Time with Jessica

What a day. I have not really done much in terms of work. I think I slept until nearly 10, but I am not even sure anymore. It seems that I do most of everything after 10 p.m. lately. Wednesday it was quite late when I finally finished packing and settled to sleep. On Thursday, James drove me to Sterling and we met Jessica on the off ramp of the interstate instead of at the truck stop because they were paving the driveway there and James didn’t want to get tar all over the Durango that he bought on Wednesday. This will be his vehicle and we will just have to cut back on a few things here and there in order to make the payments and still do some of the fun stuff and the running that we like to do.

The purpose of meeting Jess was to spend some time at her place with the twins. Thursday they happened to have a Dr. appt. in Bismarck, so Tony was allowed to rest and I went along. Report is that things are going well, they are continuing to grow and develop. The Dr. was explaining to Jess where they are fitting on the growth charts and though they are at the low end for now, the good news is they are improving, and as far as Grandma is concerned that is all that counts.

After the poor things had been poked and prodded and looked over two nurses came in and stabbed them with shots. It was sort of a dirty rotten thing to do to them, and when we got back to Jessica’s house, I was sure to tell each of them how very awful it was that they were not informed that this was coming. Of course Jess was listening and laughing. The fact is she had forgotten they were scheduled for the shots. It was a rather quiet evening. They were exhausted from the day, and after a little feeding and some attention time, they were ready for bed, as I was too.

This morning Jessica got up and fed them and when I finally appeared, she left to pick up Lindsey’s dress for her and head for the wedding venue out of town. This will be the fifth time Jessica has been the maid of honor (well now matron of honor) in a friend’s wedding. Boy, I never had even one friend who wanted me to do that, let alone 5.

Marshal and Lily

Anyway, the fun part is that I was able to spend the morning with the twins all by myself. At first I let them sleep while I ate and worked on the computer, and then I finally realized that I wasn’t going to have many days like this. So, the minute they were making a noise, I took them both out of their rockers and put them on the floor together and we just looked at each other and talked. Mostly I let them lay close to each other and look at each other. Lily was busy on her tummy trying to move, but I had Marshall on his side and he kept reaching out and touching Lily. It was great.

Later after Tony got up, he took the two to his parents and Jess came home and got me and we went to the rehearsal. I will be officiating the wedding tomorrow. Thankfully I have the message for the service finished. It will be quite short, but actually plenty long. It could be warm and windy tomorrow, so short will be good. Paulina and James are coming up in the morning and so hopefully we can print out the message and get my hair into some braids to keep it out of my eyes so I can read tomorrow. Let you know how it all turns out…..

Update June 5, 2017

I see it has been nearly a week since I last posted. We have been recovering from the close of the track season, final awards picnic and on and on. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to pack up the uniforms and set the big containers away until next March. I know there are a few “missing” as a slight few (3) of the athletes claim to have turned them in, but they are nowhere to be found in the mix, but that is normal and actually pretty good as things go.

We also had my uncle Gene’s memorial service on Saturday. It was nice with family and people from town, and lots of his friends, teammates and classmates from this area and even some from rather far away, college and high school buddies. It sure showed what they all thought of him. It was good to hear everyone’s stories and I hope that gave those who are having a hard time dealing with it a little comfort. One of his friends choked up twice as he was talking and for lack of a better way to end his speech, he concluded with, “And then the sucker just up and died on me.”

Garden dry and bare waiting to be planted.

Today is another day of regular laundry and hopefully by the time James gets finished with his summer school for the day, it will be time to head outside to get to digging into the dirt. As hot as it has been lately, I am not really looking forward to the outside. Maybe we will clean the freezer instead and we can postpone the garden work until the sun starts to fade for the day.

Well so much for the garden issue. I finished the laundry, Paulina–the walking tomato–came home from the pool a little before James pulled in from Bowdle. After coming home from summer school in Linton and Strasburg, he stopped at the house long enough to grab a sandwich and trade the Neon for the van then head to the service station in Bowdle where we bought it because it smelled hot yesterday and there is a weird rattle in the back end. Results: there is a hose out on the heater that caused the anti-freeze to leak and there is a bearing going out in something, and they needed to order a part for one of them and so he couldn’t just wait for it and come home. When he called to tell me, I was afraid I would have to drive there to get him. Thankfully not.

