Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lost Vacuum

If anyone has seen a lost vacuum missing from Calaveras Lane, please return it to it's owner. She is in desperate need of vacuuming. Can you believe I LOST my vacuum?

The First "OFFICIAL" Day of Summer

It's the first day the kids are out of school for summer. I slept in with the exception of Eric waking me at 4:00 am asking me where his clothes were (which I forgot to dry so I frantically ran to the laundry room and dried the neccessities) so he could leave for his early flight. The new rules are in play - the house has to be picked up and rooms cleaned before swimming, TV only if all chores are finished, 30 minutes of computer per kid per day, no reading until the chores are done (only with my crew would I have to post a rule that silly) and the meanest mommy rule ever: GET ALONG OR GO TO YOUR ROOM. Yippee! It's summer!

Monday, May 29, 2006


I thought Eric was kidding when he told someone yesterday that he got me a mailbox for our anniversary. But, no's a mailbox. It is pretty and it definately beats the crooked white metal piece of trash that used to sit out by the road. It's not very romantic, but it is nice. Alex said, "But we NEEDED a new mailbox. That shouldn't count!" Eric has never been much for gifting so I am appreciating any kind of gift today. Plus, I saw a bottle of my favorite wine hiding in the fridge in the garage so I'm not complaining! It's a happy anniversary day...even if it's a mailbox.

Happy Anniversary E

13 things I love and appreciate about E

  1. He can fix anything...and I can't remember ever paying for a mechanic (except for an alignment) or hiring out a household project.
  2. He loves knowledge and has a lot of biblical discernment. He can steer me in the right direction and help me see things clearly.
  3. His smile with very straight teeth (one of the first things I fell in with!). His baby blue eyes (wish at least ONE of the kids would've gotten those!).
  4. The fresh cut lawn that takes too many hours to cut. He's always loved to mow (not my forte) and usually puts his heart and soul into our yard. This is the only hobby he's kept up with. The rest he's laid aside for our family.
  5. His passion for lost people.
  6. His honesty and respect he keeps in the workplace. His ability to communicate effectively and deal tactfully with difficult people.
  7. His humor and quick whit. Although sometimes this has bitten me in the butt.
  8. The way he connects with the kids - he can engage them in a deep conversation. In the midst of all he has on his plate, he still finds time to talk with them. Even though I get annoyed when he doesn't physically help around the house, I realize the nurturing is much more important than the day to day work.
  9. His dedication to providing for our family.
  10. His commitment to me. In all of our fights he's never accessed the "D" word. He's in it for life.
  11. His ability to recognize his faults and efforts to change them.
  12. His flexibility and laid back demeanor yet steps up to the plate and takes ahold of the household reigns when he needs to.
  13. He's loved me when I'm unlovable and loved my family as his own.

Thirteen years ago we married as kids. We've suffered, persevered, loved, cried, fought, supported one another, laughed, joyed and grown up together. Thanks E for riding the roller coaster of life with me and being my best friend. Happy Anniversary! Cheers to many more years to come.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


I missed a whole bunch of great pictures today during the first outdoor swim of the year. The kids hounded us ever since they saw people at the pool Friday night. So we made a plan to get to the pool today. This picture is of my sun-burned little people who took tank tops and made them into teeny weeny skirts and then added matching shirts. They are the fashion guru's of the family. It's amazing to me how early they start figuring out how to make mini-skirts. Oh how I can't wait until these two are teenagers...ha ha.


Well, I don't think Eric liked that I exposed my car issues to everyone. Just after my last post we got in the car to go somewhere and the car didn't start. He got out and spent the next 25 minutes fixing it while we all sat in the 85 degree heat with 200% humidity. Then yesterday I realized how not smart it was to teach Lucy how to start the car while I adjusted the battery cable. She was waiting in the car for Saturday night church and somehow it was running...without the help of me or Eric. UGHH!!

