Friday, July 24, 2015

Family Update

1. Lamb 2 took a science class this week. I will blog more about his class later. The location ended up changing from where it was supposed to be. That meant a longer drive to chauffeur him than I planned. Ram did a couple of pick ups but it was a 22 mile round trip in traffic. I was so glad when the week was over and we were done with all that driving. He loved his class so it was worth it. The other Lambs weren't interested in doing a science class this year.
2. We received some information on our health plan changes for next year. I spent much of the week researching it online and also e-mailing some fellow pastor wives about what their church plans to do about health insurance for next year. I still have a lot more research to do in order to recommend to the board of directors what I think is the best way for both the church and for our family. I know no one on the board of directors has time to research this. Nor do they have as much interest in this as I do for my health care costs for my family. I misread the information at first and was panicking about the changes. Thankfully I misread it and it is not as bad as I first thought. Health insurance and doctor billing is so drastically different than when I was born. I don't know what the answer is for this whole situation, especially for small LCMS churches. I do know that God will continue to provide for our family even if it is not in the way that we expect or would choose.
3. I listened to most of the Higher Things broadcasts of church services from Grand Rapids online this week. It was a little tricky because of the time change. I needed to get up to get ready to take Lamb 2 to his class anyway so I was able to listen to Matins. It was time to go get him during most of the Vespers so I was only able to listen to about half of those. I prepared supper during most of the Evening Prayers. I could totally get used to all those services live streamed every day and I would never get tired of them. Ram picked up Lamb 2 from class today and when he got home I was bawling because they had just finished singing Behold a Host Arrayed in White and For All the Saints. Thank you so much to Higher Things for the Live Stream. Lamb 1 is excited about going to Higher Things next year. We already have a meeting at church planned for next Sunday to start fundraising and planning!
4. Ram and I both had dentist appointments today. I was shocked when he got home and said he had his first cavity. Just like Lamb 3, they have been watching this tooth for awhile and he finally needed a filling. Because of Lamb 2 breaking his tooth, Ewe's root canal, and Lamb 3's first filling, we have met our dental deductible this year. After I asked Ram a bunch of questions about his cavity, that was my first thought- if he is going to need a filling this is the perfect time to need it since we have met our deductible! I still can't believe he was 40 before he ever had a cavity. The dentist apologized to me again for needing to do 2 root canals. He said that is so rare that he never expected I would need two until he tested my teeth.
5. The Lambs begin two weeks of swim lessons next week. I'm looking forward to seeing how Lamb 2 does this year after his nose surgery last year.
6. I'm going to pick blackberries on Monday so plan on lots of time in the kitchen next week making jam and preparing blackberries for the freezer.
7. I cleaned out my scrapbook closet this week and got things more organized. I'm not done but it looks tons better than before.
8. I went to my naturopath chiropractor today for the first time this calendar year. I was generally not feeling well since we returned from our vacation and I already feel better. I don't understand how naturopath works and perhaps it is all in my head, but I feel it is worth every penny because I feel so much better after I go. He started me on three supplements and I am to let him know in three weeks if they help. I may not need to return to him, we'll see then. I was pleasantly surprised that he only charges $70 an office visit since we have not met our deductible. That is worth it to me.
9. Ram had a funeral last week that was physically and emotionally draining for him and also totally unexpected for everyone in our congregation. We both received a lot of phone calls from members that wanted to talk about it. We have nothing on the calendar tomorrow and we plan to sleep in and relax after a tough week. Funerals were common in MN but Ram has only done a couple of funerals of active members since we arrived in ID. We were both out of practice of the whole funeral interrupt your schedule completely. I don't think most people realize how much work LCMS pastors put into deathbed calls and funerals. This family was shocked how soon Ram arrived at the hospital and he spent a lot of hours after that. We know that is what this saint would have wanted and I was happy to share Ram with her family and he was happy to help them even though it was exhausting.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Broken record

Lamb 3 needed a filling today so he broke his record of no cavities. Now Ram is the only one that never had a cavity in our family. Thankfully Lamb 3's was on a baby tooth. When they got in there they discovered a cavity on the tooth next to the one they saw at his last cleaning. So he had two fillings today. He did great and ate lots of ice cream this afternoon.

Tonight the Lambs talked about the commercial that advertises children's mouthwash and how it claims to prevent cavities. They think the commercial lies because they use that mouthwash daily and Lamb 3 still needed fillings today. I told them that I do think the mouthwash prevents some cavities because only Lamb 3 needed fillings today and also the dentist has been watching this tooth for Lamb 3 for the last couple of years and it finally needed a filling.

By the third child I'm not so upset about fillings, especially on baby teeth. We do continue to faithfully brush, floss, and use mouthwash daily. I can't help that they inherited my  teeth instead of Ram's teeth. We just do the best we can do. And we're thankful for dental insurance to keep the cost down when dental work is necessary.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Technology Changes

I brought home 8 trays of approximately 80 slides in each plus a bunch of misc. slides from my parents. I began trying to figure out what was in each tray to make a priority of making them digital. I think my parents want their wedding and honeymoon pictures digital, I know they don't care about a Seminary presentation that my dad made 40 years ago.

I began by using a flashlight and the process was taking a long time. I took a break from identifying those slides and cleaned out my scrapbook closet. I dug out a few more boxes of slides that my mom gave me several years ago that I never even checked what was on them. I dug out all the negatives that I could find from my pre-digital camera days. I am determined to get all this organized instead of waiting 20 more years like my parents did. I also brought home the negatives from our wedding-the photographer took 700 pictures.

