Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kayren's Driving

I have to say, that barring potty-training, one of my least favorite parental things to do is to teach our children how to drive. Some parents thrive on this venture, but I think that I age about 10 years with each child. They all have their own vices, you see, and as a parent, you get the joy of experiencing all of them.

Kayren's vice is running stop signs and red lights. She just doesn't see them. But, she must also be deaf because she doesn't seem to hear me bawling in her ear, "STOP!" for the fifth time either.

Her latest comment was, "Mom, I've decided that I'm not going to run any more stop lights through December so that I can get my license!"

I laughed so hard that I cried. Then, I couldn't explain to Kayren all the things that were wrong with that statement!

Watch out world! Kayren will be 16 on December 30th!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Finally, an update from Iowa!

I know it has been ages since I've posted, but life does get busy. We had a lovely Thanksgiving in Minn with Dad and Mom, and Jathan was able to come home and be with us. Since then, everyone is frantically trying to finish all schoolwork, get ready for finals, work on piano and basketball, work, shop, and get enough sleep to make it to vacation. I am not sure how all of that is progressing at the moment.

Tom is working lots of hours and still wondering why we live in Iowa where it is cold in the winter.

I am finishing up this semester at school with 8 days to go (maybe 9).

Kayren is finished with 3 finals and has 2 more to take. She is working on her piano pieces for the recital.

Lorien is playing lots of basketball, practicing piano, studying for 7 finals that she will take next week, and wishing she could be 10 again when you didn't have to take finals!

Aleya is "blissing" in the fact that she just does her school for the day and she is done. She is practicing piano, getting excited about January Upwards Basketball, and shopping for gifts for all the kids.

Oscar just spends his time shedding.

We are all looking forward to Christmas vacation when all the college kids will be home and we will have a wonderful family Christmas together.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life in Iowa

Well, volleyball is officially over now. The girls from Grandview went to the state volleyball tourney, but they lost in the first round. I am sure that they are disappointed, but it was exciting that they made it that far!

Now basketball begins. High school basketball is much different than jr high. They practice two hours per day and sometimes at 6:30 in the morning! Wow. It's going to be an interesting few months.

The semester is starting to wrap up, and the students are getting serious about their studies. They start looking at their grades and giving more effort right about now. I am glad that they are interested, but it would be nice if they had been as interested 5 weeks ago. They wouldn't have so much ground to cover. Sigh.

A friend's husband suddenly died this week. He was 61, which seems so young to me now. It is very sad for her. They were just getting ready to move. They had sold their house, packed their things, and were ready to move in a couple of days when he died. She is such a sweet and lovely lady, and she loves the Lord. We are praying for her comfort and strength in Christ.

Also, a student came in this week visibly broken up about the suicide of a young man that was her brother's best friend. This student is a believer, but she is the only believer in her family, and she is worried for her brother. She had known this young man almost all her life, and I guess they were all just shocked.

We've also had another student ask lots of questions about the Bible, creation, and God. It's been a heavy week of prayer and counseling.

Please pray for our students as they often have heard very distorted versions of the gospel. They need Christ as their Savior.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

After Surgery

Well, two weeks ago today, I had surgery to remove my gall bladder and to fix my acid reflux problem. From what I can tell, the Lord was very gracious and the surgery seems to be successful! Recovery has been going well, and I have been able to come to work this week, part-time for two days and full time for the other three. I am very thankful that everything went well.

I am now embarking on my revised eating program which excludes coffee and Diet Coke :(. Yesterday the doctor told me to go back on a full, regular diet. Mostly, portions are rather severely limited (which isn't all bad), and fat content is limited (no gall bladder anymore). Other than that, I am to eat rather normally.

The church was wonderful and provided transportation for Lorien to get home from school each day, and they brought meals for the family. We are blessed with a wonderful church!

I am so thankful for the Lord's provisions during this time. My husband and children waited on me hand and foot, and numerous friends brought beautiful flowers to brighten up my room. I had regular visitors to keep me from getting bored, and one good friend brought over some Dorothy Sayers that I hadn't read yet, and I got to read those too! I never get the chance to read unless it's vacation time. My college children called to check on me, as did my Mom and Dad. I am so blessed with a loving family, friends, and church family. I am very thankful for all the Lord has given us!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday morning

Fridays are wonderful. There is a peace to knowing that the week is over and you might get some time to recover.

