The high point of every trip to see Ben's family's (the traveling part, not the whole trip - this is NOT an insult!) is passing the Nishnabotna River. It's one of the most fun words I've ever heard of! Go ahead - say it out loud. LOL Doesn't it just make you smile?! I was even asleep on the way home yesterday and Ben woke me up to see the sign. I just love it. It makes me happy! Nishnabotna! Nishnabotna! Nishnabotna!
I've recently rediscovered the fun of cake decorating. Mom used to decorate cakes for our birthdays and things like that. So that's how I learned. But I hadn't done it for years. Anyway, I decided to make one for a friend's birthday last month. Then a friend last week said she liked decorated cakes. So I made one for her birthday. It was the first time I'd tried the lace pattern. I thought it turned out nice. It was fun! I'm excited to start doing it again.
So, this last week was busy! Ben was sick the beginning of the week (and even he admits that he's a bad sick person :) ), so I had to take care of him. Then the church retreat was this weekend. Pretty hectic beforehand, but it turned out really good. The speaker talked about the Sermon on the Mount. Said things differently than usual. Lot of people attended. It was a great weekend. But thinking back on it, one of the nicest things about the retreat was going early (cause I did the food) with Ben and sitting outside with him. We don't get away very often by ourselves. It was great. And we actually are getting away this week. A friend gave me a gift certificate to a bed and breakfast for helping in her wedding, so Ben and I are going to Fort Scott, KS, this Thursday. The place is an old Victorian house. Supposed to be very cool. And the downtown is antique-y. And there's a museum/historical site about the fort. We thought that sounded fun. Then on Friday, we head up to Lincoln to see Ben's family and go to the wedding of a high school friend. Which just reminded me that I have to get a wedding present! yikes! better go! stuff to do!
So we had community group at our house last night. Not a lot of people, but it was a lot of fun. As Ben and I were cleaning, I happened to go out on the front porch and found that my rose bush had 4 beautiful blooms. I of course, cut them to enjoy inside. :) And so I experimented with my closeup photo skills last night and this afternoon. I was very pleased. Of course it helps that the rose bush I inherited has the most beautiful roses I've ever seen (and since I don't like roses at all, that's sayin something!). Anyway, all that to say - here's a couple of pictures to enjoy.
So my parents where here last week. Dad was in meetings, but Mom and I had a lot of fun. We rearranged the furniture in my living room and spare bedroom. I like it so much better now! We finished several projects and started recovering a platform rocker I had in my living room. It's going to take a while! But it's started now.
Ben and I went to the zoo today to take advantage of the last day of really nice weather. And it was perfect! There were so many strollers there! You could definitely tell that school started - almost all the kids were really young. But it was a great day.
My sister, Julie, and Marlin are officially married now. Well, they have been since last Saturday, I'm just late in writing this. I was in Mt. Pleasant for 8 days before the wedding to help. It was busy! I've spent this week catching up on my sleep. But I had a good time. It just reaffirms my belief that you should only get married once. Besides the God thing (just a little, thing, right? :) ), no one should have to plan two weddings! But Julie was beautiful. Everything went smoothly. We forgot a few things, but nothing that anyone would have noticed. So we count it a success! yea!
And in the midst of the planning, we went to a plant nursery that was going out of business and I got 4 houseplants, spearmint, and a hibiscus bush. I planted them yesterday. I'm so excited about them! Now I just have to remember to water them. My (probably naive) thought is that since I have more plants now, I'll remember to water more often than I did the three I had before.
And I'm going to the city market tomorrow with Tam and the boys. It's so good to be home! And my mom and dad are coming into town Monday for the whole week. Dad's in meetings during regular work hours, but Mom and I will have plenty of time to do all sorts of things. We'll have a great time.
I'm in Texas at my parent's house to help with my sister's wedding, which is Saturday. Well, there was a shower yesterday afternoon. We got home about 8, and it smelled funny. Kinda like smoke. But we figured that it must have come from outside. We fixed dinner and were sitting down to eat when we decided that it smelled stronger. So we started looking. After sniffing around, we decided it was strongest at one wall in the living room. Then, to our horror, we saw burn marks going up from a light switch. and it was hot! So we turned off the electricity to the house and called the fire department. They took of the switch cover and saw that the switch itself was melting! They had a heat sensor that they looked inside the walls around the area and determined that it hadn't spread - it was contained in the switch. Praise God! But we had a fire engine at our house. What excitement for the week before the wedding!
Anyone who really knows me knows I love books. Books of all kinds. Old books and new books, non-fiction and fiction, novels, mysteries, cookbooks, and how-to books. I just love books! And today, I got to go to the library with Sam and Elijah, the sons of my good friend. It was great fun. We stayed maybe a touch too long - they were really tired by the time we left - but teaching kids to love libraries is opening up such a world to them! Some people get overwhelmed by the number of books at a library, but I love knowing that as long as there are libraries, I will always have more books to read. It's inspiring! We checked out kids books for Sam, Tamara got cookbooks, and I got three Pride and Prejudice sequels (I'm on a Jane Austen binge! :)). And the piano lesson that's scheduled for tonight was moved to last night, so I think I'm going to start one of those books tonight. :)
The greatest thing just happened! I talked to a piano tuner to make sure I wanted to recommend her to my students and while talking to her I mentioned that I don't have a lot of students and are looking for more students and she said that she tunes for several teachers close by here. She said that they have told her recently that they are pretty full for the fall, so she'll give them my name and number so they can pass my name on to people that contact them for lessons! wow! that's amazing. (i'm sure i should edit that rambling missive, but you guys don't care, right?)
