Sunday, September 26, 2010

25th day of Home Schooling

Do I home school?  No.  Did I?  No. It’s something that I honestly never even considered.  It just wouldn’t have been my gig, so to speak.  But I sure take my hat off to those of you who do or did!  Way to take control of your children's education! 

So what has this got to do with my blog then you might ask?

I’ve spent a fair amount of time this last week in waiting rooms, not really by choice but because of things that needed to be dealt with.  That being said, Friday  morning as DH & I were sitting in yet another waiting room…we watched a Mom and her four children, ages ranging from 5 – 13 (guessing) walk in the building.  They headed straight for us with huge smiles on their faces like they thought we were sitting there waiting for them.  They didn’t look at anyone else and there were at least a dozen others sitting in the same area.  It was almost like they were obeying a homing device that led them directly to us.

They said Good Morning and that they were celebrating their 25th day of homeschooling by committing random acts of kindness. 

They handed me this envelope.IMG_4564

  On the back it said this…..IMG_4565

Inside was “Smiles to me”… IMG_4566

and other random quotes the Mom said the children picked out. Each card they were passing out was different.IMG_4567

As well as these clever little gifts.


They didn’t hand one to anyone else in that waiting area.  How did they know that this was just what I needed to brighten my otherwise not so great day dealing with things I didn’t want to deal with?

We chatted a few minutes but never got their names.  I like to believe our meeting was God-ordained.  God knew that I and maybe even they needed this chance meeting on a typical Friday  morning.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Whacks & bruises

“He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8

Our ladies small group has been working our way through the book “Seeking Him – Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. 
Seeking Him
I would highly recommend it.  Every week has been a proverbial whack upside the head and this last week left a bruise or two (literally).

Last week’s lesson was on humility.  I’ve never considered myself haughty, arrogant or prideful.  But then maybe the first problem was that I didn’t think of myself that way.  Pride isn’t just an arrogance.  It’s so much more. 

There were many things that didn’t apply to me but my, oh my, were there some that did.

A few of the head-whacks I got were …

looking at others faults with a microscope and your own with a telescope – WHACK!  Why do we rate sins?  A sin is a sin is a sin but we tend to categorize them. 

being self-protective of my time – WHACK! (why do I think I can manage my time better than God?)

keeping others at arms length & not being transparent – WHACK!  I tend to not share what’s really going on inside.  You wouldn’t think that someone who has a blog would be a private person but there are just some areas of my being and thoughts that are off limits.   What might people think if I shared that???

finding it difficult to share spiritual needs with others – WHACK! (see above – what might people think?)

are self conscious – WHACK! (again see above – what might people think?)

and the biggest whack of all –
having an independent, self-sufficient spirit – HUGE WHACK & bruises to show for it!  
What’s wrong with being self-sufficient you ask?   It can be a good thing but I tend to take it a little far and am a tad bit of a control freak.  “I can handle it.  I can do it myself.”  I don’t outwardly say I don’t need God but many times my actions loudly speak it.  I much prefer to serve others than humble myself and let them serve me. 
The biggest realization is if I’m self-sufficient then I’m not relying on God to control my life.  There were a couple of events over this past weekend that brought this point home to me in ways I could have never imagined.   Life is not under my control and timing, it’s under God’s.    God is my sovereign Lord and Savior and has my life in His hands and I want to yield to that, really I do.  But unfortunately, sometimes I need a reminder or that proverbial whack to bring it to my attention again.  I am a work in progress for sure.   I just wish those whacks didn’t bruise so darn bad!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

A few scenes from last weekend’s ride

We’ve been trying to get as much riding in as we can as we know the days are getting shorter and nearer to having to put the motorcycle in the shed for winter. 

Last Sunday was a gorgeous sunny day.  We met J&H and the Grands at a local park for a picnic lunch as an early birthday celebration for DH.  Before we left and went our separate ways, Grandpa DH gave the grands each a ride around the park. It was less than 1/4 mile but they sure seemed to enjoy it.

