Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What I Learned in June


I’m linking up with Emily Freeman over at Chatting at the Sky for:



WHAT I LEARNED IN JUNE

1.  I need summer to be hot and sunny.

No offense New England, the Great Lakes or the Pacific Northwest,

but this girl wants some humidity and sunshine 
to make her summer count. 

No jackets and umbrellas. 

No “getting used to the water” because the temperatures dip so low in the evening that it remains an unbearable 58 degrees. 

NOPE. 

If I’m going to endure the Midwest weather for the remaining 9 months of the year, 

I need me some hot and sun for June, July and August.

I’m giving you the side eye, 
Summer.

It’s time to step up.

2.  I’m easily fascinated.

A few weeks ago, I discovered that I had stepped in something.

I used a stick to scrape it off.


Look at all that crud! How long was it on my flip flop??



Ellie was horrified that Monte and I were not only discussing it but photographing it as well.

If you look at it just so 

(with maybe one eye closed) 

it looks like a flower.

A junky trash flower.

Slap that in a modern art exhibit and SOMEONE would be pointing out it’s representation of man’s inhumanity to man. 

You KNOW they would.


3. I was not in the right shape for VBS.

I taught the crafts class at our church’s Vacation Bible School last week. It exhausted me in a way that was total body.

Mind, body and soul.

I taught four different classes each morning and sometimes the preschoolers as well.

It was mentally exhausting to be “on” for three solid hours. 

I don’t know how you do it, teachers!

My back and knees hurt from standing and bending over to help the kids with their crafts.

Some of the kids were so insanely precious that it actually hurt my heart.

One little tiny girl was filled with affirmations everyday.

“I can’t wait to make this!"

“This is great!”

“I love being here!”

One little boy sat in my lap. 

It’s been a long time since someone sat in my lap.

I teach Sunday school all the time but this was different. 

I will try to prepare accordingly for next year.

4.  Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

McDaniel volunteered her and Ellie to teach the preschool class at VBS. Ellie spent a week preparing the lesson plans for each day while McDaniel was at camp. 

They weren’t quite prepared for how exhausting teaching was going to be either.

Especially McDaniel who was working on little sleep from camp.

Double especially that some of the kids were 
in the midst of being potty trained.

I stuck my head in their classroom on the first day to check on everyone.

Once I left, Ellie said one of the little girls pointed at the doorway where I’d just been and said,

“Satan.”

When they were headed outside to play, Ellie told me what happened.

I’m not sure how you’d react after being told that a preschooler called you Satan, 

but it did not feel one ounce of good.

As I was processing what I’d just heard,

another teacher walked by with his class and I made 
THE GRAVE ERROR 
of telling him what happened.

I received texts later of the little girl’s “prophetic statement” and if he should call me Lucifer or Lucy for short from then on.

It was two days later when we all heard the same little girl call out to her friend “Kaitlyn” that we realized it sounded A LOT like “Satan".

And Kaitlyn didn’t seem the least bit offended 
by how her name was pronounced. 

So I decided not to be either.

5. Glitter Glue is Evil

We’d had a pretty successful run of craft successes when Day 4 rolled around involving the use of glitter glue on a dragonfly clip craft.

I had purchased tubes of glitter glue at Dollar Tree that had pointy caps on them very similar to the caps on Elmer’s glue bottles.

You know, the kind you twist up, but not off, to open.

I did not realize that the boys on one end of the room were making this “must be just like Elmer’s glue” cap assumption until it was WAY too late.

I was in the slow motion mid-run, hand outstretched in the universal “NOOOOOOO!” position when the force of three boys squeezing the tube AS HARD AS THEY POSSIBLY COULD

shot the cap right off.

Along with ALL THE GLITTER GLUE.

I looked around to see who’d been hit.

The two girls ON THE OPPOSITE END of the nearly 12 feet of tables looked at me besparkled.

