Friday, December 28, 2007


Oh, emmy, it's snowing again! It was coming down like crazy when we got up this morning and it's almost noon and still snowing though not as hard. We already have over 4 inches of new snow on top of what we already had. Now surely this will last until you get here. It's suppose to snow again New Years. I bet between all of us we could outfit you with warm layers of clothes and socks and boots, etc. and you could do some romping around in it! Don is still spunky but now we got more shoveling to do, so when it lets up more, he's out of here!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Still no Camera

Sorry, no photos yet. We still haven't replaced our camera. It might get postponed a while since the Altima is now in the shop and we are waiting to find out how much the damage is there. Anyway, winter break, aaaaahhhh, yesssssssssss, staying up late and getting up late......... but HELP! Don is on break, too, and he is being a pesty brat. A hilarious pesty brat. What should I do with him? HELP, anybody?!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Let it snow!

Wow, we got snow. I don't know how much, but where we are sitting, we get huge drifts of the stuff and it's deep!!! Don is out shoveling and I just looked out to see why he is taking so long and he is doing the neighbors across the street. We have never met them, but they are a young couple and the husband has gone into a wheelchair and crutches. I think he is working out some anger issues but helping someone else out at the same time. So it's all good. It is a day when I wish me and my scrawny funky x-mas tree were somewhere in the woods in a cabin with a fireplace where it's peaceful. It's my yearly x-mas dream creeping in on me again.
During the pre-school program, the kids recited the bible verse about in the city of David is born a child who is Christ the Lord and at the end one little voice shouted : found in Luke! It was pretty cute. Those things help soften the sadness I am fighting. I need my kids and grandkids. I will see them tomorrow. Except for Em. Hurry up, Jan.11!!!! geesh!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Questions

A 50 Question Christmas SurveyBefore Christmas
1. Does your family send out Christmas cards? YES!
2. How soon do you start shopping? Usually in the middle of November
3. Who do you shop for? family
4. Do you put up a Christmas tree? Yes!
5. If so, is it fake or real? fake - it's real skinny so that it'll fit into our living space
6. Do you like tinsel? yes, but Don doesn't
7. Do you use homemade or store bought ornaments? Mostly made by me
8. Do you put Christmas lights outside your house? no, but we have them on our porch year round!

9. Do you put lights on the tree? yes!
10. How about popcorn and cranberries? hello, it's 2007! (when the girls were little we did it once!)

11. Is there a wreath hanging on your door?not this year
Christmas Eve:
12. Do you celebrate it? Yes! Usually with church, every year is different as to what we do
13. Do you hang up your stocking? Not anymore since the kids are gone

14. Does your family read "Twas the night before Christmas?": Sure we did! It wouldn't have been Christmas without it! We also read about Jesus and Frosty!
15. Christmas Movie: The Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation
16. Character from any Christmas Movie:Cousin Eddie

17. Christmas Song: I'll Be Home for Christmas.
18. Christmas Memory: When Bill and I stayed up all night putting together a Barbie House and a 3 piece kitchen set - everything Santa brought that year had to be assembled!
This or That:
19. Give or Receive? give
20. Eggnog or Cider? Cider
21. Red or Green?: now that they are putting LIME green with red, Ill say both
22. Ham or Turkey? turkey
23. Star or Angel? star
24. White lights or colored?colored
25. Blinking Lights or Still Lights: definitely still
26. Were you Naughty or Nice this year? sometimes I'm naughty, but I still get what I want!
27. What do you want for Christmas this year? Just give me Jesus
28. When do you open your gifts? depends on what we decide to do
29. What's the best gift you've ever gotten? a special ring
30. What's the worst gift you've ever gotten? a Hershey bar ornament with the previous year printed on it
31. Who gives you the most gifts? well, not Don! Let's say God and leave it at that
32. Have you ever had a secret Santa? oh, yeah!
33. Do you like wrapping gifts? yes!
34. Do you put change in those red buckets? not every time, but yes
35. Do you burn a yule log? no, and don't even give Don the idea

36. Can you name all the reindeer? sure, you know Dasher & Dancer & Prancer & Vixen, Comet & Cupid & Donner & Blitzen & the most famous of all, Rudolf
37. Do you bake cookies? Use to, but passed off the tradition to the next generation
38. Have you ever seen your mommy kissing Santa Claus? yes! I've been kissed by him also!
39. Have you ever gotten a kiss under the mistletoe? Yes & under the table & under the .......
40. Do you go caroling? do people still do that? they should. we did by cell phone!
41. Do you drive around and look at the Christmas lights? use to......I would like "bah, humbug" husband never wants to
42. Have you ever left Santa cookies? Of course! And he appreciated it, too!
43. Have you ever sat on Santa's lap? yes and I liked it!
44. Who do you celebrate Christmas with? My kids and grandkids, my parents, my brother and his family and Don
45. Where do you celebrate Christmas? It has varied, it's more about with who and why
46. Have you ever had a white Christmas? in NE Iowa, many!
47. What part of Christmas do you look most forward to? It use to be spending a quiet romantic Christmas Eve with my husband (the 1st one) NowI guess it would be watching the grandkids' excitement and innocence
48. Have you ever had your picture taken with Santa? yes, ho ho
49. Does your family always take a picture at Christmas? many candids, not formally
50. Have you ever heard the song "Thank God For Kids" by The Oakridge Boys? Ah, yes, a classic! It still makes me cry to this day because there's only magic for a while
Well I answered the 50 questions and it leads me back to knowing there was nothing wrong with Santa Claus when you're little and full of imagination and wonder. Such wonderful memories.

