sorry blogerotsky (ie christy)...

i am so sorry that i haven't been blogging lately. it's not for lack of things to say, amazing blessings, mind-boggling works of God, cute stories, or the desire to vent. it's just 'cause i've been crazy crazy crazy busy lately. and i haven't had internet at home.

soon and very soon, however :)

i promise, i'll make a greater effort to get on here.

next week.

when ball season is over!


those were the days... (friday flashback)

When I moved out of my mom's house, I stumbled onto a little farmhouse out in the country that the landlord was willing to rent for cheap (really, really cheap). Initially I was supposed to live there with my Aunt Patty. Anyone who knows, or who have ever heard anything about, my Aunt Patty would understand why that didn't work. Then a friend from work and her husband moved in with me. That was also a bad, bad match. Nothing wrong with those people... but just a bad, bad match. And then, on my doorstep, appeared Bev and Garry. "We're looking for a house to rent, do you know of any?" Now it would be hard for anyone who knows Bev and I now to believe, but Bev and I weren't that close then. We had been friends for a very, very long time... but by that time she had a boyfriend, I had a boyfriend... and we pretty much just hung out with our boyfriends! So to have her knock on my door was unexpected [and may I interject here... likely a God-thing]. My answer "actually, I'm looking for someone to move in here..." and I'm pretty sure her and Garry's answer was something like "ok". Maybe that's not an exact quote, but in my mind's eye... it went something like that.

And so it began. Our life of teacup and saucer decorations [remember those Bev?]... kerosene heaters [who needs real heat anyway? after all, had we been able to afford propane we would have needed a refridgerator to put our milk in during the winter!]... the red room [amazing]... stuffed bunny vacuum cleaner covers [poor bunny]... sadie, the beautiful, crazy, sweet boxer... daisy and her belly full of catfish bait... a steady stream of family and friends... young friends willing to help us wash the outside of our house in below zero weather [inside joke, I apologize to my blogerotsky]... wall paint from Big Lots... home furnishings from Goodwill... being snowed in... the fabulous Geo Metro... cows procreating in our front yard [tyson, age 4- what are they doing? becky- wrestling I think]... "good" times that i've since repented of... unusually large wrenches... stolen street signs [home decor for the poor]... cruising Knox County and stalking mailboxes [try to decipher that cryptic reference, blogerotsky]... and eventually... weddings. Yep, those were the days.

What a ride! Amazing memories! During that time we (Garry, Bev, Jim, and I) formed a bond goes literally beyond words. I can look at Bev across the room and she'll say "I know". And she does. And it's creepy. We tell people that we don't really have mind-meld... but that may be just a bit of a lie!

All those years ago, when she knocked on my door, I couldn't imagine that we would end up HERE. Going to church together. Supporting each other in new job opportunities. Raising our children together. Leaning on each other in the hard times. Laughing with each other like crazy people in the good ones... and honestly, in the bad ones too! Hanging out and doing the things that "soccer/dance/cheer/pto/church moms" do. God is good. He knows what He's doing, and even though some of "those" days were pretty crazy, I would trade a single one. Because those days led to these days... and these day are quite frankly amazing beyond imagination!

Thanks Bev. Love ya.

But you already knew that, didn't you?
[photo taken at a ball game last week]


yep, that's a lot of water

What a mess things have been with this flood! I had a "you might be a redneck if..." moment as the kids and I went to, yes, look at the river yesterday. But that's not the redneck moment [believe it or not]... as we crossed the bridge on hwy 358 we found about a dozen teenagers, in bathing suits, playing in the flood waters. Imagine me informing Zach that this is NOT a good idea and he would NOT be putting even a toe in the water. He was disappointed, but the force of the water, and the grotesque color of the water, was enough to convince me that, for a change, I was justified in my "no".

Jim has been on flood watch all week, spending the first part of the week hauling sandbags for residents of Edwardsport, Westphalia, and everywhere in between. He worked late into the night every evening. Wednesday he took a break long enough to travel to the same spot the kids and I visited on 358 to get this picture...

