I LOVE doing my wash!!!

I can’t remember being so excited about doing my wash before! Now what would cause a normal laundry hater to become a laundry lover? Well here is the first clue………..

That is my former 17 year old beloved washer that my dear parents bought for us many years ago. And in their great wisdom they got us a large capacity washer, even though we did not have kids at the time. πŸ™‚ The fine Kenmore washer still worked, I had used it the same morning it made it’s own trip to the end of the driveway for trash night. But then it happened………..as I have mentioned in this post, our neighbor is moving. We have all been helping out a great deal with this difficult process. My neighbor had just recently purchased a new washer, it was less then a year old, it has a 3 year warranty that he purchased, and he needed to get rid of it. He casually asked me if I needed a new washer, well technically I did not need one. My beloved Kenmore still worked, but it needed a new cold water hose, it had a small leak, there was water stuck in the barrel, and it was 17 years old……so I did not need one. But when he showed me this, my jaw dropped!

He said I could have it for $350, how could I say NO? πŸ™‚ It’s a frontΒ  loader, I have never seen anything so pretty, so efficient, so quiet, so clean, so everything!!!!! My neighbor hauled it over, installed it and I did a load of wash with it later that day. Miracles never cease. And my old washer ended up going to a lady who just got married, has a small baby and lives in a bad part of a nearby town. I found her through Freecycle. And she was just as happy to get my old washer for free.

So I am off to do more wash….fun times!

Disclaimer- I realize in about 2-3 months I will once again loathe the laundry….but for now, celebrate clean laundry come on!

I got to meet a real life blogger!!

I actually got to meet one of my favorite blogger friends yesterday. The coolest thing is, we read each others blogs, and we live fairly close to each other. So Jesus and Dark Chocolate and Beautiful Grace met for a wonderful lunch yesterday. It felt like I was meeting an old friend for lunch, and even though I had never actually met her, it sure felt like I had. πŸ™‚ We had a such a nice chat, and I love her heart to live for the Lord!

We arranged to meet at Panera Bread for lunch (always a good place to meet someone in my opinion!). So with out further adieu, here we are, the young 40 something, hip, blogger chicks!

Moving…….

Our neighbors across the street are moving. They have lived across the street from us for 13 years. It’s sad to see them go, but it’s even sadder to understand why they are moving and all that they are leaving behind. Their family has fallen apart due to a divorce. So now the dad is alone, in what was once a bustling family abode filled with 3 kids, and a fat dog! ( We loved their dog BTW, he once jumped 15 feet off our deck into the woods!) Now it is just a shell of that former happy home. Every Monday I see signs of their former life dragged down the driveway to the curb, awaiting a date with the trash men the next morning. So much of what they worked hard to build their family on is now trash, fodder for the stinky, old trashcans. I have seen old Barbies, skateboards, videos, hockey sticks, books, fancy wooden hangers, fabric, shoes, art work, pictures……snippets from a life once lived in that house.

So every Monday for the last month as I see more of their life sitting in the trash cans at the end of their driveway, I am gently reminded how life and family are so much more then STUFF! A home is not built on having the newest flat screen TV, the best swingset in the neighborhood, a Wii, new bikes for everyone, a fancy Kitchen Aid mixer, a nice couch, new carpet and new wallpaper, these are all nice things but that is all they are….things. The things do not bring the joy and harmony to a home. And all these things will someday be sold in a yard sale, given away, dragged out for trash, they will be gone and worthless.

Concepts like a strong Godly marriage built on a commitment to the Lord and each other, unconditional love, communication, fun together, time spent building a relationship, these are the THINGS that really matter. The treasured stuff of this world will someday end up at the end of your driveway as trash. But a home built on biblical foundations with time spent working on those concepts will survive through the good and the bad.


O’ Praise Him!

There is something about this video…….

It speaks to my heart about the intimacy of worship. It truly is all about Jesus. Make sure you watch the entire video, it’s the ending that reveals the true character, and passion of worship. Worship is something that flows from our heart anytime, ANYWHERE! It can be while driving down the road with screaming kids in the car, it can be while out walking listening to an iPod, and it can be during a silent walk in the woods. Worship is a matter of the heart, and it flows from a heart set on a relationship with Jesus. The video is a good reminder to me to bring Jesus into the mundane routine of life.

And after my rant about outhouses, I decided I needed to focus my blog on what really matters. πŸ™‚

Outhouse technology

I have been privy to the wonders of outhouse technology lately. I feel after encountering numerous outhouses at baseball tournaments, the Creation Festival, and this gem of an outhouse at the track I jog at, I am now a CEO ( Confirmed Expert on Outhouses). I remember back in the day when outhouses consisted of a big black hole and something that looked similar to a toilet seat on top of the black hole. And as you emerged from the outhouse you felt the sudden urge to throw up.

