Sunday, November 25, 2007

House of Bethesda

Jerm’s Auntie April is doing an amazing thing. She bought this huge 7-bedroom house in Philly and is in the process of renovating it. She plans to fill it with women who have successfully completed rehabilitation and need a transitional place to stay. This whole project is a tremendous act of faith, and the Lord has met April at each step, continually reminding her that He’s a God of details.

To renovate a broken down house is one thing (I know), to make a six figure investment in real estate is another thing, and to want to “get involved” with supporting “high risk” women is definitely another thing, each daunting in their own right. Roll all three of these factors into one decision and you have someone who is either crazy, or strung out on faith. I’m happy to report that April falls into the latter of the two categories. Her faith is inspiring!

Five of the 7 bedrooms will need to be outfitted for 2 women (2 twin beds and 2 dressers/armoires). The house is currently empty and needs everything. . Beds/mattresses/sheets (for 11), dressers, window treatments, towels, pots, pans, etc…etc… Dirt and I are sponsoring a room. If you are interested in sponsoring a room or even just donating an item (or financial gift) please let me know and we’ll find a way to get it from your hands into the House of Bethesda. (Gifts are tax deductible).

The need is imminent; our hope is that the house would be occupied by Christmas. Please remember April and this project in your prayers.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Ariel!

Holy cow - can you believe that she's FOURTEEN? I remember when she was Amaya's age - she was just the cutest little thing. Well, some things don't change!

Happy Birthday Ariel!

We love you!
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Between being exhausted from Hunter’s early AM escapades and being beyond busy at work, I haven’t had time to blog. However, since it’s the eve of Thanksgiving, I do feel compelled to say something. (Plus I want to prove to my bloggy friends that no matter how busy you are, you can always squeeze in a few words.) So here is what I dug up on Thanksgiving, for those who are interested. I stole this info from the first link I could find (this site), and then added my own editorial comments (noted in by the red type)

The tradition of the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving is steeped in myth and legend. Few people realize that the Pilgrims did not celebrate Thanksgiving the next year, or any year thereafter, though some of their descendants later made a "Forefather's Day" that usually occurred on December 21 or 22. Several Presidents, including George Washington, made one-time Thanksgiving holidays. In 1827, Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale (you go girl!) began lobbying several Presidents for the instatement of Thanksgiving as a national holiday, but her lobbying was unsuccessful until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln (sure, listen to the white man) finally made it a national holiday with his 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Today, our Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November. This was set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941), who changed it from Abraham Lincoln's designation (hater) as the last Thursday in November (which could occasionally end up being the fifth Thursday and hence too close to Christmas for businesses - someone needs to tell this author that businesses don't care about Thanksgiving being too close to Christmas, they start decorating for Christmas at Halloween. Besides, in Lincoln's day - Christmas wasn't the "business" it is today.). But the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving began at some unknown date between September 21 and November 9, most likely in very early October (Businesses would LOVE that timing). The date of Thanksgiving was probably set by Lincoln to somewhat correlate with the anchoring of the Mayflower at Cape Cod, which occurred on November 21, 1620 (by our modern Gregorian calendar--it was November 11 to the Pilgrims who used the Julian calendar). Whatever – em.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a WICKED AWESOME Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Freakin' Dog!

It's truly a love-hate relationship that I endure with Hunter. It's definitely the most dysfunctional relationship that I have with anyone in my life. I love this stupid dog, but I don't know why. He stinks, he's crazy, he is ruining my house, he is my slave master; but yet, the mere thought of shipping him off to live with some other family, brings tears to my eyes.