Friday, December 14, 2007


26 days until Emily comes home!!! I think she would be mystified by all the ice we have - as we all are, but something tells me it could be all gone by the time she gets here. It could be warm and balmy as crazy as the weather is anymore. I know she would like to see snow, but I just want to see her!!! I wish she were here now. Right now. Right here.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Jolly Old St. Nick

Little preschooler Henry came up to me the other day and said, "Look, Mrs. Berends!" He showed me a little green toy airplane. Then he said, "St. Nicholas brought it to me!" He was so excited. Immediately I got all excited, too, and shared with him and his mother about how my family also celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas when I was growing up. What a kick to hear that someone still does that! I think most people (including my own kids) think I made up all the stories I've told about it. Of course we are going back a couple generations here and things were different then, simpler. So St.Nick had a plastic mask and smelled like whiskey - he still got across his threatening message that we'd better be good the rest of December! Those were the days!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

wow, I'm overdue to post! So here I am. What should I talk about? Don't you hate it when people just ramble on and on about nothing? I do. hmmmmm............well, it's snowing outside. yup. It sure is. I also hate it when people talk about the weather when it's real obvious there is weather going on. uh huh, real annoying. so.............oh, yeah, today is Don's birthday!!! Happy birthday, Donald Henry, now you are as old as I am! Let's celebrate!!! If I had a camera, I would take his picture and post it, but I guess the camera must be lost forever. I'm just glad it was the birthday boy who lost it and not me. Maybe we should move out of this funky grieving over this camera and get a new one so that we can move on with our blogging lives. That seems like the healthy happy thing to do. I'll keep you posted. I know. . . .I'll take a picture of our new camera when we get our new camera and post it for all to see! yeah, good idea.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I am frustrated! We can't seem to find our digital camera. It hasn't surfaced since last Saturday morning when Don took a picture of us eating breakfast at the motel. I thought maybe we left it in the Brown's van, but evidently not. Now Don is wondering if he dropped it out of his pocket somewhere that day and didn't notice it. Who is the saint that helps you find lost things? Forget that. I've been praying for the good Lord to help us find it and that hasn't happened, so . . . maybe we will have to resort to Santa to bring us another one. dang. shucks. rats. ugh!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Hair!

This is for Emily! See? Oh my gosh!!! This photo was hard for me to pull off. This morning before I went to work, I was trying to take a picture of myself, but it didn't show my hair very well, and then I finally figured out (on the way to work) why. It's because I was looking way up at the camera! duh! So when I got home from work, I went out again and got looking down instead! duh! It's the best I could do! If I knew how to crop, my face would be out of there and show you just the hair. So just focus on the hair and pretend I'm not there! ha!

I've been tagged by Laura.

Here goes...

Name 5 things you were doing 10 years ago:
1. Enjoying our first grandchild
2. Burying the love of my life
3. Crying a lot, trying to stay alive
4. Working at S.E.J.H.
5. Getting 2 daughters married

Name 5 things you were doing 5 years ago:
1. Getting use to a new husband.
2. Working at S.E.J.H. - then leaving it.
3. Moving from apartment to mobile home.
4. Enjoying more grandchildren
5. Spent time doing art.

5 things you were doing 1 year ago:
1. Wisdom teeth out.
2. Fighting pain and infection, preparing for a 6wk. hospital experience, which didn't happen
3. Went to Colorado on vacation
4. artwork
5. my new job at preschool

5 jobs you've had:
1. ice cream drive in place
2. floor manager women's clothing store
3. QC secretary at Shaffer Pen Co.
4. Bill Ward Photography
5. Teaching associate
(got lots more!)

5 favorite snacks:
1. pepsi
2. Hershey's chocolate bar
3. chocolate donuts with chocolate frosting
4. ice cream
5. cashews

5 things you did yesterday:
1. got my hair cut
2. got my hair dyed
3. worked in the morning
4. bought lightbulbs
5. fixed leftovers

5 things you'd do with a million dollars:
1. feed the hungry
2. clothe the naked
3. buy a house
4. buy Don a better car
5. give some to my kids

5 things you hate doing:
1. cooking
2. cleaning
3. going to funerals
4. going to the dentist
5. seeing my kids/grandkids hurting

5 shows you like:
1. Dancing with the Stars
2. The Bachelor
3. Everybody Loves Raymond reruns
4. Dr. Phil
5. Deal or No Deal

5 biggest joys in life:
1. the love of Jesus
2. loving my grandkids
3. enjoying/loving my girls
4. the love of Don
5. my parents' late years
(it's all about love)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veterans Day

A big thank you to our veterans - to those who sacrificed so that I can be free and safe. Thank you, Don jr, Don sr., Daniel, Bill, Gary, Tim, Uncle Floyd, and many others who have served our country. Thank you, Cecil, my classmate who gave his life. Watch some TBN today and feel grateful to be an American and get it inside your gut that freedom is not free. A greater love has no man than he lay down his life . . . . And happy 232nd birthday, Marines!!! ooh-rah!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Plant that will not die!