If not for the double yellow lines and telephone poles, this could be a picture taken at the ocean! When the kids visited the spot the next day, the road sign you can see near the center of this picture was almost completely under.


mother of the year

It's the moment you've been waiting for, blogerotsky. That's right, I finally have pictures of my amazing little man being tortured on the child-sized version of the Liberty Launcher at Holiday World. I know it's sadistic. I know I run the risk of being turned in to CPS. I know that he will one day use this blog post against me in an effort to get me to pay his therapy bills. Yet here, for your viewing pleasure... a photo blog.

Tali loved the "bouncy ride". Over and over she would get out of the seat, run around the front, and get immediately back into line. She rode it at least a dozen times, squealing with every little drop and bounce.

Meanwhile Zach happily waited in line and then rode the very safe, very slow, ride attendant right in the water with you, bumper boats. Despite my attempts to explain to him that he could easily ride the "bouncy ride" with Tali and still get in on the next round of the boats, he would have none of it.

Bumper boat craving satisfied, Zach still did not want to ride with sissy... until Grandma B offered to get him blue cotton candy if he tried it. The boy has a price. And it's apparently blue cotton candy. In this instance I felt perfectly okay with the bribery. Zach had been hesitant to ride anything new all day long, and liked each of the rides after he'd given them a chance. I can't say as much for the bribery that would come later.

Tali, now a professional rider, helped him get situated. Note the look of apprehension on his face.

Fake smiles ensued.

His smile [albeit fake] didn't last long, however....

are you ready for this?

[wait for it]

[wait for it]

Shamefully, mom and I laughed so hard we were in tears. He was trying so hard to be brave... doing everything in his power to fight the tears... and I, mother of the year, found humor in that. At least his sister was concerned about him.

Even more shamefully, after telling his daddy and Grandpa B [who were riding the Raven during this time] about this moment, they began to scheme. And their scheme included a monetary incentive for Zach to ride the ride again. That's right, Zach has a price. And it's apparently blue cotton candy OR $6. The ride was no better for him the second time. But he will NOT admit he was afraid. "It was pun" is his answer. My brave little man.

Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.
Eddie Rickenbacker

He was definitely afraid. But he did it anyway. And he DID NOT cry. And I promise, I will never let anyone bribe him to do it again. Because I already got all the pictures I need! LOL

friday flashback

When we found out we were expecting a daughter, Jim and I made a pact... we would not significantly cut our child's hair until she was old enough to ASK us to do so. During my pregnancy, I worried more about the amount and length of my newborn's hair than I did about anything else [I know... there's something about that which is just not right... but in the interest of transparency there it is].

The first words out of my nurse's mouth upon seeing Tali was "Mom, I sure hope you have hairbows!" Yay! She had hair! [and of course I had hair bows] I quickly became unhealthily attached to her hair! Top knots were soon to come. Then pig tails. Shortly after her first birthday, we managed our first set of french braids [I know, you're impressed, aren't you]. I loved messing with her hair, and she had plenty to mess with. We regularly trimmed her hair, at times taking as much as four inches off, but it was always long.

And then it happened. She asked if she could cut it. And not just a little... she wanted it all off. Jim and I had said, when she's old enough to ask to have it cut, we'll let her cut it. But we weren't ready! It was too soon for her to have her own opinion! She was just six! Why? I asked... Why would you want to do that? I want to give it to Locks of Love, came her answer.

We talked about it a lot. I told Tali that she could cut some of her hair and still donate it, that they would sell that hair and use the money to make prosthetic hair... but she was adament. She wanted HER hair to go to a little girl that doesn't have any. And so, about seven months ago, we went to the salon where Aunt Bev had the gut-wrenching priveledge of cutting off an 11.5 inch pony tail to donate.

I thought I'd miss it. I thought I'd hate her short hair and long for the days of pony tails and french braids. But I'm surprised that I love the new 'do as much as the old one. It's sassy, just like she is! It's cooler. And it lets us focus more on her beautiful little face. We've kept it short since then... but lately she's talking about growing it out again. Because she wants to donate to LoL again. I don't know if I can handle this hair-roller coaster... but with Tali in control I may as well strap myself in and enjoy the ride!!!


