Sunday, November 30, 2008

Asking permission

When we were kids we had to ask our parents permission for almost anything. Going to the store, having a friend over, going to the park... Of course, once you become an adult, you kind of become the authority. You are the one of whom permission is asked. You make the decisions. Obviously, if you're married, you might make those decisions in consultation with your spouse, but the two of you are where the authority rests.

Right?

That's more or less the way that I have seen things, and it has been reflected in my prayer life. My prayer life has definitely grown in the past few months, but it generally consists of some praise, some thanks, and some requests. Requests for what I want. Now, what I want doesn't necessarily consist of things. My prayers generally revolve around protection and salvation of my family, though provision and favor also figure in them. A passage of the Bible that I read recently, though, has shown me something that is missing in my prayers: seeking what God wants.

In 1 Samuel 30, David returns home after an aborted trip to fight alongside his Philistine benefactor, Achish. Upon his return, he fins that an Amalekite raiding party has attacked and taken captive all of the families of David and his men. "...David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep." (1 Samuel 30:4) What would you do if your entire family was taken away? With all of your heart, wouldn't you chase after them without a moment's thought? That wasn't David's first move, though.
...David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, "Bring me the ephod." Abithar brought it to him, and David inquired of the Lord, "Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?"

This was such a revelation to me. Even in the matter of regaining his beloved wives, something where you think, "Of course you should go after them!", David first checked with God to determine His will.

When I compare this with myself, I see clearly how I am lacking. When I make my decisions, I might make them in accordance with what I think God would want (and many of my decision are based just on what I want), but I don't know that I have ever taken a decision to God and asked of Him what I should do...and then listened for the answer. At best, I am driving the car and relegating God to the passenger seat...and I see more and more that this isn't the way it should be. If I am going to let God work through me, than I need to give over the control to Him rather than clinging to it myself.

I'm not exactly sure how to change this. I think the main thing is to spend more time listening for and to God. And to start asking rather than assuming. And then we'll see.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Family football

We had a blast playing football at Carol's. Unfortunately, Bonnie and Jan opted not to play (SmileyCentral.com), but the "kids" are getting big enough that they're bigger than most of the "adults", anyway. My brother Jim and his daughter Kelsea came by to play, too.



Of course, if we do something (anything), you know I'm going to inflict the pictures on you, so without further ado...


From left to right: Kelsea, Daniel, Jeff G., Ryan, Fr. Vic


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Ryan, Karen, Jim, Jeff G., Kelsea, Kate


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Nate, Daniel, Nathan, Jim, Kelsea


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Nathan, Kelsea, Jim, Kate, Jeff G.


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Jeff L., Ryan, Nate, Daniel, Karen, Chad, Fr. Vic


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Karen, Fr. Vic


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Kate (post Nathan's long bomb touchdown pass!!) and Megan J.


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Nate, Josh (barely), Ryan, Kate


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Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving

What a nice Thanksgiving! We really do have a lot to be thankful for. I got to sleep in because Jeff and Jacob always get up to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. We headed out to my MIL's house in time and got there early enough that Jeff could watch most of the Lions game. Got to spend time visiting with my SILs, ate some good food, played football with the older kids and "grownups". Oh, football was so much fun! I don't have any pictures on our camera, but I'm hoping to get my niece's pictures and upload them later.

Before long, it was time to head off for round 2, my mom's house. The food was wonderful, and I got a chance to see my newest niece again (lots of other family, too.). We spent the evening talking and hanging out with my family. It was a low-key end to the day.

Today the weather was fantastic! Nearly 60 degrees, making it the perfect weather for Jeff and the boys to put up Christmas decorations. Jacob was so excited that he was literally kicking up his heels. It was pretty funny. :D I spent the day cleaning and cooking inside.

A Salty Piece of Land

A Salty Piece of Land A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett


My review


rating: 2 of 5 stars
It's really more of 2 1/2 stars. Jimmy Buffett is a songwriter. The novels...well, this one was OK. I do want to go on vacation now. :D


View all my reviews.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holding onto your feelings

I have always been a big-time venter. If I have a problem, I complain and vent. Even about things that aren't big, huge deals, I can make complaining and whining a competitive event. Given this tendency, the direction "Take it to the throne not the phone" and varieties of this have been quite a revelation.

