No Harm Done

Thursday, July 31, 2008

We were travelling to the big city today, listening to "Car Talk" on CD in the van. Braden commented on how well the "Car Talk" brothers seem to get along.

I said, "Yes. You can tell that they get along well, they make each other laugh, and they really seem to like to spend time together. That's sort of how Daddy and I want you boys to be when you're grown up. We want you boys to be close and to love being together."

"Yeah. That'd be good," said Braden.

Brogan turned to Braden and said (I tried to add the emphasis and punctuation where Brogan placed it) , "Sounds like you'll want to show me a little more respect. Doesn't it."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Olympic Swim Trials - Part 1

Our day at the Olympic Swim Trials was fantastic! We spent most of the day at the Qwest Center in Omaha, and the only way I think we could've had a better time is if one of us was swimming.

The preliminary events were held at 11:00 am, and finals and semifinals were held during the evening session. In between those times, the AquaZone was open for spectators to explore.

When you walked into the AquaZone, you went through this sort of tunnel of an entrance.

Inside was a combination of educational exhibits, vendor demonstrations, and the Speedo swim shop.

Here, Braden's standing on a pad that's supposed to simulate the starting block. You line up with your toes on the edge, and when the light turns green, you jump. The pad measures your reaction time off the block.

Wow! Look how fast Braden is! He's all blurry! (I'm going to ignore the fact that the people standing around and the woman sitting in the chair are blurry too.)

We toured an exhibit about the new and controversial Speedo LZR Racer suit, and an exhibit on the evolution of the swimsuit. It was kind of fun seeing swimsuits that I remember from the Olympics in the 80s. We laughed at the teeny-tiny Speedos that racers used to wear, and we were both thankful that those are out of style! (Except for some men practicing at our local pool.)

Somehow Braden won a frisbee from Oroweat. I kid you not, we weren't 10 steps away from the Oroweat booth when the frisbee looked like this:

Here, Braden tested an underwater mp3 player. You fit the earbuds to your cheekbones, sort of in front of your ear. Then, Braden stuck his head into this tank to listen. You could hear the music as clear as a bell! It was fascinating!

We saw lots of people walking around the AquaZone wearing the competitor passes around their necks. As passed them, we wondered if they were someone we've heard of.

We knew that not only were there competitors walking around the AquaZone, but there was also a sort of reunion of past Olympic swimmers. We knew they were in the Qwest Center somewhere, but also knew that we'd never recognize them if we were standing next to them.

The problem with swimmers is that when when you see them, they usually look like this:

Or this:

You wouldn't necessarily recognize them while walking down the street. We spotted Matt Biondi, who graciously signed autographs for nearly 3 hours! But we only knew it was him because there was a sign.

Look! It's Matt Biondi!

The AquaZone was fun, and it was neat to see all of the equipment and coaching resources that are out there. We also watched the demonstration of how they built the pool inside the Qwest Center.

The next post will be more about the evening swim session!

Context is Very Important

**Updated Edit:
I originally posted this entry on July 5th. I had to take it down less than 48 hours later, because the cult leader's website had linked to me in their blog, and I was getting hit from people all over the world who, among other things, could not seem to be able to spell. They even called me a "crazy beotch!" Please.

I wanted to leave the post up, but M. reminded me that we're trying to sell a house, and that having this group hanging out with their signs in front of our house does not exactly add to the"curb appeal." So I took this post down for awhile. I'm reposting it tonight.

July 5th, 2008
Braden and I had a great time at the Olympic Swim Trials on Thursday! Braden likes Michael Phelps, and was very excited about being able to watch Phelps swim Thursday night.

The evening session didn't begin until 6:45 pm, so we spent most of the afternoon that the "AquaZone," where vendors and exhibits were set up and on display. We saw several people walking around the AquaZone with these T-shirts, and I really wanted to find one for Braden.

I stopped a shirt-wearing "phan" to ask where she bought her shirt. Apparently AT&T had given them away the day before.

I was disappointed that I couldn't get one of these shirts for Braden, until I realized that having him wear one of these shirts around "our fair city" would be a very bad idea. You see, in almost any other city in the country, no one would look twice at a "Phelps Phan" t-shirt. In our city, however, the name Phelps brings this guy to mind:

This organization is headquartered in "our fair city." They are very hard to avoid, and most people here very pointedly ignore them. Wearing a shirt with his name emblazoned across the front would be a very bad idea.

There's no way to make this blog entry funny, really. This guy's group is no laughing matter. But Braden and I did get a chuckle over the notion that did we live anywhere else in the country, a "Phelps Phan" shirt would be harmless. It's only in "our fair city" that it would be something that labelled you a hater.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Work continues at the 1900 House.

Today saw us solving a mystery. What do we do about the light in the basement that turned on but wouldn't turn off? Braden pulled and pulled on the cord, but to no avail.

