Friday, August 31, 2007

Grandma's Treasure

The other treasure that she kept,
Was someplace special when she slept.
In the rocker lost in thought,
Sat the woman overwrought,
Looking out at winter's night,
No moon, no stars, no God in sight.

Darkness beyond the panes foretold,
The pain her heart could barely hold,
A soul so empty, an abyss of black,
She just wanted her baby back.

Snatched from life, her child of forty-two,
Her little girl this woman knew,
A bundle of energy in pretty dresses.
With chubby cheeks and golden tresses,
Who squealed with delight at simple things,
A bird, a dandelion, and butterfly wings.

Memories much too hard to bear,
Sat the woman in the rocking chair,
Eyes turned downward as she wept,
Eyes that beheld the treasure kept,
Her baby's blanket -- soft, threadbare,
The scent of her babe's life still there.

"Why did you take her?" she asked the night,
"What makes you think you had the right?
And of course no answer came,
There was no God to call her name.

No God to save this poor lost soul,
No God to fill that painful hole,
No God to take her daughter home,
In the cold, cold ground, lay her babe alone.

Eyes that swelled from many a tear,
Begged her to doze, but she wouldn't dare,
For if a night was ever spent,
Without that special place she went,
She'd lose the other treasure she kept,
That someplace special when she slept.

Where she went she could not recall,
The dream eluded her, details all,
Only fragments of that place would come,
Like an elusive word upon one's tongue.

But the dream stayed with her as she woke,
Bathed her in a comforting cloak,
Peered through her thoughts throughout the day,
Pushing, pushing that darkness at bay.

Where was that place?
She wanted to know,
Had she been there long ago?
Or was it a place just in her mind?
Or a place she had yet to find?

And as these questions filled her head,
The woman refused to go abed,
For if that treasure wasn't hers that night.
She'd have no reason to live, to fight.

She brought the cloth up to her nose,
Her baby's effervescence rose,
Pain stabbed her heart a newfound hole,
And the woman cried out with all her soul:

"Help me Lord, Oh help me please!"
As she slipped down to her knees,
"Help me Lord to understand,
What it is that you have planned!"

And from her knees the woman sank,
Upon the floor of hardwood plank,
The blanket clutched close to her heart,
The treasure with which she refused to part.

The sobs subsided with wracking breaths,
Erupting from her inner depths,
Then unwittingly she fell asleep,
And went to that place that was hers to keep...

She found herself upon a hill,
A cloudless day, the air so still,
The scent of flowers, softly sweet,
And green, green grass around her feet.

Around her feet?

No, for miles around,
Beautiful hills and valleys she found,
And as her eyes took all their fill,
A lamb hopped over the grassy hill.

Chasing a bird, the lamb so young,
Circled and danced and ran and sprung,
Then stood still as its eyes came to rest,
On the woman and cloth held to her chest.

It stared at her with eyes so blue,
The same eyes as her child of forty-two,
Then bounding past the woman, it ran,
Into the arms of a shepherd man.

The woman turned to see this man,
To whom the baby lamb had ran,
With breathless gasps she cried a plea,
"Oh,my Lord, have mercy on me!"

"Oh yes my child, my lamb so dear,
My mercy is great, that's why you're here,
And this baby lamb I hold, you see,
Is the babe you lost, but she's with me.

Do not lose heart, don't turn from Me,
Release your anger and you'll be free,
For when you speak to Me with love,
Your words will reach your babe above.

So pray without ceasing,
I tell you now,
Speak with your soul, you now know how,
Until that day when you come home,
Your daughter will never be alone."

"Oh yes, my Lord," her voice so meek,
As the Shepherd touched her cheek,
And wiped away her one last tear,
Such love her soul could hardly bear.

And as the Shepherd turned to go,
The lamb lunged at her and deftly stole,
The other treasure that she kept,
The baby blanket in which she'd wept.

Then, off it ran in leaps and springs,
And faithfully followed it's newfound King,
But as it reached the crest of the hill,
The lamb abruptly stopped, stood still.