Friday, May 26, 2006


I am becoming accustomed to most people looking at my big red dirty Suburban and thinking to themselves "Beverly Hillbillies". But, now I can add to the long list of "glitches" my car seems to have...every time I get into it to start it I have to pop the hood and wiggle the battery cable. It's loose and won't stay tightened. So, for the 5th time today that I drove my car I smiled to all the people staring at me in the Walmart parking lot as I popped the hood and pulled the battery cable up as hard as I could while in sink with Lucy who was behind the wheel (ok, this in itself is just crazy) cranking the key. I was just praying it would start. And, after about 5 or 6 tries it started. The bottom line is my car bites...but it does still run eventually.


Apparently, Lucy was REALLY hungry and loves watermelon so she tried to help herself.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cold Cats

So, Eric came home for lunch today. I was just getting out of the shower and Lucy was down in my room with me and he came downstairs looking for us. He started questioning Lucy about the kitties. As he was talking to her, I vaguely began to remember her telling me she had put them in the garage and shut the garage door this morning because she was afraid it was going to storm. This was maybe about 9 am. I couldn't figure out where she put them that had Eric drilling her so intensly. He just kept saying, "No, Lucy, tell me exactly where you put them." Finally I couldn't take it and I yelled at him to just spit it out and tell me where they were. Apparently, he had gone outside to get a pop from the refrigerator and to his surprise he found two very cold kitties...jumping out at him as soon as he opened the door. Who knows how she thought up putting them in the refrigerator. Only in Lucy land...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Home Sweet Home

We made it home. It really is by the grace of God we made it all the way to Minneapolis in the first place. I slept 45 minutes Thursday night/Friday morning before getting up to finish preparing to leave and get the kids off to school. Eric had a total of 2 hours I think. It was a great weekend and we were able to spend some quality time hashing out some junk and really talking about some stuff. We missed the kids...until we got home and heard how good they were for Grandma and Papa...and how their attitudes took a nose dive when they saw us. But, it was good to see them all. Looking forward to a couple of days with my folks and a few extra hands around here. I'm trying to talk them into coming back when Eric starts his China binges...too bad it's summer and my dad's so busy on the farm. The day we left Eric informed me he will be spending a month in China starting in a few short weeks. I'm going to suck him dry of all the fatherly duties I can before he leaves. Maybe my sister or my sister-in-law will come visit me? Ok, at least I tried. If you do come, though, mom did all my laundry and cleaned the laundry room better than it has ever been since I moved in so keep in mind you might have to out do her. I'd hate for you to feel left out.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Driver Wanted

It's been a long's still Thursday in my head! I am finally off to bed (hey, that was a silly rhyme). Almost finished with all the things to do before we go. I'm going to try to catch an hour of sleep before I get going again for Friday. I'm a little tired and I vaguely remember Eric going to bed sometime around 3 or 4 am. I'm thinking we should hire a driver to get us to Minnesota...

Thursday, May 18, 2006


This morning Eric came into our room and announced that he is a genius because he has decided to install automatic flusher toilets just like they have in airports in all the bathrooms in our house. He apparently didn't appreciate the large log someone left in the toilet in his bathroom overnight that he had to smell all through his shower. Yes, he is a genius.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Kindergarten...HERE COMES LUCY

As I write this I'm fighting back tears. Last year I sat in the same pews and cried like a baby when Beth graduated from Preschool. But tonight I enjoyed the excitement in the air; the anticipation for kindergarten. Lucy graduated from preschool and as you can see in the pictures, she displayed a true Lucy personality all through the program. I think I'm tearing up tonight for two reasons. One, my baby is growing up too fast and I already miss her. Two, tonight marked the end of an era for us. No more infants, no more toddlers, and now, no more preschoolers. We are now the parents of all elementary school kids. It's rewarding to be the parents of this gang full of life and energy and love for people. There's such joy amidst the struggles of parenting and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm going to miss this girl next watch out Kindergarten because ready or not Lucy is on her way.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


  • Nail Polish Remover $.88
  • White towel $1.99
  • Advil to cure the headache from the fumes $3.00
  • A clean sink (at least for a few minutes)...priceless

