Thursday, July 31, 2008

Packing ponders

I just finished packing up all the kids' books from a bookshelf. I found a book I forgot I had.. 'What to Expect in the First Year'. I'm sure most you mom's used it like I did. A wonderful reference on all those weird little things that you worry about with teeny babies ie. rashes, poops, eating, bonking the head. You get the idea.

I'm way past that now. I need a book, 'What to Expect in the 9th year'. Wouldn't that be great? An quick, simple Q&A for hard homework, friend issues, emotions, bonked eyeballs from baseballs, allergies, etc.

Yes, I know there are more 'how to raise good kids' books, but personally, I think common sense should rule in most cases.

And so, back to packing I go. I think my 'What to Expecxt in the First Year' should go in the donation bag. No more first years here...!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wed. words

Lisi is home. But she is sooooooooooo sleepy. Only laps water ocassionally. And must be extremely sore as she hardly moves. She's still on pain meds today. But she won't eat and the pills are to be taken with food. Hmmmm. I've tried to bribe her with anything. No do.

The plumber came last night (our neighbor). Lisi had dropped her hard yellow ball into the 1/2 bath toilet for some reason. I tried to go 'fishing' and get it out. It got stuck. Really stuck. Like 'take the toilet of the floor and use a snake for almost 1/2 hour' stuck. The guy, Mark is not a typical plumber. He's thin, friendly, talkative, and his 'you know what' is all under wraps. But he refused payment. Like I tried to hand him the check which was decent. No go. Suggestions on how to reimburse his hour of sweaty effort for our loo?

Moving stinks. I've taken up three huge van loads and it looks like I've done nothing up there. Duane called the movers to tell them they can haul most the boxes besides! I've done almost nothing but sift, sort, lift, struggle, drop in the right spot.

And... when I was in the middle of a HUGE mess in the basement, the broker calls. Showing tonight at 6. Oh boy.

So cleaning will be done. Doctoring the dog. Kids go to Gpa and Gma's after a run to summer school/house.

Met neighbor lady at the new place. Her husband's family is from my own small hometown in SD! Weird!

Time to hit the day for real.

Still no pictures. Sorry.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More bullets

* Our Door County time was as wonderful as we hoped for. Someone counted almost 70 of our friends there. Good weather. Good biking. Good times. Good food. Good campfires. Good fellowship. We are blessed in this area for good, solid, encouraging, funny, interesting families.

* Tomorrow I start the commuting thing to the new place. R. starting summer school at the new school for a few weeks to brush up math skills. She has to be there at 8:15, so I'll leave by 7:45 every day with the van loaded with stuff. And three tired kids. Oh boy.

* I boxed five big boxes tonight! Plus put in all our winter coats, some folding chairs, etc. And I feel like I just took a pea out of a pot of stew. It's going to be a huge job! Chiro treatments anyone?

* Lisi enjoyed her kennel time. A lot. Doggies in a bunch! She gets spayed this week on Tuesday. Ouch! No puppies please.

* Trevor's team won on Saturday! It was the 2nd win of the season! But what was so marvelous was they were behind like 13-2 with only 1/2 hour left of the game. The coach gave them a good chewing out and wowswer! Did it really change! One of our friends, Cobie finished out the pitching. He was awesome!

* We might go to IA for convention now instead of OH. The thought of going away three days after moving gives me the heebie-jeebies.

* Did you know you can be picky about phone numbers? When I called to get service started at our new place she gave me a number. I paused. Asked if I could have another option. She did. Then another, then another, then after about six numbers, she said with a teensy-weensy touch of exasperation in her voice,'what don't you like about the numbers I'm giving?'. Well... they started out fine... the first three digits. But then the first of the last four (does this make sense?) started with an '0'. I may be simple, but it always confuses me when I have to say it. Do you say, 'Oh', or 'zero'. Hmmm. So phone lady gave me a nice number that didn't start with an 'Oh' or 'zero' and I said, 'that's it!'. I couldn't tell you it on this blog though since I have thousands and thousands looking at my blog daily (since it is so terribly interesting) and we couldn't possibly talk to all of you at once!!!

