Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hosanna to the Son of David

My Preschoolers sang their Hosannas in church today on Palm Sunday.
While their hosannas may not have been in perfect pitch or in unison, I know that they were the sweetest sound up on heaven today.
The kids did a wonderful job with their singing.  I am very proud of them.

Of course, the highlight of the singing was this sweet girl.
I have a nice short week coming up with a few sleepovers planned for Soli and Tiz plus Easter next weekend.  Lots of fun ahead.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Remembering Sweet Natnael and Uncle Herb

We celebrated a very special birthday on Friday, March 20.
We celebrated Natnael's birthday.
He turned five years old.
He celebrated in the best place ever with the BIG GUY.
While none of us were able to give him birthday hugs, I am confident that he had plenty of hugs from his relatives who have gone on before us.
What a wonderful day it will be when we meet this little man for the first time.
You see, we have never actually met our grandson.
We saw his pictures, we heard all about him from his mama and papa when they had met him in Ethiopia and we were waiting so patiently for him to come home.
He never made it to his earthly home because he was called to his eternal home from the care center in Ethiopia.
John and I were so lucky to be able to be up in Oshkosh and celebrate his birthday with Courtney, Paul, Tizita, and Soliana.
We stopped at the Dollar Tree and picked out two balloons for the girls to send up to heaven and then we picked out six yummy cupcakes from the cupcake story for our party.  We also bought birthday plates and napkins for the celebration.
While John was unloading the car, one of our balloons took flight.  That would not do, he headed back to get another balloon while Soli and I went to pick Tiz up from school.
After a rather ridiculous ride in the wagon.  (Ask Tiz about this ride,, years from now) we were all finally ready to start the party.
First we went out to the Natnael memorial cherry tree, sang Happy Birthday, and let the balloons go.
They got stuck in a big tree but eventually the wind set them free and we watched them sail over the lake and up to Natnael.

After the successful launch, it was time to go inside and have our yummy cupcakes.

I think Natnael would have enjoyed his 5th birthday very much, but I also know that the party he had up in heaven is so much better than anything we could imagine here on earth.
So, Happy Birthday Sweet Boy until we meet and give you that long overdue hug!

On Friday night after our celebration, we brought the girls to Watertown.
We watched movies and had another sleepover.
What fun!
On Saturday, Courtney and Paul joined us and other family and friends to say "Good Bye" to Uncle Herb, my mom's brother.
His pastor and very good friend, Pastor Pagels did the memorial and it was wonderful.
Uncle Herb was such a gentle, wise, and kind man, we should all learn from him and his ways.
The happiest part is that he and my Aunt Pearl are back together.  They were married for 74 years and apart for just one and a half years when she went home to heaven before him.
What joy there must have been as he joined her.
He told his granddaughter, right before he died, that he could see Pearl waiting for him.
Amazing, powerful, miraculous.
I am thinking there was newly turned 5 year old waiting for him, too.
John has his first job interview tomorrow in, of all places, Prairie Du Sac which is a town connected to Sauk City where he worked for three years.  The commute is one hour and twenty minutes one way.  We are hopeful, but we also know that the final plan is in God's hand.
We are still waiting for unemployment from Michigan.
Obviously, things go much slower there than they do in Wisconsin.
Again, God will provide when the time is right.
Tomorrow I go back to school after a fantastic Spring Break.
I am ready.
The year is winding down and that is always a fun time.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Spring Break 2015

So, because of John's lay off, my spring break took on a new twist..
I went to Oshkosh on Sunday, March 15 to spend a few days with the girls.
I spent the days organizing their bedrooms and the play room with Soliana's help.
Tiz had school, so I was able to pick her up at the end of her day, too.
Soli and I went to Courtney's Family Zumba class one afternoon.  I was looking forward to some zumbaing again, but Soli did not want to be a part of the class, so she and I spent the time over at Caramel Crisp, eating ice cream and cookies.
Not a bad choice on her part, I mean who wouldn't rather eat sweets then zumba dance?
Here we are at Caramel Crisp enjoying their children's area while we ate our treats.

 Soli took my picture in my favorite chair at Caramel Crisp.  Notice how I did indeed have my zumba clothes on.
On Tuesday, Soli came to Watertown to have her own sleepover with Grandpa and I.
We ate at Culver's on the way home and watched some Curious George before bed.
On Wednesday, we went to the Madison Zoo.
The weather started out rather cool, but we still had a great time exploring the zoo and playing on the parks near the zoo.

 This shoe has been at this park for years and years.
Courtney and Alissa played on this slide when they were little and if I am remembering correctly, I think I even played on it as a little girl.
This was an odd playground ride.
It spun around, but it was too high for little ones to get on by themselves and there were no handles.
Seemed rather dangerous, but it is probably fun for older kids.
Soli wanted off almost as quickly as she got on.

 What would a trip to Madison be without a stop at Ella's Deli for a treat on the way home.