Seymore is inside to avoid the frost, but he hasn't made it to his winter spot yet. You can see that he is sprawling out like he thinks he's got all the room to himself. We need to tie him up and move him to my bathroom before he attacks the fishtank! I have had this plant for many many years. Laura has Seymora - a shoot off of Seymore. I have downsized him many times, each time wondering if I was going to kill him off, but he just keeps growing back. Any other plant I could kill without even trying to. But not this guy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Happy Wacky Halloween from the very scary Berends'

Friday, October 26, 2007


Look at my dear sweet man. We just returned from his oral surgery and I've got him looped up on pain medication. Don't you just want to kiss and hug him??? I think somebody is going to have a nappy-poo really soon! He is doing fine so far and I thank God for him. Nighty night.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


It's a fish jam!!! These wonderful fish were all swimming in line until I laid the mobile down on the table and when I came back to hang it up, there were 6 or 7 fish tangled together. People who know me know how I deal with tangles . . . . I don't!!! So here it sits until Don can get to it. Then it's probably going to go into his "fishy" bathroom!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I am practicing posting photos. I think I actually did it myself!!! wowie! ok, this is one wall and corner of my workroom. Up on the top shelf you can see Elmer (the black teddy bear) who I have had since I was a little girl. My grandma made it for me. He is wool and holy, but that's ok. Lots of other stuff in the photo. Too many things to mention. Jill, Laura, Emily, and I are in the process of developing a new blog for our art. Will let you know of it very soon!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007


Happy Birthday to Sheila!!! She is a wild wacky woman with a sweet sweet spirit. You might think she could be one of us! But you'd have to squint really hard when you look at her!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dumptruck- Dodge

Have you ever played dumptruck dodge? Probably not, since I made it up myself and I haven't told anyone until now. I get involved in it everyday when I go to work and when I come home from work. Between our home and the interstate is the road to the gravel pit of all gravel pits. Every truck in this part of the state goes in and out of there when I am traveling the roads. Anyway you can earn points by strategizing about what it takes to get in another lane at a light and outrun the truck when the light turns, things like that. You can lose points if you're behind one and rocks start hitting your car, big point loss if the rocks hit your windshield! I about lost everything this morning when driving up the on-ramp onto I-80 behind a dumbtruck and we hit the interstate going 30 mph because that's all the faster he would go! (that's right, dumb, not just dump) I was prepared to die with cars and semis flying around us! Finally I saw an opening and made a break for it and was able to get around him. yea! points!!! I'm still alive!!! Sometimes I get wild and yell "Dump your dumper!" but they must not hear me. Yes, I can play this game and sing praise and worship songs at the same time. 10 minutes of awesome wonder!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I LOVE this cool weather!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

strange sighting

I could hardly believe what I was seeing on the way home on the interstate. I passed a schoolbus that had another school bus flipped over upside down and welded onto it's top. . . so the wheels were going up in the air. They were welded together top to top so there were wheels on the highway and wheels in the air. got it? On the side it said something like "is the U.S. budget topsy-turvy?" Where the stop sign would swing out, it was a pie graph showing the majority of the money spent by the pentagon. I didn't think real hard about it, but I did think it was kind of strange. And who has nothing better to do than drive around this ridiculous looking thing? That's it. I'm now done thinking about it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


This is a portion of the Berends family (those who showed up) at the Fernandez reunion.

Fri. was Lucie's birthday

This is a typical "Lucie" cupcake for those of you who know Lucie and her mother. It was so perfect I hated to eat it, so I took this shot first, then forced myself to eat it. yummmmm. Not your ordinary tasting cupcake either!

Not the Pinta, not the Santa Maria

The Nina was docked at a sail boat dock in Davenport. That's not really Christopher in the foreground, just someone imagining he is. The top right flag said Nina, I was trying to click when the wind blew it out straight, but did't get it. Below that is the American flag. In the back are 2 more flags, maybe one was Portuguese? not sure, but it was cool thinking about what people went through for our country. It's hard to imagine that thing on the ocean for that long.


Teeter-Totter Tug of War!? Is that what this is???

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Precious Reagan!

Another preschool post. Today it was Reagan who won my heart. When Deb's kids have opening, I try to help out to get them all settled in and then I join them for closing, because we pray, then the kids give us hugs goodbye. Well, this morning as soon as I came over to the circle, Reagan got up and made a beeline over to me and snuggled in. I love it! Then when it was time for her to leave, she did not settle for the customary hug - it was a kiss she wanted right on the mouth - so of course, I could not resist that one!!! What a cute mug to smooch!!!

