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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More winter weather fun!!!

UGH. I, for one, am very ready for spring to hit northeast Iowa. We are under another winter storm warning. School let out at 1:15 today. Roads are ICY, and the wind is blowing quite hard. The light snow is blowing like crazy and drifting across the north/south roads.

Ask Ron how badly they are drifting. He and another pastor exchanged pulpits for Lenten services tonight. Ron called our church at about 8:30 and said he was stuck in the snow, behind a semi that was stuck in the snow. Unfortunately, the other pastor had already left and got stuck waiting on the OTHER side of the semi! At least Ron and George got to visit in a warm car while waiting for the semi to get pulled out.

Now...the question of the night...will there be school tomorrow or not?

Ethan had a visit with the orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday morning. His diagnosis is torn ligaments. OUCH. No wonder the kid was in pain. He's still wincing quite a bit when using it. He wears the sling to school, because he's afraid of getting it banged up, I think. But at home, we make him take it off and use the arm some. He's getting more and more mobility back. He's still taking tylenol, but slowly improving. He's glad "it wasn't something really BAD!"

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sigh...all fun must end sometime

and Ethan's fun day of sledding ended a bit painfully. Ron took the kids BACK to the sledding hill after dinner, but came home shortly with Ethan in tow...unable to move his right arm. He went sailing down the hill, over a ramp and flew off his sled and landed on his right arm/shoulder. We gave him a hot bath to warm him up a bit, and when he just couldn't move his arm without lifting it with his left arm and whimpering, we decided a visit to the ER was in order.

Of course, they took x-rays. The doctor and nurse were both surprised to see that nothing was dislocated or fractured. But, because of the amount of pain, and the way he's holding it, they decided a further look would be beneficial. They put him in a sling, gave him tylenol with codeine and sent us home for the night. First thing in the morning, Ron and he will travel to an orthopedic doctor in Charles City...just for a further look.'s hoping he has a good, pain free, restful night!

A picture is worth 1,000 words

so, I'll let a few pictures show how we spent part of our snow day!

Snow, Ice and ICK!

What a horrible weather weekend we've had here! It started on Friday with nasty sleet/hail, and overnight turned into ice that just didn't stop! On Saturday Ron and the boys chopped about 2 inches of ice off the driveway! Our power was out from 10am til about noon, and then again from 6 pm to 11. I was quite thankful for my gas stove that allowed me to use a fire starter to get the burners going so I could cook a nice meal!

Due to all the ice, we have lots of branches down...some thudded on the house quite loudly! It was a challenge for the kids to find something to do that didn't take electricity. Ron and the kids spent some of the electricity free time taking apart an old photocopier from the church and daycare. It didn't work anymore and was big and clunky. What an adventure with tools THAT was! Everyone enjoyed getting out their tools and trying to take the big thing apart to see how small they can get it.

After supper we braved the BLIZZARD (snowing hard, blowing harder!) conditions and took our dog KT, and the 4 kids and we went for a walk. The kids had a blast trudging through the snow! 13-18 inches of snow was predicted throughout last night, but instead it was mostly rain. It snowed another couple of inches today, but mostly it's a slushy mess outside.

The town has power now, , but the surrounding country homes have been without power for 24 hours, and they are saying it might be close to a week before everyone has power again. I'm thankful we live in town. The kids are THRILLED with a 2 hour delay in the morning, although every OTHER school in the local area has already canceled for the day. Maybe we'll get lucky yet and get the day off, too. It would be our first one this year!

I'll close with some pictures of icicles on our deck, and one of the huge ice covered buds that were falling off of our trees yesterday!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Cameron!

Wow! My SECOND child turned 14 today! Cameron was SO excited for his birthday. Ron took him to Casey's for a breakfast pizza this morning...that was a real treat for him! Lots of "Happy Birthday" wishes at school. I picked him up at 3, so we could go to New Hampton so he could take the test for his drivers permit. Yes, one of the JOYs of living in Iowa is that a kid can get their drivers permit at the age of fourteen! YIKES!

Cameron was pretty nervous about it, but got a PERFECT score on his test. The lady at the office was quite impressed, as that was the first perfect score she'd seen in her 7 years on the job! He was proud of himself!

We got a few groceries, and then came home to settle in for the weekend. We made yummy homemade pizza, and later we'll have butterscotch pudding (Cameron's dessert request, LOL) and birthday cake (Thanks "Grandma" Marge!)

Major snow/ice conditions are expected over the weekend. We are under a winter storm warning from 6 pm tonight until 6 pm on SUNDAY night! "They" are predicting 1/2 inch of ice, and then 12-18 inches of snow. A local meteorologist called this "the biggest weather event of the decade for this area!" We will see what happens, as the last snow event they predicted we got NOTHING.

Currently it is 27 degrees and we are having a major THUNDERSTORM of all things. It is hailing and the thunder and lightening are pretty continuous. So far, all has gone according to predictions this round.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. No more Alleluia's til that glorious Alleluia on Easter Morning. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the 40 day period (not including Sunday's) before Easter. Ash Wednesday is a time of contemplating our sinfulness and the death that should be ours because of that sinfulness. It is a time to be reminded that there is no "good" in us, and that we all have sinned, and fall short of the Glory of God". On Ash Wednesday, we are especially mournful because of who we are and what we have done.

What does it mean for me personally? I am sinful. I can do nothing on my own that pleases God. I deserve nothing but an eternity in Hell for all of the sins that I have committed and continue to commit on a daily basis. There is NOTHING that I can do to make things right with God. Nothing. I am a sinner. I will ALWAYS be a sinner.

