Monthly Archives: April 2007

Donut Man in Concert

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The Donut Man came to town! We all enjoyed taking in a fun Sunday night family concert. It’s been a very busy weekend. Time to clean up the mess the tornado left behind at our house from all the running around! (Callie’s holding a card autographed by The Donut Man himself in her hand. And she was asked – along with about 35 other kids – to help sing the finale song. She was very excited!!)


Self Portraits – OK, Total Vanity!!

OK, this is totally vain, but that picture with the Donut Man was horrible! Do I really look like that?! I decided to take a few self portraits to remind myself I don’t always look that bad. Here I am on a normal day (that is when I do my hair – otherwise, it’s really curly & crazy). This session was mainly to psych myself up. At the end of this week, our family is going to try to take family portraits. These are about two years overdue. Here’s hoping we can all have our eyes open at the same time let alone all get our best pose down! These are for the kids someday. Hopefully this is what they will remember me looking like in my thirties!!

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Walk Down Memory Lane – Album Avenue

Keith & I were reminiscing today about the first time we heard a CD playing. Both of us remember it vividly. There was such a huge difference in the sound. We don’t think anything about it anymore, but it was amazing the first time we heard such clear & crisp music.

For me, I was on a tour at a college (I think it was Asbury) my junior or senior year of high school. Every spring, the choir & band would go “on tour” & give concerts all along the way. This stop at Asbury gave us a chance to tour the school. We went into some hall that had a harpsichord up on the stage roped off & a couple big speakers on either side. I remember walking in that room & being blown away! The harpsichord wasn’t being played, yet the beautiful music coming out of the speakers sounded incredible! Then they played an orchestral piece over the speakers. Wow! I remember just standing there & thinking that’s what heaven will sound like for some twenty minutes or more. I had never heard anything so crisp & perfect before. No hisses, crackles, or pops.

That whole memory trip got me thinking about my first record player, records, & tapes. Mom & Dad got me a little record player when I was in second or third grade for Christmas. It was one of those suitcase kinds that folded up & had a handle so you could conveniently carry it wherever you wanted. They gave me a few albums to go on it: Evie Carlson, Anne Murray for kids, & a couple Sesame Street. I loved them!

By middle school, I had babysitting & birthday money to spend on a few more: Isaac Air Freight & Keith Green – I had the whole collection of both. It must have been late 1983, my freshman year in high school, when I was in the Christian book store with Patrick, my older brother, & had decided on a Glad album. I remember him talking me into getting a tape that day. “That’s what it’s all going to, Leigh Ann.” I wasn’t so sure I wanted to change over, but I did. Steve Green, Sandi Patty, & Wayne Watson tapes soon followed. Some of my other faves in high school were the Sweet Comfort Band, White Heart, DeGarmo & Key(Let the Whole World Sing), Farrell & Farrell (Get Right or Get Left), & Steve Taylor(We Don’t Need No Color Code, Lifeboat, etc.).

The last few years of high school I worked in the school radio station as a DJ, in which none of these afore mentioned bands could be played. One night at the station, someone brought in a CD they had just bought. I remember the embarrassing but not unusual problem of not knowing how to get the case open! I can even tell you what I was wearing that night – my neon yellow Swatch watch, a maroon sweater, jeans & a chip clip in my hair over on the left. I probably had on my red converse high tops, too. Yikes! Those were the days!

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Our Family Has Connections to the Queen, Don’t You Know.

As the kids & I strolled through the Ohio Historical Society today (Keith had a meeting there today so we tagged along), we came across an old carriage in the transportation section. It was the area where they show how transportation has changed in Ohio through the years – from wagons to trains to canals to planes. Anyway, that got me thinking about one of the best stories in our family tree. I shared it with the kids in front of that wagon, but doubt if they caught it all or will remember it, so I write it down.

My mother’s mother’s mother’s father, Grandma Jean’s Grandpa Guy, was a carriage maker in merry old England. In fact, as the story goes, he was so good, he was commissioned by the queen at one point! Since he was so good at this trade of his, he decided to come to come to America to start a business in the land of opportunity. He told his wife & three young children he’d send for them when he got settled. The children were Jack, Margaret, & William; Margaret being my great-grandmother.

A few years went by with no word from dear Mr. Guy. So, Grandma packed up the kids & belongings & headed off for America to find him. If he wouldn’t send for her, she’d come a knockin’! She found him. And they lived the rest of their lives in Ohio together. Nothing else was said about that. I find that whole thing very interesting.

Anyway, Grandma Margaret was in high school I believe when she came to America. She grew up to be a teacher & fell in love with Grandpa Paul. They had my grandma soon after. Two years later, they had twins & Grandma Margaret died due to surgical complications. Grandma Jean never really knew her mother. Her dad remarried a few years later & two more boys were added to the family.

When Grandma graduated from high school, her grandfather, the carriage maker from England, offered her a choice as a graduation gift. He would either giver her some college money, or take her on a trip back to mother England to meet the family there. She opted for number two. It was a six week trip if I remember correctly. (I told the kids they need to ask Grandma all about this next time they see her.) There are post cards floating somewhere around the family possessions that Grandma had sent to Grandpa Royal while she was on that trip – cute! They were dating at the time.