At this point I decided to buy a slide scanner but my F-I-L told me not to. I don't know if he is going to let me borrow one or plans to buy me one for a present or thinks I should just take these to Costco or what his reason is. But I'm obeying and holding off on buying a slide scanner for now.

Today I got the brilliant idea to use the old overhead projector from church to look at the slides. It sped up the process a lot-I placed about 25 slides on at a time and with the light could see the slides much better. I'm finished identifying most of the slides now. My next step is to make a priority list and number the slides to see exactly how many there are. My F-I-L asked how many I had and I really have no idea other than more than 650.

I'm excited to get some of these digital and share with my cousin John and cousin Dawn to begin with. They are both older than me and there are pictures of them as toddlers. There were quite a few of myself as a baby and toddler. After that my parents quit making slides and there are none of my sister. I grew up in Southern IN and a whole tray of slides was pictures of our town. My sister was born there but I'm sure she doesn't remember any of those pictures. I remembered most of the buildings including the school where I went to kindergarten. Out of all the slides those town pictures are the ones that mean the most to me.

I had no idea that my parents had all these slides. I never remember pulling the slide projector out and having a home movie show. Yes, we pulled it out for me to do a few presentations in high school. (Yes, I'm that old!-In my defense the teacher that made us use slides was also my dad's teacher and he retired a few years after I graduated.) Yes, we pulled it out to show slides of my trip to Israel. But showing and talking about pictures of trips my parents took before I was born never happened. I'm excited to get these digital and see what memories they bring back for my parents to talk about.

It's so ironic to me that because we couldn't find the cord for my dad's slide projector I used an overhead projector to help identify the slides. I have no idea what to do with my negatives I took with my first camera that are a disc shape. And I'm not even going to think about what to do with the rest of the VHS tapes of home movies... thankfully I already took several of those to Costco and did that project about 10 years ago, but there are more to do. It's a full time job to keep up with technology changes and decide what is worth keeping and what to let go with the filmstrip projector.

So all this is to say, if you are cleaning out your parent's house or a closet at church and you come across a power cord for a slide projector or light bulbs for an overhead projector, I'll gladly pay postage to you if you send it to me!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Trip home from IN continued

June 19: My cousin's family was in bed by the time we arrived the night before except he stayed up to greet us. In the morning we stayed and visited for a little while. My cousin is Lamb 2's godfather. The Lambs were getting a little wild so they went over to the school playground and for a walk. We were so glad to meet their two year old daughter, Alice. She is named after my grandma's youngest sister, her great-grandma. We had a short visit but we were glad we got to see them. We brought her some play food for her play kitchen that the Lambs had outgrown. In this picture she is holding play food oatmeal.

We stopped at Menards and stocked up on Sprecher root beer since we couldn't get the Lakefront Brewery root beer. We can get Sprecher here but it costs twice as much as Menards. We don't have Menards here. We ate at Cracker Barrel. As we were driving that afternoon a car maintenance light came on. We expected that it was because we had gone over 5000 miles since the last service, but we thought we better have it checked out in case it was more serious. I was using Ram's phone to try to figure out if we could arrive in Cheyenne with the time change before the Toyota there would close on a Friday evening. While I was doing that Ram noticed a Toyota right off the interstate in North Platte, NE. We decided to go to the next exit and turn around and go back to that Toyota. The problem was that the next exit was 40 miles away! U-turns on the interstate are not allowed. So 80 miles later we arrived back at the North Platte Toyota. Sure enough, the problem was just that we needed an oil change when we arrived home. But we felt much better after hearing  there was nothing more serious. While there we decided the 80 miles out of the way was worthy of a Dunkin Donuts trip. It was actually the first Dunkin Donut that Ram had ever eaten. We had planned to not eat until we got to Cheyenne, but we decided to get food from Qdoba while we were there.

The whole North Platte stop took a long time and was totally unplanned. That meant that it was too late to see our friends in Cheyenne. We had planned a stop to see them and let the kids play for an hour and then going to a hotel in Cheyenne.

Since we weren't stopping to see our friends, we decided to drive to Laramie instead of Cheyenne to make the next day less of a drive. We didn't have hotel reservations and the first couple we tried were full. We did find one but it was more expensive than we are used to. It was late and by that point we all just wanted to go to sleep and I didn't mind paying a little extra for a hotel room.

June 20: The Lambs were shocked that this more expensive hotel didn't serve free breakfast, you had to pay for breakfast in their restaurant. We decided to pick up breakfast on our own. We stopped at a Mexican restaurant and got huge breakfast burritos. Some of the Lambs loved that breakfast, others wished we would have stayed at a different hotel.

The rest of the day was spent driving and stopping when necessary. We were hoping that by staying in Laramie we wouldn't get home too late. In the morning I predicted we wouldn't be home until 10pm. Ram was hoping I would not be correct but I was. There was construction and that trip just takes a long time. The late nights before meant we didn't get up super early and get on the road. When we got home we completely unloaded the car and everyone was in bed by midnight. Yes, we all got up and made it to 10am church the next morning! And VBS began on Monday after that and we all made it on time to that too.

This completes my blog posts about our trip to IN. I just barely completed the blog posts before a month after our trip! Next week I'll begin to blog about what has happened since our trip.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Trip home from Indiana continued

June 18: We got up at our hotel and had a bit of breakfast. I had hoped to get up early enough to pop down and say "hi" to friends at CCA, but the late night before meant that sessions already began by the time we would have gone down there. Our first stop was to CUW to see Lamb 1's godmother that works in the library there. We stopped in and saw her, a Looper that works there, and there was one library employee that still worked there that I knew from my time working in the library from college. We gave ourselves a fast tour of the campus to see what has changed since we were there a few years ago.