Turning its head with the blanket it took,
Gazing at her with a gentle look,
For one short moment, mother and child,
Shared a farewell, silent and mild. . . . . .

There the dream faded as the woman arose,
Up from the floor where she took her repose,
And looking about and all around,
The treasure she kept could not be found.

Then came from her heart, a glorious song,
For the baby blanket now was gone!
The two great treasures she once had kept,
One physical, the other when she slept,
Were now in Heaven where they belonged,
With the Shepherd for Whom she now longed.

Grandma, it's now time to go,
Go home to Jesus as we know,
Your baby girl is waiting there,
An eternal life you now will share.

Peace and love you will only feel,
The two of you wait for us to heal.
Someday we'll reunite our family,
In Heaven where we will all be.

My dearest Grandma, I love you deeply! I pray for you to have peace and happiness as you soon go home to Jesus. Our Lord is waiting there for you with your daughter. I am thrilled to know she's is there ready to spend an eternity with you. Your pain and longing for your dear Margaret will soon be over. Go in peace, Grandma, and give my mom a hug for me! I will miss you both more than you will ever know. However, I know you will have each other and you will have Jesus! You are blessed and will forever be in His care!

Always and forever,
Your granddaughter Colleen

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another Week of School and Lots of Laundry....

Yellow and Blue Day went much better and I am sure Green day will be fine Friday, as well. Kate is studying the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear at school and working on a color unit. Thus, the color days at school. We have another week of dressing in particular colors, and frankly, I will be glad when it’s over. I am working very hard at catching up on laundry here and the need for particular colored clothes is throwing off my new found laundry system.

Megan, on the other hand, is not as thrilled to be back in school. I think third grade is going to be full of challenges and hurdles Meg is just not wanting to overcome. School has always been a bit tough for her and I think she is realizing she has to work pretty hard. She is a trooper when it comes to learning and doing her schoolwork; she just wishes it were a bit easier. Mike and I continuously make a conscious effort to praise her and remind her how well she is doing, but she is now realizing where she stands.

If Pigpen were in Tim’s class, I think our little guy would have that dirty Peanuts character beat hands down for messiest desk. We are into day #8 at school and he already needs to spend time reorganizing his belongings at school. Gotta love Tim’s creative mind and eagerness to learn, but when it comes to neatness ~ not so much! I have, however, been so impressed with his desire to do his best work in fourth grade. That was something we strongly impressed on him in third grade last year. To him, doing what the other kids did was just fine with him. He didn’t see a need to work to his fullest potential. And, taking after Dad, there is lots of potential there for him. Hallelujah, Lord, Tim has finally figured it out!
Our Little Scientist

Mike has had another exhausting week at work. This is leading into Week 5 of late nights and lack of sleep. Not only do we miss Mike here, but he also needs some rest. Our Disney Cruise couldn’t come too soon. The man needs those scheduled days at sea to rest and do nothing! And, although, sitting around drives Mike absolutely crazy, I have a feeling he is going to be just fine sitting on the upper deck of the ship soaking in the Caribbean sunshine.

I am onto the piles of pool towels now after finally getting through loads and loads of clothes. Thank goodness! Next week I am heading to Sears to buy those large capacity machines. Enough is enough and it’s time to get rid of the machines we bought when we were first married 15 years ago. They were fine for small loads for the two of us, but not anymore! I have also spent lots of time on the phone with my grandma as she was admitted into the hospital last Sunday. At 86, she is beginning to fail and the doctors continually find more complications causing her illness. I pray God will ease her pain and let her live her last days happy and at peace. Lots of emotions are streaming through me now and I have lots on my mind. Death and dying is never easy and it really hurts when it’s someone so close.

That’s pretty much the news here at the Monfils’ house. It’s just been another week getting back into school and getting through piles of laundry. I ask that you please add my grandmother to your prayers as she undergoes care at Christ Hospital.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Red Day

Today is Red Day. That is, it is Red Day for all the kindergartners in Mrs. McWethy’s class. So, today Kate is supposed to wear red.

