Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kid's Connection

I had a rather exciting day on Friday. I have been writing and e-mailing Nichole, a young lady in Rockville Correction Facility. She has 2 little children, who are now 2 y/o and 3y/o, and she hadn't had any recent pictures or heard much about how they were doing for several months.

I was able to get in contact with their aunt, their father's sister, and was finally able to go see the kids. Their aunt was going to be keeping them over the weekend and said I could come see them.

Nyla, the 2 y/o, just had her birthday in March, and R.J., the little boy will be 3 in May. So I took them each a little birthday gift, and a little cake. They were a little shy at first, but very quickly wanted to see what was in the bags!

(opening gifts)

Nyla liked her pink bag almost as well as the little gifts. I had gotten her a little kitten that meowed when it went across the floor, a ball and a cute little dress. R.J. has a little nerf football, a Thomas train T-shirt, and a truck that moved by friction.

We put 2 candles on the cake for Nyla and 3 for R.J. and they blew them out. As you can see, Nyla was having a little trouble and got some help from big brother.

We then went outside to play, and they had a great time with the balls, truck and kitten. Nyla likes the hood up on her sweatshirt when she's outside. She also really didn't like my camara! She would look away when I was trying to get a picture.

I e-mailed a few pictures to Nichole, and have sent the rest of the prints to her in the mail. I know I will probably hear from her tomorrow. I know she is going to be very excited to finally get some new pictures of her kids.

I not only connected with her kids, but established a relatonship with their aunt and their dad. Hopefully we can arrange for the kids to visit their mom sometime in the near future.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring Fling--Answers

Ok--those of you that were brave enough, and took the time to take the quiz, here are the answers.

1. A
2. B
3. A
4. C
5. C
6. B
7. B
8. A
9. A
10. B
11. C

I hope you had fun with it. I thought some of them were very interesting.

I trust most of you are now enjoying some Spring weather. Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Fling

We took this quiz at church on Wednesday night, and I thought it would be interesting to see how you can do (I didn't do very well) The only rule is that you can't cheat and look them up on the internet (at least not until you've tried to answer all of them.) I will post answers tomorrow.

Spring Fling Quiz 2010

1. During March the weather in the southern hemisphere is different from our weather in the northern hemisphere because:
a) The southern hemisphere is not attached to Antarctica whereas the northern hemisphere is attached to the arctic by a land bridge.
b) The southern hemisphere is closer to the sun than the northern hemisphere is during the springtime.
c) The northern hemisphere has more bodies of water surrounding it than the southern hemisphere.

2. It is most likely the word "spring" became the name of this season because:
a) It signified melted snow flowing out of underground water sources creating "springs"
b) It signified the opening (or "springing forth") of a new leaf
c) It means to "jump" or "leap" which references a moving forward out of winter.

3. Which is true on the first day of spring?
a) The bowl of the big dipper is in the down position as if to empty out rain on the earth.
b) The north star, Polaris, moves directly over the equator.
c) The sun moves directly between the earth and the moon.

4. In Japan the first day of spring is an official national holiday celebrated by:
a) Throwing of paper mache flowers into rivers.
b) Eating tuna, as these fish begin their spawning runs in the spring, signifying new life.
c) Visiting family graves.

5. One of the spring festivals is the Christian period of "lent". This word originated from:
a) The Celtic word for "spring" in the Middle Ages
b) The Roman Catholic term for "sacrifice" signifying the passion of Christ.
c) The German word for "long" because the days of spring get longer.

6. When is the first day of Spring?
a) Always 7 days before Easter
b) When day and night are roughly the same length
c) The 3rd Monday of March

7. Technically, "spring" is defined as:
a) The spring solstice
b) The vernal equinox
c) The sun crossing the Tropic of Capricorn

8. What is it about the earth that causes "spring" to occur?
a) The earth is tilted on its axis at 23 1/2 degrees from vertical.
b) The earth's oceans are pulled by the moon's gravitational force.
c) The earth's rotation is faster at the equator than at each of the poles

9. Easter, the most famous of all spring events, has its annual date calculated by:
a) The first Sunday after the furst full moon on or after the March equinox.
b) The closest Sunday to the first day of spring.
c) The Sunday that is 50 days prior to the Jewish Feast of Penticost in a given year.

10. In Annapolis, MD, the spring equinox is celebrated by:
a) Umbrella Day--Throughout the city (rain or shine) everyone carries an umbrella signifying the coming of spring. Children's umbrellas, left by the front door, are filled with candy on the forst spring morning.
b) The Burning Of The Socks festival. Traditionally, the boating community wears socks only during the winter. These are burned at the approach of warm weather. Officially, nobody then wears socks until the next equinox.
c) Sea Dog Sunday--Originating at the United States Naval Academy, this is the day that Neptune supposedly awoke from his winter's sleep and came from the depths of the ocean to create a typhoon. Festivities include drinking of blue tea and eating shrimp gumbo and other seafood delicacies.