Lamb 1's godmother said that his godfather was really hoping that we would go downtown Milwaukee and see where he works. He runs the shipping for Lakefront Brewery so we got a tour and he gave us some of their root beer. He had presents for the Lambs including some icons that survived their house fire several years ago. The Lambs had no idea who was on these icons, but they will learn. Lamb 1's godfather was so happy to see the Lambs and show them where he works.

We had not planned on this stop to tour the Brewery shipping and I don't think the Lambs really appreciated a Brewery tour, but they did enjoy the root beer! We got on the road much later than we had planned, early afternoon. We stopped at Target for a few snacks for the road. We stopped at a grocery store hoping to buy the Lambs more Lakefront Brewery root beer but they didn't have it. They did have Lakefront Brewery beer so Ram bought a case for himself ('s not Paleo!). We stopped for supper at Chick-fil-A and other than necessary stops the rest of the day was spent driving. We arrived at my cousin's house in NE at about midnight.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Trip Home from Indiana

June 17: My dad teaches a Wednesday morning Bible class. The location has changed over the years, but they go to a cafe where everyone orders what they want and my dad teaches class while they eat breakfast. The first week we were there Lamb 1 attended and impressed the class with his willingness to read out loud and answer questions. The second week both Lamb 1 and 2 attended. The day we left Fort Wayne no Lambs attended Bible class, but Ram gave my dad a ride home after Bible class as my mom had a doctor appointment.

Ram took Lamb 1 and 2 to basketball camp and then went to pick up my dad. He picked up bagels and yogurt for our drive when he picked up my dad. We spent the morning finishing up packing and finishing a few tasks to help my parents. We shipped home our 6 boxes. We picked up the Lambs and said goodbye to the coaches. This took a little longer than I would have liked and we weren't on the road until almost 12:30pm.

Our plans here were a little crazy. We hadn't been to WI for a few years and I really wanted to see a few friends. My mom thought it was absolutely crazy to go home to ID by way of WI. But I really wanted to go. Our plans were to stop and see my friend Jennifer for about an hour or two and then attend Divine Service at Peace, Sussex, WI. We weren't able to attend the entire catechism symposium (CCA), but we thought it would be worth going to Divine Service and seeing everyone afterwards. I really thought this would be possible with the time change gaining an hour for us.

Traffic was terrible and it took us much longer to get through Chicago than I had planned. My friend, Jennifer, had moved and it took us longer to find her new house than I planned. All 3 Lambs were sitting in the same row of the minivan which made a few more arguments than normal which meant a couple more stops to make everyone happy. We pulled into Jennifer's driveway about the same time as we would have needed to leave for Divine Service. We made the quick decision to just visit Jennifer and cancel our plans to go to church. I hadn't had time to contact very many people and the few that I did contact said they weren't going to be able to attend CCA this year.

The last time I heard from Jennifer I heard that she had a baby boy and he was in NICU for several days after he was born but after that he was fine. That baby boy is now 3 years old. We were so overdue for a visit!

I was so glad we were able to stop and see Jennifer's new house and the Lambs were able to see their animals. Jennifer had prepared supper for us, chicken that was butchered the day before from their farm, potatoes, and vegetables. It was so good, especially after eating too much fast food on our trip. When Jennifer's husband got home he was shocked that we were there as that was not the original plan. Then he joined the conversation and the kids played and the adults talked until 11pm. Dan and Ram shared a bottle of wine that Dan had received as a gift. They joked that we should spend the night there at that point, but we had reserved a hotel close to the church we had planned to go to. We got to our hotel at midnight.

Jennifer shared a kombucha mushroom with me before we left. She has 10 batches of kombucha going at once! I came home and got two batches going. I changed locations for my kombucha at my house and so far the kombucha looks really healthy. It has been nice to freely share kombucha with everyone and not ration it because it is so expensive at the store. Plus I think mine tastes better than store bought! We'll see how long I can keep up two batches at once...

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Last days of Indiana vacation

June 16: This was our last full day in Fort Wayne. In the morning Ram did some handyman jobs for my parents. He hung new hooks by the back door. He removed all the screws and nails from all the walls of the house. I rushed to finish packing what we would take home.

Lamb 1 and 2 went to basketball camp in the morning and we all went to pick them up. We went to Lunchbox Cafe for lunch since Ram couldn't go the week before. Both times we got the last piece of vinegar pie and had to share it with all of us. We stopped by All Saints bookstore and Ram bought a few things, but we didn't let the Lambs buy any more crucifix necklaces. I also bought Advent candles and we put them in the cooler for the drive home. I had Advent candles on my list to replace so I was glad to check that off my to do list.

We ran a few errands in the afternoon-Costco for a few supplies for the trip and gas, bought mulch for my parents, bought more bubble wrap for packing, Half Price Books to trade in a few more books and give Ram a chance to look there even though he didn't buy anything.

I did laundry and finished packing what we were taking home. We mostly loaded the car, just leaving out our clothes and sleeping bags for the Lambs.

