Saturday, January 31, 2009

A New Post...

I SO need a new post here. I'll work on that today... right after my nap and 7 loads of laundry! :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Maggie's Big Decision

Another Creation Changed... new... reborn... a clean heart... saved... But what we have in our house this morning is a new family member. Maggie is now not just our daughter... but our sister in Christ. Sunday night I brought the girls home from church and was making them some food stuffs... since there's no school on Monday and we're not in a rush for bed... and I didn't feed them anything more than a granola bar on the way out the door 3 hours earlier. I was scrambling up some eggs and cooking the bacon Ruth requested. Maggie was having a very emotional night. She cried getting out of the van because Ruth smiled at her and that was "making fun of her". The she cried again in the kitchen for unknown reasons. I finally looked at her and asked what her deal was. "Why are you crying? Did you cry tonight at Sparks?" She said yes because she didn't do good... didn't do good at what? Saying your sections or playing games? Playing the games. Ok, that's really no big deal. Sometimes we don't run as fast or jump as high. Some days are just off days. That's ok. So, off she goes. In a few minutes she returns to the kitchen and wants to know if next Sunday could she ask Jesus into her heart. Well, yes... you can. But you don't have to wait until next Sunday. Why do you want to wait? Well... I don't know. I just think I need to ask Jesus into my heart. Well, you can do that now if you want... even right in the middle of the kitchen. So, we sat in the middle of the floor as the eggs got too dry and the bacon too crisp. We discussed why she needed a savior, why she's a sinner, what she's being saved from. She quoted scripture to me. And then she prayed... unprovoked by me. Jesus will you come into my heart because I need you to come into my heart and I think that it's time for you to come into my heart. Joyful happy tears now spilled over. We ate our dry eggs and crisp bacon and got ready for bed. I was explaining to the girls how they were now sisters 2 times since Ruth and Maggie were both a part of God's family and our family. Lydia pipes up and says she's a sister too and she wants to pray. Thank you God, Amen! She's too cute... and worried she might not be as big as the rest of the girls in the family.

This morning, since Curtis returned from his camping trip, he gave her the 20 question quiz. I think she passed. :)

I wanted to take a picture last night... but Maggie had such big red puffy eyes I decided to wait. And then today she's off shopping with Grammy. So, maybe tonight I can get a new photo of our new creature.

Happy Birthday Grammy and Aunt Lara!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Beds... Finally!

