Monday, July 31, 2006

Because that's just the way it is...

Still haven't heard back from the mechanic, though we should some time today. My guess is the bill should be somewhere between $300-400. I only know that because yesterday we saw a carpenter ant in our house (and 2 sets of neighbors just had to get theirs exterminated.) Price tag, $250. So between the exterminator, the last trip to the mechanic, and this next one, that ought to just about wipe out our saving-for-a-scooter fund. Such is life! I could be wrong, but I doubt it, it's just the way God works in our lives!

In more exciting news, Titus is definately crawling now! During the last week he has gone from scooting, in an almost, but not-quite crawling position-- to a full-fledged no-doubt about it crawl. There's no stopping this boy now!

A few minutes ago I went out into the living room where Titus was watching Baby Einstein in his swing, but he wasn't in his swing, he was on the floor, several feet from the swing. The straps were still buckled, so I imagine he scooted himself out the top again by pushing his legs against the seat and wiggling out of the straps. He did this when he was about 4 months old too. This time he didn't cry though. I think he probably kind of did a twisty crawl onto the floor (the swing is a travel swing, so it only sits a few inches off the ground). The clever little man wanted out! I think the straps are even as tight as they go, but I'll have to check that. I imagine most people expect babies to be bigger before they are so mobile. Such is life! Yup, the kid's still small! Game on--I'm gonna have to watch him every second of the day now. And I have to keep my floors clean. Yuck!

Friday, July 28, 2006

I Should Have Known

The mechanics were able to look at the car and they even fixed it and gave it back to me Monday afternoon. Even better, it was only a $250 fix (believe me, we've seen worse!) The water pump needed replaced and the vacuum seal on the transmission was broken. So they fixed it and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Rob wouldn't be home til Wednesday so I thought I was going to have to spend several days without my husband and without a car!

I drove up to visit some friends just North of Salem on Tuesday night (silly me) and just as I was about to turn onto the street Bill and Krista live on my car wouldn't let me turn. I wrenched on the steering wheel with all of my might and it finally turned and I was able to make it to the front of their house. I tried to ignore the steam seeping from my engine.

What's a girl to do? I called my daddy. He told me to lift the hood and see if there was a belt that had come loose. Sure enough, that's what it was. We let the car cool down for a while then Bill and I put my daddy on speaker phone and he talked us through putting the belt back on. It was comical. Hilarious I'm sure! We did it though and I started up the car and drove it around the block and it seemed fine. My daddy said that they probably didn't tighten it after they replaced the pump. He encouraged me to take it straight to the shop because whatever caused it to come off in the first place was probably still going to be a problem.

Bill and Krista encouraged me just to take their car home, and I'm glad they did. We wrestled the kids car seats into their car and I headed back down I-5. We made it home just fine, but that's because the evil Buick was still in Keizer.

So, on Thursday Rob headed up to Keizer to return their car and retrieve ours. Maybe I should have asked if they wanted to trade?!?!? Rob noticed it over heating again so he stopped to put some water in it in Salem. He made it down I-5 and back to Albany, but then it died on him on the side of the road. He had the evil beast towed back to the mechanic and there it sits. I imagine they didn't get to look at it today because I haven't heard from them yet. So this weekend we go everywhere together!

Here's the thing, I should have known this would happen. A $250 fix didn't hurt bad enough. You know why? Because we had more than $250 saved (we're saving to buy a scooter for Rob to ride instead of the evil beast during the summer. At 80-90 miles to the gallon it would pay for itself in a year.)

God is faithful. He's faithful to do two things.

1.) He's faithful to provide for us above and beyond what we could ever imagine. I could tell you story after story of how He's used people and circumstances to provide beyond our wildest dreams.

2.) When we have any money saved He's faithful to make something break (cars namely, but some household items), to inflict something on one of us (usually me, pregnancy being one of them) that requires a lot of money, or we have to pay for an adoption etc. I was happy to pay for the birth and the adoption, but paying to get cars fixed seems so pointless. It seems like your just flushing money down the toilet, or into the water-pump :0)

Oh well, God has never put us in a position where He hasn't provided for us. I think He just wants us to depend on His faithfulness. It's a good place to be!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Just Hanging Out on I-5

Sooo, I had an interesting day...

