Thursday, October 30, 2008

aMAZEing

So here are just a few shots from last night's Maze at Darwin's church. (*This is the same church that Terry and the youth group went to Utah with in July for Challenge, the national E-Free conference...you know, where his backpack was stolen*). Terry came home last night and said driving all the kids out there was good practice for Dare to Share in February... There was about 40 junior highers that went and almost as many high schoolers. They took like 7 vehicles for the jh's and 5 for sh's. Terry meant that since we don't have a charter bus or a big conversion van, it was good practice to have that many drivers.
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Anyway.
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The maze was huge. And I was right - the Maze is a traditional Halloween outreach thing. Darwin said they had over 150 kids there and only 2 made it through to the end. It's completely dark in the maze b/c they turn off all the lights and it's well put together anyway. So you'll understand if some kids got ready to go in and upon seeing how dark it was decided not to even try it - claustrophobic MUCH! I would totally do it though. Terry didn't. He had other stuff to do, like keep the peace. Also, he had someone come to look at our van! Hopefully she'll call back.
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Anyway, again. Here are the shots:

This is the best shot I could find of the outside.

A girl in the Maze.

Darkness...fuuuurrrreaky!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

youth group

It's Wednesday again. More youth group. But tonight it a special night. The kids are going to get lost in a cardboard box maze. Yes. I know. That sounds AWESOME! They're going in two different groups - first junior high and then senior high. Darwin's church does this every year and I think it's supposed to be around Halloween time. I'll have to edit this if I get my facts wrong, but you'll never know anyway. I'll do another post b/c Terry will surely take pictures...if he doesn't get lost. Yeah, silly joke, I know.
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This pic is from last week's youth group. They're (the junior highers) playing some kind of game that I don't even know b/c I was busy with Noah like I always am.
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What usually happens for Wednesday nights is Terry leaves at 530pm and we follow him shortly thereafter. Some really great ladies make dinner for us all, the leaders and the junior highers. Somebody always takes Evie off my hip and she gets passed around, which she is perfectly happy to do. We all eat and then Noah runs around to play. He could go to Awana right now and he will in the future I guess... But I just really enjoy being able to bring him to part of youth group. Gets to have more time with dad and just have fun. Mostly Daddy though.
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Anyway, when Terry's about to start on his lesson I load up and head home, put the kids to bed and wait for my sitter (the WONDERFUL Mrs. Brenda Heibner and her daughter Kenzi). Then I go back for senior high youth group, which I help with. I lead a small group for the junior and senior girls. We play a game...and I participate b/c I'm cool like that. We have our lesson. We socialize. We go home about 10pm. Then I go to bed! Tired!

Here is Noah playing air hockey, one of his favorite things to do. He's trying to decide if my hands are gonna stay out of his way or if he can sneak that puck through. He loves it.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fun Fall weather

The weather changes quickly here. One day it's snowing, the next it's too hot for coats and everyone is wearing sandals...or in Noah's case, underwear.
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Noah has a lot of energy and prefers to get outside as much as possible. We do this after lunch in the summer. But now that it's getting cold out, we haven't been doing that everyday. Still, even when it's cold out, he wants out there. I'm thankful when Terry is home for these outings.
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Tuesday Oct. 21, 08: Here's Evie and I on the back porch swing while Terry was swinging Noah. It was pretty chilly so I just put Evie in Terry's coat...and I just realized this is reminiscent of Alien. Oh well. I thought it was cute.
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I wanted to go outside but it was spitting a little so I grabbed Evie's froggie hat that my mom made this summer. Awwwww!

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Noah bundled on the swing.
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Wednesday, Oct 22, 08: This was before youth group last week and it was raining pretty good but Noah still wanted out. Yeah, pretty wet.