We had planned to get a trailer hitch installed by Toyota and rent a trailer to take stuff home. Toyota had a glitch during June and hitches installed by them would not be legal to drive. They assured us this was temporary, but we needed it done in June. I had considered taking a dresser home when I thought we would have a trailer. When it was clear a trailer was not going to work plus it would have been really expensive we went to plan B. Plan B was to not take any furniture home and ship books home that did not fit. We had all 3 Lambs sit in the same row and put the back seats in the minivan down. We actually had quite a bit of room behind the Lambs. We ended up shipping 6 boxes home. 5 of those boxes were media mail so not expensive. All the boxes arrived one week after we shipped them which was only a few days after we arrived home. I hadn't even finished unpacking what we had brought home in the minivan when they arrived. After Ram shipped the boxes I realized we should have squeezed that 6th box that didn't have books in the minivan to save money. I don't regret shipping boxes home because we were able to bring all the books that we wanted home. We also brought home my grandma's scrapbooks and lots of pictures. After the Lambs went to bed we addressed and wrapped in packing tape the boxes that we were shipping home. That took a long time to wrap all sides of 6 boxes in packing tape. We went to bed ready to start going home the next day.

To be continued...

Friday, July 10, 2015

Indiana Vacation Continued

June 15: After we dropped off Lamb 1 and 2 at basketball camp, Lamb 3 and Ewe went to the zoo with my cousin's family. I wasn't too excited about going to the zoo in the heat and humidity with a forecast of rain, but we couldn't think of anything else to do together because the science museum was closed on Mondays. My cousin really wanted us to take our children to the zoo together, just like Sue and I were taken to the zoo by our grandmothers when we were children. She ended up being disappointed that they had changed much of the zoo since we were kids.
Lamb 3 was in a rotten mood, because we were up until midnight the night before. He didn't want to do anything at the zoo. This picture was how he felt, he just wanted to crawl in the egg and go to sleep.

Sue has a memory from the zoo when we were children. My grandma said I could drive the jeep and she really wanted to. Her grandma told her to be polite and let me drive. Then the grandmas decided to drive the jeep one way and walk the other way. So Sue never got to drive the jeep. I don't remember that but she does. She was very disappointed that she didn't have a chance to drive a jeep now, the jeeps are there for photos but not for driving any more. While her son is driving the jeep in this photo, it is how it should be, it was my turn to sit in the back!

After a couple of hours at the zoo because it was raining by that point and Lamb 3 was in no mood to be at the zoo, we left but Sue's family stayed a little longer and saw a little more. My dad had picked up the Lambs from basketball camp. We picked up lunch from Subway and met Sue's family at the Seminary. We ate lunch and some of the kids played on the Seminary playground. We decided to go for a walk through the woods. When we got over there it was very muddy so the walk was canceled. The Lambs were very disappointed that we went to the Midwest but we had no chance to walk through a forest. Here are some pictures we took before we said Goodbye to Sue's family.

We went home and rested for a few hours. I forced Lamb 2 to take a nap. Then we met Lamb 3's godfather, Darin, at a Tincaps baseball game. His godfather had gotten free tickets from Thrivent along with Tincaps cash that could be used for food and gift shop. The game ended up getting rained out but we used the Tincaps cash to buy food. We got nachos and cotton candy as treats. The Lambs had supper before we went to the game but it was fun to let them get junk food. Then we went in the gift shop and spent the rest of the Tincaps cash Thrivent gave us on a t-shirt for Lamb 2, baseball cards for Lamb 3, and a baseball for Lamb 1. Lamb 1 had gotten a Tincaps shirt at Once Upon a Child the week before. We stayed and talked to Darin and his wife until we were sure the game was rained out. It was a fun evening even though we didn't get to see a game. We were talking and I didn't even think to take a picture of Lamb 3 and Darin. Because it got rained out I never got to see a Tincaps game on this trip. Darin planned to keep our tickets and invite some friends to join him for another game since we were leaving town. I think he also had a little of our Tincaps cash leftover for another game. Thank you, Thrivent, for a fun evening!

After the game it was finally time to pick up Ram from the airport. I was nervous with the weather that his flight might be delayed but he was right on time. We tried to look for a place to get him food but everything like Culvers was closed so we just went home and he ate leftovers. When we got home Ewe and the Lambs went to bed right away after our late night before. We were glad that Ram was back with us that evening.

To be continued...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

I am Third!

When I taught in the classroom one summer I took a class at the Lutheran High School. It was called IMPACT and it met for a couple of weeks in June after school got out. It was strange to be "back in the classroom" at my high school, especially because some of the leaders of IMPACT were my high school teachers. When we had breaks during IMPACT, I saw the elementary age boys having basketball camp. It seemed to be a well organized camp. I never imagined some day my boys would attend that basketball camp.

I am on e-mail lists for news from my high school and college. I noticed my high school was advertising their summer camps. I wondered if time wise it would work for the boys to attend a camp while we were in Fort Wayne. It did almost work, they did have to miss the last couple of days of camp. Lamb 1 was very interested in basketball camp so I planned to sign him up. It was expensive so I planned to just sign up Lamb 1. Lamb 2 was also interested so I tried to talk him into tennis camp because it was cheaper. But Lamb 2 also wanted to attend BB camp. I couldn't believe I was writing a check for that much money for two Lambs to attend a camp, but as Lamb 2 said, we might not ever be in Fort Wayne at the right time for them to attend basketball camp again. Lamb 3 was not old enough for the camp and he didn't want to attend any way. It was good for the drive to IN to have basketball camp to look forward to.

The leader of the camp was the CLHS basketball coach and he had several high school and college boys and coaches from other Lutheran elementary schools helping him. I had Coach Reinking's son in my first grade class. Jacob is now in college. Jacob also helped with the camp.
They divided the boys up by grade level. Lamb 2's group went over to the nearby elementary school most of the days to have more room to play games. I never went over there, I just picked them up at CLHS. On the last day Ram and Lamb 3 went over to see if they could see them. They were practicing dribbling then so that is the only picture of Lamb 2 at basketball camp that I have.

Lamb 3 is the same age as Jacob was when I had him in class.