Mornings are not going so great here. Kate is extremely tired and does not want to wake. She rolls over and says it’s too early. This doesn’t surprise us at all. Ever since Kate was a baby, she has LOVED to sleep. When she was a toddler, I would wake her no later than 10 o’clock in the morning. Enough was enough and it was time for her to start her day. She takes after her Mama. Colleen loves to sleep in as well. Dad does, too, however the O.R. begins its scheduled day much earlier than that.

Back to Red Day… So, this morning it was time to get dressed ~ in red, of course. Having carefully chosen the perfect outfit the night before, Kate’s clothes were hanging on her closet doors. However, being the tired kindergartner that she is at 7:15 in the morning, red just was not her favorite color today. She didn’t like the outfit (that she was just fine with 12 hours prior) and didn’t want to wear red for Red Day. Before Mom started seeing red, we finally agreed on an outfit (which did contain some red…) and went on with the rest of our morning routine. On the way to school Kate asked, “Why do we have to wear red anyway? I already know my colors and just want to read some books already.”

There ya have it! Kate’s 5 year old thinking in a nutshell!

Monday really wasn’t any better for Brown Day. Kate wouldn’t even wear brown at all. She has the most darling brown dress, too. I am thinking she just isn’t into this color thing. All she can talk about is how she wants to learn how to read. I guess her wishes could be worse.

I am sure Blue Day won’t be any different. Gotta love the first few weeks of all-day kindergarten!


Comments left on this blog will be published. However, if a comment is rude or has little to do with the post ~ it will not be published. We share our stories with you. We leave it up to you whether to read and leave or read and comment. If you chose to comment, do so by signing your name. If you decide not to leave your name, we have decided not to publish your comment.

Colleen and Mike

...So, for the person who left the anonymous comment Monday evening, feel free to send it again with your name. We would be happy to publish it once you admit to your writings! Until then, consider yourself (and your comment) trashed!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Colleen's Little Secret

Well I have been blogging for about a month now. I know we have had many visitors to the site and many of the readers are getting to know us a bit better. Or, at least getting to know what’s going on in our lives. Some of our posts have been random, but many have been about the kids, our family and what’s happenin’. Today I have decided to stretch myself a little further and share something with all of you about me… I am not much of a risk taker when it comes to opening myself up to everyone. Sure I can talk, share ideas and most definitely voice my opinion if asked, but I pretty much go with the flow as far as the average on-looker would know or say not wanting to make waves. So, in this post, I have decided to open my heart up to all our readers and let them know what’s up with me and what I have “really” been thinking about lately. I am doing this mainly for a selfish reason. I think I need to open up about this to make it more real. It’s been weighing heavy on my heart and I want to share it with everyone here (who obviously cares or else you wouldn’t be checking in with the blog, right!?) I am glad to share this with each of you, and I am doing it to take a BIG step forward…

As you know, I have Haiti in my heart and adoption on my mind. I continue to pray and wait patiently for God to tell lead me to the answer to many of my questions about this. So, while I wait, I would like to introduce you to Jonathan. He is a little guy I have been praying lots about! He is a 23 month-old Haitian orphan who lives at Three Angels Orphanage currently. Jonathan was abandoned at Angel House in July. His mother can no longer care for him, and the staff at the orphanage is working hard to get him healthy. He was very malnourished when he arrived and very quiet. He is much healthier already and is opening up to those around him. I hear he has a spunky little personality and is very capable of letting the adults know just what he needs and wants. (Hmmm… That reminds me of someone else in my family here… Right, Kate???)

Anyway, there it is. Now you all know WHO I have on my mind. This has been a VERY BIG piece of information I have decided to share being that it is very personal to me. I am not much of a blabbermouth when it comes to sharing the “inside scoop” on my life, feelings and stories. Not that it is a bad thing to share; it’s just something I have kept very close to my heart. Sometimes when we lay our heart out on our sleeves, it can get squished. I am not concerned about getting hurt, just cautious about sharing such a BIG story!