God works in ALL things

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Look at the face of this little miracle. Isn't he beautiful? His name is Soren, and he reminds us that God works in all things. Every little detail. Even the unexplainable.

Soren is the son of Jim's cousin, Marjorie, who lives in Chicago. He has an older brother, Zain. This is family that we do not get to see nearly enough, but when we do the conversations flow freely and laughter is a constant. About a month ago Jim's aunt and uncle (who would be Soren's grandparents) were visiting the family. Bear with me as my details are second hand but the gist of the story is...

Taking a walk in the park something unexplainable occured- a van coming out of nowhere hit the family who were on foot. Little Soren in his stroller went flying. Everyone was thrown and the van drove off. A hit and run. The entire family was transported to the hospital and necessary bandaging, suturing, and xrays ensued. Amazingly, miraculously, despite being hit full on by a van... no one was seriously injured.

But something did show up on a scan of Soren. A mass in his abdomen, relatively large and eventually diagnosed as cancer. Had this little man not been hit by a van [as strange as it is to write] he would not likely have the prognosis he has today. Most likely, he wouldn't have been diagnosed until he started showing symptoms, until the cancer had spread, until treatments would be much more invasive and dangerous if they would be available at all. As it is, he's started chemotherapy and is tolerating the treatments quite well. He is facing surgery to remove the tumor, and I would appreciate your fervent prayers. To read a little more about him in order to know how specifically to pray, please visit his newly established CarePage.

It's amazing to me, to look into his beautiful face, and know that God may have saved his life through the unexplainable actions of an irresponsible, out of control person behind the wheel of a van. But that's how God works. In the details. In the impossible. In the unexplainable. It's times like this that I'm reminded I only see a small part of the picture, and even that I don't see clearly... but He... He sees it all. He sees our lives from beginning to end. He sees the lives of others interwoven with ours. And He knows best how to weave it together for good. Some of his stitches and strokes are unorthodox for sure... runaway vans in a park for instance... but each is perfect.


i love my job.

I know you probably get tired of hearing this from me, but I had a really great day at work and just want to share how blessed I feel... especially against the realization of how miserable someone CAN be at work [Bev, Jim], today I was again reminded of how specifically God tailored my job for me.

Today I got to meet for the first time
  • the sweetest couple, married 60+ years, who were so appreciative of the help and just joys to visit. To see them interacting, exchanging thoughts and ideas between them without a single word spoken, I knew who I wanted Jim and I to be when we grow up! There she was with her polka dot shirt, bracelets, and hair neatly coiffed and him in his WWII Veterans hat and jeans. She honestly offered me her home delivered meal! I obviously didn't accept it, but her offer was so sincere, I was taken aback!
  • An elderly woman who asked if I could get her a lifeline [yes I can]. She loves going out in her yard and working with flowers, but sometimes can't get back up. She doesn't want to stop living her life because she's afraid she can't get up- and that little button around her neck will keep her from having to do so.
  • A 93 yo woman who was as sharp as a tack and shockingly matter-of-fact in our conversation- and I LOVED her. I heard about her past, her family, her son who was "a little retarded" (did I mention she was matter-of-fact?), the cabinet she paid about $663 for twenty years ago... a life nearly a century long.
  • A woman in her 80s, deaf since birth and initially nearly impossible to understand. A short prayer and I realized... her speech patterns are very much like Zach's, just a lot thicker. It wasn't always easy, but we managed to have a nice visit, and I learned about her 11 brothers and sisters, her family home, her neice... and as I left she said "thank you for listening". Wow.
  • A widower living alone out in the country. His wife passed away about five years ago, and we talked about that and what it was like without her. He was pleasant with a great sense of humor. Can't wait to see him again. Brought tears to my eyes as he talked about how much he misses his wife sometimes.
  • A woman recently discharged from a nursing home, so happy to be in her own apartment. She told me all about her new church family and the amazing people she had been meeting there. It's great to see hard work pay off, and my mom (the best case manager I know) worked hard to help her get out of the nursing facility.

Yes. Some parts of my job are excessively frustrating... but for the most part there are these amazing people, stuck away in apartments, nursing homes, and country houses, with incredible stories to share and tell... just waiting for someone to listen. And sometimes, I'm lucky enough to be that person.

