Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Paging the tooth fairy...

Meredith has had a loose front tooth for a LONG time. Last Thursday night she ate supper and it got really loose.

As in, hanging by a thread (gross, I know. It almost hurt me just to look at it! So why not just post a picture on the blog so you can all cringe too?!?)

Anyway, she wouldn't let me touch it, but I knew it was just a matter of time.

And finally on Friday morning she wiggled and pulled it, and it came out in her hand. She was so excited...can you tell?


Monday, June 29, 2009

Beat the Heat, Take 2

Need another way to beat the heat?

How 'bout playing in the sprinkler?

Mer and Jesse had a blast...


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Beating the Heat

How do you beat the heat at a really, really hot ballgame?

(88 degrees with a gazillion percent humidity.)

Why, you bring your own spray bottle with water!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dress up

Purple hair band? Check.

Pink fluffy princess slipper? Check.

Pink princess ballet slipper? Check.

Pink, glittery visor? Check.

Ready to go!

Someone needs to get this kid his own dress-up things!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Vacation Bible School

At the beginning of June we had a great time at vacation Bible school at our church. It was my first year being on the committee that plans Bible school, and wow - what a lot of work that takes! It was fun, but I'm glad it's over and I don't have to think about Bible school again for 6 months or more.

Meredith had a great time learning Bible stories, learning about the Holy Spirit, learning new songs and Bible verses, playing at recess...

...playing follow the leader...

and making new friends. Meredith had met these 2 sisters before, but didn't remember them. They became fast friends when one was the only other girl in Meredith's class.

(As you can tell from the smiles, they were having fun tackling each other!)

Jesse had great fun in babysitting...when he actually went! Unfortunately I couldn't get any pictures of him because as soon as he would see me he would want to stay with me. So I got to play hide-and-not-seek when he came into areas of the church where I was.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Gretta recently had a dance recital. We were invited, and I was so excited to go and see Gretta dance. But I will confess that I wasn't too terribly excited about sitting and watching everyone else's performances. However, I totally loved it - and Meredith did too.

We got to leave Jesse at home with Kent, which made for a much more relaxed time for me. And it was so much fun to watch the groups - from girls younger than Meredith up through junior high or high schoolers. Gretta did wonderful - it was fun to see her in that setting.

It was quite fun to watch the younger groups perform while they had their eyes glued to the side of the stage just behind the curtain where their teacher did the dance moves with them.

Thanks, Gretta for inviting us - we had a blast!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nap Time

The other day Meredith hadn't gotten dressed for the day yet, and already she decided it was time to take a nap.

So she made herself a bed in the middle of the living room floor.

Complete with a picture of her and Jesse, her favorite stuffed animal of the day, a box of Kleenex...

and an 8x10 school picture of herself.

Too bad I forgot to get a picture of Jesse's bed that he made right beside hers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Camp

Gretta got home from camp tonight. She was only gone one night but she LOVED it! It was rainy, soggy and muddy which for an 8 year old probably made it even better. She knew a few people in her cabin and her counselor but made lots of friends. Camp was always a summer highlight for me despite the bug bites, wet shoes, and long walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I'm so grateful to be able to pass this special memory on to my daughter even at the same camp I went to. Thanks to Abbie for her patience with these 7 excitable girls!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

So it seems like our lives are filled with ballgames...

and ballgames...

and more ballgames.

Meredith is having a blast in T-ball this year. Her fielding skills are improving every game, and surprisingly she is a pretty good batter. Especially when she brings her own bat. Not sure if it's the actual bat that makes the difference or the confidence that it gives her when she uses it. Whatever it is though, it's working.

(If you ever talk to Mer about t-ball, ask her to give you her ballgame face. The expression is supposed to strike fear in the hearts of the opposing team when Meredith is up to bat...too bad it's her own coach that pitches to her and gets the full benefit of the face!)


Sunday, June 7, 2009

June 7, 1984

Do you remember where you were 25 years ago? To the minute?

Unfortunately I do. So does my family. And so do many of the people that live in my community.

June 7, 1984 started like the days before. It was hot. And my sister and I had Bible School at church. This was taken on the morning of June 7th. (Don't you love Kristen's glasses? And I'm not sure why we were holding the flowers like they were attached to our chins.) But anyway, the day started normally. (Just disregard the stupid black dots on Kristen's face and on all the subsequent pictures. Stupid scanner and it's dirty glass that I didn't realize was dirty until I scanned everything in.)

That evening, at about 9:45 p.m., a tornado ripped through our community. And right through my parents farm.

I was six at the time, and my memories of the actual tornado are a bit fuzzy. I remember my dad telling us to go to the basement, and my mom running back up the stairs to do something or get something. She did make it downstairs finally, although it has taken me a while to not have anymore dreams where my mom doesn't make it to the basement and to safety with us. As for memories of the actual tornado, I have brief memories of what we did and how it sounded. Thankfully not too many though. (I have enough issues without having to remember it in detail!)

I do remember having to stay in the basement for what seemed like forever. And when we did venture out, it seems like it was up the back stairs to the garage where we either got a phone call that my brother and sister were OK or maybe my brother Mike had gotten home then or something. (Mom, you can verify if that is correct or way off base.) That night my sister and I went to my grandparents house to sleep. We slept in the basement (no bedrooms were in their basement, but I'm assuming we were too scared to sleep on the main level of the house.) Grandma gave us Pepto-Bismol, and to this day I can't stand the stuff.

The next day was when we saw the extent of the damage. Not just to our home and farm, but to our whole community. And in my 6-year-old mind, my whole world had just turned upside down.

Our house didn't sustain too much damage considering what happened to the other buildings on the farm. The large windows in the front of the house were broken (hence the plywood nailed to the front of the house in the picture below.) I think our garage was moved off the foundation a little bit. But this was pretty minor damage to the house.

Our barn was gone. The big, red, awesome old barn was blown to bits. The picture below is obviously before the tornado.

Our beautiful old willow tree in the front yard was damaged beyond repair. And I was just getting to be old enough and big enough to be able to climb it.

The white shed that is wrapped around the tree in the picture below had just been painted a day or two before.

This old corn crib was torn down shortly after the picture was taken. If you can tell, that's my dad carrying me as he walks away from the corn crib. I'm pretty sure I remember crying as that corn crib went down.

And although the destruction seemed devastating to me (and I assume my parents), our farm was a lot better off than our neighbors that lived just up the road from us.

This was our neighbor's house and what used to be their farm. Everything was destroyed. Their house was beyond repair and was demolished. And they moved away.

This was what I've remembered for 25 years. What I've had nighmares about for 25 years. And what has haunted me for 25 years.

I recently heard the rest of the story. How even though so many things were destroyed, God protected us. And sheltered us. And provided for us.

The hundreds of people that came the very next day to help. And they kept coming for days and days after that. They helped clean up the rubble of the destroyed buildings. They brought food. And snacks. And drinks. They picked up debris in our yard. They walked in the fields and rode on wagons in the fields to pick up debris. After they helped us clean up, they also helped us rebuild.

They cried with us. And they laughed with us. (Mom, Ed Martin shared the story during Sunday School this morning of the little stone donkey planter that survived the tornado...and we all had a good laugh. I'm assuming you remember that donkey?) They didn't just help us. They restored our faith and our hope.

This morning our church held a remembrance of the tornado of June 7, 1984. The whole morning we heard stories of God's faithfulness to his people. And stories of the strength of community. And I finally got it. That the tornado doesn't just represent destruction and fear. But community and hope and healing.