Monday, July 31, 2006


My lack of recent blog posts does not mean that we have had nothing happening in our lives. We spent most of last week at Fairmount Campgrounds for our district family camp. I taught the kids track each morning and helped with the preschool class at night. For a funny story from last week about a practical joke gone a bit askew, read today's blog by Deb.

Our children had a couple of milestones over the past 10 days:
Madelyn got her first cold (not bad for being over 6 months old.) Elisha had a cough and cold over a month ago, which he gave to me. I, in turn, infected Jim and (most likely) Madelyn. Although it is pitiful to hear a baby cough and cry and sniffle, I actually waited a couple of weeks to take her to the doctor, thinking that a cold just had to run its course. (Let me just say that with our first child, I would have called the doctor after three days, So I was quite proud of my levelheadedness and resolve.) Finally, I made an appointment last Thursday...she is now on an antibiotic for a secondary infection (sinus, most likely).

Elisha's news is a bit more positive: Sometime near the beginning of last week, Jim noticed that one of Elisha's bottom front teeth was loose. Being the good (and somewhat obsessive) mother that I am, I looked online to see if this was "normal." Most of the information I could gather listed 5 or 6 as the age when children lost their first tooth, maybe as early as 4. So, it was on to bother (I mean ask) our dentist and pediatrician. Both were not concerned, so I tried not to be either. Still, it was a bit disconcerting when we woke up the very next morning to find our 3 1/2 year old with one less tooth than he had the night before. Fortunately, we located the tooth in his bed and saved it in a special box that our good friend Jenn had purchased for Elisha at the missions tent the night before.

Elisha's "treasure box" as he likes to call it - thanks, Jenn!

The tooth: so little!

This is not an amazing picture, but it was fairly difficult to get a
clear shot of his mouth where his lips didn't cover his bottom teeth.

See what I mean? Here is a great picture,
but it doesn't show the missing tooth.
What a cute boy, though!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mind Over Matter

I found out almost a week ago that three friends of mine are entering a triathlon and have started training for it. As soon as I heard them talking about it I was immediately intrigued by the idea. Well, first I had to verify what three events actually took place during a triathlon, but once I knew (running, swimming, and bicycling BTW), I started thinking to myself, "I wonder if I could try it?"

I heard them talk about it last night at "girl's night out" - getting up early, training every day with a set schedule, accountability. Just hearing about it gave me a rush..."I wonder if I could so that?" So, I talked to Deb today: "How long do you run?" "When do you train?" "What if I started training too?" She offered me a copy of the training schedule, and we discussed the "mind game" it can be to make your body do things it would rather not (like swim 500 meters or run 5 miles.) There is a part of exercise in general that requires a person to push oneself: to get up and get going when you would rather lay on the couch or sleep in. Not that there isn't a payoff...the adrenaline rush, the increased energy, not to mention just being in better shape (and having clothes fit that once didn't).

But then I read the training information...
"This TriFast Training Program is designed for runners (first sign of trouble because I am not a runner - I hate to run) who would like to test their fitness in a triathlon by adding swimming and cycling to their workout routines. It assumes a moderately high level of fitness (I think I have a moderately high level of fitness), certainly an ability to finish 5-K or 10-K races if not marathons. (OK, based on that, I guess I don't have a moderately high level of fitness.)

If you never have run before, consider carefully before selecting this program. It assumes in the first week that you have the ability to run for a half hour and bike and swim near equal amounts of time. (so that would add up to an hour and a half of exercising on three ways I never exercise.) Some of the workouts combine two or more of the three triathlon disciplines in a single workout. Also in the program is two days of strength training a week."

So, this is when I started to have a panic attack (not really). But I did start a two-way conversation inside my mind weighing out the feasibility of me participating in this triathlon:


  • I exercise on a regular basis: walking and strength training, not to mention chasing after and caring for two young children, which builds stamina (as well as patience and humility and various other qualities that do not have physical ramifications.)
  • I am competitive and persistent and love a challenge.
  • It would be amazing to set and reach a goal like this.
  • I have three friends who would help with accountability and encouragement.
  • Finishing would be the goal, not winning, so there would be less pressure.
  • I have access to a pool, weights, treadmill, and bicycles at IWU gym.


  • Have I mentioned that I hate to run?
  • I had knee surgery in college and still have weakness in that knee (I should mention here that another friend who is training for the triathlon also had knee surgery while she was in college, and you would probably never know it. I tell myself it's because she is a true athlete. :-) )
  • I have chronic ear problems and cannot swim without ear plugs and probably a swim cap to guarantee that I don’t get water in my ears.
  • I do not own a bike (actually, that is not true; I do own a rusted Schwinn 10-speed that is covered with cobwebs in our shed.) I do not own a bike that could be used in the race.
  • I have a 6 month old and am still nursing (sorry if that is TMI for some of you, but I seriously think that figures into my energy and ability to train hard.)
  • I have a 6 month old and am still not getting a full night's sleep. (Deb only got 4-5 hours of sleep last night but that is because she - like the rest of us - is addicted to blogging. It is not, hopefully, an every night occurrence.)
  • I have more reasons but this post is getting rather long.

So, here are my conclusions:

  • I can tell myself that I will train for and compete in this triathlon until I am blue in the face; but reality says it will not happen.
  • Mind over matter does not always work (just watch Fear Factor).
  • My friends will not care (or like me any more or less) if I participate in this triathlon.
  • I cannot attach any of my self worth to whether or not I participate.

