Monday, August 31, 2009


Tonight we went to "Meet the Teacher" night at Hometown High School because HannahKate is now a Freshman. It was extremely odd to walk the halls of HHS again and I almost got whiplash from the way I was thrown twenty (or so) years back in time. This particular campus was built/completed while BigJoel and I were still students. He was in the first group of Freshmen to attend all four years at "the new school". So it was fun meeting HannahKate's teachers, while reminiscing about having class in some of the very same rooms. As a matter of fact, HanK even has one of the same teachers that her daddy had. (All I can say is that poor woman has been around for-ev-er!) Joel's observation tonight was, "Gosh, this place doesn't seem nearly as big as I remember it."

While touring the school, I saw this sign outside one of the bathroom doors. It made me giggle just a bit. When I saw it the second time, I just had to have a picture. Seriously? Potty Pride? Sounds like an episode of Barney instead of high school, if you ask me. Anyway, since Blogger seems to be cooperating tonight, I wanted to share the picture. A little odd, but definitely some good points to keep in mind...
I guess we should always remember to take PRIDE in everything we do.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Ok, I've been trying to upload pictures for a week now from the first day of school...a week, I tell you. First my computer was out for repair, so I tried to use my old laptop which has been taken over by Hallie. Note to self: never give possession of a computer to a nine year old until you are absolutely sure you will never, ever need to retrieve anything from said computer again. Somehow, the photo program has been tampered with and now I can no longer download new pics or access old ones. They are still there...I just can't open them.
Once my new computer was repaired, I tried again. Only here's the deal: my MacBook doesn't have an SD slot for my memory card. How inconvenient! I have to find the cable, among the slew of other cables floating around my house that all look suspiciously alike but are really very different, and connect the camera to the MacBook via USB cord. Whew! But now guess what? The camera battery was dead so it wouldn't power on. Evidently this is a problem.
After recharging the battery, I was finally able to download pics onto the computer! Yay for me! I was ready to share with my "readers" all about the first day of school...because I know everyone has been waiting anxiously. But not so fast...
I'm a new convert to the Mac after many, many years of PCing. I'm loving so many of the features and already know I wouldn't go back to the world of Bill Gates; however, I'm still trying to figure out how to do things. One thing I cannot quite master is iPhoto. I'm not completely convinced the program is installed properly; but assuming it is, I can't get it to cooperate. This has set me back another few days.
Today though, I thought the stars had aligned just right. I finally have the MacBook, with the pictures on it, edited and ready to upload to Blogger. And still, success has eluded me yet again. Blogger says it's uploading my photos...but it lies. It is NOT uploading my photos...not even if I try to coax it into doing just one at a time. Not even for "pretty please with a cherry on top". Aaauuuughhhh!
But I refuse to admit defeat. Rest assured that I will not cease trying until all the I succeed in posting the pictures of my beloved children on their first day of school. Of course by the time I figure it out, I may be able to post them along side "end of year" pics as well...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Once Again

Last Friday night**, the band played a show in Indiana. I talked to BigJoel about 12:40 a.m. It was an ordinary, run-of-the-mill, after show conversation: Loud background noise, distracted and cut short with, "I gotta finish up here. I'll call you when we get on the road."

So I went back to Facebooking and playing YippyIt! (which has replaced Bejeweled Blitz as my addiction of choice). At 1:20, Joel finally called back. Nothing strikes fear in your heart like when a loved one begins a sentence with, "I'm okay, we are all okay, but..." It is in those moments when an ordinary, run-of-the-mill routine would be welcomed because you instinctively know that your life has been changed forever in some way.

And it had. In the forty minutes since I'd last talked to him, everyone had boarded the bus. (In the summer, they travel "old school", one bus for both band and crew.) "Bus catering" had arrived and they pulled out of the venue headed for St. Louis. Then their ordinary, run-of-the-mill, after show routine was interrupted by tragedy as a car struck the front of the bus. The band and crew were all unharmed, but the passengers of the car were not. "It's bad," Joel said and then he had to go.

When Joel first started traveling with the band seven years ago, his safety was a *real concern* for me. Let's just be honest, a bus accident was my worst fear and I dwelt on it for some time before the Lord spoke to me. A few times in my life, I believe I have heard God speak almost audibly to me...and that was one of them. He said, "Denyse, I have promised to watch over him. Don't you trust Me? His days are in My hands, not yours." And after that, I never worried about his safety again...until last Friday.

When I heard Joel's voice on the phone and realized lives had been lost, the reality of it hit me like a sledgehammer. I could not breathe. I was paralyzed with fear. When I finally caught my breath, I couldn't stop crying. Once again, I found myself being forced to evaluate if what I say I believe and what I really believe are the same (very much like our mission trip to Peru last summer). Only this time, it involved the. most. precious person. in. my. life. I love my children dearly, but I love my husband fiercely.

