Monday, April 30, 2007

And The Winner Is...

"new Cover Girl nail polish outlasts any heat wave" just because I think I laughed the most on that one. Dan gets the consolation prize - his comment actually nearly made me CALL HIM. Now the real kicker is... Is "Dan" the Dan I know and have in my phone?? Cause, otherwise, THAT Dan would have been in for one heck of a surprise if I called at that time, insisted on talking to him then asking what he wanted. And a note to THAT Dan, could you PLEASE put your phone on jajah so I can talk to you for free like I do with your wife?!?! Thank you very much! :) Oh, by the way, Mira, your prize is a great big hug from me, so you might want to come to the states to get it ;)

Ok, so, what was REALLY going on...

Dearest dramatic daughter of mine yelled from Engine 77, "MMMOOOOOMMMMMYYYYYYYYY! I DON'T HAVE MY FLIP PHHHOOOOOOOOOOONNNE!" I rolled my eyes at her. Mind you, I was ten feet away from her and most of the action was dying down, but still...

Our oh-so-observant chief saw the little exchange and heard yelling, but was clearly unable to understand WHAT daughter dearest said because he - with concern I might add - asked what she needed. I turned to him and prepared to raise my voice above the din of 100 firefighters doing their jobs, hoses still spraying full force, and flames putting out that "roaring" sound. Putting my thumb and finger out and raising my hand to my face to help him understand (in case he couldn't hear) I told him that she just wanted her cell phone and I was NOT about to walk all the way back to our truck to retrieve said phone for her. Her big brother thought this would be a great photo opportunity. *Note to self: thank the boy later.*

"She has a cell phone?!?!" I know that they think we are very odd for playing "double jeopardy" and homeschooling our kids (they consider it that because we pay the taxes AND do the work) and other such mildly crunchy things, but a giving our child a cell phone would put it over the edge. Reassuring him that I would not give a six year old girl a cell phone, I let him in on the fact that it was a broken phone and she just PLAYS with it. Somehow, though, I think he may still be under the impression that I am odder than originaly thought....

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Go Ahead, Give This Picture a Name

Or just tell me what you think I was doing.... BE NICE! I'll tell you what was going on tomorrow, AFTER you name it. :) Don't make me regret this!!
And, James, this is for you.... does this work for "uniform"?

What We Do For Fun

This is what we do on a warm sunny Saturday morning.

We burn barns.

And we let our kids tag along to watch.

But by the time lunchtime rolls around and Farmer Joe up the road wants us to burn junk for him, too, the kids have had enough and are ready to go play with Papa. They go play and we stick it out and go to the second burn, get sunburned to boot, cause for this one we are just sitting around in normal people clothes and it is close to 80 degrees. But it is fun.... At least the first time around, when we are actually doing our job and keeping other things from burning to the ground in the process.

What do YOU do for fun??

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Burning Huts

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to
store his few possessions.

One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, "God! How could you do this to me?"

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

The Moral of This Story

It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

Have you had a burning hut recently? If so, start thanking God, even if you haven't seen the rescue ship yet. It's coming. Here is our burning hut story:

In January, right before we headed to Indiana, J applied for a job at Alstom. About a week and a half after we returned home, he got THE PHONE CALL, and he started work the following Monday. He liked it, liked the people, liked his boss, made friends, all that good stuff. Occasionally people would come up to me and ask if I was worried about Alstom's reputation to hire hundreds of workers, then a few months later start laying off hundreds. I always stated that I knew God had placed him there and if God saw fit to move him, then He was opening something else up. Well, those words and that faith were put to the test.

Friday - the first day the motorcycle went out - J called me at 3:45 and said, "Can you get in the truck and come get me?"

My heart stopped momentarily, I felt slightly queasy. Imaging the bike on it's side on the road or stolen, I asked, "What happened?!?"

"They let me go."

I was SILENT. My heart DEFINITELY stopped for a few beats and now I thought for sure I was going to throw up. I asked him to repeat himself, hoping for the punch line this time.

"They let me go. I need you to bring the truck so I can take my toolbox home."

