Monday, April 30, 2007


Despite the title of my post, I'm not going to blog about this season of LOST with all those spellbinding plot twists and turns building up to the season, not today.

It is simply amazing the number of things that can get lost in our home on a daily basis. I can't count how many mornings I get ready to blow-dry my hair only to have to stop and search for my missing hairbrush. Or the girls socks. Or Polly Pocket's centimeter-long shoes. Saturday morning John was helping me out the door and he was on a mad quest for my car keys. Funny thing is mine were right where I left 'em...where I ALWAYS leave 'em. Only he thought they were HIS and he was looking for mine. About 10 minutes later, he found his in his jeans pocket. Guess who wasn't laughing?

Saturday here was georgeous. Beautiful, blue cloudless skies, temps near 80, and the afternoon was long and lazy. The kids were outside playing most of the day and the last of the snow from last week finally melted away. Amazing...I thought it would last until May, but thankfully it's all gone. Anyway, the girls came inside after hours outside and got in the tub. John helped me get them bathed and then he left for a dinner to kick-off a new ministry of one of our friends. When he returned later that evening, he comes in with a weird look on his face and Abbey's flip-flops in his hand. She left them in the driveway and he ran over them. He also held one of Sarah's flip-flops, but oddly, it was missing its mate. Remember, this is a post about things lost. Turns out she put them on the back bumper of the van. And not knowing that, John drove all the way to downtown Colorado Springs and home and ONE of her flip-flops amazingly survived the drive and was still on the back bumper. Weird. John even went on a search mission in the van, driving the path he traveled earlier and searching in the dark for a solo flip-flop. We trekked in the same direction yesterday to church and kept our eyes peeled hoping to "find" it on the side of the road/interstate! No such luck. Would've been a cool story though, huh? So, Sarah's sad she lost her stinkin' cute shoes, and I'm sad she only got to wear them 2-3 times before she lost 'em. Good thing they were inexpensive...and replaceable. And we know one little girl who likely won't use the bumper as a storage shelf anytime soon.

Sarah turned in a book report today. She worked very hard on it and drew an amazing illustration of The BFG by Roald Dahl. She was finishing up on Saturday morning and left her art on the kitchen table. John asked her to get it off the table so it didn't get messed up. After a VERY full day yesterday, we came home and were trying to get the whole project in its final form and all we needed to do was glue the art onto the display. Only we couldn't find her illustration. We searched high and low, and both of us were in tears. It was getting close to bedtime and I really didn't want her to have to stay up and re-do it. But our searching was in vain. I even went through the trash thinking I might have mistakenly pitched it...but was nowhere to be found. How does stuff like this happen??? Our house is really not that big. Anyway, she drew another picture that was beautiful and got it finished up and turned in this morning...but still on the lookout for all things lost. And Sarah was very aware of the fact that this weekend's "losing" theme was particular to her. And it broke my heart that she was feeling the weight of all that.

Is your house like that too...a black hole for objects large and small?? Or are we just blind to the things around us? This morning I found one of Abbey's hair-clips that I've been looking the drawer where I've looked everyday for the last 2 weeks. Has it been there this whole time and I just couldn't "see" it??? It's truly baffling to me.

**UPDATE** I walked upstairs after posting this (and listing in my mind all the other things that have been lost recently in our home) and began to gather items to return to the library before I start running up a tab. I was searching for one more dvd to add to the bag and THERE IT WAS...Sarah's BFG illustration sitting on top of the dvd player. Unbelievable. Mere minutes after this post. I picked her up from school and Abbey immediately blurted out that we found her artwork. She was a good sport about it (she liked the former drawing much better than the latter one) and said she was just glad to be done with it. Now...if only we could find my calculator, my camera case, Jess' (the doll) swimsuit, etc. *sigh*

Thursday, April 26, 2007

After I posted the snow pics yesterday afternoon, I was looking at all the pics stored on my camera and thinking that I really needed to download to my computer. One of my *darling* children was looking at them with me and basically wrenching the camera from my hands. I finally just handed it over, and this child (who will remain nameless) immediately dropped my camera. I groaned and made a not-so-nice remark and glared at this child for a minute before they left the room in shame--with my camera still in hand. About a minute later, this child returns in tears and hands me my beloved camera...broken. Nothing on the screen and totally unresponsive to the control panel. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. My camera is dead. And I am depressed. I totally wanna blame the kid who dropped it...but I think I already made them feel bad enough. I called John at work near tears, and he made me feel a *little* better promising we'd get another one. But I spent the remainder of the afternoon and evening sulking in my chair in front of the tube. I even managed to catch the episode of LOST that I missed last week and even stayed awake for the new episode that followed. WOW. Impressive.

