Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From Autumn's Phone!

I am sitting somewhere waiting with Autumn. We have plenty of time as we wait so I asked her if I could play with her cool phone which happens to have the web with it. :)

So it has taken me about 20 min to get that sentence done. haha. Anyway...

Our little grandbaby will soon have his picture taken and sent to Abi and Ryan and once they see his picture they will tell his MiMi and JaJa what his name is. And that has his MiMi so tickled. They think they will have his picture in the next 10 days or so.

Well I mentioned that one of the reasons I went on the trip was to occupy my mind. And that was certainly successful. But now that I am home I am finding myself in an intense battle with fear.

And I wonder how others have waited to find out if they have cancer? Does the fear torment them? Are they just plain scared? Do they put their game face on and pretend?
I am bathing myself in Gods word and remembering the things in our Memorial Box.

My doctor has referred me to a world renowned thyroid cancer specialist in Denver. Only problem is that he cant see me till next year. Thats not sounding very good to us. We need wisdom. We need direction and frankly we need some favor. I have been weepy today. Very weepy. And I promised myself and you my sweet bloggy friends that I would be vulnerable. So there ya go. The good. The bad. And the ugly. Thank

Monday, August 30, 2010

Memorial Box Monday - The Table!!

Oh my. Wait till you hear this Memorial Box Monday post. It just happened a few days ago and I am still giggling and grinning about it. How faithful God is and, my oh my, how He loves, loves, loves to surprise us!! And sometimes when He is showing us His love He does it in the most crazy-out-of-the-box-are-you-kidding-me{?} kind of ways!! And I just gotta' think He just loves to show off like that!!

So here ya' go - our Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God was up to something big on my behalf.....and He was moving behind the scenes for a few months - totally unbeknownst to me!! So stinkin' fun....

The story starts here: We have a kitchen table. It was the table that was used at the cottage for years. It holds many, many wonderful memories. But as wonderful as the memories are...the table is just not very practical. For starters, it is low. Really low. I am 5'3" and I bang my knees as I pull my chair in most of the time. It has leaves, but they were makeshift leaves and so they are continually and constantly coming apart.

So a few months ago I said to Dw, "I really could use a different kitchen table. Although I love the lake table, I feel like we have a dollhouse table. I always bang my knees...blah, blah, blah."

He said, "Okay, let's look for one." I went to a used furniture store in town and said to the shopkeeper, "If you see a big ol' farmhouse table call me, will you?" Within weeks she called. I went to see the used table. It was lovely. Very lovely. But it was $800.00. I felt sick at the thought of spending $800. on a table when there are orphans around the world who have so many needs. I told her I would think about it.

I went home and I prayed. I said, "Lord I really like that table, but I just think you can do something far better than that table. I think our $800.00 could be used for the orphan."

So I passed on the table.

Every now and then I would look at that shop and others....nothing. I waited. And every now and then I would say to the Lord, "Sure would be fun to have a more practical table. hint-hint." And I waited.

And waited some more.

And a few months passed....and I left on my wild and crazy adventure. Which speaking of my adventure with the kids....I was thinking about it. I always wanted to do a mini-triathlon. Health wise, it's not a really super duper possibility....so I was thinkin'....doesn't it just seem that not everyone would drive 4200 miles with 8 kids and 2 dogs alone? I dubbed it my own triathlon. My version. Crazy and wild. It took endurance and perseverance. And I did it. And it was a blast!! And we are all still smiling and will for the rest of our lives...

Anyway, back to the trip.... As the time neared for us to head back to Colorado, Dw and I prayed about whether Dw should rent a truck and drive back with the things he had inherited from his parents. We prayed. We talked. Seemed like the smartest thing to do.

He loaded the truck and we left Western New York together...me in the van with the kids and he in the truck with one of them {rotating the fun to ride with daddy}.

Well, so as the story goes....I have this sweet bloggy friend, Amie. She used to have a blog, but closed it awhile back {miss your blogging, girlfriend!}. Amie and I became friends through our blogs a couple of years ago. {Oh I know!! Some of you probably know of a company she is part owner in?? Wild Olive Tees - sweetest tee-shirts in the land that proclaim Biblical truths - and oh so very, very comfortable! In fact, when you are done reading this, go check out their site...and buy a shirt...tell 'em Linny sent ya'.}

In fact the day before our home burned down, I was talking to Amie on the phone. We were talking about something that was really exciting. But later Amie told me that while we were talking that day, I had said that I felt something was wrong. I can't remember saying that to her. But she does. And yes, something was dreadfully wrong, and less than 15 hours later our home was gone.

Amie's one of those friends who hears that there is a problem and offers to help in any way she can {not even kidding}.... She's just a treasure - and we'd never even met in person!So when she heard that we were traveling maybe through her area, she offered her home to us to stay at. On the way home we knew we would be going through her area so we set it up to get together. The kids could play and we could meet {finally!}.

Well we got to her home and were introducing all of our treasures {she has a boatload and many are adopted from China} and so eventually we went inside her home.

Okay, now are you ready for this? We were barely in her house and Amie turns to me and excitedly said, """"""" Hey! Do you need a kitchen table?"