My "TO DO" list for Today

This is my one day home all day...almost. Here's what I am expecting myself to get done today:
  • clean out the sewing room so my parents have a place to sleep when they come this weekend
  • wash sheets so my parents feel like we love them
  • make a path so we can at least walk to the bathroom from our bed at night (on a sidenote, don't let the kids watch tv in my room anymore...there was a ketchup explosion that apparently NO ONE knows about)
  • clean the toilets
  • vaccum the whole house
  • mop the foyer
  • clean the kitchen
  • fold and put away that same 15 loads of laundry that we keep recycling before folding
  • sweep out the garage
  • go to Wal-mart (apparently no one told me that the dog ran out of food a couple of days ago and has been eating cat food. at least Jake is resourceful...but hope Moby doesn't meow soon)
  • wash Alex's uniform for her game tonight
  • clean out the car enough so Eric doesn't yell at me when he has to drive it tonight
  • figure out what died in the car while I'm at it
  • sign beth and lucy up for t-ball
  • start lists for my parents for the weekend since we'll be gone
  • find someone stupid enough to take lucy for night Friday (don't worry, I don't think any of my prospects read my blog)
  • vaccum the couch (our carpet is like 15 years old but it still sheds somehow on the couch)
  • make cinnamon rolls as a trial run for the big order on Friday morning before we leave
  • stop checking people's blogs and stop emailing my friends
  • make supper
  • oh yeah, and teach my kid some school (thank God Jake's independent)
  • take a shower
  • carve out an hour for a luncheon appt
  • clean the nailpolish out of the sink
  • figure out if there's any insurance I can claim on the tornado that hit Beth and Lucy's room

Ok, I think it's do-able.


On Mondays after school I sit in the parking lot behind the old Griggs Music with 3 little hungry girls waiting for Jake during his guitar lesson. I don't know why but at this time of day my eyes become very heavy. I was reading a "plethera" (thanks for the word Cassie) of books on exercise and healthy eating. I think I had a stack of 5 and was leafing through them. The one is from Oprah's trainer and on the front it has him standing behind this skinny chic who is wearing an old pair of her jeans over her clothes. It's one of those BIG weight loss stories where the jeans are like size 28 and she's a size 2 now. She's smiling proudly as she holds up the jeans seeing the foot and a half of nothingness between her little body and the wide mama waistband. So Lucy sees this picture and says, "Those look like your jeans mommy." Well, this didn't sit REAL good with me so I decided I was defeated and laid down for a nap. About five minutes later I felt someone playing with my face and writing on me. I woke up and saw two innoncent-looking little boogers with their hands behind their backs in the second seat and some kind of a french mustache on my face. I shooed them into the third seat and closed my eyes again. As I was just beginning to relax, Beth was leaning over to the third seat ("I'm in the third seat mommy, ha ha") but her legs were still dangling above my head and oops one black little loafer hit me square in the eye, knocking my glasses off and giving me a nice goose egg. Then Lucy saw how agitated I was becoming so she barreled over the seat and got stuck on the floor between the second and third seats and began whining for me to unstuck her. I've decided not to take a nap ever again on a Monday during guitar. I've decided not to ever again read any kind of body transformation books on a Monday during guitar. I've decided to take ear plugs, snacks, and maybe even the duck tape.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


If Lucy ever asks you to smell her finger, don't do it. I just did and I made a big mistake...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

