Tuesday, August 29, 2006


It's Monday~ I feel stuck - in a rut today - not everyday but today, this morning. Exploring my "rut" situation, I flip my little page a day calendar & read:

God knows what He's about. If He has you sidelined, out of the action for a while, He knows what He's doing. You just stay faithful-- stay flexible--stay available--stay humble.

Growing Strong in the Seasons of LIfe, p. 531
Commit they way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5 KJV

I guess I'm not so stuck afterall or at least not permanently. :o) I've mulled this flexible message over many times past. I'm reminded of such when I see a Willow tree with its bendy branches; needfully... gracefully yielding to the adversive pressure yet without breaking. The photograph above was taken not even a block from my lil village home in Amberg Germany.
So I'm on working on being flexible...available...humble. Yes~

We've showered, had breakfast & lunch is on & now finished by the time I'm posting this entry. We've played dressup nearly all day with few puzzles scattered in the mix- she's still in her princess dress; the girl that dresses in her best to cook. "Would ya like tea and samich maybe?" she asks, clasping her lil hands together, eyes twinkling. She's delighted to serve. I hope & pray that is a lifelong delight & attitude: delighted to serve :o)

She still has angel dust (glitter) in her freshly washed curls from our CLC famly picnic. She got her face & arm painted- covered with pink & purple flowers by Dotsie T.Clown. What fun! We took princess cookies with lots of pink frosting & sprinkles; always better shared. :o)

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Great Physician

Tucked away in a quiet corner of every life are wounds and scars. If they were not there, we would need no Physician. Nor would we need one another.

From: Growing Srong in the Seasons of Life, p. 114

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me. Psalm 6:2 NIV

What a time Grace & I had at Deep River Water Park! Fountains, slides, tunnels, sprayers, lazy river, wave pool and other KIDS! We wore ourselves out, sleeping very well last night - the girl is still sleeping. Gracie is excited about the "big kid" rides for next time. "When I'm a big girl?" she says.

On the way home we stopped by the Albanese Candy Factory for some candy buttons & jelly beans (all go in potty reward jar). I found some Milka bars- a German chocolate bar with Hazelnuts. Though I found many, I only bought ONE. Yummm! There was a 30 ft chocolate fountain - tooooo cool!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Last post before classes begin tomorrow ~~~~~~~~

Grace & I went to the county fair last week with Nate, Stef & Emily. The Gracie girl has a BLAST riding all those kiddy rides - she totally gets it now. Had our 1st deep fried Oreo cookie -they were out of twinkies. Tasty for sure! Of course, watched the horse show - barrel races and visited the 4H animals with a special liking for the piglet nursery. :o)

Then another N&S invite took us to the Village Free church picnic. What fun~ Aside from the tasty food & hamburger cookies (clever), Gracie enjoyed park play & super fun kiddy games. Picture this: couple of blankets spread out on the ground COVERED with candy - COVERED! Put some toddlers & pre-preschoolers on there with a paper bag & watch em go. Gracie diligently picked up as many fruity tootsie rolls as she could. With encouragement, she managed to snag a couple twizzlers, smarties & ring pops. In all the excitement, Grace took a little break to eat a piece of candy in concert with the other kiddos as parents were cheering from the sidelines. How fun?!

Next came the wheel barrel races. Gracica managed to wheel her barrel down & around her post as well as the post of the opposing team before crossing the finish line with the Winnie the Poo ball still inside the barrel. Prizes for everyone: too cute rubber ducky necklace. Right up our duck loving alley!

Geared up for games, Gracie joined the big kids in their water balloon game. However, she was all about breaking those balloons on herself & recruited apt adults to do the job when she couldn't quite bust it herself. The girls is a water loving baby! Thanks for the invite~~~What a blast!!

More newssssssssss...classes begin tomorrow. I'm taking anatamoy something or another & therapeutic techniques for the SLPA. Those are not the offical class titles but you get the gist. I'm excited...one more semester after this one. In fact, I've had a yippeee response thus far regarding my internship beginning Jan '07. With God's favor, I hope to get confirmation for placement at
Kimberly Heights school in Tinley Park. It's a cutie little early childhood center with a birth to three parent program, 3-5 at risk & kindergarten. Perfect preparation for the ages I'd like to work with eventually. The principle is a gem & fellow Mary Engelbreit lover. :o) She & I served together on the SSAEYC board pre-Germany. It would be a great school to work in when I finish the program May '07.