I always look forward to Sundays - my favorite day of the week.

It is cold and rainy today, but it feels really cold. We are having a challenge with ourselves at home, to see if we can make it through October without turning on the heat. We are only half-way through, and I am thinking that we won't make it. It was quite chilly today. It's about 33 outside.

Lorien gets to babysit today, since she doesn't have school, and Aleya gets to go with her. They love playing at the Tarbell's house! Kayren is working on school and babysitting Lilly. Tom is working as usual.

Next week is surgery, the Harvest Dinner, a recital and Tom's sister Linda is coming home. Very busy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Grandpa teaching physics

Grandpa and Grandma came this past Sunday night so that Grandpa could teach a couple of students physics on Monday.

The class went wonderfully, and Grandpa was truly in his element! One of the students had already had calculus and was able to ask some great questions. Pretty soon, Grandpa and the student were off into "never-never calculus land" where the rest of us just stand on the sidelines and cheer! All went well, and everyone had a great time.

But, of course, the amusements of the day were that after Grandpa taught "deep" physics, he had to use the facilities, and managed to used the ladies' room instead of the men's. Then, he was tired, and lay down on the floor to take a nap, and after he woke up from his restful nap, he spent the rest of the day shooting rubber bands around Faith Academy.

I wish my Dad could come every Monday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Updates from Iowa

The morning was delightfully chilly, though we didn't have frost. You can feel that it is coming! Isn't it interesting how wonderful the cool weather feels after a hot summer. It doesn't last too long though. Usually by January I am ready for spring. Oh well. My hot cup of flavored coffee warms my hands as I walk from the car to work.

Lorien's volleyball team seems to be learning a lot. They are getting much better at volleyball! It is fun to watch them play. They don't win too often, but they are getting better all the time.

Kayren finished her huge biology project. She had to gather and label fifty different leaves. Wow. I thought that was a lot. It took a long time to get them all together. She is also excited about a painting that she has begun. She likes painting much more than she thought she would. She really likes to draw.

Aleya is working on school, and enjoying her friends from church.

Tom is working a lot, and he taught Sunday School a couple of weeks back. He will get a couple more weeks off, and then he'll start teaching again.

Grandpa Keister and Grandma are coming this Sunday. Grandpa is going to teach the Physics class at Faith Academy. It should be a fun day!

I made my "to do" list. It seemed so long! There are so many things that you would like to get done before winter. Hopefully, this Saturday will let us get lots done.

I'll try to get my camera back from my daughter. Somehow, it just doesn't feel like mine anymore :) !

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Updates, but no pictures - sorry!

Well, Lorien turned 14 yesterday. Max had a birthday too. Happy Birthday, Max and Lorien! Lorien had a fun day, with people at school saying, "Happy Birthday," to her, and giving her notes and cards. It was nice. Then, she had a cake last night at youth group. It was a fun day.

She is now old enough to get a job, and to get her driving permit. Wow. It's amazing how quickly they grow up!

We are enjoying the cool crisp morning this morning.

We are mourning the Cubs losing to the Dodgers last night. What a miserable game! Maybe we'll do better today.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New pictures

I just posted some pictures of Lorien's tournament, and this week at Grandview, they are having spirit week. They are doing all kinds of fun things. The first day was "injury day" which means you pretend that you are hurt in one way or another. Lorien was using some wrist wraps and was going to use Kyrie's boot, but decided not to.

Yesterday was Nerd day - and Lorien was going to wear little empty boxes of Nerds all over her shirt, but she didn't have time to get it together. Bummer.

Today she is being a super villain. Yikes. Of course, she didn't pick being a super hero!

Oh well. The game is Friday night!

Lorien's Volleyball

Here is Lorien playing volleyball!

This is Melinda - fellow teammate!

The girls are practicing for another game.

Lorien just getting ready to play.

This is Lorien getting ready for "super hero and

villain day" at Grandview!

The last of the flowers for this year. They will be gone soon. It has already been in the 40's one night.

Here is Aleya watching Lorien put on her super hero outfit.

Kayren is getting ready to DRIVE us to school! Morning traffic can be very challenging! Lots of pushy Iowans who want to get to work.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall Morning in Iowa

The dew is so heavy and the cool air makes you want to wear a jacket, even though you know that by the afternoon, you will want to turn the air conditioner back on. Iowa has those days where you need both the heater and the air conditioner.