To Mom

Things I learned from my mom...
  • how to bake butterhorns...although I think my Grandma passed on some of the more anal baking traits. :)
  • how to bake pie
  • how to make tuna salad and macaroni and cheese from scratch (some of our childhood favorites!)
  • how to make pressure cooker potatoes (yummy...thanks for making those for my birthday!)
  • how to make the perfect roast (it was perfect enough to hook Eric!)
  • how to love people, have a servant's heart and put others before yourself (I'm not so good at this but you are!)
  • how to drive a stick shift (on that old beater Honda)
  • how to bait a fishing hook
  • how to tick dad off when we're chasing cattle (remember, I'm still my father's daughter and have to add a little humor in here too)
  • how to drive a wheat truck
  • how to be a friend
  • how to serve God
  • how to do my taxes
  • how to clean really, really well
  • how to love my heritage
  • how to be the youngest
  • how to work hard
  • how to spring clean (not that I'm all that thrilled about learning this one...or that I do it)
  • how to balance my checkbook
  • how to be the best mom you knew how to be when dad was gone (all those farming Saturdays and weeknights after work and business trips...thanks for letting me sleep in dad's spot when it stormed or when I had a bad dream...or just because...)
  • how to plan ahead
  • Some of these things seem so simple but mean a lot.
Mom...I don't think I realized how much you sacraficed for me until I became a mom. I don't think I appreciated you as much as I do now. I haven't always been the best daughter, maybe hard to reason with sometimes (like when I wanted to marry Eric..but so far that's turned out pretty good :) ), hard to teach, hard to pray for. Thanks for sticking with me and keeping me afloat...especially when the kids were babies. Now the miles between us make me grateful for living near you when they were born. Thanks for loving me even when I wasn't lovable. I am grateful for your perseverance, your giving heart and the huge chunk of time you've given for me out of your life. I love you. Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Sweet Bethie

Last night Bethie wanted me to cuddle with her a little longer than usual when I tucked her in. While Lucy tossed and turned beside us I gave Bethie a little backrub and just cuddled with her. I fell asleep for a little bit and saw that she had taken the palm of my hand and put it right up against her cheek before drifting off to sleep herself. Her love language is physical touch and mine isn't so much. I really enjoy the way she makes me stretch outside of my comfort zone and blesses me more than I could have imagined. Her sweet smile is contagious and she is rarely without it. Her heart is sensitive and breaks easily. She has a joy and love for her friends and a compassion like none I've ever seen in a child. She has found her singing voice and loves to sing (sometimes in an opera voice but we're working on that one!). She loves to draw and came home with the best looking duck this week from school. It was so good she had to convince Jake that she didn't trace it. I'm really grateful for this sweet little girl tonight. Sometimes I feel guilty because I was blessed by her when my own sister lost her sweet Lydia at the same time and now Bethie is a constant reminder. But, I am so thankful for precious Bethie. I am unworthy of your unconditional love and I am forever grateful that you are mine for a time. You make me happy to be a mommy!


This morning we took the kids to volunteer out at camp. We arrived late (as usual) and as we piled out of the car in the chilly weather I realized two out of four kids forgot their shoes. I dropped Eric and Alex off and ran back home. It's a good thing we went back for shoes because 2 hours later Beth and Lucy were head to toe in mud. Lucy's buns were mix of leaves, mud and some unidentifiable object. They were freezing cold and their shoes were covered. Needless to say I stripped them down before leaving and threw them in the tub as soon as we came home.

After church tonight I was searching all over for my kids. Usually they run ahead and wait by the door, Lucy playing doorman to all those leaving. I found the three bigger kids giving each other "rides" in the wheelchair by the doors. I was mortified when I saw Jake spin Alex and pop a wheely. Then Alex dropped her glasses and Jake proceeded to run over them. And, they were already in trouble for playing on the wheelchair last week. Such mixed signals. It was ok to play with Great-Papa's wheelchair because he enjoyed it but for some reason it seems disrespectful to play on the one at church. But, they mean no harm and they truly were just being kids. (and getting quite a rowdy reputation at church to boot!)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Sleepy-eyed Monster

I fell asleep on the couch and now I can't really remember what happened today. Must have been better than yesterday. :) My kids are watching a movie which I'm sure I said was ok while I was sleeping (you know, because I was thinking so clearly) and I'm not quite sure what else they got away with but I vaguely remember some kind of food involved and bypassing the clean room before weekend TV rule. Well, I guess I needed the sleep from my migraine hangover. All is well and thank God it's Friday!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The day from Hell

Today has been the day from hell. It started with a migraine (which I actually went to bed with) and included a little rejection, a fight with E, kids being kids but annoying when you have a headache, and the reality of Eric's schedule the next few months. Add in a little "mother's day pressure" (remembering to not expect anything and then the day will go by quickly). Holidays and birthdays have never been Eric's forte. All this mixed together sums up the recipe for the day from hell. Thank God for good drugs tonight (you know, the legal kind).

