Category Archives: around the house

This, That, & The Other Thing

This–the dryer staining and chewing holes in the clothes when they get stuck between the barrel and outer casing.

That–the water heater not heating as it should.

The other thing–life getting busy and making time to meet the dryer repair guy and the water heater repair guy.

When the first repair guy showed up today, I showed him a pair of underwear with a black stain and a hole in it where the dryer had taken a bite out of it.  He looked at me like I was crazy.  Then he said, “I’m here for the water heater.”  Ok.  I got a little confused.  I chuckle to myself every time I think of it.

The dryer guy comes tomorrow morning, by the way.

Final Answer

After praying, thinking, talking with Mark, thinking some more, praying some more, etc., etc., I have decided to quit the part-time job I started last week.  It is just not a good fit, apart from the political differences I described in my last post.  For now, I am going to try to help Mark with some writing projects and try to help keep him more organized.  Our hope is that my help to him will increase productivity and, in the end, increase our bottom line.  We also hope that my being available for the kids when they are sick or when there’s a volunteer need at school will also be a blessing for the long haul.  This is a hard decision to make as it is an investing type of decision–there is no immediate income benefit.   Thanks for your prayers, and please continue to pray that this plan will be a good one for our family.

The First Day of School – aka the day I locked my keys in my van

Today is the first day of school.  Charis, number 4 and our youngest, started Kindergarten this morning.  I felt a little bit of tears welling up as I left her room, but mostly I was excited for her.  She is very ready to go to school with the big kids.

After settling everyone in their various places around the school, I headed to the gym to sign up for volunteering for the year.  I talked with a few parents I know, and then headed out to leave.  Upon searching my purse, I couldn’t find my keys.  I looked in the van, and they were hanging from the ignition.  I guess all the excitement of getting all 4 kids and all their stuff out was too much for me to grab my keys before locking the door.  Guess what, after nearly 20 minutes on hold, I found out that I hadn’t signed up for roadside assistance with my cell phone provider. (I have, btw, now 🙂  So a few more minutes and $35 later with the help of the car repair place that we should own stock in, I was able to depart the school parking lot.

Now, on to some photos:

Green Yogurt on the Ceiling

About two weeks ago, the boys asked to get yogurt tubes for a snack.  I was downstairs working at my computer, so I told them to just get them from the fridge.  A minute later, Nevin came running down saying he “spilled” yogurt.  I said, “Well, clean it up.”  I went upstairs a few moments later to inspect his work.  It was then that I saw yogurt not just on the floor, but also on the sofa, the wall, and the curtains.  I freaked out and started wiping and blotting and blotting and wiping, all the while fuming and ranting about how in the world did they do this.

It started with Calvin tapping Nevin on the head with his yogurt tube.  Then, not to be outdone, Nevin “tapped” Calvin harder, and his yogurt tube exploded everywhere.

About an hour after I was “finished” cleaning up the mess and the yelling had stopped and apologies and disciplines were passed out all around, I sat on the sofa and looked up.  That’s when I saw two splatters of green yogurt.  One was coming out from the old fashioned crystal chandalier.  The other was a short distance away from the first.   I called the boys.  The fuming commenced again.   A few more minutes passed; I took a deep breath; I calmed down.

I don’t plan to leave the splatters of green yogurt on the ceiling, but I am still contemplating the best way to get it off.


Here’s what we did last weekend:

This became:


The girls, Nevin, and I painted our mudroom white.  Then Mark and I (mostly Mark) put down vinyl tile.  We have now renamed the mudroom, “the sunroom.”

We know it isn’t perfect, but it is a vast improvement over what it was like out there.  Now if we could go back to the weather of earlier this summer, we could actually sit out there.  Oh well, it will be there as the summer turns into fall and cooler weather comes.

Here’s what our friend Ken helped Mark do this morning (well, Ken did most of it):

And here’s a photo with one of our hammy children:

I really should have a photo of the ugly old ceiling fan so you can appreciate the improvement, but just trust me, it was ugly.  It was also too big and so wobbly that the lights haven’t worked for months.  Of course, now the lights are bright enough that I will have to clean the kitchen floor more often.  I’m willing to live with that.

Instead of blogging . . .

we’ve had a some birthdays:

We’ve been to the Magic House.


Doing things aroud the house:

And we went to visit boy scout camp:

We’ve also been to a Cardinals game, the science center, Grant’s Farm, the park, the pool, and the library (countless times).  I should have a photo of Nevin reading because he has read 18 Redwall books + many others since school let out just more than a month ago.  Finally, we had Mark’s parents here to visit last week after they spent a couple days with the girls in Branson.

In the middle of all this activity, I have been working at my 2 at-home part-time jobs, and Mark has been working on various work projects, sending out many job applications, and doing occasional pulpit supply.

So I interrupted this very busy summer to give you an update.  Hopefully, I’ll find time in the coming weeks to tell you about the books we’re reading and the other activities we get around to.

The Earth Shifting Under our Feet

It’s all over the news now, so most of you have heard about our little earthquake in the mid-west. The epicenter was about 130 miles east of St Louis, but I woke up to the earth rumbling under our house. I even felt a little post-earthquake seismic activity. I had trouble getting back to sleep, so I looked up earthquake stuff on line and reported my experience of the tremor to the government’s official earthquake tracking office. I decided to report it because, at the time, there was nothing showing up on the Internet about it when I searched. Right after I submitted my report, I found the page at the USGS website that showed all the other people who had reported the quake and their zip codes. I found it all very interesting, even though it wasn’t yet 5:00 am.

When we lived near Seattle nearly 9 years ago, we had 2 earthquakes within a day or two . (BTW, I remember the date because I had just delivered my 3rd child, and my MIL was still with us helping out with the kids.) So with that experience under our belts, Mark and I felt sure today’s rumbling was an earthquake. This morning, I am feeling a little crummy after getting to bed too late and then having my sleep interrupted. Hopefully, my coffee will kick in soon, and I’ll be up to the tasks ahead.

We are also feeling a little shaky about life lately. We know God is in control, but our faith is being tested–at least mine, I don’t want to speak for Mark. A series of client losses and having hours cut at his part-time job have made us very vulnerable economically. We are considering a move for another bi-vocational call to a church plant, and Mark is very diligently seeking full-time work as well as projects to keep us afloat until we have something more stable. Please keep us in your prayers.

The Upstairs Neighbors are Fighting

I’ve been desperately working on bookkeeping stuff for our church (my part-time job) today. Admittedly, I am easily distracted by any number of things. But today, it’s our upstairs neighbors that are driving me, well, batty. Our upstairs neighbors are a family of birds who have set up housekeeping in our eaves. I first noticed a few scratching noises a few days back, and I thought it might be mice. But that must have been moving day for the bird family. Now, they are tweeting away, and every 5 or 10 minutes I hear what must be a bird squabble, or shall I say, squawk. It sounds like someone is very upset with someone else. Maybe Mr. Bird didn’t pick up the right worms for the kids.

So how do we get rid of the birds? To get the answer to this question, I did what any industrious American does, I went to the web and googled “birds nesting in roof.” I found quite a few suggestions, but the site that caught my eye was this one. It says it is illegal to send birds packing. If you want to get rid of them, you have to wait until the next winter when they have vacated to seal up any holes where they might want to nest to keep them from coming back. Thankfully, this is a British law, not an American one.

Seriously, though, if you have any good ideas of how to evict the noisy neighbors, please share. Oh, and if you see our church treasurer, tell him I blogged that I worked on the stuff he asked me to do.