Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Hodgepodge

Linking up today for the Hodgepodge. Be sure to click on the button 
to visit Joyce and the other Hodgepodge-ers today!

1. Do you think the world became a more dangerous place on September 11, 2001 or did we just become more aware of the danger? How has your own life changed as a result of that day?
I think we became more aware of the danger, 
but I also think the world is a more dangerous place. 
I was teaching school that day, and I remember slipping into 
the cafeteria on breaks to watch the coverage. 
I think we all became a little more careful that day. 
We lock the doors of the school building. 
We put monitors on new babies in hospitals. 
Just today, the MOPS group I am mentoring 
was going over security procedures at the church where the meetings will be held. 
It seems like the days are gone when kids can play outside all day 
and ride their bikes through the neighborhood. 
That makes me a little sad.

2. Did you think your parents were too strict when you were growing up? How about in hindsight?
My parents were strict, but I'm a first-born rule-follower, 
so I didn't fuss about it too much. 
My brothers, however, may have a different opinion, 
but that's a story for them to tell...
In hindsight? Not too strict.

3. Share one random but candid fact about yourself.
I will never be a morning person. 
I've tried. Really, I have.
4. Would your nearest and dearest describe you as simple or far too complicated?
I think they would describe me as simple (simpleton, maybe). 
So how about it, nearest and dearest, what do you say?

5. What is your favorite stadium or carnival food?
I'm not really a fan of stadium food. I would rather grill 
a juicy burger in the tailgate lot before the game. 
I do like hot chocolate if it's a cold day.
Now, if by carnival food, you mean the county fair, 
then I have several favorites. 
This fish sandwich is probably at the top of the list. 
So good. 
I will admit, that I was an adult before I ever tried this delicacy, 
because I'm really not that much of a fish fan 
(unless I'm near the ocean and I know it's the specialty). 
This sandwich, however, is heavenly in all it's deep fried glory.
Other treats I try not to miss at our county fair include: 
fried donuts first thing in the morning, strawberry shortcake, 
soft-serve ice cream in a twist, fresh lemonade, and the shish kabobs. 
Yes, it's a tough week.

6. Tornado, hurricane, many of these natural disasters have you experienced? Which event do you think would be the scariest?
Indiana residents see our share of tornadoes, 
and we most recently experienced one in our little town on May 25. 
There was quite a bit of damage to homes, businesses, 
and trees in the area, but, thankfully, no serious injuries. 
We lost power for about 24 hours, and had some large branches down, 
but were safe in the basement when the storm roared through.
My most memorable of the three options was on my first trip to Haiti, in 2007. 
The day before we were scheduled to leave, 
we were finishing up at the school when it started to rain. 
This photo would normally show mountains beyond mountains 
as you look across the horizon instead of heavy cloud cover.
When we woke up in the morning to head to the airport, it was still raining. 
And raining. And the wind was blowing. 
We trusted our fearless leader, Pastor Jamalyn, 
and she decided we would walk to the top of the hill mountain 
to meet the car to take us to Port au Prince. 
We donned our rain gear and headed up the road.
This road. 

Which was blocked by a mudslide.
So we climbed through the fields and terraces to get to the top.
Did I mention it was a hurricane? Yes, yes it was.
While I was watching the coverage of Irene last weekend, 
I was reminded that we looked just like 
those Weather Channel folks standing out in the storm. 
The Haitians we passed just shook their heads.

Of course, I couldn't take any pictures of this wet climb 
since my camera was safely double bagged in plastic 
in my backpack under my rain poncho. 
Oh, and my poncho gave me a bit of a "flying nun" look. 
Thankfully, I had Cine to pull me up the mountain or I might still be stuck in the mud.

After we squeezed 7 of us in a small pickup truck, we continued to Port au Prince. 
These photos show what we saw on the way.

Of course, it was January 2010 when Haiti was devastated by a horrific earthquake. 
My friend Jamalyn was in Haiti during that too, 
and you can hear her thoughts about that day here.

