Saturday, July 30, 2011

I accidentally took this video sideways....sorry.  Anyways, it's more about hearing it than seeing it anyways.  Bren has become more aware of God these days.  I wanted to get on camera her explanation of where God is.  So cute!

Praise the Lord

Kadyn started doing this on her own one day and it cracked me up.  In fact, at one point little man tried to get her to play restaurant with him by yelling, "Get your hot dogs!"  She snapped at him, "No! We are praising God right now.  You are interupting my praisement!"  LOVE IT!  Later that night I asked her to do it again so I could get it on camera.  Bren joined in on the fun too towards the end.

Bad judgement call equals....

....a lesson in free will.

Let me explain.  Today I decided to take Kadyn to the beach to work with her on swimming.  It has been bothering me that I can't take her to swimming lessons, so I told myself I need to make a better effort to get to the beach as much as possible before summer is gone.  So we headed out, just the two of us, today for some good ol' fun in the sun.

One of the things I love the most about teaching a child how to swim at the beach is you can easily adjust the depth of the water depending on how far you decide to wade out. She had a good 45 minutes of working on swimming under the water, above water, and floating on her back.  There was a 30 percent chance of rain today.  This usually means it will rain, but most of the times it will be short and sweet and then back to the blistering heat we have come accustomed too this summer.

After our 45 minutes of work I knew that we needed to wrap up our lesson and get on the road before the rain came as it was getting closer.  I could hear a little rumbling in the clouds west of us, but the sky was clear above us.  I figure we had at least 15 minutes to do our grand finale swim before the rain came.  Last year Kadyn and I both swam out to the yellow rope that  bordered the swimming area.  It was a lengthy swim and the water was very deep out there, but with her floaties on she did fine, and it really boosted her confidence.  I wanted to use that as her reward for all the hard work she did in the shallow area without her floaties.  We set out for our long swim.

Kadyn did great.  I was proud of her.  She tired a little by the time we got to the rope.  Last year, we hung out at the rope for awhile to catch our breath.  This year we didn't have that luxury.  I began to see lightening and suddenly the wind picked up.  I guess my 15 minutes wasn't an accurate prediction.  I told Kadyn that she was going to have to let go of the rope and we were going to have to swim as hard as we could to get back fast.  The waves really started to get large.  Kadyn couldn't move very fast in the waves, so I grabbed onto her and pulled her.  I basically had to swim for both of us.  It was difficult.  The waves were smashing us both in the face and we were both swallowing water when it happened.  I tried to swim with her on my back, but that only made her swallow more water.  Then I tried to swim on my back and pull her as so I didn't use up all my energy because I was tiring out, but that only made me swallow more water as it was easier for the waves to crash on my face.

At one point I thought perhaps I needed to let go of her and see if she could do it on her own.  After all, we were both trying two swim with one arm as she was holding mine and mine hers.  I thought maybe if we had both our arms we would do better and go faster.  I really wasn't thinking straight at this point.   I took a couple strokes without her and looked back, she hadn't moved inch and had a look of panic on her face.  That certainly wasn't going to work.  I went back and grabbed her arm again and started swimming which what seemed like for our lives.  The shore looked so far away.  I kept swallowing water, she kept swallowing water.  I looked back again and the look on her face was scaring me.  I even thought, was this the end?  We had covered a lot of distance, but the shore still seemed far away.   I had to make a decision, keep trying and hope for the best, or scream for help.

I opted to scream for help.  Little did I know I was maybe 4 more strokes from being able to touch.  My first screams caught no ones attention (yes people were still in the water which was weird considering the weather).  Then some young girls saw me and just stared at me.  I think they weren't sure if I was for real or not.  Perhaps they couldn't hear me clearly.  After nothing happened, I screamed some more still trying to swim, but feeling like I wasn't going to make it in time.  The shore looked so far away.  Finally I put my hand up and motioned for them to come to me.  It was then that they took me seriously.  By that time I had gathered more attention than just those girls and another man and woman and one more boy came out with their noodles (there are no life guards at this beach).  They didn't have far to go as we were so close to an area where you could touch.   Once I realized this I felt really stupid and embarrassed.

The thoughts that swirled through my head when it was all over were shame, guilt, stupidity.  I made a bad judgment call, and I knew it.  I worried that all the progress I had made with Kadyn's swimming would be lost.  I was mad I lost my cool out there and let her see me freak out.  I wondered if the people out there thought I was an idiot for taking my 5 year old out in deep water.  The fact of the matter was that we would have been fine had that wind not started and created those huge waves.  We did it last year with no problems and I know we could have done it this year if it hadn't of been for the weather.