What else...great visit with Uncle Randy, Bob & Emily on Sunday. It's so nice just to hang out. AND we played a forgetable couple of round of Rumicub. They were really just training sessions for Ms. Emily, a Rumicub newbie. Randall pulled out all the "woe is me" stops, thus insuring his win. It was difficult to surrender my title as the Rumicub champion but for Randy's self-esteem...what's giving him a couple rounds? :o) We saw a competitive side of that sweet Ms. Emily for sure! :o)

At present, I'm sitting here with a Rumicub "sandwich" Grace has lovingly prepared in her wonder kitchen. Sehr lecker!

Hmmmm....I'm training next week for a position as case manager for TACE brain injury program. You know, something to fill my free time. It's itty bitty part time work with nice "work from home" pay. Your tax dollars hard at work. We'll see how it goes~

We are getting wet as much as possible these days with a visit to a cool pool near Stephanie today. Tomorrow we are finally headed to Deep River Water Park in Crown Point, Indiana. :o)

Here's to back to school~ Summer is NOT over yet, but the makings of fall are emerging.

Gladiator: American Style

This was sent to me by a good 2X retired military guy~ A moving salute to America's finest.

Click on the link below to view Gladiator: American Style http://objflicks.com/GladiatorAmericanStyle.htm

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Life is too short; eat dessert first!

Hey there - I know, it's the middle of the day but 1/2 my clients cancelled & I'm supposed to be using this time to write reports...as always. On my way back home, I stopped to buy some fruit at Walts - good old Walts food store. While I was waiting to have my garlic & peaches weighed, a grandma came up with her Brach's candy - you know the "serve yourself" Brachs. I was reminded of my mom. She loved Brachs nutgoodies. With that fond memory, I bought some. I don't particulary love nut goodies, but it made me feel somehow connected to my mom. The smell is what brings back those memories - the sweet maple-y aroma of those caramel colored candies. So on the way home I was thinking about other things that make me feel close or connected to mom. Here's the start of my list:
 singing to my Gracie
 song "Jesus Loves Me" – see previous post
 homemade ice cream
 tops that tie on the shoulder
 cooking to share
 sweet iced tea
 toaster strudels – she lived on those the past 5 years
 chicken & dumplins
 Everybody Loves Raymond (except Russ)
 peach & blackberry cobblers
 chocolate chip cookies
 grilling out - especially barbecue ribs
 nut goodies
 smell of honeysuckle
 cherries
 inboard/outboard motor boats & water skiing
 water play – be it lake, beach, pond or pool
 crabapple trees
 rosebushes – growing flowers
 Dollywood
 Celine Dion & Shania Twain
 Avon
 Skin So Soft
 the words "Fantastic" & "Wonderful" gleefully exclaimed while clapping your hands together
 loving on Gracie
 pretty fingernailes – painting Gracie's nails
 homemade cinnamon rolls
 the Twist – dance
 Reader's Digest
 Thrift stores
 Yard sales
 Princess Diana
 old hymns like Old Rugged Cross, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
 getting Gracie's pictures professionally taken
 the horses back home
 back home....
 Christmas
~picking strawberries or blackberries
~getting my hair brushed
~cookie exchanges
My sister added:
*Texas Fudge Cake
*Fudge with nuts(w/o nuts for the youngest)
*homemade biscuits and gravy
*mashed potatoe soup*homemade jelly and jam (strawberry)
I forgot...we must add her chocolate rolls & chocolate gravy~ YUM!

Ok - this is a start & I may add to this from time to time. If you knew my mom, feel free to add in the comments section. :o)

We live. We love. We forgive & never give up...

Congrats to Tracy & David!!! They closed on their new house. Moved back to Missouri! Yeahhhh - St Louis is much closer than Kansas City, though I'll really miss Strouther's. I love that restaurant but I love Tracy more...

This Haddon & Merideth - nephew & niece.
More sibling stuff.....