Not having much else to say, I told him I would be right there. I prayed all the way down. The above hut story had arrived in my mailbox EIGHT DAYS prior to this. We watched Facing the Giants the night before and I suddenly found myself praying a similar prayer that the wife on the movie had prayed. "God, if You leave us destitute, if we never get ahead, I will still praise you. I will still love you." (Granted, hers was more along the lines of KIDS, but I have that area covered as much as I would like to cover it.) I praised and thanked - in a slightly shaky and quiet voice. I asked for peace. I told Him I trusted Him and knew He was in control. I asked Him to please give J peace and comfort and whatever else he may need. I had no idea how he was taking it or what had even happened yet.

Then I got there and saw my beloved hubby. Who was fine. And I got angry at the injustice of it all. WHY would they fire him?!? Seriously, I met his boss the DAY BEFORE! He's well liked at work, does plenty of overtime, what happened!?!? J hopped in the truck to maneuver it to the bay doors to get his tool box loaded, and in those 60 seconds we were in the truck together I was able to get the initial reason he was given: "They fired me for my heaters." This is probably more so where the anger at injustice hit. HEATERS?!?! He told me that the first three heaters he installed had to be re-done and that his boss did tell him that was relatively normal. He was learning. After that every heater he installed was perfect. So, I got a little confused. After loading the toolbox, J got back in the truck and drove to his perfectly safe, unscratched motorcycle. While driving over he was able to fill me in a little more. While signing his "discharge" papers, he asked what the REAL reason was that he was being fired. Heaters really didn't add up to him, either. His immediate boss said that J must have said something wrong to someone because it was an order that came from higher up. I talked with his mom (who works in HR down there) and she told us that they told her they were firing him because he was disrespectful to one of his bosses. His mom came to his defense and told them the only way he would show "disrespect" to a boss was if that particular boss was mistreating people. Ah.... we see the light. There was an instance with a BOSS where said BOSS came into the cab and began screaming at a worker and using every swear word in the book at a very rapid pace and personally demeaning this person. At least in Union shops, bosses are not allowed to do that. The worker quit (his bad) and J proceeded to report the actions of said boss to HR. Apparently that is a big no-no. Digging farther, we heard he was fired because he was to "negative" and then because "he had to much fun at work." I'm getting confused. Not one answer was ever the same. *sigh*

On the ten minute drive home, I was still working on processing it all and being quite shaken and.... ticked. "God, you GAVE him this job! You placed him here!! What is going on?!?!" So, I'll admit, I did the ticked off, not trusting, not praising, just flipping thing for fifteen minutes. Then I pulled in the driveway, J and I went in the house, sat down and began to talk. J's calm and peace over the entire thing helped me immensely and I was able to take that deep breath and truly say, "God, I do trust you." In my conversation with him mom, she told me that she also had that initial shock and "where are You?!" type feelings, but then felt so reassured that God was in control of this and had moved him out for a very specific reason. I started remembering the hut story and had an absolute peace. All weekend, even when the "normal" thoughts of "what will we do?!" began to creep in, I still had an overwhelming peace about it. Monday morning rolled around and he was hired by a friend of his to be his "hirer and firer" and general manager. Tuesday he started with a $4/hour pay raise. How cool is that? He is traveling to the city again, but... I just put the bike on the road. :) I know God is in control and that He has a plan. I know that over the next few months we will be seeing things unfold in our area that will make all of this even that much more clear. He is a big God, He is faithful, and He has a sense of humor. :) I don't think J will get fired for having "too much fun" over here.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who arehe called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestine to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestine, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:28-31

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's Time

The snow is gone. Hopefully for more than just today.
See this guy I'm with?

He just put this on the road in celebration of Spring.

And seeing him on it (Ree put's it best) "makes my hiney tingle."

And I really really like riding on it, too. I just don't drive it. Mine is WAY smaller and in peices in the garage while we rebuild the motor. For the record, I didn't do it. We bought it that way on purpose. Maybe when a certain someone comes home, we can go riding??

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I always wondered what I was...

