Thoughts from me - a preacher's wife, farmer's daughter, mom, and nurse. Posts are mainly intended to help me journal the events of my life - topics will include kids, church, work, marriage, life in general,
and of course my dogs . . . and whatever else I feel compelled to write about.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Family Picture

Me and mine - October, 2008

So far the fall has been pleasantly busy. I plan on posting a pictorial update soon complete with lots of pictures of Levi as Long John Silver (peg leg and all!), Joel's first year playing soccer, my college girl Megan, and our overnight getaway in a 5-star hotel!

But until then - here are a few bits and pieces . . .

- As of this week, Megan is an official substitute teacher for our local public school corporation!
- We are thinking of an arranged marriage for her. Just joking - I think.
- She is saving for a Mustang. Don't tell my parents.

- Levi hasn't gotten in trouble for his sideburns yet this year.
- Levi's entire senior class spent an hour in detention because they went to class via the attic - Levi's idea.
- Basketball season starts Friday. I don't think Levi is going to get to start this year. I am more upset than he is. I hate basketball.

- Joel made student council - he is a natural leader.
- Joel wants to be a Marine. Megan has reminded me not to get too freaked out yet - he wanted to be an Olympic swimmer this past summer.
- Joel is starting JV and dressing Varsity for basketball. If the coach makes it a competition between my boys as to who gets to play, I may have to hurt him - the coach not Joel. I hate basketball.

- Sam got a dog house. He is so proud of it. He laid in it for three solid days without getting out.

- Scooby has been wearing his sweater because the house is too cold for him. What a sissy.

- I have a new responsibility at work. I am the Nurse Navigator for the Tuesday clinic in the Breast Center. I don't know why, but nobody at home wants to hear me talk about work now.
- I have had two very good witnessing encounters at work recently. Although working as much as I have been is not what I desire, it is obviously where God wants me right now.
- I spent the last hour looking up Spanx on the internet. I am in need of an industrial strength pair in order to make me fit in the hunter green formal dress I have to wear as the accompanist for Ensemble.

- Brian loves me despite my womanly hormonal moodiness and took me to a 5-Star hotel last weekend!
- His blog is getting 500+ hits a day. What a goober.
- He will be proud of me for finally posting!

and a little randomness . . .

- there are five loads of laundry in the laundry room and the dryer isn't working right
- we NEED another car
- the wood stove does a good job keeping the house warm as long a there is wood in it
- I need to make a menu and get groceries
- I think I have to help make and serve spaghetti tonight for a senior fundraiser
- the Patch Club's Christmas program is in 4 weeks . . .
- I think I am hyperventilating because the Patch Club Christmas program is in 4 weeks
- so far I have bought only one Christmas present (it's for Levi - he will LOVE it!)
- Scooby needs a bath and so does his little red sweater
- my plan to eat only Raisin Bran and excerice three times a day hasn't panned out, and there is no way I am going to fit in that hunter green formal dress even with industrial strength Spanx.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

5th grade fun

The Name Game
(Ok, I admit this is a little 5th grade - but it's kind of fun.)

1.Your rock star name (first pet, current car): Ginger Explorer
2.Your gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe): Chocolate Flip-Flop
3.Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal): Yellow Dog
4.Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born): Sue Franklin
5.Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name): Butel - Know this sounds stupid I do. (That was my Yoda impersonation in case you are wondering.)
6.Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink): Green Milk
7.NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers): Russell Allen
8.Dancer name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Amazing Grace Peanutbutter Cup - Ok, I would be a rather conflicted dancer:)
9.TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): Winter Washington
10.Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Fall Hiacinth
11.Cartoon name:(favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now): Strawberry Pants
12.Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree): Brownie Locust
13.Movie star name (first pet, first street where you lived): Ginger Highway

I really need to get out more.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cake anyone?