* Why in the world do I have these wicker paper plate holders? I found them on a top shelf. Useless! Fourteen years later, they were never used. Yuck!

* Still have three brand-new pizza stones in boxes from our wedding. I used one for awhile, but still have new back-ups.

* I have a HUGE stack of towels in a rainbow of colors that don't really match anything. Now what to do! Just use them? Pitch when we have a color scheme? I dunno. I hate waste.

* Pictures to follow some day when I have time on my hands. (Don't expect them real soon!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Who could it possibly be?

There is a girl in this house that is 9. She loves pickles. No, not like, "I really love pickles". It is loves, loves, LOVES pickles. To the point that she begs me to drink the pickle juice as I am dumping it.

This morning I am frantically getting ready for our little respite in Door County with about 50 of our closest friends. Fun? You bet. Next to convention, it is the highlight of the year. I am digressing again. So I open the fridge and am starting to figure out how much cooler space I need. And right in front is the big Claussen pickle jar (you know the refrigerated ones that are super-crunchy?). And I look and it is empty. Really empty. With some pickle juice missing.

Hmmmm.... who could have done such a thing? I might have to get on my spy glasses and do some detective work.

Anyhoo! Happy rest of the week to you!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Gotcha Day Trevor!

Another memorable date for our family. July 21st. It is the day that he officially became a Debelak.

Trevor, you have become a very wonderful young man already. You bring such zest to our family. You love to be with others much more than being alone. You are a pest to your sisters, yet you are all inseparable. You are a brilliant child in school and a very competitive and successful sportsman. We love you and all you bring to our family!

Pictures: 1st one: the day he was part of our family note: Rayna sitting there saying, 'I give up! Another baby???', 2nd: our first Sunday, 3rd and 4th are taken this summer

It's Me again... you know... Lisi

It was a great morning here on Woodhill Way. The lady that gives me scruff shakes but loves me anyway let me out of the garage. I LOVE mornings. I can go sniff every blade of grass in this small yard, look for a bunny to chase, and of course do my morning business. Usually that lady I just talked about stays outside with me and kinda is reading some paper thing she gets out of the box. But today, she just opened the door and was gone. Hmmmm. What does that mean? I should get out of the garage and see what is happening today. Wow! There were some dogs that went by early this morning. They marked our tree! Can you believe it? This is MY pad. But I don't mark trees because, well (cough-cough) I am a lady. I'm much more dignified than that. So I got all around the house and even brought up my monkey toy up on the deck and looked in the window to see if the lady-person would come out and chase me. She was busily doing things in there. Didn't look much interested in a very cute and fun me. So I decided to expand my horizons! I know next door they have cats. I've never seen them outside, but I wonder if they are in the garage! I should go check. I get into their garage. PU! It smells like oil and garbage in here. No cats. Maybe in this back corner. GRRRRRRRR. What's that sound? I turn around and look and the garage door is almost down! Oh no! I race for the door. It closes before I can get out. HEEEEELLLLPPP! I'm stuck in here. Where's the lady I love? Where's the guy with her that yells when I get hair on his pants? Oh good grief. What do I do? Then I hear it. 'The Whistle'. The lady usually uses that one on me when she really, really wants me home. I can tell when she is serious. This is. You know why? Because she'll give me a liver treat for coming back. Where is she???? I put my paws on the window sill and look out. And there she is!!! She starts to laugh. Then runs away real quick. Where is she going? Don't you love me? I'm stuck!!! Soon she comes back with the phone and keeps pushing buttons. Then she leaves and comes back with the guy (who hates hair on his pants) wiggles a small door and FREEDOM! I get out and am thrilled to see these people again. But the lady was singing some silly song about a 'doggy in the window'.