Bottom line: I just don’t see what I was thinking…temporary insanity, maybe? I feel like I was crazy to even consider that I could do this. Am I that "un-self aware"? (I made that word up.)

I admire those who are going to make it happen in their lives; and if anyone has a way that I could make it happen in mine (in 7 weeks), I am ready to hear it. But, for now, I am disappointed to say that my mind cannot overcome this matter.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Food for Thought

Madelyn has begun the transition to "real" food (if that is what you can call the tasteless mush she has tried lately). She has yet to master the technique of eating but has, in fact, managed to "suck" the food off the spoon so far. Overall, she tolerates the experience but has not accepted it as the new and exciting adventure that food can somtimes be.

Which brings me to my next point - or maybe this would be my first (and only) point: food can be an adventure. (Did I already write that?) At least it is in our family:

Tonight we went to my parent's house for dinner. We brought pork to grill (thank you, Meat Fairy) and sweet potatoes; and they has corn on the cob and ice cream which, combined, created a very nice meal. I was helping get things ready and "found" a small package of food wrapped in plastic wrap sitting on the bread box (which, incidentally, does not hold bread but contains my mother's spice collection - go figure).

Anyways, I asked if this lump of bread - I think it was actually shortcake - was still good or if it could be thrown away. The answer I received at once summarized years of food disagreements and discussions: "If there's not mold on it, it's still good."

I promised thay I would not reveal which of my family members uttered this proverb. However, I will say that this is not the first time advice like this has been given, and it could just have easily been many other members of my family who shared this opinion.

I, for one, don't get it... I mean, is "mold growing on it" the only way to know that something is spoiled? What about milk? I have, on occasion, opened a gallon of milk and known that it is not fit to drink. Is there mold? No, but I guarantee anyone with the sense of smell (let alone taste) would not think twice about declaring it bad.

What about meat? In my experience, it takes quite a bit for meat to mold (like forgetting it in the back of the fridge for 2 months). Or fruit? Jim has a bad canteloupe memory that still comes up when we eat it. (That would be the memory coming up, not the canteloupe.)

So, while I don't want to be wasteful, I also think there may be better guidelines for determining food safety and storage issues. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Or stories of your own? I have more, but I may find myself eating at home much more often if I share them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Lately, I have been noticing several posts that have random thoughts, random lists, or random pictures. So, in keeping with this recent theme (or non-theme, actually), I have posted a variety of pictures that have been in my camera waiting for their day to come. Enjoy!

The kids decided to play in the wet sand (which became mud)
during one of our recent camping trips. As you can imagine,
all of the adults were "threatening" them not to touch us. :-)

Camping Out: Maddie and her morning cup of coffee

Christmas in July: Elisha and his new (rummage sale) kitchen.
He had been "cooking" using plastic lids for pretend stove burners.

Christian soldiers need rest too.

I just like this picture.

People say they look alike...what do you think?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Groovy Girl

Check out this cool onesie that our friend and tie dye expert
Rhonda Conrad made for Madelyn at KFC Camp. Thanks, Rhonda!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


For some reason, generosity has been a topic that keeps "popping up" over the past few weeks. I think God may be trying to tell me something, but we will get to that later.

The following are 4 definitions of the word "generous"
  1. Liberal in giving or sharing.
  2. Characterized by nobility and forbearance in thought or behavior; magnanimous.
  3. Marked by abundance; ample: a generous slice of cake.
  4. Having a rich bouquet and flavor: a generous wine.

Although I have experienced all of these definitions at one time or another, below are some of my most recent examples:

  • A friend was cleaning out her freezer to make room for meat and food that a family member was bringing her. She generously (definition #3) gave our family bags of meat (like 20 bags) and other food items - more than our freezer could hold - so we filled up my grandmother's freezer and still gave food away (to at least 4 other families so far.) We affectionately refer to her as "The Meat Fairy" (you know, kind of like the Tooth Fairy, who brings kids money...she brought us meat...get it?)
  • I read about the amazing generosity of an Apple employee here (Scroll down to post titled "Generosity.")
  • The members of a camp committee I serve on decided to share the financial surplus we had this year by sharing generous (definition #1) amounts with those who planned and helped at the camp. We were also able to return money to teen helpers who had originally paid to help offset food costs and decided to give everyone who helped at camp Starbuck's gift cards. What fun!
  • My cousin Deb and her husband (who will remain nameless since he values his privacy) responded patiently, and generously (definition #2) when our three year olds decided to practice their artistic abilities on their brand new camper. The kids managed to use markers to color on bench cushions, floor, carpet, wall, bedspread and a decorative pillow. After spending 2-3 hours together scrubbing and cleaning (many thanks to Shelli and Kismet too), Deb was still talking to me and has yet to disown me or my child as part of the family. (I am sure her blog will have more details about this in the future.)

Now, on to the applications...

  • I sometimes have an issue with worry (how will we pay for this, when will that work out, why can't God just let me know how this will end up, etc...). After experiencing firsthand the generosity of others, I realized (or maybe remebered is a better word) how amazing and faithful God is to provide - even more than we could ask or imagine (you should see all of the meat!)
  • I read today in Mark 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give" and thought about the ripple effect of generosity - seeing blessings being passed on to others. How cool!
  • I was also reminded of how many things Christ has freely given to us: salvation, health, family, friends, hope and peace, just to name a few.

So, this is where I'm about you? When or how have you experienced generosity lately?