The most I can say here is that I recognize that complaining about my problems and tiny annoyances to anyone who'll listen isn't what I'm supposed to do, and I'm trying to take my problems to God first. It's much like overcoming an addiction, I think. Anyway, today in browsing back through an old issue of Shape magazine, I found this little item:
"Talk therapy has long been touted as the best way to get over a traumatic
experience, but a new study shows that itsn't necessarily true for
everyone. Researchers at the University at Buffalo found that working
through things on your own or letting your feelings sit can be just as
beneficial..."

I think that you could insert prayer in here. We don't have to work things out on our own when we can turn our problems over God and trust in Him to resolve them. We can let our feelings sit as long as we aren't ruled by them...and in the knowledge that God will turn our problems for our good in some way.

Kid update

I know everyone has been missing my updates on what the boys are up to. Right?....right? (Bueller....Bueller...Bueller...)



SmileyCentral.com

Well, anyway...Daniel didn't get a part in the Christmas play this year, which is a little bit of a bummer because it's performed for all of the local school kids and it's kind of fun for my friends' kids to get to see my kid in a play. But oh, well. He's working tech crew on that, and he really likes that group of kids. He did get a part in the Madrigal dinner.



Madrigal is pretty cool. It's kind of like dinner theater combined with a concert and a play. They serve a multi-course dinner while the cast puts on their production interspersed with songs. Daniel has the part of the sheriff in this. Last year he was a waiter, so this is a step up, I guess.



When we last left Nathan, he had just finished the football season and we were anxiously (or not) waiting to see if he made the high school basketball team. He did make the freshman team (which is wonderful, because he was in grave danger of developing some kind of serious thumb injury due to all the video game time he was logging in his time after school) and started off on the "B" team but has managed to work himself up to the "A" team.



Tonight was the season kick-off scrimmage. Nathan did a pretty good job. He's definitely not the star player, but he plays strong. He rebounded much better this year than he has in the past...before he was pretty tentative. He also did a great job on their half-court press. I'm looking forward to seeing the team in action against other schools instead of just their "B" team. First game is next Tuesday. Whoo hoo!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Please keep my sister-in-law in your prayers

My little niece was born on the 11th, and my sister in law (Kristy) had to be hospitalized yesterday because of several blood clots in her leg. They are letting her keep Audrey with her during the day, and my brother is keeping her at home at night. I'm sure he's doing a great job taking care of her...and developing a new appreciation for how exhausting it is to get up all night with a newborn!


Kristy is currently on bedrest at the hospital and on lots of meds. She'll hopefully get to go home early next week, but she'll be on the meds for the next couple of months. She's supposed to be fine, but please keep her in your prayers to help bring about that good outcome.


Here's are Tom, Kristy, and baby Audrey...


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Friday, November 21, 2008

First of several Thanksgivings

Today was the annual Thanksgiving feast at my school. I started this tradition several years ago, and now it's kind of the special ed "thing" to do. My kiddos attend the classroom parties for all of celebrated holidays in their regular classrooms. It's important for them to be a part of those classrooms as much as possible, but it means that we don't get to have that kind of celebration in our own classroom. Celebrating Thanksgiving (which is addressed in other classrooms, but there is no party for Thanksgiving) serves a twofold process.

First of all, having a Thanksgiving party is a chance for us to celebrate together as a class. Just as important, though, is the PR aspect of the party. I am very aware of the parental concerns of a special ed stigma. I will say that, at our school, this doesn't seem to be an issue in the lower grades...and I intend to keep it that way. My kids love being in my class, and the other kids wish they could be. (And they do love our class...several times today I heard different kids say, "I love this class!" or "This is a great class!"...does my heart good. :D) We invite the principal, assistant principal, and the therapists who work with our class to join us.

We made the pumpkin pies yesterday and then took them up to the cafeteria to cook there. I make the turkey at home, and then the ladies in our cafeteria are kind enough to heat it up for us. The families each send in a part of the meal, and we make everything else in our classroom. It's amazing what you can manage to cook with just a few crock pots and a hot plate! Of course, it's usually boxed stuffing and mashed potatoes and canned corn and beans, but the kids have SO much fun doing the cooking! I wish I could post pictures so you could see the huge smiles on their faces.