Sam was cute today also!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Little Miss Eden Grimes spent lots of time at the art table today, watercoloring. Of course I had other kids to attend to as well, but I was able to listen to her more today. Here are just some of the Edenisms I heard today:
"A very delicate blue will do" (as she put the blue paint to the paper)
"In the spirit of 1-2-3" (as she painted some red lines on her paper)
"Everything's so busy!" (as her paper began to fill up with watercolors)
"I'll be painting at this all year!" (when I told her she was working hard)
"When I first heard about preschool and we had a celebration (I think she meant the ice cream social) I was shy of you, but now I'm not!"
"This morning when I came to preschool I cried - then I stopped - and now I'm talking. It's so embarrassing!"
"Boys get on my nerves - it's totally gross to think about kissing them!)
"Elly calls it a boo-boo, I say owie!"
"When she cries, I just talk to her cause I'm the big sister and I can make her feel better."

All the above info was unsolicited. She just came forth with it! What a blessing!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


YIKES! Where is the time going? It's so much fun having Emily here. Preschool is off and running. It's crazy. I love it. Remember, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, it's where God wants to use you for His purposes.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the time is near!

Tomorrow Emily comes to Iowa. Yahooo! Yippieee- ky- yea! I get to see her Friday morning. I am like an excited kid only inside a fat old body. ha! I am praying for the Holy Spirit to whisper to me things that are true and good and glorifying to God so that there is no longer room for anything else in my thoughts. I desire and look forward to having a gloriously grand time with all my kids. Emily told me that she has been asked to sing at church the 8th & 9th and she will be singing Turn Turn Turn as an opening to the Ecc. study coming up. I understand the version has been updated from the 60's version however! Looking forward to that! Max and Jill are finally on the mend and I know Em is going to fall in love all over again when she meets him. He's got dimples, Em! And she will surely enjoy seeing the Mc's new house. And of course how all the other kids have grown but are still the sweetness of Jesus. Don and I have nothing new to show and tell. We just want to enjoy everyone.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


We traveled north yesterday. Looked around my old stomping grounds in Waterloo/Cedar Falls. So much has changed. When they move whole streets and buildings, it changes things so much that it's a lot to take in. . . . and accept! We made it to Charles City by 4:30. We had a little time to talk with Gary and Melinda, but people were always coming up asking them questions, so it was hard, but that's ok. We got a kick out of watching all the happenings and I got to help be a "go-fer" so that was cool. The Bethany Alliance Praise Band was good, not just because Gretchen and Melinda sing in it, but because they sing good! Gretchen even sang a song that she wrote called Run to You. It was beautiful. Yea, Gret, you are a star! By the Tree surprised me. They were really good in a loud rockin' way that I didn't expect. And I love their new World on Fire. God gave us a beautiful evening outdoors and a large crowd to sing His praises. It was great! See, we didn't drive all that way just cause it was FREE! It was free and wonderful! Even if the crowd didn't "get" the beach ball thing!!! What happened there???!!! Oh, well, we tried. I'm tired, but it's a good tired.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This week's Miracles

So much has happened since my last entry. Life changing stuff. Things miracles are made of. Praise God for His miracle in Quintin. I know I prayed the problem in his heart would just go away and I am sure I was not alone in that plea! Awesome, that's what it is. And my 6th grandchild, 5th boy, is so special. I was so sure he would be a girl, not just by guessing, but by faith, and since he's a "he" and not a "she", I am not the least bit disappointed. I have fallen head over heels for this guy. That is a God thing. This Grandma's heart is so full of love for each of them and will hold as many as God is willing to give me!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It's PK weekend!

This morning Don left for Cincinnati lock stock and barrel. No, he's not leaving me for good. He took along magic paraphanalia, cd's, photos, clothes, snacks, etc. - everything a guy would need, except for his PK tickets!!! yup. His main destiny is PK. But Joe and Jack will save the day and take his tickets with them. thanks, guys! Don is so excited to be seeing his son, his grandkids, and a new granddaughter. He is more excited to be taking Donny to PK with him. Please pray for Donny's heart to be softened, for him to be open to hearing what a real man is, for realizing his need for God in his life. And that he will truly see his dad as a changed man, one who loves the Lord and loves his wife. So if the baby comes this weekend, that's great, but I'd rather things hold off til Em arrives. We will take what comes. And shout halleluia! In the meantime, I'll do art, pray, do art, sleep, do art, eat, do art, shop, do more art. . . .pray some more. . . . pray while I do art. . . . .

