Saturday, April 26, 2008

For those of you who live in the South



If you know how to read a map, and can locate Minnesota, you will observe the nice white swirl. That's not clouds, it's precipitation. And if you happen to know your weather maps, you will know that white generally indicates colder, powdery precipitation. IE: Snow. During the months of November to March, this is a regular Minnesota occurence. In those months, a "WINTER" weather advisory is understandable. But in the spring???

Actually, I'm laughing here. Didn't I tell you global warming is a myth? :)

Mitch just came in and asked, "are you glad we got some snow finally?" Me: grunt. He said, "We haven't had a white summer for a while!" Ok, you got me. I really did laugh!

Just to make sure you get the picture. This IS April 26th. Sorry my camera is not working great. I need to tinker with it. That and I was obviously taking the picture through the window. I'm not going outside today until I have to.


Minnesota is crazy. They say if you don't like the weather, hang around and it's likely to change. No kidding. On Wednesday it was sunny and in the 70s. My house naturally heated up to 76 all on its own. On Thursday it was foggy and rainy, but still a comfortable 60. Then yesterday it was cooooold and rainy. And now this morning lots of white stuff. It's still falling, too.

Ok. In other news, I'm as busy as ever. Thursday was a very special day. Mitch took the day off and we loaded up the kids and went to the cities. I dropped them off at the Mall of America, where my awesome hubby spent the next 7 hours with the eldest 5 of our children. I then drove with Malachi into downtown Minneapolis (me--driving our big suburban--downtown alone--imagine!) to meet a stranger that I had only "met" online a week before. Her name is Ruth and she owns Snap-EZ diapers. She brought me some microfleece. Of course, she didn't fly all the way to Minneapolis to bring me some microfleece. I'm just not that special. :) Her son is competing in a national Bible quiz competition. We planned an afternoon of fabric store shopping. What happened is I got to spend 5 hours picking her brain. She was wonderful to share with me many business advice and tips. I can clearly see now what the next step is that I need to take with Pampered Cheeks. I'm thrilled! We each had fun buying some fabric too. Oh, did I mention that Ruth and I are like-minded? That made the day even that much better. Yes, I said she was a stranger, and it is very dangerous to meet someone that you have only known online in real life. I did feel prompting of the Holy Spirit on this one, and it is clear that He was speaking to me as He really orchestrated the whole day. Things just fell into place that otherwise would not have been able to happen. It was a pretty near perfect day.

I didn't mention that the night before we went to the cities Malachi slept all night and didn't get up until 8 am. That right there was enough to make the day perfect! Malachi is doing much better now than he was as an infant, there's no question about that. He still is very strong-spirited. He's also sweet and cute. He is starting to talk, saying lots of different sounds and consonants, plus copying tone and inflection from the other kids. The other day he was holding a controller that had a cord attached. He had it by the cord and was swinging it back and forth. He hit himself in the head, dropped the controller, looked at it for a bit, then said, "NO!" And smacked it. :) Yesterday he was standing in the middle of the room hanging onto Micah's hand with one hand. He let go and Micah walked away. Malachi just stood there, all proud of himself, then took a step and sat down. He yelled as we cheered, smiling all the time. He knows he's a big boy!

Today Caleb and Zeke and I don't know who else are going with Mitch to an all-day basketball camp nearby. They are soooo excited. I'm planning a sewing day (of course) plus a bit more. Our church is hosting a concert tonight. Today I get to go and serve lunch to the two bands that are playing: Down Here is opening and Shawn McDonald is the main event. I'm SO excited! I love the band Down Here. Of course, I'm going to the concert tonight, too.

Ok, that's about enough yapping from me. I have a full day after a full week, and I'm already behind!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Narnia

Our kids are gearing up for a little Narnian excitement. They have been listening to the Chronicles of Narnia on C.D. done by Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre. The discs are awesome. Also, our Credit Union gives the kids gift cards for movies on their birthdays. The kids have been saving their gift cards, and we are planning on seeing Prince Caspian when it comes out. This will be an exciting time for all of us!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Curly hair, hair cuts, and more!

A little fun today. Proof that my kids get their curly hair from me. I get asked all the time where Zeke gets his curly hair from and it drives me nuts. Does it look like my hair is straight??? When people are at my house, I take advantage of the situation and pull out my baby album. These are the pictures that I show them that dispel all doubt! Malachi probably looks the most like me that any of my kids have looked. Probably because he's so fat. What do you think of my diaper cover? I think I've made some improvements over the years with Pampered Cheeks, huh?!



Here you can see the results of Zeke's hair cut. :(



Josh has curly hair too! His hair has come in so slowly, but it is nice and curly at least right after a bath.


Here are all of my cute boys together! Caleb was the naughty one who put rabbit ears on Malachi even after I said not to.






Saturday, April 12, 2008

Growing Up

I've been wanting to post this blog entry for a long time now, and just have been so busy. In the meantime I have been writing it in my head!

Growing up is such a strange feeling. Since I have been 29 now for a couple of years, it's even stranger. I'm not 19 anymore. Not even 21. Weird.