Enjoyed a visit with my brother George as he was working on some business deals here in Chicagoland. He designs & manufactures custom auto display unit thingys. The most recent project was this rotating truck - like on a skewer or spit, with part of it cutaway for teaching purposes. I think it was for NASCAR or something like that. Anyway, just wayyyy cool & I'm proud of him & his work. Check out this rotating truck - http://www.ironmountaincustomdisplays.com/mainimages/flashvid/05.Vid/toyota.side.video.htm
Anyway, so Uncle George enjoyed a home cooked meal for a change - just something I threw together since he doesn't plan a visit - just calls a couple of hours before he's coming. AND Gracie enjoyed some very rough & tumble play...I couldn't watch but she was having a BLAST so the giggles meant it was all good. Then to calm her down before bedtime, George read her some of her favorite "going to bed" books. See below- Lovely, lovely book "Time for Bed" by Mern Fox with lovely illustrations by Jane Dyer. A must for every wee one's library. :o)
Enjoy the day, folks.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Oh, the places we will go~

This is really cool! Map out where you've been - either by state or country. Wow! I must dust off my traveling shoes & find some comfy go-shoes for Grace. The world is indeed waiting~
create your own visited countries map
check out these Google Hacks.

Hey~ speaking of a waiting world...I saw a picture today of a new orphanage CLC is sponsoring in Guatemala. AWESOME! I feel a family missions trip coming in the next couple of years. Guatemala was my first official missions trip & what a beautiful place! Might as well get some stamps in that girl's passport! Actually, this orphanage -I'll share details when I have more or remember more - it's almost 3 AM...but, the idea behind this is an outreach & missions trip/work that CLC families can dive into! So exciting...that passion portion of my heart is ready. I really believe Grace's feet will go even further as she takes the gospel in a practical method to her world. Hmmm...this is feeling a bit prophetic. Someone already shared a dream of a harvest hearted Grace that confirmed in my spirit that she would be a missionary. Can't wait to see what God has in mind....

Speaking of going... we went to Brookfield Zoo with our friend, Lisa, this weekend. Had a great time for sure sure. Not too hot & no crowd. Used the library pass, so free admission. Found a coupon for free parking & complimentary carousel ride! Can't beat that deal!
Gracie got some new froggy slippers from Amy & Michaela. This in light of her delightful caterpillar & frog story she loves to tell lately. If you haven't heard it, be sure to ask Grace. She'll be happy to share & show you about watching that caterpillar walk, walk, walk & that frog went "slipt" & ate that caterpillar right up! FYI....that's the translation...just in case you don't catch it all. :o) Ok - it's bedtime for sure~ Night all

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sing Sweet Nightingale

I must share this cutie patooty princess anecdote~

Grace has enjoyed watching Cinderella the last few days. Yesterday afternoon, she was "cooking" in her little microwave; stirring, stirring, stirring. All the while she was singing "Sing sweet nightingale. Sing sweet nightingale~ hiiigh above me" She even sang a decent scale on the "hiiiigh" part. It was lovely & one of those "I wish I had recorded that" moments.

Cinderella Trivia (1950)
In both Cinderella (1950) and Sleeping Beauty (1959), the main character's friends surprise her with a new dress, calling out "Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Happy birthday!"