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Saturday, Oct 25, 08: This is just 3 days later on Saturday! Yes, Terry was outside with Noah again and Noah insisted on extracting the pool from its hibernation in the shed, which it was happy to do apparently. I came out just in time to see Terry filling it with water! Yeah, October 25th!!! In his defense, it was like 70 degrees out.
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However, Noah did keep hopping onto that little shelf b/c the water was so cold. "Bird! Too cold!" he would say. Translation: Bird means Brrrrr.

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Sliding action.

We told him to keep his underwear on but when Terry was mowing the lawn (he says for the last time), he looked up to see Noah running at him...you got it, naked.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baby Snap

Last weekend my sister Stephanie visited, bearing gifts - my mom had fallen victim to all the news stores that recently opened there =). So, Evie got several cute outfits and Noah got a couple toys - some more Thomas tracks and a Ty beanie baby Miniature Schnauzer puppy. Of course Noah loved the tracks. He and daddy have a good time rearranging them as much as is possible on the small table they're on. But he didn't seem that interested in the beanie baby. I didn't think he would be b/c he already has some stuffed animals and doesn't really care for them.

But yesterday, he started carrying it around everywhere. He calls it Baby Snap and is MUCH more gentle with the fake dog than the real one. I mean, poor Snap. It's a good thing dogs are loyal b/c a cat would hate Noah. A cat would also learn its lesson and hide - wouldn't keep coming back for more abuse. Anyway, Noah was petting Baby Snap all gentle and talking to him and including him in all his play. If he left him anywhere, he was all "Where's Baby Snap?!" and had to run and find him right away. While we were doing some reading in the morning, Noah was distracted for a bit while he examined all of Baby Snap. He turned him around and saw the Ty tag by the tail and then pointed to exactly where Snap's real bottom would be and told me all about how Snap goes potty.

When I got home from the Wellness Center I found them like this on the couch:

So he's cuddling w/both Snaps. How cute!

Still got a hold of Baby Snap.



Saturdays I make a breakfast lunch and here is Noah with his yummy waffle. When I first gave it to him, Noah shoved Baby Snap's face in there to share. I was too slow w/the camera to catch it though. But there it is, right next to him.
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So today at church, in the second row (b/c Terry always has to make announcements and pray), Noah was playing with Baby Snap. In the middle of the sermon he held Baby Snap up to Terry, turned him around and pointed out, "Bottom - poop and pee come out." And of course, Noah is not very good at whispering yet... I'm not sure who heard but we thought it was quite funny, but mostly embarrassing. Funny boy.
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Here's the real Snap hanging out in the back yard with us yesterday. His whiskers and beard are looking so much better.



Friday, October 24, 2008

letters and numbers

Lately I've been giving home schooling a lot of thought. I know, right? Gasp! Choke! Heart palpitations! CPR! Weirdos!
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But what I see in youth group with kids "these days" is a little unnerving, as a Christian and as a mom. And that's just what I see at youth group. I'm not in school anymore. If I saw terrible things when I was in school 15 yrs ago, then it's bound to have gotten worse. So anyway, that's where I'm at. Well, there's more reasoning and we're not through deciding, but we're definitely seriously thinking about it.

So I've decided to get my feet wet and TRY to do learning stuff with Noah. At first it was difficult to get him to pay attention, and it still is, but he's getting better. Now he expects it and looks forward to it. He watches Sesame Street and then afterwards we "color." He turns off the tv and announces, "Color?" Coloring includes going over the letter and number of the day by drawing pictures of them. And since he loves Thomas the Train so much, I use this ABC book we keep checking out from the library (I really need to buy our own...). Then I attempt to draw whatever is on the page for the letter of the day.

Here are some examples. You can see the book at the top.

Here is "B" for Bertie the Bus and the flash cards for Barn and Ball.

Here is "D," for Diesel, Duck and Dog.

Every couple weeks we have a play date with the Jensens - Karla and Allen. Karla home schools and they just started last year. I went the first time to observe and now we pretty much just hang out so I don't get in their way. Noah has a lot of fun there with Grant's Thomas trains.
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Grant, Evie, Savannah, Karla.