Thursday, August 9, 2007

9th month thoughts

"WE" are into that last month of pregnancy and it is getting tougher for all of us. Everytime Jill has some strange twinge I get a bit anxious and wonder if this is it. Then things settle down again for a while and next thing you know she's got another strange twinge. I wish I had an explanation for it all. I wish I could bear some of her discomfort for her. All she has to do is look at those other 2 boys and know that it's all worth it. She can call on the name of Jesus to walk her through it. How awesome is that? Every ache and pain to glorify God. The beautiful baby of God's own creation. What a glorious position to be in right here right now. Waiting and praying. And contracting! (sometimes my tummy hurts, too!) We're all in it!!! For such a time as this, I thank you and praise you, Father God, in the name of Jesus.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Mrs. Connie Simpson

Not to be outdone, here is Connie Simpson!!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Sky

Let me first start off by saying that I am just as sane as anyone else in this family, ok? But I think God is doing this thing where He is showing me something many days at 10:00 am. You remember I saw the yellow sky at 10:00??? Today at 10:00 I looked out at the sky and it was very blue but with maybe 10-12 jetstreaks running parallel with each other and then one huge one running almost perpendicular but slightly angled down through the other streaks. There was also the white image of the moon that you sometimes see in the daytime. Then in another part of the sky were these skinny rows of clouds with very interesting lines through them. It was quite a show. I know you are thinking it sounds like I'm on acid or something. nope. Just check out the sky once in a while around 10:00 and maybe God will entertain you, too!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Funny Thing

A funny thing happened to me recently. I was really really thirsty so I was taking some gulps of pepsi. Ahhhhh. . . . . great stuff . . . . . then I took the next gulp and as I was beginning to swallow and the pop was starting to go down my throat, a huge burp came up my throat, and FIZZ spurted out my mouth down the front of me and onto the floor. WOW! What a trip! Sorry, there is no photo or video. You'll just have to use your imagination.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Yes, I really wore these!

Sorting thru things I had stored at the Brown's, I pulled out my wedding gown from 1971 and look at that - it still fits!!!! Well, maybe not. Don't know if you can see the damp eyes or not, but there were a few tears quietly shed. Just pack it away, Connie, and move on to the next one.
This is the shirt Bill wore when we first met and he wore it alot!!! And it's still around, unless Damon has already gone to the dump, in which case, it's gone and that's o.k. I tried to smell it, but it just smelled like basement - not Bill - so bye bye, shirt. The shirt can also be viewed when you girls go thru "the box". It appears in several photos. I tell ya, the guys wore it often!!!
This is the junior bridesmaid dress I wore for Kenny's wedding. It's pretty rotten. bye bye.
This cute little embroidered floral number was my 8th gr. graduation dress. We had a big ceremony back then just like high school has. It was a big deal. It went into a V in the back and you won't believe how skinny this dress is.....was.....yup, it went bye bye also.
And last but not least, my going away dress from my wedding day. This dress was equally as skinny, but really REALLY SHORT!!! Just covered my fanny. I wore a cute pair of white sandals with it. Note: I made it. It has my wedding colors and everything! Isn't it cute!?!
Well that ends my fashion show, hope you all enjoyed it!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

This is the beach bum I picked up a couple weeks ago up in Michigan! Is he a hunk or what? Moondoggie ain't got nothing on him! His shirt says "This shirt is illegal in 51 countries". Lots of people asked why and he would turn around. On the back it said, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ....." I brought him home with me. . . . think I'll keep him a while.


Here are us girls playing Bingo at the Kinze Family Fun Day. All seems fine and dandy. Just look at us, watching our cards and hoping for a bingo so that we can get that coveted Kinze cookbook we've been after the past 2 years. But all is not what it seems. I guess I had a defective chair, because only moments later I suddenly went BANG-O flat on the floor. No warning - the chair just broke, folded flat and slammed to the floor, and I did the same! I seemed ok, other than being shocked, until we got outside and my back and legs started to hurt. I think it was "aftershock" setting in. To make a long story short, I was driven off in a golfcart to the EMT, got to sit in the ambulance, and was told to take ibuprofen. After that Fun Day continued on! Don won $10 on the money wheel and 5 tickets to Adventureland in the employee drawing. Jill got a bingo and a cookbook. The kids won lots of great prizes at the carnival games, did the waterslide, and had lots of good food. And me? I won nothing, but I had a bang-up good time!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wild Weather

Hasn't the weather been strange lately? Monday we had golfball sized hail just as Don was trying to get home from work. I was stranded at Hobby Lobby because they said there was a tornado on the ground just west of us, so they took everyone into a safe room and kept us there quite a while. When I got home, there was hail in our yard still pretty good sized. Yesterday I was looking around at the sky and it was entirely yellow. This was about 10:00 or so. No gray, no blue, no clouds, just this hazy yellow. It was so odd, I thought, wow, God, what are You doing? I never saw the sky look like that before. After dinner Don went outside and said the air was so heavy he couldn't believe it. Then as the next storm came, we decided to outrun it by chasing over to Laura and Joe's. Don made me drive while he "looked around". It came on so fast and furious. I went thru one stoplight and one stopsign getting there. Probably not the wisest decision we've ever made, but it was fun being in the basement staying silly for the kids! Later back home, jumped with the thunder booms through the night. I know IC is not the only place having this wild weather. I hear CR and CC have it too!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Fun at the Photo Booth!

