Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"Wrestling is ungodly Ignacio. People cheer for him... and he is a false idol."

This past weekend was a busy one, but I'll try to recap it for you. Paul and I started off for KC (again!) on Friday evening, after having an entire week to ourselves. It was a sad moment for us and a happy one. We had such a great time together without the girls -- long dinners out followed by leisurely walks through the local Barnes and Noble, spur-of-the-moment late night runs to Dairy Queen, you get the picture. But we were excited to see the kids again. Anyway, we reached his parents house at around 8:00 p.m. and surprised the girls. Kate spotted me peering in the kitchen window at her and gave me the biggest smile, and although I couldn't hear her, I saw her mouth the word "MOMMY!!". It was priceless.

We spent the night with his parents and caught up with them, which was great because we hadn't really spent any time with them since Christmas. (Way too long!). We ended up at the local mexican restaurant for dinner before heading out for Wichita again. Here's all of us enjoying our enchiladas and the like:

Here's what Kate typically does on the way home from KC:

And Payge:

And Paul and me:

We arrived home around 8:00ish Saturday night. The girls were so glad to be home after a week and a half of not sleeping in their own beds, being around their own things. The dogs were very, very excited to see them too.
Sunday morning we got up and managed to get to the early (9:30) service at church. The Koehn's invited us to lunch with Ryan and Jessica, a new couple to the church. Here's a pic of all of us at Old Chicago. (You'll notice Kate is missing, she was our photographer!):

After lunch we were off to the grocery store. I can't remember a time when I was out of every necessity (bread, milk, you know the stuff you can't do without). We were home long enough to recoup (a little) before we were off yet again. This time it was to the Koehn's house for their "Nacho Libre corn party". If you've never seen the movie, shame on you. It's hysterical. Here are some fun pics of the party:

New daddy James, Kenton, Paul and Duane (from left to right). Poor James, he looks like he's going to fall asleep right there at the table!! The rest of the boys are staring at the TV, as we were watching Nacho Libre.
Speaking of Nacho Libre, here's the real one:

And here's a pic of "little Nacho" being held by "Dave/Daddy Nacho":

And of course I can't forget the sisters from Oaxaca Parish Convent of the Immaculate Hearts Sisters Ladies Mountains of Guadalupe (Lacy, Me, Rachel with Baby Addie, Stephanie with Baby Kyle, and Maria, with Baby in Utero:

And the children (minus Judah, stinker wouldn't stay still long enough for me to catch him, and minus Norah, I think she was "in a bad place" at the time) Kate, Jena, Payge and Paige:

And for fun I'll throw in this pic of Maria and I being slightly goofy:

This is a pretty typical weekend for us. Of course we're not always in KC, but we are always going from one thing to the next. You know I wouldn't have it any other way though. And in case I haven't said it lately, I love my friends, they're much like Ramses -- "They're de best!"

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

So a couple of weeks ago I had a milestone moment as a mother of girls; their very first tea party. My friend Debbie invited us over for a cup of afternoon tea. Debbie has quickly become an important fixture in my life, since she has taken on the daunting task of agreeing to be my mentor. (That's an entirely different blog altogether, so forgive me for not going into details.) Anyway, so Debbie's two nieces were in town from South Dakota. Lyndsey is ten (same as Payge) and Kelsey is nine (two years older than Kate). Since Debbie is a mom to four boys she was a little unsure of how to keep two little girls occupied, so she came up with the brilliant idea of having a tea party. My girls were soooooo excited about it, they could hardly wait until the afternoon had arrived. They put on their pretty sundresses and were slightly upset at the fact that we had no big, floppy hats to wear.

They'd never met Lyndsey or Kelsey, but they all became fast friends, which made me long for the days in my own childhood when ANY girl my age was my new best friend. At what point do we as women become judgmental and critical towards other women? Come on, I know you all have had to have those times where a beautiful woman walks in dressed to the nines and you think to yourself "I hate her."

I digress. Back to the tea party. Shortly after our arrival at Debbie's house they decided it was a good idea to play a board game, and so the Game of Life came out. Somehow Kate became a doctor minus a college education, bought a trailer home and then lost it all within the first ten minutes. (It made my worry slightly about her future when all three other girls opted to go to college, but not my Kate.)

After the Game of Life ended (abruptly I might add, I guess they got bored) we decided to have that cup of tea. My girls now believe Debbie to be the best tea maker around, since it was mostly milk and sugar. They drank their tea and giggled. Lyndsey and Kelsey had worked hard on the refreshments, which were wonderful little peppermint balls and strawberry marshmallows, yum! Here's a picture of the tea drinking ladies:

After the tea was gone the girls played some more, exchanged addresses and promises to be pen pals, and then we were on our way. I know it was an afternoon they'll remember for a long time, as will I. I realized how fast they're growing up and prayed that they'll stay "BFF" for a few more years.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Proverbs 31 woman? Well I have my days. . .

My new business cards just came in. I suddenly feel more professional. Paul pointed out that now I can drop them in the little fish bowls at restaurants to enter in their drawing for free food -- I am so on my way to Chipotle!!!! Here's a preview of what they look like, but don't worry, I'll probably be shoving them in your face when I see you. Anyway, take a look:

On another note, I just finished sewing curtains for the kitchen. I ordered this fabric online at my new favorite fabric store, Dillinger Fabrics. This is the fabric:

The name of the fabric is called "Pez".
Here's a pic of my finished product. I ordered enough for full curtains, but Paul said he thought it would be cool if I just did half curtains. I had enough left to make a table cloth. Here's the pics of both:

I totally felt like Martha Stewart that day, because while I was making curtains and tablecloths homemade banana bread was baking in the oven.

