Thursday, July 31, 2008

Photo Shoot

Golly...life is just so busy! How I long for those days of "what shall I do now?" I really don't see that in the future...at least not for a long long time. And...I've learned that it really doesn't matter how many kids I have...I guess I'm just that kind of person that will always be busy. I don't like it...but I think it's reality for us now...as well as for so many of you too! I am forced to remind myself to "be still." I hope that maybe once school starts...a routine will develop...I don't know but we'll see!

e had our photo shoot today. I can't remember if I told you all that we will be in the Family Christian Bookstore Holiday Catalog...featuring "our Story" The emphasis being on how some of their merchandise helped us through our crisis. We focused on the song: Blessed Be The Name...and how we have to choose to bless His name...even when he gives AND takes away....the bible verse: His grace is sufficient! Anyway...so they come to our house today with the complete studio set-up, the full background...and the very nice camera!...Seth wasn't quite sure of all the flashes...they took like 150 pictures...so it'll be interesting to see what they picked. I'll share some with you once we get some copies.

The boys were busy busy in Portland...Andy has been cutting down trees and stock piling firewood for us for this winter! He's such a strong worker. Seth had a great time at the fair...eating ice cream, riding rides and getting his face painted. Me...I worked worked on my baskets...they are coming together nicely. Now on to the marketing end of it all...UGUGH! Any creative photoshop people out there want to design a logo? It's good for a basket or cookies of your choice!

We signed Seth up for Upward Soccer tonight...I'm excited...it was a little pricey since we were late registering...but I think the 10 week program...with the devotionals and character building will be great...and practice starts on Monday! Andy told me tonight...I guess he's getting to the age where he begins to get expensive!

Well...I owe you a bunch of pictures...those will have to wait! I promised myself an early trip to the Y in the morning...so I must head to bed! I promise to catch up on leaving comments...I know I've been lagging in that department...I'm keeping up with you all...I promise!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And the winner is....

It's been such a hard decision...sorting through all the great ideas...trying to figure out what direction I want to head...but I think I've decided on:

Reasons 'n Seasons ...Baskets & Gifts for any occasion

So Congrats to Jenny! I wish I could send you all a basket...and to answer some questions...yes I can ship!

So...now I move forward with getting this going. I spent 5 hours tonight...going to 8 stores bargain hunting for supplies. My car is packed full...as I have a bunch of baskets to make. Jenny (you know...from the Little Give...who owns the pottery painting studio...yeah the winner...but seriously...this did not affect her idea being chosen...I PROMISE!) Anyway..she is allowing me to put a couple baskets in her store...and we are going to work together to allow her customers to take the pottery pieces they painted...and then I would "accessorize them" into a cute basket! And..some of the baskets will have raw pottery and a Gift Certificate for Studio Time! I'm excited and very grateful to Jenny for helping me get the word out. So...I have 5 fun baskets to make for that...my August contract baskets...a baby basket for a friend...a baby basket for a silent auction I am donating to...and Jenny's winning basket! Seth....I'm sorry, but your playroom is not by basket making room!

And...my friend Laura is working on a website...so let these games begin! She is also going to help me get the word out to some Realtors (welcome to your new home baskets) I will definitely keep you all in the loop of my "grand renaming."

So...in the midst of this...prayers are welcomed. Prayer that God my bless this venture...as it is a great way for me to be able to continue staying home with Seth. Golly...if God only blessed this venture a tenth of how he blessed Kate's Kart...we'll be good to go!

Well...I'm off to get busy...the boys are back in Portland for the Jay County Fair for the night...gave me some extra time to get this all going!

Thanks again to everyone who played along...I appreciate you all...and keep checking in...you never know when it will be time for another contest...but no new ventures...I promise...Kate's Kart & this is enough!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Michigan Memories

We had an awesome time on our trip...we borrowed Nana and Oompa's Camper...and spent 4 days on the Lake Michigan shore. The weather was perfect...unfortunately...the water was a bit on the cool side. (Just confirms that day last year with Kate on Lake Michigan was a true gift from God). But...it didn't stop Seth from loving the beach and water.



We camped at Grand Haven State Park...a campground right on the beach. We walked to the beach and rode our bikes into town. It was a very relaxing trip...even got a book read. It was the start of the Coast Guard Festival...so we got to partake in a parade. It was too packed on Saturday to find parking after we checked out...so we headed south to Warren Dunes and spent a few more hours on the beach...the water was warmer and we all finally got in! It was so fun to watch Seth on the beach...you'll see in the video...he was sure that his "kung-fu" moves would stop the waves!