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Eric Jr.

It is a well known fact back in Kansas that it took an 8 1/2 hour surgery to make Jake look more Buller than Decker. But, no surgery can change his personality. He is almost a replica of his father and here's a picture to prove it. He is anally scraping off the "burnt" parts of his sausage. He also tells people that the food they make for him is pretty good but his mom's is better (needs to learn some tact) and then proceeds to not eat most of what I make for him. I love this kid to's just the parts of his father in him that drive me crazy.

Spoon Thief Caught

I've been wondering where all my spoons were. I have purchased new silverware at Wal-mart twice in the last year (my mom still has the stuff from when I was littel!). I have a drawer full of knives, pretty full of forks (although these are good for digging)...and 2 spoons. I started buying plastic spoons at the store last week and hiding them so I could watch to see who was lerking around and stealing my spoons. BEFORE supper I found one Lucille Grace, also known now as the Peanut Butter Bandit, sneaking out the door with a spoon full of peanut butter. And, it was one of those last 2 spoons, not a plastic one.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bewwy Dancing

Beth, Lucy and Alex had a fun night at the library bewwy dancing. Jake decided not to join in. Party pooper. Lucy kept saying "I wike to bewwy dance at the wibwawy."

I may have found my new calling but only in private. :)

Monday, May 08, 2006


After bath...before bed. All markers hidden...but never from the great Lucy, all time best treasure hunter. What else would she do why she's waiting to be tucked in for bed? Why not write all over yourself with a RED marker? Note the way she gave herself bracelets, necklaces and face tattoos. Never a dull moment with Lucy Lu on the scene. She's going to bed like this so if you see her tomorrow I'm sure she'll look the same.


I guess 15 months apart wasn't good enough for these two. I forbid Alex from wearing her swimsuit outside so she and Jake schemed to both wear one of Jake's swimsuits. Somewhere along the way they decided to put on matching shirts too. It's a goofy crew I live with!


The weekend was like a flash of lightening. It went by so quickly I can scarcely remember what happened. I had a 10 page paper due last night for Perspectives and we made it there by the skin of our teeth due to me finishing the paper and printing it about five minutes AFTER we were supposed to leave. I am relieved to have it done. It's Eric's last week of class and he's gearing up for a 20 page paper due Friday and then next week he starts doubling up classes and is finishing the last 18 hours this summer and cap it off with the MBA wrap up class in August. This momma will be one happy woman come September and I have a husband again. I can't remember a time when Eric wasn't in school. Just happy tonight there's a light at the end of this long-awaited tunnel! Today's to-do list is on hold for tomorrow and we are taking a night to hang out and go to bed early (relatively!).

Friday, May 05, 2006

One last Lucy story...

Night before last I was praying with the kids and talking about heaven and they were asking about Great Papa. They prayed that Papa wouldn't be sad anymore about Great-Papa dying because he was in heaven. Lucy decided she wanted Jesus in her heart and so I asked her a few pointed questions. I led her in prayer and she asked Jesus to be in her heart and be her "forever friend" as they say in kidzone (after all, our old pastor used to say "you give all that you know of yourself to all that you know of God"). So today I was checking something in the freezer just before I crawled into the Suburban and noticed someone had smashed a blue sidewalk chalk on the iced over shelf. I made a face at Lucy and said, "I wonder who would do that?" She looked at me innocently and raised her shoulders to say "I don't know." Her face was priceless. We proceeded to get in the car to pick-up the kids from school and she says to me, "Mommy, I did that before I asked Jesus into my heart. I'm not naughty like that anymore." Oh, to see things through the eyes of a child. How refreshing.

Dr. Moby

Since the kids like to play "little dog in the stickies" it was only natural that they thought Moby would like to play dress up and "I love Lucy (and Beth and Alex)". Check out Dr. Moby decked out in his scrub shirt and sunglasses. Really thankful he's such a patient dog.

There's no place like home...