My dear old friend Linda came to visit from Florida last week. We spent a whole day shopping and while at the mall decided to get a little crazy by doing the photo thing. First of all we were trying to figure out how it worked, trying to get our faces to fit inside this oval shape on the screen, etc. when the camera clicked and we weren't ready. The next 2 shots are as good as it got. The last one I said something funny and we were laughing so hard we had stomach aches. We have been friends for 39 years through the good times and bad. She's nuts, but so am I. I could tell you some real good stories since she hates computers and won't see this, but she'd find out somehow I bet. So the secrets remain safe. Love ya, Linda!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Yesterday is now just a blur in my mind. I was helping Jill paint large polka dots on one wall of the baby's room and I must have had a major brain fart or something, because I spilled a whole quart of paint onto the carpet. I remember telling myself not to cry because it would make Jill cry for sure. I also remember both my hands being completely submerged in paint as I was frantically trying to scoop it up and back into the can. I remember going to the kitchen to rinse out rags and seeing 3/4 of the kitchen floor in water - Jill dropped a pail of water - by this time I knew she wasn't going to cry if she hadn't started by now! After getting most of the paint up, we got out the steam carpet cleaner she just bought Damon for his birthday and went to work on it that way. At one point I thought I'd be buying new carpet for that room, then later I thought well, maybe just a throw rug! Then two hours later, it looked just fine. I couldn't believe it. My whole body aches today from all the stress! But that room looks so CUTE!!!!! For some reason this thing won't let me type in a title for my post. hmmmm - don't have time now to mess with it anymore - Linda will be here soon and wacky time begins.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Pre-4th Fun

Me: Do I look pretty?

Lily: funny Grandma!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

the 4th of July

Lord, heal our land.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Aladdin Jr.

Congratulations to Andy as Jafar in Aladdin!!! So many talented kids. wow. But Andy was fantastic. We wondered if they had to stay in character afterward in the lobby, cause when we spoke to Andy, he nodded and moved right past us like he did not know us. (Or maybe just being a wierd teener!) Anyway we sure liked his performance and think he has exceptional talent. Jackson and Will sure enjoyed the show as well. But going to something like that gets me all in a huff all over again about sports vs. the arts and who gets paid to go to school and who doesn't. Our system is messed up. Someone like Andy (or Em) should be paid for their talent. That's all I'm gonna say about that for now anyway! Aren't you glad?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Latest

The McC's are finally moved into their new home! It has been quite a journey for them. I got to help paint the bedrooms, make curtains, move, watch kids, all of it lots of fun.
Now I am working on a project for the preschool - redoing the science table. I have 3 panels of hardboard that I am painting and will later attach to the sides of the boxlike table at school. It will be very different from what they've had and I gotta say myself, it will be awesome.
My baby girl is in Florida vacationing on a beach somewhere. I haven't heard from her since she landed there. She must not be bored. I'm assuming she has not been kidnapped and that she is just too busy to call her mother!
Last week I went with Jill to her appt. They did a quick ultrasound. I got to see that baby's feet and head, hmmmmmm..........oh yes, and I saw that little heart beating in there. A very precious miracle of God. Thank you, Lord, for giving me a peek at Your handiwork, a look into it's heart before he/she is born is incredible. I will be sure to help fill it with Your love. alleluia!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


There has been a let up on blogging lately. It is a busy bunch I blog with! What with appointments, painting, going here and there and kids and ballgames and you name it. Laura and Joe are moving into their new house this weekend. It has been kind of crazy for them and the craziness kind of rubs off on the rest of us I guess. It's a very exciting time though. I just finished some work on their living room curtains. I hope to still help them with painting if I am able to endure it, especially when they do their latenight thing. Jill and Damon are re-doing Will's room for he and Sam. So there is painting going on there also, then furniture for Damon to assemble from Ikea. Jill is trying to think about the nursery, too. fun! It all makes me good and tired just dabbling in their stuff. It also makes our place seem that much more dark and dismal. Don't know what I can do about that, but, oh well.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lily during VBS week!

This was my Lily last week - every morning at my house having tea parties and snacks and talking and laughing with me - Grandma. I love VBS week! Here I am sure we were talking about shoes and just how great they are!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Greatest Comedian Dancing

The other night Em called to ask if I was watching "So you think you can dance" I wasn't. I was watching :"Last comedian standing" So then I switched over. hmmmm........then I switched back. Then I switched to "Greatest American Inventor". Now I had a 3-way thing going. switch switch switch again. Soon I was not going to the last one, just the dance and comedy. Then more dance , then no comedy, just dance. What is it about dancing that is so addictive??? Deep inside me there must be the heart of a dancer. It just never surfaced - until now - and now I am just a couch dancer. Sad, but true. If any of you young people think you can dance, you'd best be doing it now!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It's a clear day

Don was there for me last night. We had a really good talk. It's so awesome that God sent him to me. He has helped me and blessed me so many times and in so many ways. Gotta love him - dorkiness and all!!! (takes one to know one!) And these grandkids are something else. Their grandpa is looking down on them and smiling all the time. As much as they make us smile, you can imagine he has much more to smile about. Lots of emotions and stress have been released and today is another day. I love my family so much.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

10 years

It's been fast and it's been long and slow. It's been hard. I still miss him. I sometimes fear forgetting about little details of him, but trust God to keep me mindful of the important things. I remember at that last hour whispering in his ear, "Tell Jesus about me! I'm not as strong as you are."