Karla listening to her husband expound on how much farming he has to do.

I tell you what. These kids LOVE love love Evie.



PS Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I've been working on my RN continuing education credits during nap times and that doesn't leave me with much other time. I have to complete 20 hrs of ed before I can renew my license, since I'm not working right now. Only 3 days and 6 hours to go though! It's been good to re-learn things and to come to realize that I haven't forgotten everything I learned in school. Motherhood hasn't driven it all from my mind...yet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

more window treatments

If you didn't get enough of our new bedroom window curtains or you wanted more, you're in luck. If you don't care, sorry, I do. =)
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Just wanted to show what they look like open. They're quite nice closed, but how I love sunlight.

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And this is our bathroom. It was painted purple before we moved in and I have no idea what they covered the windows with. We had just used two pale colored towels.

And now!

I like them.


Here's a blast from the past...er, last year. This is Noah's room, obviously. Ah, look, he was still sleeping in his make shift toddler bed that's actually Evie's crib with the side bars off. Look at how cute he is! But what I pulled this out of storage for was to show the blue towels covering the window. Yeah. And you can tell how dark it is in there b/c the ugly overhead light makes it look all shadowy and grainy.

And now! Yeah, the green paint actually looks nice now. This is the same one that's in our bathroom. I actually hung this one first (well, Terry did) but liked it so much and b/c it was on super sale, that we got two more for our bathroom...

This is an example of a greatest strength also being a weakness: Light comes through this curtain, but LIGHT actually comes into what had been a dungeon of a room. I would like to take out that weird brown accordion closet "door" and just use some kind of curtain. Oh yeah, and take Noah's clothes storage bins out.

the puppy

As our friend Krista so eloquently put it (about her son and dog), Noah wants to be a dog and Snap wants to be a boy. This morning when I went in to get Noah up from bed, he said, "Woof woof" and then jumped off his bed and into my arms like any good puppy would. When I let him down, he then crawled into the bathroom to go potty woofing as he went. He woofed and crawled to the breakfast table where I fixed him his usual banana and cereal.
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He likes his cereal dry and on a plate, not in a bowl. I then went to do something and when I came back into the kitchen, he was eating the cereal off his plate with his mouth b/c dogs of course don't use their paws. So I told him, "Noah use your hands!" and then I paused to think. What kind of messed up command is that? Eat with your hands? Come on momma. My son, not dog, should eat with utensils, right? Well, I guess we'll have to work on that. At any rate, I think eating with his hands is better than eating with his mouth right off the plate.
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Noah is starting to not like his naps anymore...again. But I still put him in there for time on his own and time on my own. When he really doesn't want to go down, he cries like a dog. Once I went in there b/c he was really crying. He was saying something and he had to calm down a little for me to understand him. He was just crying "WOOF! WOOF!" He was really, actually, totally crying but he still doing it as a dog.
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Noah also fetches and plays on the floor like a dog. He's got a specific "stick," which is actually a long plastic unfurled handle from some toy that I can't even remember. He doesn't like to share this stick with Snap, even though it really should be Snap's toy. Whenever Snap plays with it, Noah takes it away. I have to tell him to "share with Snap." For goodness sake. Noah even took it to the red slide at the playground yesterday, though thankfully he didn't carry it in his mouth.
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He's a complete puppy. Even in that picture his hair is imitating a dog. Don't you think it looks like puppy ears? Maybe Wolverine... Classic Noah hair thanks to his daddy's genes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Alaniz'