I had lots of lovely pictures of Lorien's volleyball, but I can't seem to find the connecting cord to hook up the camera. I suspect Kayren has heisted it, but I need to investigate before accusing.

I have so many more students this semester! It's great for the school, and challenging for me. I am hoping to write some more labs this semester that we can put online. I think that will help!

This weekend is homecoming, so Lorien and Aleya want to go to the game. Kayren is working and can't go. Tom and I are supposed to go up north for the installation service of a new pastor up there. It is a busy week!

I just love reading all the other blogs and seeing what everyone is doing! Facebook is fun too. It's nice to be able to keep up with family and friends. Facebook is a strange but fascinating idea that has me chatting with friends from 30 years ago (high school!) It is amazing that they are all on facebook and keep up with it. For the most part, it seems that they love the Lord and truly are living for Him. It is such an encouragement to see what the Lord is doing in the lives of old friends. We are thankful for His goodness!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New post at last!

I have started working on facebook, because my children are more apt to do facebook than blog, or even comment on my blog. Anyway, now that I am shuffling both projects, they will probably both suffer! I love the blog though because you can load the latest pics of the things that you are doing. I know that you can do that on facebook too, but I don't know how. So, I will stick with the blog.

All to say - Lorien won her first game, though in the tournament that they had on Saturday, things didn't go quite as well. They only won 1 out of 8. However, they put forth lots of effort and learned a lot. Isn't that what we always say when they get creamed?

I'm working on lots of math labs. I have 45 students, which is more than double my highest group. I have several higher level students with good questions and motivation. It is fun to teach Algebra again, and not just fractions and decimals. However, it requires quite a bit of work to keep up with the class and the curriculum keeps changing. Work is never boring. As I read Mary Kathryn's posts, parents haven't been the thorn for us that they can be otherwise. Most of the parents that bring their children to us are finally admitting that their children are wayward and need direction and accountability. It helps - tons. When Dad or Mom or both are helping, things go a LOT better.

Tonight is Bible study. We are studying aging, which is a very interesting topic. It often gets swept aside, and it has been very helpful to study it.

Lorien has a game and won't get home until 11 this evening. I will make my fourth trip across town today to pick her up. We brought Lorien to school. Then we brought Kayren to take her midterms. Then I came to work. Then I will come back to pick up Lorien. Yikes! $$$$ (petrol!)

Hopefully, I will get to write more later.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today is Lorien's first volleyball game. However, it is over an hour and a half away, so I won't get to go. But, we will wait and see how it goes. They were practicing rotations yesterday.

Kayren and Aleya are at Faith Academy today, working on math and Spanish.

It is rainy and cool, and fall is on the way.

Tom is getting his tooth fixed today - Lord willing.

Jathan got his pulled a day or two ago.

We had a wonderful ladies' Bible study on Tuesday. It is refreshing to have such good teaching and fellowship in the middle of the week!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday at last!

I was reading Mary Kathryn's blog, and sympathizing with how tired she was. Teaching takes it out of you somehow, and it takes a while to get back in the swing, even when we only had a one month break.

Well, we've heard back from all the college guys, and all of them seem to be having good semesters. Kyrie must be rather busy now!

We are going to a baby shower tonight, which means we won't make the opening home football game for Grandview. Lorien and Kayren love going to high school football games, and I have to admit that they are lots of fun!

Lorien's first volleyball game is next week. She is nervous and excited! I'll try to get some pictures.

Kayren and Aleya are settling into their schedules at home, though they spent quite a bit of time at Faith this week. It takes us all time to adjust.

The girls got to go to youth group this Wednesday and they really enjoy that!

Well, I need to get to work here. I have lots of students this semester, 39 I think, in 12 different classes. I'll have lots of grading, though less than last semester, and lots of tutoring. It's a busy semester!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Jason is working on trim

This is Aleya's room.

Lilly playing in the pool.  

Trim is needed here, and Jason should get it up by this afternoon.

This is the downstairs bathroom, which turned out beautifully!

And, we still have work to do!

Labor Day

This is Lorien's room.

Her room is almost finished.

She needs baseboards, but it will probably be a while until we get those.