My family and I had lunch with some friends after church then we headed back to the church to help get ready to take some high school kids to Silver Creek Falls. That in itself was a pain because it was 100+ degrees outside and we were all dripping in sweat. After Rob left with a car-load and a van-load of kids I headed home to my air-conditioned house. The kids were both down for the count by the time I pulled in the driveway so I laid Leeann down on the couch and let Titus continue to sleep in his carseat. I sat down at my computer for maybe 10 minutes when I got a phone call from Rob.

Rob: "Hey, the Buick over-heated and died on Joel (the new youth pastor who was driving our car). They're letting it cool down and they put some water in it, can you bring the van up here and switch cars with Joel?"

Me: "Urg. Um, I suppose. But what if I end up getting stranded on 1-5 in this heat with the kids?"

Rob: "You won't, the car will have water in it and it's less than 10 miles, you'll be fine."

Me: "Fine, I'm on my way."

I realized that Rob was in a predicament and this seemed to be the only option. So I loaded the kids back up into the van, grabbed a Nalgene bottle and filled it with ice and water just in case, and started to make my way toward the freeway.

In a split second of fear I turned toward Eroica's and called her and asked if I could drop the kids off at her house. I simply couldn't imagine what would happen if we ended up stranded on 1-5. It's not a safe place for even a matter of minutes in this heat, I wouldn't be able to walk them to shade without fear of Leeann straying or getting into icky stuff on the side of the freeway, and if worse came to worse, not many people who are driving by have the capacity to stick 2 car seats in their car. Not to mention the fact that I didn't want to have to wrestle with switching the carseats in this heat while the kids are roasting. All in all, it seemed best to leave the kids. I can handle the heat, they can't.

So, Eroica came to the rescue and let me drop my kids at her house even though she was throwing a Birthday party for her sister-in-law. I headed up the freeway as fast as I could knowing the boys who were in the car had to be roasting and in desperate need of some air-conditioning. Once I pulled up all 4 boys leaped into my air-conditioned van panting! I could see how hot and miserable they were so I offered my water to them and they shared it. I was happy to help!

So I took the Buick and headed back down I-5. The temperature gauge confirmed that it was still way too hot so I blasted the heater, rolled down the windows and turned up the radio. After just a mile or 2 I encountered a hill. My car didn't like that and I got a bad feeling. It started clanking a little but seemed to recover once I got to the top of the hill (and by hill I mean slight incline). I drove another mile or so and then I encountered another incline. I felt the car start to die and I began to panic. "Lord, please let my car make it up this hill" I prayed fervently, terrified of being stuck on the freeway in this heat. Well, God answered my prayer and I made it up the hill--but it was more than the Buick could take. Once the road started to flatten out again, the car started clanking more and then I felt it just start to die on me. I put on my flashers and pulled onto the shoulder. I called Eroica who was half expecting my call, and she and her husband headed up to get me, leaving my kids with his mom who was at the party. After about 20 minutes, making several more phone calls for car advice and towing, and an encounter with a state trooper (just checking on me) Eroica and Toby came to my rescue.

The guy from my insurance company who was arranging towing told me it would be 90 minutes before someone could get out to get my car. I told him that I couldn't wait for 90 minutes in the heat and that I would head back into town with my friends, and meat the towing company in an hour and a half, or after they call me no later than 20 minutes before they show up so I can have time to get back to my car.

Well, about 10 minutes (far shorter than the 90 minutes they told me I'd have to wait) after getting back to Eroica's the towing company called and told me that the guy was waiting with my car on the freeway. I was totally bugged, but I won't even go there.

Anyway, we head back out to my car all so I could sign a stupid piece of paper (why couldn't they just tow the car into town for me without me having to be there?) The guy towed it into a local automotive place and there it will sit until I call them in the morning.

So the kids and I spent much of an an unexpected day at Eroica's trying desperately to cool off from the incredibly hot and stressful day that we had.

And now the stress continues as I wait for the mechanic to tell me what's wrong with the car, and more importantly how much it's going to cost. You gotta love days like these. I was planning on having a relaxing day with my kids this evening... ha! I guess we can have a relaxing day tomorrow though since we won't have a car to go anywhere! Maybe it's God's way of telling me to slow down a little?!?!?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Leeann!!

Leeann turns 3 years old today! My how the years fly by...

This is a picture of Leeann's 1st Birthday. Even though she wasn't yet my daughter, I made her a special baby blanket and a Birthday cake. I can barely remember this little girl *tear*.