Of course, that isn't the end of the story...Ash Wednesday is the BEGINNING of the story...the BEGINNING of the season of Christ's Passion...his miserable humiliation, suffering, and painful death on the cross...the miserable humiliation, suffering and painful death that he allowed Himself to go through for that MY sins are that when God looks at me, he sees a saint...a perfect human being, with absolutely no blemish of sin. I am PERFECT in God's eyes...because of what Christ suffered all those many years ago. Jesus LOVES me so much that he suffered all of that for ME! Amazing!

And you know what? That painful suffering and death that Christ went through? He did it for YOU, too! Isn't God great? To provide a Way for us to be pefect...when we don't deserve it, when we can't earn it...God gave His Son to be a Way for us to be Holy, perfect, sinless.

Wow. There is no measure for the love that God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son have for you and me!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How well do you know me?

Ok, I never have 3 posts in one day, but I discovered something new that I want to try! I have created a quiz about ME, and I want to see who knows me best! So, click on the link below, and I'll be checking back to see the stats, to see who knows me, and who DOESN'T!
Create your own Friend Quiz here

Good luck!

A trip to Versailles!

Missouri, that is! Rachel, Ethan and I left last Thursday to travel to central Missouri, to visit our good, good friends, the Rottmann family. One wonderful thing that happened on this trip, is that we discovered that, by going a different route, the trip is only 6 1/2 hours instead of the 8 that we've been traveling these past 6 years! What an easy trip!

We had a wonderful visit. Our kids and their 3 children get along very well, and had a good time visiting, playing, occasionally getting a bit "wild", and just having fun being together. Rachel had a great time playing "little mom" to their 2 year old...and HE had a wonderful time running away from her and saying "I'm gonna get you!" The 2 of them spent much time reading books, tickling toes and giggling together.

We spent Friday just visiting and playing and chatting. Saturday we traveled to Jefferson City to tour the state capitol building. That was very interesting and we all learned a lot about the state of Missouri. Sunday, after a great Sunday School and worship service, we headed out to Sedalia to a roller skating rink. We had a GREAT time trying to stay upright on those wheels. Some of us had more luck than others, but I'm not telling who!

Monday we left the beautiful 53 degree weather, and headed north to Iowa.

We are truly blessed by God to have such wonderful friends!

Here are a few pictures from our all too brief getaway.

Sympathy and Prayers extended

My prayers are with the Robertson family of Sumner, IA. Mrs. Robertson is a teacher at the high school where my son, Caleb, attends. She is one of his favorite teachers, and he works hard to please her. On Saturday, she was taking her speech team to a contest in Ames. Her daughter, Reegan, age 9, was also in the school suburban. The vehicle hit a patch of ice, and rolled into the ditch, flipping several times. Reegan was killed in this accident.

I can't imagine the grief those parents are feeling! My only prayer is that they know Jesus, and turn to Him for the peace and comfort that ONLY He can give at such a horrible time in life.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day. Ethan and I forgot til the last minute to get cards for him to take to school. So...I made him some. Here is what he's taking for his classmates.

Here is a dessert that our family loves! It is elegant looking, and tastes fabulous. Our youth group hosted a formal Valentine's Dinner at City Hall on Sunday, and this was the dessert that was served. It was the hit of the evening. Best part of all is that it is made with ingredients that you most likely have in the house. And it is EASY to make. What a great way to make your family feel special, and make guests feel like you fussed for them!

Cream Puff Dessert

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs

1 1/2 cup milk
1 small package vanilla pudding
cool whip
Chocolate syrup

Boil the water together with the butter til the butter is melted. Add the flour all at once and stir til a sticky ball forms (wooden spoons work best). Add eggs, one at a time, beating (with the wooden spoon), until well blended before adding the next egg. Spread in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes. It may be puffy, but will be golden brown. Cool completely.

Mix milk with vanilla pudding, and stir well. Pour over cooled crust. Chill til the pudding is set. Top with cool whip. Drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Beautiful and delicious...sure to impress!

And finally, here is what I created for Ron as a Valentine's Gift...we'll frame it for his office.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hot Chocolate Days

Woo my laptop back, and so far....the power chord is staying connected. What a blessing a computer is in this household. It has been a rough few weeks, with all 6 of us sharing ONE computer for a while!

Today is a day that everyone in the area is disappointed in our weather forecasters. 4-6 inches of snow and then high winds were predicted, and had everyone talking about late practicies... It was ALL that was on the news yesterday afternoon and all evening long. The kids (and some teachers, too, I'm sure) were just hoping for a late start at the least! What did we get? NOTHING. No high winds, MAYBE a half an inch of snow, but that would even be stretching it. What other job could you have that you get paid SO much money to be wrong SO much of the time??

We were supposed to be hosting the circuit pastor's conference here today, but because of all the hype on the news, they decided to cancel it last night. So...we feel silly for cancelling it, BUT...I'm also praising God for the first day in MONTHS that I do not have to leave my house. What a wonderful feeling that is!

So, with the bone-chilling cold that we've had here the past couple of weeks, we've had plenty of opportunity for hot chocolate. Often we make the big "garbage bag" recipe for hot cocoa, and it's good, but THIS recipe, made by the cup full, is rich, and creamy and oh so yummy. Try it the next time you need to warm up after being out in the snow!

Hot Chocolate by the Cup
(from an online recipe site, but I can't remember which one!)

1 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. water
1 c. milk
a bit of vanilla, if desired

Mix cocoa, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Heat on low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the paste from sticking to the pan. After about 1 to 2 minutes, add milk and vanilla. Mix it all together until it reaches the perfect drinking temperature.