Friday, June 27, 2008

one of those days

This has been one of those days when visions of yellow school buses were dancing through my head by noon. There were no major things, just a multitude of attitudes, discipline issues, and school problems that kept me frustrated all day and unable to get any housework or laundry done or even get supper started at a decent hour. So aggravating!!! This has been me all day:

But, before they were all shooed them off to their rooms for the night, my oldest daughter left me a sweet note telling me she was sorry for her part in how rotten the day went. Then my eight year old brought me one, too. That was nice. My husband let me take a shower and got them all to bed for me, which was also very nice. Then he put the leftovers away and started the dishwasher for me. Very nice indeed.

I think I will just head to bed early so this day will be over and I can start new tomorrow.

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:21-23

I am so thankful that God gives us a clean slate, even after our worst days. This verse gives me the encouragement I need to leave the frustrations of today at the foot of the cross and accept grace to start fresh tomorrow.

Random thoughts

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. detasseling corn Ugh!
2. waitress at Pizza Hut
3. law clerk for legal aid

4. assistant state's attorney

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Princess Bride

2. Ever After
3. Pride & Prejudice

4. Sense & Sensibility

Four places I have lived:
1. Illinois

2. Illinois

3. southern Illinois

4. Illinois

Four People you wished lived closer to you:
1. My brother and his family
2. Debby
3. Tarne

4. Michael & Jamie

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Boston, MA

2. New Orleans, LA
3. Orlando, FL

4. Gatlinburg, TN

Four of my favorite foods:
1. ice cream

2. pizza

3. cheesecake

4. fried zucchini/mushrooms

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. anywhere in the country

2. Allerton Park

3. a bookstore

4. Narnia

Four books I could read over and over:
1. Bible
2. Narnia Chronicles

3. Jane Eyre

4. To Kill a Mockingbird

OK, now for six random things about me...

1. I have an uncanny ability to find four leaf clovers, even if I'm not actually looking for them.

2. I make an awesome apple pie.

3. I really do not like to talk on the phone.

4. I cannot keep a houseplant alive.

5. I am terrible about locking my keys in my vehicle. AAA actually dropped us because I used that service so much. I swear I didn't do it on purpose, it just happens.

6. I would rather clean a toilet than sort socks.

Elijah at the bat

Last night was Elijah's last tee ball game. Unfortunately, half of their games were canceled this year due to flooding a the park, so it was a short season.

He's the middle boy on the ground for the yellow team.

Dan got the opportunity to coach Elijah's team this year.

His hitting has really improved this year. Check out his three times at bat:

Every other game, he has slid into every base. When I decide to take video, he doesn't. Oh well. He looked good sliding, trust me.

After the game, there was a picnic supper for the players and their families. Each player got a trophy and a treat bag, too. This is his last year for tee ball. Next year he's in the big leagues with strikes and outs.

Mission: worm rescue

After one of the big rains we had recently, we discovered a lot of very large earthworms had been washed onto our parking lot and were stranded. Elijah and Mackenzie took on the role of Good Samaritan to the worms and got them off the concrete before they baked in the sun.

They look much happier now, don't they?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A belated Father's Day tribute to my husband

With almost two weeks solid of funerals, flooding, ballgames and other craziness, I never finished my Father's Day post. Still, I think it's too important to skip, so here it is:

To my darling husband on Father's Day...

I just wanted to take a couple minutes tonight to share why I think my husband is an amazing father. This may get sappy, but hey, it's my blog.

He is a hard worker and a good provider. He has worked jobs he hated and worked for people who were exceedingly difficult to keep me home with the kids and to allow us to homeschool.

He is supportive and involved in our homeschool. While I do almost all of the actual teaching, we share a vision for our childrens' futures and a passion to give them a solid Christian education and biblical worldview. He is interested in what we are learning and encourages me when I start feeling overwhelmed.

He is fun. He plays with the kids, teases them, wrestles on the floor with them, etc. Our family is fun because of his joyful heart and sense of humor. He brings laughter and warmth to our home.

He values my role as a mother and expresses his appreciation for what I do to the kids, and encourages them to do the same.

He does everything in his power to protect us. He keeps our home safe and our vehicles in good working order. He has even proven that he would risk his own life to protect ours.

He is purposeful in training our son to grow up to be a godly man. He includes him in his work whenever he can. He is a wonderful example to him of Christian father, husband, church leader and businessman.

He is diligent in protecting his daughters' hearts and encouraging them to have high standards for their future husbands.

He opened his heart and his home to Michael when God brought him to us, and has loved him as his own since the first day.

He loves his family fiercely and and is comfortable expressing his love to us all both verbally and physically.

He is not afraid to apologize and ask for forgiveness, even from the kids, when he is wrong.

He cares about the things that are important to our kids. He rarely misses a ball game, program, or recital that our children participate in. If he does have to miss one because of work, he is genuinely sad.

I could go on and on. The are just a few of the many, many ways he blesses our family every day.

Happy Father's Day, Dan! I love you more than I could ever say.

Friday, June 13, 2008

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord...

Genesis 6:8

Alright, I'm exaggerating to compare the flooding we've had with the Great Flood, but I have found myself thankful for that covenant not to destroy the earth by flood. What a mess it has been!

I wish I had pictures of the flooding around town, but we were so busy with a funeral that day and water pouring in our house through the storm drains that I didn't get much time to go sightseeing. From what I hear, it was impressive.

