Friday, February 26, 2010

Thankful for a Board Game

Last night we spent the evening with Richard's aunt and her sons, Jake and Cole. Jake is 15 and Cole is 13.

Rewind: when we were packing, I thought to throw the game Settlers of Catan in our bag. It's a fun stratagy game, that I highly recommend!

Fast forward: we arrive at their home yesterday and Jake was excited to see us and greeted us cheerly, but that lasted about 15 minutes and he realized that Richard wasn't the fun big cousin that Jake remembered from when he was little. Richard totes along diaper bags and Dora videos, and a bossy 4-year-old. He quickly migrated to his room where he picked up the Xbox Live controller. Cole is still young enough that he didn't mind playing Easter Egg hunt with Evelyn. Later that evening Linda was telling us how distant Jake has grown from her and Tom. He definately has become a typical young teen. So after dinner and visiting and getting the girls settled, I suggested that we play Settlers with Jake and Cole. It was great, and I'm so glad we did. I was never so thankful for a simple board game.

I also forgot (on here) to wish Riley a happy 3rd birthday. That's probably because I'm in denial. She's still my baby. Happy Birthday Riley!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

A fun road trip?

We're about an hour from our suburban Chicago destination for the Simply Youth Ministry Conference, which is amazing :). Tonight we will visit Richard's aunt and uncle and cousins, and the conference will take place tomorrow evening, Saturday and Sunday.

I have to say I've actually been enjoying the road trip. Richard and I are so busy and it's given us some time to just be together. Of course, road trips "to" are always so much more exciting than "from." But non-the-less, it's been going great. It's an 8-9 hour trip, and we've figured out how to travel fairly succesfully with the girls. We left yesterday around 5:30 and I drove the 2+ hours to my brother and sister-in-law's in Columbus where we had a nice visit and dinner. Gigi was in love with their cats and chased them around the whole time saying "Meow. Meow." During the drive, Richard read to me from his youth ministry text, required for him and enjoyable for me. I'm not really a "music" girl and I'd rather listen to talk-radio, so this was even better because it was Richard reading to me. :)

We left my brother's at 9:30. By this time, the girls had burnt off some steam and Gigi was ready for bed. This was the toughest leg of the journey because Richard and I were so tired, but it makes it so much easier on the girls. We popped a movie in for E and R, since I knew they weren't ready to sleep after sleeping all the way to Columbus. I rearranged the van for this journey, flipped Gigi facing-forward, and moved Evelyn over in the back. With the help of a t.v. tray I was able to set our mini-DVD player up so they could all see it.

We made it to Indianapolis a little before 1 a.m. We managed to get a sweet hotel rate from hotwire! Slept nicely and got up and had a nice breakfast. Richard managed to finish some school work after breakfast while I let the girls play in the bath. We hit the road again around 11:30 a.m. just in time for Gigi's nap (Riley took one too)! Woot! I drove again while Richard did more reading from the youth text outloud.

Richard's finishing up the last leg while the girl's take in some Dora. And with only 47 minutes remaining to Linda's, I have to say, it's been our most successful road trip to date!

P.S. Evelyn has spent a lot of time playing with an activity book and crayons. And snacks, have also been vital!

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

On the road, again...

This weekend, we had an awesome opportunity to visit with some great friends from Japan. Well, they're not from Japan anymore, they live in Chesapeake VA and we met them for a weekend of snow in Canaan Valley WV. Woot. It was awesome, ice-skating, swimming, amazing buffets and skiing for the guys. Chuck and Kevin (16) and Richard and Tyler (my brother, 13) had a great time on the slopes. Marcia and I taught Evelyn and Riley to ice-skate, and they didn't do half bad for their first time. Evelyn had a chance to learn to ski, but she didn't like it! Gigi also went ice-skating but in her shoes. It was so cute.

This is the second time I've seen them this year (Richard's third), which is an amazing blessing, since we went 3 straight years with no visits! When we visited the Ellis's this past summer, we decided to plan something soon because 3 years was too long!

We also stopped on out way home and had dinner with John-Mark Stone, Camp Presmont friend, and that was wonderful. It's such a reward to see a young man who loves God and seeks to please Him! Blessing, blessing.

I'll try to post pictures on FB soon of our weekend adventures!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010


I just watched Julie and Julia, a fantastic movie about a girl blogging about herself and Julia Childs. It's really good, anyway, it has gotten me into the writing mood. A contemplative mood. It's been a while since I've blogged and now I can think about 3 different pieces I'd like to write.

Youth Ministry. Today we had youth group. I have 3 students who are active in our senior high youth group. That is about 30% of the senior high students in our church, so I would guess that is actually a decent percentage. However, today we had youth group and not one of them came. This isn't uncommon - in such a small group - they often coordinate absences. However, this year we combined our jr/sr high group and I had to deliver my message, that was very much written with them in mind, to the jr highers. And won't be able to repeat it anytime soon, in that setting! This is just a frustration I have with doing ministry in a small church. It was a good message, an inspired message, and I wish I had recorded it.

Garbage. I have a pretty strict rule about not blogging or FBing negatively about my husband or children. This isn't to be fake and act like my marriage and home life is some utopia, but rather because I wouldn't want them doing the same about me. So I hesitiated to write this thought, but I figured it could be a chance to be transparent and to perhaps teach a lesson. Richard and I probably get into a good fight at least once a week. And I fight much, much dirtier than Richard ... It really is an area I struggle in.

One thing we fight over frequently is ... Garbage. Literally garbage. Growing up my dad always took care of the garbage. He really didn't do any household chores other than that. So it maybe it is wrong of me to just assume that the garbage (and recycling) should be Richard's job. After all, I cook, clean, do laundry, do dishes, budgeting/ bill pay, schedule appointments, all while working 2 jobs and looking after our 3 children! Okay, I'm playing "woe is me" a little bit. Richard does help with some of those things, some of the time, and he works full-time, goes to school full-time, and then some, but all I want him to do is take out the freaking garbage!!! Actually, he does usually take it out without being asked even... It's usually the recycling that piles up until I can't open the utility room door w/o it cascading upon my head. (Okay, I'm exaggerating again, sorta).

You get the picture. :) More later, duties call.
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