When we got home, Grandpa and Soli played outside with the Escalade.
We watched more Curious George and stayed up late before our "sleepover."
Today, we played outside some more.
We also baked a cake.
Soli bakes much different than Tizita bakes.
Soli follows the directions and does not ask to add other items.
Tiz loves to add her own ingredients to create her own concoctions.
I am a recipe follower, so I much prefer baking with Soli.
Courtney arrived at noon to take her home.
We will be getting both girls again tomorrow so they can both have a sleepover before we go to Herb's memorial service on Saturday.
It was a great spring break even though a few curves were thrown in.

Uncle Herb goes Home to Heaven

My Uncle Herb died this afternoon.
He was 96 years old and had a long, very happy life.
He spent his last few years in a nursing home with his wife of 70+ years until she died two years ago.
Ever since Aunt Pearl died, Herb has been patiently waiting to join her and today, I can only imagine the joy as he saw her again.
He was mentally and physically good until he died.
He died peacefully in his sleep, no pain, just peace.
RIP Uncle Herb until we meet again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

May all your days be circus days

On Saturday we took the girls to the Shriner circus in Green Bay.
It was our third "annual" trip to this circus and it just keeps getting better.
We arrived an half hour early and waited patiently, eating skittles and taking in all the people, until the doors opened.
Once we got into the arena, we chose our favorite seats, front row and center.
Then the fun begins and the money flows.
Soli wanted to ride an elephant with me and Tiz wanted to ride a camel this year, so that is what we did.

We also got to meet many of the clowns and get their autographs on our programs

Finally it was time for the circus to begin, but not before a few snacks, because really, what is a circus without funnel cakes and slushies?

There were lots of new acts in the circus this year.
Some of our favorites were the high wire artists, the magician, and the tumblers.
I think this circus is fazing out the animal acts due to complaints about how they are treated in the circus, but the elephants I saw seemed pretty darn happy.
Here are a few shots of some of the acts:

 Of course, our very favorite act is the human cannonball.
Tiz and I were so nervous that he would miss the net.

After the circus we headed back to Oshkosh to celebrate Paul and Courtney's birthdays.
My mom had come along with us and while we were at the circus, she enjoyed lunch and shopping with Alissa and Courtney.
We brought both girls back to Watertown for a sleepover.
After church on Sunday, we all enjoyed the wonderful spring weather before taking the girls home again.

There is more spring in the air this week and it could not have come at a better time.
The warm sunny weather is making John and I have a very positive look at this unemployment situation.
We are hopeful and looking forward to many good things to come.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Bump in the Road, yet again

I came home from the Y on Friday feeling accomplished.  I had walked my 10000 steps for the day and it was only 1:00.  The rest of the steps would just be icing on the cake.
I was sitting at the laptop checking Facebook when my mom said, "John is home."
I was confused and wondered "why would he be home now."
He walked in the door and announced that he had lost his job yet again.
Completely blindsided!
I have lost count but I think this might be the fifth lay off.
We have walked this road before, we know what has to be done.
John had already set up the unemployment.
Health insurance is trickier this time around since Obamacare has taken over.
How ironic that we may have to be a part of Obamacare, but at just $49.00 per month, it may have to do for us.
Now the search begins for yet another new job.
It is not easy when you are 60 years old.
But I know that God has a plan for us and we will wait patiently for that plan to unfold.
John has already sent out a number of applications.
We will decide on the Obamacare and drop a few monthly expenses to help us stay afloat these next few months or however long it takes for him to land another job.
There are so many worse things than losing a job and we know that, but it still is frustrating thing.
For now, if you are reading this and you are a praying person, please pray for patience and guidance as we proceed over this bump in the road.
It was a really good thing that we were taking the girls to the circus this Saturday.
It was a nice diversion for us.
We enjoyed the circus so much and then we were able to bring the girls home with us to spend the night.
Today, Sunday, the temps were in the 50's so we got out the escalade so the girls could go driving.
Now it is back to reality, but we will press on.
I will post some circus pictures later this week.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Another weekend has come and gone

It is Sunday night again.
I am watching Sister Wives.
It has been another busy, fun weekend.
We had no school on Friday but we hosted a teacher's conference at our school for 200 teachers.
It was a busy day, but at least we didn't have to go to any of the sessions because we were in charge of keeping up with the food.
It was nice to just have a day to visit with my fellow teachers.
I actually put over 6000 steps on my fitbit just that day.  I think waitresses put in a lot of steps in a day.
On Friday night John and I went to an Admirals game.
It was a fun time.
The beer went down easily after the busy day.

On Saturday, it felt good to sleep in for a bit.
We did our grocery shopping, felt wrong doing it on Saturday instead of our usual Friday night.
After shopping, we took our 4.5 mile walk and I ws so pleasantly surprised that we put on 9000 steps during that walk.
We went to church on Saturday night and then I had a bottle of wine.

On Sunday, today, my mom, John, and I went to Oshkosh to see Tizita in an all city play for a children's theater group.
The play was called Suessical the Musical.  Tiz had a few different parts.  She was a Who, a Fish, a Magician's Assistant, and she was a dancer.  It was a cute play and she did an awesome job.
We enjoyed some ice cream treats after the play and headed home.
Another great weekend.
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