Lamb 2, Jacob, and Lamb 1
Lamb 1 was not in Jacob's group but he practiced in the same gym as Jacob's group so he worked with him more than Lamb 2 did.

Each morning began with a devotion. The theme of the camp was "I am Third!" and that was on their t-shirts. The theme is that you need to place God first, others second, and yourself third in life.

A few of the days I took my camera along and arrived early before camp was done for the day. I got several good photos of Lamb 1 playing. It made me so happy to hear the rest of Lamb 1's team cheering for him and encouraging him during the game. The boys really did practice "I am Third" during the games.

We had planned to leave early in the morning on the second Wednesday of camp which meant they would miss the last three days of camp. They were having such a good time that we decided we could let them stay for Wednesday. I thought with the time change we would be fine to arrive at our destination on Wednesday. I will blog about what happened on Wednesday in another post. I don't regret letting them stay for another day of camp. I feel bad they had to miss the last two days of camp but we needed to start driving home. They are already begging to go to basketball camp at CLHS next summer.

My dad went and picked up their certificates and ribbons on the last day of camp since we couldn't be there. We liked seeing the coaches comments about our Lambs on the back of the certificates. Both Lambs really improved their basketball skills during camp. Lamb 1 would like to play basketball this fall.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Indiana vacation continued

June 14: This morning we attended church with my parents at St. Paul's. There was a teacher being honored at retirement at the early service so we attended late service. They served cake in-between services so we went to that. I also had the Lambs bring their piano books and we snuck in the choir room for the Lambs to play their recital pieces for Grandpa and Grandma. I was so tired and so were the Lambs by this point in our vacation. Lamb 3 and Ewe both almost fell asleep during the service. I didn't know anybody besides my parents at the service we attended so the Lambs were happy that we could leave immediately after church. When we got home I took a nap.
I noticed that the Historic Old Fort was open this weekend so I took the Lambs for a short visit. We had to park far away and it started sprinkling as we walked there. By the time we were inside the Fort grounds it started really raining. As a child I was the most interested in hearing the doctor at the Fort talk about his work. The doctor and his staff were packing up as we got there, they didn't want to be in the rain another day. We were able to peek in some of the other buildings. We did stand in the rain and talk to a man cleaning his rifle about his gun. Finally we went to the Sweet Shop and bought some treats for Ram and the Lambs. I decided to not force the Lambs to see anything else and we would go home. By then it was really pouring and we were soaked by the time we got back to the car.

In the evening my cousin from MI came down with her family. We met them at their hotel and all the kids went swimming for hours. We forced them out of the pool to eat pizza and then they went swimming some more. My cousin and I went up to their hotel room to talk while her husband watched the kids swimming. I hadn't seen her since her husband took his first Call in 2002. I had never met my goddaughter that is 11. It was so fun to get together and we finally left their hotel room and got home about midnight.
Poor Kate was the only girl

Little Nathan almost 4
Big Nathan 7

Nick and Lamb 3 are close in age

Lamb 2 and Nick

My goddaughter, Kate

My cousin, Sue

So much happened the last few days we were in Fort Wayne that I will just post one day today.

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Indiana Vacation Continued

June 11: This day was much more successful than the afternoon before. The last few days we were in Fort Wayne are a blur of us trying to get as much done that we could before we left. In the morning Lamb 1 and 2 attended basketball camp. Lamb 3 helped Grandma make fruit kabobs for a ladies event at church.
In the morning I mowed the entire lawn. I had planned to mow until it started raining but the weather held up long enough for me to mow everything. I took the Lambs to lunch at a restaurant Ram and I liked when we lived in Fort Wayne that is now in a new location. After lunch we went to All Saints Bookstore to look for a few specific items for Ram and for our church. The owner recognized me right away and was shocked that we were shopping in his store. The Lambs decided they wanted crucifix necklaces so I pointed them toward the $3-4 section figuring we could get chains at home. Then began the begging and they were successful in talking me into two each. I couldn't believe my Lambs were begging for crucifixes!
When we finally made it out of there we ran some errands to help my parents. As we were leaving Costco the Lambs asked where our next stop was. Another shopper overheard me say that we were going to the liquor store for boxes but they would need to stay in the car. I got a big lecture about leaving children in hot cars. She didn't know we were just stopping to pick up boxes and the back of the minivan would be open loading boxes. But there was really no other choice since under 21 is not allowed in the store at all. I did laugh because in MN when Ram took our Lambs in the liquor store they gave them candy or stickers! We did go to the liquor store and they had a big pile of boxes ready for me. I took all of them and we used most of them before we left Fort Wayne. We were also happy that the Uhaul store had picture boxes this day.

June 12: Lamb 1 and 2 attended basketball camp in the morning. We seemed to follow a pattern of a great day and then a not so great day. My mom decided to hold a garage sale with just a few of the bigger items including a dresser. This morning it poured rain so we only sold $5 before the rain began. We decided to wait until the next day to continue the garage sale. My dad had parked on the next street so the driveway would be clear for customers shopping at the garage sale. When he went to move his car he had a big  parking ticket. He parked in the same spot he always parked in whenever they had company. I had parked in the same spot the day before he got a ticket. There was really no way to fight it so he had to pay it. We think they were enforcing parking rules more because there were several garage sales in the neighborhood. But there was not a no parking sign and we didn't really think it was fair. Another reason why my parents need to move...
We helped my mom completely load up her car and she drove to several thrift shops and delivered everything. In the afternoon and evening we stayed inside and helped there. I packed almost all of their pictures that were hanging on the wall so that job was completed. It seemed weird to be a Friday night and I was at home packing and doing laundry for my boys.

