Monday, June 30, 2008

Churched Kids Quotes

Avery: "I just killed a fly!" singing "Oh, Victory in Jesus! My Savior forever!"

Brent: My toe feels better.
Miles: Was it a miracle?
Brent: I don’t know if it was a miracle or if this is just an example of how God made our bodies to heal.
Miles: Well, just being alive is a miracle.

Miles: If I use this string, I can go fishing.
Brent's segue: Can you think of anyone in the Bible who was a fisherman?
Miles: Um. I'm not really in that mode right now.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

"blog-land" v. "blogosphere"

My sister recently used (coined?) the word "Blog-land" in a comment. I like that so much better than "blogosphere". "Blog-land" brings to mind a fictional and fantastical world that doesn't take itself too seriously...kind of like Candyland. Whereas, "blogosphere" connotes something real and scientific while remaining virtual...kind of like Biosphere 2.

Any opinions out there?

Friday, June 27, 2008

how to leave a comment

I know that some of you have mastered this already. But, I have friends and family who struggle. Do not tease them (incessantly, anyway). So. Let's take it step by step.

1. Click on the little word, "Comments" at the bottom of the post. It might say "3 Comments" or "0 Comments" or whatever. Click on that.

2. A little window will pop up. If there are no comments yet, you will see a box in which you can type an incredibly witty or verbally affirming comment. (I also accept teasing!) If there have already been comments, then you'll have to scroll down a little until you get to that empty box.

3. After you've typed your comment, you'll see a funky display of letters that don't spell anything in particular. You'll need to type those in the box underneath. (This is so I don't get some robot generated messages in a different language linking to weird stuff on the internet. It's happened before.)

4. Next, you'll need to "Choose an Identity". I think it's easiest to choose "Anonymous". Just remember to sign your name at the bottom of your comment if you don't want to remain anonymous.

5. Lastly, click on "Publish your Comment".

6. And one more thing, if you want to send me a confidential message, you can click on the little envelope icon with an arrow on it. Fill out the blanks, write the message and click on "send email". Super simple.

See. You can do this.

And a word to people who read my blog who I don't know: I've linked to this post before, but I'll link to it again. Basically, please don't let yourself feel like a stalker. We might have never met. We might be old friends. We might be new friends. If you're ever compelled to comment, don't be bashful. I'm not going to think you're a freak. Rather, I'll like you, because you like me! (Man-o-man...somebody slap the narcissism out of me!)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

the worst gas station bathroom i've seen in a long time

So, I think we were in Moscow Mills, Missouri, when I suddenly remembered that I'd had a 20 oz. coffee earlier that morning. Apparently, this gas station is also a grocery store. How convenient.

FYI, just prior to taking this picture, I walked past the deep fryer in the back. Yep. A vat of oil. I tried to take a picture discreetly and it didn't turn out. But trust me. The bathroom is strategically placed between the fryer and the deli counter. I'm not kidding.

This was the cabinet over the toilet. Is that "Bag Balm" on that second shelf?

It sure is. What is this for??? Udders, right? What else?

Much to my delight, there was a medicine cabinet. How often does that happen in a gas station bathroom? Hey. What's that on the top shelf?

Who guessed Preparation H? That's nice. It begs the question: Who doesn't want to partake in the communal tube of Preparation H???

Oh. This is helpful. Look closely between the toilet scrubber and the plunger. Some extra T.P. just in case the roll runs out.

Wow. They could really use some bathroom cleaner...

Really? Seriously. Has this ever been used?

After you've sufficiently disinfected most of your body, please be a lamb and hit the lights on the way out.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

a really, really, really good blog

okay. another link. but, it's really good. it's so good that when you leave here, you may never return. keitha (see sidebar) brought this blog to my attention because she knew about my heart for molly (see sidebar) and abraham (see sidebar) who lost their little baby girl. this blog was started by a woman who found out around 20 weeks gestation that they were also going to lose their little girl. (they were even given the option to terminate, which they did not do.) i love this blog because angie is so incredibly real and honest and sweet and God-honoring. i don't know her, but i love her. and if you read it, i'm sure you will, too. and if you only have time to read one blog a day, you should be reading hers...not mine. well, i'll miss you! bye-bye. i'll be here if you ever want to just stop bye.

my sister writes about my parents

Click here to read a tribute to my parents written by my sis, Neely. I love it. My folks just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. (Long story for another time.) Tomorrow, they leave for a 2 1/2 month stay in Romania. (Another long story for another time!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

a major friend talkers

This next friend is a major "friend talkers". Major. If we've ever talked, I've most likely told you one of HER stories! She shares the most extraordinary, most heart-wrenching, and most hilarious stories ever. I think it's because she has approximately five gazillion close friends. So, she acquires a lot of stories. And she's got lots of memory on her hard drive! So, who is this fabulous friend? It's Joy!!!

