


3. If jeans go in the darks, where do faded jeans go? Darks or colors? Why?


4. If spaghetti takes 8-11 minutes to cook, why does ravioli only take 3 minutes? Theyre both pasta products. I would think it would be the other way around.


5. How come a dog can hold it for 4 hours in a cage, but when you let him out, he's got to pee every hour?




Hardly the questions I went to College to understand, but mysteries, all of them today.




Well, speaking of the dog, I'd better take him out for his walk. Hopefully he hasn't left me a surprise in the kitchen in the time it has taken me to write this. A note from Donna is below.




Until Tomorrow...In Adventure...Jim




Heard from Donna today via phone and e-mail here's a snippet from her message:

"Love your blog...we are all enjoying it! Lesson #1 with Toby...CRATE WHEN IN SHOWER!This is a different world love. So much to tell you. I can't wait. Church yesterday was phenomenal. The people of this country are so passionate and faithful to the Lord. Jill and I were in tears during the service. It was amazing. You would have loved it. We think of you and Steve often. I am thankful to God that Jill is here to share this with me. I am learning things about myself that are fabulous and exhausting at the same time.




I have to run, but please pray for health and endurance...we are all doing well health wise,but the altitude is really bothering me head ache wise, etc. Pray for the women who are attending... that we be both hands and feet of Jesus with them. Pray for continued relationships with the women and the team. Give my love to everyone and thank them... I feel postively lifted and buoyed by prayer.... we all do.




I have to go sort cake mixes now. Kiss the kids and tell them that I LOVE THEM and miss them very very much. I saw a little boy with messy hair yesterday at church and missed my Benjamin. Love you honey! "






Sunday, October 14, 2007

Las Adventuras Dias Dos



The kids have been enjoying the "Spanish for Dummies" DVD's that have been in our car since Donna started her Spanish crash course a few weeks ago. Of course the word the memorized first was Bano which means bathroom. Some things are so predicatable.


I got a call from Donna at about 5:30 CDT and she said all was well. All she said was Guatemala was "very different" from the US and/or what she expected. She said it was going to be a very interesting week. That was about all the report I got. We continue to keep her in our prayers here and look forward to the next report.


Sarah and I had a great night last night. We took Toby to the dog exercise park in Brookfield and he did OK. Being the smallest dog there doesn't help, as he tends to garner most of the attention from larger dogs not to mention the occasional raptor passing overhead. (Tastes like chicken!)We ate out at Oscars and watched Ghostbusters later that evening. Couple that with the frozen pizza we had as a family for lunch and you get a good feel for where our diets are headed for the week. Ever see the movie "Super-size Me"? If I were in charge of cooking all the time, we'd all be 300 lb diabetics within a year. At lunch I forced the kids to drink a 100% juice juice box to stave off the scurvy for the time being.


We all made it to Church this morning. Parents were invited to worship with the kids in the Amphiteater. Of course there was lots of dancing/signing moments and if you know me and my expressiveness, you know how well I participated in that. It's the stoic German-Swede in me I guess. This carried through as I went into the main sanctuary and saw how subdued the adults were in their worship relative to the energy of the kids. I'm as guilty as the rest.


The message in church was from Luke and covered the crucifixion and the incredible contrast between the two thieves hanging next to Jesus; One bitter, cynical and sarcastic, and one remorseful and humbled by the presence and righteousness of Christ.


Toby managed to chew a nice hole in the carpet when left unattended while I was in the shower this morning. In a glass-half-full moment, I rationalized that this was why we opted to wait on getting new carpet at least until he's past the cursed chewing stage. This rationale doesn't make me less upset, it's just my was of trying to decellerate the road to insanity. "Hey, it's not such a bad hole...look, we can put a chair over it." AAARRRGGGHHH!


It has rained ALL DAY and is showing no sign of slowing down. Gloomy!


Watched the Packers game between taking Toby out to pee, feeding the kids lunch and bending at the waist to pick up socks and Tobies latest chew toy. They managed to win 17-14. Coupled with a Bear loss to the Vikes, it was a good day.


Tonight is Dad's first night of dinner and I think the menu goes like this. We'll start with a Chicken dish made of ground white meat coated in bread crumbs and shaped like a small hockey puck. For a side dish, we'll have an apple slices cut into fine wedges and perhaps garnished with sugar and cinnamon. And for a bevarage we'll top it off with a couple ounces of Skim. 20 minutes later we'll finish off the evening with 2 scoops of Mint Chip ice cream with chocolate sauce and whatever sprinkles of Moms that we can get to.
Tonight we'll settle in and watch Firehouse Dog on DVD. Tomorrow starts the real test with getting them up and off to school. It'll be fine. Normal, no...Fine, yes.
Loooking forward to tomorrow!
God Bless.
Jim

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Day One of the Adventure


Hello all,


Today begins an adventure that I thought I'd capture in a blog. Donna took off for an 8 day short-term mission trip to Guatemala today, and so I've got mom/dad duties. It should be and interesting week and I love to write, so I thought this would be a great way to capture my thoughts and allow you all to partake on the journey with me/us.


We dropped her off at Jill and Steve's last night about 10:00 PM. Sarah had a bad time of it, saying goodbyes and such. She has such a big heart for family, so it's tough any time either of us leaves. The 6 of us said a prayer for safety and God's protection before we left, which was comforting for all I think. She's better today...at least so far.


This morning Donna called about 9:20 to say she had made it to Charlotte, NC. Hooray for leg #1!


Ben had his soccer game today and, well, let's just say they remain winless. (Lost 6-0). They fought to the bitter end though and I was very proud of all of them. More importantly I didn't forget the snacks, as I was the snack parent today. Heaven forbid they don't get their snacks. There was some complaining about "no juice" and I'm not sure I wasn't supposed to bring it too, but oh well. A little less High Fructose Corn Syrup never hurt any one. He loves his soccer, and I realize winning isn't everything...I just wish it was an every-once-in-a-while-thing.


Ben was invited over to Ethan's house for a sleepover tonight which will actually take the load off a bit. He's been fine so far, but I'll take any edge I can get. (i.e. one-on-one versus zone defense.) While he's at Ethan's, Sarah and I will likely take the dog to the Dog park in Brookfield for a bit of socialization. We're both dog lovers, so to see so many different kinds in one place is really a treat.


Tonight begins the meal planning for the week, as last night's leftover pizza was today's lunch. That to me will be the hardest part. I can handle the cleaning/schoolwork/sports thing, but it's the cooking I hate. I don't know how she does it! Cooking to me is probably like me making her (Donna) ride her bike for 10 miles. (WHich I LOVE).


Oh well, I have to rake and cut the lawn today yet, so will say bye for now. Check back daily and I'll keep you posted on my thoughts and any news from Central America.


Love you all and thanks for your prayers!


Jim