Monday, June 30, 2008

Ugly is Beautiful!

My friend Lori linked me up to this great blog

The first week's challenge was to photograph "ugly" things that can be beautiful. I think I'm pretty good at seeing the beauty around me (and taking pictures) so this challenge intrigued me.

Here's what I came up with in about 5 minutes, just inside my yard (I'd love to dedicate much more time to this!)
This is our over-grown landscaping around our house? Aren't we awesome gardeners? Anyway, these are just weeds growing in the rocks...a bad, ugly thing. But they certainly do have their own beauty.....
I hate power lines. Their ugly. Now, when I sit on my deck and watch the birdies live their life on the high-wire, they become a lot less ugly and a lot more interesting. And when the photo of it turns out like looks a lot more artsy, don't ya think?And this is my neighbor's barn. Yes, we live in town. Our house is probably right on the old farmland. It's not a new barn. It's certainly nothing fancy. It's rough and weathered. Just how I like it! Makes me feel like I'm in the country, when I'm really in town. Beautiful!

I challenge you to try to see more beauty in the everyday of life...even in the "ugly". Afterall, it's all part of God's creation....

Play Time!!!

I made time this weekend to create! It's been so long! Of course, there were other things I "should've" been doing, but I needed this time badly! And I have to thank my buddy Jenn for some awesome design ideas! :) She knows how I love my sketches!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Both girls passed their swimming tests, sending them onto the next level! You go girls!

I was a little nervous this year, I admit. See, last year, Alana didn't pass Level 2...she had a bit of a confidence issue. Now, I was pretty sure that Erin would easily pass Level 1 this summer (she's half fish!). My fear was that if Alana didn't pass again...they'd be in the same level next summer. Not a good thing for Alana's delicate self-esteem.

After watching Alana in her lessons, I was confident that both would pass easily. Alana is MUCH more confident this year. The day of testing went very well for Alana. But Erin...she had a couple issues. First, she floats on her back a bit like her dad and brother (aka, she sinks). Then, they had her do the back crawl, which they had never even learned in lessons.

The picture below is Erin after attempting the back crawl. She was near tears thinking she now might not pass. (I have no idea where she gets this complete fear of failure?? He he!) But it turned out we had nothing to fear. Both girls passed. Yes, Erin has to work on her back crawl. But they said she was adventurous...and both girls had "excellent attitudes and listened well". Funny thing...Alana's strength, they said, was the back crawl. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Camping Adventure

So, Barry decides after lunch on Thursday that we're going Spooner. Tent camping. We haven't done that since before the girls. Oh, and we're leaving the next day (easier for him to say, as he's off to work while I have to shop, plan and prepare. Fun) So Friday morning, after I worked, walked the dog, and packed, we left a little after 11am. Stopped at Cenex for ice. And then our adventure began. The truck wouldn't start. What the? Turns out we have a dead battery. It's hot, the kids are freaking out, and yes, we have the dog. Luckily, we're at the one place in town that sells batteries.
So, while Barry's taking care of the truck, I'm explaining to the girls how God works in mysterious ways. If the truck won't start, it means we're not supposed to go. And if it does, it means God needed to delay us for some to avoid an accident. Well, it turns out He wanted us to avoid a major downpour. As it worked out, we were in the truck, in Spooner when the clouds opened up. Without the delay, we would've been putting up our tent and everything would've been soaked. Thanks God!

So we picked the most secluded of spots and set up camp. The mosquitoes were horrendous!

Finally it was time for sleep. Well, at least for us. See the rest of the campground was just getting started. They seemed to party all night. Note to self: Mama should be in charge of choosing campgrounds. It didn't help that our sleeping arrangements weren't all that comfy. Did you know that air mattresses only work when they hold air???????? Even my loyal dog abandoned me cuz my mattress was so then I froze nearly to death without any other body heat. Needless to say, Mama was none too happy come Saturday morning.

But Mama usually perks up once we're in the boat out on the lake, the breeze is good and the sun is shining! Whoo hoo! We stayed out all day (except for the break we took for another downpour). We finished our road trip to Spooner with a stop at DQ for the girls.

Back to the campsite for dinner (it had stayed dry somehow) and then down to the beach for some swim time. Luckily, the girls had the beach to themselves. The campground was a little quieter Saturday night (they must've worn themselves out!) We were home by 1:30. tired!

But the day wasn't done yet! I worked on laundry (is that ever really done?) before we left for the church softball game at 8.

We were tired. We had fun. We were covered in bug bites. And we were glad to be home!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Catching up....

