Friday, August 15, 2008

There And Back Again

Sadly, the excursions of the Windes’ family has now come and gone, and all we are left with are memories. *sigh* Until next year, that is;).

So, I shall continue where I left off, which I believe was Monday. So, Tuesday began another day of extravagant enjoyment (the enjoyment was extravagant, not the means by which we had it…) But anyway, Tuesday morning brought the early rise of Emily, Amanda and myself as we decided to make a trek to Dordt College for me to show them around! That was marvelous fun for me, because now they when I tell them of my college adventures they can envision just what I’m taking aboutJ . So, we drove out to Sioux Center, IA that morning at 7:30am sharp (I was so proud of them for being on time). We arrived a little before 8:30 due to road construction, but the tour was underway in no time. I showed them my classroom buildings, my dorm from the past 2 years, the auditorium where my concerts are, the music building, the campus center, and the apartment that I’ll be living this fall! Which happened to have a big fat cat in it…I can only hope it’s gone by the time I move in. Oh, and they got to meet my crazy future roommate Sonja and a few other lovely people. Oh, and I took them on a tour of Sioux Center, which took a whole 5 minutes or so:). The drive back was pleasant as we chatted and sang the whole way back, and also got to chat with a friendly road construction worker who had to have us wait and was very pleased that we didn’t “cuss him out” for a change:).

So, once back at the house it was off to the gas station with the entire Windes’ family (and myself tagging along, of course) to get a burrito made from Joel:) (where he works). They also got to meet our famous boss, Gary (well, he’s not my boss anymore, but used to be when we worked at DQ). After the delicious burritos and greetings from Joel, we were off to the very edge of Sioux Falls to get a tour of Jacob’s massive bankcard building, where he works. And what an impressive place it was! He has to wear a tie and has his own fancy cubicle (for those that don’t know, he’s an intern there doing computer security, important stuff). He showed us around and we even got to meet a very frie4ndly executive that Jacob didn’t even know. He asked me if there was marriage and kids in my future:).

After the back, we headed back home and made our earrings! That was great fun and they turned out really well. I think Aunt Lois got more excited about it than any of us:D. After jewelry, we wrote some letters to Ethan and I think went for another walk before Olympics that night….gymnastics! That didn’t go as well as we’d hoped, but still fun to watch, of course.
And that brings us to Wednesday…we got to sleep in! That was glorious. That morning when I got up I ran some errands with Mom while Amanda played some tennis and Emily did some reading. When Mom and I got back, Emily, Amanda, Peter, Sam, Andrew and I all got to go to the Vanderpans’ house and play their Wii and watch a movie on their theatre screen! That was definitely a highlight. We played beach volleyball with four players and took turns, and it was incredibly comical indeed, and much more fun. We also played some Wii mini golf and then Amanda, Emily and I watched ‘The Importance of Being Earnest” while the boys played the Wii some more. After a little while, everyone who had been left at the house eventually showed up there, too:). Uncle Larry even gave the Wii a shot. What a glorious afternoon.

Once we got home we did some dinner preparation and more Olympics:). Sadly, the Windes’ had to begin packing, also. Another fun highlight of the day was playing Scattergories after dinner with Jacob. I think it was Emily, Amanda, Jacob, Hannah, Andrew and I with Tabby being our letter selector. After the game we had a lovely college kids’ visiting session in the living room till Jacob went to bed, and then we dispersed shortly afterJ . As some of you well know, Emily after midnight is always a sight to see, and this night was no exception (oh, and she also somehow convinced me earlier to turn one of my earrings into a nose ring?!). After giggling profusely for I don’t even remember what reason, after Emily had been nuzzled in bed under her covers, crawled over to the other side where I was typing on the computer, and started laughing and said she had a sudden urge to pinch my nose. I couldn’t stop laughing for the next 5 minutes. You may have had to be there (thought I’m sure Katie will understand:P). It was hilarious. Once Emily finally fell asleep, Amanda and I chatted in bed for about 45 min. and then drifted off. And I actually practically didn’t sleep at all that night, and woke up at 5:30 to see them offL . Sad sad morning. They left the house around 6:00am and that was that. *sigh* What great fun it was. And thus concludes the events of the Windes’ family at our house.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Fun Has Arrived

Here it is, Monday night, and sadly the Windes' visit is now halfway through. But what a marvelous few days it has been!

First of all, Mom and Dad left with the younger kids (Hannah, Sam, and Tabby) to take Adam back to Texas on Friday morning, so it was up to the older kids to welcome the Windes' around 1am Saturday morning, technically (it felt like Friday night, so I'll just say that). We talked into the wee hours of the morning (2am, that is) about anything and everything, and fell into a content, exhausted sleep till late the next morning.

Saturday got off to a nice start with some breakfast and chatting amongst the older kids and Uncle Larry and Aunt Lois, and learning all sorts of interesting facts about where all the kids were, what they were doing, and anything else you'd ever want to know about us. A plan was born not only to get a tour of Daniel's medical school, but also of the bank where Jacob works:). We also heard some comical stories about our parents and grandparents, always good.

Around lunchtime, we left for our first adventure outside the house: Hobby Lobby! Sure enough, Aunt Lois, Emily, and Amanda all found at least one thing that met their sastisfaction. We ended up with some scrapbooking supplies and earring materials, which have yet to be used (but soon!). After Hobby Lobby, we made an excursion to Wal-Mart to print some picture while Amanda comtemplated the best solution to her camera/battery conundrum. After said adventures, we headed home to make a lovely feast of burritos.! After eat, it was watch Olympics! And more olympics, and more and more to our hearts' content, and off to bed for some more chatting. Oh, and there was a nice walk in there somewhere.

