Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A HUGE Success!!!

The big day finally arrived!  I have been working for months on this project.  Abby asked us earlier in the year if we could do a yard sale to raise money for her Africa trip.  Our first response, was, "No Way!"  We have only done one yard sale our whole marriage.  It was actually very successful, but the work and aftermath left Rick saying, "Never Again!"  For Abby's sake, he relented.  We decided that decluttering our home was a project that we needed to do anyway, and this would motivate us to do just that.  We have spent all summer going through every drawer, cabinet, closet, and box in this house.  

We advertised on Craigslist, Facebook, my blog, and a Facebook garage sale page, and we posted signs at all the major entries to our neighborhood.  My fingers were crossed that this would bring the people!!
Abby made our signs
 I need to start by saying, during this process I remembered why we don't do yard sales.  Rick and I approach these kinds of things so differently.  I think there should be some kind of marital counseling for couples like us after they do a garage sale.  We wanted to do everything differently.  I think we were mad at each other the whole time!
This is my way of doing things:
 I like everything to be neat, organized, and priced.  Rick created a row of boxes going down our driveway that he called "Dollar Row."  Anything in those boxes cost $1.  That is way too unorganized for my taste.  In the end, I think both of our methods, teamed together, are what made the sale so successful.  We catered to the "organized shoppers" and the "treasure hunters" with the way things were displayed.
Our neighbor came out that morning and said incredulously, "Is this all YOUR stuff?"  
 Actually, it was not.  We had some generous friends who gave us several items to sell.  All of those items added to ours made for a very big sale.  A LOT of it was ours, and we are so glad to have it out of our house!!
Abby's Snack Shack
 We were so irritated with each other at this point, but we put on our happy faces!
 Laura and Sydney came by that morning to cheer us on.  I put them to work setting up my Timbali Crafts table.  Didn't they do a beautiful job?
 This girl worked really hard and is one step closer to her trip!
Her hard work payed off!! We raised $945!!!  $140 of that was Swazi purse sales that will go to Beyond Survival and provide funds for some of the ministry expenses of our trip.

We are glad we did it!  It was worth the effort.  We are also glad it is over!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Come on Over!!

This Friday (8:00AM-2:00PM) and Saturday(8:00AM-12:00PM) , July 26 and 27th, we are having a HUGE yard sale to raise support for Abby's trip to Swaziland in Oct.  This chick is so excited to finally go to Africa after years of waiting and investing there.  We have everything from home decor, sports equipment, baby gear, clothes, Halloween costumes, Holiday decorations, Several Little Tikes Items(kitchen, toy box, baby doll bed, baby doll stroller).  Heck, we are practically Wal-mart over here!

The kids will also be setting up a lemonade stand, and we will have my Timbali Crafts items(purses, coin purses, market bags, table runners, aprons) from Swaziland out for sale.  Come on over and see us!  Our address is 3620 Cranswood Way, 80918.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sam Fought A Rock...

...And The Rock Won!!

Last Monday, I was working my little heart out going through Cody's closet, when I hear these blood curdling screams come into the house.  I rushed to the stairs to find Sam run up with blood ALL. OVER. HIM!  It was pouring out of the back of his head.  I had no idea what kind of wound I was going to uncover under all of that bloody mess(said with a British accent).  As I was cleaning him and putting pressure on his head, I asked what happened.  He explained the whole situation.  The gist of the story is that a neighbor kid got mad and threw a rock at him.  Don't even get me started on this one.  I understand accidents happen, but this has been a pattern.  The crazy part is that the rock wasn't even sharp.  It was smooth and round.  The sheer impact of it split his head open.  He must have thrown it really hard!

Anyway, when I finally uncovered the wound, it wasn't big, but it was deep and wide.  I just didn't know if it could heal on its own.  I was able to text a picture to his doctor and she confirmed that we needed to go to Urgent Care.  This was my first time to have to take one of my kids in for "stitches."
I think it looks a little bit like Africa : )
 At one point, Sam got really lightheaded, clammy, and looked like he might pass out.  Thankfully, that passed.  I think he was just traumatized.  
On the way to the doctor
 We didn't have to wait long to be put in a room
 When the doctor first saw it, he thought it would need a staple.  I told Sam that they had a really big stapler he would have to lay his head in.  He got a kick out of that.  He appreciates my humor.  On second glance, the doctor figured out how to fit it back together and decided he might actually be able to glue it!
That cotton ball has anesthetic on it to numb the area
 Sure enough, he got it all glued up.  With the glue, we don't even have to go back in for a follow-up visit.  They didn't even have to shave his hair.
All glued up!
It's amazing how much smaller it looks once it is glued!
He does have to keep it from getting wet for a week.  That complicated some swimming plans that we had.  He has had some pain from it.  Poor guy.  It makes me sad to see him in pain.