Anyhoo when we got home, Kadyn asked, "Why did God do that to us? He can control the weather, so why did he do that to us?"  I realized this was the best lesson on free will I could ever give her.  I explained that he didn't do anything to us, but rather we chose to go out into the deep water all by ourselves even though we knew there was bad weather around us.  In fact, I pointed out that if anything he was looking out for us because he sent those people to help us.  He can't interfere with our free will to make decisions, but he can help us out when we make the wrong ones.  I explained how God can see into the future and he knew what we were going to do and placed those people there to help us.

So anyways, I suppose something good did come of this embarrassing and unfortunate experience.  First off, I will NEVER swim out to that rope with my little girl unless it is clear and sunny.  Secondly, I will always swim out there with a noodle of my own so that if I have to pull my little girl at all, I have my own flotation device to ease the burden of swimming for two.  And thirdly, my little girl understands free will and how it works.  Instead of seeing God as an evil villian, she sees him as a gentleman who let's us make our own decisions but has our backs if we make the wrong ones.

Thank you God for having our backs today. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mixed Emotions

My baby girl starts school in 2.5 weeks.  There is bound to be another post, I'm sure, the day of so bear with me.  This Mama needs to work through some emotions.  I find myself very excited for her because I know she'll do well, and I am hopeful that she will really enjoy it.  I am thrilled that she can meet some new friends and find some girls to play with that are her own age.  At the same time, I'm sad that we are ending a chapter in our lives with her staying at home.

I am also nervous about our schedule. The bus will not come to our house.  We have to walk (or drive on hot and cold days) to the top of our hill and wait there with her.  I then have to meet her there when she is dropped off each day too.  This is going to be a bit of a challenge since I will have a house full of kids at home.  One parent will be picking her kiddo up around those same times, so I suppose I will have to just meet her at the top of the hill sometimes.  If it were just Bren and me, it wouldn't be a big deal but car seats and 3 other children is going to be a fiasco.  Hardly seems worth it to travel just a short ways up the hill.  I have no choice really.

Kadyn says the thing she is most excited about is riding the bus.  If only she knew.  I'm sure that excitement will wear off first.  School starts at 8:45 and her pick up time is 7:50.  Her drop off time is 4:15 M-T and 3:15 on Fridays.  This will be an adjustment for us; I pray that the baby's nap doesn't fall during those drop off and pick up times.  She is still new so her schedule is kind of all over the place right now.  I'm glad Kadyn will get some time to play with her daycare buddy after school since he is not picked up until 6 each day..  He may have the biggest adjustment of all.  Bren has gradually been playing more and more with the big kids, so I'm fairly confident that the two of them will learn a new groove together without Kadyn, but it will be interesting to see the new dynamic without Kadyn.  Kadyn has always been leader of the pack.  I suspect little man will take over that role, and it will be interesting to see if there is some head butting when Kadyn returns home from school each day.  Sigh!  Fighting kids are not my favorite.

Anyhoo...this change also makes me ponder the future. I had planned on taking tests to get certified to teach regular education and had even started studying for that.  However, my thoughts have changed.  We have learned that a new elementary school will be opening in two years.  Therefore, I'm confident that there will be an opening in music ed at that school unless they fill it in house.  I would really rather teach music than regular education.  I do not want to pay for testing to get certified in regular ed nor put in the time to study, if I can get a job teaching music; granted it won't be orchestra, but general music.  I'm OK with that.  I taught general music one semester before I moved to KC.  I'm beginning to think perhaps I will just go for the music job when it comes open and see what happens.  If I don't get it, I will remain home with Bren her last year and start working on getting my certification in regular education at that time.  It's all in God's hands really.  I'm not sure what path he wants for me, but I won't know until I try.  Either way, I'm fine with whatever goes down.  Exciting.  For now, I need to get my music certificate up and running again.  So this year, if all goes according to plan, I will still aim to get some college courses out of the way so I can recertify.  We shall see.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I can remember having freckles as a little girl. I guess Kadyn is no exception. I LOVE her freckles!  You can kind of see them on her nose in this pic.  Kinda.  Click to enlarge and you'll see them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

4th of July 2011

We didn't actually celebrate Independence Day on the 4th, but it didn't seem right to go away to Chicago without doing something with the girls even if it meant celebrating on the wrong day.  Thus, we got a few fireworks and did a little early celebrating in our culdesac.  The girls enjoyed the sparklers the most.  They also loved their glow in the dark stick necklaces.  I almost regretted giving them those, as they were so distracted by them, they hardly payed attention to the big fireworks.  Oh well!  They're truly girly, what can I say? It was fun and hot!
Conductor extraordinaire!
OK this isn't exactly a Indpendance Day celebration activity, but it is funny, so I thought I'd throw it in. Thanks to Kadyn, Bren now poops in the potty.  Finally!  Next goal, to teach her to wipe herself. 

