Monday, March 14, 2011

Lindsay - 3 Biggest Pet Peeves

March 14, 2011

"My 3 biggest pet peeves are..."

1. People who don't use their turning signal while driving.

2. People who text when you're trying to have a conversation with them.

3. When the person who previously used the bathroom has left the toilet paper roll EMPTY!!!

These are very minimal offenses, but all the same, very annoying. Oh, and I'm sure I have done every single one of them! Ha! So my little loves, just know that mommy will have grace on you if you commit any of these. I love you forever.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jen - 3 Biggest Weaknesses

"What do you think are your 3 biggest weaknesses in your life?"

Wow. Glad this question only said "3"...cause we could be here all night. ;-)

My three biggest weaknesses...

The very first one that comes to mind is being a BIG people pleaser. If I can't make people happy or please them, I get frustrated at myself and all beside myself. I need peace wherever I go, so if I can't help provide that to someone or to a certain situation I get really down on myself. I struggle with boundaries in this area. It's hard for me to say "no" or state my own opinion, especially if it's contrary to the group or what I think people expect of me. I've really grown in this area, but in this an area of my life I will always need to watch because of the high value I place on relationships.

The second biggest weakness I see in me is being a fearful person. I have been ever since I was child. I was very close to being kidnapped when we lived in the apartment complex. A big brown van with a big scary looking guy was trying to get kids to come inside by handing them candy. I remember it was red candy, and he singled me out with his finger. After jumping on my bike and pedaling as fast as I could back home, I tried to tell what just happened to my parents. I was hyperventilating so bad that I couldn't even get a word out. Finally, after much calming down, I was able to describe the event in detail. My mom called the police, and it just so happened that they were looking for a man in a big brown van who was kidnapping children. Ugh. How I looked at people and the world changed from that day on. Fear always was "lurking." I've had weird fears. Fear of not having enough saliva to swallow, so I always had to carry gum with me. Ask my sister about that one. We were at a water park. I shoved gum up the side of my bathing suit so I would have it "just in case." Well, you know what happens at water parks. You get wet and go down slides! I lost my gum! I started to literally freak out!! I couldn't swallow!! Not enough saliva ya know. I made my parents buy my a slushy to hold me over, but long story short, we all had to LEAVE the water park. My family was NOT happy with me needless to say. Fear of throwing up in front the class (which I did in 2nd grade, hence why the fear). Fear that my heart was not beating correctly so I always had to feel my pulse to make sure my heart was still beating. I would not go into Turkey Hill or any other gas station alone for a long time for fear of those "weird" looking people that might do something to you. THANK GOD, I've outgrown ALL those fears, unfortunately now I have new ones. I thought THOSE fears were big, but now, I fear having seizures every time I go to bed (since all my seizures happen in my sleep). Fear of never being able to have children of my own (since it's been well over a 1 year), fear of losing my husband because i simply can't imagine my life without him. We've been through SO much together and I love him so much! I could go on, but i think you get the point. I continue to need to trust God to help me overcome my fears. ~Perfect love casts out Fear (1Jn 4:18)

And lastly, although there are many, I seem to put high expectations on people. When they don't meet them, I get really disappointed and upset. For example, I'm an extrovert, for the most part. I love sharing my heart with people. I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve. When I'm trying to get into someone's world and they aren't opening up, I feel like I don't know how how else to get to know them besides talking. I guess because that 's what I know how to do best. ;-) I can tend to get frustrated when I feel like I can only get to a certain level with someone and then I just get cut off. I of course can not expect them to be like me...someone who will freely offer their whole life story to anyone who wants to listen, so that's where I need to lower my expectations and just let me be me and let them be who God made them to be.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Holly - Tell about a favorite family vacation.

When I was a kid, we didn't go on a lot of vacations. We usually  made it to the beach maybe once a year for a week, but that was about it.  My parents, however, did try to get away by themselves, or with friends, once a year.  They have traveled to many different places in the world together.  When I was in 4th grade, they started taking Uncle Jarred and I along with them to Myrtle Beach every spring, and we continued this tradition until I was a senior in high school. Although these trips were a lot of fun, my favorite family vacation was when we went to Grand Cayman Island for the first time when I was a sophomore in high school.  My parents decided they would let Jarred and I tag along for their yearly "winter vacation", and I couldn't have been more happy. I mean, who doesn't want to go to a tropical caribbean island in the middle of winter!  The Cayman Islands are 3 small islands in the western caribbean, below Cuba.  Grand Cayman is the largest of the 3 islands, and that is where we stayed.  I remember flying over the caribbean for the first time, and being so amazed at the water.  It is pretty hard to describe it, but I hope that one day you will get to see it for yourselves girls!  It is NOTHING like that ocean at Ocean City, trust me =)

We flew to the Caymans in March, rented a little jeep tracker thing, and I had my first experience with driving on the different side of the road!  The Caymans is a British owned island, so they drive on the opposite side of the road that we do here in USA.  My parents rented this wonderful 3 bedroom condo right on the beach. It was in a private condo complex, so it wasn't a crowded hotel, or really anything extravagant- but it was pretty much perfect.  It was called The Cayman Reef Resort, and I loved everything about it the moment we arrived!  Here are a few pictures of it....
Here is a view from the ocean looking up at the condos.