Last week it was 3:30am - barking and howling, then he got used to DST and now it's 4:30am. I have been going to bed between 7p and 9p every night, just to function! A muzzle is next.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Smarty Pants

We're so proud to announce that Avery made High Honors this quarter! Wahoo! Trust me, if you saw the workload that we, I mean, Avery carries, you'd know that this is no small achievement. Not to mention that the school's grading scale is all jacket up:

A = 94 - 100
B = 86 - 93
C = 78 - 85

In what warped world is an 85 a C? Good gravy! (Yeah, that's my new term; Good gravy. I just started saying it, do you like it? It's kind of Charlie Brownish, Oh, wait, I think he said "Good Grief" - where the heck did Good Gravy come from? Maybe my mind is on Thanksgiving. Oh boy, I'm getting punchy)
Anyway, we're so proud of Avery.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Yesterday was one of the strangest days I've had in a long time.
Just strange.
Almost surreal.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Observations From The Field

I've noticed that with kids, having "the last" of something is a significant achievement. It's funny though, because these same kids grow up into adults who will never eat the last of anything.

This morning we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts and Dirt ordered four glazed donuts. The fine people at D&D handed him a box with the four gooey treats inside. He took one and passed the box back to Amaya and Amelle in the second row of the van. They each took one and then handed the box back to Avery in the third row. When Avery opened the box, he triumphantly declared, "Oh good, I get the last one!". I had to chuckle to myself, thinking back to every dinner party I've ever picked up after, each plate would have one lonely last chip/cookie/brownie/piece of pizza/spoonful of dip/whatever, no adult ever eats the "last one".

Just recently my co-worker Maria and I went out to one of our favorite spots in Manchester (Cotton) for lunch. We always get the same thing - the scallops appetizer (eaten as a meal) and then we spilt a side of wood-fired asparagus (I think that's what it's called - yummy!). Anyway, we're pretty close, so digging into the asparagus is no problem for us ....that is, up until the very last one. No one touches it - we would rather die than eat it.

It's so funny, I wonder what age that transition takes place? Is it something that happens with puberty? Is it hormonal? Hmmm... Oh well, I'm sure that we're paying tax dollars to research it at some university somewhere.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Trade Offs

Sadly, I sometimes find myself putting work at the top of my priority list. This can sometimes mean that the kids take a backseat to whatever I have going on at work. Today I decided to turn the tables a bit. I woke up not realizing that the kids had a half day, so when I got to work, I had to shuffle my schedule around so that I could pick them up at noon (I'm sure that I was the only mom in the carpool lane on a conference call and sending e-mails). When we got home, I got right to work while the kids went about their business. However in the middle of a recruiting meeting it dawned on me that I should be enjoying this beautiful fall day with the kids. I quickly rounded them up, hopped on my last conference call for the day while we headed to Fort Foster (my call was on mute and the kids were "in quiet mode" as we drove to Kittery). When we got to Fort Foster I hopped off the call and we ventured in.

As soon as we were past the gates, the kids were off - Avery peddeling and Amelle running. Within 60 seconds I heard a "WAHHOOOO" from one of the kids, this was confirmation that I was right where I needed to be. This time, work could wait.

We spent two hours walking through trails, playing on the playground, exploring, riding bikes on the beach, and yes - IN THE WATER. No, it's not warm - you'll notice that Avery has a vest on. What can I say, it just happened. They got closer and closer and then they finally went in. I didn't stop them, I didn't even try to. This was their day.

This picture sort of shows how "it started" - Avery would get closer and closer to the water with Amelle trailing behind, until finally, the bike was stuck and both kids were in the water trying to drag it out. Completely on purpose, of course.

Here they are balancing on a HUGE fallen tree. Amazingly, they regained balance and didn't fall..

Such a cool view from the top of the slide...
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Friday, November 02, 2007

One of these things doesn't belong...

Which is it?
Note: First person with the correct answer wins a....
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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Birthday 'Maya!

Amaya is a pretty amazing 2 year old - she counts to 18, she sings several songs, speaks clearer than many 3 year olds, is in complete control of our family, and is peeing on the potty (though not completely trained). I'm proud to be her mom and look forward to seeing her amaze me for the next 30 or 40 years, God willing.
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