Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Have a happy new year....
me and my chinese soup are loving you  :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Vote For Dave

"Because of the award that Dave received at the Goodguys show in September he's in the running for Street Rod of the Year. Click on the link, find the picture of his '41 flamed Willys and select it to vote. You can vote every 24 hours through the end of December!! Thanks"

Hot Rod Car Builder Best Friend Dave won a special car award from the BIG Deal Car Show guys this fall.  Because of it, he is nominated for the highly coveted Hot Rod of the Year award.  It really is a big deal, and he needs some votes.  Here is the internet link.  He is 4th row, first on the left.  :)  It is very flame-y.

This is more than just for bragging rights...this will help him in his hot rodding kingdom building as well as resale value of the car if he sells it.  :)

We just returned from Utah.  We are tired.  :)  Happy holidays.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Val's "Krank-y" Christmas

"Free Frosty.  Free Frosty."  I think Mr. Fun says it every time he drives into the driveway.  Here is why:

If you have seen "Christmas with the Kranks"
you will remember that they took the year off because
they were going to travel.  The neighbors weren't impressed.
See the red arrow.  That is the extent of our
Christmas decorating outside in Andersonville.
You know those movies where the whole street
is decorated and there is one house smack in the middle
that is black and lightless. 

That is us.  Right in the middle of five other homes
who are decorated. 

I felt the pressure so I put out the three snowflakes.

This is our neighbors.  Next door.
They moved in this summer.

Rest assured that my "Krank-yness" isn't just
limited to outside.

As evidenced by this years tree:


Monday, December 14, 2009

Aubric Cube :)

The Girl made this for fun this weekend.  :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wanna take a field trip? Let's go see the Amish

During the Thanksgiving holiday, with all the company, we took those city dwellers about an hour northeast to a tiny town (and for you living somewhere bigger than tiny, I mean TINY--one stop SIGN--not light) named Jamesport.  It is an amish community, which actually it isn't.  Let me give you the run down about the Amish quickly:  (I took a tour once and this is what I remember)

Amish people have a national publication.  If I decided to start my own community (as they are called), I could place an ad in the publication and lay out where we would live, what our standards or community rules would be, etc.  Anyone could come join up with us. Jamesport is the largest amish community west of Pennsylvania.  It is a desired location for three main reasons:  they allow deodorant, indoor toliets, and the land is only $1,500 an acre vs. the Pennsylvania amish at $6,000 an acre.  This community has about 1,500 (last count I heard).  They allow trampolines (good exercise and they can sleep on them at night in the summer) no bikes (the folks could run away) and no curtains.  No carpeting so they make great rugs.  No buttons and they are allowed to shave their legs.  They have power...battery power.  Solar lights.  They don't have a church building, but members take turns hosting the whole group at their farm for church.  Which last four hours.  No soft pews.  Hard benches.  Meeting in reformed German.  These amish aren't allowed to live in town with the Mennonites, but they do business there...including shopping and banking.

It is considered RUDE and BLASPHAMOUS to take their picture, but I snapped some others to give you an idea.

I rode in the back of a car with three dogs on me. 
They were thinking "You're so dreamy" until they later met The Girl.

This is the hand of the driver....look carefully.  I put my index
finger up to compare the size of our hands for you.
He is huge.  I was hobbit sized compared to him.
That is why his dogs get to crawl all over me. 

Literature from the Mennonite Cafe where we had lunch.
I got these for the Girl.  I want her to be prepared
to be able to get out of spiritual prison.
"Hi, would you like some apple pie to go
with you on your way to Hell?" electricity

Jamesport is known for its baked goods
and baking items.  They have a great general
store of sorts and bulk food store.
That is a LOT of Rice Crispies.

Bags and bags of treats

Baby in an orange bag anyone? A little creepy

The view from the store bathroom.  Only light source. 
Glad no Amish men were roofing that day!

Bonus shots!  :)
A little farmland is your lucky day

These are huuuuuge farm bales.  This about three stories tall.