But for you who are not CEO’s, let me update you on the latest and greatest outhouse technology. First, they have cute names, here are two I have encountered, “Pot of Gold”, and “Santi Shanty.” Also some have hand gel dispensers, a little mirror on the door ( so you can see how hot and sweaty you look while squatting over the hole filled with blue goo), and a small shelf to put cell phones, water bottles and other items that you dare to actually take into a port-a-potty. Also some, actually have these nice air fresheners inside of them, I know the infamous “Pot-of-Gold actually smelled pretty good.

So I would like to take this moment to thank all those experts in the area of outhouse technology for all their hard work. I would like to encourage you to keep working on making outhouses a better place. Just a few suggestions for your port-a-pot tehcies,

#1 Pump air conditioning into your little Santi-Shanty

#2 Make sure the cute hand gel thing is always full.

#3 Have an endless supply of TP so I don’t have use some tissue found on the bottom of my purse.

#4 Fill it with more blue goo and make it much darker so you don’t have to see what everyone else has left behind.

#5 Some music, free ice water and a candy machine would also be nice touches.

#6 Do away with the blue color, how about pink? Then the men will never use it, they can pee in the woods, and women can have their own outhouses!

Also for all you outhouse guru’s who are reading this I am wondering what ever happened to the cell phone, and nice sunglasses I saw in the blue goo? Do you keep those things?????

Well congratulations if you made it this far in this post, now go grab some hand gel or wash your hands really well you will feel much better.

Excercise!

Exercise, Exercise, come on everybody do your exercise! ( What is that song/saying from, I remember it from somewhere in my childhood ???)

So ladies who exercises regularly, or semi-regularly, or once a month, or who even thinks about exercising?

Thinking is at least a start!

Drums had an old college roomate who used to say, “Dude I exercise…….I drive!” Driving isn’t quite what I have in mind here, but it’s a start….I guess. πŸ™‚

I was on quite a roll with exercising this spring, I was feeling like a fit mama, queen of the sweat, a women proud of her sweaty arm pits! But then I got this annoying Fifth Disease virus, and all exercising was crushed under the fatigue of this nasty virus.

So finally 2 months later, I am attempting to be an Exercising Wonder Women again. Ooops not that Wonder Women! But that is how I feel these days.

So for all you ladies needing get out there and get moving here are 10 reasons why we should get moving.

#10 – You don’t want to look like that Wonder Women!

#9 -When you are at an outdoor christian music festival, let’s take for instance, the Creation festival, and a sudden thunderstorm creeps up in the middle of the Newsboys show. You quickly realize that you need to run at least a 1/2 mile to your vehicle to safely escape the storm, it’s very helpful at this point to be in good shape! Trust me on this one!

#8 – When your 2 year old toddler goes booking down the hallway at church thinking he is free, you can easily snag him and remind him of your Wonder Women powers!

#7 – You can hike, play ball, ride bike with your children, and actually enjoy it.

#6- Obvious reason – You can eat more chocolate

#5 – You have a new reason to get out and shop for the right exercising clothes

#4 – You feel so much better when you exercise regularly!

#3 – Exercise drives more oxygen to feed your brain, making you think quickly and clearly. Thinking clearly is very helpful when you are a mom!

#2 – And for all you young 20 and 30 something ladies, this tip is for you. I can assure you, you are NOT going to wake up some day when you are over 40 and ever feel like starting an exercise program. So do it now, and it will be a healthy habit in your 40 and 50’s.

#1- God says our bodies are a temple of the holy spirit, and we need to be good stewards of this earthly body.

So there you have it, time to get moving. For fitness tips for busy moms click here. Let me know if you start exercising or if you already are, we can check in on each other. I know Liza Eyeview and Still His Girl have written exercise related post lately also.

Let’s go girls!

The Fresh Air Fund program

I’m back…..ok so you didn’t realize I was even gone. That is the fun of blogging. I have done a ton of things since I wrote my last post. We went camping with our Fresh Air Fund child, The Questionator (he is so inquisitive!). And we were at another baseball tournament.

The Questionator loved camping, he enjoyed eating hot dogs cooked over a fire and not in a microwave, he liked playing tether ball, he enjoyed running down the beautiful wooded trails, he relished time looking at the stars at night, he thought is was cool that you could pee in the woods( boys!!) and he loved the pool at the campground. The Fresh Air fund is a wonderful program that brings kids to the country for the summer. The Questionator lives in a small 3 bedroom apartment in the Bronx, and rarely ever can just go outside and hangout. I know this trip to “the country” means so much to him each year, this is his 6th summer with us. Each year we get more of a glimpse into his isolated life in that apartment in the Bronx. What a contrast it is for him to come to our house. His first year here he thought the woods behind our house contained lions, and zebras, he thought is was a jungle. Now he shoots the air soft gun and runs in the creek back in the “jungle.”

We thought he might be bored going to back to back baseball tournaments, but instead he learned the names of all the players, he cheered for them, and congratulated them when they won. He said he has never been “part of a team before.”