I have committed to waiting a bit before making any decisions. I want to travel to Haiti, meet the children and learn about the organization. I also want Mike to do the same, let him see how we go through this and what his impression is to it all. Mike is my rock and my link to reality. I really do not want to make any decisions based solely on my emotions. If I did that, I would be adopting every child who needs a family! I am trying to be well informed and logical about this process, too. So, until then, I will continue to pray and ask God to help me see what to do once we meet Jonathan. I also understand the little sweetie could be spoken for by the time we arrive in November. I am completely okay with that, as well. It is God’s will and I would be forever grateful to the parents who would take him into their forever family!

For now, I will continue to pray about Jonathan. We will get to meet him in November, and it will be so fun to play with him and the other children. What an incredible experience it is going to be! So, if you wouldn’t mind, I ask you add this little sweetheart to your prayers. He certainly can use a blessing from God and a forever family to make him their own. God has great plans for this little guy!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Power of Postitive Thoughts

Your beliefs become your thoughts
Your thoughts become your words

Your words become your actions
Your actions become your habits

Your habits become your values
Your values become your destiny

~ Mahatma Gandhi

....Just more uplifting thoughts to get myself through a trying day... Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!


Friday, August 24, 2007

Thinking Positive

“…Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.” Romans 12:2

God wants us free from the negative voices within us. He has given us a way to determine whether our beliefs and emotions are true or false. God promised to “transform our minds to know the truth” (Romans 12:2) when we compare our situation or perceptions to His Word. God wants us to know that His plan for us is to prosper in our daily lives.

Negative thoughts can hold us back from enjoying and prospering in our relationships, jobs, and health. Many times, we allow negative thoughts to determine our emotional response; thoughts of fear, abandonment, and betrayal. Many people are trapped by the negative recorded messages of “I don’t deserve” or “if you only knew what I’ve done” or “I have been so hurt, I can’t forgive”. We should shed these thoughts and listen to the Lord.

~ from
Angela L. Craig at a site of devotionals for girlfriends

I have always found this to be the best way to go through life ~~~ looking at the positive side of things always knowing God will provide. God is so good and I am so blessed. Even when times are not so good and tragedy prevails, I know God is there working His plan. I work so hard on being thankful and remembering all the wonderful blessings God has given our family. I do my best to “pay it forward” each day as the good Lord as blessed the Monfils over and over again!

It does pay to think positive and listen to what God is telling us. He has a wonderful plan for each of us. If we stop to listen, He will provide us with the directions to that plan! Sometimes it may take a while to hear what God is saying, but patience and thinking good things helps!

I write this entry to help keep myself in check. There are certainly days when it gets crazy around our house and I forget all I need to be thankful for in my life! I do look back on my writings often and will use this as a great reminder when the going gets tough! I hope it has also helped those who read our blog.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Doing the Happy Dance!

It's official! And, Colleen was able to do the Happy Dance this morning in front of Tilton Elementary School. All three kids are in school! YEAH!

It's a day of mixed emotions, but I cannot wait to get to the laundry and organizing of the house. It was a very busy summer and it is certainly noticeable when you look around.

The kids LOVE their teachers and I just know it's going to be a great school year for each of them!



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Finished Product

This is what I have been doing a majority of my time the last few weeks ~ painting, painting and painting… It has been so much fun and I am so thrilled with the end result. The mural is in the front entrance at the kids’ elementary school. It decorates the doorway to the reading specialist’s classroom. It’s Mrs. McMahon’s “Reading Tree House!” How fun for all the Tilton School students who enter the room ready to learn to read!

I know Megan is going to love it! She has been working with the reading teacher since kindergarten. Although she says she ‘hates” reading, she really is doing a great job now and has become such a good reader. My goal for her this year is to get her to like the subject and Mrs. McMahon’s new reading room will certainly help do the trick! It is so inviting and has fun chairs and beanbags for reading time. Meg has already had a chance to see the room and enjoys spending time in there. I just pray now that her attraction to the room carries over into loving books (At this point, I’ll even take a liking…)

Kate has also had plenty of time admiring the mural. As my PTO sidekick the past year, she knows the halls of Tilton School in and out. She spent many mornings with me at school as we completed the project. She cannot wait to be in Mrs. McMahon’s room to learn to read. I can’t wait to see her read, as well. It’s so fun watching a new reader begin to sound out letters, then blend those sounds into words and eventually read full-on sentences. Kate already loves looking at books and making up her own stories to the pictures. As a matter of fact, she knew our mural was a copy of The Bernstein Bears Tree House (thanks to my wonderful friend and artist Jen!) because of all the books we read together.