It's quite appropriate that JOY is the current Fabulous Friend that I'm talkin' about, because I just got back from a very brief, very SURPRISE visit for her surprise 40th birthday party. (I've said it before and I'll say it again: "She'll always be 31 to me!!!") We had a blast meeting family and friends who I've grown to love through Joy's stories and their pictures on her refrigerator!

A bit-o-history:

I had just graduated from Calvin College with my useless theatre degree. I had no intentions of having a career because I knew that I'd want to be a Mommy sometime in the near future. Little did I know that this wonderful couple, Joy and Craig, had been praying for a loyal, Christian, creative, wonderful, awesome, stunningly gorgeous....umm..oh...where was I? Oh, yes. They had been praying for a part-time nanny for their newborn, Calvin!! It was quite a memorable first interview. Particularly, the question, "What do you think of breast feeding?" To which, I responded, "Well, I've never tried it, but I'm on board...." (They'd done their research and found that this was an important question. Have I mentioned that Joy is intense?) Anyway, they hired me after the second interview and it was a wonderful match. Cal was simply the cutest, smartest baby I've ever seen. And now he's a brilliant and wonderful (and quite handsome!) 9-year-old!!!

Why Joy has 1 billion friends:

I'll boil it down to two qualities. One, she's entertaining! She really and truly does have the best stories. Because she and her husband own a company, they've run into a lot of characters. Some of my favorites are 1. the guy who explained the two years of unaccounted time on his resume with, "Oh that? Yeah, I was in the pokey!", 2. The woman who interviewed for the nanny position who said, "My family thinks I'm obsessed with death and darkness", 3. The man who applied for a phone sales position who put "heavy dance background" in the section designated for "practical skills" which might be applicable for the job.

The second reason Joy is someone everyone wants to be around is that she's incredibly encouraging. She listens and relates. She is incredibly intuitive and picks up on one's strengths and lavishes them with verbal affirmation. She speaks respectfully and lovingly about her friends and family. She's simply an excellent communicator. For instance, if I relay some troubles I'm having with my husband, she will undoubtedly listen and validate me without--I repeat, WITHOUT--disrespecting Brent in the least. She can simultaneously validate me while actually complimenting Brent's strengths. I admire that so much.

A toast to Joy:

While on the party/tour bus on the way to a winery, her husband Craig invited anyone to tell a funny or poignant story about Joy. I was stunned that no funny story came to mind. It was amazing to listen to everyone's stories--particularly her two older brothers who teased her mercilessly and love her intensely! Anyway, after 10 or so anecdotes about Joy, I hear, "I can't believe Jenna doesn't have anything?!!" Well, all I could think of was more mushy friend stuff. Here's what I said more or less (and this time, I'm not scanning an audience of listeners...phew!):

I started working as the Bidner's nanny when Joy's hair was cut really, really short. My start time was 12:30. I always made sure to come at least 15 minutes early to debrief with Joy. I loved every minute and every conversation. She quickly became one of my favorite people of all time. She was the first one (after Brent, of course) who heard the news that I was pregnant with our first son. She's just that kind of person that you want to bring your news to. I'm quite sure that she is a vault of good news and privileged information!! After two wonderful years of being Cal's nanny, it was time for me to be a stay-at-home Mom. What I dreaded even more than missing daily doses of a precocious Calvin, was losing that daily friendship with Joy. (In those days, she was ridiculously busy, even beyond being a mother and the president of their company.) Time with Joy was a seriously limited resource!! Much to my delight, our friendship endured!! A side note: I'm thankful that Joy and Craig paid me so well, but truthfully, I probably would have done it for free!!!

So, tonight, as I'm safely back in my home, I toast to an incredible friend--a FABULOUS FRIEND--Joy!!!!

Joy and I at Mount Pleasant winery.

One of my favorite pictures of Joy with her son Cal.

Monday, June 23, 2008

i miss you.

i miss writing you. i miss posting videos and pictures. i miss reading your comments.

i'll be back soon!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the annual block party

About a month ago, I received a call about the annual block party. Bring juice boxes and "pop". That's what they call soda in these parts. That's easy enough. The theme this year is "International Olympics". So, choose a country to represent. Bring a dish from that country. And feel free to dress according to the country you're representing. Man. This sounds complicated. I think I'll skip that costume part.