I'm trying to get my ducks in a row today...these are my most recent finished projects...created over the last couple of weeks. It's been a while since mama's had "playtime" better be soon!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Swimming and Soccer and Reading, OH MY!

Well, the summer activities have begun (and I'm already tired!) Why does it always seem so much busier during the "resting" time of summer?
Anyway, the girls started the library reading program last week. They meet every Wednesday afternoon for an hour and a half. They read books, do projects, have a snack, etc. Then afterwards, we bring their reading log to the library to get a prize (for reading their goal) and check out more books. It's been nice having the motivation to get them to read!
Swimming lessons are this week and next, M-Th before lunch. Erin was really nervous, but after 10 seconds in the pool she was fine. She even jumped off the diving board (into a life guard's arms) even though she said she wouldn't, and was terrified when she did it. :) Alana seems a lot more confident this year. Still really quiet in her group, but definately more confident.

Soccer was an experience...this time, Erin pulled a fast one on me! She's been so excited for soccer...although nervous because she thought she wasn't good enough to "make the team". Really, she's awesome...a natural. So we check in with her coach, get her tshirt, and send her out to practice with her teammates on the field. She wouldn't budge.
What the ???? She's crying. "I'm not playing. I'm not playing." This from Alana, yes, but not Erin. So I struggle for about 10 minutes, encouraging her, standing on the field with her, asking another quiet girl what her name is... you get the picture. In the meantime, I'm trying to tell the coaches that this is not my daughter. :) I also recall the words, "Why are you doing this to me?!?!" coming out of my mouth. Not one of my finer parenting moments.
Then the coaches told the kids to line up in 2 lines to practice some drills...and she did it. So I quietly snuck off the field. That was it. As soon as the whistle blew she flew into action. Always right in the middle of it. She's a competitor, alright. And faster than heck! Her team won. Alana's didn't, but I'm not sure she cared much. She ran when she was supposed to, kicked the ball when she was near it, guarded the goal, but all with not much enthusiasm. That's my girl! :)

Father's Day Weekend

But seriously....isn't EVERY weekend for fathers? Anyway.....

Barry took the girls to the fishing contest at Mirror Lake on Saturday morning (it was probably more for the girls than for Dad, but it was fishing so it still counts!) They all seemed to have fun. Erin excitedly told me that she caught a 1 lb sunny and her friend Claire caught a 7 lb er. Turns out Erin forgot the decimal (Erin's was .1 lb and Claire's was .7 lb) :)

Saturday afternoon, the boys left for Lake Wissota for some "real manly" fishing. They got home after 10, but with no fish. Barry caught decent Walleye, but didn't keep it. Well, happy Father's Day! (Just for the record, Barry also was gone fishing on Mother's Day weekend, so I think he owes me!)

Sunday was lazy day. Barry suddenly decided he really did want to play softball with the church softball team. He used to run the team "back in the day"...then he played on the Old Timers league, until he got hurt...and then started working nights. He was still nervous to hurt himself his old age... but apparently couldn't resist. He wrangled up some old equipment...Tony even borrowed his Gramp's old "Spirit of '76" church softball shirt! They had a great time playing together. And I only had to suffer thru one day of whining (I'm sore!)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Dad

It was only after making my dad's Father's Day card that I got the idea to do this photo montage on my blog. Many, many hours later, here are my memories of my dad (I sorta forgot how many gazillions of pictures I'd have to dig through!) Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures of my dad from my childhood...but those memories are in my heart. Here's what I wrote on Dad's card:

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Actually, I don’t really think of you as a “father”. You’re definitely a “dad”. Dads take you fishing – and actually teach you to fish. Dads talk to their daughters while playing catch. Dads buy “woman” products for their daughters, and even make emergency deliveries to school. Dads who don’t write, write letters to their daughters at college that make them cry with homesickness. Dads talk fishing while his daughter is making him a grandfather – right in front of him! You may be a grandpa now, and I may be a mom, but you’ll always be my Dad. I love you! Missy

I could've written a lot more (I was limited by the size of my card). Now, I know my dad wasn't perfect...but for some reason, I don't really think of the negative when I think of my dad. These pictures of Dad with the grandkids...they could be pictures from mine and Amy's childhood. He was always there. Always with us...playing, talking, hanging out...whatever. We knew he loved us...and still do. Whether he tried to or not, he taught me what to look for in a man. And luckily, I found him. The greatest compliment I can give Barry is to compare him to my dad (and I do it a lot!)

Of course, I'm choking back tears as I write this. I love my Dad. And I'm so grateful that he's no different as a grampa (maybe even better!)

Thanks for the memories and the love Dad. Happy Father's Day! We love you...