Tim thinks the room is really cool. He especially likes the mushroom chair and park bench. Although Tim is not going to be in the classroom as a fourth grader this year, he thinks it’s a great addition to the school’s front entry. Let’s just hope all the other kids think the same…

Actually, word around the district is that everyone needs to stop and see “The Wall” at Tilton. I have already had two teachers from other schools ask if “I am on loan” and can help them do something in their building. I think it’s a great idea and I hope the artwork become contagious. Every school needs a bright hallway and inviting atmosphere. I sure think Tilton School has had a great start!

Mrs. McMahon and I have already talked about plans to continue the mural throughout the rest of the entry. We want to add a school tree house by the office door and some sort of sky or solar system on the ceiling. Whatever we do, I know it will add so much to the school!

I can’t wait to be at school tomorrow morning to hear all the comments from the kids. They are going to be so pleasantly surprised!!! J

Monday, August 20, 2007

My Tater-Tot!

All kidding aside, I am very torn about my little Tater-Tot going off to Kindergarten. Kate will be six this October, so I know it is very much time for her to enter elementary school, make lots of new friends and learn all she can. I also know she has spent every day with me for the past 5 and a 1/2 years and has become "Little Colleen." It's definitely time for her to become her own person. (And I cannot wait to see who that is!) However, there is a big side of me that is going to miss my little peanut and all we have done together. We have had our days all to ourselves for over three years now while Meg and Tim have been in school. There has been lots we have done together that will soon be a memory only in my heart...

There is so much I will miss with "Kate and Mom" time each day...
~Cartoon watching snuggled in bed after Tim and Meg leave for school.
~Listening to your voice while you play and I shower to get ready for our day.
~Seeing the outfit you chose so carefully to coordinate with mine.
~Making breakfast together and eating on the porch while we watch the dogs run in the yard.
~Grocery shopping, Walmart shopping and going to Halmark to pick out cards for friends.
~Sneaking into Daddy's office to surprise him with a hug.
~Meeting Daddy for lunch.
~Walking to and playing at the park with friends.
~Dropping you off at preschool and being told to "leave" as you were ready to play with friends.
~Taking naps together.
~Picking up Meg and Tim from school after playing on the swings outside.

These are wonderful memories I will keep so close to my heart as my little baby girl has now grown more. I am so thrilled to see Kate off to kindergarten on Thursday. Although it'll be a morning of mixed emotions, I know it is time to see her enter a new phase of her life!

Katie, darling, I pray for only good things to happen to you as you enter kindergarten. I know God will be with you each and every day as you venture out under the wings of the new lady in your life ~ Mrs. McWethy. God is going to lead you to learn great things this year and guide you through the new experiences you will soon encounter. I hope you have so much fun and enjoy every day at Tilton School. You are a wonderful little girl and will make so many new friends. I look forward to hearing your stories about them and all your learn each day at school. I know you will do your very best and be on your best behavior. You are a good, little girl and I am so proud of you already! Have a wonderful school year in kindergarten, Tater-Tot!

I love you the most in the whole-wide world!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm Free!

The kids begin school Tuesday ~ even Kate! She will be entering kindergarten this year. All-day kindergarten if I may add. My baby is all grown up! This also means all the kids will be gone from 8 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. EVERY DAY! So, I will have all this time to myself. Yahoo! I can’t wait!

The first thing I plan to do is catch up on laundry. There has to be a good 12 loads waiting to be washed, dried, folded and put away. I even have it written on the calendar for the week. I don’t want to schedule anything else until I get it all done. Then, I plan to go through all our personal paperwork and organize it. I want it all categorized and alphabetized. When I pull open that file cabinet drawer, it’ll be so easy to find anything needed. I even plan to type out the labels so it looks super neat! Continuing on with this organizational thing, I plan to go into the play/craft room and go through every single toy and craft supply. If we don’t play with it, it’s going in the donate pile. If we use it, it’s going to find a tidy home in a new container or drawer. The room is going to have “Clean Sweep” written all over it!