My basement, with 12-18 inches of water in it on Saturday morning: :(

If you look closely, you can see my scrapbook supplies floating under the table.
That dehumidifier really isn't keeping up.

I think we're going to need a bigger shop vac.

Actually, I used that one to clean up the water we had in the basement on Wednesday before this mess. That was only two inches or so.

Saturday afternoon, I had to fish out all of the laundry in the laundry room (it was floating in the hampers) and take it to the laundromat. Four hours and many, many quarters later, all of our clothes were clean. The silver lining in this rain cloud is that it was first time I have been completely caught up on laundry in years.

For the most part, our losses are small. My good washing machine is yet to return to life. A few clothes have stains that I can't seem to get out, and a few books were ruined. Compared to what many have suffered, we got off easy.

All of our books that were in the basement had to come up. They didn't actually get wet, but we'd had standing water in the basement for over a week, and it's still pretty wet down there, so they needed to get out before they mildewed. Can you believe these are just the books we're not using right now? There's this many more at least upstairs. Dan says I need help. A twelve step program for book hoarders or something.

We have figured out that at least part of our problem is the landscaping on the east side of the house sloped back in towards the foundation, so Dad used his backhoe to pull up the bushes and we will pour concrete to seal off that wall around the house. I hated to see the bushes go, especially since we don't have much greenery around the house already, but we don't want this again.
Dan catches a ride down from the back of the grain truck we used to haul the bushes away in.

Well, doesn't that look nice?

Hopefully it helps.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An anniversary

Two years ago today, God brought Michael into our family. Here is what I wrote on June 11, 2006:

Krabels, party of seven...

Yep, that's right. Our family has added a new member. The young man who stayed with us a couple of weeks ago has moved in for keeps.

I actually knew this was coming about a week ago, but since my oldest likes to read my blog sometimes, I wanted to wait until it was official before I said anything about it here. The kids so enjoyed their time with him before. They were sad when he left.

He's been staying with a dear and generous lady. However, it seems that after his week with us, he felt very at home here. He liked being part of a family. He enjoyed our kids. And I think he really enjoyed having a father figure in Dan. They have so much in common. I remember that after the first time we met him, I told Dan that it was like Michael was meant to be his kid. He just fits in with the rest of us.

After he told us how he felt, we talked it over with the woman he'd been staying with. She is genuinely fond of Michael and was understandably disappointed, but agreed that it was probably best for him to stay with us. She wants only the best for him, and for some reasons that were not anyone's fault, it didn't seem to be working out.

So now he's back. And we couldn't be happier. I confess to being a little nervous. Somedays I feel like I can't keep up with what's already on my plate. And a teenage boy is certainly unchartered territory in our experience. But I am so humbled that the Lord would bring this young man into our lives. It is an answer to our prayers. Is it the answer that I expected? No, but I have learned that God rarely answers my prayers in the manner I expect. I prayed for another child. God sent me an almost seventeen year old boy with baggy jeans, two earrings and the sweetest smile. Not what I expected, but perfect for our family just the same. "God sets the lonely in families..." Proverbs 68:6

And about two weeks later, I wrote:

It's been a little over a week since Michael joined our family and I think over all things have gone very well. We have his room mostly put together. God is so good to provide all we need. A wonderful Christian friend who owns a furniture store gave us a brand new mattress, box spring and bed frame absolutely free. If you ever need furniture in the east central Illinois area, shop at Duzan's Furniture in Oakland, Illinois!! We also got a dresser from my parents, and the Lord even providentially provided an old truck for Michael to drive so he can get work. All free. Can I say it again? God is so good!

Our kids love Michael and have so much fun with him. I am especially proud of Elijah, who had to give up his room and move in with his sisters. He was so sweet and generous about it, with not even a hint of hesitation.

I am learning to be a little (lot) more organized with my responsibilities around here. It's amazing how much more work just having one more person here creates. He doesn't have many clothes right now (something we need to work on before school starts), so I am trying to keep up with the laundry even more than usual. I'm also cooking a lot more, because one of the things I've noticed is how much Michael seems to enjoy sitting down to eat meals as a family. And let me tell you, that boy can eat! It's good for me, too. I'd become lazy about planning weekly menus and shopping for meals. Lately it had become more like, "It's 5:30, I wonder what I can throw together for supper..."

Tonight is a new experience for me as a parent. It's the weekend, and Michael is out with friends. Driving. I thought I had a few more years before I had to deal with this, but now it's upon me. He is a great kid, he's with great kids, but I am a nervous wreck. Because they're kids. I was a kid once, and I remember what bad drivers my friends and I were. But he's in God's hands. I'll just be glad when he gets home in a little more than an hour.

Mostly I just feel blessed. Lots of people have told us that we've done a great thing to take Michael into our home. To be honest, I don't see it that way. Rather, I feel like God has done a great thing by bringing him to us. Certainly Michael needed a family. But as much as he may have needed us, I also know that we have been given a gift in having him here. I am thankful and humbled that God loves us so much that He put this all together. Can I say it just one more time? God is so good!

My head swims when I think how much has changed in two years. The shy, scruffy boy who came into our home two years ago is now a man, fighting in a war on the other side of the world, engaged to be married when he comes home.

One thing has not changed, however, and that is how incredibly thankful I am that God added Michael to our family. It has not always been a bed of roses--in fact things got quite thorny a time or two--but through it all, that fact has not changed. Words cannot express what a blessing it has been to be part of his life. I am so proud of all he has accomplished, and pray that God will continue the good work He has started in Michael's life. We love you, Michael!