Sunday, June 28, 2009

A new chapter in life...

As usual, time flies for is started and we are already in the 3rd week! This brings a new chapter for our family. Sammie started camp!!!!

She seems to be adapting well already...looks like she's the ham of the group!
Sammie's Cabin Picture

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pray for this girl...

On January 25, 2009, I posted about a girl new to our area that we got to meet and help. She had been doing well with a job, finishing her GED and getting settled. Old influences die hard, especially when your exposure to Christ is new, and you haven't made a profession of faith. She made some unwise choices this weekend and was in a really horrible car accident. She was flighted to another city for care for her injuries. As of today, she is alive, but has very serious injuries. There is brain injury/swelling, loss of an ear, loss of part of an arm, lacerations, a lacerated liver that was repaired, etc. She is heavily sedated and having help with breathing. Her mother has joined her. A church in the area has someone ministering to the mother and was enjoyed that the mother had a bible open, verses hi-lighted and was reading to her daughter. Please pray that this girl survives, her injuries will heal and most importantly that her mind and heart will come to Christ through all this. I've referred to her in the past as "M". Thanks.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Work Day Birthday!

Well, today is Sammie's 8th Birthday. We started the day out by working at church. We raked, picked up pine cones, cut down dead trees and hauled brush, etc. out of the woods. We don't have pictures of that part of the day since we were a little busy working. :)

Then we came home for Sammie to open some gifts. She was so excited. She got a knitting machine, a hula hoop, Little House on the Prairie Books, and 2 outfits. What a fun birthday. Then she talked to Grandma Siefert on the phone.

The fun knitting machine:

Sammie's new books:

Sammie on the phone:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May is here - yeah!

We are SOOOOOO glad May in finally here. April was insane for our family, especially for me.

My rough totals were:
180 hours of work
60 hours of sitting in classes (Hazardous Materials, weather spotting, EMT refresher, etc.)
15 hours teaching (I trained 3 new First Aid/CPR instructors this month)
12 hours of Fire Dept. activities (meetings, training, etc.)
AWANA, church, school activities, piano lessons for Sammie, playing with the kids, Gathering Place Grand Opening, etc.

Sammie and Kyle finished another year of AWANA graduating to TNT and Sparks respectively. Sammie also had read over 150 books in school this year, and over 1,100,000 words.

Not to mention Steve was on the Marine Biology Trip for 11 days. Luckily my mom came up to help occupy the kids and help out.

So, we are glad to slow down the pace immensely and breath in some of the spring air.

Yesterday, camp started a Biggest Loser/Fitness Challenge for Staff. Since I personally won't be too competitive losing weight, I'm doing the fitness part. Yesterday I put in about 5 miles of walking. Today my ankles really hurt! I took a line drive to my left ankle last July. I didn't break it, but it was badly bruised and I thought better by now...wrong! I guess we're also getting old too! So, today I needed a little rest from walking/running activities and we joined Steve for the canoe trip down the river. I hope you enjoy a few pictures from today's trip with the guys up for the Men's Retreat at Fort.

A tree Kyle and I saw on our walk yesterday:

Steve paddling:

Kyle paddling:

Sammie out cold:

A view on the river:

We all hope you are getting out to enjoy the spring weather. We're looking forward to it being warm enough to start planting someday.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Once again, this time of year is CRAZY for us all. We've been in Hazardous Material Classes, weather spotting class, camp activities, school activities, work, EMT refreshers coming up, etc. So, once again writing has taken a back stage. Hopefully we can catch up after this month.

However, I wanted to re-post what I put up last year this time. As we take this weekend to relax and reflect on what Christ has done for us, here is what I do with the kids to help them picture the story.

It is a great family activity for Saturday night:

Resurrection Story Cookies

Ingredients & Supplies:

3 egg whites
1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
zip-lock plastic bag
wooden spoon
a Bible

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pecans in the plastic bag and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Discuss how after Jesus was arrested. He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.

Read John 19:1-3
Put the vinegar into a mixing bowl and let each child smell the strong aroma. Talk about when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, that He was given vinegar to drink.