Last year, I skipped the block party altogether. I had a meeting (conveniently) and I was ridiculously pregnant. I'm not that cold about missing social gatherings. I love, love, love free food that I haven't prepared.

So, yesterday afternoon, I finally decided on Hummus and pitas...representing Greece...I don't know which came first. But, I was glad to have come up with a dish that was somewhat ethnic. And, I guess I could have been representing any number of countries because Hummus isn't specific to just Greece...anyway...I've digressed.

So, about 10 minutes before I was supposed to be out setting up, I realized, "Greece?! Ancient Greece. Olympics. TOGA?! (Roman?) Close enough!" I got out a white curtain I'd been saving for such a time as this. I googled, "how to make a laurel". And, I was pretty dang excited about my costume representin' my peeps in Ancient Greece (er...Rome...whatever!). I made an extra laurel for Brent and we headed out our front door to greet about 50 neighbors. The ones we see only once a year.

You won't believe how they were ALL dressed? No. You will. They were dressed in shorts and t-shirts and, well, your normal everyday attire.

What's that you ask? Am I seriously the ONLY one who dressed up for this festive occasion? Yes. Yes I am. Me. In my toga. And laurels. And all I could do was laugh and enjoy my kickass costume. (and have a beer to take the edge off the embarrassment.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Getting a good "Happy Father's Day" photo can be a major challenge.

But, Brent is always up for any job. Happy Father's Day to the only man I want to have children with!

c'mon, people! look at the camera and smile for .5 seconds.

oops. sorry, daddy.

and we're tilting?

this is the best of like 40 takes. oh well. you get the point.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Don't make the same mistake that I did. Censor everything...including this POST!!

I was really, really focused at the library. I was focused on two things. Get a new chapter book to read aloud to the boys. I chose The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White. I know nothing about it so I haven't started it yet. I'll read some online reviews before we get started. The second thing I was focused on was getting a Museum Adventure Pass. These things are awesome. You check it out just like a book, except what it gets you is free admission to various museums around the Twin Cities. You have a week to use them. Sweet. I actually feel entitled to free when it comes to touristy kinds of things. I can spend $5 on coffee, but admission? Yikes! That's what tax dollars are for! Also, I come from St. Louis which is the CHEAPEST place to be a tourist. Free AMAZING Zoo. Free Science Center. Free Art Museum. And easy to find FREE parking at all of the above. So, let's just say I was a little focused on getting my FREE admission, when the boys were checking out their books. Oh, and I did have a Jillian on the hip. That's distracting. (And, by now, you're like, what?? What Happened??? What did you miss, Jenna?)


That would be Daddy and Frank's wedding. Yep. This was looked over and read before I even saw that it came home with us.

Now. I have friends who would not be opposed to this book. I love you. I really, really do. But, this is NOT how I want my children to be introduced to the homosexual lifestyle. They pick up an Eric Carle book, put it down, pick up a book about Daddy and Frank getting married...No. This was not fair. This knowledge of homosexuality is too much for my young kids, because SEXUALITY is too much information for my young kids. This is a BURDEN of KNOWLEDGE. Children should be protected from knowing about certain things REGARDLESS of my moral or religious views. My young kids don't yet need to know about street drugs or tracheotomies or prostitutes or marital sex or a whole buncha stuff. I'd really like to think that the child-level picture books in the children's section at my local library would be a place where these things wouldn't be addressed. Please, public libraries, let ME decide this for my children. Please!?!

Do you have any stories like this? Please tell me!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

All about my man!

Brent. In his favorite room of the house.

I was tagged by Jenny. This post is just answering questions all about my husband. A cute little coincidence: Jenny and Matt were married the exact day and year that Brent and I were married. We met eight years later. Fun!

1. Who is your man? Brent William Scheetz

2. How long have you been together? Well. We were best friends freshman year of college. Then we decided we should get married. Then we started dating. So, hm. We've been together for 12 years. Married for 11 years in August.

3. How long dated? Just over a year if you include the engagement.

4. How old is your man? He's 31. He thinks like an old man, but moves like a teenager!

5. Who eats more? Mm-m-mm. I think me. He eats mammoth portions of lunch when he's at work. He doesn't eat breakfast a lot of times. He always eats around 10:30 at night. His nightime snack usually includes salsa and chips and something sweet.

