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July 6, 2007

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ANNOUNCEMENT

July 6, 2007

LINK TO NEW AND HOPEFULLY TEMPORARY BLOG SITE: JENNSLOG (NO “B”)

Hi, this is Mark. Jennifer’s getting tired of the spam and I haven’t had time to change the template (like I wouldn’t make it worse). So she’s moving to wordpress.com until Jay has time to port a wordpress blog over here.

It would be great if you didn’t change your bookmarks, since we’re hoping this is temporary….

So please go leave a comment on her generic entry. (By the way, Jennifer hasn’t even seen the new template I chose, so she’s not reponsible.)

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Blog Post from Heaven

July 5, 2007

Dad, Mark, Jay

I have been thinking of posting today because I want to post more regularly than I have been in the habit of doing. But, nothing right was coming to mind. Then, this photo arrived via e-mail from Mark’s dad. The timing was providential. This is Mark, his dad, and his younger brother circa 1978. What a great picture!

I also have to say that I almost broke into song when I saw Mark’s shirt. If you were a kid in an evangelical church in the 70s, you probably know the tune.

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The three older children came home from camp today. They are all healthy and well. I was really surprised at how emotional Mark and I were when we dropped them off last Sunday afternoon for a little more than 4 days of camp. So we were really missing them while they were gone. All the reviews indicate that camp was a hit.

Turkey Hill Ranch Bible Camp is the name of the place. It is down near Rolla in a really beautiful part of Missouri. As a family we went there over Memorial Day for their Family Camp, and we enjoyed the facilities and the fun.

A few interesting highlights — Evangeline had a counselor named Karis. It was easy for her to remember her name. Evangeline also passed the swimming test, and she is begging to go back for another week’s session before the summer ends. Nevin and Calvin also had fun, but I haven’t had a chance to get a “review” from them. Nevin did say that he answered the EE questions “very well.” They are all begging to go to the Labor Day family camp, too.

On the home front, I finished priming and painting the girls’ new room. I have to paint the trim, but the walls are done. Evangeline was really happy to come home to this surprise.

Charis was happy to welcome home her big sister, too. Their sharing a bed tonight in celebration of their reunion.

It was a little too quiet around here this week. I’m glad to have the whole gang back.

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Kids, Kamp, Kings

June 27, 2007

Ok. I couldn’t resist the K alliteration. Please don’t hate me!

Kids
The 3 big kids are away at Kamp for the week. What sort of camp, you ask? Bible camp. I have really great memories of at least 7 summers in which I attended our denomination’s church camp. Now, the PCA may have camps somewhere, but there aren’t any near here. So our kids are attending a Bible camp that is not related to our church. In a few days when they are home, I’ll post a link to the camp. Since it is the week before July 4, the kids only stay until Friday this week. We are happy that we haven’t received any panicked phone calls from them, and we’re hopeful that this will continue for the next 36 hours until Mark brings them home.

The youngest kid was quite upset that we took away her sister for the week, but I think she is actually enjoying having a little more one-on-one time with Mom and Dad.

Kings
One thing we’ve done a lot this week with Charis is to play “king” or queen. We
ate at Burger King on our way home from taking the kids to camp on Sunday, and the paper crown has gotten a lot of use since then.

Painting Kids’ Room
I had grand plans to get several projects completed while the kids were gone this week. Well, I still had to work and do the normal household chores in the evenings, so I haven’t managed to do anything extra yet. But I did get a start on painting the bedroom the girls will be moving into. We are doing a little switching around of rooms–moving the girls to the larger room that has been serving as the play room so they can put their bunk beds down on the floor. With the switch, I promised some redecorating. So the new wall color is a light green–to match the wings of Tinker Bell. Hopefully, once the main color is on the wall, we’ll add Tinker Bell and other fairy accents with purple as the accent color.

Other news?
Is anything else new? Not really. We’re in the process of working through all the questions/issues/details of life to figure out how/where we’ll educate the children next year. The school they have attended for the last 2 years is just out of our price range, so we have to make a change. What type of work Mark and I will do also plays into this decision. So please pray for us if you think of it. Summer is over in 6 weeks, so the decision must be made soon.

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Traveling and family

June 16, 2007

My extended family is large and far-flung. I have 8 siblings, and all but one brother now live within 20 minutes of my mother’s home near where we grew up. The 4 sisters, however, live in 4 different states. Because Mark and I have lived far from my childhood home, we don’t get oppportunities to visit my mom or siblings often. Making the time and finding the money to take a family of 6 on long road trips has been hard for us.

