31 May 2011

last GBS...for me :(

About 2 years ago, my husband challenged me that I needed to start a girl's Bible study.
He knows that while I read my Bible & prayerfully apply it daily, I am a social creature who enjoys the time spent with & organizing groups of friends...thus GBS [Girl's Bible Study] was born.

This past Monday was my last get together as these lovely ladies will be replacing me once my family & I make our transition to the Bloomington/Normal area.

I will miss you each ladies & you have blessed me abundantly in your wisdom, time & desire to honor God & obey Him.

On the left: Taryn Kaiser & Leah Zimmerman
On the right: myself & Holly Levy
Tracy [Zimmerman] Bucher also used to be part of our gang before her move to Indiana.

27 May 2011

showering Lindsay

Over a month ago (pathetic I'm just getting around to it, I know!), some friends hosted a shower for our Lindsay. It was SO neat to get many of us together from IL, MN, IN & even Jamaica...many of us who haven't seen each other since we either roomed together during college, working days or ran around in young group!

We enjoyed catching up, yummy food, and of course, showering Linds with lots of great gifts for her upcoming wedding in July. It was extra special to have her Mom & sister, Erika, with us for the night as well.

Congratulations girl & best wishes as your big day approaches!

Back: Janel Wiegand, Jessie Esterling, Andria Sprunger, Erika Gramm, Alesa Bahler
On the couch: Keri Plattner, Jolynn Hodel, Holly Levy, Kendra Knapp (soon to be Dohman!) & Lindsay Gramm (soon to be Montana!)

On left [not pictured above]: Heidi Rinkenberger, holding Alesa's Ellie

two darling babies whot attended the party:
Kendra, holding Jolynn's little Landry & Holly, holding Alesa's little Ellie.

so Keri's sister Kasey couldn't make it to the shower, but that didn't stop her from calling us to get a run down of who was all there & what Linds received for gifts...
basically, what Kasey (aka Ms. Life of the Party) was missing out on!

26 May 2011

final Robin game night - of course!

Last Friday night we had a few faithful friends over who have given us many laughs over the last five years here at our condo in Morton...yep, our Final Game night on Robin Ave (more to come on why that is in a future post!).

Rich, Jackie, Josh, Kent, Holly & Taryn...thanks so much for coming and giving us many laughs.

We enjoyed catching up, snacking on yummy food, and got in several games (of course!) including a game of croquet (on a an absolutely bee-u-tiful night!), Apples to Apples, and much to my husband's dismay, a few rounds of Speed Uno.

Such great times...

Haven, of course, wanting to get in on the action as well :)

Haven, of course, LOVED all the attention she was showered with!

Kent in the er, bunker?!

our game of Speed UNO...no winner although Holly & Kent were doing quite well.

and last, but not least, Taryn, of course, got several great shots of Haven!

23 May 2011

my picnic table

Dear friends,

What can Mommy find at a garage sale for $10, you ask?
Well, some pretty cool stuff but none cooler than my new picnic table---I love it!
I would like to have a picnic with you...would you like to have one with me?
Please call my Mommy.


20 May 2011

Friday's Funny-cousins

While Haven and Charlee are only 3 days apart (Nov. 1 and Nov. 4), they are opposite in many ways: physical features, favorite foods...you name it. However, one thing remains true-they LOVE seeing each other & playing together.

The below pictures were taken while Papa was in the hospital about 3 weeks ago for his kidney surgery...I love it! Both wanting to play & vying for Aunt Amber's attention...after about 5 minutes, we decided playing in the lounge was better for Papa & for them as these "sitting" poses didn't last long!

18 May 2011

first dance

Several weeks ago, we took Haven to her "first dance" at Pekin High School. Now before I get naysayers out there about to judge me for exposing my daughter to a dance with high schoolers (TRUST me, I know what high school dances are like), this dance was quite different...

The PCHS Student Council puts on their annual Senior Citizens Prom every spring & invites older couples from the community in for a night of dancing-real band, real music & refreshments! It's great...way better than a high school dance! The attendees get all dressed up and as soon as The Nostalgics hit their first note, away they dance-and such great dancers they are. As the evening wears on, the high school kids take their turns dancing (and learning) from their guests-it's great to see such interaction.

here's Haven dancing with a co-worker for ours & Stuco adviso, Colleen...she LOVES her!

Haven also making her rounds to those waiting for the dance to start...she showed them all her tricks! One older lady had asked me, "How old is she?"...and of course, Haven beat me to the punch, promptly showing her 1 finger :)

this is another friend of Haven's, Jake, who is on Daddy's Stuco exec. board

and my favorite picture of the night!
Haven got her very own saxophone solo while she was on the dance floor-I love it!

12 May 2011

first haircut

Thanks Brooklet!
You're the best & we are, for sure, going to miss you!

07 May 2011

our dads-May update

Orlan made it home last Monday from the hospital & seems to be recovering okay. His ever vigilant wife/LPN/caretaker has been monitoring his meds & checking his blood pressure as this was somewhat of a concern when he got discharged this past week. Getting him up & moving around to recover from his surgery is a high priority. His oncologist is not proposing any chemotherapy treatment at this time & seems optimistic that with careful monitoring, he may not need it. His lymph nodes came back clear of cancer as did his margins. Although the sac around the removed kidney tested positive, it appears the cancer did not extend beyond the fat. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of the Miller family.