(note from editor: we tried to call them, but no one home. Luckily we have a key for cat sitting).

p.s. I doubt I go into their garage again. Especially since there are no cats in there. Stay tuned for the next adventure in Lisi-Land!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Anyone out there have this happen? Yesterday, I had a huge amount of hits on my maploco. And a lot of them were foreign locations all happening around the very same time. What's up with that? Most of the locations I do see make sense. And even some foreign ones make sense (and I love to see the little hearts out there knowing someone far away is doing ok). But then why a bunch from some obscure place and a lot at the same time? (spooky!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Soon to be home!

(from great room to kitchen)
(from kitchen to great room)
(from front door to dinette)
We closed yesterday on our new place. It was almost an uneventful process of signing our name to a ton of documents which we hardly read (except Duane scrutinizing the numbers). The sellers got out sooner than expected and Duane was there by mid-morning and got the openers and keys. I couldn't go up until this afternoon. I was so impressed by how clean they left it! And it looks like it has the potential of being our home once we get in and settled. I'll post a few pictures taken today. We'll move bit by bit of the small stuff in the next 24 days and move officially on the 9th of August. I'm having some interrupted nights just nearly panicking over how much will need to be done. I love to be in full control over most everything... keeping things in order, clean, organized. I will have to let that go for the time being...!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Duane went back into work a bit. Trevor sleeps after his big game tonight (another loss, but it was almost winnable - is that a word? at one point), the girls went home with Anderson's for the 2nd time in less than three days. Not a creature is stirring! Ahhhh.

We close tommorow on our new place. But the residents there will finally leave by end of day Wed. They needed a day of wiggle room to close on the next place. I'm extremely nervous about going there now that it is ours! It'll take awhile to feel home. But we'll have time to go back and forth a few weeks until the real move happens.

I have a LOT to do in the next weeks. The boxes were delivered today. I'll start in on them next week in earnest.

There is a huge fort in the living room. Maybe Fort Knox? It is so elaborate, I won't take it down - although I have a clean living room before bed routine. But Rayna would be crushed.

My uncle is coming! For the weekend. He's been on a marathon of convs. in the US and Canada. A few more after home visits before heading south of the border again.

The days are getting shorter. I could tell tonight sitting at the baseball game. Scary, eh?

Brett Favre is causing great turmoil here in Packerland. You should read our local papers! The fervor is almost nauseating. But I must admit, I find it interesting.

Our van was atrocious. And now it is squeaky clean if that is how you could describe a van now. I give it less than a week and it won't 'squeak'.

Lisi is set to take out her puppy making stuff in a couple of weeks. The kids are full of questions about that. She's still (too) silly. She's definitely a female. Almost moody. Then she'll get in one of 'those' moods and race around and then sneak up behind me and nip me on the behinder. I really should get after her for it, but it is too funny. Until she does it to some innocent bystander.

My "Real Simple" came today. My brother would say the magazine is perfect for my personality... get it? Joke aside, it is my favorite magazine. I think I'll peek at it a bit before the light goes off.

This is getting too long.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Homemade Drano!

I had a clogged kitchen drain today. Poured a bunch of baking soda into the drain and then chased it with white vinegar! Zoweee! A volcano ensued and the clog was free. Was cheaper than Drano and also no chemicals involved!

Ok... boring post. But I was happy for the results.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Part II

We survived the birthdays! The next one in our family is in December (Lisi), but she won't mind if we don't have a party.

The girls each invited one friend on Mira's birthday and we took them to Build-A-Bear and they got to pick out what they wanted. They had a sleepover that night. Plus cupcakes after meeting with some extras coming in. Rayna's birthday was celebrated with both sets of Grandparents. A quieter meal for sure! Mira's choice for her birthday supper was hot dogs, macaroni and cheese (luckily homemade), beans, fruit, and cottage cheese. Rayna's was shrimp fettuccine, broccoli, green salad, fruit, and garlic bread. They got some very nice presents from family and friends.

Now some bullets:

* I was awake in the night worrying about the next month and how it will all come down. We close on Tuesday for the new house. Boxes are coming on Monday and so the packing will start.