And so, once again, I had to relinquish my "rights" over that which wasn't mine to control and concede that Joel's path, my path, all of our paths are determined by God. And, once again, I was reminded of one of my mother's favorite Scriptures: He will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is steadfast on Him (Isaiah 26:3) And so, while my heart aches for the families who lost loved ones, once again, I take comfort in knowing that God may not always be "safe", but He is always "good".

**The original date of this post was August 10.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Do As I Say...

...Not As I Do
A few weeks ago, I was trying to explain a delicate situation to Hallie that not everyone needed to know about. I said, "We're not going to lie about it..." and she interrupted with "We're just not going to tell the whole truth." I remember thinking at the time that I should probably be concerned that my nine year old has this concept figured out.

And my concerns were well-founded. This week when Hallie "cleaned" her room, she came downstairs and asked if I could take her to Wal-Mart because she found a gift card. I told her that we needed to call and check the balance because we might have already used it, but not gotten rid of the card. She said, "Ok, but it was still in an envelope, so I don't think we've spent it yet." In the back of my mind, I recalled someone giving the girls Wal-Mart gift cards for Christmas so I said, "Is it from *Our Really Nice Friend*?" And she said, "Yes."

So we make a special trip to the superstore, spend an hour in the toy section and finally settle on a purchase.

At dinner, Hallie was chattering on and on (and on) about her new toy, when HannahKate asked me, "Did you buy that for her?" Hallie interrupted, (do you see a pattern here?) "No, I found a gift card so I bought it myself." Hannah then asked, "Where did you find the gift card?" I was about to scold Hannah for being so hateful when I saw "the look" on Hallie's face. Then she said, "You know that red basket that you said I could have whatever I wanted..."

Evidently, HannahKate had put out a basket of miscellaneous stuff she was getting rid of and told Hallie she could have whatever she wanted out of it. But Hannah neglected to thoroughly inspect the contents and Hallie pounced on the opportunity. Yes, yes she did. She didn't lie about where the card came from, she just didn't tell the whole truth (which included the part about the card being inside an envelope with Hannah's name on it).

Man, raising kids is like walking a tightrope...without a net.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

CP25K--TroyBradford Has a Mean Streak

My "friend" over at troybradfordphotos commented that I have pictures for every blog except this thread of CP25K. He challenged me to post one, so here you go Troy!

(photo courtesy of

When I started this Couch (Potato) to 5K thing with Elizabeth, I had no intention of blogging about it in such detail. I'm sure as time goes by, either 1) I will become accustomed to exercise and decide it's really not such an accomplishment to exert oneself for 30 minutes 3 times a week; or 2) I will wimp out and quit the program. Then I'll stop boring you with such trivial details. Right now though, everything is a milestone!

Elizabeth is off "frolicking" on the beach, so Nancy and I ran last night. I'm sure she slowed her pace considerably, but I also had a much better workout than when last I whined. I must say though, I'm already beginning to dread next week when we jog for 90 second intervals instead of 60. We still have one more workout in Week 1. I hope it's a good one.

Monday, August 3, 2009

CP25K--The Weakest Link

What's that saying about a chain being only as strong as its weakest link?
Didn't have a good run last night.
Calves were killing me.
Balance was off.
Couldn't keep up with the group...which has grown to include myself, Elizabeth, Nancy, HannahKate and Hallie (on her scooter).
Had to walk some of the jogging rotations.
We're supposed to take today off, but I may try to walk anyway. We'll see.
This is normal, right?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

CP25K--Week 1

We finished week one of the Couch to 5K training! Actually, a "week" is only 3 days, which I think is an excellent idea for not only exercise, but work in general. (Who wouldn't love a 3 day week with a four day weekend?) But I digress...

Anyway, the program is designed to last 9 weeks, running 3 times each week. While I'm pleased that I managed to complete the first week, I've been "on the couch" for a reaaaallllly long time, so Elizabeth has agreed to repeat Week 1.

Here is what I've noticed in the first week.
1. I'm drinking/craving more water throughout the day.
2. I find myself looking forward to running each night.
3. The workout is over before I know it and I feel like I've accomplished something.

Our friend Nancy joined us last night and asked, "Is there a particular 5K you're training for?" Pshh! Only if there's one that's run late at night under the cover of darkness...I've had a great first week, but let's not get crazy.

Anyways, thanks so much for the words of encouragement. From my neighbors theMil10s who could look out their window around 10:00 p.m. and get quite a giggle to my uber-healthy, granola-snacking, running-maniac friend Jamie--its nice to know there are people pulling for me at the finish line. =)