In the mean time he checked out what was on their lot and found this 5-year-old, low mileage Durango. He convinced them to let him take it as a loaner to see what my reaction would be about purchasing it. I already have my counter offer in mind, but I don’t think they will budge because they already made somewhat of a deal with James. We have two ideas how to get this accomplished, but I reminded James that we need enough left in the bank to cover the trip and some updates on the house. So much for my list of priorities. A different vehicle was towards the bottom. When the owner of the dealership clued in that we had bought our van there and it is a 2009 model with almost 213,000 miles on it, he thought we should be the advertisement. Maybe we could line up all three of the cars we own for the end of the ad. Two of them are 1995 (original) Neons. They don’t even make them anymore.

Well everyone has left for work or meetings, the wind has died back a little, but it is still pretty hot outside. I don’t think that I will try to plant anything today, maybe just get a few things set up in my mind or on paper, or maybe I will get out the gloves and trim the dead stuff off the spirea bushes. They did not winter all that well. Why is it that I just don’t have the energy for any of it this year. I just would rather order take out. Perhaps I need to take a picture of that Durango. We might be eating garden spinach all summer in order to afford that thing even at the reduced used-vehicle price. Hmmmm. What was it my uncle always said, “If you need more money, no need to cut back, just make more.” Ya right easy for him to say, he owned a business. Maybe I better grow more garden and join the Farmer’s Market again.

Holding the twins

James and me with the twins.

After the State Track Meet was over and we were back in Linton with the bus and van unloaded and all the athletes safely with their parents, James and I changed our clothes, at least some of them, and headed to Wishek to attend Elisabeth’s graduation reception. We didn’t make the actual graduation, and we missed her speech, which I was told was the best of the night. It ended up that we were there just as people were leaving the school. James was able to help Bruce set up some of the tables at the reception area, and I may have opened the bag with the plates and some of the utensils, but that is about all we did besides eat some of the Knepfla soup that was fantastic.

Jessica was there with the twins, and I spent part of the night holding one or the other. We were able to get this picture of me with Lily and James holding Marshall. I must have had a grumpy thought or something, not real sure, but boy does my sunburn show on this picture. I was hoping for a shower before we headed out, but that was not to be had until we got home at 11:30 p.m. after which I still had to finish the message for Sunday morning. Yikes no wonder I spent Sunday and Monday vegetating on the couch. Well, that and on Monday washing up the uniforms that were turned in on Saturday after the meet. Again not trying to gain sympathy or brag, just stating the facts. Hopefully this next weekend will be more of a slow down, but not so sure…..

Season Over

Team by the mini bus their mothers decorated for the state meet!! We took 16, 13 competed, and 4 placed, 1 won 4 plaques.

Well everything about this year’s track season is over except the awards gathering and the inventory. It was a pretty good year, all and all. As we always say, it went too fast. It seems that in this part of the country, you barely get started and then it is over. We began practice indoors sometime in March. It was just early enough for us to have 9 practices before we went to the one Indoor Meet in Fargo. We started just after we came back from the trip to Tennessee to watch Paulina. And that was only a week after we had Jessica’s wedding and shower.

Then in early April my siblings and I were in Phoenix for my uncle’s passing just before the first outdoor meet, which was at home. The first away meet was the day the twins were born and that was a wild day, too. We stayed over night at James’ brother’s place then borrowed a car from Jess and Tony to go back to Linton for well there was no practice, it was the day the pizza’s were delivered, so we were in on that. After all was said and done, we stashed our pizza’s and grabbed our van so we could take the borrowed car back to Bismarck and come home to get ready for the next day. Needless to say, I missed a Wednesday at church, which meant rescheduling of a Minister’s Meeting. Yikes. And we are trying to understand why we are so worn out this year.

Parade of Athletes on Friday morning.

I feel like I am carrying on about this like I am whining and complaining. In truth it is more of an on paper accounting to make me look at it and understand what really happened. In truth if I were to recount what is listed in the calendar it would sound like I am bragging about how super busy we are. Mostly it is just normal life. I will bet nearly everyone around does twice as much as we do, but they just don’t think about it all that much. We are starting to understand that at this age our metabolism is not what it was when we were 50 let alone when we were 4o. James keeps wishing he could eat something or take something to make him less tired. I told him it is called a little rest now and then, and maybe some sleep other than on the couch in front of the TV. I think most of the problem is the traveling. In order to do anything or see anyone, we drive 100 miles if not more.

These were my relay girls. They placed the 800 and 1600 relays. The girl two from my right is our jumper.