It was in their hair, on their arms, on the upholstered chairs and on their clothes.

We did our best to clean them up but glitter was everywhere.

As I hugged one boy goodbye, I saw glitter all over his scalp.

As in, SO DEEPLY EMBEDDED INTO HIS HAIR 
THAT IT MADE IT TO HIS HEAD.

Before the day was over, we wiped glitter glue off the walls, chairs, tables and ourselves. I have a pair of shorts that will now sparkle forever.

By the 4th class, we hid the glitter glue. 

But I’m pretty sure the kids saw the mess. 

They knew what they were missing.

The next day, we checked on the dragonfly clips and some of the glitter glue STILL wasn’t dry.

Learn from me, people, glitter glue is evil!

Don’t be fooled by it’s sparkle combined with adhesive claims.

It’s explosive and begs to be abused. 

And kids will always, ALWAYS agree to that request.


THE END

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dinosaurs

I have had a “thing” about dinosaurs since before I can remember.

I’m not just saying that.

My love for dinosaurs PRE-DATES my memory.

I could spell the word dinosaur before I bothered to learn to spell my last name.

I knew all their names, how to pronounce them, how to spell them and what period they lived in.

I read EVERYTHING both my school and town’s library had pertaining to dinosaurs.

I remember writing to the publisher of one book to let them know of an error.

What a nerd!

My absolute dream and the subject of many a story I’d write, was that somehow I could be transported back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

To see them live and up close.

I had just graduated college when I read Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park”.

This book rocked my world.

I loved it and hated it at the same time.

A dinosaur theme park?

Sign me up!

Tyrannosaurus Rexes and Velociraptors?

No thank you.

I was more of a Brontosaurus and Triceratops girl myself.

I distinctly remember staying up late at a friend’s house reading Jurassic Park.

At the exact moment I was reading when the Raptors were click-click clicking their claws on the tile floor of the kitchen after the kids,

my friend’s dog decided to click-click click his toenails on the hardwood floors my way.

I jumped, threw my book and the dog screamed.

Or maybe that was me.

My opinion of wanting to see dinosaurs live and up close was forever changed.

But I still “dig” dinosaurs.
Pun intended.
Going on a fossil dig 
is on my bucket list.

Emphasis on “dig” not staring at one living 
and breathing in my face 
and wanting to rip my intestines out 
while I’m still alive.

That is most certainly NOT on my bucket list.

So last week leading up to the premiere of “Jurassic World”, Ellie and I decided to catch up on all the Jurassic Park movies to date while Monte was out of town.

McDaniel could only handle bits and pieces of the movies.

Mainly because so many people ended up in bits and pieces.

While none can compare to the first one, I was pleasantly surprised by how not totally terrible the third movie was.

And shocked I’d never bothered to see it.

I was up early one morning last week watering my garden when I heard a bird that took me right inside all of the movies we'd been watching.

I could say I didn’t jump.

But it would be a lie.

I did jump.

And I looked around a little panicky, 

trying to make sure there wasn’t one of these waiting to spit in my face.




Seriously,

the bird sound was JUST like this!

And I’m not just saying that because we’d spent the 
last three nights watching dinosaurs eat everything 
in their sight.

I went ran inside and texted Monte that I might be on dino-overload.

He texted back that he’d heard the 
EXACT SAME NOISE 
walking to his car before work just a few days earlier.



And it seemed to be coming from one of the trees 
in our neighbor’s back yard.

Nothing puts a little speed in your step 
like a prehistoric animal squawk
that’s stalking you from the neighbor’s backyard.


I decided to Google the sounds that were used in the Jurassic Park movies to emulate the dinosaurs.

Fun fact:  the hooting sound the raptors make in the first movie is the tortoise mating call.

Sorry if that ruins things for you.

Like ever looking at a tortoise the same again.

After perusing the list, I narrowed down the possibilities.

I texted Monte back that the culprit was either a swan or a hawk.