Life with three busy, active teenagers - need I say more?
No wonder I can't lose weight -
well, at least it gives me someone to blame!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tagged (kind of)

After reading Andrea's last post, I considered myself tagged and decided to answer the following:

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your significant other? handsome
3. Your hair? trouble
4. Your mother? petite
5. Your father? gentle
6. Your favorite thing? bed
7. Your dream last night? about work
8. Your favorite drink? tea
9. Your dream/goal? living it
10. The room you're in? family room
11. Your hobby? worrying (it's hereditary)
12. Your fear? growing old
13. Where to you want to be in six years? here
14. What you're not? skinny
15. Muffins? lemon poppy seed
16. One of your wish list items? new couch
17. Where you grew up? farm
18. The last thing you did? eat
19. What are you wearing? shorts
20. Favorite gadget? plastic pot scrubber
21. Your pet? Scooby!
22. Your computer? high speed cable
23. Your mood? reflective
24. Missing someone? youthfulness
25. Your car? Explorer
26. Something you are not wearing? socks
27. Favorite store? grocery
28. Like someone? Brian
29. Your favorite color? yellow
30. When is the last time you laughed? this morning
31. Last time you cried? this morning

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer Reflections

Summer 2008 is almost one for the history books - school is breathing down our necks and I find myself wishing it was the first of July and not the first of August!

Although marred by flood, pneumonia (Levi), and crazy work schedules - we managed to eek some fun out of this summer. For posterity's sake - here's a brief recap.

Joel's Motocross Race -

This is me reminding Joel how much time and effort
I have put into him and the fact that
"I am too old to replace him so he had better be careful"
before going and sitting in the car because I couldn't bear to watch him race.

By his second race - I was cheering in the stands
and yelling for him to go faster and
"cut that guy off in the corner."
I am MUCH too competitive.

Joel did well considering he was up against bikes
that were more powerful than his.
He managed to pull of an impressive 6th place finish out of 16!

Megan in Godspell -

The theater monopolized most of Megan's summer -
with practices three nights a week.
She was awesome, amazing, beautiful,
and the most talented one on the stage!
Ok, Emily was really good too - and so was everybody else.

She was an awesome JoAnn!

One of our absolute favorite childhood memories of Megan is when she was around three - Brian was trying to video tape her singing "Away in a Manger." After starting and stopping the song several times, she looked and Brian and said,
"I don't wanna sing - I wanna dance!"
She then twirled around the living room until she fell down.

Now she can sing and dance!

Our "impromptu" trip to New Buffalo, Michigan -

Tasting candy at the Albanese Candy Factory - Yum!!
I think Levi bought every kind of dark chocolate candy they had.
Joel bought sour worms.
Megan bought gummy "crowns."
Brian bought yogurt covered pretzel balls.
I bought dark chocolate covered raisins -
which had the effect of dark chocolate covered prunes.
Maybe I shouldn't have eaten 1/2 pound of them. Oh well, live and learn.

Bass Pro Shop - I love the way they decorate!
Why doesn't my old stuff laying around the house look as good as their old stuff?

Levi a/k/a Pedro trying on a new hat.

Megan and Joel posing for Jane!
One of our goals on vacation was NOT to eat fast food.
We wanted to eat at local places - which we did A LOT!

Me and the kids on the beach in New Buffalo, Michigan.
Beautiful! Why didn't we discover this place years ago?




Proof I walked on the rock breaker wall.

Megan - our little Mermaid!

Now you see him - now you don't!
While walking across the breaker wall,
Joel slipped on a slimy rock and fell in the the water.
Good thing I was too busy watching my own feet to see him go in!

Me and the kids on the breaker wall.

Levi defacing state of Michigan property.
Just kidding - it will wash off.

Am I married to the most handsome man in the world or what!

Again proof that I walked across the breaker wall - facing my fears!
And unfortunately, proof that I need to buy some Hoodia
and actually do those exercise DVD's I spent $70 on!

My Joelman! I think this picture belongs in a Michigan brochure!

Levi eating a Chicago dog from Nancy's in New Buffalo.
Contents: hotdog, relish, mustard, onions, diced tomatoes,
dill pickle slice, two peppers, and celery salt
ALL on a sesame seed hotdog bun.
Joel even ate one! Hard to believe, I know.
I think he's growing up! Sniff, Sniff!

Me in Michigan City sporting my lovely sunburn and a smile.

If Levi and I ever make a CD together, this will be the cover.
I LOVE this picture. I look small compared to the lighthouse!

