Thursday, August 28, 2008


One of the things that has plagued me since we moved was not being able to find out much on the history of our house. I've searched online, the newspaper articles at the library, asked around town, etc., but no one knew much about it before the 1940s.

I was at an auction on Monday here in town and one of the items up for bid was a centennial book. It is a pretty detailed account of the town's first 100 year history, almost from the day the first settlers arrived in Adrian.

I bid on the book and won it for $4. I immediately started scanning it for any mention of A. M. Becker, the man who built our house. I found him on page 5 and realized he was a pretty big deal in the settling of Adrian. He had a large mercantile and expanded it several times in the first few years. He was also known as one of the wealthiest men in Nobles County.

But then I hit the jackpot! While I was reading about another expansion he made on the store in 1885, there was one sentenced tucked in there that was the key I had been looking for for over a year!

"In 1885, he also built a beautiful home on Church Street (6th street used to be called Church) costing $6,500."

I almost fell out of my chair and now have an even deeper appreciation for the history of this house and a desire to restore it so that it will be around another 123 years! Now if only I could find a picture...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

101st Post

So, a friend told me that according to "blogdom" you're supposed to post 100 things about yourself on your 100th post. Well, my 100th post was about Carter building an outdoor bathroom with his friend and then peeing in it, so I guess the 101st post will have to do.

This may take awhile...

1. My middle name was Jeannette after my weird aunt. I HATED it!
2. I have 3 sisters.
3. I became a Christian at 5 on my big wheel in the driveway.
4. I don't think I realized the freedom we have in Christ until I was in my 20s.
5. I had a really long awkward phase from oh about 8 to 15.
6. My favorite color is red
7. I hate the color yellow
8. I love living in a small town
9. I still really want my own horse
10. I am scared to death of things that jump (frogs, crickets, spiders, etc.)
11. I also have an irrational fear of fire
12. My favorite tool is my silent paint remover
13. I love doing manual labor on my old house
14. I love that my husband doesn't get mad at my 1001 projects!
15. I love that my kids play so well together (most days!)
16. I even love that Carter is the tornado.
17. My favorite times were spent at Berry
18. My favorite place to be is by the water - either lake or ocean
19. I want to learn to water ski
20. I also want to learn to snow ski
21. I wish I could sing
22. I wish I could play the piano
23. I've also always wanted to learn how to play the banjo.
24. My favorite restaurant is a hole in the wall Mexican place in Okoboji, Iowa
25. I miss my family so much!
26. I think I was born about 70 years too late
27. I love to go to auctions! It's my new addiction
28. I also love to go to yard sales
29. I hate flies (there's one flying around me right now)
30. My very favorite song is Everlasting God (Lincoln Brewster's version)
31. I still like country music
32. I used to want to be a lawyer when I grew up
33. I have always wanted to live in Manhattan for a year
34. I love change
35. I love that my husband understands that I thrive on change :)
36. I think Facebook is one of the best creations for getting in touch with long lost friends!
37. I love to walk barefoot outside
38. I love romantic movies and hate watching ones that are too serious or sad
39. I still daydream
40. I hate to do laundry
41. I love to eat ice cream
42. I love buying gifts for other people
43. I love to travel
44. I still keep in touch with the President of the Girl Haters Club from 1st grade. He finally got married last year!
45. I love the ocean
46. I want to learn how to sail
47. I hate my dog
48. I love fresh sweet corn - the stuff in the stores doesn't compare anymore!
49. I love that I can look at a place I swore I would never visit again in the winter, much less live there, and see God's beauty in it in all seasons
50. I love that I can walk Ashlyn to school every morning
51. I love the smile on her face when I pick her up every afternoon
52. I am too impatient
53. I actually find myself wanting a minivan
54. I wonder when I got old enough to want a minivan
55. I still think of myself as being 24
56. I have some of the best friends in the world
57. I will never never never go caving again.
58. I have a fear of small places :)
59. My favorite place in the whole world is Coronado Island near San Diego
60. I've only been out of the US once - on a cruise to Jamaica and the Caymans
61. I will never go to Jamaica again
62. I love weddings
63. I love to read headstones in graveyards
64. I actually like long road trips
65. My favorite things to wear are jeans and t-shirts
66. I also like to get dressed up every once in awhile.
67. I love to dance
68. I hate being late
69. I love chocolate
70. I love to buy fun shoes!
71. I know how to drive a stick shift
72. I didn't learn to drive a stick shift until I was 21
73. I HATED high school - with a passion
74. I miss my dog Hunter so much
75. I love old photographs
76. I love that my sisters and I are all friends
77. I miss Chick-Fil-A and Waffle House more than any other restaurants
78. I want to learn how to drive a tractor
79. My favorite thing to ride on the playground is the see-saw
80. I love roller coasters. The best one is Everest at Animal Kingdom - hands down!
81. I wish I knew more about my grandparents and great grandparents.
82. I love Christmas
83. I don't like talking on the phone
84. I have only owned 2 cars
85. I love costume parties!
86. I want to have a garden
87. I am a morning person
88. I am addicted to Coca-Cola
89. I also love sweet tea and am so glad that somewhere here finally has it! (The ONLY good reason to go to McDonald's!)
90. My favorite flowers gardenias and gerbera daisies
91. I love to shop for bargains
92. I want to have my own shop or cafe one day
93. I have only ever lived in 2 states
94. I have never broken a bone
95. I love hearing my kids sing worship songs at the top of their lungs with the music blaring
96. I actually don't mind shoveling snow
97. I love bubble baths
98. I have never been camping, fishing or anything else too outdoors-y
99. I love re-connecting with old friends
100. I want to run a marathon one day

