You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that you will be mastering change rather than it mastering you. ~ Brian Tracy

So much has happened in this short space of time we call a week. Some of it good some of it not so pleasant. Some if it I would like to change and some of it I have no control over and so it is ALL in my attitude and I how I respond.

Melissa, Mark, myself, Ben, and Annie (his delightful girlfriend) went out to eat Wednesday evening...in-between uneventful World Series innings we would all go sneak peaks at the lunar eclipse from Melissa's telescope. WOW, are we ever little peons in the whole scheme of things.

If God can design, create, and keep the whole universe strung in place, it doesn't really matter who governs us in January. But that didn't keep us from joining the West Michigan throngs at a standing room only rally in Grand Rapids. I guess we'll know more Tuesday.

It was so fun to have Ben sneak home for a day and half. I believe he is learning, growing, laughing, and loving in his new job. Not to mention the close proximity of home via Grand Valley State. I simply cannot wait to spend more time with Annie and look forward to meeting her family. Put us down for Springhill family camp, Labor Day Week-end 2005, and following. I can think of no better place to be.

Speaking of families....It was so hard to see my friend Kate and her family go through the sudden loss of her father. It's no wonder that her family is so loving and caring...their family legacy has been passed down from generation to generation and it has affection, grace, concern, and positive attitude written all over it.

Keep the memories alive and as you grieve and morn your loss don't forget to smile through the tears, for you know, that is the way your father and grandfather would want it to be.

And now, on the eve of 49 and holding, I feel compelled to live strong. I want to live passionately and gracefully, but I'm not sure I know how. I'm willing to learn.



I'm off to see the Wizard ~ Dorothy Gale

Quote of the day ~ What goes around comes around.

Spiritual Insight ~ I should be more grateful.

Something I want to share ~ Tom Hanks is the most delightful celebrity I know (of).

Mom's choice of movie to see on Christmas Day ~ The Polar Express (no sneak previews kids).

Scrapbook update ~ 2004 = not even started
Melissa = 5th grade

Things I accomplished recently ~ Applesauce for the year in the freezer
Church service 6 weeks in a row

Choice of World Series winner ~ My loyalty to Midwest and NL instantly faded when the Red Sox had James Taylor sing the national anthem. I admit, I flip flopped.

Something funny that happened to me today ~ Being the considerate friend that I am, I called Kate to see if she wanted me to wait in line tomorrow morning at the arse crack of dawn for Singing Christmas Tree tickets and found out that I would have been cheering to think I was first in line, seeing as they don't go on sale until next Wednesday. Only to prove that my quote of the day rings true.

Things that should be outlawed ~ Blow-up Halloween yard decorations

Something that ticked me off today ~ The fact that Ashlee & Jessica Simpson have such a lack of talent.

Thanks for stopping by.


Circle Of Life

Happy Birthday Mom
And ...
God bless the family of Chet Nerheim 1924 ~2004

"To everything there is a season
And a purpose for every thing under heaven
A time to give birth and time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to harvest;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to search, and a time to give up as lost;
A time to be silent, and a time to speak,
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace.
God has made everything beautiful in its time.
God has set eternity in our heart."
Ecclesiastes 3 ~ The Old Testament

That's the bad news....the good news comes from the Apostle Paul in his letters to the church at Thessalonica;
"Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those who have died so you will not be sad, as others who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and that he rose again. So, because of him, God will raise up those who have died. What I tell you now is the Lord's own message. When the Lord comes again those brethren who have died will rise first. After that, we who are still alive will be gathered up to meet with them. And we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words." I Thessalonians 4 ~ The New Testament


W(y) ~ 4 More Years

W (ynonna)~~~~4 more years!!!

My away message tonight:  “At Wynonna concert with my two best girl friends.”

It was 1976 when I first fell in love with country music. I was working at the Remington Elementary School after graduating from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. The staff at the school used to tease Mrs. Girtz, the secretary, about her choice of radio stations, but I would secretly try to find excuses to do my paperwork in her office, to hopefully catch some strains of Kenny Rodgers, Alabama, The Oakridge Boys, Patsy Cline, or George Strait.

It would be six long years before I would hear of the Judd’s duo. I wondered, along with the rest of the country, which one was the mother and which was the daughter. Fast forward to March 3, 2000.....After plotting with Angela to surprise Jennifer with a Judd’s ticket for her 17th birthday....I felt compelled to get Melissa and myself to the "Power To Change Concert." I took the best seats remaining and we were on our way.

We knew from Ang and Jen that a portion of the concert was on a more intimate stage, which happened to be right in front of our section. Armed with this knowledge, we left our nosebleed seats and after fibbing to the security guard that Melissa was legally blind we found ourselves front and center for such intimate songs as Grandpa, River Of Time, Mama He's Crazy, and Have Mercy.