So the end of the season was great, as in really great. We had 2 relays both place 6th and it was the same 4 girls in each one just a slightly different order and length of race. Our jumper who was in both relays was 7th in the long jump and 2nd in the triple jump, and she was leading the entire competition until the girl who jumped right before her beat her by 1 1/2 inches. Crazy! It was a good meet and the young ones who also came and participated were very good spectators when their events were finished. Hopefully they learned what it is all about and will come out again next year and be hungry for their turn to take some places. I have a few pictures to share. Hope your opening weekend to summer was as fun as mine!!

Another season is nearly over

Girls’ team at the end of the regional.

Another year of track and field is nearly in the books at our house. James and I have been traveling to school this past week for the practices for all who qualified for state. With the various injuries and near injuries that we have, he decided that we should bring along the next two best sprinters to help out in case of a dire emergency. The bottom line is the real qualifiers will run unless, as said before, a dire emergency. The issue is that we had a few other young ones qualify and the more we can take this year and get the first year jitters out, the better next year will be, or so we hope. I insisted that we take a picture of the group at the end of the regional meet. I am proud of how hard this group worded and I just wanted a picture for myself of this crew. I didn’t get one of the professional group ones, so this is mine and the mish-mash of shirts makes it a little extra special for me. Also we have a girl from Norway on the team. Don’t suppose anyone could guess which one she is. My only hint is that she is standing. HA!

washing the uniforms

So other than going to practice and trying like the dickens to clean out and clear out some of the junk around the house, I have been washing up the uniforms and sweats that were turned in at the end of the regional. It is my contribution to the efforts of the parents by not making them wash the items for the final meet. It is also easier to collect them into large garbage bags on the bus and take them home and sort them out and wash them. I have several sweat tops that need their pockets mended. I guess that is part of buying a grade less than the best. My only problem this year is that the weather has not been as cooperative as in the past. It has been cold and windy and not really drying weather, just rip things off the line weather. I will also give a shout out to the new clothes pins that were all I could find. No wonder they are always found in craft pins. They are not fit to use pinning clothes to the line. I need to try to find some like my old ones, but so far that has not worked for me.

Oh seems I forgot to mention what athletes and events we have going with us. James was pouting most of the season, and especially after the girls started qualifying the relays. He was good when our girl jumper made it in the long and triple jumps, but when the relays made it, he began to fret because no boys were qualified. I told him to buck up and realize that girls have value too. In the end we have all 4 of the girls’ relays qualified. The 400M, 800M and 1600 Meter all with the same 4 girls and the 3200 Meter with four different girls. The jumper was on the three shorter relays, but will be out of the 400 because of the 4 event limit. We have a young substitute for that one. Also our girl and boy javelin thrower made it on Saturday. Our boy 400 runner and 300 Hurdler qualified Saturday and our girl 400 runner made it by time earlier in the year. All in all we have 16 running with 2 alternates and a student manager in 11 events. It should keep us really busy this weekend. All that and trying to make it to our nieces graduation reception, we are pretty sure the actual event will be impossible. Hope they video so we can watch the speech later.

May track updates

Today is an exciting day and a sad day. It is the last regular season meet for this season. On Saturday we will have our regional meet which is the last opportunity for any of our athletes to make the state meet. Today is called the Last Chance Meet, which means it is the last chance to qualify by time or distance. We have hope for a few more to make it in today, but mostly it is a fingers crossed sort of day. We are fighting a few injuries and so hoping for the best.

Shot put

Getting award for 3rd in Hammer.

Last week, I left after the Thursday meet and headed for Jamestown to watch the second day of Paulina’s conference meet. I didn’t get to see the hammer throw in which she set a personal record of 46.40 meters which is 152′ 3.” It was good enough to land her at second place on the all time list of throwers. She said her PR of shot put was 10.56 meters which is 34′ 7.75″

OK, James just came in from loading the bus and I need to head out. Check back later.

Life Here, too

Message of this past Sunday was based on: Acts: 2: 42-47, I Peter 2:19-25 and mostly the last verse of John 10:1-10. I used the following as the title, “Life Here, too.”

Our gospel lesson and our Psalm today are the comparisons of Jesus and God to a shepherd. We read the Psalm as our call to worship, and we just heard the words of the gospel of John where Jesus tells the disciples all about how the good shepherd goes in through the gate and how the sheep know the voice of the shepherd who watches over them and protects them and all of that is well and good, but the focus of what we will discuss today is that last verse, the one where it says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Our other two lessons support this, but we will get to them a bit later.

