Monday, June 26, 2006

We're off this week to Estes Park for a little vacation and a lot of rest! We discovered Estes Park last summer and it has become our favorite spot in Colorado. Last June we rented a little cabin for a week and spent one of our best family vacations in that place. We loved it so much, we're headed to the same cabin this week. It's not fancy schmancy or anything, but it's got a great screened-in porch and a big family room, a terrific view of Longs Peak, and you see elk when you glance out the window. BEAUTIFUL!!! We're planning to spend some time in Rocky Mountain National Park doing some hiking and exploring. We also hope to take a trail ride on horseback. We're taking UNO and a 1000 piece puzzle, and books and our dvd player and movies! Can you tell I'm excited?

We're actually leaving before my mom does...aren't we hospitable? She's flying home with a friend from home who's here visiting in Colorado. That worked out well for them and eased my guilt a little!

Last Thursday John had a meeting with a guy from NavPress. At their meeting he gave John two advance copies of the WORLDVIEWS book he wrote in December. It's a book he co-authored with another guy named John. He actually re-wrote some of the other guys work, then finished up the second half. Anyway, it looks great, and I actually read the chapter on Postmodernism! Terrific! I'm not sure when it comes out (officially), but I'm so proud of him. It's a really cool thing to watch a book evolve from words on a screen to a book you hold in your hands. Really cool. I hope there is much more of that in his future!

We've taken advantage of my mom being here as a babysitter. This Friday is our 16th anniversary and we celebrated a week early with dinner and a movie in downtown Colorado Springs. We went to see A Prairie Home Companion and loved it. John has always been a Garrison Keillor fan! Our favorite part was the jokes the two cowboys told. Some were a little crude, but most were very funny!!!

I'm off to get things ready for Estes Park. We take our own food and cook most of our meals at the cabin (or "cavern" as Abbey calls it!). It's very chilly here this morning with temps in the upper 40s, and Estes Park is higher in elevation (translated even cooler) so I'm going to have to dig out some cool-weather clothes! Not that I mind or anything!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fifty States

Saturday afternoon we were stuck in a bit of traffic. Yuck. Summertime in Colorado always seems to bring an influx of traffic. I've gradually begun to realize (sometimes I'm slow) that it's mostly from tourism. So while we were stuck, I got the kids to help me identify as many license plates as we could find from different states. Five days later, we've spotted tags from 40 of the 50 states. I think that's pretty incredible, don't you?? I'm sure that next week when we go to Estes Park we'll be able to complete our list. Last summer the parking lots were full of cars from all over the country and I remember thinking that there were more people from out of state at Rocky Mountain National Park than there were from Colorado. Estes Park is our favorite place in Colorado.

We took the kids to see Cars yesterday afternoon, and I thought it was a cute movie. It took me awhile to get into it but I loved it...especially the ending. I discovered that our theater offers a FREE movie every week for kids during the summer. They've got some great movies showing too...Dreamer, Curious George, Madagascar, Zathura, and more. I think tomorrow we may take the kids to see Dreamer. It's one of our favorites and who can say no to a free movie?!?

Will's hair grows so fast. I accidentally scalped him on Sunday, but he's already got some new growth that you can easily see. I think I've learned my lesson about those clippers and I'll gladly fork over $12-$15 for him to get his hair cut/buzzed by a licensed professional from now on! Live and learn, baby!

John just continues to get more and more projects pitched his way. He has a meeting tomorrow with a guy about a potential project for a publication in the works. His name got passed along as a result of a proposal he presented about two weeks ago. We're curious about where this meeting tomorrow might go. He's got so much on his plate this summer that we're not sure at this point if we'll be able to make another trip to Arkansas. We're still thinking/praying about that.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Random News

It's been several days since I've posted because we've been busy enjoying our company! My mom is here visiting from Arkansas. We've enjoyed having her here, and have more fun stuff planned for this week.

John had a nice Father's Day yesterday. We surprised him with three books from an author he recently discovered. He preached at our church yesterday too, and shared a beautiful message. If you care to listen, you can download it from our church's website (International Anglican Church--see the sidebar on the right side of this blog). He loves having the opportunity to preach when he can, and is up again in July!

About two weeks ago I gave Will a buzz haircut with my neighbor's clippers. It has been looking shaggy lately, so we borrowed them again yesterday and I was going to straighten it up. I should have gotten her to re-instruct me on how to use them. I forgot to put the guard on, and even though I set it on the highest setting, he was nearly bald after the first swipe through his hair. Of course I started at the front of his head, so it looked like he had an inverted mohawk. I gotta tell you that some really bad words came out of my mouth. I was near tears, but had to keep going. John was cool about it, and Will LOVES it. He called his friend to come over and see it when I was done. My mom was just thankful she had gotten some cute pictures of him before he was bald. Seriously, he has NO HAIR! I'm getting used to it though, and have already smeared sunscreen on his bald pate this morning. Wouldn't that be a painful sunburn? Ouch!