* I need to transplant perennials, rhubarb, and raspberries.

* I need to paint Trevor's bedroom. He's not wild about bright lavender for a bedroom color.

* I have cleaning to do up there despite the promise that the owners moving out will hire someone in after they leave.

* I wish our house here would sell. Would make leaving easier. Some nibbles, but no real bites.

* I am sometimes brain dead. I made choc. chip cookies this morning and for some reason couldn't remember how much flour I put in. Did I do 1 1/4 cups or the 2 1/4 cups it asked for? So then I baked four cookies. And it needed flour. I need to focus and do one thing at a time.

* Rayna just snuck down and took my picture.

* I miss Anita's blog right now. She's obviously busy with more important and special matters. I need a good smile again.

* Trevor's tournament baseball game was cancelled for today due to weather. So we'll go swim and have supper with good friends (thanks J&M for the invite!).

* We heard wonderful news about a new baby girl in town. She is surely blessed to be born into that family. What a joy.

* We have my uncle coming next weekend. It'll be great to have him again!

* Duane is biking today. He's always happier after sweating a few hours on a bike saddle.

* Time to fix lunch as fights are starting to break out.

Birthday marathon!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy #9 to our "Ray" of sunshine

(Day 5 in China)
( With Auntie Sharon Carroll on our way home to WI)

And finally it is your turn Rayna! Your birthday! And a very happy 9th birthday to our very sweet young lady. I remember about the time you were born. We had sent our papers to China to adopt you on June 30 of 1999. The next few weeks I kept thinking, 'I wonder if she has been born'. And you were! Just a few weeks later. But it took us nine months to finally get you! You were kept safe and warm and fed, but not necessarily loved. As soon as we got you on April 20th, it felt like you were born to us. And you just opened up by the hour and by the time the first picture I will post was taken, you were already very comfortable with mommy and daddy. Oh, you were a dream come true. I'd lie there and watch you sleep when we had those first nights together. From the very start you were just... sweet. Pleasant. Wonderful to be around. And now... at 9 you are just the same. I can see you changing from a little girl to a bigger girl. You have your own thoughts and ideas and now you express them so well. You have an artistic, beautiful way of looking at things that I don't have. You love others so much, but also enjoy having quiet time alone with your thoughts and some very special stuff surrounding you. And so dear daughter, Happy Happy Birthday to our fearless leader of the pack. You were hand-picked just for us and feel that heaven was on our side when you came to be a precious daughter of ours. Love you to the moon (and back)!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Our 'baby' is now 6!

Happy happy birthday to Mira Sue! We are so thankful for you. We felt like we won the lottery by being so fortunate to get both Rayna and Trevor. Then there was the hope of you! After going through heartbreak five previous times, we could hardly believe in the thought of you coming. I had amazing specialists who tried some different things. And we checked weekly (or more) through ultrasounds, checks, calls to make sure you were ok in there. For some reason, my body decided you were the one to make it all the way. When we knew we were getting past the scary weeks of pre-term, we could almost not dare to think about you coming. We'd lie awake at night and hardly allow our mind to picture another little soul coming into our lives. We couldn't lose again. And I tried to not get attached to the little swimmer inside. But I did and I started to love before we even met. Passionately. You finally came three days late in only three hours. You needed to be rushed to the NICU because you breathed in some nasty stuff. An hour later a little baby with huge amounts of black hair was given to us. You nearly took my breath away. You were gorgeous. Perfect. And you made our family complete. I pictured you as a little dark-haired quiet Italian daughter. You decided that it would be a nearly blonde, sparkling, hilarious, (sometimes sassy) someone else. Rayna vaguely remembers you being born only because Grandma D. brought Chex Mix to the hospital when you all came to visit. Trevor has only memories from the photo albums. You three are a team and I foresee you always will be looking out for each other. Now you soon enter 1st grade. You are thriving at life and we are so very thankful that you came to be. Love you little missy-moo!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy (and busy) 4th weekend!