I've waited most patiently for almost 2 years to get this bed.
When Lydia was born a girl I knew my plans for the future wouldn't work. I had planned to have all boys... but Maggie messed that up. Then I asked for another boy... but got Ruth. Then my order for a boy was just to even things up. What's wrong with being equal? I wanted 2 boys and 2 girls! That's how I was raised and we all turned out just fine. In fact, we almost enjoyed our childhood and are starting to like each other now that we're all adults... (some way more than others) but then we aren't talking about Lara turning 40. We got Lydia. Now I would NEVER trade my girls or change things at all. Girls Rule! (Boys drool, they say) But my plans to put two kids in each room wouldn't work the way I wanted.
Anyway... once Lydia was out of the crib we had to find a place for the 3 girls to sleep. In big beds. We have double beds and Bennett's bunk bed. Since Lara and I slept in the double bed all our pre-adult lives I figured my girls could do the same thing. They just didn't comprehend bedtime, leaving the other alone, sleeping and the firm sentence "GIRLS, if I hear another sound...". I understood that sentence at a very early age!! So, we put girls in the bunks and Bennett in the double bed with whichever sister had drawn the short straw. Sometimes it was a treat to sleep in his room. Eventually, Ruth slid into that spot on a regular basis as Lydia and Maggie tend to be a little more, um... well, Ruth just gets along better with her brother. She's the wonderful 3rd child who does no wrong! Like me! :) She's my peacemaker and caused fewer nighttime issues. So... as the months have turned into years, I've been very patient!
Bennett is now 8 and needs his own space, his own room, and especially his own bed. Ruth has got to go!
Curtis has been searching. He's always searching. The perfect bed at the perfect price at just the perfect location. We can't have less than that! Well, until I get my fingers in the process. I finally logged onto that glorious place called craigslist. I sent the number and link to my carpenter father... who can tell if it's a good deal and knows just the questions to ask. He's more smarter than me! Well, at least in the wood business. :) He called and got info and I took it to Curtis. The deal was made. The bed was fine. He would go pick it up.
So, on Wednesday Curtis took a trip to Canton for the bed. It's more than an hour but less than two... unless you're at home with 4 babies waiting to go to bed. Then the trip home is 6 hours because you HAVE to drive by the Lowes and Home Depot and can't NOT stop. So we wait. While the kids were at school I took apart the big brass bed. Took all the pieces down to the basement and put the mattress outside to "air out" before we put it on the new bed. Bennett has boy cooties!! Can't have those in the new girl bed. Ruth was a great help to me. She carried what she could, stood and held the footboard and headboard to keep them from crashing on my head. She pushed the mattress across the floor and guided the box springs to just the right spot downstairs. She even unscrewed the nuts on the bottom of the supports (see photos). Then we picked up trash, toys and swept up dust. Man, the things that collect under a bed!
Once we got Bennett's room emptied we started on the bunks. Lydia helped empty the beds and take all the bedding out. She picked up toys, played a little, and then picked up again. She's not quite as focused as I need her to be! We took mattresses off and piled them in the bathroom. Good thing we have more to use! Then, somehow, I managed to remove the top bunk and lower it to the floor without breaking the bed, the floor, or my back! They had to be on their sides to get out the door. The way the bedroom doors are I had to slide them out, turn them around, and then slide them in Bennett's room. By the time I had finished cleaning the girls' dust and toys, moved the beds around, and was ready to set the top back on the big kids were home from school. We put the bottom where we wanted it and then made a plan to get the top bunk back on. Now, this is a solid wood bed. Nothing lightweight about the thing at all. Bennett would get one end and Maggie & Ruth would get the other end. I would pick it up on my back (like a turtle, Curtis later told me) and they would guide the legs onto the pegs. It worked!! And I had to go sit for an hour to recover! All the while I'm washing all the bedding, covers, blankets, sheets, etc. We also had to break to eat dinner and go to church. We got Bennett's bunks all put back together and made up once we got home. By then it's bedtime for all school-aged children. I had Maggie sleep in there so we could assemble the new bed... which arrived home around 9pm. While Curtis and I put the two beds together Ruth and Lydia snuggled out of the way, on the couch and watched Penny get rescued by Bernard and Beatrice... my all time favorite childhood movie! "I can go by myself... thank you!"

The bed was all ready and made by 10:30 but the movie didn't end until 10:45 and Ruth wanted to watch the end. At that point... who cares?!!?! For the previous hour all we heard was "how much longer" and "I'm tired, I wanna go to bed"... but they also wanted to see the ending of The Rescuers! I can't blame 'em. It's a great movie. Classic!
Ok... so the beds are in. Today we went to Wal-Mart looking for bedding. We have plenty of sheets to cover the beds, but nothing matches. Not that it has to or that I even want matching stuff. But I wanted matching covers to at least cover the Blues Clue and Mickey Mouse sheets that Bennett used 6 years ago. We opted for a multi-colored flower themed quilt for the girls and plain blue comforters for Bennett. His goal is to have a water, ocean, fish theme once his mother gets her act together. The only thing is Wal-Mart didn't have the full sized quilt in stock. So, I can't take a beautiful picture of the matching beds until they get one in.
One day!
In the meantime, I need to find a way to paint over my friend Debbie's hard work from 7 years ago. It's difficult. Almost gut-wrenching.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Coat Racks

We just moved into our new unit at work. Our locker room, as lovely as it is... didn't have a place for our big coats to hang. You know how much ice and snow we get and how everyone always wears 1000 layers up here in the north?? Well, we still have coats every now and again. Mostly raincoats. Anyway, I asked Curtis to mount some hooks on a piece of scrap wood so we could have something to use. He was all out of scrap. So, I asked my Dad... who is a carpenter and always has scrap wood. The only problem is he is incapable of following directions. I told him SCRAP, we don't care what it looks like as long as it hangs, it's in our locker room... no one cares! He heard... a bunch of girls will see my handy dandy craftsmanship! :)
So he finished and stained and beautified two scrap pieces of wood for our locker room.
I took a couple pictures for him. Everyone loves them!
Thanks Dad!!