Read John 19:28-30
Add egg whites to the vinegar (egg represents life). Discuss how Jesus gave His life to give us life.

Read John 10:10
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sins.

Read Luke 23:27
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.

Read Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16
Beat the ingredients together with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.

Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3
Fold in the broken pecans. Drop cookies by a rounded teaspoon onto cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was lain.

Read Matthew 27:57-60

Put the cookies in the oven, close the door. TURN THE OVEN OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door together. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.

Read Matthew 27:65-66
Now it's time to go to sleep. Explain to your children that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.

Read John 16:20 & 22

On Resurrection (Easter) morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice that the surface of the cookie is cracked. Take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Resurrection, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb empty.

Read Matthew 28:1-9 - He has risen!!!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

How to enjoy winter...

So, it's the end of January already and many are already getting sick of the snow, cold and ice. We're kind of glad it has just begun though! There is plenty of beautiful nature to still enjoy. Here is a glimpse of things we've seen in the last week!

Some turkeys on the road - it was -10 when this picture was taken and about -20 the night before:
Flock of Turkeys

Here is part of the flock having more of a discussion:
Turkeys on the road

As we passed through the potato fields today, we had to stop and looking at the trees covered with snow!
Frosted Trees 4

These pictures really don't do the view justice, but here is another anyway!
Frosted Trees

Ecclesiastes 3:1
"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Body of Christ...Serving...

So, today was a fun day. Our Pastor mentioned in church that he met a young lady on Friday who is 19 years old. She is in the area to get a fresh start with only her phone, purse and clothes on her back. She is moving today into an unfurnished apartment and could use things to set up house.

Well, I know I had some extra pans, kitchen utensils, knives, and food sitting around so rather than going to the grocery store, we headed back home after church to have lunch and gather what we could. Sammie had fun raiding my pantry to pick things out and I cleaned out part of a drawer of seldom-used utensils. We drove to our pastor's house to help with what they had.

When we got there, we met a few other families and took everything to this girl. Our church was able to provide a bed, a dresser, kitchen supplies and food, a coffee table, bedding, towels, cleaning supplies, crock pot, toaster, etc. The shelter she was at provided a microwave, old vacuum, household goods, ironing board and much more. I had my whole Suburban full of things for her and another family had a pick-up truck full.

It was neat to see everyone work together to provide for her.

Now, we are praying that she comes to know Christ. All I know is her first name and that she is from Chicago, IL originally. We'll just call her "M". Our pastor got to share with her Friday, I got to talk to her briefly, but not more than answering her question of if I go to "the church" too. She seems to be working hard to find a job and go to school locally. We'll see what happens in the future!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Beautiful Double Rainbow! Actually two of them!

I totally forgot about taking these pictures back in late September. We were heading into church for AWANA when we spotted this rainbow, then double-rainbow. The kids were so excited about it because just a few weeks prior we had seen another double rainbow near the turn into McNaughton. It is very rare to see two double-rainbows in a few weeks!

In front of Pine Grove Community Church, late September:

Near Bridge Road in McNaughton, WI, early September:


Saturday, January 17, 2009

A glutton for punishment...well, not really it was easy and fun!

So, the kids did so well skiing last night, I decided to take them again. At least my two. Well, we were about to get ready to leave when 3 other staff kids magically appeared...all wanting to go with too! So, we talked to parents to make sure it was o.k. with them too and let them know how long it usually takes us (so as to not worry them because we take about double the time of the adults trying to keep everyone together). We got boots, skis, and polls and zipped up all the jackets. Then we formed the line and started out!

It was about 10 degrees, lots of snow on the ground, so a great time to be out in nature!

Please forgive the quality of pictures, I did not have my camera with so we used a kid one which isn't made for nice pictures.

Here are 4 out of the 5:
4 of the 5
(Amos - age 8 1/2, Sammie - age 7 1/2, Bridget - age 8, Kyle - age 5)

Our two kids:
Sammie and Kyle
(Kyle on the left, Sammie on the right)

Just a nice view of the snow covered trees:
Kids ahead

Kyle checking in and wanting to open up his jacket a tad:
What a face

One of the "intersections" where Kyle likes me to show him on the map where we are:

Proof that they do fall:
Oops mom, I fell

All five in age order:
All 5
(Kyle - 5, Sammie - 7 1/2, Bridget - 8, Amos - 8 1/2, Lizzie - 9)

Kyle's downhill "form":
Kyle's downhill pose

Naturally, Kyle got a little more photo time since he was closest to me.