After I accomplish those few tasks, I plan to get into every single closet like a gang buster. Any clothes that don’t fit will be handed down. The same goes for the shoes. Plus, all alike things will be grouped together so they will be easy to find on school day mornings. Once that is done it will be onto the garage. There are piles of summer toys and boxes of stored junk I will weed through and organize or toss. Hoping to build a couple of shelves, I want to get everything off the floor as well. I’ve gotta get that garage ready for the winter mess! As soon as this is complete, I am going to get Tim’s room moved to the basement. I have promised him a “cool kid’s” room with camouflage and new furniture. Poor guy still has our old garage sale finds to store his p.j.s and socks… How cool will that be, however, to paint camo on the wall! Then of course, I will reorganize his old room upstairs back into the office/guest room it once was. That means I will have to repaint the walls after endless caulking of every tack hole from all of Tim’s posters.

Oh! I almost forgot! I have lots to do at the school this year. I am once again PTO president, so there are many tasks on that list, too, that need to be accomplished. First we have Back-to-School Night and Grandparent’s Day coming up right around the corner. I’ve made a mental note to be sure to bring the camera for yearbook pictures these days, too. I also have to get volunteers set up for all the committees the board has created and be sure the people in charge have everything ready to go. And, certainly, I want to work in the kids’ classrooms. I just love being with the kids and helping their teachers. It sure brings back old memories of days in my own classroom! (Now, back then, I was really busy!) With Kate in school now, I have 3 classrooms to work in, so there will be plenty to do there I am sure.

I can’t believe I am going to have time for myself every day for five days each week...! I know I will set a personal goal to become healthier and develop some sort of exercise routine. That will be no problem with the time I will have soon. Plus, I will have so much darn energy from all that exercise, I am sure I will run around getting so much done. Not to mention I plan to treat myself to a pedicure every now and then. How fun will that be? And, although I will have so much new-found energy from my exercise program, maybe I will just take a leisurely nap every once and a while... Finally, I will keep this blog up-to-date for sure! I will have so much free time; there is no reason why I can’t…

This is where the title of today’s entry comes from… “I’m Free!” I certainly hope I won’t be bored out of my mind with all this spare time while the kids are at school. Maybe some of you could give me an idea or two of what I can do with the extra time on my hands….

HA! Maybe I was better off when the kids were still home with me? So much for my freedom…

...and now I need a nap just from writing about all I will be doing. I'm pooped!

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Cabin

Did anyone see ABC's Brothers and Sisters episode last season when the entire family spent their last weekend at the family lake house? I remember thinking how cool it would be to have a place like that for our kids. The show centered around the memories made at the lake house over the years. However, chances of us ever finding a place would be slim to none. Mike has to be within an hour driving distance from home ~ being that he is on call 24/7, it makes it near impossible to leave town often. Although we did have the Rock River only 15 minutes away from us, property was hard to come by. I thought it was too bad we couldn't do something like that. However, we do have a beautiful home and so much to offer the kids and their friends there. We are very blessed to have all we do.

Funny thing happened last Superbowl Sunday... We were at our friends house watching the Bears (sad day for us Bear fans...) My friend Brenda and I were searching for homes for rent for a summer vacation on the pc during halftime. One search led to another and we ended up on a homes for sale site. And, there it was! What seemed like a move-in ready three bedroom house on the Rock River only 25 minutes from home. Not only was the location perfect, but the price was, too! So, of course, I had a bug placed in ear and had to look into it. (It was another one of those moments when I got a gleam in my eye and Mike knew he was in for it!) Sure enough it was a great house and the sellers were motivated since they had already been relocated to Arizona of all places...HA! So, to make a long story short, we ended up buying the house the first of March.

Needless to say, we have been enjoying all our time spent at the "Cabin" this summer. We were hoping this would get us out on the boat more often while creating a life-time memories for our family... ...So far so good, I'd say! We have been there every weekend since the beginning of May and have been having lots of fun!