We pretty much make a day of it. Thanksgiving stories, comparing and contrasting that time period with now, Thanksgiving crafts, discussion of what it means to be thankful and what we are thankful for, cooking and eating the feast, watching a video about the Pilgrims, playing Thanksgiving Bingo, and decorating cookies. (Or, if you want to be educational about it...listening comprehension, history, historical analysis, application, fine motor activities, measurement, socialization, creativity and art, manners, and listening to multi-step descriptions).

I'm pretty much exhausted...I slept about 2 hours last night due to an oven malfunction when we were gone to volleyball throwing off my turkey time table, and I was literally on my feet constantly from 8:15 a.m. until 2:00 (well, I did sit down for about 5 minutes to eat...haha). By the end of the party, I was pretty annoyed with them because behavior was not super. Being out of routine is challenging for some of the kiddos, and all of the excitement makes it harder for them to maintain their behavior. Now that I'm writing about it, though, I absolutely remember why I do it. They had a wonderful time, and they felt "special" in the best possible way. :D

Words to live by

A friend of mine (the one who got me to my new church) and I have had lots and lots of discussions about politics and God and religion. He is way more conservative than I am, so we obviously see issues very differently. We go around and around. He always comes back to "What does the Bible say?"

This is honestly a new way of looking at things for me. While I come from a religious (Catholic) background, neither my church nor my family held the Bible up as much more than a story book (at least, that's my perception. Both my church and parents might see things quite differently). I find myself saying things like, "It doesn't seem right that..." and "It doesn't seem fair that..."

Well, Tuesday night I was reading in the Bible, and though I've seen the words several times, they really jumped out at me that night:

Judges 17:6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.


Um. Oh. I know it shouldn't really be a revelation that it's not about how I see things...and yet it hit me. It didn't touch me in a personal sense in relation to my own actions or behavior; it was more than it's not up to me to figure out what is OK for people because God has already done that for us.

And then, today, the Proverbs31 devotion came, and the Scripture at the very beginning spoke to me:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”
Proverbs 3: 5 (NIV)


This is a big one for me. It has touched me time and again. I am an analytical person. I spend a lot of time thinking things through. I used to joke about how commitment-phobic my husband was, but it turns out that I am quite shy to make a commitment regarding new beliefs. I don't think thinking things through is wrong, but there comes a point when you get trapped in all of the analysis and weighing things. My own understanding is so imperfect; I need to relax and let myself sink into the Lord's teaching. Rather than doing so, I can still feel myself tense and straining to figure things out. I know it's a process, but I can't help picturing myself up on the diving board, bouncing and bouncing but not quite able to step into the air. (And when I do, I'll probably end up dangling in the air with my fingertips clinging to the end of the board! :D)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Questions and answers

I was inspired by JMom's blog today about how to answer kids' potentially embarassing questions. It reminded me of when my sons, then ages 6 and 8, asked me a hard question of their own. I have always answered my kids' questions honestly and without making a big deal of things. In my experience, when you are matter-of-fact and truthful, your kids don't end up acting silly about the questions they ask or the answers they get.

That doesn't, however, make the answering much easier...

So, when the boys were about 6 and 8, my close friend was pregnant with her second child. They had asked me a few times how the baby got "in there", but they were always asking me in places like the grocery store where I didn't care to get into a Conversation. I would tell them we could talk about it at home...and by the time we got home they didn't remember the question. Whew. Well, one evening in the car, my friend's pregnancy had me reminiscing with them about when I was pregnant with them. And then The Question, "But how did we get IN there?"

I gave them the bare-bones physical description of how the process worked. I'm sure my face was flaming, but at least it was dark in the car. They were very quiet for a minute or two, processing, I guess, and then one of them asked, "Did you do that with my dad?" (By that time we were divorced, and I was trying very hard to forget that I EVER had done that with their dad, lol).

I explained that yes, indeed, I had. Quiet again reigned in the car for some time, and then I heard a plaintive voice ask, "Isn't there any other way??"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yard work

Along with the leaf raking today, I managed some other yard work as well. Our compost barrel was about full, so I figured it was time to dump it and see what I could dig into the garden. I was pleasantly surprised! All but the top layer was nicely broken down. Last year it didn't go so well and I had a sloppy mess to dig back into the barrel.