This is the controversial window.  A fun window, with the purpose of offering light, interest and fun to the room.

I quite like the blue, and the wainscoating wallpaper, which covers many imperfections.

Today is Labor Day, and we are enjoying the fact that we don't have to work today!  However, I thought I would show the updated basement.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More updates

Jathan looks like he will be able to graduate this December! Yeh! We are happy about that, because it saves quite a few buckaroos. He will be lacking one class for med school, but hopes to find an opportunity to take it in the spring. He has been able to run cross country this week, and is healing well. I haven't heard about how Bridget has done this week.

Kesse started classes yesterday, and we haven't heard yet how that is going. She has some science classes, I believe, which make her nervous, but are very good for her :).

Kyrie loves her Calculus class and her chemistry class, and while she like her biology, she thought the teacher was a bit monotone. She's looking forward to lab!

Kayren has risen to the "queen bee" status now that Kyrie is gone. I came home yesterday to the wonderful smell of Pine-Sol which means she cleaned the kitchen floor! Hoorah! It has been a very long time since it has been mopped. Kayren cleaned the whole thing, and it looked and smelled great!

Susan came over last night, and she, Aleya and Rebecca and I worked together to get the wallpaper up in Aleya's room. We finished in a little over an hour! It was great. Now, more painting, and some trim, and her room will be set. I'll try to get some pictures soon.

Lorien is getting used to high school work (lots more homework with spontaneous quizzes), and practices volleyball four days a week. She likes her classes and teaches, and the students too. We are trying to get more specifics out of her.

Aleya is getting used to her new schedule. We're testing the waters with her curriculum as I come off of the encouragement from A Well-Trained Mind. We are doing a lot more oral work, and dictation and such.

Well, I need to get back to work here at Faith. Oh yes - and the Cubbies! Aren't they doing well? They might actually go to the World Series this year! How exciting!

The joy of irons

Who would have thought? When you send your children off to college, this interesting phenomenon occurs. Suddenly, all of the regular tools for family living become individualized - or better worded - confiscated! Most of the time, I don't really care because these items are replaceable. However, there are a few items that I find myself strangely attached to, not because they are so grand, but because we have this understanding. I have this strange relationship with my iron. I know how hot it gets, how quickly; which setting to use for each particular shirt or skirt; and have become quite satisfied with its function.

Each of the last few years, when Jathan, Kesse and now Kyrie have left home, they have taken my iron with them. This is good - because it gives the parent the hope that their offspring really will iron something, and will actually care if something is too wrinkly to wear. However, in my old age, I am breaking in a new one, and I have realized that I AM old and grumpy about such things. Who would have thought? In the end, though, I find that the toil of ironing clothes, early in the morning, with a new iron, really brings the opportunity to be thankful to the Lord, for children in college, who have irons to use, on clothes that we have been given in abundance, and that I have the wherewithal to be able to get another one!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Blog to Kyrie

Hello sweet daughter.

I am so thankful that you are able to attend Grove City this year. Indeed, as I have posted, the college is beautiful. I pray that the teaching there is as biblical as the landscape beautiful.

Know that we are praying for you as you start this new year.

We are most grateful for you knowing Christ, and the hope, joy and peace that comes in being His child. Have a wonderful year!

Dad and Mom

More pictures!

What a beautiful college!

This picture turned! I'll have to see if I can go back and turn the others.

I am not sure what all these buildings are, and Kayren doesn't remember.

What lovely walkways!

And of course, Tom's favorite - the bookstore!

Pictures at Last!

Grove City College!

I couldn't get this one to turn, but it was beautiful!

Kyrie and Aleya walking.

Lots of bikes on campus.

Kyrie made it safely, and thankfully, Tom and Kayren and Aleya made it safely home.

What a beautiful college!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

College progress and basement progress

Well - Kyrie made it to Grove, and I have heard that the camera is returning with lots of pictures.  Apparently Grove was started in the 1800's and the buildings are absolutely beautiful.  As they built new buildings, they retained the style of the original buildings.  Tom said it was beautiful.  Her roommate is Hillary, and Tom said she is very sweet.  

Kyrie called twice to let us know that things are going well.  She is tired and went to bed.  First night at college!