And I get paid for this? Praise the LORD!


picture pout

Can someone tell me what the deal is with the "picture pout"... you know the look... subject [nearly always a female] looking sternly directly into the camera with this funky, pouty lip action going on. Not sure what I'm talking about? Spend about a minute on facebook. You'll see what I mean. An otherwise attractive girl with the definite appearance of having sucked on a lemon. Or perhaps still having part of the lemon tucked neatly between her lips and her teeth. Not sure which.

It doesn't look even vaguely natural. I don't get it. What's wrong with a decent little smile?

Sorry for the random musings, and my intensely strange choices of pet peeves.


Family Time

Had a wonderful trip to Holiday World yesterday. First of all, the trip was entirely free- VU provides tickets to its employees and even springs for lunch. The only downside is that it is always on a Sunday (better for VU, I'm sure, bad for me who misses church terribly when she's not able to go).

Next, Jim decided to ride his bike over with his mom and dad. Becky's plan- ride in the Durango with the kids, of course! I'm just not your motorcycle mama... but the look on his face made it clear that he wanted me to ride with him. Being the good 1 Peter 3:5 wife that I am (baaaa haaaa! I wish- working on that!) I strapped on my helmet and hopped on back for the hour-long ride to Santa Clause, Indiana. You know what there is to do when you are sitting on the back of a bike for an hour? Nothing. No music (Jim tried to share his mp3 player with me, but it wasn't working out). Limited opportunities to converse. No way to talk on the cell. No texting. So what did I do? Praised the Lord! I prayed! I sang! It was amazing. Hands on his back I prayed for Jim. I prayed for our day together. Prayed for the church service I was missing. And yes, I prayed for a protection over our little caravan! Singing songs at the top of my lungs that only He could hear. And I know He was listening...

Because at the park that day, Jim was so WITH us. Not taking off with his dad to ride every available roller coaster a dozen times. Not trying to dump the kids with grandma so we can skip all the kiddy rides. He was just with us. When his mom suggested he and Don split off to ride something, Jim actually said "Nah, I think I'll ride with the kids for a while"... and it was sooooo much fun for them. And it meant so much to me. In fact, it was us and both sets of grandparents all day, which was a double blessing for all of us.

Splashin' Safari was life changing. I'm committed to not allow myself to become some of those people. Seriously, not trying to be catty at all, but I have slowly gained pound after pound with no end in sight. If I don't stop, I now have a clear visual of what next year will be like. Not happening.

I was not humiliated on the Turkey Shooters (imagine turkey hunting with a laser gun under black light)! I improved my score from last year by 600% (yes, that means I WAS humilated last year!) My mom got the award for humilating Holiday World moment as she became stuck at the top of the Racer water slide (think giant slide at the fair, except much gianter, on your belly, with water...) She could NOT get herself going once she was on her belly. It took Lee AND the slide attendant to get her started. It was amazing. We have learned that Tali, not Zach, is our daredevil. She will ride anything that her yellow wristband allows, and squealing with delight afterwards will scream "again! again! again!" Zach requires coersion and at times, bribery, to ride anything that is not a bumper boat in water. Fortunately he enjoyed nearly everything we forced him to ride, with one exception. I will at some point have pictures (used Susan's camera) of him riding a little mini-liberty launch type ride with his sister. LOOK OF SHEER TERROR on his face. And me, the cold hearted mother laughing so hard I have tears going down my cheeks as I happily snap shots of his fear. I would like to say that Jim and Don didn't bribe him to ride it again ($6)... but they did. And we laughed again. Terrible, terrible people.

Oh, and on our way out Pat Koch (you know, "Hi! I'm Pat Koch" of Holiday World commercial fame) stopped Don to ask about his hands. It touched him that she cared enough to inquire about it. He told her a bit of his story, and ended with how blessed he was not to have been burnt worse. It was pretty cool.

We are all pooped today, but no one is complaining- not even my mom with her sun-burnt patterned feet. All in all, it was a great day. But I didn't ride home on the bike. Jim warned me there would be a lot of bugs. Squished smashed bugs at 60mph. No thanks.