I'm trying to garden without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. We had a better yield this year than last, and I'm hoping that next year is even better. Last year's Halloween hay bales, the finished compost, and a bunch of our leaves (NOT Jacob's fun leaves...other leaves from the front yard) will be dug into the soil maybe next weekend.

This was a nice, low-key weekend. Friday night we watched Survivor and then played a game with the boys. It was pretty fun. Saturday I got to sleep in until 11 (wow. Wow!! It was great.) and then we spent the day playing with Jacob and picking up the house. Jacob had a birthday party at 4:30, and then Jeff and I went to see Changeling after Jacob's party (very handy having a live-in babysitter).

Today Jacob and I went to church. I love taking him to church and knowing that he is learning more about God, and I love going to church. I never imagined that I would look forward to going to church, but I really do now. I'm so glad that I've found this church. :) After church was the leaf raking, and then I worked on the compost while he was napping, worked on some paperwork for school, watched a little of the (awful) Rams game with Jeff, and rode the exercise bike. This in the midst of running Daniel where he needed to be. Took a hot bath this evening and just soaked. It was really nice...I actually fell asleep in the tub. Guess I needed the sleep.

Like I said, low-key weekend, but nice. :) Headed to bed now. Have a great week!

Fall Fun

Jacob and I raked leaves today in the back yard. We did a lot of raking, but somehow the yard doesn't look much better. Hmmm...I wonder why...maybe because we had a slight difference of opinion. I though it would be good to rake and bag the leaves. He thought it would be more fun to rake the leaves into a big pile and play in them. (He was right!)



Here's how it went. First, we (meaning mostly I) raked the leaves into a big pile. Then, Jacob buried me.



Bury mommy

Sadly for him, it's not that easy to keep me down, and I escaped and tackled him!



Leaf shower

Somehow, in the middle of all that fun, I lost Jacob. (And yes, I know the hat is quite stylish and flattering...or not...but I hate to be cold!)



Where's Jacob?

Eventually, he turned up. Whew!



Leaf pile

It may come as a huge shock after all those pictures, but it turns out we still have a lot of leaves in the yard...so anyone who wants to come play in the leaves with us should come on over! (and bring a rake).



SmileyCentral.com

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I love people

Oh, I love people. So very much. Especially the parents of students.

On the heels of a pretty darn good afternoon, I am reminded once again that you can't please everybody. Here's the good afternoon part. One of my students (J.) was suspended today for hitting (I know...sounds really good so far, right? Bear with me.) The incident took place at recess, had nothing to do with me, and was handled by his regular classroom teacher and the assistant principal.

Well, lucky me, I happened to be in the office when J's mom and uncle came in. The mom was really, really ticked off. I volunteered to walk her up to the asst. principal's office because our school is a maze, but then the secretary told us that he was coming down to talk with them. So we just talked in the hall until he got there.

I had NO interest in being a part of this meeting. I prefer to avoid conflict if possible. I couldn't figure out how to extricate myself, though, so in I went. I literally prayed on the way in that God would give me the right words to say to this woman. Well, He did! The meeting started out pretty hostile between the parent and the asst. principal, but I was able to smooth things over. I felt like I was walking a fine line between backing the administration (because I surely want them to back me if there's an issue!) and supporting and addressing the parent's valid concerns. It took forever--over an hour!--but the end of the meeting was really positive.

After the meeting, I waited for the AP and told him, "I hope I didn't step on your toes in there." He thanked me and told me that he was so glad that I had sat in on the meeting, that it had looked really bad at the beginning but that every time I opened my mouth he could see the mom calm down. After a different meeting with my boss, I checked my email in my classroom and had a really nice thank you email from the AP as well as a cc of an email he had sent to my boss and the school social worker explaining the meeting and telling them that it had gone well because of me. :D

So I was flying high. And then...

I have a classroom website. A GREAT classroom website, if I do say so myself. Every day I post a report of what all we did in class that day, list homework, and post resources I've created for parents who want to give their student some extra help. I take pictures of classroom activities and post pictures of the kids. I probably put an hour a day into updating the website and creating resources that parents can use.