The kids did a total of 2.2 miles again. None of the older ones needed help on any hills this round (up or down) or getting up ever. Kyle needed a little help on the steepest hill, but not too much!

It was great to see a lot of the Junior High students up this weekend skiing too.

We have Zionsville Fellowship from IN in this weekend and Westbrook. They seem to be having a great time so far!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Life is just a big ball of string...

I had started another blog last year which I intended to keep the "non-Fort" things on for our family. Although we can compartmentalize our roles in various situations when we encounter them, I realize our lives are just a big complex ball of string and everything touches, so I'm just going to post it all here!

Monday night was our First Responder Monthly Training and Skills Check-off. What is that? Well, a minimum of twice a year we have to have check-offs for the hospital to prove we are competent in our skills. This time it was: AED, combi-tube, CPR, long board, KED, and a peds board. Of course my kids are always willing volunteers to be strapped in a board (in training only of course) so they volunteered.

Sammie having C-spine held (I need to get her some longer shirts - yikes!):

Sammie being rolled in-line to be placed on the board (there is Ryan who is working at Fort for the year):
Sammie rolled

Sammie with a C-collar and all strapped in:
Sammie in the Peds
(I think this is the last year in that board for her - normally kids are too big by 5 or 6 but I have a 7 1/2 year old peanut).

Kyle after being rolled on the board (Steve is in the brown):
Kyle on the Peds

Kyle later while it was being demonstrated how to use a KED as a substitute for a child backboard:
Kyle in the KED
He looks like he is enjoying being "injured". Wait until he gets old enough to understand the aches and pains!

We train each month/numerous times a year for various situations and when these are the conditions (dark, cold, late), we are glad we do.
(On scene of a recent accident).

Well, along with being First Responders/EMTs, Steve and I are also both Firefighters. Steve is our Department's Captain and Training Officer, I am a Lieutenant and Secretary and take care of the Health and Safety. I am currently going through State Certified Firefighter II Class which is more command structure, more advanced work on hose testing, fires, vehicle extrication, public education, etc. I took Certified I back in 2001-2002 so it was time for some more advanced training. I don't think I've ever had a picture in my fire gear, but a neighboring department caught me at training on January 7th. Look for the short person on the left with the red helmet, tan gear, tank and facepiece on ready to go in. That would be me...

If you can't find me, here is a closer view (I'm in the middle):
Janet - Training

Here is the fire we were "fighting":

Luckily it was only about 5-10 degrees that night, and when it was -20 this last Wednesday, we got to be inside.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

RBC is here!

Well sorry, no pictures today because I didn't take a camera into camp yesterday. I'll have to see if I can hunt down some of Fort's pictures.

However, all approximately 90 people from RBC arrived safely and seem to be having fun. It is great to see everyone from our home church and the kids are making us feel old. We remember most of them being born! Many our friends' kids instead of little brothers and sisters. Now we know how our parents feel!

Our adventure for the day was Sammie(7 1/2), Kyle(5), Lizzie(9), and Bridget(8) all coming skiing with me. We (my kids and I) have only ventured around the training loop and back the last 2 years. Well, we got brave yesterday and went on Hemlock. I am proud to say, 2.2 miles later, everyone was back safely. Kyle was such a trooper. He is about 1/2 the height of Lizzie and kept chugging. I did lose count of the falls, but they are getting better. Lizzie was good at heading up the line (I stayed in back to keep track of them all) and stopping to wait for everyone to catch up.

The session with RBC last night was very good. Tim Haumersen gave his testimony followed by Wayne Beilgard speaking. The kids seemed to be very attentive to his message. I hope they will have lots of great stories to bring home.

Well, time for us to head into camp for the session this a.m. Have a wonderful Sunday!