HUH? "No one had a clue what I had been praying, except for Dw.

I said, "What do you mean?"

She explained, " Well I was looking for a kitchen table and found one on Craigslist. I went to see it and when I was looking at it I felt like I was supposed to buy it, but all the while the Lord was saying, 'You are buying this, but it is not for you. It is for someone else' " Amie continued on..." I tried to make it for me, but it's not for me. The Lord told me as you were driving here that it is for you. After the Lord told me that I thought - what is she going to do, strap it to the top of her van? Then you texted me that Dw is driving a moving truck behind you!! " By now she was kind of grinning and giggling...."

Okay, like are you serious Lord?

We went out to her garage to look and of course I found the most beautiful kitchen table....stunning - absolutely perfect! Just exactly what I had been looking for. I was completely dumbfounded.

They wanted us to have it. Amie and her husband, Jeff, were so excited that we were to be the recipients of the table that they had bought "for someone else". Can you believe it?

Seriously. I am still grinning and giggling. Isn't it beautiful? We are sooo thankful for the gracious generosity of Amie and Jeff. Unbelievable!!

And to think - we don't bang our knees on the table as we sit there. Seriously. Is God totally and completely amazing? Who would have guessed? He was moving behind the scenes, in a state on the other side of the country, just because He loves us that much.

Here's the kids playing together:

Her little J-man
Dw loved playing with this little guy...
I am continually amazed at God's active involvement in our lives. Really, friends, if you don't do a Memorial Box - you must! In the tough times, you can go to your box and look at all the symbols and remember. Remember His faithfulness. Remember His protection. Remember His provision. Remember His miracles. Remember the mountains He has moved. Remember His surprises!

Please share a story from your life. And please link back here with a permalink.{A permalink is explained here.} And hey, I am gonna be down right shameless today - give an ol' lady a thrill - use the Memorial Box at the top of the sidebar ...{the code is below it}....

And lastly, I have to ask....last week.....did you happen to read Renee's story? Wow. My heart raced as I read it. And talk about heart racing....did you read the one Lesya wrote? Whooa. Your heart will be encouraged if you take the time to read the stories people post. Seriously. And God will use some of them to meet you right where you need to be met. Promise.

If you are new to this Place Called Simplicity a Memorial Box is explained here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Totally Busted

As you guys can tell I am completely smitten with architecture. I ooooooh and ahhh over all kinds of structures...barns, outbuildings, outhouses {yes, even old outhouses}, farmhouses, big old houses in towns and cities, little quaint cottages...all of it.Anyway, I had to go to a neighboring town last week to take Dw to get the moving truck. Joy, oh joy!!
I have long admired the homes in this beautiful little town just 12 miles from where Dw grew up. So after dropping him off I went to get a few groceries.
Suddenly I thought, "hmmm, some of my bloggy friends would totally enjoy these homes also. I think I will take a few pictures." {I stopped the car to take them...no need for anyone to panic.}

The only trouble was that snapping a few pictures, led me to a few more and then a few more...every street I turned down was screaming to take more pictures......and my family was waiting for me {my cell was dead and they were unable to reach me - haha}....they couldn't imagine what I was doing or where I was. Later I found that they thought I had gone Memorial Box hunting...who me?? Like I would do that!! But truly, I was having a special time just enjoying the beautiful architecture...until I got busted...and it's been a while since I was that embarrassed......
Look at the attic windows...they were just begging me to come snoop up in that ol' attic....
Imagine the times that have been shared on this porch....and I just had to take a bunch of pictures of porches...cause in the comments when I posted here....Kimberlie and purejoy said they loved the porches...and Jen from Australia said they have nothing like that there.....

And check out that cupola up there...wonder what's up there??

Some more of those beautiful attic windows...

Hard to see...but notice that leaded glass window on the side of the house in the bay?? Oh my. Such beauty.
And check out this place - God's house! Isn't it simply beautiful? Can't you just imagine a beautiful fall wedding with the leaves turning and the steps as a backdrop for pictures??

And then I remembered that ~Truly Tina~ and Melody, both said in the comments that they love red doors...so I took this one for you my sweet friends....
And then the inevitable happened....I snapped this one...but thought I could get a better shot of it....so I went to take it again...

and then I heard a voice say, "Can I help you?" Oh my. Oooopsie!
Totally and completely busted by the lady of the house. I was so flushed.... "Oh, please forgive me! I am so sorry. I just love your house. I live in Colorado and we really don't have architecture like you find here in Western New York and I just wanted to take some pictures for my friends to show them and I am so sorry...please forgive me!!" I was embarrassed to the max. Talk about an instant hotflash!! Aye-yi-yi.

This sweet lady could have scolded me...but instead she laughed and said, "No they don't have this kind of architecture out there. Snap away!" I told her home was absolutely beautiful and thanked her profusely!!

And my personal favorite.....can you imagine how many beaus came a-courtin' to this porch? Nervously wondering how the dad will react...and how the date will go....I love it!!

The road back to Dw's childhood home...isn't it so pretty? Dotted by dairy farms....