Miss A, being the big girl she is and almost 4, was big enough to hold on to Grandpa by herself. 


Wow, I can’t believe she’s going to be 4 years old in a couple of weeks.  Time truly flies!


We weren’t so sure about Mr. O holding on by himself so he sat between the two of us and grinned from ear to ear.  


The fields are turning brown. 
Some are even being picked already.



Loved this sign at the end of a farm lane. :)


I wonder if they use this old corn crib yet. 

Most corn nowadays is stored in a bin similar to this one.


We rode along this stream and bluffs for at least a mile.  We could see evidence where it had been out of it’s bank when we many areas flooded back in July.


We’ve been past this old abandoned house many times and I’ve always wanted to stop and explore.  But it’s on a curve along a major highway and there isn’t a good place to pull over and not get killed in the process so I guess I’ll have to settle for a quick snapshot.


Just another pretty NW Illinois backroad.    


Happy riding where ever you may be headed this weekend!


Friday, September 17, 2010

A few glimpses of fall weather

Fall is starting to show itself here in Northern Illinois.  The days are warm yet but the nights cool down and make for some wonderful sleeping weather.

The other night I left our patio door to the deck open in the bedroom.  As I was laying in bed I could hear the wind rattling through the drying leaves on the cornstalks in the field behind the house.  I wish I had a way to tape that noise and play it for you here.  It’s one of my favorite noises ever and a true sign that Autumn is on the way!


The corn stalks are turning brown.

IMG_4360 The soybeans are drying.


Boys are playing in the dirt during plowing days.


The sunflowers are blooming.  Isn’t there something about a sunflower that just screams “Happy!”? IMG_4467 and slowly but surely Fall decorations are starting to appear.

I love this time of year.  In fact, Fall is my favorite season.  It seems too short lived to me especially when that nasty white stuff follows it.  But for now, I shall enjoy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Labor Day weekend craziness – Part II

Not like we walked enough over the weekend with setting up for the wedding and reception, we walked with a friend in a local Labor Day parade.

IMG_1597 Our friend Judy who is fighting Stage 4 breast cancer had a CanAm Spyder painted pink and is riding it in local parades and car shows to raise awareness for breast cancer and early detection.  She rode while we walked and passed out goodies.   Most of us who were walking with her are on our Hope for Hooters Relay for Life team.


We passed out hot pink fly swatters that said “Aiming for the Cure.”  Cute!
parade swatter Here I am giving swatters to my grands.  They were only supposed to go to ladies but I made an exception in this case.  :)
parade 1 See that man reaching for one?  I couldn’t believe the grabby, rude people, some literally demanding one.  Of course, me being my wonderful, kind self made darn good and sure that I conveniently didn’t hear or see those particular people. :)


Even DH got in the act as he and his brother carried the banner for her.  I never thought I’d see my husband wearing a hot pink t-shirt.  Amazing!

What a fun weekend!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my husband, my best friend, my love, my soulmate!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Labor Day weekend craziness – Part I

I’ve been meaning to get this posted since last weekend but time has once again run away from me.

Our niece, Amanda, was married on September 4th to a young man she met through one of our New Orleans mission trips.  The fun fact of all of this for me is Josh is the son of an old friend of mine from high school church youth group.  How cool is that?


Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the bride & groom from the front.  We were host and hostess and spent most of the time running around doing other stuff but I was able to get a picture or two of our grandson and granddaughter who were ring bearer and one of the two flower girls.  Our great niece Madison was the other flower girl.  They were all so adorable!  This picture is my favorite.  Ava was so pretty in her “princess” dress and Owen looked way more handsome than a two year old should be allowed to.  They melted Grandma & Grandpa’s heart for sure!

Amanda's wedding (16) 


Now for your quiz of the day…
What takes 16 hours to put together, 6 hours to enjoy & 3 hours to tear down? 

A wedding reception silly!