I was blessed by my friend Angie (the photographer) with a ticket to the Newsboys concert on Thursday night here in town. I wish I could embed a video here for you to watch, but I don't want to take the time to search for one, so here is their website: http://www.newsboys.com/newsboystv/index.html. Oh how I wished to be 19 again! I would have loved to have had Mitch and Tara and Lina all there and more of our old buddies from college. We would have had such a great time. Yes, I definitely would have came out of my shell. Instead, it was all I could do to pull my hands out of pockets and clap (much less raise them above my head, yell, and jump up and down). I was in such a conflict with myself--where did this old boring person come from that is taking up residence in my body??? The "boring" me yawned at times, sat down at times, shoved hands deep into pockets. The spirited, youthful me belted out the words to every song I knew (which was most of them), thankfully the old person just couldn't hold that back. I nearly cried when the first song out was one of Mitch's favorites. He stayed at home with the kids, even though I knew he really wanted to go. I did cry when the lead singer shared part of his testimony. It was very encouraging.

Some more thoughts about growing up: I am amazed that Micah is half-grown. I think I forgot that somewhere along the lines I need to help him become an adult (oops). Since I'm still working on becoming an adult, I think I've run into some problems.

I keep thinking that my parents are going to show up and tell me what to do. I could use a little advice here. Someone else to make the decisions and be the responsible ones. While I just hang out and have fun. Hello? Mom? Dad? Want to volunteer?

I didn't think so. Bummer.

I kind of have this feeling that once our kids hit adulthood and start moving out (I know it will be a long process by watching other people go through this), we will be able to become less responsible. This is how it works, right? When our kids are all grown and move out, we can be kids again, right? So it's just a stage. I don't have to give up who I am inside, I just have to *pretend* to be an adult for a little while. Then I can go on back to the business of being a child later, and worry about growing up after I die.

As long as my kids make it there, who cares if I ever do. :)

Pampered Cheeks is growing up too. Getting too big for its britches, that's what it is. It wants to swallow up all of my time. It thinks that it is the most important thing in my life. So I shortened the leash. I am trying to impose normal hourly limits on it, then force it to stay within those boundaries. I started cleaning my house and making supper again. Hopefully everyone will start to feel the relief soon. I still hope to meet a certain (unbelievable) quota in the future. You know, like between 80-100 diapers per month. It's reasonable if I simplify things. So this is how its growing. I have had to make some tough decisions. Really tough. Maybe the most frustrating is the time thing. I'm totally maxxed out. That means unless I restructure my business, I cannot increase profits and production. It's kind of sad. I am working on profit/loss, and re-evaluating my business plan. I'm once again looking at the diaper market and analyzing my strengths and weaknesses. I have some pretty amazing customers who have become my friends. They are incredibly encouraging. You know, when someone writes to you and says, "Your diapers are the best. I should know because I've tried almost everything." Well, that's like setting off a rocket--it propels you into the sky and there's no limit!!

Except the whole production/quota thing. I gotta fix that. This is such a hard in-between stage to be stuck at. The road ahead is unclear, both in my business life and in my personal life.

Ok, back to the growing up thing. I know my body is aging. I have joked that I will be 29 forever, but the truth is I have never really thought of myself as being that old. When I was younger, people the age I am now seemed to be different. I don't see myself now the way that I saw them. Is it possible they also had these same feelings? It must be an incredible feat to feel that your mind and your spirit do not age, but your body does! Oh to be a child! Ackward. Ignorant. Humble. Innocent. Carefree. Trusting. Full of Faith.

Matthew 18:2-5
"He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.'"

In other news, yes, it snowed here. A lot. Yes, I know. If you want to see pictures, then visit Kristin's blog...you can get there through her profile to the right. It looks the same as always. White. Cold. Fluffy. You know. We did have a beautiful sunset tonight. A remarkable thing. You know that the sun sets in different locations throughout the year--always to the west, but in varying degrees so. Well our house is situated so that during the winter months we cannot see the sunset since it is blocked by other houses in our neighborhood. But beginning about now, the sun has moved (yes, I said that correctly, as I am a proclaimed geocentrist) so that it sets beautifully and fully within view. From now until fall I will be able to watch many sunsets out the kitchen window and off my deck. Tonight we had the rare treat of seeing such a sunset fall on the snow. It was beautiful, and quite worth the bother of having snow at all! :)

Zeke cut his hair yesterday. Chopped a good lot of it right off the top. The rest of it still looks kinda good, so I'm just going to leave it. It just looks like it's laying flat from having a hat on or something. I guess I'll post pictures later. I need to scoot off to bed before I turn into a pumpkin (it's 12:06).

