June 29th, 19_ _

I won’t mention the year, but…36 years ago…

my sister, Leslie, graced the world with her presence…and the world will never be the same!

Happy Birthday, Leslie! 

My sister and her family…

I hope I get to see you guys on Friday!!  🙂  If you can, drive through Illinois, not Indiana!!


Snap, Crackle, Pop

UPDATE:  Paul rubbed my back last night for about 30 seconds!!

Here’s our conversation:

Me:  “Thank you, honey.”

Paul:  “Anytime.”

Me: “Why did you say that?  You don’t mean that.”

Paul:  “You’re right, I don’t.”

Me:  “Then why did you just lie?”

Paul:  “Because that’s what makes marriages work.”  🙂

Me:  “Well, at least you’re telling the truth.  I appreciate that.”

Paul:  “So, would you rather me lie or tell the truth?”

Me:  “Tell the truth.”

Paul:  “OK, well, I hope you enjoyed that.  You owe me $50.00 (which is what my massage therapist charges).”

Me:  “Honey, she does it for an hour, not 30 seconds.”

Paul:  “Well, maybe next time you should be more specific about how long you want a backrub?”

Me:  “OK, an hour.”

Paul:  “Well, that’s never gonna happen…”

Me:  “OK, you’re right…at least you’re telling me the truth.”

Paul:  “Well, that’s how I roll….”

(By the way, before my mother completely freaks out after reading that conversation, we were totally playing with each other and laughing the whole time).

Working at Great Oaks, in the kitchen, is a very physically demanding job.  It is long hours on your feet, cooking big meals, lifting heavy pans, walking a lot back and forth outside to the walk-in cooler, etc.  (On a side note, one time I logged it, and I walked 5.17 miles, just cooking three meals in one day)…anyway, it’s very tiring…

Last summer my feet would hurt really bad at the end of the day.

Last fall I noticed my lower back would hurt after working a full day (like on a Saturday).

But, those pains would go away after the day was over (and a hot bath).

Well, my back started hurting again in May (my lower back and up and down my spine).  I went to one chiropractor here in Lacon (who shall remain nameless that I did not like), and she did take X-rays of my back.  My spine is crooked (all the way down) and my hips are not aligned (my left hip is significantly higher than my right).  Anyway, after she did the X-rays, I promptly took them from her office and went to another chiropractor that I liked much better.  I’ve been seeing him once or twice a week since May 13th, depending on if we have the money.  He is really funny and a great guy! 

Two weeks ago he told me that Paul needed to be rubbing my back at home, to help work out the muscle spasms.  I told him that that probably would not happen (Paul’s not a back rubber), but I would ask.  I asked Paul if he would, and he said he needed a note from the doctor.  So, this past week I got a note from the doctor…

You can click on the picture to enlarge it, but it basically says, “from 6-23-10 until death or until back is rubbed properly.”  I told the doctor it would probably be until death b/c I don’t think Paul would ever do it right (Paul says that’s the reason why I go to the doctor and get massages, so he doesn’t have to do it)…sweet, huh?

(By the way, the doctor did sign it, “Who Cares,” in case you were wondering.  He also checked that I was mentally ill…what a funny sense of humor)!

But, after going all this time, it’s not really helping.  So, I’m going to stop.  We’ll try something different, I guess….but, I thought the note was cute, anyway…

“My” Prayer

I won’t take credit for this b/c I didn’t come up with it, but thank you to whoever did…

Faithful God, you called me;

and by your Holy Spirit you are giving purpose to my life, empowering me to live a life worthy of my calling.

I thank you for leading me to this time and place, this ministry and service to your people.

Stir up in me the gift of your Holy Spirit to serve those in need with compassion and vision.

As I walk in faith, supported by the prayers of family and friends, pass me your servant’s towel

And grant me gladness and strength for the task,

As the Father sent you, please go with me and grant me discipline and hope, humility, humor, and courage.

And above all, may others know you by my love. Amen.

John 17:20-26

I pray with all my heart right now that I remember my purpose…what I am here to do…and, when the rough waters come, I will remember…

Paul’s Birthday….