Tom called a couple of hours ago.  It's 11:30, and he's hoping to be home in the next half hour.  He is so exhausted!  We are trying to find another way for Jathan to get to school so that Tom doesn't have to drive another 9 hours on Sunday!

Lorien's room is almost done.  It needs baseboards, but I haven't the funds for such, so it will probably not have them for a long time.  But, her walls and floor are done!  I got the top part of Aleya's painted tonight in hopes to finish it on Saturday.  She'll be excited to come home to a green room.  

So, all the sheet rock is up.  Two of the three rooms left have been mudded twice, but one hasn't been mudded at all.  We are still missing two closet doors, though they will probably be on hold for a while.  

Each day, I try to get a little bit more done, but it's hard to work on construction after a full day at work.  It's coming along.  

Pictures later!

First Week of School

We are ending our first full week of school. It has been a good week, and we are thankful for all the students that we have. Each semester presents a different group who all need the same thing - an education and Christ. I think this semester that some of our students may already be believers, but we are challenged to encourage each one to live for the Lord, and the make the gospel known to them all. Please pray for us as we work with these young people.

Tom and the girls had a very LONG trip to Grove yesterday. They didn't arrive until 10 p.m. after leaving at 6 in the morning. Tom was very tired. They are dropping Kyrie off this morning, and then heading right back home. Kyrie is excited and nervous about starting school.

Lorien went to "Break Away" this weekend at Grandview. The high school students spend two days at the baptist camp up north. It is supposed to be a really good time, and a good beginning for the school year. She is a little bit worried about her classes. She has some harder ones this semester.

Kesse and Jathan are packing today and tomorrow, though Kesse will still be working today. Then they are leaving this weekend to head back to college. They are excited about the new year, though Kesse said her semester will be quite challenging. She has several science classes and one math class (not her favorite). Jathan is trying to finish up this semester and graduate, to save money and give options for the spring.

Jathan and Bridget are healing, though, as expected, it will take some time to get back to normal. I think that Jathan wants to push things a bit and be better before he actually is better, but it is good to see that his knees are working fine. Bridget's wrist is still bothering her quite a bit, and though it wasn't broken, it may have other issues. Please pray for her healing as she is supposed to give her senior piano recital at the end of this semester. She will be in a splint for at least two weeks.

Tom and Kayren and Aleya should get home this evening. Tom really wanted me to play hookie from school so that I could come with them. I was sad to miss sending Kyrie off to college.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First full week of school

We started our first full week of school, as did Mary Kathryn and Adam, I see. Lorien started today and won't be done with volleyball until 5:30, so I have a little bit of time to get some work done here.

Jathan was screened by the family doctor this morning, and given a mostly happy nod of approval for running this fall. He needs to come back on Friday so that Dr. Kamhawy can check his knee one more time, but he seems to be doing fine.

We are thankful for God's provision for Jathan and Bridget beyond words. He is so gracious and kind to give us more time with them.

We have a lot to do in getting the kids to college this week and settling in for the school year.

I had better get started on Aleya's schedule now!!

Jathan and Bridget's recovery

Jathan and Bridget are recovering, and after a very sore day yesterday, they are both going to get a family physician appointment to check out whatever might have been overlooked in the emergency room.

Jathan is there this morning checking out his knees, to make sure that he can still run this semester.

I think that they were tired and very sore, but Lord willing, they are on the recovery path.

Thank you for your continued prayers for them.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

God's Mercy and Grace

No pictures yet, but once again, we have been reminded very amazingly of God's mercy and grace to His people.

Earlier this evening, Jathan and Bridget were taking a motorcycle ride and yes, they had a severe wreck.  He was on the freeway going about 65 mph in the far left lane when the car in front of him slammed on brakes and swerved into the lane beside him.  Directly in front of him was a stalled car in the left lane on the freeway and he was boxed in.  When he slammed on his brakes, the bike skidded back and forth until he just laid it down.  Jathan and Bridget skidded on the pavement for about 25-30 feet, and the bike went underneath the stalled car.  

When I got to the scene, I couldn't believe that either one of them was even alive.  They were both standing and talking to the police.  There were motorcycle parts all over the freeway.  The wrecker had to jack up the car to get the bike out.  If they had stayed on the bike, I don't think that they would have lived.