Fast forward again to October 17, 2004 and one happenin' Girls Night Out. Can't you almost hear us Rockin' With The Rhythm as we travel down Interstate 196? I once Had a Dream that with a Change Of Heart, in my Cadillac Red, or on a John Deere Tractor, I figured Why Not Me, and on a Lazy Country Evening as The River Rolls On....I finally found Love Is Alive and it can Build A Bridge.


Amazing Grace

The breeze keeps flipping my notebook pages reminding me to look up...soak in....and relish these last few days of comfortable weather.

There are a handful of sunbathers rushing to finish their beach novels and the sails outnumber the motors by about 10 to 1.

The sand between my toes feels better than slipping in between freshly cleaned and wash-lined dried sheets.

I feel alive!

The wind is flipping my pages again...look up....soak in....breathe.

Out of 1000 songs, Amazing Grace explodes onto the iPod.

The last few Sunday sermons have been on God's grace. It is not my performance that justifies God's great gift of grace to me. I'm learning to rest in that fact alone. He loved me just as I was and am....after all he created me.

Performance and working our way to earn His favor comes from upbringing, religious rituals, society and family messages. Maybe, just maybe at judgment day my list of goods will out weigh the bads. It's almost laughable because where would the Almighty draw the line? What measly good deed is going to put me over the top? What act of kindness or donation to a good cause is going to finally tip me past the halfway mark on my good and bad deed scale? If I attend church 52 weeks out of the year (performance) or if I give 11% to help the needy instead of 10%, will that do it?

The most unsettling aspect of this amazing grace is that if we could "do" one thing to win God's favor, Christ would not have had to die and suffer his hideous passion. So I rest in this. Not that I will stop trying to please Him and doing good....even John Kerry got that right in the debate when he quoted James 2:20, "Faith without works is dead."

Pages flipping in the wind...look up...soak in...rest in God's Amazing Grace.

It feels great to be alive.



How's that workin' for ya? ~ Dr. Phil

I'm going to go postal on Melissa shortly. What is so hard about keeping the kitchen sink clean? 3 people live here. We have a dishwasher. We were watching Dr. Phil the other day and she commented on how easy it would be to get kids to obey. Her philosophy is just to make them suffer the consequences and it lined up perfectly with the doctor.

I'm sitting there thinking....bingo...the next time she asks to go to a U of M football game, a Wynonna concert, Brazil, a movie with her friends, a Lauyrn Hill concert, Chili's, the mall, Gulf Shores, or to visit friends at college.....I'm just going to meander into the kitchen and if there's so much as a plastic spoon in the sink her little ___ is not going.

That's all.


Takin' Care Of Business

Every day, I'm just takin' care of business every way, takin' care of business and working overtime.

Somehow on Saturday Mark and Melissa have 9th row seats at the Big House and tomorrow I get to take Jen to Springhill to meet up with her cruise buddies.

It'll be fun to see Ben in his new environment. They got cheap airfare so they're flying to Miami to set sail for Mexico. A five day cruise in the Gulf of Mexico.

 I speak from experience when I say.....oh wait....that's right I don't have a cruise experience.

I'm just going through a little down time!!


It Might Seem Funny To You

A joy that's shared is a joy made double ~ English Proverb

Couple of funny/sad stories. I worked on Melissa's scrapbooks all day Sat and Sun. I've organized 100's of pictures and even have a few songs that I'm thinking of for her video montage. Any music suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I'm kinda old fashioned AND country so I know I'll need help!

Anyhow, as I'm going through her stacks of memorabilia I find a Father's Day card to Mark from her and Jen. Inside, in their childish cursive are these notes to their dad.
"Have a happy Father's Day, Daddy. I love you so much. Thanks for the stereo. Love, Jennifer
"Have a happy Father's Day, Daddy. I love you so much. Thanks for the slinky. Love Melissa

After laughing until we cried, Melissa and I began wondering if she was just trying to think of some recent gift that her dad had bought her so she could copy her sister's note, or if it was an actual form of abuse we imparted upon her. Gems.

 Next story is more sad than funny but here goes. OK, I don't usually work Monday's or Friday's but we have presentation to make to the city of Fruitport on Tuesday morning at 8:30am.

It involves a 15,000 square foot, 2-story, old fashioned, village-street concept building that I am designing. The city needs to see four elevations of the building, all colored renderings with landscaping, etc. I had about 6,792 copies started, testing out different markers, pencils, pine trees, lighting, clouds, the whole nine yards.