Last week, and for a week, Terry and I, Noah and Evie and Snap, had the opportunity to offer hospitality to our newly homeless and newly missionary friends, Ernesto and Angie Alaniz.
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How do we know them? Ernesto was Terry's first roommate at Moody. Okay, I must back up here for you to understand. Terry's first year of college was in Missouri at Ozark Christian College 97-98. Thereafter he filled some general credits at Tech in Fall 98 b/c he wanted to transfer. Spring 99 Terry started at Moody. Ernesto was to be his roommate b/c his previous one had transferred out. When Terry arrived Ern was gone. So Terry got all settled in, took a lot of silly video (which we relived while the Alaniz' where here) and went to sleep. Ernesto came back in the middle of the night (not kidding, it was like 2am) and woke Terry up with his uproar. He was so excited to get back, he just flipped on the lights and started loving touching all his possessions ("my books! my computer!"). Then he got in Terry's face and said, "Are you for real? Are you for real? B/c if you're not for real you shouldn't be here!" First meeting, yeah. Needless to say, Terry was a little taken aback. What Ernesto meant was that b/c Moody paid your tuition, you had better be for real about your Christian life b/c if you weren't someone else would surely like to be there.
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Here are some photos of their history together.
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Ern and Terry on a plane being flown by their friend Dave Wail. Terry's stomach didn't hold up so well...neither did his back pack, literally.
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Terry took Ern as his date to the Junior Senior Banquet (JSB). Just kidding. Ern said he wished Terry had been his date.
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One Spring Break Ernesto came to Terry's Sturgis home and ranch and got to know the family and country life - he'd never seen a cow before and was almost killed by a bull. This shot was taken in Custer State Park where donkeys run free. HA!
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Terry was less alarmed than the city kid.
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Wedding Day, August 2003. They met when Ernesto, seeking his friend Adam in Michigan, knocked on the wrong door on Angie's parent's Christmas Tree farm and Angie answered it...again, in the middle of the night.

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Terry and Eva's wedding. This is Thursday, June 17th 2004, two days before the big day when we took the wedding party bowling where we always used to go. In the back is Chris Knuth, Adam Crumpton and Terry's dad, Jerry.

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So, back to the present. The reason Ernesto and Angie are homeless is b/c they sold everything they owned back in Michigan where he was a junior high youth pastor for the last five years. They sold everything they own b/c they feel God is calling them as missionaries to India with the Dalit people. Now they're on the road to get the word out in churches (mostly where they know people) about what they're doing.
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Ern and Angie got here last Tuesday night, the 7th, and left yesterday (Monday the 13th) morning. Ern went to work with Terry and spoke at junior and senior high youth group and at church for both services. We went to the homecoming game together and hung out with kids while playing the Wii. Actually, there was a lot of the Wii-playing going on - and it was being done by Terry and Ernesto, not Eva and Angie =). We celebrated Angie's birthday, stayed up really late, got a lot of rest (well, they did =) b/c they slept in really late after being up really late), ate a lot of good food cooked by yours truly and exchanged a lot of great conversation.

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Here is Ernesto gesturing at youth group. It was very difficult to get a still picture of him b/c he's always gesturing. Actually, we didn't ever get a still picture. =) He's very animated. He was talking about how he wished he had a music talent. I told him his talent was his personality. That's pretty accurate. Fun, passionate guy.

Junior high youth group.

Cool senior highers.


This is the Alaniz' prayer card, the front:

Back of the prayer card:

They gave out clay cups out as a reminder of the Dalits.

The card included with the cup explaining the significance of clay cups for the Dalits, which is derived from the unfair caste system of India. I hope you can read it. Otherwise, go to their website: http://www.claycups.net/

Here is a card from a network that already support the Dalits.




Our youth group was really moved by Ernesto's testimony and his story of their time among the Dalits. You know it was good if they were moved. ;)

videoHere is Ern at junior high youth group.

videoErn speaking to senior highers.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

Evie had a little trouble sleeping this morning - woke up at 5 and stayed up for a while. So when I fed her at 745 she fell asleep, which is unusual for her. She's usually all shiny and happy first thing. After I was sure she was asleep I slipped my arm out from under her and made my escape sucessfully. I headed back in for some pictures of sleeping beauty after I got a few things done. She's so beautiful!


And she stayed tired throughout the day. I had to wake her up this time so she would be able to sleep tonight. But I got some more sleeping beauty shots. Awwww!