Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Faithful Friend

This fine looking automobile has been mine since 2000. That's right, we have been together for almost 10 years! We bought her new from the dealership, first and last time we will ever do that. This isn't her actual picture, just a representation because I'm too lazy to go out and take her picture. She's actually much more beautiful to me and she wears a racy black bra on her hood. Got to keep everything contained.

We have been through so much together and even though she now has over 105,000 miles that she has adventured with me, I love her as much as the first day she came home. She has been through most of Sweet Baby M's grade school, middle school and high school years. She taught Sweet Baby to drive and spent some time sitting in the lot at the high school. She thought she was so COOL then! She has held carseats and kindergarteners. She has made more trips to the pumpkin patch then she cares to count and has carpooled to museums, zoos, state fairs, lakes, mountains, and other interesting destinations.

This dear van and I have been all over Wichita. She has hauled home more bags of groceries than I can calculate. She's moved plants, furniture and mulch. She has been to many other states too. She's driven to Minnesota more times than I can count, to Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri and Colorado. She loves the open road and is careful to keep us all safe when we are cruising along.

When I think of all the things we've experienced together it makes me very melancholy. She has practically driven herself when I've cried so hard I couldn't see the road after dropping my kids off for their first days of school, sped to the emergency room, hauled 4-wheelers and boats, driven all the way up to the Continental Divide and back down with nary a groan.

This wonderful machine always seems to hold just what we need. Need a pen, we've got it. Need a straw, yep we got it. Need a kleenex, a safety pin, a needle and thread, a tampon, a drink, a snack, a blanket or a hoodie, a coloring it. It truly is a wonder van!

My van is candy apple red with the most luscious deep gray interior. It's been barfed in, had every sort of fluid spilled in it including an entire Route 44 Diet Limeade with extra lime, and has contained more crumbs than you would ever believe. Jim just takes a power washer and hoses it out and it comes back as good as new. She's just like Nanny McPhee, that great movie where Nanny McPhee gets more beautiful the longer she's around.

That's just the way I feel about my sweet van. We've shared so many experiences together that I can't imagine life without her. Hopefully she will go on for a while longer with me and see the Big D through high school too. With her big blinky headlights and her huge smiling grill, I imagine she will be the proudest van in the lot when we visit Sweet Baby at college. And when my dear van and I drive away, I know my faithful friend will whisk me home just as she has for the last 10 years, pull into the garage and wait patiently...ready for the next adventure.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What I've Been Up To

Sweet Baby M recently celebrated her Senior Night for volleyball! What a fun event that was. The Juniors on the team make each girl a collage board filled with pictures from their lives and quotes they love. They are very cute. During the half-time, each girl and her parents are announced and walk in and are presented with flowers by a player on their team. The announcer talks about their future plans. We made it through without any emotional breakdowns (on my part) and all in all it was a success.

My sweet Great Niece, Annabelle, came to celebrate the night and sat in a big desk at her Mimi's alma mater. Everyone in Jim's family graduated from the same highschool, as did I. We think that's pretty neat. And now our children will graduate from that school. She looked very small sitting in the desk.

During the half time the girls ran up to an empty classroom with family and friends to cut their DARLING cake. I think this is such a cute group of girls.

Maggie had such a nice group of family come to see her. From left it's Grandma, Cousin Missy, Uncle Mike, Auntie Beth and Annabelle.

The cake really was a masterpiece with their picture scanned on it.

What a fun night! Just one of many in this journey through Sweet Baby M's Senior Year!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Volleyball and Sweet Baby M

Never before has volleyball ramped up to such a fevered pitch. We've always been involved in volleyball but with practice everyday, games twice a week and tournaments all day's a bit overwhelming. Throw in the fact that our almost 18 year old Sweet Baby M has numerous college coaches calling to recruit her and you have a glimpse at our lives.

So far she's heard from about 8 colleges. We've narrowed it down to 5 but it's still a lot to manage. I don't know how kids that don't have an EXTREMELY involved parent do it. I suppose they don't. They must miss out on alot of great opportunities. We want Sweet Baby M to choose a good fit for her but we would LOVE it if it was close to home. We like being involved in her life and sports and would be pretty sad to see her end up far from home.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I am so glad that it is Friday! I don't really know's just the same old thing...volleyball and more volleyball but I am ready for a nice Fall weekend.
One thing I love EVERY morning (and some afternoons) of my life is this

Oh how I love coffee with cream. I like it made in my very own kitchen and drank in my big brown leather chair. Sometimes I like drinking it out of a mug that I bought from a potter in Minnesota and sometimes I like drinking it from a cup with a saucer. Just depends on my mood. I hate drinking it from a plastic travel cup or a foam cup. Yuk. It just doesn't taste as good.I love plain coffee with raw sugar and plain cream but I adore this

I drink this in coffee almost every morning of my life. It's pretty neutral tasting and if I add it to coffee, I don't need sugar. I love it and not the powdered stuff either. Only the liquid. In the winter months, Coffeemate comes out with this flavor

which I usually stockpile while it is in stores. It lasts a LONG time. The best thing about coffee and mornings is that while you are drinking it you can read this

I have read this book so many times I can't even count. Most of my original book is underlined, highlited, written in...suffice it to say, it is WELL used! I have worked my way through 4 workbooks and am getting ready to start it again with my BFF, Tia. I am so excited. I have always learned so much about myself and my relationship to God through it. I love reading back through the journals and seeing how I've either changed or stayed the same. LOVE IT! I think John Eldredge is sheer genius and such a wonderful interpreter of both the bible and feelings. Two things that usually don't really get talked about in the same breath. John is all about breaking out of the mold of the life you've created and living the life GOD created YOU for. I love that! When I've gone through the exercise that lists what your life would look like if it was your heart's desire...I've been so befuddled. Obviously some of it is perhaps unattainable (not really for me though because I'm pretty simplistic) but why don't we strive to obtain what we really want. It's like we just live in defeat instead of in victory. I don't ever want to come to the end of life on earth and think that I lived it all in defeat. That's my ode to John Eldredge and here he is. Doesn't he look like someone you'd want to hang out with?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Two Things

Alas, I will never return to this establishment again. After too many chances...El Patio has let Tia and I down yet once more. So...suffice it to say...we won't be returning. It's just too stressful to be faced with bad Mexican food time and again. El Patio has become like a roulette wheel...we never know when our luck is going to turn.

On a happier note..a new Baskin Robbins has opened up near our house. It is DELIGHTFUL! The Big D and I are committed to trying all 31 flavors. I mean..who can resist this fun looking character?

Doesn't this make you want to run out and grab a Lemon Custard on a Sugar cone or a Chocolate on a waffle cone or a Very Berry Strawberry on a regular cone? Or even better..a bubblegum ice cream cone! A blast from the past.

I'll keep you updated on our quest through the 31 flavors.