We were also in charge of the reception decorations.  Amanda wanted rustic elegance.  My friend, Judy helped brainstorm ideas.  We used burlap, wheat, rusty stars, lime green tulle (Amanda’s color), sunflowers, mums and farm primitives. IMG_1541Table arrangements

IMG_1553The head table
Amanda's wedding (62)

The entrance doors from the inside.  They were swung open as the guests arrived.



Outside the entrance doors we used old wooden doors to cover the nasty steel ones with milk cans full of sunflowers.

 Amanda's wedding (3)A tribute area to their parents and grandparents.  I love the way the square grapevine wreaths with the pictures in.


We used an old wood steel wheeled wagon for the gifts.  We hung a ladder over top with grapevine and lights.  This was one of my favorite parts of the decorations.

  IMG_1531 An overview of the reception hall

IMG_1532  A television where people could watch a video put together by the bride’s brother with pictures of Josh & Amanda growing up.   IMG_1550 We hung tulle and large lighted grapevines from the ceiling. 


Their cake was beautiful and delicious to boot!

When all was said and done, we had a blast with everything but were majorly tuckered out by Sunday night.  However, our weekend wasn’t quite over yet. 

Stay tuned for Labor Day weekend craziness - Part II coming soon.


Saturday, September 11, 2010



Nine years ago this date I was sitting at my desk at the college when my friend, Mike called and asked me to pray as the World  Trade Center had just been hit by an airplane.  Moments later, he called again and said another plane hit the other tower, then yet another call about the Pentagon and the fourth plan that crashed in Pennsylvania.  I tried to get online to get an update but couldn’t as so many were jamming the internet trying to get news any which way they could.  Our country would never be the same again. 

Word spread rapidly through our college to staff and students alike.  I walked down the hall to an auto body classroom that had tuned the news in on the classroom television.  If I close my eyes, I can still see that room full of stunned faced young men, one being my son and another being a friend of his who was like a son to us.  This was probably the first major event most of these boys had seen in their lifetime.  Most likely, they were too young to remember President Reagan being shot or the Space Shuttle exploding. 

After the shock of the scenes being replayed on the television sunk in, many of them were saying “we’re going to war” and “what about a draft?” and “will I be called in to service?”.  If it wasn’t said, it was thought.   We went to our church that night and joined friends in prayer for our country, our leadership, the lives lost and loved ones unaccounted for.  

So today I am remembering all of those who lost friends and family members, our civic servants (policemen, firemen and our armed forces), the risks they take and what they sacrifice daily.  I thank God for all of you who just “do your job”, a job you have chosen to do to preserve my freedom.  Let us never get so clouded that we forget what some sacrificed then and everyday for us!  Thank You!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Looking for input

I've literally been on a dead run these past couple of weeks which is why the posts are more scarce than usual.  
With the start-up of the semester at the college I work at, a niece's wedding, out of town visitors, etc., it's been a bit crazy.  I have pictures to post and things to tell but tonight I'm dog-tired so it's just going to have to wait.

In the meantime, I'm looking for input from any of you who can help...

We're thinking of taking an October motorcycle trip to the Ozark Mountains in southern Missouri & northern Arkansas for 2 - 3 nights. We've never been there but have heard great things about the area.

Have any of you stayed somewhere in the Ozark area that you'd recommend?  Do you have suggestions on a good reasonable place to stay? 

We have no desire to get caught in the tourist fray of Branson, Silver Dollar City, etc. We just want to go and ride the roads. 
We don't care if we're on a lake or not  as we're not going to fish. In fact, if I had to state a preference, it would be a cabin in the mountains/woods but am completely open to other options.  

It might be just DH & I or our son & his girlfriends may join us and possibly even a couple of friends from Louisiana.   I'm open to a hotel, cabin rental, B&B, condo, vacation rental by owner, etc.  In other words, pretty much any type of lodging.  I really don't care as long at it's cheap resonable and CLEAN.  Clean is a must.  

Any suggestions?

Here is a picture to hold you over until regular posting resumes.
The Mississippi River at sunset.