So this morning we're heading out the door for school and errands and I look at the beautiful sunshine and my kids in shorts and see about 18 inches of snow in our front yard and driveway and think I need to take a picture before we leave. But then I remember, I can't. And I feel mad again. Yuck. Abbey and I drop the kids off and head to Target so I can get the stuff I need for a baby shower I'm helping host this weekend. At Target I coast by the cameras and see red clearance stickers on ALL the models in their case. Okay, that gets my attention. And the camera that I want, which is the newer model of the one I have is marked down from $350 to $200. So I call John and ask if I can buy this (getting close to payday and we're on a tight budget) and he says he's been praying about the whole camera thing, but he'll let me decide about buying it. So I walk around Target for 20 minutes or so (praying) and decide it's a deal. God's will?? Who knows, but I think this is a phenomenal deal and it's a whole lot easier for me to justify $200 than $350. So I'm happy, happy, happy again. Even tried it out while eating lunch. I think I hit the jackpot. The kids were sweet this morning. They knew that I was upset about the whole thing yesterday and they gave me a beautiful picture they collaborated on coloring. Will said they were saving it for Mother's Day, but thought I needed it earlier. And then they asked if they could put up a lemonade stand and use the earnings to buy me a new camera. Sweet, huh? If they decide to sell lemonade this afternoon, you can guarantee I'll be taking lots of photos...and they'll be pleased to get to keep their money.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gotta Love Springtime in Colorado!

What a dreary day we had yesterday. A full blown blizzard. I think it's our 4th this year but I've lost count. We had over a foot of snow, the really wet and heavy kind which is a nightmare to shovel. But the kids had fun playing in it this afternoon. Didn't have school again today which kinda surprised me. I love snow days but am growing really weary of snow. However, we're supposed to be back in the 70s this weekend. Woo hoo!

Some fun photos for you to enjoy. We ended up with some huge drifts in the backyard which the kids LOVED jumping on.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Can you believe this?

Okay, so the few faithful readers I have might remember me trying to give away our NordicTrac cross-country exercise thing last year. I put it out in front of our house with a FREE sign taped to it...and it was gone within hours. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for ridding our basement of that monstrosity (sp?) only to see it sitting back on my curb the next day. Whoever took it decided to bring the stupid thing back-arghhh. WHO does that? Couldn't believe it, but hauled it back into the garage anyway. So, a week or so later, our UPS lady knocks on the back door and asks if anyone has claimed our *free* machine. Obviously, no, it's unclaimed, so her friend in Denver calls me telling me she wants it and will come and get it sometime when she's down this way. That was OVER A YEAR AGO and I'm maneuvering around this *@$#! thing in my garage, nearly taking off a shoulder or arm just to get into my van, but holding on to the stupid thing because I'm so nice and this lady in Denver told me she really wants it and will come get it and I don't want it to "not" be here when she comes. Last month, I gave up hope that she's coming to retrieve it and we put yet another free sign on it and sat it out on the curb. Nothing. Nada. Even forgot it was out there and left it out that night in the snowstorm, but of course that thing is indestructable.

Over spring break I was visiting with some friends and the NordicTrack subject came up. After laughing at my plight for a while, one suggested selling it on Craigslist. The very next day I posted an ad, and within a few hours I had a taker. I was pumped. I was willing to give the thing away, but someone was willing to pay me $25. Wow. Except the buyer never showed up. Twiced we tried to connect, and twice she didn't show. Still hasn't. Last week John loaded the *@$#! (okay I really, really HATE this nordictrack?) into our van and went to a men's breakfast at church before dropping it off at Goodwill. Before he made it to Goodwill, one of the men from chuch was calling and wanting the NordicTrack and hoping/praying we still had it. And now it is once again sitting in my garage waiting to be picked up. Why, oh why didn't he go by Goodwill first??? I wish the story ended there, but this morning after I got off the treadmill (love that machine!), I had a message from that lady in Denver asking if it was still available. No kidding. You're crazy if you think I'm calling her back, and besides, it's promised to the guy from church. I'm hoping we can get that contraption delivered to him this weekend. I'm ready for it to be someone else's problem. Unbelievable, huh?