You Are a Pinky

You are fiercely independent, and possibly downright weird.
A great communicator, you can get along with almost anyone.
You are kind and sympathetic. You support all your friends - and love them for who they are.

You get along well with: The Ring Finger

Stay away from: The Thumb
What Finger Are You?

*I'm not so sure about the "fiercely independent" part.... I'd agree with "a little independent", but that is just my thought on me.


You Are the Thumb

You're unique and flexible. And you defy any category.
Mentally strong and agile, you do things your own way. And you do them well.
You are a natural leader... but also truly a loner. You inspire many but connect with few.

You get along well with: The Middle Finger

Stay away from: The Pinky

*How messed up is that??? One answer was different, and I did them both because both answers were right.... I thought I got along with myself ok. I didn't think I didn't like me.... I feel confused right now....

Sunday, April 15, 2007

He's Still Risen

A week has gone by since Easter, and we still have reason to rejoice! :) For us, should every day be like Easter (I don't mean the candy part... The Easter Bunny ONLY comes once a year and I'm not messing with that!) I am so thankful that we have a Redeemer, Friend, Advocate, Comforter, Healer, Father, Risen Savior!

So, from my house, to yours, we are sending Easter blessings. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I posted this today on our homeschool page, and while not all of you are homeschoolers, perhaps this will help anyway. I don't generally post the same thing to both, but I wanted to put this here in case it might mean anything to anyone.

I came to a realization today - or, maybe not a realization, because this is all stuff I have known for a long time, but today I came to a decision, perhaps? Neither word is EXACTLY what I want to use, but both fit. Maybe you will be able to relate.

There are so many areas in my life where I am not "where I want to be." I want to read my Bible more. I want to pray more. I want to be more organized and disciplined. I want to keep that schedule that I keep "making" with the kids... but I don't. What kind of mother is that? What kind of passionate follower of Jesus us that? Not a good one... Just do those things then, you may say. So easy to say, but harder to do. Perhaps the problem is that I look at the whole thing. I want to change so much and do so many things differently or better and then it all seems almost overwhelming. I keep getting off to fantastic starts, but then I mess up a little and feel like everything is shot to pieces and then get discouraged and jump off the bandwagon. Time goes by and the fire under my butt gets lit again and I get another great start. Only to continue in the same cycle. So, why do I have to give up when I mess up? Perhaps the whole task seems too daunting? Maybe I am relying too much on my own merit? I am sure that is part of it, anyway. Is the task of passing it all to God to "difficult"? I wonder if it would be different if I looked at it from another angle...

I realized that if I just focus on TODAY, it isn't so big. If TODAY I give my struggles to God, if TODAY I get in my Bible and pray, if TODAY I work on being organized and timely, well, then, tomorrow is tomorrow. Today has enough for itself. Today I can concentrate on the things I want to fix, and if I only worry about getting it right today, it isn't too big. Tomorrow will come, and it will be "today" and I can continue to focus on today and keep trying to get it right. Without getting discouraged. Without "falling off the bandwagon." Without feeling like I should just give up because it is all too much for me to change anyway.

Is there something in your life that seems daunting? Something you want to do differently in your personal life or in teaching your kids or in your walk with God or in a relationship with someone else? Did Peach's post about our "wants" stir something in you? Or maybe you related to Nan's Motherhood Martyr post? Focus on today... There is a verse in Matthew 6 (25-34) that talks about not worrying about all the little things and says "do not worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Mt. 6:34

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Taking a Ride on Engine77

Tonight was clean-up night at the station and the kids got to tag along. All the trucks had to be pulled out, so when it came time for Engine 77 to be moved, Daddy was driving and the boy and girl got a chance to go for a ride. The pictures aren't great since all I had was my phone (what was I thinking?!?) but you get the idea.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It has been a crazy day around here for all sorts of reasons. Some bad, some amazingly good. We have a good friend who was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in CO, so she moved back home. She kept telling her family that if she could get back here with all of us and we were praying, she would get better. To shorten the story CONSIDERABLY, she saw the doctor on Monday (yesterday). He said there was no lump, no spot, no bump, no cancer, just pneumonia. We all got VERY excited. He kept her in the hospital and today went in to see her shrugging his shoulders. He told her he couldn't explain why, but there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with her. At all. Not even a sniffle. How awesome is that?! I know what happened. She knows what happened. And my guess is the doctor has more of a clue than he is letting on. God is a Greater Physician than any other we could go to. So, today, as I've dealt with ambulance issues, and heard about God's healing touch, this song has been going through my head. I've been singing along, and I do wonder if the kids are sick of it yet. But, how can I not tell God this? No matter what is going on, this is how I feel:

In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that You are God
In the secret of Your presence
I know there I am restored

When You call I won't refuse
Each new day again I'll choose

There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crusified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise

In the chaos and confusion
I know You're soveriegn still
In the moment of my weakness
You give me strenght to do Your will

When You call I won't delay
This my song through all my days

All my delight is in You Lord
All of my hope
All of my strength
All my delight is in You Lord

None But Jesus - Hillsong United, United We Stand

Great Starts, 911 Screw-Ups and Blown Transmissions

There is no sound in the world like Ambulance tones... your heart immediately begins racing, your palms begin to get a little sweaty and your breathing gets shallower and quicker.... and I am getting pretty darn good at getting out the door in a very quick fashion when they go off. Today was no exception. In fact, our whole team was speedy today. All of us were at the station and the ambulance was rolling before 911 had a chance to tone us out a second time. While this is a feasible accomplishment, it doesn't happen often. None of this is to say that we are slow... 911's policy is to tone out every three minutes. And the three minutes START the very second the tone sounds. So... only one tone before radioing that we are en route is pretty good. We were on scene within minutes. The woman's jeep was there, all the doors were locked and we were getting no answer. When dealing with a 74 year old whose life line went off, this really isn't a good thing. We were where 911 told us to go. We explored all our other options. She was nowhere to be found. Our only available option left? Break down the door. Still no woman. Now we are calling 911 to verify that they truly had their act together and that they gave us the correct information. "Yes." Ok... call family... Where is this woman?!?! "Oh, she moved down the road a mile." Fantastic. We jumped back in to the ambulance and.... it wouldn't move. SO. NOT. GOOD. We jumped into our Chief's vehicle with all our necessary gear and raced toward the CORRECT scene. Hornell's ALS was en route and we would just have to use their ambulance this time.

Quick little side-note education: ALS stands for Advanced Life Support. We have a BLS (Basic Life Support) ambulance, so all our EMT's must operate at a BLS level, regardless of higher training. For many calls, we tone out an ALS unit and one of their EMT's will ride along with us. They can administer IV's and do other potentially necessary things that we can't. Follow? OK, great, back to the story.

While we headed to the right house, 911 was toning out another town. FOR. THIS. SAME. CALL. *sigh* Same name, same presenting problem, correct address. Uh, hello, guys, can we PLEASE get our act together?? Our chief radioed that we were, in fact, still responding to this call (he just told them this thirty seconds prior) and they could cancel the other town. ALS was there, we could see them pulling in the driveway. We were arriving within thirty seconds. The house was in sight. And we were still FLYING. (You know, come to think of it - another side-note here - perhaps THIS is the reason I love this job. I get to SPEED and it is LEGAL. Hmm, I will have to give this further thought. Back to the story - again.) When we got into the house, we saw that - thankfully - this woman was not on death's door. A very good thing since this call got so mucked up. That had the potential of being a major catastrophe. She was having a panic attack and what she needed more than an ambulance was a friend. I see here where our chief's wife decided that this job was not for her. It is hard dealing with the ones that called 911 just for a taxi service or for a headache or a toothache or what have you. I understand that. It is frustrating. But, every call, no matter how trivial it sounds has to be treated the same. Granted, there are calls we get that I just know, God, if You don't intervene, this will NOT be good. And there are ones like this where I hope somehow I can show just a little bit of His love and grace. Am I making a difference? I would like to think so...