I've got my mom out working in my yard. Neither John and I are "yard" people, and she has about five green thumbs. She loves it, and I love that she loves it. It's hot out there today though...upper 80s. We should have been out there working on Friday afternoon when the temps were in the upper 40s...yes, I said 40s!!! It was downright cold!

On Saturday afternoon we went down to Old Colorado City and walked around. There are lots of neat shops and art galleries on that stretch, and it's just a fun place to explore when we have out-of-town guests. Anyway, I saw a lady with an Arkansas Razorback t-shirt on and stopped to talk to her for a minute. Turns out she is related to one of our doctor friends in Arkadelphia (the last place we lived before moving here), and she is friends with one of my cousins. Small, small world isn't it???

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

You've Got Mail!

Today was a good mail day! I'm talking about snail mail. I don't like to go the mailbox and come home with bills, advertisements, and catalogs. I like letters! The personal stuff! Today was great in that regard. I got an invitation to a baby shower for friend at church. That was nice. The kids got letters from their grandparents in Arkansas. That made their day. We got two more Little House on the Prairie dvds from We'll watch a couple episodes tonight! John got a Father's Day card with $$. Always nice. And we got an invitation to a celebration of life for Sarah's little friend who is a cancer survivor. That's one celebration we don't want to miss. And finally, John got a letter from his parents that included an article from their hometown newspaper. When we were there in May, the Nashville News interviewed him and wrote a feature article about his leap from the pulpit to the publishing world, complete with a picture of him holding a few of his books. If the photo of him and Will in Pray! magazine didn't do it, I guess this article cements his celebrity status. SMILE!! So yeah, it was a good mail day. And if you want to rib him about being a "celebrity"...I think he'd probably laugh right along with you!

We're off in a few minutes to Denver to get my mom from the airport. She's spending some time with us this month, and we're excited! The kids already have plenty of ideas of how they want her to spend her time. Should be fun!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The "Yes" Mom

I love summer more than anything! I love having no schedule, I love being outside, I love having my kids all home, and I love being the "yes" mom. Yes, you can have a sleepover; yes, you can go to the movies; yes, you can play outside; yes, we can go for a bike ride; yes, you can have a friend over; yes, you can go to your friend's house; yes, you can stay up late; yes, we can go for ice cream; and yes to so many many more things. Will told us yesterday (after two sleepovers and a movie with friends) that we were the "ultimate" parents. I don't know about that, but I do like saying yes to his requests, and it seems so much easier in the summer!

We've been outside so much lately, that my house is in major disarray. That is stressing me out a little because we have company coming tomorrow (and here I am on the computer instead of tackling the myriad of tasks that await me!). Our kids have lost interest in those chores they were so gung-ho about last week (isn't that the way it goes?). They still help me, but they need lots of persuading (and bribing!). Who can blame them? They want to be outside as much as I do! So we've been doing the bare minimum every day! And that's okay's SUMMER!!!!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

We've been working for a while now with Sarah on learning to ride her bike...without training wheels. For whatever reason, she hasn't been too interested in learning until a few weeks ago, and even then was really tentative and cautious. When she didn't "get it" right away and had a bad fall, she lost interest....until Wednesday when our five-year-old neighbor across the street learned how to ride hers. Our neighbor (she's cute as a bug) was riding up and down the street in front of our house, saying "Hi Sarah" each time she rode past. So Thursday morning, we were outside playing, and I was talking to our neighbor, and Sarah asked me to get her bike. She got on and started pedaling while I was holding onto her seat. And away she pedaled...again and again and again! Yesterday she mastered starting on her own and turning corners well. So today we all went to REI and bought her a new bike and helmet. An early birthday present. They had to build the bike, so it's not quite ready, but she and her daddy are going to pick it up this afternoon. We're thrilled that she's riding on her own now, and she is pretty darn proud of herself as well. Way to go Sarah!

We're all pretty proud of John too. He had a meeting on Thursday with some folks at a publishing company. They asked him to submit a proposal for a women's devotional bible. They asked for something different than what is already out there...something really "out of the box". So, he presented his proposal on Thursday (while Sarah was learning to ride!) and they loved his ideas. He got some good affirmation, and possibly some more work! It was really great for me to see him "in his element" as far as the creative process goes, and equally great for them to recognize his creative capacity. He doesn't know what will come of the meeting, but it seemed promising, and he was grateful to be asked for his ideas.

I posted a few days ago about how God seems to be blessing my little home business. In the last two days, I've gotten even more unsolicited orders for over $300 of product. I'm thinking that maybe I should really start working this a little more. If that's what keeps happening without effort on my part, think what I might could do if I really started to get serious about it. I'm actually pretty motivated right now, but still praying about how to proceed.