After surviving the birthday bash, we slicked up the house and then took our picnic supper down to the lakefront of lake Michigan and set up camp. About 20 other of our friends came and we visited and watched the fireworks. A fun, and very, very cold evening. Friday, we all packed up including the dog and went out to a state park 15 minutes SW of here and joined the other field in a potluck and day at the park. Yummy eats, good visits, and a hot softball game that I didn't even join in because the talking was so good (thanks Dawn!). We stayed for supper and that was quickly interrupted with the dreaded yell from the road, 'Mira fell off her bike and she's really hurt bad'. Duane dropped everything and ran to where she was (my folks camper by that time). He consoled her a bit and then brought her back to the main campsite. I took one look at her and said, 'we got to go home'. She had a huge bump on the forehead, a big scrape from the ear all the way to under the nose and her back and arm and more big scrapes. I held her going home and she fell asleep. Got the kiddies all showered up from their dirty day. Mira started to get her chipper self after the Motrin kicked in. Then the call came to go see more fireworks, so off we went since Mira was doing ok. Those were closer and almost more fun than the Milwaukee deal. And of course, more good visits! :-) Can you tell I love people and like to visit? Anyway, another late night (three in a row so far). Yesterday, I got the house slicked up again and did a ton of laundry and then off to on of our friends' pool (they were at convention, but the 'squatter-dog sitter' offered us to come. Another nice time there too! But after getting home tired and ready to crash, the message on the machine said, 'we'd like to show your house tomorrow at 1:30). Oh boy. So we forgot our fatigue and got moving. Fast. It wasn't too bad, but wanted it good and ready.

Then today started with a bang! I got up early to have some quiet time, dog walk, and slicked up a bit more and off we left for meeting. We needed to do a detour as we offered to pick up one of our older resting brother workers to go with us. Well, Duane kept saying we were running behind and then I yelled 'cop' and he immediately pulled over when the cop did a U-turn. He said, 'I don't think I'll get out of this one'. Duane explained the rush, offered up the license, and we drove away a minute + later with a warning after getting caught doing 19 over since we have a CLEAN RECORD! Score!!! Clean record saves the day not once, not twice, but THREE times!!! Whoo-eee! That and maybe the scared look in the kids' eyes. (If this isn't accurate, I have a hunch the "Chairman" may get involved.)

So! The showing went well. Another coming tomorrow. We might sell the house this year!!! Or maybe not. Depends.

This is long. I'll post a picture of Mira and maybe another. I can't remember what's on the camera. I forgot to take pictures of anything else. Just imagine how much fun it all was and how cute everyone looked!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Move Date

It looks like August 9 will be the day that we change addresses...

O for joy, for sadness, for scary, for thrilling, for worry, for excitement, for good, for bad! I think we'll feel it all as we transition.

But we'll be heading for convention the following week, and that'll be a settling effect for sure.

Birthday fun...!

It went off without a hitch and he was surprised! I told Duane at supper that his folks would be coming over after meeting to see him. Then after meeting I 'asked' everyone to stay for cake since it was Duane's birthday. He was feeling kinda smug like he was going to get by without too big of a fuss. Then just minutes after we were done with our study, the doorbell rang and in walked two neighbor families I had told to come up. He started to smell rat. Then a few minutes after that, the masses came. We were 53 or so... I did a head count of people instead of sheep when going to sleep last night. The food was good, the friends were many, and the celebration fun! Coming from my understated, don't make a fuss for me husband, he said, 'thanks for a very nice birthday today'. So I'm glad we did it! And... you're only 40 once, right?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy 40th Duane

(when we met in '92 rafting in UT. Note Matt Jensen and Mark Jensen (mostly feet) on there as well)
(Baby times!)
(Door County)
(Spring '08)

You're not over the hill. You are at the top seeing a wonderful view. You are my life, my love, and the tender, yet strong father of our children. You are the most reliable person I have ever met. You give without reserve. You bring so much to so many. And so dear friend and husband of mine, Happy Happy Birthday with love!