Friday, June 8, 2007

Is it really Friday already??? wow. I have been outside painting on Lily's playhouse and came in to take a break. So far the roof is magenta, the window trim and door trim blue. I have the border drawn around the door and windows and ready to start painting it - you guessed it - black and white checks. The walls will be yellow. If Laura doesn't come over and help soon, I will stop asking her what she thinks of this or that and completely have my way with it! And who knows what it will end up like! (maybe that is her strategy) It's been kind of hard to stick with it with all the rain we've been having, but the winds are drying things real fast too!!! Better come help, Laura, cause I'm having large polka dots dancing through my head!!!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Artsfest happening

The artfest weekend was great - as it always is - storms went before us and after us and God sent them around us during the showtimes. Just like I knew He would. Such crazy weather. And crazy people. Colorful, wonderful people. It was not our best $-wise, but still good. It's hard to explain what happens everytime. It is something beyond ourselves. We take God's word to the streets and just sit back and it all happens. And it's always amazing somehow. Maybe Jill could put it in words better but that's how I would put it!!! Amazing crazy stuff!!!

Friday, June 1, 2007

I am going to blog today before I get too busy with my artwork. The Iowa Artsfest is this weekend. We will set up downtown tonight and the artshow part of it runs Sat. and Sun. Sounds like we will get rain off and on, but I am not worried. I have been praying about it and I believe God will provide a cover over us and the show will go on . . . . as my grandpa Fry used to say, "hell or high water". Perhaps it will be the latter. I started a new project last night and need to finish up today. Typical me. I was ready, but oooops, one more thing! Hopefully Jill will take some photos and blog about it on Monday. Guess I am just too lazy to learn it. CC people, I went to the dr. yesterday. Tell your dad my cholesterol is still fine, as is my blood sugar. He was asking about it last weekend and I told him I had already been tested again and was going to find out this week. Praise God. I have been off work one week and I miss those little kids already. At the Dr. we spent part of the time talking about his son Parker, who is in my class and happens to be one of my favorites. I told him to tell Parker I love him and I miss him so much. He just patted me on the back. Good "bedside manner". We had supper at our new I-Hop last night. It was yummy. We can eat off the senior menu (55+) Then we went over to Sycamore Mall and saw the big live show - Joe Exotic - sounds like a male stripper - but no. His real name is Joe Schreibvogel, but who can say that? Exotic is a much better stage name! He was a master illusionist. Kind of cheesey, but still very good. He also had some exotic wild animals with him. And he gave kids a great message against drugs, alcohol, and bullying. Don hopes to take the boys over this weekend to see it. They'll love it. So my summer is a whirlwind of excitement and challenges so far. Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

last day of May

Happy Birthday, Gretchen, we love you!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Let Us Pray

ok, gang, obviously we have one (Gretchen) who is very distraught at this time. Let's bow our heads and pray for our sister who is so very confused right now. Lord, deliver her from the addiction of reality tv if that should be your will, but Lord, she loves it so much. Maybe you could send talented people next season instead. I am not sure of the need, Father, but you do, so just help her and comfort her. And all God's people said, amen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pre-school blues

Well, I'm singing those preschool blues - I got kids I don't want to lose.
Today was bye bye to the 5 year olds as they move on to their kindergartens! sniff sniff This is much tougher than saying goodbye to jr. high kids, especially the ones I had. That was more like good riddens. These little sweet punkins are going to grow away and you just want to keep them! Wait til Sam comes thru - I'll try to keep him til he's 8 or 9, then let him move on to public school! yeah, right. We had a picnic at City Park after school. Tomorrow we will do the same thing again with the younger group. Most of them will return in the fall. Then Friday is a clean up work day and I am free for the summer. I don't know where the school year went. I could swear God is speeding up the days.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

bachelor & gentleman

YES, he chose Tessa!!! I knew it would be her and still I cried!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Funky Angel

This is an angel Will drew for me. He knows I like funky ones.
(I am trying out adding an image to my post and I don't know if it's going to work or not.)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thurs. thoughts

On a sad note, my co-worker Carolyn - her father passed away at the beginning of the school year and then last night she lost her mother. She is such a sweet gal and I know she must be hurting a lot right now, so please pray for her.
On a happier note, we watched Jackson play baseball last night. He did an awesome job pitching! Will and Noah will start their games after school is out, so we are looking forward to the season. Next time I will bring a jacket, that wind was nippy!
I am heading to bed - Don has been there since 7:00. Let's just say, he needed to be and leave it at that. Tomorrow somebody turns 6!!! I think I know who!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

off to a start . . . .

