Friday, July 24, 2009

Fort: Completed!

After two weeks and many, many hours of hard work by my Dad, myself and mostly Tommie... the monster fort is complete!! The footprint is 5'x10' and it stands about 12' high. Each boy has their own 5x5 play area and there is a 4th "common" area. We had a lot of fun designing, drawing, planning and building this fort. I hope the boys get much enjoyment out of this for years to come. They have already had a gang of neighborhood boys over to have water gun wars on it. I love seeing them enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Some of the features of the fort include: climbing wall, trap door with ladder, exterior ladder, crawl through between Franklin & Harrison's rooms, canvas roof, hidden compartments and treasure chests.
(click to enlarge)
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Thursday, July 16, 2009


(I'm a bad mom and have no photos of either of these things!)

Of the three boys, Truman is the only one who cannot safely swim in the deep end without a life jacket, so I enrolled him in swim lessons. He just finished his 6 week class (one class per week) and as of yesterday, he is doing much, much better. He can swim about 15 feet or so before requesting help or reaching for the side. Truman has been in swimming pools WAY more than either of his brothers at his age and is very daring, so it has surprised me that he is not swimming on his own yet. I want to be confident in his abilities and not worry about him in deep water, so I enrolled him in another 6 week class that starts on Monday. I was pretty sure that a 2nd round of classes would get him off on his own.

This afternoon, we went to the local pool with friends. We took off the life jacket and started practicing. I moved 15 feet away, then 20, then 25. I knew that his ability was there... he just lacked a bit of confidence. By midway through our swim, he would jump in and swim back to the side and was swimming on his back. I was so proud of him! Later, he had his life jacket back on & was walking over toward the diving board. I watched as the life guard told him he couldn't go with a life jacket on. He looked like he was going to remove his jacket, so I hurried over and talked to him. I explained that from the end of the diving board to the ladder was about as far as he had been swimming all afternoon alone.

So, he quickly removed his jacket with a twinkle in his eye and stepped into line for the diving board! Once on the board, he was a little hesitant to go all the way to the end. He did go to the end, jumped off and swam to the side with no difficulty!! WOW! On his third jump, I noticed that he was bouncing on the end first, then he proceeded to do a front flip! Ha ha... my daredevil figured out how easy it was and he was off... Neither of his big brothers have been brave enough to dive or do a flip and he did it on his first day! Go Truman!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I love the 2nd F in BFF...

My dear friend Sandie is like a soul sister to me. When we first met, I was immediately drawn to her and we quickly became friends. We each spent 3 1/2 years at Western Illinois University - the exact 3 1/2 years to be exact. We arrived together & left together. We were involved in the same campus ministry, were accountability partners, worked at the same summer camp for the exact same 2 summers, shared an apartment together, were in each others' weddings... and none of those things even begin to describe the depth or breadth of our friendship. I can honestly say that though I've had many friends in my life... very, very few are those whom I truly consider a "best" friend.

After college, Sandie & I parted ways. She went to Chicagoland to teach & get married - then on to northern Kentucky to be a pastor's wife. I got married & have moved all over (well, you know the rest)... We have not been fortunate enough to live near each other since the day we stopped being roommates. Our parents live 4 hours from each other, so we haven't been in the same town for holidays or anything like that. When we still lived in Illinois, another roomie of ours & her hubby, Tommie & myself (along with Franklin - age 2 - and Harrison - age 1) all went to visit Sandie & her hubby in Kentucky. She wasn't feeling well that weekend and as I suspected, she found out she was pregnant shortly after that weekend. That was over SEVEN years ago! We have not seen each other since!! We have had another child and she has had four little ones.

Last summer, when we moved to Indiana, I quickly realized that we were only about 2 hours from where Sandie lives. We finally were able to get together today. We met at Lincoln State Park - somewhat close to halfway between us. It was the best day!! It is difficult for me to find the words to describe how much today meant to me. We picked up our friendship right where we left off. It was almost as if a day has not passed since we've seen each other, yet we had many years of catching up to do. She is exactly the same in so many ways, yet we have both matured into motherhood and marriage and have grown in our love for & relationship with God.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Work Weekend

We were blessed to have my mom & dad visit us for the 4th of July weekend. They came prepared for a work weekend. Dad and Tommie started building the boys' fort in the back yard, while Mom & I weeded, trimmed & landscaped. We got quite a bit done on Friday. Unfortunately, it rained all day on Saturday - so our tasks were moved indoors. Tommie & Dad worked on projects like installing new fans/lights, while Mom & I sewed curtains and hung pictures. Overall, it was nice to have some things done indoors and some outdoors... but it would have been nice to have more progress on the fort too! Tommie & I will have to finish it up... so no real photos until it is complete!

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