Today is Paul’s 30th Birthday!!  As long as we work at Great Oaks, his birthday will always fall during summer camp, which means we can’t really celebrate.  We had a group here this past weekend and another group here this weekend, so we can’t even go out to celebrate on the weekend…oh well, life happens and you roll with it…

What is Paul doing on his birthday?  He’s driving to Cedar Rapids, Iowa (possibly with Jim). 

What am I doing on Paul’s birthday?  I’m cooking lunch and dinner for 85 people!

Paul’s never been to Iowa, so he can now check that state off of his list…(He’s going to pick up a new male counselor, since one of ours quit this past Saturday, after only working at camp one week).  Another story for another day…

Anyway, Happy 30th Birthday, Paul!  I love you so much!!

Chicago Part Three

On Friday morning I went to Shedd Aquarium.  I had heard from some of the people at CABC (that were on the mission trip) that it was “Community Days” at Shedd, which means it was FREE!  Wow, how much better can you get then free…there is better, trust me…it wasn’t free…

I knew I would have to pay for parking (you usually do when you go to tourist attractions).  I was even ready to pay a hefty price, but it was OK, because I was going to go in for free.  I paid $16.00 for parking…and it was a long way to walk to the aquarium.  I got there about 8:45AM.  I told the lady I wanted all the “free stuff.”  She showed me a map of what I could see.  I saw fish, turtles, frogs, and a few more fish.  They were all in small tanks with lots of people crowded around them.  If you wanted to see the “big animals” (penguins, sharks, dolphins, etc) you had to pay.  So, after walking around for about 15 minutes (and seeing all the “free stuff”) I decided to go ahead and get back in line to get a ticket to see everything.  This time I waited in line for about 15 minutes (it was starting to get really crowded).  I asked what I could see with a ticket.  She showed me a map and said, “Oh, all of this,” tracing her finger around all the “cool stuff.”  So, I put my little wristband on and went to look around.  Just to be sure, I asked the girl “guarding the steps” what I could see with my wristband.  She whipped out her map (they are ALL about the maps around that place) and said, “Oh, you’ll be glad you got a wristband; you get to see all of this (pulling out that trusty pointer finger and “circling” all that I could see).  Well, the lady at the ticket counter and the “guard” at the steps LIED.  I had to pay extra to see the penguin show, and I had to pay extra if I wanted to see the “Fantasea” show (later I found out that the “Fantasea” show is really just a bunch of people dressed up in animal costumes, like Halloween, so I’m actually glad I didn’t see that), but the principal of the matter is, they didn’t tell me the right information.  So, I went and found the “guard of the steps” and told her that she told me the wrong information.  Here’s what she said.  “I’m new here, and I really don’t know anything.”  To which I responded.  “Well, you might want to get your facts straight before you give out false information.”  So, of course, I headed somewhere else.

Yes, I did get to see the “big animals” (that my $26.95 wristband paid for), but I was not impressed with the Shedd Aquarium.  I got to see them.  This is what I did:  walked up to the pool and said, “Oh, look there’s a shark.  Oh, there’s two.  OK, that was nice.”  I did that for the sharks, the penguins, the dolphins, the sea otter, and the walrus.  It was not exciting.

Yes, I’ll admit I saw some neat things…pretty fish, big fish, cool animals, but overall, I was not impressed.  Maybe if you had kids, it would be better.  But, of course, if you have kids, you’d be broke when you left.  Adult tickets are $26.95 and kids, I think, are $17.95 and that does not include any “extra shows.”

But, nonetheless, here’s my pictures, just to prove I went.


The very last picture is of the line as I was leaving.  I saw the whole thing in about an hour and 15 minutes.  As I was leaving, the line was ALL the way down the sidewalk and wrapped around the building.  The “crowd control” guy said it was about a 3 hour wait…wait until those people find out it’s not FREE…

Chicago Part Two

After the Chicago Cubs game, we went to the Willis Tower (formely known as Sears Tower).

view looking up from the "L" train

Willis Tower

cool painting on wall

info on tower

1,450 feet up

view out over Lake Michigan

out on the glass skydeck observatory


Ally, Lindsey, and me