But I'm getting away from my story AGAIN. The chief and I left after we got her loaded into the ambulance and we went to investigate what was going on with our ambulance... THIS is never a good sight:

After tinkering under the hood, it was discovered that there was no transmission fluid in it. Let me clarify. I was not doing any tinkering. I was standing to the side watching and holding our portable radio and looking cute as a button. That is my job. At least for this part of the adventure. Also keep in mind, this ambulance was JUST SERVICED. So, the lack of fluid was not only a problem, but a bit of a mystery. Fluid was added and still nothing. I headed back to the station with our first assistant - he was grabbing more fluid and there was no point in me being there. I stayed at the station with one of my friends and discussed 911's competence and how on earth we can avoid a debacle like this in the future and waited for news on our only ambulance. Between 911 sending us the wrong way and toning out two towns and our ambulance breaking down, it was disastrous all the way around. Current prognosis: It has been towed, problem is being assessed and we are looking into rental options. 911 has been informed that our ambulance is out of commission. Hopefully they will remember.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Easter Bunny Returns

Happy Easter!

Now to go hide their baskets (by the way, the Easter Bunny loves mommy and daddy enough to leave them one, too! Oh, that's right... we ARE the Easter Bunny. I forgot, we told the kids that little secret. BUT... there is a tooth fairy - for real!!) And the bucket of eggs in the back? Yep, hiding those too. We have our work cut out for us. Have a great day and God bless!!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Real Moms

Mean Moms

Someday when my children are old enough to
understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will
tell them, as my Mean Mom told me:

I loved you enough to ask where you were going, with whom,
and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough to be silent and let you
discover that your new best friend was a creep.

I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours
while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15

I loved you enough to let you see anger,
disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children must
learn that their parents aren't perfect.

I loved you enough to let you assume the
responsibility for your actions even when the
penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

But most of all, I loved you enough . . . to say
NO when I knew you would hate me for it.

Those were the most difficult battles of all. I'm
glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.
And someday when your children are old enough to
understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.

Was your Mom mean? I know mine was. We had the
meanest mother in the whole world! While other kids
ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.
When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat
sandwiches. And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was
different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all
times. You'd think we were convicts in a prison. She
had to know who our friends were, and what we were
doing with them. She insisted that if we said we
would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve
to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work We
had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to
cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash
and all sorts of cruel jobs. I think she would lie
awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth, the
whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time
we were teenagers, she could read our minds and had
eyes in the back of her head. Then, life was really tough!

Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn
when they drove up. They had to come up to the door
so she could meet them. While everyone else could
date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16.

Because of our mother we missed out on lots of
things other kids experienced. None of us have ever
been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's
property or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault.

Now that we have left home, we are all educated,
honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean
parents just like Mom was.

I think that is what's wrong with the world today.
It just doesn't have enough mean moms!

Real moms are willing to be mean moms.

Thanks Lisa, for the Real Mom tag! Now, Emily, Nan, Vicki and La Bellina Mammina : TAG, YOU'RE IT!! Have at it girls! I know mine wasn't original - it's been floating around as an email for awhile, but a friend just sent this to me the other day and I thought of it's potential postability, and Lisa gave me my opportunity!! So here's to all those real, mean moms out there. And mom, thanks for being a mean mom to me.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Birthday

Thanks for the birthday wishes! I had a great day! I went shopping with my mom!! How much more fun can that be? So...

I now have a pair of really cute strappy slip on heels because Spring and Summer are coming.... eventually....


a pair of jeans that are long enough for heeled shoes. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find jeans that fit when your legs are really lllooooong? Much less finding jean that will make a cute pair of heeled shoes work? But, we succeeded!! Thanks mom!!!!

I love them!! :) T says she hates them doesn’t like them doesn’t like the knee parts cause it looks like they are dirty like I fell in the sand or something. Exact words. (At least her opinion has mellowed as time goes on.) Lurkers who APPROVE of these jeans with said "dirty" spots, speak up! Quit lurking! Lurkers that agree with T, you may say so if you are nice. I might cry if you are mean. I myself like them. Dirty or not.