This week, which has been a month long in case anyone wants to know how it went, this week began with that trip to Eagle Pass Lodge on Monday. Monday is normally when I first look at what we are to study this week, and so as I headed here to pick up Mary Lou and then we traveled on to Bowdle where we met up with Faye Jackman from Mobridge, who leads the church in McLaughlin, I had these lessons in the back of my mind. Jesus came so that we can have life, and have it abundantly. The trip was great, we had enough time to stop in Highmore and have lunch and visit even more than during the trip, and we made it to the place in plenty of time with very little difficulty. We were greeted very warmly, there was one more licensed minister there, a woman from Clark, and we all met in a large room with the Committee on Ministry and the Conference Minister, and it was great!!

I am not just saying this, it was a wonderful meeting and we talked about all sorts of things, what is going well, what is hard for us, what we feel confident in doing and what we would like some assistance with which was mostly resources, and we even shared some ideas of where we get our resources. And we even felt so comfortable that we shared why we were a little put out about having to come there and meet with them. And we talked about this business with the change of how clergy are given their status, and I think we will all be fine. And it made me want to come today with a message about how Jesus came to make sure that we have life and have it abundantly, and I was thinking about just how great life is and so I was really ready to put together this super great and happy message for all of us to share.

And Tuesday was anther fun day in most ways. We hopped on the bus for that conference meet in Ellendale, and except for the porta-potties and the non computer way of doing results, it was pretty good, but the ride was long and it got fairly late and we read some of the news events of the day, and that wonderful happy cheer was starting to fade a bit. Then Wednesday there was Bible study, which was good and nearly brought me back to sanity, but later after practice James and I quick ran to Bismarck and picked up the iPads that he was supposed to buy for the team, and we ended up getting two and seeing Jess, Tony and Lily and it was good, but we got home late and we were tired and things were getting a little testier. Then Thursday there was another track meet in Underwood and we had a couple of qualifying events including a girls’ relay and we were so happy, ….but we bought two iPads and there are 3 coaches and though it is true and I said, I can’t time and record at the same time, so I don’t want one, when we got home and I was extra tired and wanted to stay up to do statistics, but I was too tired and instead I turned on the news and learned some more about what is going on in the world that I can’t change, and then I realized that I never got to record anything on that iPad let alone even touch it or look at what was on it and, well….happy was flying right out the window….

I didn’t intend to go into a boring rendition of my week, but the point is that while I was thinking about talking about this great abundant life, I knew that I could never do it with that sweet and sticky oo/aa sort of voice of sheer happiness that I suspect to be fake anyway, and my tiredness kicked in and the crabbiness took over and I wondered how on earth I could have even considered speaking about it in the first place.

And then on Friday morning as I tried to get myself back into the focus of the scriptures, I took a time out to read some of the skipped pages of The Upper Room and there I found the words from Wednesday, the verse in Isaiah 60:20, “Your sun shall no more go down, or your moon withdraw itself, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.” And the comment near the end of the page said, God is the wind at your back, not the rain in your face.” During the storms God is there helping you through, not making it harder.

So, as I read the scripture passages again for this week it occurred to me that in the past few years, passages like this would make me focus on the life that God gives to us when we leave this earth. The message was always centered around the idea of eternity, the happiness of the life to come, the reuniting with those who have gone on before, but not a lot of hope for the here and the now. And the truth is that every morning when we wake up, we are all one day closer to the day when we find eternity and meet Christ. That thought used to really depress me. I remember thinking about that so often when I was visiting my mother, and I knew that she wouldn’t always be with me. Our mortality is a fact we carry with us every day, but that is not what Jesus wants us to focus on.

On Friday morning, as I looked at those words that Jesus left us I saw more clearly than ever that our focus needs to be more about this life, this wonderful—joyous life that God has given us to live, this great opportunity to be about the business of living and sharing and spreading the message of the love that Jesus has for all of us perhaps not quite like the apostles did in the lessons we read in Acts and I Peter, but sharing none the less.

Those passages tell us the stories of the disciples in the days after Jesus has ascended into heaven. The faithful worked together sharing their possessions, their treasures, their means so that they could spread the gospel the good news, so that everyone around them could learn about Jesus and the life that he wanted for all of us. He wanted/he wants us to have a life of happiness and goodness and days free of sorrow and strife, and I believe that, but sometimes when you look at the world around us and some of the antics of those in charge you wonder. I get one tangent and I promise I won’t go too far, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if our elected officials or those in power (even at the levels of the city or county or state and some school) would adopt the idea that their purpose was to make sure that every one of their constituents would be able to have life and have it abundantly. Wouldn’t it be nice if their bottom line wasn’t to advance their own agenda? Just saying!