Some of Grandma’s memories of Grandpa Guy include his long white beard & tea time. Being the Englishman that he was, every day, was it at four o’clock?, he had a spot of tea. He smelled of peppermints because of the candies he kept in his pocket for the children. It is so strange to think my grandma’s mother spoke with an English accent! All this is why Grandma fancies herself quite close to the royal family. She does look like them. She has a special affinity to Queen Elizabeth.

Another good family story is the one about the Civil War vet ( I forget who he was in the family tree) who was in charge of the whiskey wagon. He was chosen for that duty because he was a t-totaler & they felt they could trust him to not get into the goods. We’re all quite proud of that one. Upstanding, top-quality blood in our line!!


Ballet, Beans, & Coming Kitties

Life’s been busy here lately, thus the slow down in posts. Today, the kids & I went to see Sleeping Beauty at the Ohio Theatre. Went pretty well. Callie was a little disappointed that there were no words, but other than that. Anders was very impressed by the sparkly outfits – we sat in the third row. OHVA always gets us awesome seats! The days when I got into those things as a homeschooler (on my own) they always ended up in the seats in the back row; often in the balcony even! OHVA gets more notice due to numbers I guess. Works for me!

We’ve been doing our annual seed germination study over the last week. First, we pick out five or six various envelopes at the dime seed packet display. Then we carefully put the seeds in a baggie with water-logged paper towels. Mind you, we do this every year, but it never ceases to bring amazement & excitement to every member of the household when we see those little dried up seeds pop open with life in only a few days! The beans, corn, & peas were the first to push their little sprouts through in a mere three days. We’re still waiting on the melon & sunflowers. The wonder of God’s creation & awesomeness of life is really on showcase in that little baggie on our windowsill!

Oh, and Beauty’s going to have kitties! We don’t know when, but she’s definitely expecting.:) Callie is in seventh heaven.

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National Day of Prayer – Coming May 3rd

In preparation for the National Day of Prayer coming up, try listening to Nancy Leigh DeMoss Pointing a Finger Inward“. It moved me so much, I listened to it twice & probably will again on the Day of Prayer. Every time I hear her, I come away uplifted, challenged, etc. Like I’ve just been with my long lost sister! She speaks what I’ve thought but not heard others say – definitely a “kindred spirit”. If you’ve never heard her, make today the day!!

PS – Other prayer resources at Revive Our Hearts…
31 Days of Prayer for Your Pastor
31 Days of Prayer for Your Pastor’s Wife
31 Days of Praying for Your Husband (printable download – second one on list)
31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Children (printable download – scroll down, sixth from the bottom)


What to Wear?

Can I just say I’m not a clothes lover? I mean, I know they are necessary in this old sinful fallen world, but really! It seems every day I am either washing them, staring at an extremely overloaded basket of them (folded, but still), picking dirty ones out of various places in the house, or switching them over for a new season. Today was a culmination of them all. For the record, I refuse to buy more than two baskets – that’s enough filled over the brim & making me feel guilty when their contents are not put away!

Yesterday, the kids wanted to go out to play & did I have a bugger of a time finding shorts for everybody! We ended up getting in the attic & prematurely starting the whole spring switcharoo. I know. I’m later than everybody else in doing this, but I never do it until the weather is sure about what it’s doing! And today was the day set aside to get the job done. It starts with washing, folding & piling up all clothes in stacks by person on the king sized bed. Then it’s on to pull out all clothes saved from last year & given to us by generous donors & add those to the stacks. Next take out anything stained, torn, or indecent to toss into the throw away pile. Neatly stack those items too small into a “give away” pile for cousins. Then finally, put all back into the drawers from whence they came for use in this new season of warmth. I’m sure all mothers know the drill.

After all this, I wonder why I don’t bother with my own shopping or sorting for my wardrobe! Did I tell you I’m not fashion-conscious? Sometimes I wish I was, but end up getting overwhelmed by it all. Just give me something to put on – I don’t want to have to think about it. I am so-o-o-o-o grateful for those who have given us clothes through the years & for those awesome “second hand shops” that I can just whip in there twice a year & pick up anything left that the kids need to fill in the gaps after the donations! I really don’t have to spend much time or money on our clothes. And the kids always have plenty of nice things to wear – thank You, Lord!

One idea I came up with to help my attitude toward clothing duty through the years has been to use the time spent folding & putting away to bless those I am serving. This has transformed my thinking from feeling like I am wasting time to having a regular reminder to do what I want to put into my schedule anyway – bless my family. When I do clothes duty, I pray for & ask the Lord to bless the owner of the article of clothing I have in my hands as I fold it or put it in their drawers. Many a time the Lord has transformed my laundry time to tears of thankfulness for my blessings or times of pleading for His wisdom in parenthood. Sweet times!

God has always been faithful to us in providing more than we need for clothes. Every time it seems, after doing the season switch, I look over all we have to wear & find we only need a few various odd items. Then on the day we go out to get those things, they just “happen” to have the right style, size, & price we need. Every time I look at those items found (Nate’s little windbreaker from years ago, the black pants Anders needed, the perfect little jean skirt for Calllie), I think again how wonderful God is & intimately He knows every detail of our lives. He is a tender & generous Father! (Matthew 6:28-33)