After pushing aside nearby paneling, we could see where the light cords were plugged into a power strip of some sort. I unplugged those, and off went the lights! And off I went to the bathroom to wash off the layers of dust that cascaded onto me.

At the end of Day 11, the kitchen is done, as is the foyer, the entryway, and the living room. I mopped the walls and ceiling upstairs, and have started on the dining room. Tomorrow I hope to finish the dining room, then start on the bedrooms this weekend.

I have hit sort of a cleaning wall, and today we spent a lot of time watching tv. We "accidentally" have cable, and until the cable guy comes out to fix it we're enjoying all 80 channels. Woo-hoo!

I took all my photos off the camera so that I could take pictures of the real 1900 House, and realized I haven't posted anything in a long time. So, here's a photo from way back in June:

That's Brogan way up there on the high dive. This year he was finally tall enough to go off the diving boards and slides, and he didn't let anything intimidate him. He tried the lower board once, and then went straight for the high dive. After that, there was no looking back. He's done cannonball after cannonball from that height.

Oh, and Dad, Brogan tried swimming butterfly today. He's never tried it, and he did a beautiful 25 yards of great Fly. He's wanting to race you when we come visit!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

1900 House - Day 6

Has it been 6 days? Really? One week ago was the last night in our previous home, really?

Wow! The week really speeds by when you're covered in ick!

Our belongings arrived at the 1900 House on Monday, and I've spent Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and today cleaning before I unpack. So far, I've de-ickified the kitchen, the downstairs bathroom, and the foyer. Those rooms feel better already. I'll post pictures next week, or so, but I've promised myself to finish cleaning before I take pictures.

Hopefully tomorrow, after church, I'll finish the living room and the formal dining room/school room. Then the first flood will be done and I can attack the bedrooms.

So for the next couple of weeks, this will be me:

That's how I'm imagining me, anyway. I probably more closely resemble this:

I should let you know that we've done a few other things this week as well. I'm trying to make this a fun experience for the boys. I don't want them to look back on the move and only remember me looking like this:

and screaming, "Find something to do by yourselves! I'm cleaning here!"

We've gone to the library several times. We've visited a couple of parks. We signed up for the YMCA and have started swim lessons already. And this morning Braden and Brogan participated in a swim meet in a neighboring town. It was Brogan's very first real meet! No one broke any speed records, but we had fun.

Okay, I've got to get back to work. Please leave comments! You've no idea how excited I get when I see them in my inbox!

Friday, July 18, 2008

I Think It's A Compliment, But....

Okay... I should be cleaning. (shudder) And I should be unpacking. But I had to blog about this because it made my day....I think.

The 1900 house is four blocks away from the city library.
This means we are able to walk to-and-fro whenever we like. We've been there three times in the five days we've lived here, and have enjoyed the walk each time.

Today, as we walked home, a car stopped alongside us and the driver asked if she could ask us a question.

I said, "Sure!" but in my head I was thinking, "I've only been here 4 days, and I have no idea where anything is, so I hope she doesn't need directions."

She laughed and asked, "Are you homeschoolers?"

"Um.... yes we are," I answered. "How could you tell?"

"Oh. You can just tell," she smiled.

What was it, exactly, that tipped her off? Other than the fact that we were carrying library books, we looked just like any other family walking down the street..... I think.

I'm going to assume she just thought we looked super-smart!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The house was packed into nearly 100 boxes on Thursday.

Our belongings were loaded onto a rather large truck on Friday.

Today we cleaned our home, while the truck hurtled down the highway toward our new city.

Tonight is the last night in our home, and we're all a little subdued and quiet. I think back nearly 4 years ago, to when we found out that we would be moving to "our fair city." None of us wanted to come. Mentally, we clung to the notion that we'd only be here a short time, and then we'd move back. So we sort of held back a little of ourselves, hoping to make the next move a little easier.

But God had other plans. Slowly we grew to love this place and the people we have met. We loved our home, the children's teachers and coaches, even the nurses at the doctor's office who have become friends. And now we find ourselves moving on, though not to where we had planned. This move seems so much harder than the last few because of the people that have come into our lives.

In all of our relocations, God has provided for us. He has always brought us to something better. He's always provided a church home for us where we could grow closer to Him. We have faith that He will continue to do so, and hope that we will be happy in this new place.

But leaving is hard.

And leaving is scary.

And all the reassuring words that I have spoken to comfort my children over the past 3 months have fled from me now.

One of my favorite hymns is "Because He Lives." I have loved it for nearly 20 years, and it's chorus is one I will meditate on tonight:

"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!"
The next post and pictures will be from our 1900 house.

(That's what I'm calling the city rental we'll be in until we move to the teeny-tiny two-stoplight town after our house sells. Is that confusing?)

Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

McCain's Got Some Moves

And I'm not just talking about him racing across the aisle to appease Democrats, either. Enjoy the video!

Disclaimer: I am not a McCain supporter, but this made me laugh. I love the creativity!