The kids have loved the time at the Cabin. They have made new friends and play outside more. YEAH! We have fishing, boating, swimming, tubing, skiing, tire swinging and so much more for them. I am actually amazed at the numerous games they can come up with using with an old stick or rock. Sure makes me think back to when we were kids and would spend hours on end outside playing not needing a movie or video game to keep us entertained. They take turns inviting a friend and love showing them around the place. Some weekends they each have a friend or two making for one crowded cabin at night. That doesn't seem to bother anyone since no one has trouble finding a bed, couch or air mattress to crash out on after a day full of activities.

The Cabin has been GREAT for Mike, too! We have met many of the neighbors there and have really enjoyed time with them. Mike is not only able to boat whenever he wants, but gets to laugh and, most importantly, unwind ~ something he can never do at home. Some of the goofy things they do brings back many college memories ~ yikes! It has been such a blessing in that alone actually as Mike works so hard and so very long each week. It is great to see him get to relax!!! I also love it up there. Not only do I get a break from all the laundry, cleaning and housework at home, but I enjoy the quality time with the kids and my hubby. We spend more time together playing, cooking and having fun without the distractions we have at home.

I truly believe buying the Cabin has been such a blessing. We were needing something to pull us together as a family. Mike is gone an awful lot and the kids are becoming so darn busy, at times it is so hard to find time to be all together as a family. Although the Cabin is only 25 minutes from home, we seem like we are in another world when there. It's a whole other place I so appreciate and am thankful for. God knew what he was doing Superbowl Sunday. I am so thankful for his guidance and our great fortune of finding the Cabin. Thank you for blessing us once again, Lord!

Give us a holler anytime. We love having guests and have plenty of space! Plus, we ALWAYS have smores fixins'!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

How Many More Days...?

...until school begins? I am not sure I can last with 5 more days of summer vacation... Calgon, PLEASE take me away!!!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Haiti Is In My Heart...

…Mike and I are heading to Haiti in November. I have booked the flights and made a deposit for the trip. For those of you I haven’t been in close contact with lately, I have an itch, a yearning, a drive, a calling, a wish, a want, and an ache in my heart…. Something happened last February and I am now “stuck on” Haiti.

It happened after a heart-to-heart conversation with Mike last winter. We were both talking and agreeing that Tim would have made the best big brother to a little boy. We notice how patient he is with other little boys and how caring he is with them. He is so good at playing at their level and teaching them things little boys “should” know. Tim loves being the “cool kid” around them and does whatever he needs to make the little ones happy. The next evening we were out for a family dinner. Tim was at one point (which is quite often lately) irritated with teasing of his two sisters. He looked at me from across the table and said, “I wish I had a little brother!” I looked right into his beautiful blue eyes without any hesitation and said, “We could give you a little brother!”

Right then, Mike knew he was in for it. He saw the spark light up in my eyes and the glow on my face. That look only happens when I come to a realization of something big. It was at that point I would make it my goal to look into getting Tim a little brother!!!

So, to make a long story short --- I have done tons and tons of reading, researching, soul-searching and discovering since February. I have been on the Internet, reading many books and on the phone talking to lots of people about adoption. I wouldn’t say I am to a decision yet, but I am praying about it!

I do feel God is telling me something here. Whether or not he thinks we should adopt a little boy, I am not so sure yet? This decision, I have given to God!!! I am sure; however, after all the reading I have done, Haiti is in my heart. Many things have happened recently and I am deeply drawn to that country – whether it is the missionary work or adoption idea…. I am just not sure what it is at this time???? So, Mike has agreed to help me figure this out and we are headed to Port au Prince, Haiti for a medical mission. Mike will use the gifts God has blessed him with to help those who need medical care through the orphanage I am in contact with currently. I am not sure just yet how I will help at the clinic that week, but I am hoping to get some deeply-sought-after-answers I so desperately have been praying for since February. I don’t know what the Lord truly has in store for me down there, but I do know Haiti is where my heart is, and my faith draws me there right now!