So today I'm finishing it up and have to have it to the copy place by 3pm to have it laminated. I'm hurrying around, and my neck hurts like a mother from sitting in the same position all day coloring, I gather up what I think are the 6,791 copies that are not the original, wad them up and jam them down in the trash. Ooops.

Let me just say that the staff at Ajax Imagining are geniuses. It looks great and I'll take the digital to work tomorrow to prove it to you. See what you're all going to have to suffer through, since you want me to update more often. How'd your day go?



Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer. ~ Ed Cunningham

Aren't there some people in your life, that if they weren't there you would have big gaping holes in your mind, heart, and soul? I found myself surrounded by these people all weekend. Friday morning breakfast was an eclectic group. Congratulations to my friends' daughters Amy Williams and Beth Flick on making homecoming court. And once again I couldn't bring myself to say no to bringing my telephoto lens and snapping some pictures of them on Friday night. Thankfully the court was announced after the band show at half time or Sue and Nancy would have found themselves the proud owner of my camera equipment for the rest of the game. Cuz when it rains it pours for our poor football team and I'm sure there were just a few loyal parents still in the stands for the finale 63 - 8.

Friday afternoon around 3pm we started our office parking lot party. I met and fell in love with Michelle Fields from Pathfinders. (Assisted living help for the elderly) She is a colorful conversationalist, vibrant, hyper, passionate, and just plain fun to be around. The first thing that made us click was that we had hurriedly grabbed red and white picnic tablecloths, etc. for the party only to decide midstream that the whole affair needed a fall foliage flair. Busy as we were that day, she dropped everything and came back with pumpkins, Indian corn, and gold, green and brown accessories. We would have had to have twice the alcohol to declare the party a success if we would have compromised and gone with the red and white. After chatting for quite some time with Michelle (this was supposed to be a get acquainted social)

I came to the conclusion that no one else that works in my building could be quite as engaging as her so I huddled in the corner and caught up with Marti Bourdon. We have been struggling to have breakfast on a regular basis this year, but because of our long-standing friendship, we can usually reconnect without missing a beat. We both agreed that if one more person says to us...."better start getting used to the 'ole empty nest, because their senior year will be over before ya know it"....we'll have to bitch slap them.

So then it's on to the game, and before we could even dig out our blue and white pompoms and before I could warn Mark to save his $5. and meet us at the Station it was 49-0. Sara Flick, and Melissa joined us in the stands and made the mistake of asking the innocent question, "who are we playing, anyway?" Her dad's pat answer was Notre Dame. This just did not sit well with Kate Wiseman, and being the good sport that she is, went on the defensive for our poor, little sailors. Her strategy is to have a predetermined team that we would put on the schedule every year so we could at least win homecoming. It all sounded good, and she should have just quit while she was ahead, her suggestion...."the multi-state-winning-championship-Ravenna Bulldogs. God bless her!

The Station was good food and fun, as always, and recognizable fans kept arriving with more and more devastating news in the form of football scores. Diana Hosko joined our party and gave us the last and final count. Enough said. Last year's Melissa-friends were waiting for us after the game. It was winding up at around midnight, as usual, and as much as I wanted to stay up and chit chat, catch-up, make fun of the Sailor's Log, and listen to Melissa whine about how it's just not right to still be in high school, I was friended out. Don't be strangers.


October Road

The city
The sidewalks
The buildings
The trains, buses, limos, and cabs
The People
The Souls

~ The best thing that happened to me today was not having Arby's curly fries for like a year and then having some!

~ The worst thing that happened to me today was ordering a medium order of Arby's curly fries and having only 2 (two) of them actually be curly.

~ The Amazing Race is stellar TV

~ I think I'll stay home for a change this weekend.

~ Latest book: The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

~ P.S. Pete loved your stinking website and now he has
ammo to use against me.....namely a certain video
that has me lip-syncing Tom Jones in an ugly 7th grade
dress. Thanks :) Love, Jen

Well, I'm-a going back down, maybe one more time
Deep down home October road
And I might like to see that little friend of mine
That I left behind once upon a time
Let the sun run down right behind the hill
I know how to stand there still till the moon rise up
Right behind the pine, oh lord

Breakfast with girlfriends. I'm busy at work so no Friday off this week. Had a parking lot work party to schmooze with others in our building. Tailgate fundraiser for Little Lambs orphanage in Africa. Homecoming against Grand Haven. We're going down, but it should be a fun time, then to the Station with friends after game. When I flipped the calendar I'm reminded that this is the month I need to buy Singing Christmas Tree tickets. Whoa! The slippery slope has started. Wonder if it's too soon to dig out the village and Christmas CD's? We know the Bush agenda. I feel like Kerry is getting really good at saying he has a plan to do it better than Bush......I thought last night on the nationally televised debate would have been the perfect time to share it with us.