7. Labor Day weekend is approaching so a work related question seems appropriate. Growing up, did your parents assign you regular chores? Were you paid for doing those chores? If you're a parent do you assign chores to your own children? Why or why not?
I was expected to do chores, you know, tough stuff,
like making my bed in the morning. :)
When I got my horse, I was, of course, 
supposed to feed him in the morning before school. 
Thankfully, my kind father frequently always 
did that morning chore for me (see #3 above). 
After I was married, and a horse owner again, 
I told my husband that my dad always fed my horse for me in the mornings. 
My kind husband replied, 
"That's fine, your dad is welcome to come feed every morning." 
(And just for the record, I do the feeding in the morning.)
Our children were supposed to do chores too. 
Not paid, just as part of living in the household.

That last question was inspired by a post Mindee wrote on Monday. Everyone go say hi to Mindee-she blogs at Our Front Door and she's funny.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
It's Fantasy Football time! And even though our draft, 
set up by my sweet first-born son, 
"randomly" selected the draft order with him  
first and his dear mother last, 
I still managed to get this guy on my team.
Who Dat!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Walking on Water

Matthew was able to come to the lake with us on Friday after school, and, as a surprise for him, I asked cousin Riley to come along too. They were thrilled to get to spend a little time together.

They were up bright and early on Saturday morning, and after Jim's famous pancakes for breakfast, they were ready to take the kayaks out on the lake.

We borrowed our neighbor's small kayak for Riley. He had a great time guiding his own boat.

The main attraction was the new lake toy, a water mat. They jumped right on, and thought it made a great place to fill up the blasters.

They spent a little time paddling around on the inflatables.

It made it even more fun since they had watched Free Willy the night before. :)

After the fun, they headed up to the porch to dry off a bit.

Haleigh and Gumbo followed.

They spent a little time playing on Riley's game thingy.

And Matthew and Gumbo snuggled up to play on Granny's iPhone.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Field Day

We had a field day here at the farm on Wednesday.
We pull out some of the equipment to brighten up the place.

We bring some cows and calves over from the cattle farm.
PeeWee had to give up his lot for a few hours.

We welcome a great big bus bringing farmer friends.

We turn the warehouse into a dining room.

Jim stands on a makeshift stage and blesses the meal while Haleigh watches.

She realizes, "I know that guy" and heads over to see him.

She takes a turn on the stage.

She looks pretty comfortable up there.

Maybe she has a future in theater.
Or as a field day emcee. :)

Grandpa John and friends enjoy their dinner.

And Uncle Steve shares one of his normal smiles.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Leapin' at the Lake

The lake fun continued as Darci, Andrew, Katie, David,
Matt, and Abbi headed out for a little tubing.

Since I didn't go along, there aren't any photos of the actual tubing,
but I got this one of the first two getting ready to go.

Haleigh stayed behind and took a little ride in the paddle boat.
She didn't notice that it was still tied up to the dock.

After the boating, everyone relaxed on the dock or in the water.
Haleigh enjoyed the oasis with her daddy.


David, Darci, Ella and Katie relaxed on the dock.

And yes, I know there is a disproportionately high number of photos of this little cheeser.
Mainly due to the fact that:
A.) She really loves having her picture taken (by her Granny)
B.) She's so darn cute (says her Granny) and
C.) I'm her Granny.
And I'm holdin' the camera. :)

After a little rest, some of the group swam across the cove
to try out the slide and jump off the high dock.
Slidin' Shelly.


Andrew. Wheeee!

David starts off with a cannonball.

Andrew tried a dive.

There goes Shelly, flippin' again.

Cowabunga! Great jump, Abbi!

David surprised everyone with a flip of his own!
I love the reactions in the background.

Then crazy brave Shelly gets set to go off the rail.

Whew! A nice safe jump.

Next up, David and Andrew plan a tandem jump.
(That's Katie's husband David, not to be confused with Andrew's brother David.
Just wanted to clear that up. Lol.)

I'm not sure this is a good idea, boys....  Be careful!

And, why, are you... holding hands?

Just goes to show that boys will be silly boys, no matter how old they get.

Matt and Makenna relaxed in a safe spot on the swing.

For our late lunch, we enjoyed juicy burgers and Jan's super famous grilled veggies.
Aren't you proud I cooked veggies?
Well, Jim actually did the cooking part. They were yummy.

Abbi liked her burger.

Makenna liked her PBJ.

Haleigh liked the opportunity to get a little nap in.
Too sleepy to eat.
Dreaming of a great weekend with friends at the lake.