Although Dorothy coined the phrase I can truly say that after three trips to Kansas in just a few short months my kids are longing for "home".

Jake the Weather Man

Jake is famous for his love for weather so here's a picture he just HAD to have me take a couple of nights ago. This is looking across our yard from our front door. Really awesome to see how in love he is with God's creation of weather.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Flaming Nap

I had a migraine tonight and I took a bunch of medicine to numb it. Eric walked in the door just in time to take Jake to ball practice. About that time my meds all kicked in and I fell asleep and left Alex (she's 8) in charge. Sometime during my slumber she came and asked me if she could light some candles. I apparently said "Huh" in my groggy state and she took it as "Uh huh". So I look up half asleep about 20 minutes later and Lucy is standing by a row of candles (they must've been celebrating something as many candles as they had out!) and Alex had gone outside to play. She is holding the torch, nevermind the child safety which she figured out years ago, and lighting a row of votives on the tablecloth. Needless to say I had her blow them all out and we had yet another fire safety discussion among all Buller girls tonight. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to shake the vision of waking up to Lucy torching those wicks like it was bingo. The rest of my day was a piece of cake. It was a really good day! :)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hump Day

Usually is about day 3 of the work week when I get especially impatient and easily angered. Guess that's why I'm feeling like the witchiest momma on the face of the earth! I tried to make up for it tonight. Took the kids to Pizza Hut after ball practice. I even let them double dip their breadsticks in MY pizza sauce. I was feeling super generous and let one of the little boogers suck out of my straw...of course I didn't drink out of the straw after that but it still counts!!! In all seriousness though, wishing tonight I was more patient, less selfish, more gentle and kind. I love these kids more than words can express. If only they were all perfectly behaved and never angered me I could show them more how I feel (Ok, just kidding on this last sentence!).

Thinking about how to love better...

"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents (OH CRAP). Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love (unselfishness which I need more of, omitting pride, confident in loving like Christ). Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious (not holding back with insecurity, not allowing myself to be vulnerable, not fearing rejection) but extravagant (loving at all costs, allowing interruptions, giving the last of all I have, pushing the love envelope with a pure heart). He didn't love in order to get something from us (thank God because I don't have much to give) but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that."

Ephesians 5:1-2 THE MESSAGE (parenthesis mine)

To Grandpa


Today is a day we say goodbye to a man whose life was an expression of God’s goodness. He had a love for people and showed it by the time he spent praying for them. The following is a gathering of my random thoughts and memories that I’d like to share as a final tribute and goodbye to the man I loved so dearly.

I remember as a child that days would start early on the farm and I would wake up hearing grandma cooking in the kitchen. The morning sun would greet me as it peaked into the window by the kitchen table. Just above the old metal table sat an AM radio blasting their favorite Christian radio station: KJRG. I would somehow always time my waking up to about 5 minutes before Grandpa was expected in for breakfast. I was so excited every time I heard the back door fly open and the wash sink crank on. By this time, Grandpa had already been choring for a couple of hours. He would wash his hands and his face and sit beside that window where the sun shown in on him. He would pull out his bible and his “Our Daily Bread” and then stand again, leaning over to the radio on the shelf beside the window and turn it down so he could lead devotions. He would spend time nourishing his spirit and praying before he would nourish his body with eggs over easy, toast, and occasionally cereal. This routine happened like clockwork every time I would sleep at my grandpa’s house. I never doubted that he nourished his spirit every day before feeding his physical body, even when I wasn’t there participating.

I remember the fear Grandpa had of lightening. He would shoo everyone off the tractors and out of the fields to the inside, whenever lightening shown in the sky…even if it was far away. The cool thing I remember was seeing the hat he was wearing on a day when he was struck by lightening. In all Grandpa survived 2 lightening strikes. He had countless car accidents, none of which he caused. I often thought of him like our cat Patches who seemed to have nine lives. But deep in my heart I knew why God kept him around. He was leading people to Christ, not by forcing Jesus down their throats, but rather by personal example, persevering prayer, and loving people like Jesus did.