Whew - I'm glad that's done. I hope you didn't get too bored.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Another Carter Moment

I know I've been posting about Carter a lot lately, but when my friend Jackie put this post up on her blog, I just had to share it too. The little boy in the "outdoor bathroom" story guessed it - CARTER!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lemonade Stand!!

We really do live in a small town. The kids had a lemonade stand today that we did with a family down the street. It was so much fun! The kids literally worked for their sales. They went door-to-door to the neighbors on our block letting them know they were doing a lemonade stand. Carter yelled (imagine that!) LEMONADE!!!!!!! at every car that drove by. I think all in all they each earned between $3 and $4. Not too bad for 2 six year olds, a 4 year old, a 3 year old and a 2 year old. Oh yeah - and 2 great mommies!!!! Thanks, Megan!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Quote From Carter

Here's the latest from Carter:

"Mom, I measured the ottoman and it's about 8 minutes to go."

He said this while using a tape measure to actually measure the ottoman. I've never seen a tape that measures in "minutes to go!"

He must use the "special" tape measure...

Saturday, August 9, 2008


As the kids and I were walking down to our little grocery store, I had a memory come flooding back that made me a little sad and a little nostalgic. Maine Avenue, the main street that runs through town, reminds me a lot of Berry this time of year. It's a wide street, lined with stately trees - a lot like the walk I took every day from my dorm at the Ford Buildings down to the main part of campus. It is beautiful! And every day that walk was a time I spent deep in thought - either going over my notes again right before a big test or just about life in general. It was also the location of lots of talks with friends, and time spent just looking at the cows in the pasture. The only difference is it's people looking back at you wondering what you're doing instead of a smelly old cow!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Right now, parenting sucks. Today was one of the hardest days I've had with the kids in a long time. I'm not sure what was so different except that Britney is gone to some sprint car races in Iowa for the next several days and his mom left yesterday after a long visit. I don't know if the kids were just overly tired or not sure how to handle all of the sudden changes. Here's a quick rundown of just a few of the arguments I faced today, and I'm ashamed to say that I didn't always act like the mature adult I am :)

Carter asked for Cheetos for breakfast. That should've been a sign of the day to come. I said no, which was not the answer he wanted. But, I stuck to my guns and he had a slightly more nutritious breakfast of cheese toast.