Chicago Part V

Our last stop, U2 concert.  The stage and show was just as we have seen it on TV for the 360 tour.  Very tall, lots of lights, and so much swagger oozing from those men.  Unbelievable really if you consider those men are my parents' age.  It was a great show. The opening act, Interpol, left something to be desired.  Our seats were nose bleeds, but really it could have been much worse. I thought we had a decent view considering.  Thankfully we got in.  For awhile it seemed as though we weren't going to be able to get in because security was questioning whether Jeff's camera was too big.  We also had to hide our water bottles in the bushes and retrieve them later because apparently we weren't allowed to bring those in either.  Our hotel was a good 45 min walk away, so we weren't willing to walk all the way back and miss part of the show.

By the time the concert was over it was very late. We had to walk like penguins, literally, out the gates and to the streets.  We even had to hurdle a fence to get out.  80,000 people trying to get out one place at the same time was NUTS!  I was sooooo sore and soooo tired!  There were men riding on those bikes with carts offering to give people rides that looked awfully appealing, but I toughed it out.  Next time I'm going to wear real tennis shoes and a back pack.  Maybe then my legs, feet, and back won't kill me.  It was fun looking pretty, though, in my flowy dresses.

The kids were happy to see us, but they really didn't miss us that much.  Grandma and Grandpa Bilberry did a great job entertaining them and they had a ball.  Jeff spent two more days at home taking his parents out to do the Branson thing, and I immediately started babysitting again.  I was so tired and spent most of Saturday sitting on my duff doing nothing. I needed a vacation from my vacation!

I can't wait to do it again. I only hope we can do it sooner than once every 11 years though.  Good times!

Chicago part IV

At the end of day 2 we went to the John Hancock building to see some views.  The next morning we went to the Willis Tower, formally known as the Sears Tower, to see some views.  It was breath taking.

This read that the Willis tower is 262 Micheal Jordans tall.
I forgot how many Oprahs tall it is, but I was surprised she was bigger than me by a hair.
There was a glass ledge you could get on to step over the city and see below.  A little hair raising actually but SUPER cool!
Would you believe we actually saw a spider and her babies at the top of the Willis tower outside on the glass?  Crazy spider.  Obviously no fear of heights!
Later we went to the field museum where we got to see all kinds of exhibits.  We could have spent an entire day there but had a very limited amount of time left before they closed.  We were able to see a horse exhibit, a whale exhibit (where BTW no pics were allowed), and a dino exhibit.  They had the world's largest, most complete t-rex skeleton named Sue there.  She was real and really impressive!  I didn't care too much for the dino exhibit.  The exhibit was really big on evolution and I obviously am not a fan of the theory since I believe in creational science.  Thus, the funny expression in my pic by my supposed ancestor.
This is the closest you'll ever get me to a bug this size, ever!
Here is what we all came from folks!  Yea right!
This is Sue.  Her head was too heavy to attach so the head is not real and displayed in another part of the museum.
Would you believe this is the skeleton of a giant sloth?
The whale exhibit had a replica of a gray whale's heart and it was the size of a VW Bug.  Crazy!  Wish we could have taken pics. Next stop, U2!

Chicago Part III

For lunch we had a Chicago hot dog.  I was NOT impressed.  The hot dog had no flavor.  Felt like a waste since I am vegetarian most days and went off my normal diet for a little meat. We got to look at the lake while we ate which was nice.
This was a beach just outside the planetarium, our next stop.  The BB
Q smelled so good!

The planetarium our next stop.

The later half of day two was spent in the planetarium.  I must say, to a space nerd this place would have been awesome.  To the average Joe like Jeff and I, we weren't so amused. I was really hoping for a big star room, they didn't have one.  We breezed through it pretty quickly.  However, we did get to see and touch real meteors and see a real moon rock.
This was Jeff and I in a heat sensor camera.
A HUGE telescope!

Real moon rock!
Real meteor and and some super hot Mama! ;)
A ball you could go inside to see the stars, but we were so tired of lines by then that we bypassed this one.
Art outside the planetarium
Yet another 3D information movie.  This one was on telescopes.  A real snore really.
Later that night we got to see the tail end of some fireworks that were being shot off at the Navy Pier just a ways from our hotel.  Traffic was literally stopping in the middle of the street and people were getting out of their cars to watch.  Short but sweet.
These are horrible fireworks pictures, but it's proof we saw them.