Well, I checked the website tonight and had an email from a parent who apparently didn't notice any of the good things but DID NOT LIKE the picture posted of her daughter. The daughter, who is African American and very dark-skinned, was "too black" in the picture and the mom was "really upset". So, whatever. I apologized, deleted the picture, and tomorrow she'll complain because there are no pictures of her daughter on the website.

Did I mention how much I love peopel? I really do, but sometimes they make it harder than others.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Praying with my son

I've been trying to do the 7 prayers a day with Jacob (see previous post, link to blog about this is there). In our house, we almost always pray before meals, but that's usually the only "out loud" praying that is done. I don't know if Jeff or the boys pray otherwise. I am trying to pray more regularly...just making it a regular part of my day. Well, not "a" part...lots of parts.

I wrote down the Bible verses that were suggested. First, I would pray with Jacob; then I would pray over him. Anyway, the first night I prayed over Jacob, he was just pretty quiet about it. The second night, he was downright silly and obnoxious during both our prayers and my prayer. Last night, though, he was adding to the prayers I suggested and coming up with some of his own. It was so neat to see. He was really into the different verses and wanted to know when we were supposed to say them. This morning, as we were getting into the car, he said, "We forgot to say the leaving the house prayer!" (which we hadn't...we'd said it just before we left).

The thing about our mornings is that we pack an awful lot into the 35-40 minutes between me waking him and us leaving, so we have about 4 prayers back to back. Not that that's a bad thing...I'm just wondering about tweaking the process and maybe adding something I can say for him during the day as well.

Now, all this pertains to Jacob. I want to do this for Daniel and Nathan as well, but am not as comfortable starting it with them because I'm pretty sure that they'll look at me like I'm crazy. I'm trying to remember that it isn't how they look at me that matters as much as it is them seeing and hearing me pray over them and them hearing God's word over their lives. So we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What a difference a day makes...

The tree in our front yard is just beautiful. Bright yellow leaves. And every day I think to myself, I should take a picture of that tree. But I don't. And this morning, when I went outside, here's my tree. Haha. At least I have a pretty lawn now! :)



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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Praying for your children

Thanks to JMom at Lots of Scotts for passing on a link to this post about praying for your children. I'm going to do this. It's been very much on my heart lately for a couple of different reasons.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Unanswered Prayers

Ever since seeing "Heaven's Gates/Hell's Flames" this week, I've been thinking about what exactly I've taught my children about God and having a relationship with Him. The answer, sadly, is not much. We have regularly gone to church and prayed before meals, and I sent the boys to PSR. But that's it.

Today I thought about this as I drove Jacob to daycare. I've been trying to improve my prayer life (and it's a struggle, to be sure. Prayer doesn't come naturally to me.), and I thought that I need to help him develop a relationship with God as well. I asked him, "Would you like to pray over your day before we get to school?"

"No," he answered, "I prayer to God to make me the red Ninja Turtle, and it didn't work. All day long I kept watching my hands to see if they were green yet, but they never were."

Oh, my goodness...the faith of a child! He really was watching for himself to turn green!

(And I prayed aloud for him, anyway)

*****

I myself had an unanswered prayer (sort of) situation last week. I really had a hard time making a decision about the presidential election. There were things I liked and disliked about both candidates, and I really struggled to choose. On the way to work, I prayed that God would direct my vote and wondered to myself whether I would hear his direction and what form it might take.

Maybe it'll be the next campaign bumper sticker I see, I thought, Maybe I'll see it and just know.

I drive the interestate to work every day. My commute is about 40 minutes each way. I would see bumper stickers constantly...except for the three days that followed that prayer!!! I watched for bumper stickers, but I never saw one. After talking to a friend at church on Sunday, I pretty much had made my decision. I told him about it while I was driving to work this Monday. And then I looked up and saw a campaign sticker.

It was as if God wasn't going to let me see any of those stickers and possibly make my choice in a random way. I feel sure that He was behind the fact that I never saw any until the decision was made. And I stand amazed once again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Humble pie

I know I've mentioned before that my husband is not a fan of my new church. (Can I say "new" after 6 months? I guess so if it's compared to 35 years.) He went to one service with me and was asking "Are we done yet?" by the end of the second song. I love my church, though, and it has been an area where we choose to agree to disagree.