June 13: In the morning my mom was much more successful at her garage sale. She sold this dresser. The Lambs enjoyed playing cards with Grandma while they helped with the garage sale. Total made on both days of the garage sale was a little more than the cost of the parking ticket so we considered it a success.
My dad had several slides in trays so we decided to pull out the slide projector and figure out which ones would be worth putting on DVD like their wedding and which ones were not worth putting on DVD like his presentations from when he worked for IBM. When we pulled out the slide projector he said he didn't know if it worked. The power cord was not with the slide projector. I really think that it was in the garage and I threw it out a few days before that. So we couldn't look at the slides. My sister thought that Best Buy had a cord and we thought that would be the easiest solution. So on this day the Lambs and I went to Best Buy. Their tech guys were bored so they spent about 45 minutes trying to help me without success. They told me that Kodak went out of business so they don't have any idea how to get a power cord. So the slides are sitting at my house and I'm unsure what we are going to do with the whole project. Do you have an old slide projector that works or a cord I could borrow? I may need to invest in a machine to make the slides digital.

To be continued...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Indiana Vacation Continued

June 8: This day was a big day because Lamb 1 and 2 began basketball camp. They attended every morning from June 8-June 17. I will have a separate post about basketball camp.

In the afternoon we met with an art professor at IPFW. Lamb 1 is interested in majoring in art in college. I meant to just take Lamb 1, but Lamb 2 said he was also interested and he also wanted to attend. Lamb 3 did not want to be the only one to not go so all of us went. It got to be long and boring for Lamb 2 and 3 and I wish I had told them both that they couldn't go.
It was a great chance for Lamb 1 to ask questions and to be encouraged to draw/do art every day. I was very impressed with the art department at IPFW. I attended a Concordia where there were only 3 or 4 art rooms. It was impressive to me all the art displayed in the hallway and all the different kinds of art rooms, especially the metal making room. The professor kept apologizing for the lack of art displayed since it was summer. I think it was the perfect time to visit because no one was in the rooms that we would disturb. I was very glad that we made the appointment and took the time to do this IPFW visit. The professor attends the same church as my parents and it was very kind of him to meet with us.

After we cleaned out the attic I thought we should get a dumpster. My mom was embarrassed that they had so much trash that we needed a dumpster. We found out dumpsters were really expensive $700! After several days of phone calls we found out that the city would take everything on trash day if what would not fit in the trash containers was bagged. This is what the trash men picked up after some trash diggers had taken some of the trash. There was a broken microwave and some stuff sticking out of the barrel that people stopped and took before the trash man arrived. I spent most of this afternoon taking the trash out and cleaning up the garage.

June 9: This day I finally got to meet in person a fellow blogger. I have followed Kristen's blog for awhile and I met her parents a few years ago, but this was the first time I met her in person. After I dropped off Lamb 1 and 2 at basketball camp, Lamb 3 and I went to the Seminary to meet Kristen and her son that happens to have the same first name as Lamb 3. First the boys played on the playground and later on we went in the gym and they played in there. Nathan W. was constantly going, didn't stay in one place long at all! I brought several shoes, books, and a few clothes that the Lambs had outgrown to share with Nathan. It was a fun morning!

Big Nathan Age 7
Little Nathan Age 14 months

As we were leaving there was a turtle on the road so we stopped so Lamb 3 could have some pictures to show his brothers what he saw.

In the afternoon I worked on cleaning up the garage some more. We loaded a bunch of scrap wood for my dad to donate to Habitat for Humanity. They were glad to take what he brought. Later on in our visit when he took a second load of scrap wood they told him they had accepted too many small pieces the first time he went and they weren't allowed to accept that again. He did donate some tools and screws and nails the second time but he brought home most of what he took in that second load. So we asked the neighbors that had taken some of our other stuff if they would be interested in the scrap wood. They were so they came over and loaded all that up in the back of their minivan. While they were there we asked them to help carry a dresser downstairs and they also helped my dad remove an old basketball hoop post. So when they came over that day we accomplished a lot and also helped them out.

My high school job was Dunkin Donuts. While that location no longer exists, I did want to take the Lambs to Dunkin Donuts while we were in Fort Wayne. On more days than I want to admit, I would take the Lambs to run errands and then we would stop by Dunkin Donuts for donuts for them and coffee for me. Dunkin Donuts has happy hour for iced coffee from 2-6pm. That was usually perfect for running errands and then stopping for a treat. I was amazed at all the choices of coffee. When I worked there we had regular or decaf coffee and every once and awhile a weird customer from the East would come in and order iced coffee. The only choice then was cream and sugar or black, no syrups or flavors.

June 10: I dropped the Lambs off at basketball camp and then Lamb 3 and I worked on packing my mom's pencil sharpener collection. We brought it home and it is now in the boy's playroom on display. Here it is at my mom's house before we packed it.

The afternoon was discouraging. We had been going to one liquor store for boxes and they ran out. I tried a second liquor store for boxes and they said they would have some available on Wednesday. When I went they didn't have any ready. I went to the Uhaul store for boxes for large pictures and the first store the line was long to pay and the second store was out of picture boxes. I took the Lambs to Dunkin Donuts and that was all we accomplished that afternoon.

To be continued...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

IN vacation continued

June 5: This day I took a day off and left the Lambs with my parents and spent the whole day with a friend. Sue is a Looper and we were finally able to meet in person. She drove over to Fort Wayne.
First we went to Rome City to tour one of Gene Stratton-Porter's homes. I have read a lot of her books so I was excited to go. We did the tour of the inside of the house and toured the gardens on our own. We did a tiny bit of shopping in the gift shop and returned home to Fort Wayne for lunch.
The only novel I have not read is The Magic Garden.  Thanks to Hyde Brothers bookstore I own all the rest of the novels.