Since I’ve never seen a swan in my neighbor’s tree, 
my money’s on the hawk.

We went to see “Jurassic World” over the weekend.

As we waited for the movie to start, four 8-year-old girls sat down in front of us.

They had sparkly bows in their hair, Slurpee's in their hands and parents that kept walking past them to let them know they were “just a few rows back” if they needed anything.

Monte asked if he should shake the back of their seats to give them a scare during the previews.

I reminded him that he would’ve punched the guy in the head who did that to our girls when they were 8.

He agreed.

The movie was awesome!

Everything I feared it would be it was not.

I was afraid it would take itself too seriously,

be WAY to CGI-focused,

include incorrect dinosaurs,

and involve aliens.

McDaniel and Ellie were afraid I’d embarrass them 
with all my nerdy dinosaur facts.

The theater was full and there was a group sitting in the back that had no problem breaking out in boisterous applause when their “chosen heroes” came on screen.

I’m looking at you, nerd character, Larry and T-Rex.

SOURCE


Oh yeah, I was SO NOT the 
nerdiest one there.

Sorry, Chris Pratt and Raptor named Blue.

SOURCE

Blue is not laughing here, FYI.


Yes, the audience actually CHEERED for the T-Rex!

The same T-Rex that ate ALL the crew members on the ship bound 
for San Diego in the movie “Lost World”.

Well played, director, Colin Trevorrow

Well played.

Somewhere in the middle of the T-Rex scene,

all four of the little girls in front of us got up,

without saying a word,

 and ran out of the theater.

We couldn’t help but laugh.

They’d had enough.

And they were not about to be a part 
of the group cheering for the T-Rex.

We ran into those girls in the bathroom after the movie was over.

They were wide-eyed and drained of all color.

Traumatized.

My guess is these girls could easily spell their last name before they could spell the word “dinosaur”.

And they probably couldn’t tell an Ankylosaurus from a Stegosaurus. 

Or a Brachiosaurus from a Brontosaurus.

Sorry. 
My geek was showing for a second.

And it probably will NEVER be their wildest dreams to see one live and up close EVER.


I’m with you on that girls!
I am totally with you.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

With All That Out of the Way, It Finally Feels Like Summer…

It seems as if a lifetime has been lived since the last day of school just a week ago.


Remember last year around the last day of school when we drove past the house with the “zombie children” all over their front yard?


Creepy.

They were at it again.

Except this year’s theme was something about “keeping an eye on you” I’m guessing from ALL THE EYEBALLS peeping out at us while we waited at the stop light and Ellie snapped these pictures.


What in the…?

I certainly got the feeling I was being stared down.


Bless their hearts,

I think they THOUGHT they were accomplishing something less creepy 
than smear-faced, oddly-positioned zombie children, 

but NOT BY MUCH.

The weather hasn’t been able to decide between being extremely hot and extremely chilly but landed on being most certainly, overcast.

Which hasn’t helped with the “it doesn’t feel like summer yet” feelings.

Our schedule has been chock full.

Mostly fun stuff like attending several graduation parties which allowed me to not have to worry about cooking on a weekend for the past SEVERAL weekends.

BBQ, Stromboli, pulled chicken, tacos, gyros, not to even mention the cupcakes and cookies!! 

It’s been great and waist-widening.


 Incidentally:  I signed the girls up for a free summer teen membership at my gym 
where they tried out ALL THE MACHINES in the first 10 minutes. 

Which was somewhat distracting since 
I just wanted to get in, exercise and get out.

There’s talk of taking a Zumba class.

I’ll be sure to update you.

Our cute little dump truck that lived in our back yard for so long, got moved and replaced by a back hoe.



Within an hour, I heard a high pitched “honk honk” and realized two things:

1) Back hoes have horns.

2) I was being honked at to come outside. 
From a back hoe.

Jack had hit a fairly large root to our beloved Sycamore tree and needed permission to cut through it as it might be the death of it.