He leaves tomorrow, we will all be sad to see him go. It pains me to think of what he goes home to. The Fresh Air program has been a great experience for my kids also, they have learned to appreciate their home so much more, and have also learned to demonstrate God’s love and kindness to someone who is quite different then they are. It warms my heart to see my son form a close knit friendship with a boy from the Bronx!

If you are interested in learning more about the program click here, I know they still need families for THIS summer!

Here are some pics of the fun times we have shared together for the last 2 weeks.

(Wow this post went in a totally different direction than I planned, I was going to write about my lack of summer exercise program. So stay tuned for a good, motivating exercise pep talk…..I know I need one! :))

The Questonator with his infamous gastronomical abnormality sandwich……..chicken breast, lettuce, mayo, potato chips and blueberies….he loved it!

Weekend thoughts…….

We spent our weekend at another baseball tournament, in case you are wondering, we have spent 7 weekends at tournaments since the last week of April. It’s fun, but tiring. SportTman’s team is doing amazingly well, they have won 5 of the 7 tourney’s they have been in. And this is their first year as a team so that makes the feat even more remarkable. Here is a pic of SportTman pitching in a semi-final game this weekend. If I may share a brief mom bragging moment. He pitched the entire game, and his team won 5-2.

We also welcomed the return of the famous “The Questionator” from the Bronx. He comes to our family every summer through the Fresh Air program. This is his 6th summer with us. He relishes the good farm produce, playing monopoly with my kids, running barefoot outside, playing LOTS of sports and going to the beach. All things he can’t do in the Bronx. Here is a pic of The Questionator and SportTman in front of some cow’s butts. Yep, cow’s butts, now that is a picture to take back to the Bronx. A local dairy farm gave all the Fresh Air fund visitors and their families a tour of the farm, and lots of FREE ice cream afterwards.

Here is The Questionator in our local town for the 4th of July parade, believe it or not, he’s 12 and this was his first time seeing live fireworks!

We are all heading to the beach for the day tomorrow. It should be a fun day, we go with the same friends every year for the day…..it’s always a good memory making day. I love summer!

I also must say thanks to sweet Amy at The Junk Drawer for giving me the Sharing the Love award. I appreciate Amy and her joyful heart and attitude. I am guessing she gave me this award since I post pictures of cow’s butts on my blog!! πŸ™‚

I could pass this award to everyone of you, but I am going to pass it onto a dear blogger friend I hope to meet in person sometime soon. She always leaves me a comment, she lives close by, and has a heart of gold to live for and honor God in ALL she does. So I give the sharing the love award to Beautiful Grace! Please check out the story behind this award, it’s endearing. Click the button below to learn of the story behind the award.

OMG I am so embarrassed!

The Inventor and I were watching our small town hometown 4th of July parade last night. There was a really cool float with a huge, blown up chain saw on it. I thought it was clever, so I yelled out, “Hey can I take that home! We could use it!” The Inventor quickly shoots me the glance, you know the kind I mean. And loudly proclaims, “Oh my gosh Mom, why did you have to say that, I am so embarrassed!”

She is 11, she is now officially embarrassed by her mom! I have finally heard the “e” word from her. πŸ™‚

Later , that night she got up in the middle of a movie, and came over and cuddled with me for the rest of the movie! The “tween” years are good. πŸ™‚

The Brawl……….

I witnessed such a sad event this past weekend. And as I get ready to embark on another baseball tournament weekend, I just felt the need to write about it.

SportTman ‘s baseball team has done very well in their inaugural season, they have won 5 of the 6 tournaments they have played in. For the parents, it’s been busy, but it has been thrilling to see these boys rise to the challenge set before them and play hard to win. They have comeback to win many of their games.

They are 13 year old boys, and they are still playing for the love of the game, sure they are hard on themselves when they strike out, or cause an error, but the passion for the game of baseball is still what drives them.

This weekend I witnessed what can happen when that anger and passion is not directed in the right manner. When a player has not learned to lose well, when he has not grappled with learning the concept of self-control.

As our team was going to shake hands with the other team after we just beat them in the championship game, one of their boys, tackled our catcher, shoved him to the ground and started punching him in the face and head!!!! Thankfully the coaches and the umpires jumped in and took control of the situation, and thankfully our catcher was not injured, just shaken up.

So what causes a 13 year old boy to punch another baseball player?

What causes a boy to have a total lack of respect for another person and wants to hit someone instead of shaking hands?

Are we doing a good job of teaching our kids to lose well? Do they understand that losing is part of the game?

Are players and coaches so consumed with winning that playing the game is forgotten?

We all make mistakes, and it’s ok to fail at something. I sometimes think we want kids to be happy all the time, so they never learn to work hard through tough times. Those times will make them a better person, but it’s hard…..and that is ok. They learn to develop good character by dealing with self control, losing, hard times and failing occasionally. I always ask my kids when they make a mistake, “What did you learn from this?”

What do you think???