My Dad finished his radiation treatments on Good Friday and thus begins the waiting until he's scheduled for a bone scan on May 10. He has lots of pain and so my mom has been vigilant in attempting to contact his oncologist & radiologist to determine what he can take, how much & how often. It was an overwhelming weekend (last) as he had 3 terrible days in a row (lots of pain, no appetite, nausea, numbness in his legs) and was prompted to park the truck. Trucking for my Dad has been a source of focus, accomplishment, and a passion for a long time & this decision was not made lightly. My uncle Butch has been slowly but surely picking up his loads here & there; however, with planting season here, my brother-in-law, Mike, graciously agreed to help Dad out until he himself receives a clean bill of health. (Mike has been having pancreatic & gall bladder problems since February, and thus hasn't been able to resume his long distance trucking job yet).

As I type this, I'm back in NW Iowa for a few days to spend with my parents. Haven, of course, LOVES their attention and especially loves it when they laugh at her tricks...it's good to be able to help out when necessary and just be with them. Dad has some good days & more often than not, bad days as well where he is unable to get out and do spring field work. He is in the tractor this morning, planting...I'm sure to his heart's delight :) 1/2 days, at best, are usually what he can put in before his pain catches up with him, he gets too tired or both. The bone scan & MRI's next week will determine what is the next decision.

Please continue praying & know we are SO grateful for those prayers. It is an encouragement to my Dad, my Mom and all of us, when we know "the prayers of righteous men avail much" [James 5:16].

As of Friday, May 6, my Dad now has a CaringBridge website:

06 May 2011

Friday's Funny-humbly speaking...

So at first, this post wasn't a Friday Funny....but now looking back, I can chuckle because my little darling wasn't hurt-only her mother's pride.

About 2 months ago, we went out to dinner with Orlan & Carol at Outback Steakhouse in Bloomington. Once finished we headed to the car & I was putting Haven in her car seat. She always likes seeing & playing with my car keys, so I flung them over to the front driver seat [as WAS my custom] and buckled her in. I must have hit the lock button on our opener because once I shut her car door, poor little Haven was locked in...and, I'm pretty sure my stomach HIT the ground and my heart starting pounding a mile a minute!

I'm such a terrible mother.

Will someone notice Haven & call DCFS?

Will Haven think I'm abandoning her?

What in heck was I thinking?

My usual, quick-thinking, clear-headed husband didn't speak & I really needed him to react much quicker than he did. To Arlan's credit, he still says "I couldn't believe it had really happened!" :)

While I was trying to locate a locksmith on my smart phone, up pulls our good friends, Brian & Katie with their daughter Hannah.
[side note: while we don't see them often enough, we seem to pick the most random locations to accidentally hook up: Indy's Keystone Mall for instance or Tanner's Orchard's or in this case, Outback Steakhouse while I've locked Haven in the car]

Brian quickly jumped into action, looking for something in his trunk that could pry between the door...to no avail. Thus I convinced Arlan that because a child was in danger, calling 911 was our best option. Haven by no means, was in danger, crying, or even in distress but what if a locksmith took 3 hours?

The Bloomington Fire Dept. was dispatched and had Haven happily out (she loves firetrucks) in under 5 minutes from the time I placed the call. Grandpa Miller had kept her entertained my making faces through the car window during our short wait.
The whole ordeal took under 15 minutes.

And of course, our good friends, Brian & Katie, who we see not near enough but at random places....also happened to have their camera along...of course :)

and here are our 2 darlings, only about 1 week before my car-locking incident...we had stopped by after church to catch up, and coincidentally had them dressed alike...of course!
the story of our friendship-it's meant to be Brian & Katie...no getting rid of us!

02 May 2011

easter in iowa 2011

I can't believe Easter was just last week! So much has happened in 7 days...I finally have time to sit down and post a few pictures from our time out in Iowa over Easter. My 2 aunts from Phoenix were home, along with my cousin Kolette and her two boys. It made for some busy yet fun family get-togethers!

the kids waiting for pizza while coloring

Aunt Emmy getting in on the fun

my darling red-head niece, Mali (Lonn's) with Grandpa-she loves rubbing his smooth head too!

Haven trying on Grandpa's boots!
I think she looks like a hufflepud from Narnia's Dawn Treader, except they only have 1 foot :)

Haven's highlight of the trip~riding in Grandpa's truck & getting to honk his horn!
She is obsessed with trucks right now & any time she's sees them when we are driving [especially on interstate], she wildly honks her little horn or waves!

Haven & Macy [Lonn's] playing!

Aunt Emmy got plenty of smooches from Haven :)

Haven loved playing hide-n-seek with Aunt Lois & Aunt Vonnie-these 2 make her laugh!
I had a better picture of the play, but was pretty sure Aunt Lois would NOT have thought it was good! :)

Haven's new favorite past time-coloring!

the kids at Mali's birthday party getting ready for the Easter egg hunt!

Haven's treasure

Mali ready to dig in!

Easter morning with Grandpa & Grandma