6. Who said "I love you" first? I don't know. Oh. wait. I think I said it in an email. It was definitely just as friends at that point, though. He used to sign off on his emails like "evol, brent". I didn't get it for the longest time that "evol" was just "love" backwards. That was way before I said that I loved him and it seemed like a big deal to even sign off with "love, brent" because we were just so cautious about having any feelings that were more than platonic.

7. Who is taller? Him. He's like 5'10 3/4". I'm five inches shorter.

8. Who sings better? He does NOT. But, neither of us are getting invited to sing the national anthem anywhere. I'm just glad that neither of us is tone deaf. Or one has told us!

9. Who is smarter? Well, this is an awkward question. Let's just say I'm more arrogant.

10. Whose temper is worse? This is an easy one. Me. I'm pissed that I even have to answer this.

11. Who does the laundry? Brent. and Me. But, I think he does more than he should.

12. Who takes out the garbage? That would be me. For some reason (maybe the ridiculous amounts of laundry he does for his hot-headed bride) he seems to pass a smoldering garbage bag without the hint of notice many times. He doesn't like to get his hands dirty. Maybe that's part of it.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Why does this matter? I don't get it. He does. We've changed throughout the years based on babies and stuff. It's not a big thing for us.

14. Who pays the bills? I used to. Now he does. He works at a bank. He makes the money. He's a financial guy. It seems fitting.

15. Who is better with the computer? Like more tech-headish? neither. My Dad is our tech-head hero.

16. Who mows the lawn? He does. I've done it like three times in 11 years.

17. Who cooks dinner? Me. He can do frozen pizza, macaroni and spaghetti with some coaching. I'm glad that he doesn't cook. I like being able to do things that he can't. I'll train my sons to cook though.

18. Who drives when you are together? Usually him. But, this isn't an issue for us.

19. Who pays when you go out? Our friends! I'm kidding. Um...can somebody explain to me what "when you go out" means? This happens so infrequently.

20. Who is the most stubborn? Brent. He's so stubborn he won't even admit it.

21. Who is the first to admit that they are wrong? I think it's me. But, maybe it's even.

22. Who's parents do you see most? Mine. They have two daughters in this city. More of a draw.

23. Who kissed who first? I kissed Aaron Gold first. Oh. Yeah. I get it. (That was my first kiss.) Okay. Um. I don't remember. You gotta understand. The moment we kissed eachother, we were already determined to get married. From my memory, it was a rather simultaneous thing. But, I might have kissed him first. Whatever. I'm uncomfortable. Let's move on.

24. Who asked who out? This doesn't apply to us.

25. Who proposed? Him. duh. I wouldn't propose to a man. That's just silly.

26. Who is more sensative? Um. Well, I get weepy when appropriate and he doesn't.

27. Who has more friends? Me. You knew that.

28. Who has more siblings? Me. He has one sister (who's gonna have a baby really soon!) I have TWO sisters.

29. Who wears the pants in the family? I don't know. Kinda him. Kinda me. Kinda neither of us. Were both the youngest. Neither of us is really...alpha-like. What do you think, honey?

Well, that felt like a weird one to end on sooooo....I'll add a 30th question...

30. What does your man love most about you??? Good question. When he wakes up, I'll ask him and update this portion.

Update: aawwwwwwwwww...he left a sweet comment...

I'll tag Danielle and Neely.

Thank you, Molly, for telling me about this video!!

It's good to have Avery home. We laugh together. Here's my 1st born ham.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I don't forget birthdays. I just fail to acknowledge them.

Dear Amanda (my sister), Uncle Wayne and Elizabeth (my neice),
I love you all very much. I understand if you would think otherwise because you've had birthdays pass recently without so much as a phone call. In short, I suck. But, let me say publicly, "I love you!!! And I'm so glad you were born!"

I'll go oldest to youngest (not mentioning ages of people over 30!).

Uncle Wayne, you are such a gem in our family. You married in and, yet you feel like flesh and blood. You are very tender without being mushy. I love our random phone conversations. I never know when they are coming and never know when they are ending, but they are always filled with depth, fun, silliness and a cooking tip. Which leads me to your love language of cooking. You speak-a-my-language. I'll never forget the first meal you made for Brent and I. Burgers with carmelized onions and Roquefort cheesey spread stuff. Actually, I don't forget anything you've made. Totally amazing stuff. We love you immensely. And look forward to seeing you and Annie again at Christmas time.

Amanda, my dear sister...and second Mommy. You are eight years my senior, which explains that last title. You made our childhood smashingly fun. You played with us and cared for us. You were such a good second Mommy!!! Now, we don't see each other nearly enough, but when we get on the phone we can talk for hours and hours. You are so sweet to encourage whenever you can. You are tender and gentle. And it shows in your parenting so well. You are a sweet Mommy to Elizabeth. I'm glad to have been a training ground!! (And being the first born, you were training ground! Thanks for breaking in the parents for me!)