11. In many Arab countries the first day of spring is also the day they celebrate:
a) The islamic new year
b) Mohammed's ascension to heaven
c) Mother's Day

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fun, Friends, and Back Home in Indiana

I spent most of my time in Oklahoma City with my son and with my mother-in-law. I totally enjoyed my time with them, also realizing I may not have my sweet M-I-L a whole lot longer. She is a sweetheart and I enjoy her company.

However, on Thursday night I had a really fun evening with a good friend of mine from the hospital where I used to work. She has been a friend for a long time, not just at work. I had spent time with her family on various occasions. She asked me to come for supper and spend the evening, but she lives about 40 minutes from where I was staying, and I really don't do well driving at night. So she said, "Just come and spend the night! We'll have a slumber party!" So I did!

Her 3 girls are an absolute delight. The oldest one, Cali, (in the middle), is so mature and very sweet. She helped her mom clear the table. And she got my room ready for me. She wanted to show it to me so we all went upstairs. She had made the bed, turned it back, and had my book and the TV remote laying by the pillow. She also showed me where clean towels were in the bathroom. (Later, when I was going to bed, she brought me a big glass of ice water--so I wouldn't have to go downstairs in the dark if I needed a drink.)

After supper (which was grilled T-bone steaks, baked potatoes, green bean casserole,salad and rolls!) the girls had a jump rope contest for me. I tried my luck, but let me just say--I'm out of practice. They all surpassed my ability.

They have a huge exercise ball, and they were showing me tricks they do with it. They are all sitting on the ball here, even though you can't see it. After supper, hubby made rice krispie treats--which thrilled all the girls. You can see the middle one, Kinsie, enjoying one. (I think she had at least three!). The youngest one, on the right, is Chloe. This is my assessment of the girls: Cali--sweet, mature, compassionate; Kinsie--fun-loving and laid back (not much bothers her); and Chloe--mischievous and a bit ornery--just like her mother. I told Joely that "pay back is rough". She said "I knew I would have one exactly like me--it's scary!

After taking the girls to school Friday morning, Joely and I had coffee and talked, and then I headed back to OKC. It was a totally fun evening.

On my road trip back, I got a book-on-tape from Cracker Barrel to keep me awake. I've done this before, and it keeps me from getting sleepy. This was "The Choice" by Nicholas Sparks. It was a really good book--I enjoyed it.

However, there is nothing like getting back home. I have obviously gained a few pounds while I was gone, so it's back to the routine. I got back on Sunday about 3:00 pm and mostly unpacked, did laundry, and "chilled" in my recliner, caught up on blog-reading, etc.

So now it's back to getting in the routine. Yesterday was a gorgeous day! I got out early and rode my bike 3 miles. For seasoned bikers, I know that doesn't sound very impressive, but I'm definitely going to have to work up to longer distances. (The first and last 1/2 mile is on gravel and makes me a little nervous.) I did get a helmet, in case I take a tumble.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Busy Boy and Some Geneology!

I am staying with my 1st cousin (from first marriage), and she was babysitting on Tuesday for her great-grandson. Some of you who are great with relationships can help me out here. I think that would make little Aiden my third cousin--or would that be 2nd cousin, twice removed? I get so confused about these things!

This little guy really kept us "old folks" busy! He is 18 months old, and cute as a bug, but NEVER stopped moving! He even fought going to sleep by keeping in constant motion. We finally put him in his high chair with some crackers and banana, and he fell asleep watching a kids program on TV.

These were throw rugs that Aiden decided to pick up and re-arrange. At one point he had the pink one over his lap like a blanket. He played with his toys, danced to the music on TV, in between trying to see what he could get in to. My cousin has a poodle, Bridget, and Aiden and Bridget get along famously together.

This is my mother-in-law, Gloria. She is nearly blind but she was also enjoying little Aiden. Ok--here we go again! If my mother-in-law is an Aunt to Aiden's great-grandmother, what relationship is Aiden to Gloria? I think it must be great-great-great aunt!? At any rate, we're all related!

It was fun to get to know this little guy! (BTW, he's going to get a hair cut on Saturday so that people won't think he's a cute little girl).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beautiful Drive, Good friends and family

I started out early Sunday morning to drive to Oklahoma City. It is always a two-day trip when I drive, but I also had a few stops I wanted to make along the way.

My first stop was in Rockville, Indiana at the Rockville Correctional Facility. As most of you know, I have been writing to and mentoring a girl at this facility.(well I guess she's a lady--35 y/o, but looks so young!) They are allowed to have visits from family or friends for 2hours at a time. I arrived there about 10:30 am and had a wonderful visit with her.

This is Nichole with her kids, R.J. and Nyla. They are 3 y/o and 2y/o. Nyla just had her birthday. She hasn't seen them for a long time. I am currently trying to work out a visit to see them and get some current pictures for her. I am impressed with the way Nichole has grown spiritually and she has a very positive attitude, in spite of some of the negative things that go on. She is in college there (through Ivy Tech) for Medical assistant. She is also in a work program at a factury there (Penn products), which will help her with employment when she gets out.
One humerous thing is that she always wants me to tell her what I've fixed for meals. They have pretty bad food, and I told her I thought it would make her feel bad. She said, "Oh no! I can almost smell the roast and taste the food" A good imagination I guess.