Late into the evenings I would wait in the family room at the farm watching out the windows towards the road hoping to see the headlights of Grandpa’s tractor nearing the house. I would wait impatiently, begging him for a game of checkers or Huskerdoo the minute he walked in the back door. Although he was exhausted and often times fell asleep during a late-night game he rarely turned me down.

In church I would lean on him and he would light up with a smile and squeeze me with his strong farm-bred arms. He would reach in his pocket a pull out his roll of Certs and offer me one to keep me awake. This week, when my brother, my dad and I cleaned out my grandpa’s room, we found a partial roll of Certs in the medicine cabinet of the bathroom, bringing back the memories of my grandpa sitting in a pew with his arm around me. I should also mention that I was “caught” several times steeling Certs out of his top drawer in his bedroom.

On Christmas Eve we would all gather at the Central Heights church out by Grandpa’s house and I was sure I couldn’t sit through the service as I anxiously thought about the goodies of apples, peanuts, orange slices, colorful hard candies, and hand-made chocolates packed lovingly in brown lunch sacks as we left the building. My side-tracking would quickly halt when my grandpa would get up front, sometimes by himself, sometimes with a trio or quartet of men, playing harmonica and leading the congregation in worship. I loved to sit and listen to him play and he enticed me in worship at a young age by his love for playing his harp as and expression of love for his God. “Praise the Lord with harp.” Psalm 33:2 was written on a scratch paper in his bible.

I loved to ride along with Grandpa on the tractor and combine. He would let me have the seat and he would stand in front of me, driving the tractor. He would jump off to do this or that and I would get to sit there pretending I was driving. I was glued to the seat of the tractor for many years.

One time my Uncle Melvin and Grandpa tried to teach me German at a family gathering in the basement of the bank in Moundridge. I’ll never forget the phrase, “Y it bit stucherich”. Unfortunately I never could remember what it meant and whenever I repeated it to Grandpa he would laugh for years to come.

Grandpa loved ice cream. Sometimes I wondered if it was a vegetable out of his garden as it was always on hand and we had it every evening after dinner. Speaking of vegetables, Grandpa was so proud of the huge tomatoes he grew, the perfect looking potatoes or the yummy fresh cucumbers. He always attributed the great harvest to planting the vegetables in the “old pig pen”, even though pigs had not lived there for many years.

One day Grandpa showed up at my house with a long skinny shelf he made for me to store my threads on the wall.

I have countless pictures of my kids as toddlers shaking their hips from side to side as Grandpa played his harmonica for them. In more recent visits the kids would dance with each other enjoying the familiar songs they now remember by heart just as I do.

My grandpa was a man without commentaries. He was a man who interpreted the bible led by the spirit. He was a simple man who struggled in life like we all do, yet relied on God to fulfill his needs and Band-Aid his boo boos. He was a man I trusted with my deepest hurts. He was the only one I knew prayed for me every day. Selfishly, I’m sad that I have lost a prayer warrior. I’m thanking God today that he didn’t take Grandpa 10 years ago, or 20 years ago, or any other of the many times he could have. Grandpa was here to see each of my kids come into this world, to pray me through Jake’s surgeries, to pray me through a tough move away from home. After I moved to Iowa there wasn’t a month that went by that I didn’t get a letter from Grandpa. I fervently wrote him back, confessing my heart to him, confiding my hurts and disappointments, sharing the milestones of the kids. In fact, I told my dad last night that since I am full aware that Grandpa kept every letter he ever received that I might have to break into his stuff and steal the letters I wrote him… and burn them!

Today I say goodbye to a man who always smiled, the person I received my naturally curly hair from, the man who “got” my jokes, the man who always had time to hear me pound out a song on the piano. I am saying goodbye to the man who laid a foundation of faith and expressions of Jesus’ love for our entire family to continue building upon. He was a spirited man whose mind was constantly in overdrive. He was my dad’s best friend. He was a rock of stability for everyone. We thank God today that he lived a long life. We thank God for the memories we still have and the legacy that still lives. We thank God that we will see him again someday in heaven. Goodbye for now Grandpa. We love you.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Calgon...Take me away

The kids are all screaming from their beds. It's 9:45 pm and no one wants to sleep except me! 3 more days until daddy's back. My brain is low on fuel and my smart cells are fully depleted. My creative blog juices are dry. Tomorrow will be a new blogging day. :) I'm off to cuddle with someone...for about the 30th time since 7:30 pm!