This week, my church put on a presentation called "Heaven's Gates Hell's Flames", which was about how the choices you make about committing your heart to Jesus (or not doing so) affect where you spend eternity. I went to see it on Sunday. I wasn't sure what I'd think about it, but it really was very powerful. It made me think a lot about my husband and kids, about where their hearts are, and about what I have taught and modelled for them (which is not much).

I had invited Jeff to go with me on Sunday, and he turned me down. After watching the play, I called him on the way home and told him I would really like for him to go with me the next day. He was very noncommittal. I even invited two of my brothers, and inviting anyone to a church type of thing is a very new and uncomfortable thing for me.

Well, on the way home from work Monday, I called Jeff to ask if he was going to go. He told me that he had been thinking that, if it was important to me, he would go with me. Great, right? Until I had to open my big mouth. I asked him if he was going to go with an open mind (which, in my opinion, he did not do when he went to church with me before) because it would really hurt me for him to sit there and be very negative about it. Well, that led to a discussion/argument about whether he did, indeed, have an open mind when he went, why I didn't speak to him for 2 days after he made a comment I found hurtful, and what was wrong with my church.

I got off the phone SO annoyed. With him, and with myself. What was important was that he went. Even if he went with a bad attitude, it would at least give God a chance to work on him. Plant a seed. And I had spoiled it because I was busy trying to protect myself. Well, as I drove I realized that I needed to go home and humble myself, apologize, say I didn't want to fight about church, and tell him again how much I would appreciate it if he went.

And he did. :) So did Nathan.

Now, no floodgates were opened, but he went. And it did spark a conversation later in bed about church. Apologizing isn't an easy thing for me, especially when I don't feel like I am in the wrong, but it was so much the right choice for this situation. I thank God that He helped me humble myself to further His kingdom and answered my prayers by getting Jeff and Nathan to the play.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Party

Well, one more Halloween party is over. It was a lot of fun. Especially once the costumes were all finished. Lots of shopping and sewing go into our costumes, and this year, we had a little sculpting to do, too. Here's Nathan making one of his props.



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I was actually finished with the costumes by Friday night this year. (Usually, I'm sewing up until about 20 minutes before everyone is supposed to be there.) It gave me a chance to do some baking for the party. I made a couple of different kinds of cookies...



Halloween party 2008 304Keeping my eye on you! :D



Halloween party 2008 306When you want someone to give you the finger!



Everybody (well, not Bill, but everybody else) gets into the costumes. A lot of times people try to stick with a family theme. Of course, it gets harder every year to do something that no one else has done. Check out this year's costumes...



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My ex-husband and his family. Obviously, no theme, but in their defense I invited them about 4 hours before the party!



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Bonnie and Chris. Bonnie made her costume. Very cool!



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Karen and family.



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My brother Matt and his son Bradey



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My mom and her boyfriend, Bob



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Carol (the queen of Mardi Gras)



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Our family. I made my costume and Daniel's. Jeff bought Jacob's, and we put together Nathan's and Jeff's from things we had in the house. You can't see it in this picture, but Jeff had a little pigtail of hair sticking out from the top of his head (attached by a suction cup. :D)



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Jan and her kids Ryan, Megan, Josh, and Alex. Kudos to Ryan for having the guts to dress in drag as April O'Neill. There's taking one for the family. Haha



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Jan's son Corey



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Jan's son Jeffrey and his girlfriend Heather



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Mike



Jeff came up with some pretty cool decorations, too. He and Nathan spent a lot of time getting stuff set out in the yard today.



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OK, he's not a prop, but I couldn't leave out our friend Gary. :D



As you can see, it was a good time. We cooked hot dogs, at lots of sweets, played Ghost in the Graveyard (so fun!! I laughed like a little kid.), sat around the bonfire, and just talked and hung out. The weather today was unbelievable. I had bought a long sleeved shirt to go under my costume, and I'm going to return it! It was a gorgeous day, and a great night for a party. Hope everybody else had a good Halloween, too.