This is my boss. She was kind enough to pose for the picture. Dad wrote a wonderful country song about doing things at work for your boss. You should get him to sing it for you one day!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Maggie is 7.... New Year's Eve Party!

It has been more than a week since Maggie's birthday and I never got around to posting photos. Now, I can't even remember what we did. It's sad... this old brain of mine!
The photos have helped spark my memory a little. My Mom came up early that morning because Maggie had made big plans for all of us. She wanted to get her nails done and take me with her too because that's all I had wanted for my birthday and I didn't get it. So, Grandma and all the girls loaded up to go to Wal-Mart's fancy nail salon. Hey... we've never done nails before so Wal-Mart seemed a reasonable starting spot. We probably won't go back, but it was good enough. Maggie had the works... toes and fingers. I just did toes since fingers are prohibited at work. Well, my fingers aren't prohibited, but having paint on them is. Ruth just did her fingers because it wasn't her birthday and it was cheaper that way. Mom decided to do her fingers too. Peer pressure, I'm sure!
We soaked and they scrubbed and clipped and dried and painted. Maggie was grinning ear to ear... but she was a little concerned the clipping might hurt. I told her she wouldn't even feel it. Of course, mostly because I had just recently cut all the nails and there wasn't much to do for her. She picked a fancy gold color and the lady put a green flower right in the middle. Fancy, I tell ya! Ruth picked a "pinkish orangeish" color for her fingers and sat very patiently awaiting her turn. Grandma took pictures and entertained Lydia while they waited. My lady took a small break while I was soaking and came back after the water was cold and the girls' fingers were done. I don't know what happened, but I'm sure it was important!
After we were all dried and put back together we went and shopped for horses. One good thing about a birthday the week of Christmas is the after Christmas sales for those procrastinating shoppers. We got several new horses for the girl and then picked out her special birthday dinner. She requested Surf-n-Turf... ribeye and shrimp. Nothing cheap for this girl, by golly! Whew! At least it's good for the adults too. We wouldn't have enjoyed McDonald's cheeseburger dinner had it been requested instead.
We got home in time to fire up the grill and bake her sweet potatoes. I called our friends, the Himstedts, and they came over to join us for cake and ice cream too. Maggie opened her gifts from us and Grandma... since she was the only one Maggie invited. :) Not really... but she was the only one here. She got her horses, an Easy Bake Oven (BIG hit G-ma!), and Mario Cart for the Wii (and adults). She was very pleased with her loot, as were Bennett and Ruth. They have enjoyed baking cookies together, racing the Wii, and playing all kinds of horse play. Horseplay?! Get it?? Ok... Grandma had made the requested chocolate cake... it didn't sit straight in transport, so one side was a little off kilter. We did photos from the good side! After dinner and sugar, we sent the kids to the basement to watch a movie, popped a little popcorn and turned on the Wii for the adults.

We survived til midnight and turned the TV on just in time to watch the last of the countdown to the new year. Not sure about all the excitement... it just seems like another day to me. But then I'm an old fuddy duddy now. We called the kids upstairs and rewound the TiVo so they could watch the countdown too. Elizabeth, who was asleep on the couch, woke up to our cheering and wasn't so thrilled about the interruption in her beauty rest. Ruth was carried upstairs and tucked in bed. She never knew anything had happened.

So, that's the story of how Maggie turned 7 and we celebrated our 2009. Fun, eh?

This post has taken me 10 days to complete and the washer just beeped finished. Guess it should be the end.

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