I tried reading The Song of the Cardinal but I didn't like it and have not tried any of her other nature study books.

The view from the house.

The gardens

I must admit that I didn't expect Sue to look like she did. I don't know why I thought she had blond hair like me. I never thought about what she looked like until the morning that it was time to meet.

In the gardens

The entrance from the road

I now want to tour Gene Stratton-Porter's other home. Sue plans to try to go to the other home with her family when they are on vacation this summer. We had planned to meet our friend Jane when we got back to Fort Wayne but she wasn't able to meet us. I wasn't sure where to go for lunch after being away from Fort Wayne for so long. I attempted to mostly keep to my Paleo diet on vacation and Sue tries to eat vegan so I was unsure where to go. We finally settled on an Italian restaurant where we could both have salads and I cheated and had some bread. For dessert we stopped in and had a piece of Debrand chocolate which I don't think was vegan, but it was delicious.

After dessert I took Sue to show her Hyde Brothers bookstore. I bought one book and she didn't buy any, she is planning to return with her family for vacation later this summer. The bookseller was almost offended that two ladies came into his shop but only bought one book. I explained that I had just been there the week before and he didn't feel as bad. It is amazing how much a used bookstore changes in just one week.

Then we went to Panera Bread for her to get a treat for her breakfast and for us both to get a frozen lemonade. We stayed and talked so long that while I wasn't hungry when we came in, I decided to get some soup. We talked and talked until finally I thought it was time to get back to my Lambs. It was so good to have someone to talk to that we have so much in common. Pastor's wives, former classroom teachers, homeschoolers, raising boys, and the list goes on.

While I was gone the Lambs helped my mom pick up the trimmings from the bushes I had trimmed the day before. My mom took them to a splash pad. My dad picked up a pizza for their supper. I think they enjoyed the day and also got some work done to help my parents, but I was gone for 12 hours which was a long time for them.

June 6: This day my dad took us to a Military Appreciation Day at a local church. My dad is a veteran. There was food and speakers. We stayed for a little while after lunch and then left. 
I spent some time on the garage today, finally took pictures of the banners that my dad had made that were up in the attic. The trash pile and give away pile was really growing at this point.
After supper I took the Lambs for a treat of smoothies.

June 7: This morning we attended Redeemer Lutheran. I don't know if I had ever been to a Sunday morning service there with the exception of when my school children sang there. I knew a few people but the Lambs were relieved that I didn't know so many people that we stayed and talked as long as we had the week before at Zion. Lamb 2 commented that the service was a concert as much as a church service. It was lovely along with a good sermon.
In the afternoon I took the Lambs to visit one of the older members from Zion, Lucille. She lost her husband a few years ago, but they were my adopted grandparents while I was at Zion. She was thrilled that I brought the Lambs. They played on the iPad most of the time that we talked. She had a little advice for my parents about downsizing after just doing it herself a few years ago. I hadn't even told her I was coming to Fort Wayne, but it worked out perfect to visit her on Sunday afternoon.

To be continued...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy July 4!

This year is unusual because with July 4 on a Saturday we didn't feel we could travel and be back for church tomorrow. We have spent most of our married years of July 4 at Ram's parents house. When we lived in MN that is when we visited them. I wasn't sure what to cook since we aren't spending it with Ram's parents so it didn't need to be completely Paleo. Here is the menu that I came up with:

Ribs with Ewe's homemade barbecue sauce (In the oven now)
(The Lambs might have hot dogs if they don't want the ribs.)
Homemade potato salad (In the fridge)
Potato chips (rare treat at our house)
Corn on the cob (if the grocery store corn I bought is ok)
Baked beans
Dessert: Ice cream in ice cream cones

There should be lots of leftovers so we'll eat July 4 food for the next several days!

Ram's parents returned from vacation not too long ago too so they were also glad that we weren't coming for the 4th of July so they could rest instead of get ready to entertain us. After all our driving for our vacation I was thankful to not have more driving to celebrate the 4th of July.

We may peek outside to see if we can see any fireworks from our house, but we have no plans to go to fireworks tonight. I sound like a party pooper, but we have finally caught up on sleep after our crazy vacation and it is hot out there. I am looking forward to next week where the weather is finally predicted to be less than 100 and one day is even predicted to be less than 90! Next year July 4 is on a Monday so hopefully we can go back to normal of celebrating with Ram's parents.

Organic blueberries were on sale at the grocery this week so I stocked up and am making jam today. This is the first jam I have made this year.

Ram bought the Lambs more sand yesterday so they are busy playing in their sand table today with a few of the neighbor kids.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Indiana vacation continued...

June 2: The Lambs and I ran some errands to help my parents. We dropped off stuff at the thrift shop. We bought cat litter to help dry up some old paint in the garage.
We went to Once Upon a Child and traded in a pack-in-play that we had kept at my parents for when we visited when the Lambs were little. The Lambs found several t-shirts including a Tincaps shirt that they wanted. The trade was even so we didn't have to pay sales tax.
My parents had their realtor stop by to give them advice on what else to do before they put the house on the market. They set a goal to put the house on the market at the end of the month. I was a little embarrassed to have the realtor come when we were in the middle of so many projects and everything was such a mess. But her coming was helpful, it reminded us that taking pictures off the wall was important and tips like that.
The boys spent much of the time in IN playing with these old wooden spools from my grandma. My mom and her siblings played with these, my sister and I played with these, and every time kids visited my grandma the tub of spools came out to play with. We also had two small elephants that we built houses and swimming pools for them out of the spools. My sister said we could have the spools but she wanted the elephants.
One problem I never had because I was an only child for 7 years was there are 3 Lambs to play with one tub of spools. The Lambs solved this by having "auctions" for the pieces they really want. Lamb 1 is usually the auctioneer-"Who would like this block?, it costs two spools." We brought the spools home and they are now playing with them in my living room. We can no longer go to to my grandma's house and soon we won't be able to go to the house my parents lived in the longest, but it makes me so happy that my Lambs are still playing with the same wooden spools.