Who said Missourians aren't festive?
Happy Saturday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I don't hear this at church too often

Did you catch this quote from a guy on Survivor tonight?
"The Lord freaking provides." 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Walking (more like skidding in the tiny green truck)
through a winter wonderland...

Taking photos soothes my soul. 
We head west next week to the mountains.  :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Guest Blogger: My real self

I wrote this 29 days ago.  Feel strong enough to post it today. 

I remember once my "sister" (from another mother) Snarky Belle once said how much she weighed on her blog. It must have felt liberating. The truth I hear seems to set you free.

Here is the truth. I cried on Monday at the appointment with Seth's specialist, which I never do. She is there to run interface with the school, us, the doctors. Sort of a Cancer Coordinator without the cancer part. She is a pyschologist.

I didn't even want to type that word just now. My boy has a pyschologist AND to add salt to the wound, now a pyschiatrist.

I am embarrassed. I never asked Mr. Fun. Perhaps he is embarrassed too.

I cried because I am tired. I have been dealing with serious health issues for someone else or myself for over three years. I know I have caregiver fatigue. I miss my old life. Rotary. Lunch with girlfriends. Being alone during the day. Shopping. Serving....oh, I am serving now. But when you choose who and when you serve, it seems funner. More rewarding.

She says my feelings are expected. She says we are amazing. She says she uses our experience as the model family of coping. Hard to believe as I want to lay down in the fetal position, nursing a strong hot chocolate and watching endless reruns of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

There is a certain lonliness that comes from nursing a chronically ill child. A lonliness that one doesn't really understand until they do it. Just like anything I guess. Losing a child, adopting a child, have a wayward child. This is our child trial.

I read this in the newspaper the other day and it made me feel connected. It was response to some Dear Abby article and two mothers of chronically ill children wrote in.

And I quote:
Mother One:
Very few parents have the emotional energy, not to mention the time to be an advocate for their child's special needs (in a fundraising or community way). Our entire lives center around our children and their doctor's appointments, therapy, special schooling, adaptive schedule, medicines, equipment, etc.

Mother Two:
No one fully understands what a parent with a child with a disability goes through. First there is the emotional aspect. We grieve. It's not the same kind of grieving you do after a death. This is grieving that never ends. It cycles over and over. If you are not crying you are angry.

Some days you can accept and breathe; other days, you just can't. Anything can set you back and suddenly you are sobbing again. There is also the problem of not getting services you need. Once children are out of the school system, they sit and languish at home with no services. Living with that, we often can't never get or hold down jobs.

I don't usually feel like Mother Two.  I have more hope than that.  Found in my religious beliefs.  But even the faithful (or mostly faithful depending on the day) get tired.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The movie: The Blind Side

Seen it.  Loved it.  Give yourself a treat and see it too.  :) Thanks Mom and Dad for the invite.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bob the Builder Award: The Marines who dug by hand

I don't know much about football fields and their sizes. 
They are big.  That is what I know.

If you know me well, you may know that I hate to have
dirty hands.  I have some weird thing about washing them
as soon as they are dirty.  It isn't germ driven.  I am not worried
about that.  What bothers me is the texture of things on my skin.
Dirt, chalk, and most of all.....sand.
I hate hate hate sand.

So imagine if I were a Marine, dedicated to not leaving one
brother behind (which I love that thought).

Remember that pilot, Scott Speicher, shot down
in the first Persian Gulf War?
Eighteen years ago?

Come to find out, the Marines have looking for his body
this whole time.  To bring him home.

I don't know about the size of Iraq, but it seems a pretty
big place to find a skeleton.  I might have given up.

But the Marines didn't.  That is one reason why
they are so cool I think.

They did it.  They found Pilot Scott.

You know how they did it?

Based on local intel, the Marines dug BY HAND
"turning over four football fields
worth of desert sand 4 foot deep."

RIP Pilot Scott.