Also unbelievable is the 6+ inches of snow we've got outside. Still snowing too. Predictions for our area are 8-16 inches before it stops tomorrow morning. School was cancelled today b/c of the weather, and therefore my plans were re-arranged as well. John and I have been at a conference at Glen Eyrie this week. A pastors conference. Interesting, but very good. The speaker is a guy that he's hoping to sign for his next book. Great guy. And the guy leading the devotion each day is also an author John is working with. I just met his wife and they're a great couple. I enjoyed myself very much and was a little bummed that I couldn't just take the kids with me this morning. Just talked to John and while we have 6 or more inches of snow on the ground, Glen Eyrie has none. Just rain and the occasional snow shower. We're about 15 miles north of there and about 800 feet higher in elevation and we're getting pounded. It's all about elevation folks. I'm very tired of snow, but can be excited about it for the nice, new friends we met from Oregon and Texas who don't see snow very often. Only they'll have to trek up our way to really experience it this week.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Stay Close...

John wrote this yesterday and I said I could share it here. Beautiful...

I checked on our girls last night before I went to bed. They had finally fallen asleep after several water runs, a quick check to see who got booted off of Dancing With The Stars, and some last minute giggling. My "check" on them is routine; turn off the radio, make sure they're covered up, and switch off the night light.

Our youngest, Abbey, had crawled over in the bed with Sarah (they have twin beds bumped up against each other) and I was going to pull her back over in her bed. When I hunkered down to lift Abbey over, I noticed the girls' arms were intertwined. I followed the arms to the hands and then on to the fingers. My girls, my princesses, my fathers- be-good-to-your-daughters daughters were asleep, holding hands with their fingers interlaced. I backed-up and just looked at them. I went and got Meredith, saying, "Come see this" and we both stood, arm in arm, at the wonder of our girls.

We spent some time last night watching a little, a little mind you, of the coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting. I asked the kids if their teachers had said anything about that at school and they said, "No." I didn't need a day-long symposium on the event, but I did feel like the teachers owed the kids at least a nod to this tragedy.

We didn't make the kids sit still and watch the news report; they came and went as they pleased. But we did answer any questions they had and made some comments at points in the report. We cried at images of lives cut short, a "cold" shooter who may have just been "sad," and shuddered at the reporters' insatiable quest for the answer to "how did you feel?"

Our son, Will, watched intently, but the girls came and went, playing in their rooms for awhile and then returning to the den for a few and then back to playdough and dolls. I wonder if the girls saw and heard more than I realized? In the beauty of their innocence, they could stand just a little and then had to return to the safety of play? Maybe. I don't know for sure. But it sure felt like the final thing they did before surrendering to sleep last night was to lock arms and hold hands, fingers and all. To shrunch up next to each other, as close as possible, and hang on...for they were entering the night, where things are dark and unseen and alma maters become via dolarosas in the twinkling of an eye.

I don't know much about processing the next few days. I'm sure experts will tell us all how to feel, what to look for, etc., etc. But I'd like to offer this suggestion, per my girls: shrunch up next to one another, lock arms and hold hands, fingers and all. The darkness around us is deep...

Alphabet Update

I was looking at the title of my last post "the B word" and it struck me to give you an alphabet update. A little challenging, but kinda fun!

A--At home day. I get about one a week and I love it when I can stay home ALL day.

B--Blizzard. It didn't happen last week. The storm tracked south and we got snow, but it didn't stick. The kids didn't have school (but probably should have). I loved having them home.

C--Cleaning. That's what is on my agenda for the day. Our house is a mess.

D--Depleted. That's the status of our bank account right now. Pay day is tomorrow!

E--Enchiladas...what we had for dinner last night. Chicken and black bean. Yummy.

F--Friday and Friends. We're having some friends over for dinner tomorrow night. Will is excited because that means dessert. The girls are excited because it's a family with two of their best friends. They have four girls, two of which are named Sarah and Abbey (cool, huh?) and they're from the south. They're a gift to our lives and we're thankful for their friendship.

G--Glen Eyrie, or The Glen. John and I are going to a conference there this weekend. It's the Navigators ministry headquarters and retreat center. Beautiful place. One of my favorite spots in Colorado Springs, and it's right next to Garden of the Gods. More "G" words. Oh, we're going to another pastor's conference. John's publisher is sending him to meet/recruit authors and I get to tag along and go to a few sessions and enjoy some yummy meals.