  • Not only is the name of the prince never revealed, he is nowhere in the film mentioned as "Prince Charming".
  • Ilene Woods beat exactly 309 girls for the part of Cinderella, after some demo recordings of her singing a few of the film's songs were presented to Walt Disney. However, she had no idea she was auditioning for the part until Disney contacted her; she initially made the recordings for a few friends who sent them to Disney without telling her.
  • Lucifer was modeled after animator Ward Kimball's cat. Animators were having trouble coming up with a good design for that cat, but once Walt Disney saw Kimball's furry calico, he declared, "There's your Lucifer."
  • When Cinderella is singing "Sing, sweet nightengale", three bubbles form the head and ears of Mickey Mouse.
  • The royal proclamation on the castle gate wall reads: " All loyal subjects of his Imperial Majesty are hereby notified by royal proclamation that in regard to a certain glass slipper, it is upon this day decreed that a quest be instituted throughout the length and breadth of our domain. The sole and express purpose of said quest is as follows to wit: That every single maiden in our beloved Kingdom shall try upon her foot this aforementioned slipper of glass, and should one be found whose foot shall properly fit said slipper, such maiden will be acclaimed the subject of this search and the one and only true love of his Royal Highness, our noble Prince. And said Royal Highness will humbly request the hand of said maiden in marriage to rule with him over all the Land as Royal Princess and future Queen."
  • According to Ilene Woods, who did the voice for Cinderella, it was Walt Disney who suggested the layered harmonies in the "Sweet, Sweet Nightengale" sequence. She thinks that it might have been the first time that it was attempted.
  • According to Marc Davis, one of the directing animators of Cinderella, at least 90% of the movie was done in live action model before animation.
  • Cinderella was the first Disney film to have its songs published and copyrighted by the newly created Walt Disney Music Company. Before movie soundtracks became merchandisable, movie songs had little residual value to the film studio that owned them and were often sold off to established music companies for sheet music publication.
  • The transformation of Cinderella's torn dress to that of the white ball gown was considered to be Walt Disney's favorite piece of animation.
  • Walt Disney had not had a huge hit since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). The production of this film was regarded as a major gamble on his part. At a cost of nearly $3,000,000, Disney insiders claimed that if this movie had failed at the box office, it would have been the end of the Disney studio. The film was a big hit. The profits from its release, with the additional profits from record sales, music publishing, publications and other merchandise gave Disney the cash flow to finance a slate of productions (animated and live action), establish his own distribution company, enter television production and begin building Disneyland during the decade.

Movie Goofs

  • When Cinderella is getting dressed in the morning she pulls the hair ribbon around all of her hair. In the next shot it is tied only around half.
  • Cinderella's bed sheet has patches, but when the birds fold it, the patches are gone.
  • During the ball, the Duke's monocle gets broken during an argument with the King and he looks through the broken monocle at the King as the King leaves. When the Duke goes down to keep and eye on the Prince and Cinderella and, as he closes the curtain on the snooping Stepmother, his monocle is whole again.
  • When Cinderella and the Prince are getting married, Cinderella wears a long-sleeved wedding gown. Afterwards, when we see them through the back window of the carriage, her gown has puffed sleeves.

You will find more Cinderella trivia at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042332/

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tons of Fun

Still catching up....Grace had a great time at Papa's house petting the kitties, riding the horses & the 4 wheeler. She loves to sit up on the tractor & drive, drive, drive. She learned that you must keep your hand open to feed the horse, hold the mane while you're riding the horse & sweet feed is only for horses. :o)
We had a yummy visit with Papa George & Grandma Robin! We love the haircut & hope/praying you both are feeling LOTS better!

Going to Missouri is always a nice time to visit treasured friends. We swam with Kelly (praying your smiling again soon) & Kaeley; played dress up & ate lots of snacks with Macy & Lexi; toted puppies around at our cousin's birthday party; laughed at Aunt Jean's house but did NOT play the crabby cat who lives there; got lots of hugs & treats at cousin Bobby/Angie's house; went to church with cousin Kelly and finally, played ourselves silly at Aunt Tracy's house with Haddon & Merideth!

Whew...that's a ton of fun!

Tip for the day: to remove crayon swirls from the wall, heat with hair dryer & wipe off with all purpose cleaner. Yep - some summer fun is not play at all. :o)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Summertime fun & catching up!

This is our neighbor's flower garden. We took over some cookies for Doris & Tim, chased their kitties around & then Gracie & Doris picked some flowers. Wish I could say they graced our home for several days, but Gracie was so excited she shook them limp running around the yard chasing more kitties.

On a bittersweet note, our Nate & Stephanie friends have moved to the city -just 20 minutes away, but those day to day interactions, romps in the sprinkler, shared grilling, last minute baby sitting breaks & fashion consulting will be sorely missed. Nate is priming for a position with the Chicago Fire Department, thus they must live in Chicago. Congratulations! AND in case I haven't mentioned it, baby Emily is finally here...too cute for sure!