Sunday, April 06, 2008

March Custom Orders

I wasn't going to do this, I'm too busy to really take the time, but when it got down to it, I couldn't resist. So here it is: I made over 100 diapers and covers in March. I am floored!! April doesn't appear to be any better so far. Mitch's eyes are starting to glaze over. :)




Today I am working on taxes (finally). Then Mitch and I are going to watch a movie. Our sermon this morning was awesome (as usual). If you'd like to hear it, please visit http://www.calvarystcloud.org/. :)

Friday, April 04, 2008

My Great Aunt Myrt

I have a great Aunt who has been dead for 14 years now. She was born March 21, 1904 as Myrtle Campbell and lived all her life in Rose Hill, VA. She never married. In the later years of her life she lived with my grandmother. I have many fond memories of this quirky lady. I cannot comb Eden's hair without thinking of myself as a little girl--asking Aunt Myrt if I could comb her thin, silvery hair. That poor woman--I remember her telling me to "start at the bottom and go up." I told her she was nuts, that made no sense to me. Yet she still allowed me to pull and tug at the tangles in her hair!

Our Aunt Myrt had memorized many poems and sayings as a little girl. Cute things like:
"Love me little, love me big, love me like a little pig. Love me little, love me long, love me when I'm dead and gone." (And I do!)
"Tobaccy is an evil weed, from the devil it did dispeed [sic], it ruins your breath, and spoils your clothes, and makes a chimney out of your nose." There are two funny parts to this little ryhme. 1) She and her family raised tobacco for many, many years. She worked in the fields long into her 80's even when my dad and my grandmother would try to make her stay at home.
2) Many of the words became unrecognizable over the years, due in part to the thick Appalachian (read: "app u la chin" where the "la" is a short vowel sound, not long vowel like most people pronounce, and the "ch" is ch in church) accent.

She and her siblings had to walk to school every day, and it was no short distance. It was literally up (and down) hill both ways, and yes, they did have to walk through the snow in the beautiful winding foothills of the Appalachian mountains. They would walk past neighbors' homes. One neighbor "took the paper" and would loan it to my Aunt to read. On one occasion there was an insert in the paper with a poem that my Aunt memorized. We believe the name of the paper to be "Old Home Comfort", and we guess she was around the age of 10 when she found it (1914). Years later people would come to our home and request to hear her cute poem. As her memory began to fade and her poem became sketchy, I took up a pen and wrote it down. I have searched in vain for many years, everywhere from the internet to the library to historical societies, to find this poem and cannot. So now, I will put it out there in honor of my Aunt, and maybe it will continue to bless others. As a young girl I dreamed of having her poem in a picture book, complete with illustrations. This is kind of "the next best thing." Remember there are most likely words that are misused, due to the amount of time that had passed and my inability to understand her speech clearly. For the record, I can say this poem from memory, and every time I do it leaves my kids speechless. They love it! :)

Myrtle Turtle
author unknown


School was started yesterday
Down at Turtle's Corner.
Play now must cease and work begin
For the bugs and all their kin.

Myrtle Turtle is a teacher.
She is such a clever creature.
She can read and write and spell,
And can figure very well.

"Now I want you all to do
Just the very best you can.
Let us have good orders, too."
Myrtle said when school began.

"Cultivate thoughtful habits.
Stop your laughing, Johnny Rabbit.
Those who don't obey the rules
Must be kept in after school."

"Please Miss Teacher," Cricket said,
"Do you spell cat with a 'k'?"
Johnny Rabbit wagged his head,
Causing Trouble right away.

Mr. Hopper laughed right out.
Mole and Chipmunk raised a shout.
Squashbug rolled upon the floor,
The whole school was in a roar!

Myrtle rapped with all her might
But the bugs danced with delight.
Clutch and Johnny ceased to smile
As they two-stepped down the aisle.

Bethel in a corner hid.
Daddy longlegs went instead
On the waltz with Katydid
But he got his long legs twisted.

After order was restored,
Teacher said, "I can't afford
To permit such sort of things.
It is most discouraging.

Johnny Rabbit you come here sir.
You are badly spoiled I fear sir.
What you've done you shall regret.
An example must be set."

And she raised her willow stick
To abuse him with a whack.
Then he gave a sudden kick
And she tumbled on her back.

There she lay, poor little Myrtle.
All felt sorry for Miss Turtle.
Every bug rose from his seat
To assist her to her feet.

"Lift," said Clutch,"while I count three."
As you ever did before
All the bugs were glad to see
Myrtle right side up once more.

When she turned to Johnny Rabbit
He gave up his tricky habits
All day long all day he stood,
Trying bravely to be good.

With a dunce cap on his head,
All that he had done and said
He regretted right away--
Being foolish doesn't pay.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fool's Day

More new snow...


This year the joke's on us! Can you believe this? Before yesterday, our deck was completely clean, and the snow had melted enough for us to see most of the grass. It feels like some sort of weird "twilight zone" where I just keep pulling out old pictures to show you. I assure you I took these pics this morning! This is definitely absolutely without a doubt the longest "winter" or snow season we've had since I moved to Minnesota 11 years ago. The kids are both loving and hating it. We all want summer to come, but the snow is fun, too. I love it because unlike the November/December snows that come and stay for 4 months, this snow will be gone in only a couple days!