Monday, May 01, 2006


So many times I have been reminded how sweet it is to love like a child loves. Wish I could be a child again even for a moment. Alex and my two nieces left these notes in Papa's casket.

I'm a little slow but here it goes...

Just for fun--


2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes, my mom's friend Diane (Pamela Diane)

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? This morning (wish I couldn't remember!)

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Sometimes. Depends on my mood. Hate my cursive, like my print if I have the write pen. Fine point Sharpie actually.


6. KIDS? Jake, Alex, Beth, Lucy - 3 girls, 1 boy (who is tired of girls!)


8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Yes, but some days it is hard to keep it up! Found a journal from 5th grade the other day. It was super funny. I also used to write books about my friends around that age. They are just really bad and funny.

9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Yes but no one gets it


11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Not on your life. Can't even look over the balcony at my own house without feeling woozy.


13. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Yes unless I am toooooo tired

14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? most of the time


16. SHOE SIZE? 9.5 or 10


18. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Lack of self confidence, not loving people the way I should, the list could go on and on.

19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Sister Voni, family, Shana, Gail, Amy (This question sucks - what if I forget someone! Doesn't mean I don't miss you! I'm just brain dead today!)

20. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? post it on your own blog if you want.

21. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES YOU ARE WEARING? black sweats, tennis shoes


23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? silence. Hummmm. Wonder what the kids are doing...


25. FAVORITE SMELL? Pearberry candles, Cutting wheat, Granola baking

26. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Big E - It's about time your plane landed! :)

27. FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their teeth (I know, this is really deep) the way Cassie, you have great teeth.

28. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I stole it from Jody, Cassie AND Heather! So...YES!

29. FAVORITE DRINK? diet coke or peach fresca, pina colada smoothie

30. FAVORITE SPORT? tennis and KU basketball

31. HAIR COLOR? Dark brown

32. EYE COLOR? boring brown but once I was asked out because I had green contacts that made my eyes look green.


34. FAVORITE FOOD? pears, pineapple, graham cracker fluff made by Aunt Julie, Tollhouse pie, any bread

35. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? happy - I need a little touchy feely every now and again



38. SUMMER OR WINTER? winter, love to cozy up with a book by the fire watching the snow fall or great quilting weather!

39. HUGS OR KISSES? Well, I'm not a hugger (I'm getting better!) and it depends on who I'm kissing! If it's from the kids I'll go with both! I guess I have to get over the germ-a-phobe thing.

40. FAVORITE DESSERT? cheesecake, tollhouse pie

41. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? most of my buddies have already done this!


43. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The Radical Reformission, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, New parenting devotional Shana sent me for Mother's day (not sure if it's a subtle hint that I could use some work in this area!) :), Great commission Companies (E took this one with him to NC so I guess I'm not technically reading this one anymore), various other missions books

44. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? a funky bump for my wrist, rest is black

45. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? I can't remember the last time I watched tv. Maybe that night we had tornado warnings and golf ball size hail??

46. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Jake playing guitar, Beth singing, Alex giggling with Manny the Mooch (Uncle Braden), Lucy sleeping (she snores, OK? It's just NICE when she sleeps!) Grandpa playing harmonica


48. THE FURTHEST YOU BEEN FROM HOME? Deer Isle Maine? I'm too tired to look up if it's farther away from Kansas than San Francisco. I know, I'm a world traveler.

49. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I can't tell you. It's not appropriate.


51. WHAT CONDITION ARE YOUR HANDS AND FEET IN? hands are neglected and chubby, feet are decent, could use a foot file (definitely can't keep up with my sister's well taken care of feet)

52. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR? Deborah Raney - fiction, I'm really liking the way Mark Driscoll writes, Ralph Winter - missions