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Tuesday, July 07, 2015
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015 7:31 PM

    I stopped by my girlfriend’s house the other day and saw that, once again, she was moving furniture. Lots of people enjoy rearranging their furnishings from time to time, but she takes it to a whole new level.

    Not only does she move the furniture, but she generally alters it somehow. She is the queen of re-purposing. For example, on this particular day she had sawed the legs off of her computer hutch, inserted a small stand, and turned it into a TV armoire. Brilliant!

    I’ve seen her build doors for open bookshelves and turn them into cabinets. 

  • Tuesday, June 23, 2015 7:23 PM

    For the past ten days, Australian Sam’s mum and friend Leah have been visiting us from down under. Sam will be with us for six more weeks, but the others began their journey back to the other side of the world yesterday.

    While they were here, we had a great deal of fun showing off our part of the world. We hung out in Indianapolis, spent two days in Chicago, and then because they are big country music fans, we headed down to Nashville for three days. 

  • Tuesday, June 16, 2015 6:36 PM

    Growing up as a Baptist preacher’s daughter had its ups and downs. Everything they say about preachers’ kids is true. We really are getting into trouble all the time, and doing things we shouldn’t. But it’s only because we spend so much time playing with the deacons’ kids.

    If Brother Smith had kept his kids from swimming in the baptistery, I never would have perfected my swan dive. And if not for Brother Jones’ little tyrants, I wouldn’t have snuck out of the Sunday night service and moved the youth leader’s car to the other side of the church building. A whole group of us just picked up that little Toyota Corolla and carried it to an entirely different spot. Watching his confusion as he tried to remember where he parked was a highlight of our youth group days. 

  • Tuesday, June 09, 2015 7:24 PM

    I have always said that I am neither a morning person nor a night person, but rather I am more of a 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. person. I hear people talk about their early morning routines, but I don’t fully understand either of those words. Early? Routine?

    I have friends who start their day while it is still dark, coffee in hand, going over their plans, or making breakfast for the kids. Others who are up bright and early, drinking protein shakes and getting ready to commute to the office. They never seem to bat an eyelash because this is just life. The way things are. 

  • Tuesday, June 02, 2015 10:15 PM

    It has been quite an exciting month around our house. My oldest daughter, Shelby, graduated from Indiana University, and middle daughter, Abby, graduated from high school.

    Son, Alex, is heading into his junior year at Purdue, and the babies, Hudson and Phoebe, are going into second and third grades.

    I don’t often use the kids’ names in my column, but today I decided to put them out there as “real” people instead of simply “son” or “daughter.”

    Nearly twenty-three years ago, when Shelby Danielle was just an infant, we lived in Chattanooga. Those were good days when money was short, nights with a baby were long, and love was in great supply. One evening, I had her propped on the couch because she loved to sit up and look around. 

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015 8:58 PM

    Last Saturday, my teen daughter and our houseguest, Australian Sam, decided it was time to get outside and explore nature. I’ve recently hit a rough patch in life, and while I was initially uncertain about going along, they convinced me that fresh air and sunshine were exactly what I needed.

    There were other things I needed, too. As we made our way to Turkey Run State Park, I sat in the backseat of the car with a box of fried chicken and a giant Coke. A good piece of fried chicken dipped in hot sauce goes a long way toward soothing an aching heart.

  • Tuesday, May 19, 2015 10:35 PM

    Last weekend, we celebrated my sister’s college graduation. She chose to pursue a degree later in life, while working and raising two daughters on her own. To say I am proud of her is an understatement.

    Our cousin threw a wonderful party, using all the special graduation decorations. Banners, balloons, streamers, and shiny foil confetti shaped like caps and diplomas. My seven-year-old son sat on the floor, scooped up a handful of the tiny confetti shapes and exclaimed, “Look at all these icons!”

    He felt a little sheepish when all of us middle-aged folk started laughing, but I explained to him, “Don’t be embarrassed, buddy. They do look like icons! We just never realized it before.” 

  • Tuesday, May 05, 2015 11:40 PM

    Camping has never been high on my list of things I’d like to do.  Nevertheless, when your eight-year-old daughter’s scout troop goes camping, and you finagled your way out of last year’s trip by promising that you would definitely go this year, you go. 

    Prior to this past weekend, I had only slept in a tent twice.  Both times were in the backyards of friends. Once next to a deck, and the other next to a swimming pool, so I don’t think it technically counts as camping.

    But the scout trip was the real deal.  They called it “primitive;” a word I’ve come to hate.  Primitive means no electricity, pit toilets, and freezing your butt off at night.  I knew we were in for a long weekend, when after finally getting the tent set up (thanks to the help of a twelve-year-old), my daughter spotted an animal in the shadows and exclaimed, “There’s someone’s dog or cat! No, it’s a skunk! Oh my gosh, it’s an ANTEATER!” 

  • Tuesday, April 28, 2015 8:30 PM

    Sam the Australian is coming to visit this week.  She will be staying with us for three months, and hopes to fully experience the American culture and lifestyle. When our daughter was on a year-long exchange program to Australia, she and Sam became fast friends. After months of Skyping and messaging, we are eager to meet her face-to-face.

    In her mind, American life is very stereotypical. She anticipates going to high school football games, wearing camouflage clothing and walking around with a gun under each arm.  Unfortunately, she won’t be here during football season, but she should see plenty of camo and a few firearms.  I saw a customer with one at Walmart the other day.  I am still not entirely sure how I feel about open carry, but Australians really frown upon it, so I am certain Sam and I will have some interesting discussions.  Maybe by the end of her trip, I will have formed a solid opinion on the subject.

    We are putting our best foot forward with her initial exposure to American high school culture.  She will be attending prom on Saturday evening, complete with a fancy dinner beforehand, and a photo shoot  
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2015 7:21 PM

    I have been working on the new house this week.  The previous owners did a beautiful job of decorating, but we are working hard to make it our own. I am there late each night, stripping wall paper, priming, and painting. 

    The last time I bought a new house was over 18 years ago.  We worked on it for three months before move-in day.  I had a preschooler, a toddler, and I was in the last trimester of a pregnancy.  I was waiting tables every night, and spent six weeks sleeping on my in-laws’ living room floor while we were between houses.  And yet, somehow, I felt significantly better than I do these days when I wake up in the morning. Age is taking its toll on my body, and the more I paint, the more it shows.  

    Today, I did not wake up until 8:45 a.m.  That is an ungodly late hour for someone who is typically up between 6 and 6:30.  I looked at the clock, rolled over, and strongly considered falling back to sleep.  Then I remembered the kids.  Oh yeah! Kids! School starts at 9. 


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