Wow. Today is off to a great start. First I couldn't get up on time, so it's rush around time! No hot water! not even lukewarm. We're talking cold. So I wash the "absolute necessaries" and get out fast. Then I can't find anything to wear. The capris I decide on need to go into the dryer cause they're all wrinkled. I figure I better re-light the water heater. This means pulling half the stuff out of Don's side of the closet, removing the wall panel, then looking for the wire hook thing that holds the match so that you can reach back to the pilot. hmmmmm..........I put it somewhere logical where I'd know next time....hmmmm....after looking several places I finally find it on the shelf by the matches! who'd have thought?! ok, I'm really running late now. I grab a big piece of masking tape to hold the springy-like door open by taping to a nearby pipe - so near that I can barely get my hand through. I get all my gear into the closet and can't find the tape. I find the tape - stuck down to the carpet, cause I dropped it and stepped on it so it's now full of carpet fuzz, but it holds anyway. Now where is my flashlight, cause it's darker than all get out in there. Left it out in the dining room. got it. ok. I'm laying on my stomach. Then practically on my head, but I lit it. My capris are ready to step into. I sit down to eat my cereal and flip on the TV to catch Joyce Meyer. Not today!!! The cable is out. great. just fuzz. not even any static noise. nothing. So I think this is where I made up all my lost time is scarfing down the cereal and moving on to finish getting ready, which gave me a couple minutes to post this! pretty cool, huh? Maybe the rest of the day will be equally wonderful. Love all you guys!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Things are getting down to the nitty gritty on my 2 favorite reality shows. I think the officer and gentleman is going to choose Tessa. And that Apolo is going to go home with the Dancing with the stars trophy. But what if I'm wrong?!?! I don't know if I'll be able to handle it! I kid you not!

Monday, May 14, 2007

day after mother's

I hope everyone had a good Mother's Day. I have such good mommies reading my blog. On Saturday we visited Don's mom and my mom. It was good, good, good. On Sunday was our little picnic and relaxing playtime. It was fun. Watching Lily walk around reminded me so much of my girls when they were little and they were discovering things at the park. Even when she was sitting on the picnic table bench munching on a cookie I pictured in my mind a home movie of Jill doing the same thing. I don't know where all the time has gone. It's crazy. Emily sent me a journal. She put some fun stuff in the first 4 or 5 pages and now I will enter some things and send it back to her and we will continue to do that til whenever..... how fun, huh? She is creative.

Friday, May 11, 2007

preschool tidbit

Today I was helping kids fill out the "my favorites" page of their preschool memory books. When I asked what was your favorite art project, one little guy smiled at me and said, "YOU!" If only he really understood what a work in progress I am, bless his heart anyway!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Parker, the nature boy

As the younger kids were getting ready for their last field trip of the year - riding a city bus around town - the teacher was asking them what things they might see while riding the bus. Kids began to list things as she wrote them on the board, things like cars, streets, people....etc. Then Parker raised his hand and with his deep raspy voice said, "The red winged blackbird!" He cracks me up all the time!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Boy, this is a lot of pressure, feeling like I have to post a blog everyday and it's already late afternoon and I have not posted that darn blog yet! I did have a short nap, hoping inspiration would come, but . . .well, I could just tell you about my morning. How about that? I met up with Tanya Alford first thing. She of course loved my stuff I brought along and bought some things for the "It's a girl thing" event. Also with her was her friend, can't think of her name, but she's Pat Lehnertz's daughter in law and mother of Teresa - Jackson's friend from preschool days. So she bought some things also. Then we discussed the Wickham project and she loved the idea I presented. So then, since I was now getting paid for my time at Parkview, I thought I had better get to work!!! No art today, as the kids went on the city busride instead. So I did prep work, which was nice, too. When they came back, they had music in our room and I got to dance with the kids to this wild song where you stop and freeze every once in a while. It was so cute. Megan came up to me and said come on, just have happy feet!!! Hey, I could do that! It was so fun. When I got home, I began the Wickham project and got a lot done on it. It has been a prosperous day in so many ways, even in spite of feeling that blog pressure!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

This is the day . . . .

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. This is the day that Emily is leaving and I am not glad about that so much, but I am praying for strength and even thanking God for the pain of saying goodbye again. It has been a sweet time with her. It feels like a little part of me dies everytime she leaves, but I have seen her growth. She is mature, more servant-like, and such a beautiful creature. It has caused me to step back and look at my other two girls and realize how special they are and where they have come to. I am amazed and blessed! So, yes, this is a difficult day, but I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Monday, May 7, 2007

my first post (I'm so proud)

I have a blog, I guess! I am thinking I will use this to communicate deep thoughts that come to me now and then which I fail to journal about. Things I might want to share with my girls, but of course whoever else reads it is fine, too. I actually have a thought right now, but I will save it until my next post. Kind of makes you want to check this blog again, just to see if I really have a thought or I don't, huh?