Elizabeth. You can't read. You're five. But, maybe Mama will read this to you. I'm so very glad you were born. You were delivered by God to our family in a very special way. (We're pretty fond of adoption in our family, because our Daddy adopted us and made us feel so especially loved.) I love your imagination. I love the way you say, "Jillian", because it sounds so very sweet. I think watching you and Miles play during Christmas time last year was one of my favorite family memories of all time. You are a sweet cousin, a wonderful neice and a beautiful little girl. Happy day late! I love you!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I'm sick. My husband is my hero.

That's Brent. Mowing the lawn. With Jillian on his back.
I. love. him.
By the way, I commissioned Avery to take the pictures for the last two posts! My little photo journalist!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Praise the Lord for Soap

Jenny's sweet girls were over with Miles. I came out to check on them (a few minutes too late) and was met by a cacophony of little voices.


"are you sure it was a sleeping bunny? it could be a dead bunny."




"yep. he's dead. let's wash our hands."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

people's choice

Okay. I chose three songs that I thought anybody could enjoy. But, still, is it rather presumptuous to have the music start automatically? Is it distracting? Is it pleasant?

Please vote whether you think music should start automatically or whether it should be controlled completely by the viewer.


Monday, June 2, 2008

hope the change doesn't freak you out.

i was really, really tired of the dots. and i really like black. it's what i'm wearing right now. a black shirt and black-(((wait for it)))-track pants. and they don't match. i'm wearing mismatched blacks.

a kinda kooky lady at the grocery store was drumming up conversation with EVERYBODY today. she was adorable, really. she stopped me with this observant line: "Oh, you like applesauce? My boyfriend likes applesauce." I'm too extroverted for my own good. "Oh, yeah, my kids love it. Gotta have it when we have pork chops!" I say cheerily. "I love your outfit," says she. Oh brother. I am humbled.

anyway. welcome to the new black blog. it mismatches me.

Top Smells

We all enjoying baked bread and cookies. Many would say "fresh cut grass". Some even say they like gasoline. (Okay. That's me sometimes.) Here's what makes my nose happy:

1. Coffee. I love the smell of Coffeehouses. I love the smell of houses that brew coffee every day. I love the smell of freshly ground beans. Or just the beans. I like to be near someone who has a Starbucks or Caribou in their hands, because I enjoy the smell of coffee that much. I even like the stale church coffee smell.

2. My gas oven. I've had electric ovens my entire life until this home. This morning, the windows were open letting in a 60-something degree breeze. I turned on the stove to fry an egg, and that familiar smell of the McElroys kitchen came to mind. They were our neighbors when I was a kid. And they had a gas oven. I don't remember what their kitchen even looked like. But, when a breeze catches the natural gas of my oven and glides past my face, I can see Mrs. McElroys face sitting across from me in her kitchen. It's amazing.

3. Winds of the four seasons. Bonfires in Autumn. Pine in Winter. Sunscreen in the Summer. Lilacs in Spring.

4. an extent. A more recent memory provoked by a late spring swelter: Two years ago, we had all of our windows open while I stained the wood work in our dining room and living room. The air was warm and thick. The smell of Polyshades lingered with little motivation to escape. I was listening to pre-war gospel music. All I could think of was a glass of real lemonade. I don't know if I ever got it.

5. Baby's breath. Not the flower. An actual newborn baby's breath.

6. Packages from Joy. (Joy is next on the Fabulous Friend series. Really. I didn't give it up.) It's funny, because Joy is forever saying, "My house smells DISGUSTING!" But, it is SO not true. As soon as we open a package from Joy, the boys and I immediately bring the gift to our noses. Seriously. Isn't that funny? It's a combination of Glade Tropical Plug-ins and their laundry detergent. Oh it's delicious. (I know you're laughing, Joy! But, it's true.)

7. The melange of massage oils that greets you at the spa.

8. Pine-Sol. Original scent.

9. My Mom's perfume. Fracas.

10. My first grade teacher. I know this one might seem strange, but every now and then, I'll catch a whiff as someone walks by and immediately I'm thinking of Mrs. Heitman. And it sends me back to the good ol' days.

There's more, but that's my list for now. What's on your list???

Sunday, June 1, 2008

If I...

...pray for strength and energy and then brew a pot of coffee am I praying without faith?