Bridget sustained road abrasions to her hand, arm, knees and ankle, along with some severe bruising to her leg, and Jathan had abrasions as well on his hands, knees, and one on his hip.  Jathan's right knee is still a  question - possible torn ligaments or tendons, and Bridget might have some other injuries as well, but for now - no concussion, no broken bones, no internal injuries, and no neck or back breaks for either of them.  The Lord is so gracious!

I was reminded again of the shortness of life, and that it is truly a gift from the Lord.  What a different day this could have been.  How amazing that we were able to bring Jathan home from the hospital tonight.  

We are ever thankful!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

School begins

School begins today at Faith Academy. We are registering students this week. I am still working on the basement sheetrock, but will start school at home this coming week. Lorien starts next Monday. Kesse leaves next Friday. Kyrie leaves on Wednesday, and Jathan leaves sometime? Lots happening.

We had a wonderful reunion with the families, and the recital was great.

We are very thankful for all the visiting we were able to do this summer.

It is so encouraging to see how the Lord is working!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Kesse holding Hans.  What cuties!

Dad sleeping.  Happy birthday!

Aunt Sarah working in the kitchen with Lorien in the background.

This is Edmund.  He belongs to Sarah and Lane.  He reminds me a lot of the twins when they were young.

Here is Susan cutting up pineapple.  We are so thankful to have her in the family!

The camera battery died at the beginning of the reunion, so we didn't even get pictures of all the cousins and aunts and uncles that came.  We were able to see Doug and Tim and their wonderful wives and children.  We hadn't seen them for 19 or 20 years.  The whole weekend was so enjoyable!  The Lord was very gracious to allow so many to come and visit.  We are very thankful for His mercy and kindness!
Lots of recital pictures! 

Kyrie and Mrs. Alex performing their duet.

Lane and Adrian playing 
"Raising the Barn" from the Witness.
Dad really likes this song!

Lauren is playing a piece and Aleya is turning the pages.

Kyrie playing Chopin.
This was her best piece!

Adrian playing his original composition.  This one was lots of fun.

This is Sarah playing the harp, very pregnant.  She did a beautiful job!

Eight hand "Hallelujah Chorus"!  What fun!

Kyrie played with Adrian, and Lorien and I played all together.  

The recital was wonderful and we so enjoyed all the people who participated and helped to make it happen.  Kyrie had a great time!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pictures at last!

Two little girls swimming.  I think that they swim for 6-8 hours a day.  What fun to have a pool in the back yard!

This is Mary Kathryn and Adam's beautiful living room, where comfort reigns.  It is perfect for curling up to read, drinking coffee and tea, and blogging.

This is grown up Peter.  He is so tall now!  

Statesvile, North Carolina

I have to admit that I was conflicted about coming to NC with all the work that needs to be done on the basement at home.  But,  in God's providence, this trip was planned months ago, and we headed out on Saturday morning.  

Now, it's Wednesday (I think), and Tom and I have just moseyed around; read good books; had wonderful conversations; and, of course, eaten like kings and queens.  I know why Mary Kathryn blogs food - because it is so good!  

I brought my camera, and yes, I intend to take pictures, but one child (perhaps my wicked oldest daughter?) confiscated the good memory chip, and I have the one that will only take about 8 pictures before you have to empty it!  Kesse - you are in trouble!  So, after the battery charges, I will try to take pictures and load them - in stages.

Home:  reports from home are: 

Jathan was stung yesterday by a wasp, but did NOT have an allergic reaction (thankfully!).  He has had some severe reactions in the past.  

There was an impressive storm a couple of nights ago with 80 mph winds and LOTS of rain, but the basement seems unharmed.  Yea!

Kyrie knows her roommate now, and is getting more excited about college each day.  She is able to walk on her "boot" now without crutches.  She will get to work today.

Kesse seems to be getting better, though she is working on communication.  At this time, all our information is second hand - ahem.  I believe that she is feeling much better, and has been able to continue working this week. 

The kids here are having a great time.  Holly and Kayren and Peter and the little girls got to play "sardines" in the rain last night.  What fun!   

Monday, July 21, 2008

Update from North Carolina

We made it!  The Lord is very gracious to let us travel so far each year with safety, and so little difficulty.  The van is still running well.  On Saturday, we made it to Louisville without incident, though Kayren was starting to feel lousy.  We got to worship on Sunday morning with Arne and Debbie and family.  Dave Dively preached on Jesus' miracles and preached on the healing of the lady with the 18-year old disturbed spirit.  It was really good.  Then we were able to have Sunday school on the Proverbs, which was also excellent.  We always enjoy worship there.