Here is a view from the bottom of our condo out to the ocean.

We did many special things as family, but by far the 2 neatest things I was able to experience was to be able to swim with stingrays, and go parasailing.  We took a private catamaran out to a special sandbar in the middle of the caribbean sea and literally swam with, fed, and held live stingrays!  It was such a neat experience, one that I actually did AGAIN 2 years later when my wonderful parents took me and a bunch of my friends on a cruise, and we stopped at the Caymans for a day!

Here's Mommy, Deedle, and Uncle Jarred getting ready to get on the catamaran to go to stingray city.

Uncle Jarred wasn't so sure about all this, but he did it!  The fine specimen to the right was captain dexter, he owned the private boat we took. He was quite the character!!

I mentioned that I also went parasailing. You have seen this done many times at Ocean City...but I promise, there is maybe not anywhere else in the world that could be a more perfect spot to parasail than the Caymans!  You are about 300 or more feet above the water, and you can STILL see down to the bottom. I saw all kinds of fish, and huge sea turtles. It was such a neat experience!!
Here I go heading up into the sky!!

When we weren't doing fun adventure as a family, we spent the day being lazy on the beach and going snorkeling! The water is just so perfect!

I think this was my favorite family vacation (with my family growing up) because I realized how fortunate I was to be able to experience such an amazing place and such unique experiences!  I realized how much my parents loved my brother and I to take us along with them.  I am so grateful to them for all they have always done for Jarred and I, but I realized on this trip, what a true blessing it is to have such a close family.  I hope that Daddy and I will be able to allow you girls some fun traveling experiences, also, as you get older!   I am still trying to convince Nana and Deedle to take us back to the Caymans for would both love it!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Danielle - 3 Things You Couldn't Live Without

"What are 3 things you have now, that you didn't have growing up, that you couldn't see yourself living without?"

It was so easy to quickly come up with two things that I didn't have growing up that I couldn't see living without now - cell phones and internet. Cell phones are the norm for everyone - kids, adults, and grandparents. When I was little, there weren't any cell phones. Around the time that I was in Middle School they started putting cell phones in cars. By the time I was 16 I had a cell phone but it wasn't small at all like the phones now and it had to stay in my car's glove compartment and was only to be used for emergencies. I got my first cell phone to use when I wanted when I went off to college. Cell phones have come a long way since I was young and I am sure they will continue to change. We now use our cell phones many many times a day. Your dad and I decided not to put in a landline, which is a telephone at the house that has to stay at the house, at our current house because we can use our cell phones for any calls we need to make. You can make calls any time, wherever you are. You can also text messages to each other instead of making calls. It is an easy way to have tell a friend something quick without having to bother them with a call. You can browse the internet on cell phones, pay bills, take pictures, and it all fits into your pocket. It is hard to think of a time when I had to wait to get home to make a call and had to make sure that person was home as well. Now I can call anyone, no matter where I am and no matter where they are. And cell phones are the new norm for you as well. You love to play with our cell phones and also talk to your favorite friends. Oh and ps - you are not going to have a cell phone when you are 5. Kids are getting cell phones younger and younger but they are a responsbility and something you will have to earn. We love you but don't think you will be a 5 year old running around with a cell phone. :) 

The second thing that it is hard to imagine life without is the internet. The internet started becoming popular in high school. I set up my own email address my senior year. Too bad I couldn't check it very often since my parents (Pappy and Grammy) didn't get the internet until my freshman year of college. Now I can't imaging living my life without it. If I need to look up a recipe, directions, or a coupon for a local store it is all within a click on my computer. Email is so often a normal way to communicate with others not only personally but in the professional world as well. Facebook has become the latest craze with everyone having a facebook account. It does help to stay in contact with people you haven't seen in forever or are so far away from. And then there are blogs (like the one that I am posting on) that help people share their lives, their ideas, and their heart. I am amazed at how much you can already do on the internet. (Camden is 3 and Jaxsen is 1) You know how to get to YouTube to watch videos from movies, your favorite singers, or even our personal videos. You can play games on the Sesame Street site and you know how to scroll through pictures on the Facebook pages. The internet has made a lot of things easier and more convenient. 

The last thing that I thought of after contemplating for a little while was digital cameras. When I grew up all the cameras used film so you had no idea what your picture would actually turn out like and you had to wait until you went through an entire roll of film before you could get your pictures printed. Even printing pictures took more time than it does now. You had to take the film to a store, drop it off, and wait until it was shipped out, processed, and returned before you could pick it up. It was such an exciting time when you got to pick up the pictures and slowly go through them one by one looking at what you captured weeks or even months ago on your camera. The sad part was that a lot of the pictures never turned out as well as you had hoped they would. Digital cameras became less expensive late in college. Digital cameras completely changed taking pictures. You could take the picture and see right away what it would look like when you printed it. If you didn't like it, no problem. Click delete and try again. There was no more wasted film on pictures that you had hoped would turn out. Digital cameras also allowed you to print your pictures whenever you wanted. If you only wanted to print 1 picture than that was fine. Along with the digital cameras came editing software for your computer. You could take your okay picture to great by clicking on a few editing options. I love our camera because it allows us to capture you in your different stages. And if I missed the moment or you closed your eyes, no problem - delete - and we try once again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Meghan: Tell about your first real date.