He has talked about it A LOT.  I know this is one injury he won't forget any time soon.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Camping Rocks!!

I am sure if you know me, you are very confused by the title of this blogpost.  I have never been camping.  I never really thought I would ever camp.  I have never had a desire to camp.  It just doesn't sound fun to me.  Even though I wouldn't call myself a "girly girl,"  I don't like to rough it.  I want a bed, a toilet, electricity, you get the idea.  I also don't really like going outside in CO unless there is a pool involved.  I am just not a mountain person.    Many people over the years have tried to convince me to go camping to no avail.  I keep telling Rick that needs to be a thing he and the kids do.  They have fun, I get a break, it's a win-win situation.  

Early in June after hanging out with our friends, Daniel and Laurie, I agreed to do a version of camping that we will just call "glamping"(glamour camping).  We agreed that as couples we would do an overnight in Mueller park.  The reason we are calling it "glamping" is because we were going to use a travel trailer, eat out the first night, it would be less than 24 hours,  and there would be fun treats involved.  They were going to ease me in slowly to the camping experience.  The goal was to make me like it so much that I would want to branch out even more the next time.  

Wednesday, July 10 was the big day.  I arranged for Julie to come stay with the kids.  I got myself all ready to go in my jeans, long sleeves, and camping shoes.  I packed one small bag with mostly blankets and an extra set of clothes.  I was ready to go.  Leading up to the time, Laurie texted me and said, "If you want a shower, bring quarters."  My response, "No shower for me.  I am going to rough it."  I was ready to go!!  
Here we are right before we left
And then this happened
Hwy 24 leading to the area where we would camp had a mudslide after a flash flood that afternoon.  The road was closed.  Over 15 cars were stuck in the mud.  All those people were stranded until the mud and cars could be removed.  At this point it was 5:30.  We spoke to a police officer who told us that it would take at least 3 hours to reopen the road.  Not good.  

We decided to go grab a bite to eat and then check on the status of the situation to determine what we would do.  

 That is my kind of camping food!!
 About an hour later, it still seemed that the road would not open up any time soon.  By the time it was open, we knew we would have to fight our way through the traffic that was waiting to go through, and  still drive all the way to the campsite.  By then, it would be 10:00 at night.  Who knew if it would even happen that quickly.  They opened a shelter for those whose cars were stuck.  That meant it could be a really long time.   It just didn't seem like the camping trip we had envisioned with our friends.  So, what did we do, you might ask?  We checked into a hotel.  Hey, now, I have childcare already arranged.  Why would I go home?  Rick and I haven't had a night away together since last Sept.  We were way overdue.
Now, this is what I call "glamping!"
 We had a great time away.  We went to a movie.  We got to spend time together.  We slept in.  It was fabulous!!
The next morning we went here for breakfast
 My camping buddy
We did a little shopping and came home by mid afternoon.  It really was a much needed break for both of us.  I am thankful that we got the time away.  I would try the overnight camping thing again.  I was looking forward to our time with friends.  I am sad that we missed out on that.

  Camping isn't so bad after all.  I just might do it again!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Bucket List

We are just plugging along through the summer doing lots of staying up late and sleeping in.  The kids are playing outside a lot, much to Laila's and Isaiah's dismay.  We are eating lots of popsicles.  There have even been a couple of lemonade stands set up.  There have been several sleepovers and playdates along with some swimming.  We are doing some of the things on our summer list that we want to do and some that we need to do.  Let's start with the ones that we NEED to do.  I have been going through every room of the house decluttering for our upcoming yard sale.  I can't believe how much we accumulate.  It feels good to get it cleaned out.

Rick spent some of his time off painting
 It has been several years since we painted the main level.  It needed freshening up.  
It looks so much better.   Getting it painted is the first step towards getting new carpet(fingers crossed) someday!
 We did our annual trip to Pirate's Cove
 I didn't take any swimming pictures this time
 I just wanted to enjoy the time in the water without having to tote a camera around
We had fun as always
 The weather was perfect!!
 Rick took Cody, Lauren, and Abby to set up their own personal savings accounts.  It looks like Lauren took advantage of the free coffee!
 The older kids have done some summer jobs.  Cody did some dog walking/sitting.  He has worked at the Farmers' Market a few times at our neighbor's Kettle Corn booth.  He also has been mowing yards.  Lauren has a soccer camp coming up that she is helping out with.  She is also wanting to babysit if anyone needs a babysitter.  Abby loves to clean and organize and is really good at it.  She is looking for jobs to raise money for her Africa trip.