I was planning to paint some old school desks I got for the kids at the Spittles' yard sale. The kids wanted to help, so I thought I would give it a try. It was just a can of spray paint, after all. WRONG! Ashlyn liked to hold the can about 2" from her desk and spray a steady stream for a good 30 seconds. You can't even begin to imagine how much paint I had to wipe off that desk! After an argument with her, which I'm sure ended with her feeling like a total failure, we compromised and I did the desk and she did the seat. Unfortunately we ran out of paint before we got 2 coats on the seat...

Tonight was the first night of the Nobles County Fair, and in my eternal optimism, I figured that if I took the kids out of the house, maybe our day would improve. At first, it seemed that I was once again, a genius! Happy kids, nice kids, kids who were thinking of others first! Oh, but wait, I only spent $23 on tickets, which was enough for them to each ride 4 rides. All was going fine, until Ashlyn told Carter he wouldn't want to ride one of the rides she wanted to ride, even though he wanted to ride. Because she is the all-knowing big sister, he conceded that he didn't want to ride, which made her happy, until she found out that I couldn't leave him standing all by himself while I rode with her and she would have to ride by herself. Needless to say, she was not a happy camper with that information.

And finally, when I told Carter to pick his last ride, he picked a little motorcycle ride - for the second time. Ashlyn didn't want to ride, so he rode by himself. Then it was Ashlyn's turn to pick her last ride. She picked the swings. Carter didn't understand why we didn't have more tickets for him to ride in the blue swing. So, all of Ashlyn's ride, I was holding a screaming 3 year old, pitching the fit of his life.

Oh yeah and let's not forget Ashlyn and Carter fighting over who would carry the bottle of water and then screaming "I want to go home!" while I was trying to get some information from one of the vendors at the fair.

After the kids went to bed, I made a kindness chart for both of them with some Bible verses on it and character traits that we need to work on. I hope that it will remind me too so that we don't have many more days like today!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Awesome God

Today was the adoption service at our church that we have been working on with the Spittles over the last few weeks. I know that the service was completely covered in prayer, and I know at least Britney and I went to church today with an expectation and excitement that we haven't had since we left Georgia. It was so neat how God used all of our gifts and the service came together beautifully. It wasn't work really for anyone. Sure, there were things that people were nervous about or having to step out of their comfort zone a little. But, we all trusted that He would give us the words and the heart to communicate what needed to be said.

Scot and Kristin were able to share their story, God's heart for orphans, our adoption by Him, and share their two new additions with everyone - Delali and Raymond. We were even able to include every single person there in the service by showing ways that they can support the Spittles, even when it feels like their part is so small. It's not the size of the part you play, but that you allow God to lead you in playing that part.

Two of the many amazing things that happened today have to do with the financial side of the adoption. Money has never been the focus of this adoption, but everyone knows that it IS expensive and Scot and Kristin were trusting that God would meet this huge need. God has already met the need for the first half of the $24,000 they need for the adoption and travel expenses. Today, Kristin shared the grand total for the yard sale over last weekend and Friday. Remember here, I asked you all to pray for $3,000? Well, the grand total was just over $3,300!!! That NEVER happens here. But it did for them! Amazing!

The second big WOW of the day came after the pie social we had after church. Our friend, Shelly, organized a social where people donated pies to be sold for $10 each. All of the money raised went to the Spittles for adoption expenses. There were between 35 and 40 pies total, but people paid way over their $10 for them :) The total for today was $2,047! When we left church, I had heard that the total was $947. I was floored by that. But when I got home and read Kristin's blog that the total was over $2,000, I just started laughing out loud. God is awesome! He truly can meet our every need - even through pie :)

By the way - I thought I would include a picture of most of the Spittles so that you can see this incredible family. Scot is missing only because these guys came over while he was at work :) This is Gabe, Levi, Sophia, Simon, Keegan and Kristin.

Friday, August 1, 2008


That pretty much sums up the last 2 weeks at our house, unfortunately. Carter was sick last week with an ear infection and then some kind of virus on top of it. He was better on Sunday. Now Ashlyn has had a fever since Monday afternoon. She has an appointment today. And Britney started feeling bad on Tuesday. I hope it ends soon!!!!!!