Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The little brosef Graduated!!!

Jon graduated from Wartburg College on Sunday. Not only did we survive that but we survived the tornadoes through central Iowa as well. It sure was a crazy day!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Carpenter

The Carpenter

Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch. Then the long collaboration fell apart.

It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox.

"I'm looking for a few days work," he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?"

"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor; in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us, and he took his bulldozer to the river levee. Now there is a creek between us. He may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence -- an eight-foot fence ... so I won't have to look at his place anymore."

The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger, and I'll do the job."

The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready, and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.

There was no fence there as all! It was a bridge -- stretching from one side of the creek to the other!

It was a fine piece of work, handrails and all -- and there was his neighbor, his younger brother, coming across, his hand outstretched. "You're quite a man to build this bridge after all I've said and done."

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand.

Then they turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder.

"No wait! Stay a few more days. I have a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.

"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said as he walked away, "but I have many more bridges to build."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to .........


I'm a quarter of a century. How great is that?!?!?!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008


We've lost our sense of wonder.... That's been evident to me over the past couple of months. When was the last time you really stopped and smelled the roses? A couple of days ago I was sitting outside writing when this overwhelming smell of lilacs filled the air. What a beautiful and peaceful smell. What the Lord must have thought and felt when He created Lilacs. That got me thinking, the smell of flowers is something I take for granted. Sure they're beautiful to look at but their scent is their hidden secret.

A couple of weeks ago I was on the train heading in to downtown Chicago and this little child was sitting in front of me. They were intently staring out the window, mesmerized by each passing object. She would squeal when she saw a huge piece of machinery, an airplane, pretty flowers.... It didn't matter, it was the wonder of it all that kept her intrigued. To be a kid again and find everything fascinating. I couldn't help but smile with each new thing she would see and shout out for her mom (and the rest of the train) to look at. When did we lose our youth? The late Gen. Douglas MacArthur once wrote, "Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste of adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal.... You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature, and of God." That is my prayer for every person, that they would remain youthful in their thoughts and see the wonder of it all!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Go Bananas!

I don't know about you, but I don't live without BANANAS! (and thanks to gwen stefani, I will never forget how to spell it)

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.
But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better aft er eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at wor k leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high- pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over- chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape! So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills . When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well- known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

**dont ask me where this info came from. its not mine, i just found it. **

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Happy Birthday Slater!!

They say it's your birthday! What What!!!

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Windy City

My whirlwind of a week has come and gone. Its seems like I just blew into the windy city and just like that, I was gone. Thank goodness for pictures otherwise it wouldn't really seem like I was there. I wish I could bottle up the week and uncork it whenever I wanted to. The fun that was had the past week was some of the best. Though I missed my friends, Chicago is a city that never gets old to me. I'm always fascinated. I've seen the Bean more times than I count yet every time I have to take a picture because its so fantastical. I feel like I'm back in elementary school going on a field trip to an exciting new place (only I'm 24 years old and I've been to Chicago countless times).

What is it about the city that grips me so much? For one thing, the atmosphere around Wrigley Field before, during, and after a Cubs game will keep anybody coming back. I was fortunate enough to get tickets to the Cubs vs. Mets game. There's not much that beats good baseball in the summertime! And I should say, not even good baseball in the summer. I will sit in the rain in the spring to watch a baseball game! But thankfully, we had clear skies, 65 degrees, and a Cubs WIN!! Hey hey, what do you say, the Cubs are going to WIN today!!

Chicago is filled with so much history and fun places to explore, I doubt I will ever know or see it all. I guess that gives me more reasons to keep going back for visits. My brother and I went to see the musical Jersey Boys, which was fantastic. We also saw Blue Man Group. I'm not sure what that was all about. I was both scared and laughing at the same time. When it was over, my words were "What was that? That was really cool!" Funny, yet awkward?! You'll have to see for yourself I guess. The opportunity to see great shows in Chicago is one that you can't pass up. I've been to some of the best concerts of my life and attended some of the greatest musicals I'll ever see in Chicago. The variety of music, art, and entertainment keeps drawing me back. And I cannot end this blog without mentioning the shopping. Lets just say, I should probably pick up a second job before and after I return from Chicago!

As my older brother plans to leave Chicago after the summer, I can't help but feel a little tinge of sorrow in my heart. Its been a blessing to have his house available whenever I want to visit. The convenience of it all is something that I think I've taken for granted. Though I have other friends who live in Chicago to visit and stay with, it just won't be the same. Every time my visit in Chicago ends, I leave a little piece of my heart in the city. Take this for what you will, its a city that I will love for a long, long time.