Windy and twisting through the countryside....

So blessed we are in America!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Just came in the door a few minutes ago....and trust me - home never looked so good!!

And wait till you hear the Memorial Box Monday story this coming week - you will know why I am giggling and laughing....God is so stinkin' amazing!!

I am so thrilled I did the trip!! Thank you for all your prayers! They were so needed. I think about that first night in Gothenburg, Nebraska. I really thought I ought to turn around. I was so overwhelmed and wondered what I had gotten myself into. No doubt the enemy of my soul wanted to defeat me. Your prayers sweet friends made all the difference....thank you Jesus.

We made unforgettable memories and had loads of fun! We laughed and talked lots.

I am already dreaming about what trip I will take the kids on next. Not even kidding. Look out United States of America - this woman is determined to make memories with her precious cherubs.

But alas, for now there is a boatload of laundry waiting....and some pretty rowdy kids who need to get to bed so mama can crash....so for now, I'll dream of the next trip while I sort the piles....

Garden City, Kansas

Yesterday morning we left the hotel in Blue Springs and headed straight to Starbucks. It was almost 10am. I had had a hard time getting movin' and we were definitely lagging! Graham texted to ask where we were. I had just parked the car at Starbucks so I texted him that we were at the very place we had kissed them goodbye and that I was just about to order my coffee and hit the road.

Anyway, I got the coffee, climbed back in the van and drove out onto the road. As I passed the very next plaza I noticed a sign: Lamar Donuts

The plaza reminded me of a donut shop {Jet Donuts} that had been around the corner from my home growing up. I had to stop. Had to.
Besides remember what this trip is all about? Yeah, it's all about making memories. And yes, kids definitely remember treats. So I pulled right into the very next plaza. Hey, we were heading in the right direction and as far as I could tell we were making progress, right? See! That's what I was thinkin' too. I sent Emma, Josh, and Liberty in. "Find a few fun looking donuts to share."

Little did we know that we had stumbled upon a famous donut shop that has been written up for some of the most delicious donuts in all our great United States. Not even kidding.Emma read the announcements on the wall from Gourmet Magazine...pretty sweet, huh? {Pun intended.}
And they came out with the most delicious looking treats. How 'bout this?
German ChocolateButterfinger

We taste tested and the apple fritter was my favorite, but the Butterfinger was a really, really close second. We actually have plenty left for the boys to taste when we get home.Anyway, I texted Graham and told him we had made it one plaza more...one step closer to home. He and daddy didn't believe me. They thought we surely were on the road.
So we concocted an elaborate story of how we just let the kids swim the night before, threw them in the car at dark and drove all night and were near Pueblo, Colorado. Haha! I told him later, "Since you didn't believe the truth, we thought we would make something really awesome up!"
On a humorous note....not long after getting on the road Elijah said, "I have to go pee." I said, "Dude, you just want to get out of the car." He didn't say anything, so I figured I had been right. Sure he would pee, but he didn't have to, ya' know what I mean?

About an hour passed and I thought, "Well he hasn't said a word, so I'm guessing he's fine." About another half hour and all of a sudden he said in his most innocent and sweet little three year old voice, "Hey! You guys didn't listen to me. I just peed my pants." Seriously laughed my head off. Yeah, well let's just say, he peed so much I had to change his britches and his shirt. Lesson learned by this ol' mom of ten.

The backroads of Kansas were wiiiiiindy. Oh my gracious. The van felt like it was going to blow off the road, so I had to drive 10 under the speed limit. We have made it to Garden City. Not sure where they put the garden, but we were lookin'!

And the antique shops on the way? Saw two. The entire time. And all 5 young ones had just fallen asleep. ugh. big ugh. So we didn't stop. Josh has gotten to ride the entire with us in the car. But I do know where some are in Colorado....so the roof rack is still a viable option.

Okay, off to get the heck out of Dodge. I mean, Garden City.

Oh! Almost forgot. We had 850 miles till home yesterday morning. Had no idea what the 'shortcut' would do to all that. I told Graham if we still have 500 miles to go I'll probably want to fling myself out of the hotel room window. Whew. 450 to go. One long day and we will be home sweet home. Can't wait!! Yippee Jesus!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Playin' on Silver Lake

Tuesday we rented a boat and played on the lake that Dw had grown up on....and take a gander at that smile of his...you can see how much it ministered to his sweet soul....this man loves being on a boat probably most of all...

Checkin' out the water just as we start to take off....

the beloved cottage from the water...
Jubilee was so brave!!
She was willing to tube with Graham...
and to think, we doubt she's ever even been on a boat before!!

Josh had actually never been on a boat before either...
but he loved it...and he especially loved tubing....
too bad we forgot to give him the "take your cell phone out of
your swim suit pocket before you tube" speech....

Jubilee's smile says it all...

Isaiah loves a boat just as much as his daddy...

I froze the entire day...and loved being snuggled under the blanket...

Isaiah whispers something to Graham....

Dw gave Josh and Graham the ride of their lives and
they were hanging on like no other...

One very satisfied man on sabbatical....