Sunday morning brought the greetings of Mom and Dad back from Texas and church at 9am. For Bible class we had a video presentaton from a Christian comedian, which we thoroughly enjoyed:). After church we stopped by the cemetray to see Tarah's new headstone, and the Windes' saw her spot for the first time. It looks very nice.

After church we went home for some lunch and dove into scrapbooking, with Olympics always in the background. Then, pizza for dinner and more Olympics!

Each day just gets better and better, and today was no exception. We started off the morning wtih some breakfast and off to downtown Sioux Falls! This adventure included 10,000 Villages, an outdoor camping store, posing with various sculptures, rocking out to country music (and Chicago...), going into about 4 or 5 different restraunts before we found one that could accomadate Emily and Amanda (including one very comical diner waiter and a seedy looking Chinese place), being snubbed by a hoighty-toighty shoe saleswoman (but it's ok, we've concocted a plan for revenge), finding a nice little cafe for lunch, and a marevlous store called Zandbroz Variety that had everything from 50% off Hillary in '08 shirt:D. That was our favorite. Oh, and a book on how to get fat, and Mr. Bacon and Monsieur Tofu. What a day. And there were nice clothes stores in between, and witness to Emily's almost transformation into a fashionista/spoiled rich kid persona;). Oh, and planning my wedding and trying to save Emily from her gum addiction. *phew*

After the marvelous drive home, we left almost right away for Vermillion, SD to see Daniel's apartment and tour his medical school. Great fun. Even the "obscene" poll. Once we got back home (the drive included "Celebrities 101", taught by myself), dinner guessed it...more olympics! And now Emily and Amanda are sleeping soundly as we are going to be up bright and early to go see my college tomorrow, and then hopefully head out to see where Jacob works. *sigh* Good thing I didn't wait till the end of their visit to post;) Oh, and I almost forgot the most important detail. There was a marvelous (can you tell I like that word?) thnuderstorm tonight and Amanda and I went for our walk in it:). Ok, good night!

Friday, August 8, 2008

It's One 'O Dem Zippedee Doo-Dah Days...

Today is a good day! should be, anyway. Here are a few reasons why:

1) My LAST day of slavery at Hobby Lobby!!
2) I get to see an awesome friend that I haven't seen nearly all summer!
3) I get to see Emily and Amanda! (the awesomeness is not in this order, this is just the order they'll happen)
4) It's Friday, that's always good regardless.

Some other good news, the headstone for Tarah's grave finally came in. I don't know if any of you knew, but originally she went without one for a few weeks because that was the first time we visited the grave since her funeral and realized that she never got one. So, the cemetary put a temporary one there and we ordered her a nice one.

The temporary one, in the mean time, got sort of chopped up by lawnmowers and was even missing half the letters of her name. So, we've been kind of anxious for her to get the nice one, and it finally did come and was put in yesterday. There's supposed to be a picture of her on it too, but, ironically enough, the factory that makes the picture additions BURNED TO THE GROUND! Who woulda thunk...

So, at least she has the marker, just no picture yet. And now I have to get back to cleaning so Emily and Amanda actually have room to walk...:)

Friday, August 1, 2008

...where I left off

Wow, it's been a while. I've tried several times over the summer to come back and pick up where I left off, but it would be an understatement to say that "where I left off" was a downer.

Sometimes writing is therapuetic, and sometimes it just isn't. And sometimes timing is everything. I don't know why I chose now to actually write something here, but here I am, so I may as well:)

What a strange summer it's been, on so many levels. At the end of the school year, I wanted nothing more than to leave school and get home. I wanted nothing more than to be away from school and with my family. School, towards then end of the year, grew to embody nothing but bad memories and I just didn't want to be there. Little did I know how much more home would bring out those memories, but I least I've had my family along with me.

So yes, summer has been a strange one. Apart from trying to adjust, or whatever the word is, to life without the little princess, that has had an impact on everything else. Everything. I discovered that I am bad at separation. I was told by a friend once that I take on the burdens of my friends instead of helping them when they need it and then living my life. I can't separate their problems from my own life. And it gets heavy after awhile. I also discovered that some people in my family can separate. I didn't even know it was possible. In talking to them about how they deal with things, they're just able to.

I cannot separate having lost my sister from ANYTHING. I don't know if that's good or bad, but it sure makes it harder. Basically, if anything, I suppose this summer has revealed a lot to me about not only myself, but so many people around me and just how incredible they are, and how lucky I am to have them in my life. And also, the how incredible the ones I don't have anymore were. And also, (forgive me if I sound cliche') my relationship with God is more defined than it ever has been. I was kind of forced to come face to face with him and REALLY talk to Him. Sometimes its good, sometimes not so good, but at least I know where I am, well, sort of:). God has always been a part of my life just as much anytime as He is now, I guess you could say I just have more to talk about, or argue about, or whatever it happens to be. I guess the bottom line is, He is there.

So, I'm probably going back to Dordt in a few weeks (the whole "probably" part is another story all it's own), and I'm a little worried about how that's going to play out. Part of me just wants to dive into it just so I can get this part of "healing", as it's been called by some, out of the way and started. I know so much is going to flood back to me when I go back, but I do want to go back. Another part of me wants to hold off as long as I can:). But that never seems to be the best option;)

So, that's my first post back in however long ago the last one was:). Not much, but it's a start. Thanks for listening.