Thursday, July 30, 2009


This picture is from last Sunday night during David's baptism. It was so special! Poor kid - he was so nervous that as I perched on the steps, watching, I could see his whole body trembling. But he did fine. My parents drove down from Waterloo and got a hotel room for the night. I was so impressed - I didn't expect them to do that! I had fun introducing them around church and one lady (whose sister, interestingly enough, attends my parents' church) said she could now see where I get my mannerisms. Huh - I had never thought about that. I knew I had Mom's face, but I didn't realize I had gotten more than that. Afterwards, they came back to the house and we had ice-cream. I had kept the fact that they were coming a surprise from the boys and it was so funny because earlier that afternoon Ben wondered out loud, "When are we going to see Grandma and Grandpa Daniels again?" Little did he know!

Hours have been thin again this week for Paul. I don't ever remember a July this cold! I know it's wearing on me because a friend emailed yesterday to complain about their 100+ temps in Washington state (very, very unusual for them) and I was jealous! And I hate hot weather!

But, Paul and Will did a complete switch out of a furnace and AC for an area pastor last weekend, so that income helps. And he installed a water heater for a landlord we know and he may be doing another one of those next week. So, we'll get by. Or we'll eat lots of macaroni.

We are going camping tomorrow, after my appointment with the ear dr. I guess we're heading up to Webster City. Paul found some campground on the internet that looks promising. No pool, but with temps not even reaching 80 degrees, I don't think we'll mind that. Well, David might. He doesn't seem to mind swimming with blue lips. It has a golf course, which excites Will.

My friend Jennifer responded to my last post and asked why I don't have my own newspaper column. That's kind of interesting she said that because my all-time favorite author, the one whose work I have read repeatedly, my idol, was a newspaper columnist - Erma Bombeck. If I could write like anyone, it would be her. One of these days I'll have to remember to post my all-time favorite Erma column, "No More Oatmeal Cookie Kisses." That one makes me cry every single time I read it. I don't know that I'll ever have my own column (being a fundamentalist Christian and very conservative politically pretty much guarantees that no editors will be pounding on my door. Plus, my favorite writing subject tends to be my kids, and they are really only interesting to me), but I am making some strides in my writing. They're short strides and will have to be until the kids get grown, but it's progress and it makes me feel better. I dropped off my first article in the mail yesterday to RBP. I was/am SO nervous about that! My friend Kay, who writes for them already, is planning to contact the editor to let her know my piece is on its way. But that won't matter if she really doesn't like it. I asked myself last night what I will do if I am rejected this time. My first inclination would be to never submit anything to them again. But upon further reflection, I decided that I will keep trying. I want to be published by them! Maybe I could just wear them down with my persistence.

I also entered Faithwriters again this week. Faithwriters is a website that offers weekly writing challenges to would-be authors. They assign a subject and you have 150-750 words to expound on it in any form you'd like. Every week they pick the top 3 in each category level (beginner writer (me) to master level). Then every year they pick the best of the best and publish them in a book. I believe top winners also earn cash prizes at some point. The site is filled with all kinds of writing tips and things like that. I was pretty faithful at entering their writing challenges until last fall. But I have done it now the past two weeks. Have I won? No - not ever, ever. The competition is pretty stiff, even at the beginner level! Believe me, if I ever do win I'll be broadcasting it! I'm pretty much resigned to not winning now, although in the beginning, I was a little miffed. Everyone says I'm a wonderful writer - apparently their judges just don't recognize God-given talent when they see it! Ha! What is nice is that what you write is posted anonymously and then as readers (usually other writers) peruse the site, they can post comments about your piece. I love that! I get so excited when I get an email saying that someone has left a comment! And generally, they are very positive, encouraging notes and I'm so grateful for them. The other thing that I like is that by entering these contests, it's forcing me to write and it's giving me a portfolio of short writings that I can use later. I see that they have a writer's conference every August in Michigan. I am giving serious consideration to possibly going next year.

I am going to yet another dr. next Monday. This is out at Preventative Health Sciences. I visited them in June and that is when I met with the head guy and he was trying to sell me their $1500-4000 program where they teach you to eat right and exercise. I'm not opposed to that. I'm just opposed to spending that much money and having to eat whole grains and vegetables. But, they also have a regular medical and chiropractic clinic on site that takes insurance. They are more holistic in nature, which suits me fine. I'd prefer to do things with as few drugs as possible, anyway. Well, that's not true. Actually, I love drugs. But, I'm thinking I should back off on as many as I take. My purse is a walking pharmacy as it is. I have been having so many physical ailments over the past two years and especially the past few months. For example, I have been in absolute agony the past three days with my back. I'm pretty sure it's sciatic nerve pain. I can go to one dr or another and get treated for my symptoms. But I'd really like to find someone that would find the root of the problems and fix that instead. I'm hopeful that this place will be it. We shall see. I am getting very discouraged with my body and it would be to my best interest to get things fixed since I am probably going to need it for another 40 years or so.

This may be all my news. Oh, Paul's grandma had back surgery a week ago. 85 years old and having surgery! That surprised me. I remember when my grandpa was in his mid-eighties and asked his dr. about having knee replacement surgery. He was told he wouldn't survive the surgery because of his age. He did live until a month before he would have been 90. But Paul's grandma seems to be doing fine. Hopefully, it will help her.

Ben saw the psychiatrist this week. We hadn't seen him since late March. He took one look at Ben and commented, "Boy, you are one skinny kid!" Enough already - I'm feeding him the cheesecake! I think Ben is getting taller without putting on any weight which gives him a concentration camp victim look. Plus, it's allergy season so his eyes are kind of dark and sunken. And he has a big head.

Alright. Well, I need to be packing for this trip. Paul came in and wants me to fix a curtain that goes in the camper. I'm probably going to have to hand sew it because I'm pretty sure my machine needles will break if I try to sew plastic. It will probably be a long night because I have a long list! Assuming I survive, I will post about our first camping trip of the year next week.

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