Thanks to Nana and Oompa for the camper...what a fun treat!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Safe and Sandy

We made it home...safe and sandy from our little 4 day mini-vacation. The boys are both sound asleep...me, I have a Sunday School lesson and and a basket to make yet tonight! So...you're just going to have to wait for the pictures and details! Looks like I have some great basket name ideas to sort through as well...thanks to everyone who left their ideas...you all are so creative! Blessings!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Contest #2

My faithful and wonderful blog readers did such an amazing job at thinking up a tag line for Kate's Kart...it's time for another contest!


A few years ago...I took over a small gift basket business for a friend who moved out of state. She had a couple ongoing clients of which I have kept up with. I have had some additional orders...but have not really had the time to do any marketing or advertising.


Well...now is the time to kick this baby into high gear! I am hiring my friend to whip me up a website...and I hope to really get the word out and make this into a real "mega money maker" Okay...maybe if I could just provide the gas money...oh yeah...that would be mega money!


Anyway... a few years ago I named my little business..."It's In The Basket"...honestly I've never been thrilled with that name...it's okay...but doesn't excite me. Right now...in this time of transition and "upgrading" it would be the perfect time to think of a new creative name. Plus..."itsinthebasket.org" is already taken (I guess someone else liked that name!)

So...what's ya think? Anybody have any creative ideas? Should I stick with what I have and just come up with another web address? . I'll keep the contest open until Saturday night...and if I choose your idea...you will receive a free "pamper yourself" gift basket!

I basically can provide unique gift baskets for any occasion..below is a quick slide show...just showing some of the baskets I've made! And...if any of you have a business...or know of someone who may want to give some baskets as a employee incentive/gifts/whatever...let me know! My favorite...a basket of the month for an office or group...it's full of seasonal fruit/candy/goodies and really lets your employees know you appreciate them! Or...I can do new babies, Pamper, welcome/new home...you name it...I"ll make it!


Thanks...I'll be sure to keep you all in the loop...and let you know when I've taken this to the next level! Prayers that this will be successful, as I really want to continue staying home with Seth...and I really don't want to wait tables at an all-night diner!

Weekend Update

I had a fabulous time on Friday night...just chatting and scrapping with the girls....I think one more scrapping night and I'll be done with Kate's album...then I can start getting caught up from the past 3 years with Seth. He is so anxious for me to get those done!

The rest of the weekend was filled with errands, small projects and some relaxation. We did attend our neighbor's 70th b-day party...work on the budget for Kate's Kart (those IRS forms are a pain!)...get Andy's bike fixed...take a couple bike rides...play with the neighbors...give Andy a hair cut...and go to church. Just a relaxing weekend at home...sometimes that is nice.

Now...we are getting ready for our little mini-vacation to Michigan! I can't wait...just a couple days of sitting on the beach will be wonderful!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hard Working Daddy!

We're continuing to stay busy...as usual.

Andy has been working his "bum" off...he painted our neighbor's trim in 2 1/2 very long days! Of course...it's 3 of the hottest days of the year...but he did a great job and now we have some extra money for our trip to Michigan next week! I'm so proud of how hard he works...earning extra bucks in the summer for our family!

And...grandma spoiled us and bought Seth one of those bike attachments...that came from the "PBS" man (according to Seth) yesterday...so now Andy has that all assembled and ready to go!

Seth...continues to play daily with our new neighbors...it's so neat to have friends close by for him to just play with...currently he is digging paper out of the trash and reprimanding us for not recyling it! I guess some obsessions never end!

I had a nice birthday yesterday...the boys took me to breakfast... Seth and I toured a local chocolate factory with our neighbor (thanks Bonnie)...and THEN...got to go to my very most favorite restaurant...a Japanese Steak House! I know we haven't been there since our first summer dating (2000) Seth thought it was pretty cool...and nothing beats eating out with preschooler than entertainment through the whole dinner. It was yummy yummy dinner...then we even got gourmet ice cream sundaes with our coupons from our earlier chocolate tour. Andy got me a new watch...yeah, now I know what time it is...and my parents and Cathy got me a Cricut machine for scrapbooking! It was a nice day...thanks to everyone who made it special!

