Center Street Unplugged

Psst- anybody still checking the blog this week? Oh, I knew you would be popping by. Valued readers get a real treat today!!!
Our Open House is scheduled for Sunday afternoon. I just realized that is Super Bowl Sunday. That, and our Realtor’s admittance that houses don’t usually make sales from open houses, and you can imagine the high hopes of this. But, God can do anything. You, loyal reader, can do a virtual tour of our home at this website. But I want to let you, my most valued readers, in on a little secret: there are some areas of our home that we decided not to have photographed for the Realtor’s site. We thought sharing that would be putting on too many airs about some of the nice improvements we have made on the home, and would put the other homes on our street to undue shame. But I’ll show you, my closest friends, some pictures I took just this morning of those areas now:
This is the foyer, pronounced foy-yay, what you see when you walk through the front door. I think it is good to have the color of the outside of the house be interspersed inside, too. The children are all trained to sit here on this chair when they come in and take off their shoes before continuing through the house. Hopefully, any visitors to our open house will show the same courtesy.

This is a fountain in the backyard that Luke landscaped. The kids are always trying to throw all our change in there and wish for a better house and grounds. They’re so ungrateful.

This is the chandelier that hangs in our bedroom, a room which could also be used as a dining room. Luke is constantly bumping his head when he climbs into bed. One of the many trials of the helplessly wealthy.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into some of the unphotographed rooms of the house. I didn’t include pictures of our Grecian spa or our hanging gardens patterned off of those of Nebuchadnezzar, but I think you can get the idea. There are many, many things to discover in the pretty blue house in Waldo.

Snow Fun

The neighbors came over Monday right after the snow fell, to take my kids out to play in it. I was embarrassed at how little snow gear I had to dress them in- a goal this year would be to accumulate this kind of stuff all year long so that I’m ready next year. But, it seems we only get one or two big snows anymore.
They have asked once since then to go out in it again, but I’ve said no. Both Little S and N have colds now, and I think that romp in the snow played a part.
I remember the joy of sitting in a world covered in white, and the silence of it all around me. Good that my kids can experience it, too, even if only once in a while.

Spelling Bee Update

The winner of the first through third grades- doesn’t she look happy? Her winning words were ‘shoulder’ and then ‘variety’. The last word she spelled just slow enough for me to clear some memory space on my camera, but not slow enough for me to zoom in on her, okay? It was so cute. The only thing that dampened the experience was the lady sitting behind me who treated her husband horribly. I scanned the seats, looking for another set of three, but couldn’t see anything. Then, when her son misspelled a word and came and sat down, she rather loudly explained right there what he did wrong and what he should have said. I was embarrassed for her. I think the teachers were surprised how long this age group lasted- I think about 10 rounds! Way to go, OHVA elite!

Does Anyone Love To S-P-E-L-L Like Me?

I’m excited- we are off to watch a spelling bee in Columbus today. Big A and Big S are coming. In elementary and middle school, I absolutely loved participating in spelling bees. I usually won. The furthest I got in the Scripps Bee was me against a couple others from my school district, and I caved on the word, COLONEL. Of course, I know it backwards and forwards now, will never forget that the army guy is not spelled like popcorn. Back to A, I unashamedly admit that I am trying to live vicariously through her. The day I got word about the bee, I came to her and encouraged her to try out. The first grade words would be no problem for her. She got this ‘I don’t know about this’ look on her face and said, “I’ll know more words after my next birthday.” This was before she saw Akeelah and the Bee. Now, she is very excited to go watch the competition, but still doubts her abilities. Okay, fine. You’ll just be that much better next year, A. Thing is, I don’t know how good a speller she is yet; she reads really well, but she is pretty new at it. We’ll just have to see if she has my photographic memory, or Luke’s ability to put my memory to good use. Hey, he makes me feel needed around hear.

If You Don’t Do Anything Else Today…

I was all set to lay down for a nap with the kids, but decided to check my email first. Toby is still up and down, and I want to keep current. Then I went to Mommy Life, and she has her pictures from the 2007 March For Life in D.C. up. Then I had to get over here and post a link to that great slideshow, but Blogger was taking a lunch break. So I then perused blogs that aren’t Blogger blogs while waiting for Blogger to reopen, and that is how I end up still sitting in front of the computer screen an hour later. You must go over and look at Barbara’s pictures; hopefully you are more on top of your time management today, and this doesn’t mess you up like it did me. But even if it does, please go see.

WFMW-Blessing Your Children

Tell Aaron and his sons, This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
The LORD bless you
and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.
Numbers 6:23-26

We all need God’s blessing in our lives. It is as fundamental as the need for air. Our children, likewise, need to hear blessings come from our lips, early and often. One way I have found to bless my children is to put together a verse and song that help them learn the meaning of their names. If I call out, Noah, that is the same as if I call out, Comfort, and I want him to know that the two words are one and the same. We gave them their names after considerable thought; it is only right they should learn what their names mean and how they can strive to live up to it and please the LORD.