H--Helper. I was recruited to help out in Abbey's preschool class on Monday. Her teacher's son was throwing up across the hall and had to leave. I had a blast and we learned all about the letter "X". Hard letter.

I--Ice Cream. We met some friends in Palmer Lake yesterday after school for ice cream at the Rock House. We took our cones over to the lot where they're building a new house to check out their progress. Fun!

J--John. Man, he's working hard these days. Today he's trekking up and down I-25 for meetings and such. And tonight he's getting together with his guy friends for some guy stuff I guess. I'm not privy to their agenda. Smile.

K--Kindergarten. Abbey and I went to kindergarten orientation this week. She is SO ready. They checked out their classroom, the school, and even took a bus ride. Big girl.

L--LOST. Our favorite tv show these days. I slept thru 95% of it last night and when John woke me up to go to bed, I asked for an update. He said it was too involved. That didn't really go over well with me. Anyone wanna fill me in on what I missed?

M--mortgage. Our payment is due tomorrow.

N--newspaper. I love starting my day with the Denver Post and a cup of hot tea. But all this Virginia Tech stuff is making that ritual a little more depressing this week.

O--Odwalla bars. Yummy snack bars. I just bought some this moring. I took the kids to school and ran to the grocery store for a few things and they were 10 for $10. Score.

P--Pastor's Wives. I recently read an article in Time magazine. Not impressed with it though. Talked a lot about wives not having formal training like their husbands and how the internet has created online communities where these women can bond, vent, ask questions, get answers, etc. One thing in the article that struck me was the phrase "first ladies". A lot of older pastor's wives tend to see themselves as such. Rings true for most pastor's wives I know. How 'bout you? I personally could never be the "first lady" and I might be the only pastor's wife you know who would show up for the photo shoot in jeans and fleece and flip-flops rather than an elegant suit.

Q--quiet. Something I crave but usually only experience around here after 9pm. Sad, huh?

R--Remember. Last night was Devo Night and we looked at the Shema in Deuteronomy 6. God's instructs us to Remember, lest we forget all that He has done. And He's done a lot for us. So we're practicing rememberance this week.

S--Student Council. Will and Sarah both serve their classes as SC representatives. Their meeting was before school this morning.

T--Taxes, Treadmill, Track, and Tying. Taxes...need I say more? We owed. Yuck. The treadmill has been my early morning friend for a few weeks now. I just feel so much better when I exercise. Will even tried the treadmill a couple of weeks ago. He started track and was wanting to run inside. First track meet is next week. He's really good at running! And I'm trying to teach Abbey to tie. Most shoes these days have velcro, but we have one pair with laces and she's working hard. It's VERY challenging to teach a lefty to tie when you're demonstrating as a right-handed person. VERY challenging.

U--underwear. I've got a load in the washing machine right now.

V--Virginia Tech. So terribly sad and heart-wrenching.

W--it is so windy here today.

X--eXotic butterflies. The art project we did at Abbey's preschool on Monday.

Y--Yuck. The condition of all of our tennis shoes after trekking across our friends lot in Palmer Lake yesterday. Very muddy from our melting snow.

Zzzzzz--ah...wouldn't that be nice?? A nap???

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The "B" Word

The dreaded "b" word has been mentioned a few times this week by our local weather forecasters...blizzard. Apparently one is headed this way late tomorrow night. Ugh. We've had a really hard winter and I am very ready for spring. But alas, we live in Colorado and April is our snowiest month and spring time blizzards are more normal than tulips and daffodils blooming. So, we're bracing for it and if I could get a snow day out of it on Friday I might just be okay with this storm.

John and I had a date last night. We were supposed to meet with our small group from church, but the family that was hosting had to cancel. I had already gotten a sitter, so we let her come anyway and we went out for dinner. Then we went for coffee. I'll drink tea all day long but I'm not the biggest coffee fan. Last night, though, I opted for a cup of joe and I was awake forEVER last night. What was I thinking??? Tea doesn't have that effect on me, but that's the last time I have a cup of coffee after 7pm.