What?!

Jack told me to talk it over with Monte and let him know by the next day on how to proceed.



I love our old Sycamore!

My emotions for that tree are the stuff of country songs.

Especially how it took a nasty lightning strike several years ago, sparing our house and it survived despite a nasty scar and eight arborists telling us it was a goner.

How could we kill our beloved Sycamore for a patio 
when a lightning strike couldn’t take it down?

Monte and I called our builder, Paul who happened to major in something having to do with plants and knew a thing or two about root systems.

He examined the root in question and determined it was small and therefore not a main artery for the tree which more than likely had many more and significantly larger roots.

The patio was back on as planned.

Whew!

Monte and I breathed a sigh of relief until the washing machine repairman told me that something-something was broken and needed replacing since some doo-hickey was stripped.

It was going to be at least $275.

What is the opposite of whew?

Monte and I did a quick online search of what new machines cost and decided to try to save the old one which could last five more years.

The washer could be like our beloved Sycamore.

So, while we waited on the parts to come in, the laundry piled up.

In between time, the concrete for the patio was poured from the large concrete truck in our driveway.



And a mound of sand was deposited in our driveway for the pavers.


The first night the back hoe was left in our back yard we tried to open the door but it was locked.

You KNOW we checked.


The next night, we discovered the door was open and the keys were in it!

Monte felt there were just too many levers to comfortably “take a spin” around the yard.

Or neighborhood.

Hey, it has a horn so we could’ve
honked at the neighbors.


I didn’t realize Monte was snapping pictures as I exited the back hoe.


It’s was a bit treacherous since there were no steps and it wasn't on level ground and I had on flip flops.


So Monte caught the exact moment I rolled my ankle and let out a big, “OUCH!”



On the day the washing machine repairman came back,  it was discovered that a significant piece of washing machine technology was completely rusted through deeming it unfixable.

News that would’ve been 
much more helpful several days earlier 
when we were contemplating fixing or buying new
and our pile of laundry wasn’t the size of Mt. Everest. 

At that point, I was knee-deep in helping a friend with her son’s graduation party and fresh off the torment of the decision to proceed or not proceed with possibly-probably-not killing our beloved Sycamore tree over a patio install.

Not to mention the soul-sucking brain-dead 
that the end of the school year leaves one in.

I had nothing left in which to 
research, 
discern 
or pick out 
a new washing machine.

Luckily, Monte could hear that in my voice when I called to tell him the news.

He elected himself for the job.

All I told him was that I did not want anything newfangled, low-flow or such that would require me to work within a “learning curve” to do laundry.

No. Way.

I wanted a top loading, non-stinky, non-molding, non-special-detergent machine that actually left clothes smelling WAY BETTER than when I put them in.

That was a harder find than Monte thought.

He could not believe the store staff that tried to “sell" him on things like,

“Doing more loads with less clothes is fine, your wife won’t mind!” 

“Your wife will love this once she learns the 
extremely specific and important way it receives detergent.”

“This model doesn’t smell nearly as bad as the previous one!’

Monte would have none of it and kept to my requests.

Which can sometimes be hard for him. 
He LOVES new technology. 
Or even just things that say “new and improved”.

Yesterday, after over a week with no washing machine, this beauty arrived:

Hello, gorgeous!

The delivery was ill-timed as the ENORMOUS truck was trying to find a place to park on my street as the back hoe was being loaded onto a trailer attached to a truck that was already parked on our street. Not to mention the other two trucks parked on our street. Plus our cars. I felt the need to “help” them back into our driveway.

To say that it was tight driving was a complete understatement.

But it was all worth it.

And I’ve been doing laundry HAPPILY ever after since.

It’s so great to have clean clothes!

And it has decided to be hot and sunny so we actually went to the pool yesterday and then a farmer’s market so it FINALLY feels like summer…

THE END




Monday, June 08, 2015

The Sacrifice of Fools

Our youth pastor, Dave, preached this past Sunday.