So...tonight I'm off to an all night scrapbooking party...with my new letter/shape cutter and am looking forward to it! I hope hope hope to get Kate's 1st year scrapbook finished tonight! The boys are having guy night...complete with movies and puppy chow!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

15th Again

It's the 15th again...and today it marked 6 months...some of the longest months of my life. I keep thinking that maybe we're halfway through the "first year of memories and pain"...but I'm not so sure. I think there will always be "today she would have..... or this year she would have...." I guess it's just a hole I have to get used to...however I do that. It has been rough this summer because our memories of the 1st half of last summer were so good...she had some of her best days this time a year ago.

There are times...I find myself realizing that I've gone several hours without thinking of Kate....but then usually something comes and hits me in the face. Recently...it's been little girls in cute little summer dresses...that has been hard for me...most of the time I just want to pick them up and snuggle with them....but then I think strangers would look at me kinda funny.

When I was in Portland...I walked to her gravesite and just sat.... and had a good cry. I hadn't done that yet...just sit by myself. I know she's not there...but at the same time I found myself wanting to talk to her while I was there. I don't know if that's normal or not...who knows what is normal in this situation.

A lot of the time I just keep thinking it's still all a dream...but at times it's almost as though I don't know what part is the dream....her life or her death. All I know...a lot of the time it just doesn't seem real and that I need to wake up from whatever world I'm living in right now.

But...we just keep going on...knowing HIS grace is sufficient and that He will pull us through. And...I keep being reminded that it is our choice...our choice to still Bless the Name of Jesus...in the midst of it all. I know He is still blessing us...in small and big ways!

Monday, July 14, 2008

None stop go...go...go!

It's been another whirlwind couple days for us...I am so ready for things to slow down...but I don't see that in the horizon...at least not with the way Kate's Kart is continuing to grow.
Seth is just so cute with his new neighborhood friends...he wants to go to their house all the time...and now he even wants to knock on their door if they aren't outside. In fact, Sunday afternoon, he was playing with some new friends (they were visiting their grandparents) and they offered to watch Seth awhile. I came back home without Seth...and told Andy we've entered a whole new level with Seth...hanging out with the neighbor kids without mom! I'm so glad he's found some playmates in the neighborhood.
Then...Seth and I headed to Portland for a night. Andy (poor guy, he's been staying back a lot lately) tended to his pool duties. Cathy made a great supper...and in the tradition of my son...started my birthday celebrations 4 days early. Yum Yum for Dairy Queen frozen cakes!
Thanks Cathy!
And we got to see the Kart that Cathy painted for Jay County Hospital...didn't she do an awesome job!
Then this morning I spoke at an Optimist Club breakfast meeting about Kate's Kart. I'm not too familiar with Optimist Clubs...but they raise money for youth...and they were very receptive to helping fund Kate's Kart...so that's very exciting. Thanks to Anita (the computer teacher) I got a Powerpoint presentation all together! It's still amazing...to put it all down...what has happened in the past 3 months.
Then...home just in time to head out to Lutheran for a rolling of Kate's Kart. Another great day of sharing smiles.
It was quite exciting for dinner...as we had our first bounty from our garden. I made cucumber and onions and Andy ate his peppers. Now...if we just had a few chickens...our own flour mill...and a chocolate factory in our back yard...we'd be set!
Then...this just amazes me! My son won't eat sweet watermelon...or any summertime fruit for that matter....but he now loves LIMA BEANS! Can you believe it? I personally like them...and I put 3 on Seth's plate tonight...knowing full well he wouldn't touch them. Well...he did...and then dishes himself up some more! Yeah...at least that adds some variety to his peas and corn vege diet. I guess I just have to keep trying new foods...and maybe slowly he'll start to like them.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Transitions

Yesterday I had a bittersweet time with 3 of my best friends. Four of the five of us from high school got together yesterday for a quick lunch with the kids. Three of us are here in town...but Sharyn lives in Indy...and she stopped by on her way home from her mom's.

Why bittersweet...cause two of my bestest friends are in major life transitions!

Sharyn's husband just got a new job in Cincinnati...he has been working there 2 weeks...Sharyn is in Indy with the kids trying to sell their house. They are closing on their new house Aug. 14...so then she's gone out of state!

Then...my other great friend Gina...her husband just got assistant women's soccer coach at Notre Dame (read the recent news article here) so they are moving to the South Bend area. He starts his new job next week...but Gina will stay here for a while to get their house ready. What a honor for Ken...and now Seth can say his first soccer coach is a national ranked Division 1 soccer coach!

I know...it's not like they are moving across country (like my other friend, Deanna did in January)...but still I feel like all of my friends are moving away! I am happy for them...their families and their husbands new promotions/jobs...but still....it stinks for me!