If you are wondering where we are headed, check out this great video of Three Angels Orphanage with the link below. These are the children and families we will be helping. And, if you would, please pray that God will be with us on this trip.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Greg Louganis the World Olympic Diving Champion visited us the other day. It was all quite exciting. Who knew our pool would ever be graced with the presence of a gold medal Olympian?

Okay, so it wasn’t Greg. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t even a semi-professional diver. It was our dare-devil five-year old daughter Kate who thought she was Greg.

Kate decided she could dive and jump off our diving board just like the United States Olympic Diving Team. Well, at least she “THOUGHT” she could dive like them. After carefully lining her little toes to the edge of the diving board she took a little hop into the water. Everyone was ready to score her performance, splash and technique. Everyone but mom that was…

…Did I mention she was standing BACKWARDS????

Thinking she could gracefully jump backwards into the pool (after being told over and over again ALL summer-long by mom NOT to), Kate missed. What a surprise that was ~ to KATE! Her aim is not exactly what she thought it was and her entire front side as well as her chin met the edge of the board. Needless to say, Kate’s little leap into the pool caused her to experience her very first set of stitches to the chin. Good thing we have an in-house surgeon who happened to be home at the time of the dive.

You’d think she’s learned her lesson about jumping of the diving board backwards. But then again, she is stubborn and strong-willed just like her daddy. When I asked her if she would ever do it again, she replied with, “Well, it is lots of fun, Mom…”

…I think I need a tranquilizer…

Monday, August 13, 2007

Our Little Running Back!

Who knew Tim would take after Chicago Bear's world famous running back and Papa's all time favorite NFL football player Walter Payton? We sure didn't... Ha!

Tim had a great time playing in his first flag football game Wednesday. His coach allowed all the players to rotate through all the positions and Tim found the one which would suit him well. As the quarterback handed off the ball to Tim, he took off down the field and scored his first TOUCHDOWN! There was not one player on that field who could catch the little running back. With legs as long as Tim's, he was for sure going to make it down to the goal line. Maybe some day he'll play for the Bears and make his Papa proud...? Although we doubt that, it makes Papa smile watching his grandson receive, pass and defend.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Just a Little Update...

Where does all the time go? It’s been way too long since I have sat down to add to our blog. Life is just too busy ~ and school hasn’t even started yet. Yikes! Lots has been going on in the last week or so. I’ll do my best to catch you up to date on waz happin’ here…

Tim has finished up his pre-season practice schedule for flag football. This is the first year he is trying the sport out and he has his first game this Wednesday. Mike has been assisting the coach at practice, but I have yet to see the little guy pass or receive. It’ll be fun to check him out on the field and see him in action. I will be sure to take a few pics and post them afterwards.

Megan has been quite busy planning her birthday party for all her girlfriends. It’s a week ½ late, but it was the best we could do with as crazy as our schedule has been. She has invited 19 third grade girls over for an afternoon of swimming and sweets. It’ll be a great way to get all of her friends together right before school begins.

Kate is busy being a five year old. She is very concerned about her social calendar these days and makes sure it’s full with play dates. I think she is so ready for Kindergarten and being with little people all day. Mom just does not cut it anymore. Recently she told me she “just cannot be my baby anymore…” Oh, what a sad day that was for me!

I am back at school volunteering and keeping the principal happy. A few teachers and myself have been painting murals in the school’s entry. If I may say so myself, it looks TOTALLY AWESOME! Jen, thank-you so much for the sketch of the tree house!!! You are an amazing artist and I miss seeing your work!!!

Mike has been really SWAMPED at work the past week. As a matter of fact, he was gone every night last week until at least 10:30 p.m. He was home for dinner tonight (YEAH!), but went to bed early so he would have the energy for his 6 a.m. surgery tomorrow. He did find some time to hit the water Sunday in between raindrops. I feel for the guy when he has to work so hard. Plus, I miss him around here!

I am sure there is lots more to write about, but it’s time for bed. I have another morning in the sweltering heat at school tomorrow. One more day of painting and I am all done! I promised the kids we would school supply shop in the afternoon, too. So, it’s another busy day for us!

Stay cool and enjoy your week!