The sermon was out of Ecclesiastes and titled:  “Precipate Worship vs. Pure Worship, The Sacrifice of Fools"

The word fool popped right out at me.

Fool. 
A person who lacks sense or judgement. 
A person who is made to appear ridiculous. 
An idiot or imbecile. 

It should not come as a surprise that I am 
VERY familiar with the definition.

But fool was not, in this context, any of those definitions.

Quite the opposite.

And potentially,
far worse.

The fool was someone who was in denial.

Or flat-out rebellion, 

wrapped up in denial 

with a teence bit of liar, liar pants on fire thrown in.


You know, the fools that sit in church but don’t listen.

That nod their head at all the right sermon points but don’t hear.

That sing the songs that praise our God but don’t feel it,

much less mean it.

That rush into church late, without properly preparing their hearts and minds for God’s lesson for them.

That says things like, “Well at least I came to church…”

God never wants our least.

The fools that speak fluent Christian chatter but don’t hear what they are saying.

 That take their anxieties to bed and have stress dreams that are “meaningless”.

“As a dream comes when there are many cares, 
so the speech of a fool when there are many words.”
--Ecclesiastes 5:3

“Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.
--Ecclesiastes 5:7


Stand in awe of God.

You know, get over ourselves 
and get on over to Him.

The one that can actually do something about anything
and everything.


The fool is one who makes promises to God but doesn't take them seriously.

Got wants us to take promises so seriously that he says He’d rather us not vow anything at all then to take them lightly.

“When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; 
fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. “
--Ecclesiastes 5:4

So no, the fool is not one who is incapable of learning, 
yet one who refuses to learn.

Ouch.

We are all the fool at times.

But repeatedly?

“… He has no pleasure in fools…” 

I don’t know about you but I want God to delight in me. 

To take pleasure in me.

To nudge an angel up in heaven and point down to me here on earth and say,

“You see that woman down there? The one with her thumbs shoved up her nose, trying not to laugh until she cries? 
She’s one of my own and I’m crazy about her.”

At the end of the sermon, we broke up into small groups and were led in discussion by a member of our youth group.

We discussed precipate worship vs. pure worship. 

HINT:  it’s an intentional heart thing.

We discussed being late and/or rushed getting into church.

We aren’t late for jobs and school, 
why church?

We prayed about ways to apply this, God’s word, to our lives. 

It was such a blessing to see how seriously
 the teens leading us were taking it.

So I’m asking God to reveal to me an area in my life where 

 I’m just going through the motions.

Where I’m empty talk.

Where I’m possibly in denial or rebellion or just lying to myself and ultimately God.

You know, where I’m acting the fool.

This morning my devotion led me to 2 Corinthians 3:3. I especially liked The Message’s translation:

“Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it--not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, 
but carved into human lives--and we publish it."

If I am a letter walking around for anyone to read, I don’t want to be a lie inside of a rebellion wrapped up in denial. 

What kind of a read would that be? 

HINT:  worldly

No, I need Christ carved in me,

more Christ, 
less me, 

so I’m something worth publishing.


“You see that woman down there? The one with the tear-shaped scar around the mole on her neck?
She’s a letter that I wrote, not with ink, but my Spirit 
and I’m crazy about her.”




Thursday, June 04, 2015

Muleart

You might remember a painting that caught my eye in a local store a year or so ago.


I originally tried to get Carisa to buy it but $365 for a picture of two donkeys 
staring each other down would be a bit much for anyone.

Monte and I really liked it and vowed to paint one ourselves once our addition was complete.

Monte felt it summed up marriage in a single work of art.

No words needed.

Well, that time came last week.

I bought a pack of poster boards so we could feel free to make mistakes.

I just grabbed the paint I had and mixed colors to get what I wanted.

We did a pencil sketch first, each drawing one mule.