But...God is gracious...and a new great family has moved in down the street...so new friendships and playmates for Seth are already forming...but 24 year old friends are the best! I know we'll stay close...be intentional about getting together...and they will just have to start their own blogs...and we'll see each other...but still...it's just not the same!

But...to Gina and Sharyn...I wish you both the best...especially in this transition time when your families are separated. You are in my prayers. I know it's a whole lot harder for you...the ones doing the actual moving.

So...gas BETTER go down so road trips become affordable! And...any other friends who want to start moving back to the good ole Fort...that would be awesome! And anyone left here in the Fort...you better stay put! I officially put my foot down!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Calming Down!

I'm headed to bed..but just a quick update...things are calming down around here...finally!

1. Kitty is totally out of quarantine...and is behaving! Looks like she'll be sticking around for a while!

2. Carpet still stinks...we're giving it a few more days and another treatment before exploring our options....but I'm afraid we'll be replacing it...but we'll see!

3. Seth is home from a great mini vacation at Grandmas and is wiped out!

4. Andy got the tree cleaned up...didn't get hit by lightning...and now we wait and see if the tree can survive! Let's just hope we don't get another huge storm...wishful thinking, I know!

5. We've been practicing with Seth on our new borrowed bike attachment! Our friends are graciously allowing us to borrow it for our upcoming vacation. After just 2 rides...we think Seth (and daddy) got the hang of it...Seth absolutely loves it! So...now I'm on a garage sale mission...or if anyone has one they are interested in selling...


6. I've been working on a presentation for Kate's Kart...we have our first "speaking engagement" Monday morning! Wow...and we got a call today asking us if we would be interested in being featured in a Family Christian Bookstore Catalog---real people, real stories! Can you believe it...I guess anyway we can spread the word...about God's grace...and Kate's Kart!

Well..that's about it for now...off to bed! Night Night!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

TIMBERRRRRRR

So...Andy and I come home from rolling Kate's Kart to find this:

Yeah...we're just on a roll of bad luck, I guess! Actually...we're pretty lucky that the whole thing didn't fall on our house...or knock off some shingles...or damage our siding.

But...here's my husband...while the storm is still going...with lightning and thunder rolling in the skies...cause he can't let any mess sit for more than 2 minutes! I am thankful that he got it all cleaned up...but really, Andy...in the middle of a storm? (Cathy....Larry's spirit is still alive and well...and living IN MY HOUSE!)

So....now...the dilemma of what to do with a truckload of limbs! The dump wants $50 to take it for us! THAT'S INSANE! I did find a compost place...but it's way across town...so basically $50 in gas! I guess this is what we get for trying to be strict with our budget!!!

And...guess who's here now: you know I will be taking advantage of their guarantee!

Well...it looks like they are almost done...so better go get by checkbook!

Oh...and Seth is at Camp Grandma until Thursday...I'm sure he is having a wonderful time...and I think Andy and I are hitting the 50cent movies again!

Kate's Kart...on the roll again!

Andy and I did the first running of Kate's Kart at Parkview today. I'm still amazed...that it has grown this big this fast! Unbelievable. We had our van loaded with the Kart...the books and some of the used books for the ER and waiting rooms. We got the Kart fully loaded at the hospital...and the child life specialist was nice enough to walk with us the first time!
It went really well...it's a lot smaller than Lutheran (they don't have the clinics) but their ER was very active and we gave books and smiles to lots of kids just sitting and waiting for results (the siblings were glad too!) It always so neat to see the shock on the faces when they realized the books are for them to keep.
Here's Andy...being his goofy self with the Parkview Kart!
I told you we finally got a total for the inventory of the books. They are all counted...sorted...labeled and stacked by category on the shelves. As of the end of June...we had 4328 NEW books donated to us...in just 2 short months! Wow! Plus...I know there are at least that many if not more used books that we have been distributing to charities and ERs, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if we have received over 10,000 books! Amazing!

But...we also figured out that we gave away 350 books just last month at Lutheran. So...add another hospital...that could easily be 600-700 books a month! Wow...that's means our current supply will last less than 7 months.

Thank goodness we have an awesome board of directors that is looking into bargain ways to buy books...and possibly doing a fall fundraiser. If anyone out there knows of good places to get quality books for CHEAP...please let us know.

Just the right medicine!

Today was a much better day!