Sunday afternoon, we went to Brevard to take the girls to the Robinsons so that they could go to camp.  Cousin Anna was there waiting for us.  Other than getting stuck in a very long traffic jam (about 1 hour and forty-five minutes), the trip was fine.  We were tired getting in, and by this time, Kayren was rather ill. 

We were able to visit with the Robinsons this morning, and delighted to see Lorien go to camp.  Kayren was too sick at this point.  We brought her to the Christiansens with us, and will try to get her into a clinic in the morning.  She has a temp of over 102.  

Holly Keister came with us, and made the trip over lots more fun.  She is delightful to have along.  

Now, we just get to rest and relax, and pick fun things to do, like swim in the back yard, stay inside and read good books, eat fun food, chat, sing, and all kinds of good stuff.  We will try and tend to Kayren first, but Lord willing, we can get her some antibiotics tomorrow and she'll start feeling better soon.  

We missed the huge storm in Des Moines last night, but apparently, our basement stayed dry.  What a blessing!  Lord willing, we'll have some pictures soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Itinerary for upcoming trip east

Well, Lord willing, we are leaving Saturday morning for Louisville. We are planning on arriving Saturday night, worshiping with Arne and Debbie, and then going to Brevard on Sunday evening. We are picking up cousin Holly and bringing her with us!

Monday, we drop the kids off at camp and head to Statesville. We hope to spend several days there with Mary Kathryn and Adam and family. Friday evening, we will return to Brevard and spend some time with the Robinsons. We will grab the kids on Saturday morning, and head back to Louisville.

Then, after worship on Sunday morning, we will head home again, bringing Holly with us. It feels like a whirlwind trip, which it is, but we are excited to get to spend some time in NC.

Kyrie has decided to stay home and work some of the hours that she has been scheduled. Jathan and Kesse will be home too, trying to earns bucks for college.

After we get home, I have about two weeks to get ready for lots of company for the Keister reunion. Kyrie is also having her senior recital the night before.

Lord willing, we'll have more pictures soon!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Updates from Iowa

Sorry - no pictures today. Kayren has confiscated my camera, so I am picture-less. Anyway, we are still working on getting the moldy sheet rock out of the basement. I think we have one wall left. When all the sheet rock is gone, and we have sprayed for the mold, we can turn the air conditioning back on. Yes!! Today will be 92 degrees with 80% humidity. These last two weeks have not been fun without air. We are spoiled, I know. But, air conditioning makes everything easier - breathing, sleeping, working, cooking, etc. I like it!

A friend showed me a wonderful alternative to bleach for getting rid of the mold. It is hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda and lemon juice. I was skeptical but was willing because it is such a cheap alternative! I sprayed an especially black area with the stuff, and it didn't do anything. Disappointed, I went upstairs to check on a couple of things. About 15 minutes later I came down to re-assess, and the black was GONE! Unbelievable. My wall was white again. This stuff is non-toxic, and I can apply it because it doesn't burn my esophagus. I was thrilled. It kills the mold and mildew, and gets rid of the smell. And it is so cheap! I like that part too. It is supposed to clean up all kinds of ugliness - pet decorations, etc.

Jathan is getting his wisdom teeth pulled today. He will be out of commission for a while! He is glad to finally get it done because they have been bothering him for some time.

We will be working on rebuilding the basement bathroom this weekend. The laundry room is back in order (a great help to our family!).

Anyway - lots more work to do.

I need to get to work.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mary Kathryn posts pictures of yummy food, and I post pictures of mold!

Sights from our basement.

OOOOHHHHH!  Fuzzy mold.  This is the worst kind!

A wet corner discovered.

And our fuzzy friend, that Grandma Keister could hear scampering around one evening when they were spending the night.  Well, we found him!  Phew!  

Several folks from church have come over to help.  We have about 1/3 of the sheetrock off, and the carpets are up.  We need to scrape the floors, dump anything else that got wet, and put in a sump pump.  Then we need to wait and make sure that everything is dry before we start putting things back together again.  

We are going to watch fireworks tonight.  Nice relief!