Monte decided that “muleart” is what 
this form of art should be called.

A little classier than “donkey art” 
or “mullet” 
as my autocorrect keeps trying 
to change “muleart”  to.

Interesting…


We outlined the sketches with black paint.



I tried to do the spots on my mule like the expensive painting but it ended up looking like some sort of medieval executioner hood.


Not the vibe I was going for at all, 
since you know, 
the summarization of MARRIAGE,
so I erased them.

My mule.


Monte’s brother said my mule reminded him of a character from a Kevin Henkes book.




Which are all mice.

So I have a mouse mule vibe going out.

Monte’s mule.


I had to fight Monte to put any definition of a pupil in his mule’s eye.

Without it, there was a possessed-mule-back-from-the-dead kind of vibe,

which would’ve changed the entire tone of the painting for sure.

I hope no one’s muleart could be best defined by
a possessed-mule-back-from-the-dead.

Especially one that’s trying to scare
Chrysanthemum, for the love of Pete.


Monte’s mule is still giving my mule a pretty stiff stink eye.

But I love the bewildered look of,

“Who? Me?”

that my mule is sending out.

Says a lot about our marriage.

I decided to use a barn wood frame that my dad made for our finished muleart.



While our builder, Paul, was over last week with the painter, Chuck, doing touch-ups, I asked the best way to hang the picture and next thing you know, I was sitting on the sectional telling BOTH of them to move it “just a teence to the right”. 

I’m going to miss them SO MUCH.

Paul asked if Monte painted it.

After I said yes and before I could say that I painted part of it too, 

he wanted to know why Monte drew my mule 
giving his mule such a stink eye.

Says a lot about our marriage,
doesn’t it?

Before Paul left, he said he wanted to commission Monte for three more paintings since,

“It won’t take him more than 7 minutes for all three of them!

Then he laughed and laughed.


Muleart.

So misunderstood.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Is it Summer Yet?!

No, no it is not.

Said the school calendar

and sadly, the weather.

It’s chilly and overcast!

It’s been non-stop activity here.

I don’t know why the end of the school year always involves so. much. parental. involvement. 

Permission slips to sign.

Money to send in for pizza parties.

Projects involving everything we do not possess in the house.

Banquets.

Finals.

Choir concerts.

Usually these concerts are not enjoyable.

Middle school voices and pop music don’t always go together. 

I still think Bon Jovi’s ears are bleeding 
from the “tribute” McDaniel’s class did two years ago. 
“Living on a Prayer” my foot. 

We had very low expectations when Ellie told us that they had been practicing Elton John and Billy Joel songs.

Monte tried to schedule a business trip to miss the concert. 

I told him that would not. be. wise. 

But we were so pleasantly surprised by how good the concert was!

I’m guessing Elton and Billy’s ears dripped nary a speck of blood. 

The 8th grade boy who bravely and beautifully sang the solo “She’s Always a Woman to Me” 

got a rousing standing ovation 

and made my nose run because I was 
fighting the ugly cry off so hard. 

Mainly because he was so 
obviously flabbergasted 
by our applause.

I forgot what I was talking about…

Oh yeah,

our crazy life.

In just the last few weeks ALL THIS HAPPENED:

Monte’s sister, Gretchen, came for a visit from Texas.

We haven’t seen her in 5 years, which was just entirely too long.

Her visit was so fun, full of shopping, food, karaoke and lots of laughter and good conversation.

But it was much too short.


We took her to Cuco’s to celebrate her birthday. When Monte alerted the staff that we were celebrating a birthday at our table, they came out singing and whooping and hollering and plopped the sombrero on Ellie’s head because Gretchen was in the bathroom. 

Ellie’s expression screaming,
“It’s not MY birthday!"

Monte ran back to the kitchen to let them know that the birthday girl was in the bathroom and to do it all again when she was out.

They did.

We finally got new carpet installed in part of the basement and cork installed in the other part. 