June 3: Lamb 1 got up and went to my dad's early morning Bible study. The other Lambs were jealous that he got breakfast there so we went for bagels. I met my friend, Nancy, for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. We were both single and both attended church at Zion when we met. She is now married with one son. It was great to have lunch out and to see her.
I took the Lambs with me to Half Price Books to trade in the books that we brought that Hyde Brothers did not want. There were 4 boxes of books remaining. I had removed some of the nicer children's books to give to a friend in Fort Wayne and we didn't want what was remaining. They took a long time to look at that many books, it was probably the longest it has ever taken, and this time I happened to have all the Lambs with me. We were required to stay in the store while they looked at our books which was a very dangerous thing. I didn't do any shopping for myself, but the Lambs asked for $23 more in books than the little bit of credit we got for the books we traded in. I did let them get everything they asked for because Lamb 1 found several books he was interested in reading and they also found some books to complete a series of books that Grandma got some of the books for them. It is not often that we take the boys shopping for books, we usually shop for books when we are on a date or just expect them to read library books. I was glad they had so many books that the Lambs were interested in.
After the book store took so long I took the Lambs to a park and let them play on the playground as a reward. Lamb 1 was not too happy to do that as he wanted more boys his age to play basketball with, but the other Lambs loved playing on a different playground.
After supper the Lambs were playing outside and Lamb 1 came inside screaming that an insect had flown into his ear. My mom didn't have any hydrogen peroxide so Lamb 1 and I went to the store to buy some. Thankfully the insect flew out on it's own so we didn't need an ER visit. We rinsed the ear out with diluted hydrogen peroxide and he was fine.

June 4: My dad went with us for a tour of the Sechler's pickle factory. The Lambs didn't like the tour very much but they loved sampling the pickles. I spent over $50 on pickles in their store. Most of the pickles were $2 to $3.50. Our local grocery carries a few varieties, but nothing like every variety in their store. When we buy them locally they are almost $5. The Lambs wanted several different varieties. It will be fun to open jars over the next several months and try several different kinds.
I finally tackled mowing the back yard in the afternoon. It was still wet after all the rain and took a long time. I trimmed a few bushes in front of their house. I wish I would have trimmed all their bushes that day, but I was tired and it was hot. I never did finish trimming the bushes because it rained so many days while we were there.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Indiana vacation continued

May 30: I took Ram to the airport so he could go home and not miss too much work.
My dad invited us to be his guests to the zoo, Thrivent paid our admission fee and served lunch too. While we were eating lunch in the pavilion it started to rain. The Lambs ran out in the rain as they didn't want to miss it. We told them they were no longer in ID and it would probably rain all day, not just 10 minutes. I pushed my dad in a wheelchair around the zoo. We didn't see everything because of the rain, but we enjoyed our visit.

May 31: It was raining when we attended church at Zion. I taught at Zion. We didn't know very many people any more, but it was great to see those we did know. The Lambs enjoyed seeing the new organ console and talking to the organist about it.
I decided since it was a rainy day it would be a great time to tackle the attic. The Lambs and I were able to get everything down from the attic and into the garage. My dad had several church banners stored up there. There were some items that neither my dad or mom recognized and thought that perhaps it was up there from the previous owner.
When we were almost done in the attic I sent the Lambs for showers. Soon Lamb 2 came downstairs screaming that he needed help with the shower. Neither my dad or I could get the shower to turn off. This was in the guest bathroom that was rarely used any more. We made an emergency call to the plumber and he was able to get it off temporarily but we were unable to use water until the plumber returned the next day and fixed the shower permanently. All the Lambs had taken a shower, but I had not and I was in the attic the longest. So we drove across town to one of my mom's friend's house so I could take a shower and a short visit with her. I treated everyone to Culver's for supper after all that. Now we knew another reason why my parents need to move-their house is old and they continually need to fix stuff. My mom felt so bad that we had worked so hard in the attic and then I couldn't even take a shower.

June 1: Today the plumber came and fixed the shower. We all worked together to help my dad in his office. For several years he had some cabinets and file cabinets in front of the fireplace. He decided to clean out all that and move what he wanted to keep to the garage organized nicely. We put a cabinet out for free and some neighbors took it and offered to help us lift furniture if we needed help and also take more free stuff if we had more to offer. Just before lunch my mom somehow got a splinter in her finger. She still isn't sure what happened as she wasn't working with wood. I encouraged her to get a nurse to take it out, especially since we didn't know if it was wood or metal or what. While she was getting that done, I wasn't sure where a couple of things were in her pantry so I took the Lambs to the grocery for a few more items for lunch.
After lunch I took the Lambs to great store that is like Oriental Trading but in a building so you don't have to pay shipping. The Lambs had some souvenir $ burning a hole in their pocket and this place was much cheaper than buying souvenirs in a gift shop.
I mowed the front lawn for my parents but it was really too wet to mow so saved the back lawn for another day.
I went to bed early after all the activity of the past few days.

To be continued...