To prepare this, I find definitions for the child’s names, think of character qualities that go with the meaning if the meaning isn’t already a virtue. I look for a Bible verse that has the name or meaning in it, and conveys the blessing I am seeking to give. Then, I make up a song that covers the gist of the verse, usually to a tune that they already know well. My hope is that they will be affirmed and given purpose every time their verse is spoken or song is sung.
This is a great way to put God’s Word in children’s hearts!

Noah’s is my favorite, I’ll share it here as an example:
Noah Christian-“comfort” and “follower of Christ”
Verse: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
Song (I made up the tune to this one):
May Noah be strong in every good work
May Noah be strong in every good word
Noah Christian, Jesus loves you
May He comfort you and give you hope.

See? It’s easy. I need to get to work on Baby A’s. ‘father’s joy’ and ‘pure’. Luke already has a song that he plays on his guitar for her; I’ll probably add the blessing to that as the second verse.
My sister-in-law put together really neat ones for her kids- take a look at Cousin C’s song.
Let’s commit to doing all we can to bless our children. I want my kids to be so smothered in sincere affirmation that they have to say, “Okay, quit blessing me, already!”
Along the same lines, a post a while ago by Shannon about praying Scripture for your children came to mind while I was typing/deleting/typing this post. Check it out, too.
More Works For Me Wednesday tips here.

Reality Needed And Aprons For Sale!

As I went through my morning yesterday, I was compiling a sort of “Day in the life of…” post, to share with everybody what it is like at our house on a normal day. At about mid-morning, I read over what I had written, and yawned. The kids were behaving so well, and the day was going so smoothly, that I just knew that a post about this day wasn’t going to be entertaining. I’ll have to wait until the next overflowing toilet or meltdown at Meijer, and start jotting notes then. That’s much more true to life than yesterday was. They all slept at naptime! That was due to playing in the snow, sure to wear any preschooler out. Stay tuned for a reality post someday soon, though.
In other news, Connie, who won the grand prize apron in the Apron Power Photo Contest, actually makes replicas of the very apron she won, and is selling them here. This would be a great apron for just about any female needing one; it flatters any body shape, and is very durable, made from oilcloth. It would look good simply hanging in your kitchen! Which is why I entered the contest and tried to win it. But I am glad to know where else I can find an apron like that- made by Connie.

Remembering Roe V. Wade

“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”
~Mother Theresa

I found this pic at Ukok’s Place

I Won!!!!

Well, not the whole thing, but I got fifth, which means I win a book by Barbara. Yea! Thanks to all who voted for me. I don’t know if the nifty but annoying banner up all week had anything to do with it or not. Or me threatening to charge readers who didn’t vote. Maybe a teensy bit.
I prepared a little something to say on such an occasion:
I’d like to thank God, Who created me and gave me the ability to feed and care for my family, and to make big messes, necessitating an apron.
I want to remember the supermarket chains, without which I wouldn’t have the food at my table (and under the table, and on the floor, and on the walls, etc.) to fix and clean after we’ve eaten our fill.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Barbara, who allowed those of us who wear aprons to show off.
See all the winners here.

APRON POWER!

Jaylynn’s Journey

On Tuesday, January 16, Jaylynn Freeman had surgery at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. The name of Jaylynn’s surgery was an osteoplasty of the left femur with application of multiplanas external fixator, pseudoarthrosis of left femoral neck. This means they are starting the process to begin lengthening Jaylynn’s left femur bone. This external fixator is made of metal and has 8 pins penetrating through her leg into her bone. The bone was cut in half and will begin to make new bone forming towards each other, as each day 4 times a day the external fixator will be turned by Maggie [her mom] to get approximately 8 cm in about 4 months. Everyday Jaylynn will have therapy to strengthen the muscles, tendons, and bone. The external fixator will be on for eight months. The first four months are the bone lengthening. The last 4 months are the bone healing stage. Jaylynn will come back home [to Ohio] after the four months of lengthening for the bone healing stage. Jaylynn’s recovery has been great. She has had an epidural in for two days due to pain making her comfortable. The day after surgery, by wheel chair, she was able to go to the playroom and make a bead necklace and paint. Therapy will start on Monday. Prayer requests are for good health, no pin infections, good lengthening results, good therapy results, travel safety, and home sickness. God is good. We praise Him for taking care of all our needs.

Thurs., Jan 18 Jaylynn had the epidural removed. This made for a different day since she was no longer numb and could feel sensation and pain. She had therapy two times today in her bed. There were many tears but you could see that she wasn’t as tense the second session. Her therapist, Moshi, had her standing with a walker. He even had her hop forward as best she could with help. Later in the day the nurses removed the padding that is wrapped around the pins that stick out the side of her leg and attach to the fixator. This was extremely difficult for Jaylynn. Many tears again. She had one episode today where she was very uncomfortable with pain in her femur bone for about an hour before medication took its effect. That was hard on everyone. In spite of all the interruptions, prodding, and pain Jaylynn still wants to go to the play room. She made two bead necklaces and did a brush painting. Ken, Lacie and Deven [Grandpa, aunt, and brother] should arrive Friday evening. That will give us all something to look forward to. Please keep us in your prayers. It is a comfort to know people are praying. You can feel God’s power giving each of us the strength we need. It is a long journey but we serve the Guide who will take us every step of the way.