Monte gave me a tight budget for the carpet and when I shared that with the sales lady at a place with the words “carpet” and “junk” and “yard” in it, she directed me to a corner of carpet rolls that she assured me was still a “notch above rental” grade carpet.

Yippee.

I like it.

The cork is very cushy under your feet, which is nice.


We still haven’t gotten everything put back together in either room. Because I’m thinking of switching things out. 

And by that I mean THROW IT ALL AWAY. 

Of course I won’t, but it’s a goal.

Sumita’s daughter got engaged!!!

Alyssa and Andrew explaining how he proposed. They are adorable.




Andrew asked if Sumita would host an “immediately after he proposed engagement party” for their friends because that’s what’s happening in the world now because of Pinterest.
Anyway, Sumita put me on food duty (hello, Chocolate Cafe) because she couldn’t have trays of anything in her fridge because it would tip Alyssa off.

Julie made the most adorable burlap heart garland and put together beautiful flowers.





Carisa made her FAMOUS caramel corn because Sumita had seen this idea on Pinterest:

Get it? He POPPED the question and there’s POPcorn
in the bags!
Alyssa’s sister, Olivia, made the cute tags. 

These were the favors everyone could take home.

In fact, Pinterest was the inspiration for the cookies and cupcakes too:

It’s a ring!

These were my favorites!


Chocolate Cafe did an amazing job, as always. 

Since we live right by Chocolate Cafe, we brought all the trays of food. We were loaded down and had to pull over twice because something shifted or clunked around in the back. By the time we pulled into Sumita’s drive, we all were holding a tray in our laps.

Sumita made these adorable banners.





Talk about a MAD DASH to get everything hung up, set out and in place before they came back engaged.

I think we had just an hour.

It felt like we were on an HGTV show where party planners compete
 to put together an event in a very short amount of time.

Whew! 
It takes a village.

Julie started working at a diner as a waitress.

So we surprised her and showed up for breakfast during her shift.


And we made her wait on us.

Of course.

The food was really good and the atmosphere quirky.

Watching Julie with her customers was like watching a mayor walk through town. She was patting people on the back, shaking hands and kissing babies. 

Totally in her element.


I wanted to get a picture by the diner sign as we were leaving.

I snapped the picture below as Carisa asked a lady walking behind me if she’d take our picture so I could be in it.

The lady gave Carisa a dirty look and indignantly said,

“No!"



We all burst out laughing because WHO SAYS THAT?!



A cute young teen (who I swear Ellie went to preschool with) offered to take our picture and her opinion on just how rude the lady was to us.


I FINALLY got to put my livestock trough to good use.


I planted four different tomato plants in three different varieties, one cucumber, one yellow pepper, two basil and one cilantro. And more herbs inside that I keep on the window sill by my kitchen sink.

My cucumber plant is already dead.

So that’s a nice kick in the head.

Monte’s brother Bryson and our niece Gaelyn came from St. Louis for a visit on their way to Pennsylvania for college visits.

We were too busy talking and laughing to take pictures.

While they were here the cement was FINALLY poured for our side door steps!

It’s so nice not to have to jump down and back up to use this door.


You might have noticed a little wheeled vehicle in the picture above.

We noticed it too.

The cement guy left some equipment in our backyard.

Hopefully because he’s coming back very soon to install our patio.

This was FAR too tempting for Monte and I.

of construction equipment since this house project began.


Monte had to put on his free JEEP hat for this.


Of course, I had to take a turn.


This was the moment when I discovered the keys had been left in this cute little doo-hickey vehicle.


Monte told me to fire it up but I was too scared.

I told our builder, Paul, that if the patio isn’t installed ASAP, Monte and I are taking this bad boy for joy rides around town.

We might even offer rides to the neighbors.


We have one more day of school, three more graduation parties, one more sports banquet, a broken washer and a clogged drain upstairs--again.

Is it summer yet?!