Since we were in KY when it was Father's Day, we decided to do a little Father's Day breakfast at home for Rick.  What Father's Day is complete without bacon?  And...your welcome!
 Rick reading through his book that the kids write in for him. 
 We have also taken advantage of some freebies.   We had free Slurpees on 7-11.  I didn't get a picture of those.  We are doing the summer reading program and got some great freebie coupons from that.  We also participated in Cow Appreciation Day.  That has become a new tradition.
Costume Supplies
 Working on our costumes
 Sam and Isaiah went with a Cow Superhero Theme

 Here we are, all dressed up.
 Notice someone is missing.  Rick chooses not to participate each year.  I have no idea why!
 Bat Cow
 Super Cow
 Princess Cowla
 7 free meals, now that is what I am talking about!

It was fun!!  It feels like summer is coming to a close quickly.  We are almost to August.  At that point, I will have to begin the school supply/uniform shopping extravaganza.  I am not looking forward to that.  Until then, we will continue to mark things off our list!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Happy Birthday, America!!

I LOVE going to the 4th of July parade in Monument, CO every year.  Last year it was cancelled because of the fires.  The 4th of July was just not the same without it!  I was afraid the same thing might happen this year, but not so.  It was on as planned.  We all woke up that morning and got our red, white, and blue gear on.  I love seeing EVERYONE wearing those colors in some form on this special day!!  Everywhere you go, the scenery is filled with those colors.  It is like we are all on the same team for the day.  We look at each other knowing that we are all cheering for America.  We don't have to agree on everything, but we can all say, "Happy Birthday, America!"  That is something this community needs right now with all of the devastation that has occurred because of the fires.  Over 900 families have lost their homes in the last year due to the wildfires.  We all needed a rally time to come together.    
All ready for the parade.  She sat here for a while before she ventured closer.
See that white line behind him.  When I said, "Isaiah, you have to stay behind that white line during the whole parade."  He asked, "Can I touch the line?"  That is how this boy lives his life.  Always on the edge, wondering what will happen if he goes beyond his boundaries and if it just might be worth the consequences.  That is terrifying to me!
Can you tell I have teenagers that don't want their pictures taken?
Sam in the middle with Luke and Ella, our 4th of July parade friends.
We have been going every year with them since 2006!  
Isaiah got an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  
He was picked out of the crowd to fire the cannon.
He had everyone's attention.
This was the perfect experience for him.
after all, he lives every day out LOUD!
He is our little firecracker
There is always evidence of where he has been
When it was all over and they brought him back to me, the man said, "I bet he has never been that loud before!"  I just smiled and said, "Oh, you might be surprised!"

This one, on the other hand, wanted NOTHING to do with the loud noises.  She is quiet and gentle, and always prefers to be out of the limelight when she is in public.
This boy loved everything about this parade
I do believe he had a permanent smile on his face the whole time
When Ella asked Laila to join her, she finally ventured out to the road to watch.
When I asked her about it later, she said, "I just wanted to be asked by Ella."
These two came up about 3/4s of the way through
My view during the parade
The most emotional moment by far of the whole parade was at the end when the firefighters came through.  Everyone stood to clap and shout for them.  People were yelling "THANK YOU!!"  I couldn't hold back the tears knowing that these men had risked their lives and that there were people in the crowd whose homes had been affected.
What a summer our city has experienced, once again!
This parade has so much significance for our family.  I think that is another reason it is so important to me.  It was at this parade, the very first time we went in 2006, that God revealed to us that we were to do work in Swaziland.  God had been preparing my heart for 3 months burdening me for Africa.  Rick kept saying, "Africa is a really big place.  You are going to have to narrow it down."  It was at this parade that we first learned of Swaziland and the opportunity for Rick to go on a trip only a month later.  Our lives have never been the same.  It just feels right to take Laila and Isaiah to it every chance we can.

That night was really low key.  We decided to avoid the one big fireworks show in the Springs and have a nice family evening.  I just could not bring myself to join the over 100,000 people at the park that night.  It felt overwhelming.  We grilled some burgers and dogs and Isaiah and Laila did a little show for us.
It started with some dancing
Then turned into a full blown concert.  
Happy Birthday, America!  Happy Birthday!