The other thing I found on Friday morning was Jeremiah 29:11. “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.” And it hit me, that even as I was going through this goofy, overtired week, and I was taking too many things to heart, God hit me on the head with a simple verse in a devotional booklet, “I know the plans I have for you.” Even when we can’t seem to understand where the happy is going to come from because everything around us seems to be falling apart or there is something holding us down or holding us back, God comes to us and says, “I know the plans I have for you. I am the good shepherd, and I came so that you could have life and have it abundantly.”

Were those words there accidentally? Did I read something into them because I wanted to see something? Maybe, or maybe it is the workings of the Holy Spirit. In our denomination, we are not such good spirit believers, though there are some who acknowledge it more than others. I think our Bible study group has an openness to it. I was amazed at the discussion we had on Monday at the Committee on Ministry meeting. It started when we were talking about renewal classes and we 4 licensed women said we haven’t all done any formal training this year, but we have been fairly diligent in our own devotional and Bible study. In fact the more we as licensed ministers shared, the more we saw reaction from the members of the committee, and one of the long seasoned clergy even made the comment that perhaps it might be time to begin a more faithful time of devotions.

I really and truly believe that as we take the time to spend time with God in any number of ways, as we do that, we open ourselves to the workings of the spirit inside of us and when we do that, we begin to recognize the awe and the wonder of this life we have been give. It isn’t always going to be easy, it isn’t always going to be perfect or trouble free, but when we accept Christ who came to earth so that we could have not just life, but life abundantly and when we walk with the God who really only wants good for us, we will enjoy that wind on our back even if the rain is hitting us in the face, and we will know the true joy of a life that is filled with the Holy Spirit guiding us through all things, even hot coals on occasion. Go today, and this week with the confidence that whatever comes your way, you can get through it because God loves you and wants you to enjoy this life.  Amen!

Previous Older Entries

Empty Nest, Full Life

Formerly: PostDepartumDepression Thoughts about the "post Mommy" years of life

bunny totem knits

knitting a spiritual, intellectual, emotional life

stitchinggrandma

Quilting and Sewing projects and the occasional craft

Mostly Not New

Exploring alternatives to constantly buying new crap

rachelmankowitz

The Cricket Pages

Missy's Crafty Mess

knitting, crochet, yarn dyeing, cross stitch, books, cats, and family recipes. My journey through grief and loss...

Lillian's Cupboard

I store all kinds of things about cooking, quilting and some surprises in my cupboard. Check it out.

Wishful Thinking

A fine WordPress.com site

Pommie Sheila

The musings and escapades of an emigre down under

Ramblin' through Dave's Garden

Garden and Pond stuff

DaniellaJoe's Blog

crochet is my favorite fiber art and my goal is to become a real artist...

Garden Walk Garden Talk

The Greater Garden of Nature

Writing from Scotland

by Christine Laennec

Agrigirl's Blog

Placemaking for Healthier Communities and a Healthier Planet

SARAH THE GARDENER

Real Gardening in my Real Garden

Seasweetie's Pages

One Woman On A Quest for Peace, Joy and the Write Words

So It Goes

North Dakota Representative District 12 thoughts and ramblings

tom.basson

healthy (body+mind+spirit) = healthy soul

My Tangled Yarn Knitting Adventures

Ramblings from an obsessed knitter

Nature and Wildlife Pics

Photos of Birds, Bugs, and Buds

Buzy Day

The adventure of NikkiM

I Love To Go A Gardening

Loving Our Life in Northern Michigan

Simply Grateful Housewife

Finding happiness despite the cobwebs and dirty dishes.

The Ramblings of a Knitting Goddess

I knit. I laugh. I dream.

It's not really about me...

...its about a creative journey of faith

Grassroots & Gardening

A passion for journalism and gardening

The Renegade Seamstress

Refashions Beyond My Wildest Seams

go go little red

Craftin' each day as if it's the last!

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

Birthplace of James Madison and Southern Plantation

The Inbox Jaunt

From Doodle to Design

Travel. Garden. Eat.

Enjoy the good things in life ~ you can always clean tomorrow!

Lake Superior Spirit

Blogging from the Upper Peninsula North Woods...