I had the most wonderful surprise yesterday afternoon. Crystal, a friend that moved away last year, dropped in. So we got to sit and catch up with each other for a little bit. I love surprises like that!
We have storage above the steps to our basement. Well, yesterday I had to move some things around to get to the napkins and dropped the dryer sheets. Okay, so it's not that funny, but it was the funniest thing that happened to me the whole day!
There's a theater up north by the Kansas Speedway that during June and July is playing G and PG early in the morning for free. So this morning we we saw Shrek 2. That's such a funny movie! Every time you watch it you find more funny parts. :)
Then we went to the thrift store by our house and everything was 50% off. You gotta get excited about the little things in life! :)
I love fireflies! It's one of those things that I don't usually think about. But this week, anytime I go outside during twilight, there are tons! They are beautiful, romantic creatures!
The other thing I realized this week - I have another memory from when I was really young. There is a mimosa behind my neighbor's house. As I was getting out of my car this week, I realized that I remembered the smell of the mimosa blooms. And I realized that the house we lived at when I was from 3 to 5 years old had a mimosa in the front lawn. It's always so unusual to find new memories from that house since I can only think of 3 or 4 memories from that time. It's a weird feeling.
So, I don't generally think Ben and I lead very funny lives, but the funniest thing happened to Ben Saturday night. This woman came up to Ben asking him to discipline a guy for watching her while she was trying to urinate in an alley near the mission. He looked at her like she had grown a second head and said, "What?!". He asked her why she hadn't used the mission's bathrooms since they were open at the time and she said that sometimes you have to wait in a long line for them. And she actually said she was trying to "be a lady" by going in the alley. He couldn't believe it. This is just an amazingly humorous example of how homeless people's thought processes are sometimes actually different than other people's. Sad, really....
On a fun note, Dana, my friend from college is in town, so we're going to Powell Gardens tomorrow. I've never been just to visit the gardens (I went to Ballet in the Park there one year, but you don't get to look around). I'm really looking forward to it! Lilies are in bloom! Expect pictures soon!
I know, I'm really a horrible blogger! I knew I'd been procrastinating about blogging, but I was shocked when I got on and realized that it's been a month! Yikes!
My life is still pretty basic: church, crocheting, and teaching. Church is great. Yesterday we had a sending service for Greg, our associate pastor that moved today. It was 2 hours, which is pretty incredibly long for our church! But it was a great service. And we announced that the board nominated a couple to be our new pastors. It has started some great discussion. I've very excited about the possibilities. Six months without a permanent, full-time pastor is long enough.
Crocheting: I've been making small stuff for my sister in between the very large afghan that I'm making for Ben and me. But I found this ticker tape yarn at Michael's for next to nothing a month ago, and I'm just dying to make a market bag with it. It's such bright colors! And I love my Saturday morning City Market runs (really, it's one of the best things about KC in the summer), and a bright colored stretchy bag will make me even happier to go. (Ben won't be able to stand it! He doesn't understand how I can be so happy and energetic in the mornings!)
Teaching is still great. It's definitely my niche. But today my student came early! And Mondays my time is pretty tight. The mornings I don't do anything (Sunday afternoon to Monday morning is my Sabbath day off), then in the afternoons I straighten up, do dishes, then go to work at the church from 3 to 5. Then between 5 and 5:30 I put away dishes and make sure everything is in its place. Take my music off the piano, etc. But she came at 5! Yikes! Oh well. It could have been worse.....
Well, in the month that I haven't written, not a lot has happened. The one really cool thing we did was to take my parents to "Celebration at the Station" for Memorial Day. KC has such amazing free stuff! The KC Symphony plays patriotic music in front of Union Station and then there is a fireworks show. Here's a picture of us. We were early to get a good seat, so this is before the rest of the 35,000 people showed up.
I could say I'll try to write more often, but.....
There's a rose bush in front of our house that's I've heard has been there for about 75 years. It just started blooming this year. And if you know me well, you know I'm not partial to roses. But aren't they pretty?
We got back today from visiting Ben's parents in Lincoln. It was a very short trip, but good. Got to see two of the brothers, one sister-in-law, and a niece. While we were visiting with this on Thursday, I spent a long time crocheting the baby blanket I'm working on for a friend. It's going a lot faster than I thought. I'm so happy! It looks great! This is the first blanket I've done since I learned to crochet a couple of months ago, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I've got three weeks before her shower to finish it. There's hope. On a less happy note, it rained all the way home. Yech! It made the three hours seem much, MUCH, longer.
Note: For hard-core fans :), if you want to see more pictures from Chicago, you can go to my flickr site: www.flickr.com/photos/benandmelodie
Well, that is our trip to Chicago in just a few pictures. It was a great time. We had lots of fun with Seth and Kristine. Definitely a success... Now I'm going to bed. Long days of fun are still long days. We were out late and up early. So now I need to rest! :)
We got up early in the morning so that we could go to an early Easter morning church service before we hit the museums for the day. We went to the Fourth Presbyterian Church in downtown Chicago. Abosolutely beautiful architecture. This is a picture Ben took Friday night of the church. Except for the Old Water Tower, which survived the Great Chicago fire, the church is the oldest building on Michigan Avenue north of the river. Inside and out, most everything is original. The service was nice. They sang two Charles Wesley Easter hymns, which I wasn't thinking we'd sing, it being a Presbyterian church. Mostly classical music. They had a brass ensemble and organist accompanying the choir. They sang several pieces from the end of Handel's Messiah. The organist was very good. He played several pieces as a prelude and postlude. Needless to say, I enjoyed the service experience.
On our way over to the Adler Planetarium, we stopped for some pictures against a great view of the downtown skyline. We asked a guy on the street to take the picture so that we had a picture of all of us together.