Another of Megan's famous backseat pictures!

And now one of the things I looked forward to the most about our trip -
eating at the Triple XXX in Lafayette.
Don't be shocked that we are letting Joel enter such an establishment,
the Triple XXX has nothing to do with what you might think -
it's all about the root beer!

Me pointing to the picture of Guy Fieri from the Food Network's
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I LOVE that show!

Joel and Levi ate the famous hamburger that comes with everything
INCLUDING peanut butter on the bun!
I had their famous tenderloin - as seen on the Food Network!
Brian had a cheeseburger and Megan had a BLT.
Aside from Levi and I butting heads for a while
(don't even ask - suffice it to say we are way too much alike) -
it was a good time and the place didn't let me down!

Us! Sunburned and tired - but happy to be spending time as a family!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Guess what we have at home -
Shhhh! It's a secret!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Horses v. Sheep

I was looking at some pictures on Confessions of a Pioneer Woman's website over the weekend. There were pictures of the ranch she lives on and pictures of her kids. But the ones I liked the best were the pictures of her husband.

Wait a minute - I think that statement needs some clarification.

I liked the pictures she posted of her husband because it showed him working the ranch, being with his kids - showing all the things that she loves about him.

Her comments under these pictures were very real. It was obvious that she knows her husband well and loves him immensely.

It made me think of Brian and the things I love about him. Unlike Confession's husband, Brian doesn't ride horses or lasso cattle - but he does tend sheep.

If I had a camera with me on Sundays, this is a picture I would take.

- The way he rubs his eyes and forehead while his head is bowed praying before he gets up to preach. It's a pained look and one that used to worry me immensely. It used to worry me because I thought he was having chest pain or something. I finally asked him one Sunday what in the world was wrong. He just looked at me and said, "I'm praying."

I've seen that pained look before - on different people. I've seen it on my dad as he looked over cattle grazing on a dry pasture. I've seen that look on the face of doctors as they flip through the chart of a cancer patient while the anxious patient and spouse wait to hear the prognosis. I've seen that look reflected back at me from a monitor screen as I watched a fetal heart rate decel too deep and too long too many times.

There's something about the gravity of being responsible for lives - whether patients, cattle, or sheep - that weighs heavy at times.

The responsibility of tending sheep (and eating pizza after 9pm when you are post-40) has been known to effect his sleep.

Brian e-mailed me this this morning -

I had very disturbing dreams this morning.

The house was flooding, and we had water damage everywhere.
The wood on the house was rotting before my eyes.

Then we had to carry heavy stuff up a rotten, rickety deck,
and I was having to reassure you.

Then the neighbor came and was stealing things out of his foreclosed house and putting these things on our crumbling deck.

About this time, I was slammed into the side of a building by a
river boat (I don't know where it came from) and the tornado
that had hurled it against me drug me and the boat 15 miles the rescue people said.

After falling out of the tornado's grip I had lain unconscious for
some time and had internal injuries.

After paramedics had triaged me, you found me and were taking me home.

Then I woke up.

Maybe riding horses and lassoing cattle would be easier than tending sheep?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What's next?

Getting ready to do it all over again!
Levi - Senior 2009

But first - Scooby's 3rd birthday!!!!

Baccalaureate and Graduation!!!!

TCM Ensemble 2007-2008

I had never attended a baccalaureate ceremony before and didn't really know what to expect. Now I know. I guess I should have looked it up in the dictionary.

Baccalaureate - noun. A solemn ceremony which takes place the evening before graduation. Purpose of baccalaureate is to allow the parents of said graduate to cry like a baby in a setting slightly more private than commencement.

Capped and gowned . . .

on the front row . . .

I spoke and managed to somewhat
keep my composure . . .

Ensemble sang . . .

the night ended with a charge to the graduates to
live lives honoring to the Lord.


The diploma!

"Glocks locked and ready to rock!"
Commencement speaker -Lance Cpl. Klay South
(I like the look on Megan's face -she was afraid
he was going to back up and land in her lap.)

All That I Am
sung by the senior girls

Tassel now on the right!

Megan's display table -

Class of 2008!