This is a picture from Leeann's 2nd Birthday. She was only saying a few words at that point, and she wasn't sure what all the fuss about a Birthday Party was. That sure changed this year. I remember that day so clearly that it feels as if it were yesterday!

This is where the picture of Leeann's 3rd Birthday will go... as soon as I get it uploaded!

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Big Girl Potty!

For about 4 or 5 months now, I've been promising Leeann a potty-party and birthday cake when she goes poo-poo in the big girl potty. On the way home from Lake Shasta last Saturday Leeann said, "Mommy, I need birhtday cake, I need go poo-poo in the big-girl potty!" So after clarifying that she had not yet gone potty, but needed to go potty, we pulled over at an A&W/Cheveron station. I didn't really want to stop because we were only about 10 minutes from home, but this was the first time she ever told me that she needed to go. So I took her in the bathroom and she went poo-poo on the big girl potty! I was soooo proud of her!

And, unfortunatly for her, I had my camera with me, so I took a picture! Notice that she's missing one of her pony-tails :0)

When we got home she said she needed to go again (which I expected because she had only gone a little bit at the gas station). So I asked her if she wanted a book hoping that it would help her to be patient. She wanted one, so I gave it to her and she 'read' while she finished the deed!

What can I say, we're training her early (both for the big-girl potty and for theology!)

She's gonna hate me when she grows up for blogging things such as this!
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Potty Party!

After church on Sunday many of us meet up ut Burger King for lunch. So I made cup-cakes Saturday night and made our traditional lunch gathering into a potty party for Leeann!


and more friends...

and more friends...
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More Potty Party Pictures

This is Leeann enjoying her favorite past-time. Licking the ketchup out of the little containers...

More friends...

Um, yummy, some turkey noodle baby food! Who needs cup-cakes when you can have this stuff?

Leeann's special friend Hamish. He's 4. He's the one that kissed Leeann on Valentines Day (see February's blog for that story, it's super-cute!) I had to take this picture for some additional black-mail someday.

"Hey Hamish, do you remember when you went to Leeann's potty party? Let me show you the pictures" :0)
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Leeann's friend Mayah

And her friend Neve

And Kayla, Jessica and Collette

Leeann showing off her pretty potty-party dress!

*Thanks great-grandma M for the beautiful dress!*
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

To Grandmother's House We Go...

We went down to visit my mom and step-dad near Klamath Falls, Oregon last Wednesday evening. We stopped along the Klamath River to stretch and take a few pictures. Strawberry Shortcake needed to stretch too!

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Lake Shasta

Yay for family vacations and family pictures!
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On the Lake

We went out to Lake Shasta in Redding, California on Friday. Leeann called it the "big water" and excitedly bugged us to "go on the boad (boat)" for days. I told her a couple of days in advance which was just torture for her! She squeeled with delight when we finally got to the boat!

Grandpa Keith was teaching Leeann to drive the boat!

Great Grandma Kathy was relaxing as we headed out to find a swimming hole. She lives in Redding and let us play on her really cool boat for the day! She's super-fun!

Titus wasn't a huge fan of the bulky life jacket, but he enjoyed kicking back and hanging out with his dad, with the wind blowing through his hair and all the girls staring at him!

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Leeann started out a little hesitant...

I'm okay because daddy's holding me...

Don't let go daddy!

I guess I'm okay if I'm on the shore with Grammy...

Safe in the inner-tube, I can handle this...

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More progress

Look, we're floating together...

Daddy, where are you going???

No problem! I can handle this, I'm a big girl!

By the end of the day Leeann was floating happily along with the noodle as if she was a pro who had been 'swimming' all her life. At the end of the day she wanted to go back in the water but Grandpa was in the Lake with Titus and the rest of us were dried off and ready to head in for the day. I told her she could go in but she would have to float by herself because Grandpa had to hold Titus. So she headed down the ladder and into the Lake as if she owned the place. She had such a blast!

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Nap Time

Titus spent much of his time on the lake in one of these positions!

If only his crib had a gentle sway like the boat, maybe we'd both get better sleep!

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On the inner-tube

Leeann thoroughly enjoyed her time out on the inner-tube with her daddy. She's such a brave little girl! Rob had to convince her it was time to stop or she would have stayed out there all day!

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Titus having fun

Hey look, that's my Daddy...

And my Grammy...

And my squirt-gun...

And my Grandpa Keith...
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