For those who don't know the Proverbs 31 reference, here is the passage:

10 [c] A wife of noble character who can find?

She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her

and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,

all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax

and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,

bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;

she provides food for her family

and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;

out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;

her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,

and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff

and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor

and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;

for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;

she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,

where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,

and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,

and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things,

but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,

and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

So between the business cards and the sewing and the baking I feel I totally rock.

(Okay, so nevermind the fact that most days I totally suck at everything and feel like the Proverbs 31 passage is like a noose around my neck.)

Today is a good day, and I will take it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Okay, so I'm probably dating myself with this one. I just got back from my "mini-vacation". So I'm thinking about how to describe my last five days and Ferris Bueller came to mind. If you've ever seen the movie, (it came out in 1986, what?!) you remember that Ferris took one day off from school and managed to do about thirty different activities in an eight hour span.

Thus was my vacation.

Teacher: (taking attendance) Bueller?....... Bueller?.......Bueller?

Girl: Um, he's sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with a girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.

The girls and I left Wichita at noon on Wednesday and headed for south central Missouri, destination: Lake of the Ozarks and my little sis, Jessy. The drive to her house was good, with only a few pit stops. One of which was to stop and admire an old church that sits off 54 highway. It sits alone in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful.

We finally arrived in Osage Beach around 6:00ish. We had Jessy meet us at the outlet mall (convenient, don't you think?!) so she could lead us to her house. She lives on the lake and the drive into her house is so confusing I litterally need her to guide me in.

We spent the next couple of days swimming, sun bathing, boating, jet skiing and relaxing. She took us into town one night so we could enjoy the good eats at The Pasta House. The rest of the time we spent in the seclusion of the wooded hills with a great view of the lake from her deck. I enjoyed sipping my morning coffee on her patio funiture, gazing at the lake. Thanks for everything Jessy! She and Rodney looked great, life at the lake really agrees with her:

Saturday morning we woke up early and headed out. The next stop was to head north three and a half hours to Chilicothe, Missouri. This was a special part of the trip for me, to see my nearly 93 year old great-grandmother, the girls' great-great-grandmother. We spent the time catching up and taking pics for the scrapbooks. Here's one:

My grandma, the girls' great-grandmother, is the one standing behind us. My great-grandmother, the girls' great-great-grandmother, is seated next to us.

After a couple of hours in Chilicothe it was time to move on. This time we headed west to Kansas City. A quick pit stop at my older sister's house along with a quick dinner at the Pizza Shoppe, (thanks Jenny!) and we were off to Paul's parents' house. The girls are spending the week with his mom and dad, so it was my duty to drop them off. After an hour visit with them it was time for me to head southwest to Wichita. I left Platte City at 8:30 p.m., anxiously awaiting my stop in Emporia and the local Starbucks. When I arrived at 10:30 p.m. they were closed. I was nearly devastated. After I recomposed myself I continued on in the dark to Wichita and my husband. Finally at 11:30 p.m. I was home again. Thirteen hours,850 miles, and two regretable meals at McDonald's later.
Sloan: What are we going to do?

Ferris: The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?"

Cameron: Please don't say were not going to take the car home. Please don't say were not going to take the car home. Please don't say were not going to take the car home.

I'm glad I got away for a few days to see some faces and spend some time with my girls, but I'm really glad I took the car home.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

"Use your words!"

How often have I said that statement to my girls when they were small, and still occasionally even now -- "Use your words!" "I can't read your mind, you have to TELL me what you want".

I should listen to my own words.

Don't we all pass through our days missing opportunities to speak words of wisdom, truth, love and kindness to those we hold dear?

This really came to the forefront of my mind this morning. My co-worker/friend, Teresa, called me this morning. I missed the call but listened to the voice mail. Her voice was troubled, almost trembling in parts as she relayed the message that she needed to speak with me about a project that she was working on. It needed to get done as quickly as possible, but she couldn't complete it because she wouldn't be in the office today and didn't know when she might return. You see, her father passed away yesterday. It was completely sudden, unexpected. I don't think he was even out of his sixties.

It made me start thinking about what their last conversation was like, especially because he wasn't ill, no terminal disease to speak of, no danger lie before him. Was it like so many of the conversations I have every day? "Talk to you later." then hang up? We know there's no guarantee of tomorrow, yet we all live as if there were. Do I make all my words count? Do people know where they stand with me? How much love I have for them? Sure, I would hope they do, but if someone walked out of my life today would I have taken the time to say more than "Talk to you later"? Would I regret what my last words were to them?

As I let my mind wander down this path even farther another thought came to my mind, this one most certainly placed there by the Lord Himself: "Do I take the opportunity to use my words with God?"

"Use your words Jamie." Quiet, yet resound.

I must admit that I don't always use my words with God. Sometimes I pout, sometimes I cry, even more times I use the silent treatment. Just like a small child. Just like the very thing I would get so frustrated with with my own children. I expect Him to know me, I expect to know Him, but there are times I don't even form my feelings into WORDS when it comes to God. I just expect Him to read my mind. I must say some days I don't even acknowledge Him. I need something, I want something, but no words come to my lips. How is He to know? I do know that God can read our thoughts, but I really believe he wants us to form words, to acknowledge him, to converse with him. After all, aren't we that way with our own children? We know what they want most the time, but we want them to become more adult-like in their communication.

So if you're reading this blog chances are that you're a person that I love, dearly. And I want you to know that. And I want to hear it from you, too. So go on, use your words!