When I left Rockville, I went to Terre Haute to see my friend Naomi. (This is an older picture, as I am in OKC and forgot the cord to upload pics from my camara. I took her a care package and visited for about an hour.

When I left Terre Haute, I drove as far as I could until sunset. (I don't drive after dark). I got to Rolla, Missouri at 7:30 pm and stayed in a Best Western.

I couldn't believe it, but I slept until 6:40 am (my time--it was actually 5:40 in Mo). I got ready to leave, had juice and coffee at the hotel, and left there about 7:15 am (Mo. time)

Sort of on a whim, I decided to stop to see the Precious Moments Chapel. I knew I wasn't on a strict schedule, and had wanted to see it for a long time. My kids and first hubby had been there a long time ago, but I wasn't with them. The grounds are beautiful, and the chapel was really impressive. We couldn't take pics inside, but these pictures below are from the internet. One room had beautiful stain-glass windows, each one depicting one of the beatutudes.

This was the main room, as you walked in. It had murals along both walls, and this big mural at the back, called "Hallelujah Square". I was really glad I had taken this little respite from my driving. (Besides I really needed to walk for a little while!)

I arrived in Ok. City about 3 pm their time and went to see my mother-in-law, Gloria, and son Tim. I went to her home and he came over to visit with us.
I am staying with my cousin, Donnie and her husband Gene, and had supper there. Her computer modem is broke, so I came to the library to catch up and get my "computer fix".

(I'm really hoping my cord for my camara is in my suitcase, but it didn't get here to the library with me.). I will be spending most of the week here, and leaving again for the drive home next Saturday.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Tale About Trees

The last two days have been quite an experience.  We have 7 trees in our yard and had a tree-trimmer come and trim six of them.  Were talking a major trim job.  He was very good, but to keep our cost down, he doesn't do his own clean up. 

He came on Monday afternoon and by supper time he had done four trees.  We began to clean up the mess.  Lynn would saw and I would carry the pieces to a place at the back of  our garden to burn them.  By 7:00 pm we were already exhausted, and didn't seem to have made much of a dent.  Lynn had taken off work for Monday and Tuesday so that we could get this done.  He said to me, "Do you think we could get anyone to help us?"  He seemed so discouraged. 

I remembered that it was Spring Break.  So I immediately e-mailed several people in church who I thought might have contact with teen-agers, pleading for anyone available to come and help, and we would pay them.
By 9:30 pm I had received a call from one of the boys and he said there would be two of them coming.

What a blessing and a total God-send.  These boys were such hard workers. By noon we had almost the entire mess cleaned up.  However, the tree-trimmer was coming back that afternoon to do the other 2 trees.  The boys said, no problem!  Give us a call when he's done and we'll come back. 

He finished trimming at 3:30 pm and by 5:00 we were finished.  We thanked the boys, paid them and told them they had been a God-send.  They told us anytime we had work to give them a call.

Not only were Lynn and I so encouraged and thrilled to have our yard nice and clean.  It also restored my faith in young people.  These 2 boys were so cheerful and pleasant to work with, and it was a joy to get to know them. 

This is the fire that we kept going all day.  It doesn't look very large here but there were times that it was huge.  There was quite a lot of wind, But we watched it and it did very well.  (I think we did singe the grass
just a little). I couldn't believe how much we burned.  Lynn also cut up quite a bit of it for firewood.  

The above 2 pictures are the "after" pics.  I thought it was interesting that I also got the shadows of the trees.  Apparently the sun was just at the right spot to cast these shadows. 

It was a truly exhausting job, but we are so glad to have it done.  The plus side is that I also now have a farmer's tan.  Why didn't I wear a sleeveless top?!  I also have some very sore leg muscles.  But this, too, shall pass.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring, Glorious Spring!

I have been energized by the warmer weather,
 the sun, the flowers the birds. 
I didn't realize it, but I think I was actually getting kind of depressed.

I actually have some daffodils in my yard, but for some reason the program that I use to upload my pictures from my camara to my computer is not working recently.  So I borrowed this picture. 

(I thought maybe it had something to do with blogger, so I went in to blogger and did an update, based on a recommendation from another blogger--several people were having trouble with their pictures uploading very slow from their files)
Let me just say, I am less than thrilled with this update.  It uploads the pictures faster from my files.  But it keeps wanting to help; for example, today it won't let me type in normal fashion.  I guess because I have pictures, it keeps centering everything.  Also, if I pause to think, it jumps back up to the beginning of my script.

BUT--I digress!

  Spring, Spring, I heard a robin sing
I'm glad because it's Spring again!
Spring, Spring, it makes me want to sing
I want to play ball, I want to jump rope,
and roller skate again I hope,
In good, old Spring.

This is a song we used to sing as kids.  I think I would modify it--instead of saying "roller skate",
I would say "and ride my bike again I hope", since I've made plans to ride bike this spring.

Ok!  Energized or not, my computer is driving me crazy this morning, so I will stop.

I trust most of you by now are enjoying warmer temperatures and some sunshine,
as well as enjoying His Sonshine.

(By the way, I've been using Walgreen's Photo Express to upload my pics from my camara.
I think I need to change.  What are some of you using?)