No signs of our little mouse today. John didn't see it yesterday either, but said that he was trying to climb out of the window well on Thursday. There's not much for him to "grip" onto though, so he'd get about half-way up and fall back to the ground. Poor thing. Maybe his determination won out and he's found his way to freedom! We'll keep watching for him, but I'd be fine to never see him or his kind ever again!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I was deleting old messages from our answering machine a few days ago, and made an interesting observation...our kids get more messages than their parents do! I deleted about 6-7 messages, and 4 of them were for our nine-year-old. He has a couple of neighborhood friends who call all the time for him (and let me stress all the time!) . Seriously, my phone might ring 10x a day, and I bet 5-6 of those calls are for Will. Sarah gets calls too, but not the volume that Will does. Is this a sign of times to come??? Yikes.

Today I got a real treat. A pedicure. My neighbor gave me a gift certificate for one last summer...and I just now got around to using it. It was luxurious, and I'm so thankful for her gift. John was gracious to watch the kids for me. He is insanely busy these days, so the luxury of time was as much a gift as the pedicure.

God is really blessing my Creative Memories business. In the last two days, I've gotten phone calls from friends wanting to order over $150 of product. I've really put very little effort into this business, but things keep happening. It's exciting to watch and wonder where God is taking this. I met another consultant a couple of months ago and am really praying about how she and I might work together. She's been doing this for a long time, but just recently moved to Colorado. Again, I don't know where God is taking this, but I'm enjoying the ride. We'll see what happens!

Oh yeah...about that mouse in the window well downstairs. I've yet to see it, but apparently that little mouse likes to watch John while he's working. This afternoon, John rummaged around in the garage until he found his air rifle, then he went around to the window well to put an end to the little guy. He's a sneaky little critter and kept burrowing underground, so John wasn't even able to find him much less shoot him. So the saga continues. I hope he'll try again tomorrow. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Well, we finally broke down and turned the air conditioner on today. We're actually the envy of our neighborhood because we actually have a/c. It was complete shock to us when we were house-hunting to realize that most homes in Colorado don't. Friends without it usually tell us that it's only miserable for a week or so in July, but we've had some warm temps this week. I'm just thankful it's running and that our house is nice and cool!

I'm downstairs typing on John's computer right now. His desk sits underneath a window with not much of a view. Because his "office" is in the basement, and most of the basement is underground, the view from his window is the inside of our window well. I came down here earlier to tell him something and he told me to listen very carefully and not react to what he needed to tell me. Seems he had been watching a mouse all morning...apparently one trapped in the window well. It was all I could do not to scream. Tiny creatures I know, but they freak me out!!! I haven't seen the mouse this afternoon, but really don't want to either, so this will be a short post. I'm not too worried about it migrating indoors. I think it just must have fallen down into the well, and there's really no way it can climb back out without assistance. So hopefully, John will be removing a dead mouse really soon. I think he's burrowed down into the cool ground right now...just hope he can't burrow through our concrete basement wall. YUCK!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Ah...Sunday afternoons. My favorite time of the week. I like Friday nights too, but Sundays usually have a lazy, restful pace that I really love.

On the way to church this morning, I noticed that Pikes Peak only has a few spotty patches of snow left on her! Not really surprising considering that our temps in June have been in the 80s! Quite a change from those nice 60s we were enjoying earlier in the week. At least it's beginning to feel like summer around here.

Daily chores are a part of our summer routine. Each of my kids has a "chore-chart" on the fridge, and they check their completed chores off of their chart each day. Believe it or not, it's something they really look forward every morning. Sarah and I were up early yesterday morning and she had all her boxes "checked" before 7am. She and Will are so darn competitive with each other that it's a race to finish first...every single day. Today, he was up before her racing to finish his chores before she awoke. They even help Abbey get her chores checked off, hoping that I'll give them a bonus check for assisting her. And heaven forbid one of them get more check marks. They're both reading right now, each afraid that the other will log more hours on their summer reading plan. Hmmm...I wonder where that competitive gene came from? If you're thinking it came from their mother, guess again. John and I are equally stubborn and competitive. At least I've motivated our kids to help me out around here. And let me tell you, my house is dust-free and my kitchen appliances are sparkling. Nice!

Last week John got a really cool invitation. Most of his writing/editing involves The Message translation of the Bible. The guy who translated the Message is Eugene Peterson. Mr. Peterson is very particular about Message-related products and has very specific ideas of what those products should and shouldn't look like. Anyway, John has wanted for a while now to talk to the man himself, and last week got an inviation to do just that. Mr. Peterson is going to be at NavPress in July. John was invited to attend a large assemby, then have lunch and be a part of smaller, Message-related team meeting with him. I'm excited for him! I wish I could tag along!

I'm heading outside in a few minutes. It's too nice a day to spend inside on the computer. We have some lilac bushes in our front yard that bloomed this week and they smell so amazing. We also have columbine (Colorado state flower) and iris blooming too. I think the lady we bought this house from must have liked purple because all of the blooms are lavendar! I love the kind of flowers and plants that come back every year without me having to do anything. I'm not a yard all! Sadly, John isn't either.