This weekend, my sister’s middle son is getting married in a city only 6 hours from St. Louis, so we made the trip to be at the wedding and to see my family–my mom especially. I actually have been having a hard time figuring out exactly when we saw her last. Charis, our youngest is 4, and I think we took the kids to see my mom when she was 2, but I can’t be sure. My brain sometimes plays tricks on me 🙂

Tonight we arrived at our hotel, and then headed to my sister’s house to see the other family members who had already arrived. It is great to see my mom again, and it was wonderful to see Charis and Evangeline love on my mom when they don’t really know her well. My mom, Grandma Burkett to them, was eating it up. It made me feel like we have to work out ways to see her more often.

We also received warm greetings from the other siblings and their families. I often envy friends who have really close relationships with their siblings, but I felt tonight that although I am not close to all of mine, if I needed something, they would be there for me.

Tomorrow, 7 of the 9 siblings will attend my nephew’s wedding. That’s better than the number that made it to mine–there were 4 of us there when you count me. Despite the hassles of the quick weekend trip, I am glad we came.

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Flooding, etc.

June 14, 2007

The little “puke joke” happened at my office because Mark was out of town. The plan for the week originally was for me to work mostly from home. But circumstances kept mounting that made our plans change. So the kids were at work with me more than I would have liked. I can say I am thankful for an employer who allows such flexibility.

Now, on to the “flooding” story. Late on Wednesday afternoon, after a busy time of fun with friends at Grant’s Farm and then Evangeline’s softball practice, the kids were ready to cool off. So they got out the water guns and had a water war with the neighbor kids. Evangeline came running in the house headed to the bathroom. She was in quite a hurry. When she was finished, I heard her scream, “The toilet’s overflowing!” She wasn’t kidding. The water poured into the hall and down through the floor boards to the basement. I freaked out on all the kids, plunged the clog through, and with their help, we got the bathroom and basement cleaned up after about an hour. (The evidence pointed to an over use of tp.)

This all happened after the hard drive on my computer at work crashed. The computer tech was there for nearly 5 hours today, which extended my workday much longer than I had hoped. Fortunately, my very selfless friend allowed my kids to hang out with her kids at their house today. And, after my very long frustrating day at work, Mark got back to town and was dropped off at my office. After I finished up some things, we headed out to get the kids. I know lots of families have husbands/daddies who travel a lot more than Mark does. So I don’t want to complain too much. But when he is gone, I sure realize how good I have it!

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The Joke’s On Mom

June 11, 2007

So today I had all 4 kids at work with me for a few hours. Overall, they were great, but there were a couple of tense moments when I was trying to get projects completed, and I was being called to mommy duties. At one point, the girls were “playing office” in one of the empty office spaces. They had been entertaining themselves very well for a long while, and then Evangeline rushed out to me and said, “Charis threw up!”

I rushed in to her and yelled, “Oh, no!’ I found her on the floor on all fours with a round puddle of vomit under her head. When I bent down to inspect what kind of clean-up was required, I realized that I had fallen for a practical joke. The puddle was a piece of plastic puke that had been left in the office. At first I was pretty upset with them because I was trying to get work done. Then I just started to laugh. And the kids all thought it was a riot that I had fallen for it.

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There is much rejoicing at our house today. It was the last day of school. After early morning dismissal for the 3 older kids, we headed to a local county park for Charis’s pre-school end-of-the-year picnic. It was a lot of fun. Charis made one very good little friend at pre-school this year, and they played together the whole time we were there. When we were walking around the park to see the various sites, the girls held hands the whole time. We do a lot for the older kids, so it is especially nice when we get to do an activity that is just for Charis.

We’re heading to a family Bible camp for the long weekend to kick off the summer! The big kids are signed up for a week-long camp there this summer, so we wanted to get a chance to check the place out. We’re looking forward to it.

Have a good Memorial Day weekend!

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An Easter Poem

May 21, 2007

Ok. Time for a little parental pride. Today I was going through 3rd grade Nevin’s school papers, and I came across an index card with a poem written on it. I asked him what it was, and he said it was an assignment for school from around Easter. I was pretty impressed by it, but then again, I am his mom. Here it is:

Never has such a miracle happened.
Each Sunday feels like Easter.
Visiting Church is like visiting Heaven.
In the tomb Jesus has risen.
News! Jesus has risen.

When we told Nevin that we liked his poem, he said, “I’m not going to be a poet.” We’re ok with that.

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