Do you ever think about what you'd do if you weren't doing what you do now? Like if you could go back to college and train for a different career? I don't technically have a career, but from time to time I think about what I'd study if I went back to college (and I'm NEVER going back to college--once was enough for me!). I have a B.S. in Religious Education (it seemed like a good idea at the time!) but here are my top three choices: Meterology--I'm fascinated with the weather but don't understand a lick about it! Library science--one of my volunteer jobs is working at my kids' school library, and I love it. It's logical and orderly and I just really love books. Nutrition/Dietetics--in the last few years I've taken quite an interest in nutrition. I love how eating right makes me feel. Ahhh...if I coud just bring myself to love exercise. I don't like it much, but I do it anyway. I hear the treadmill calling...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

We've had a good, but unusual day! Hope yours has been blessed (and warm and dry!!).

Friday, April 06, 2007

I picked up a book the other day at the public library and I can't put it down. It's called, The Devil in the Junior League, and it is laugh-out-loud funny. I think I like it because the author pokes such fun at the socially elite do-gooders and all their societal rules. I laugh because most of those rules are familiar to me and my southern upbringing. It's super-light, purely indulgent reading, but as Abbey's little friend would say, "who weally cares?". I'm enjoying it.

John and I realized the other day that we've now lived in Colorado the same amount of time we lived in Arkadelphia, AR. Wow. And you know what? Right now, I just might prefer Arkansas' warm temps. It's 28 degrees and is snowing outside right now and we have a 70% chance of snow tomorrow. When we moved here, I didn't really believe the locals when they told me that it snows every Halloween and Easter, but I believe 'em now. In the almost 4 years we've lived here, we've consistently had snow on both holidays. Okay, maybe not actually on Easter Sunday, but ALWAYS on the day before. Makes for some interesting egg hunts and Easter outfits.

Abbey has the day off from preschool today, and John has the day off too because it's Good Friday. Will and Sarah had to go to school today and they were pretty bummed. Abbey is in heaven though since she has mom, and more importantly her daddy, all to her self. Tonight is the night the Easter bunny visits the Blase home. That tradition started many years ago when John was a pastor and Sunday mornings were crazy-busy. So, tomorrow our kiddos will awake to Easter loot and will have all day to gorge on candy and play with their trinkets and Sunday we can get off to church without begging and crying for candy (hopefully!). We're planning to get together with families from our small group at church for a picnic and a hike after church on Sunday, but the weather isn't really cooperating with our plan. No snow, thankfully, but cold temps are still in the forecast and I can't see how a picnic and hike with kids can be very enjoyable when it's barely 50degrees.

I had a huge milestone moment this week: I wrote my very last check for preschool tuition! Abbey goes to kindergarten in the fall! We had a one-year break from tuition when Sarah was in kindergarten, but I think we've been paying tuition of some sort for the last 6-7 years. WOW!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

After having the week off from school last week, it was pretty hard to get back in the groove yesterday. We've officially started counting down the weeks until summer vacation begins. 35 school days left. That seems do-able! Yea!

We enjoyed spring break very much but it didn't feel like spring at ALL. It snowed all day on Thursday and some on Friday. John took a couple days off and we went to the ranch that our friends live on just west of Denver. They were in Florida with their family, so we were basically house-sitting for them and we had the lay of the land. It would have been nice if it wasn't 30 degrees and snowing, but days like that are very relaxing and we just cozied up in the house with games, books, cable tv (the kids LOVED that!) and made cookies and just enjoyed being together. John loved it that he could don a Carhartt jacket and cowboy hat and venture out a few times a day to feed their horses. I think he would love living and working on a ranch. We both would for that matter.

We came back on Saturday because John was given the opportunity to preach on Sunday. As always, he did a fantastic job. If you care to listen to his message, follow the link to International Anglican Church on the right side of this blog, and from there find "Sermons". He usually gets a lot of affirmation after he preaches and this week was no exception. I've posted on here before that I struggle with my feelings after he preaches. When I'm listening to him and he is in "preaching mode" I know that he is doing what he was created to do, but our years in ministry have left me very wounded. I prefer for him to just continue in publishing and let me lead my safe and comfortable life. But, I know down deep that the door to ministry isn't completely closed for us...and it scares the heck out of me. Sounds selfish, I know, but it's honest. And it's just as confusing for John sometimes. But I'm feeling more and more like it's a timing thing and for now I'm okay to let both of those realities be true...there is a calling on his life, and God has more in store for John (and for us)...and I'm wounded and my self-protective stance wont' even consider ministry right now. After church we had lunch with some friends and one made the comment that she wished John were her pastor. As jumbled as all my feelings are in regard to this, I have to agree with her...I wish he were my pastor too. There's no one I'd rather listen to.