Summer classes are over & I am breathing before the Fall term starts in a couple of weeks. A's in both classes & I learn a bunch as well. No Nazi professors in this last bunch. Thank God!
After our RR 'O6, we spent some time with the Speaks family in Robertsville, MO. I had my Saturn detailed in order to survive the Mr Speaks' scutiny. And sure enough, if I hadn't run over their dog - literally, ran right over the top of her with my car, not the tires...the Saturn would have looked pretty good. I can't believe it! I've hidden my dog fear so Grace wouldn't be afraid & now look what happens! The dog was fine - a bit of oil in her fur from my car, but that Westie was FINE! But don't you know Mr. Speaks gave a praise report in front of the entire Cedar Grove Methodist church that morning because the Westie survived being run over "Thanks be to God!" I went to church with them that morning, but was out with Grace during the testimony service. Can you imagine how I felt after the service? Folks stared HOLES right through me! I had to serve myself the snack in the after church social time. The humiliation!! We are indeed thankful the dog is ok, but now everyone in the Speaks' circle knows my name & is watching for my sparkling Saturn.

Once the dog trauma subsided, Grace & I enjoyed the pool with Amy & Michaela. We really had a great time...very relaxing. Of course, we got out of the pool before the bats swooped in for their nightly sip of delicious chlorinated beverage. :o)
Amy's such a delightful hostess & Michaela is a treasure, particulary for playing with my Gracie & keeping her entertained while I caught up with my 1st non-monster roomate from SEMO University. What a time we had...
Thanks Amy, Mike & Michaela. It was a great time - always a great time! I sure am sorry about Trixie....I wonder if you are still talking about it. At least it takes the heat off of Amy for running over Mike. :o) We love you! PS - thanks for mailing that report for me!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Put it Down - from picturesfromheaven.com

Hey ya'll! I'm posting a "Picture from Heaven" borrowed from my pastor's blog
http://www.picturesfromheaven.com/ It's definitely worth sharing & worth applying~

Picture…a man carrying a heavy load. He can barely hang on to it with both hands it is so heavy. His shoulders are bent; his walk is little more than a shuffle. He knows that he is reaching his limit of endurance when someone walks up to him with a beautifully wrapped package. He shakes his head in despair, knowing that there is no way that he can reach out to receive the gift.

Hear…the Lord say, “The only way to receive the gifts that I want to give you is for you to put down the heavy load that you are carrying. I never intended for you to carry it. Others gave it to you, and you thought it was your duty to carry. But you are mistaken. It belongs to me. Let it go and reach out for those things that I do want to give you, wonderful gifts that will straighten your back and put a spring back in your step. I won’t take it from you. You must willingly, and cheerfully put it down at my feet.”Consider: I lift weights as a part of my “work out” regiment,” but I am still not all that strong. It might have something to do with the fact that I’m a 50 something year old woman, or it could be that I waited until I was nearly 50 to start exercising. Whatever the reason, I really can’t carry very much. That is…I can’t carry much in the “physical” realm. I can carry a lot of burdens on my shoulders. What about you? Do you have the ability to carry stuff around with you? Do you carry burdens for your children, spouse, parents or friends? Do you carry around burdens from past hurts that limit what you can be and do for God? I’m not accusing…I’m just asking. I know that I have a tendency to carry heavy loads with me. I usually don’t recognize it as a burden at first, but when I start to notice:
That I don’t have a spring in my step anymore…
That I’m tired all of the time…
That my laugh has no real ring of joy to it …
That I’ve worried through an entire stop light…

Then I know that it is burden-casting time. Are you able to recognize the symptoms in your own life? What does burden carrying look like in you? Are you carrying burdens right now? You have to decide what type of lifestyle you want to live, one that is filled with duty and grim determination or one of joy and peace. It’s your choice, not the people and circumstances surrounding you. Determine today that you are not going to carry heavy weights around with you. Lay them down at Jesus feet. When you are finally empty handed, you will be able to receive what God is offering to you today; freedom from sickness, pain of the past, weariness, the controlling behaviors of others, guilt, addictions and worries. The precious blood of our Lord has already paid for this freedom. It is yours to take, once you empty your hands.

Pray: “Jesus, I’m tired of walking around with all of these heavy burdens. I recognize that these are not mine to bear. I refuse to carry this weight of responsibility that causes sleepless nights. I refuse to worry about my loved ones any longer. I refuse to carry the pain from wounds inflicted by the things people have said or done in the past. The hurts that dictated who I was going to be and what I was going to do will limit me no longer. I forgive those who have harmed me. I let go of this pain. I choose to exchange my heavy burdens for Your own. I know that you want me to live a life of victory, and freedom. I receive it right now in Jesus name, Amen. ”