Tell about your first real date. Who was it with? Where did you go? How old were you?

I would have to say my first "real" date as far as I can remember was with my friend Lucas from church. I think it was the summer going into my freshman year of high school and I was 14. I guess this was what I considered my first date as it was the first time I went anywhere with a boy. We went to a circus with his parents. Quite honestly I don't remember much else from this so called date.
I believe my first date alone with a guy was with Jeremy. Jeremy also went to church with me when I was younger but then his family moved away to Colorado. His grandparents stayed in Lancaster and every so often Jeremy and his family came to visit. One year I believe when I was 16, so at some point during my sophomore year of high school, he noticed me and wanted to take me to dinner. Since I had not yet really gone anywhere alone with a boy I had to ask my parents. They must have said yes, because we went to dinner at Haydn Zugs in East Petersburg. I remember being nervous for many reasons. One I really didn't know Jeremy all to well, two I never went to a nice restaurant with a guy, and three what do we talk about! The night as far as I remember went great I was rather nervous though about the prices of the food, so I only ordered shrimp cocktail and that was it! We remained in contact for awhile by letters but just remained friends.
I'm a little short on details on this because it has been a long time. My biggest prayer for my children and dating is that their experiences would be positive and their choices be wise. As far as rules well we aren't there yet so that'll be answered in time:)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lauren: A Book About My Life

If you were to publish a book about your life what would the title be? And why?

I love this question. And the answer came quite easily to me because I have considered writing a book about my life, or aspects of my life, and already had a title in mind.

If I were to write a book about my life I would title it Pull Yourself Together.

Aside from the fact that I often use the phrase "pull yourself together" when speaking to myself and even to you, my children, the title does have a deeper meaning.

My life thus far has been filled with some pretty intense heartbreaks. Of course, pain is relative and I know that comparatively, in this world full of tragedy, the hurts that I have endured are minimal. But, nonetheless, I have experienced my share of disappointments, abandonments, losses and broken relationships and those things shaped me. They are still shaping me, in one way or another.

On my life's journey I have found this to be true: when pain crosses your path you can either pull yourself together, dust yourself off and move forward, stepping out of that place of hurt and into forgiveness, hope and peace - OR - you can just stay where you are, fall apart and let the pain swallow you up until it becomes your identity.

I can confidently say that I have chosen, always, to PULL MYSELF TOGETHER and thankfully I have a Savior who laid down His life for me, to make a way out of the despair and hurts of this world. I certainly could not have pulled myself together without Christ. He is the peace I have, the hope I have, and the faith I have to MOVE ON. He keeps me going and does not allow me to wallow in self pity, regret, shame or hurt. Because of Him, I forgive. He is my rock and my firm foundation when the world shakes.

Pull Yourself Together. That's the title of the book of me, at least the first 28 years worth. Prayerfully, the title will remain for the next 28 years too.

Lindsay - First Car

"Describe your first car and learning how to drive."
February 21. 2011

My first car was a 1991 Mazda 626, white exterior with navy blue fabric on the interior. The seat belts were automatic and would cut off your head if you weren't sitting straight in your seat. I don't think that's safe anymore, so you probably won't ever experience fearing a seat belt. I really liked this car, honest. Your great-grandpa Lanas gave it to me, and like most 16 year old kids who have their own car, I washed and cleaned it religiously. I also wasn't a fan of the interior for some reason, so I went through a phase of zebra everything. Seat covers, steering wheel cover, stuffed animal zebras in my car, zebra key lanyard, and I think that's all I zebra attire I could buy for the car. I don't know what inspired me to do such a thing, but when you're 16, you do a lot of things that are unexplainable. I have many memories in that car, and I wish it was still around. I sold it when I was in college because it was starting to rust in a lot of places. Here's a picture of mommy in her beloved zebra mobile on the morning of homecoming. The cheerleaders would go to the homecoming court's homes and decorate their cars. Below that is a picture of what my car looked like.

notice the zebra seat covers

Unlike your dad who could get his license the day after his getting his permit, I had to wait 6 months! Daddy's grade was the last one who could get their licenses right at 16. I was 3 years younger and had to follow the new law and wait until 6 months after I received my permit. So with my birthday in January, I got my license the summer of my junior year of high school. My car was automatic and Gigi taught me how to drive. She was VERY patient with me, because I had a few close calls. So yes, I will be patient with you too. Even though I wasn't supposed to drive by myself until July, I did make a few illegal drives to friends' houses. I even passed my driving instructor the one afternoon...oops! Driving is a privilege and I hope you will see it as that. Aunt Maddie just got her license two weeks ago. She's a really good driver, so maybe you should talk to her before you go for your test. I can't imagine that 15 years from now i'll be teaching Chase how to drive. I'm sure you'll do great buddy. I love you forever.