Seth and I headed up to the lake to spend the day with my brother's family. They spend a couple weeks on the lake each summer in the cottage next to my sister-in-law's parents! Andy...well he had to play single parent to his cat today! Yeah...it's pretty much a single parent role for Andy as I don't have much to do with her. He said she was doing better...has peed in the cat box...and has actually been off quarantine for a while. The carpet still stinks...so we will investigate more options...including professional cleaning tomorrow.

Seth and I had a great time...but missed daddy immensely! It was a beautiful day on the lake and I don't think the little guy stopped once! He played so hard! He was sound asleep for the entire 45 minute drive home...and practically slept through his shower before going straight to bed.


He just adores his cousins...and to spend a whole day with them swimming...it doesn't get much better! I took my 2nd run on the waverunner...and had a blast! I even "opened it up" a couple times! Throw in some great food...a relaxing boat ride...and watching my kid smile non-stop all day...made for a much better day!


Tomorrow...we start at Parkview with Kate's Kart...I'll be sure to fill you all in! Blessings!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Downward Spiral

So the weekend is over...it started off great...but today has been one of those "no good, very bad, horrible, terrible days"

We'll back-track to Friday night...we invited our new neighbors to follow us down to the fireworks. It has been years (at least 7) since Andy and I have gone intown to see them. Well...we got to IPFW...and it was packed. Evidently there were lots of festivities going on all day. Well...we panicked and turned into the first parking garage we found. Only to learn that we paid $5 for a roof-top party. It was fun for the kids (even though they were shutting most things down by the time we got there) and it was a pretty good spot to see the show (not so much for getting out of the parking garage at the end) But overall...for just winging it...we had a good time.

Saturday...just a relaxing day. I did finish up the total tally of books for Kate's Kart...see next post. We were invited to go swimming in a neighbors pool...so Seth and I jumped on that invitation while Andy stayed home and putzed! It was a great, quiet afternoon of swimming. Then...cookout dinner with my parents and Andy and I rented a movie.

Which brings us to today. Yesterday...Andy realized that "kitty" was peeing on the carpet in the dining room. So...a quick run to Walgreens at 2 am for odor remover because we think it's one spot! Well...we discover more this morning. Andy takes kitty to the 24 hour vet...and 3 1/2 hours later, comes home with no diagnosis and a $200 bill....it may be nerves from the fireworks (she's never done that before) or most likely some sort of urinary infection. Nontheless...she won't pee in her litter box. We pull back the carpet and it's everywhere...YUCK! 2 more trips to the store for odor remover! So...as of now, kitty is quarantined to the back porch or laundry room and we hope she learns to use the litter box again. As far as the status of the brand new carpet...that has yet to be determined...all I know...that odor remover better work.

And...add 47 other things that went wrong today (I won't bore you with the details)...and that makes me a grumpy girl. I guess I should just go to bed...I'll blog about Kate's Kart tomorrow. It will be a new day...and hopefully a day at the lake will cheer me up!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Bike Parade

This morning was our 2nd trip to the annual association bike parade. We actually rode in the parade this year...and Seth's bike was decorated to the hilt! It was just as long bikeride there...as the actual parade...but it was fun.

At the end...they have a moonwalk, fire truck, rides in the bomb squad vehicle, pizza....and this year there were about 25 llamas...bringing up the rear of the parade.

It's a fun morning...a great chance to see some neighbors...and enjoy the beautiful day. We went with our new neighbors (until their oldest, Jamie wrecked on his scooter) and then Chas hung out with us for the rest.

Then this afternoon...Seth spent about 2 1/2 hours outside with our new neighbors...as well as some grandchildren of some other neighbors. He had an absolute blast...just playing with the boys...hide and seek, blasters, baseball, scooters...it was so fun to see him just being a kid and playing with new friends. Yeah!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Status Quo

There doesn't seem much to post about this week...it's just been a typical summer week.


Andy and I did get a date night on Tuesday night thanks to Nana and Oompa...gift card dinner at Applebee's and then we went to the 50 cent movie...so our whole night cost us $1! Woo hoo! Unfortunately...that was the last of our gift cards so generously given to us during Kate's hospitalization...so I guess we're on our own now...hello Burger King and McDonalds!!

We did get Seth a new bike this week...he was drastically outgrowing his first one...this one is significantly bigger...and he looks so much more comfortable on it. And...he is doing so much better with it...riding longer distances and not complaining that his legs are tired. Turn in tomorrow for fun pics of him on the association bike parade!
Other than that...not much news here in our parts. We're just enjoying summer...and the beautiful days we've had lately.
Blessings to everyone on the 4th...I think we often forget how blessed we are to live in a country where we have so much freedom...especially religious! Praise God!