Wednesday, October 31, 2007

2007 Flag Football

It's about 9 minutes long... but it covers games from the entire season.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Crazy Kids

I had the exciting chance to play flag football this weekend. A friend of mine plays on a league and they were short players... so I filled in. It was fun and exausting! I had my share of missed opportunities, but I also made some good plays that helped the team - I was most excited when I intercepted a pass at the 5-yard line and ran it all the way (way far away) - I mean a long, loooong way away to the our endzone to score my first-ever-in-my-life touchdown. I did a two-second dance and promptly collapsed on the sideline while a sub went in for me. I wasn't too usefull after that run.... luckily it was near the end of the game (the second one of a double-header) - we won 28-20. Yeah! But we lost the first game 20-24 and because of that loss, the team barely missed the playoffs for their league... so everyone went home with mixed emotions. I went home happy that I could still walk.

While I played, Heather chatted with some of the wives/girlfriends of other team members. What an encouragement that my wife would come watch me get run over by some rancid teenagers. Sure the average age of the guys playing was about 25, but I always seemed to be matched up to the 18 or 20 year old that could out-run, out-jump, and out-manuvure me. Man was I pooped!

Jacob and Chris had fun playing with a tree. Up and down they went - from bottom to the top and back down... multiple times. Christopher stayed at the top long enough afterwards for me to grab my camera an shoot a few pictures of him. He's a tree-climbing maniac.

In his own words:

"Don't worry Mom,

I'm a professional!"

Here's more photos:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Autumn Colors


Saturday afternoon: 70 degrees and still. The most beautiful weather for a motorcycle ride.

Tim and I took off for a cruise around the outskirts of Cedar Rapids, visiting Robins, Center Point, Palo, Downtown Cedar Rapids, and south along the river.

View Larger Map

We both took our cameras and enjoyed snapping off some photos throughout the ride.

Check out my pictures at my website

It was an awesome ride.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I wrote a letter to Michael's grandparents yesterday. Writing letters to family who live far away is a very fun thing for me (even though I don't do it often enough). I view it in the same category as I do all my short stories about the boys growing up. It gives me a chance to think back on the last few weeks, and re-tell some of the amazing and humorous moments with our family.

One such moment happened just two nights ago.

I've written on the blog, many times now, about how Jacob is really walking in a new stage in life. He's now what the media calls a "tween", kids who are not quite teenagers, but not little kids anymore. I'm really having fun with Jake being in this stage right now. He's so witty, and our conversations have gotten a lot deeper.

With his new maturity, comes more school responsiblities. He has homework more often than last year, and is expected to finish his homework a lot sooner than last year as well. His homework has started to become somewhat research heavy. Michael decided it was time for Jake to get his own computer, to look up subjects on the internet.

We've all heard the news stories, and I'm sure we've all seen "To Catch A Predator" on Dateline. The internet is not a very safe place. While it's filled to the point of overflowing with great information, there is also the counter side of that. Demented ideas abound on the internet. Porn is easily available, even if you're not seeking it out. When talking about getting a computer set up for Jake, Michael and I decided that it would be best to put a filter of some sort on Jake's internet. Michael found a great program, that had many features that we thought would be necessary to keep the innocent eyes of a 9 year old stay innocent.

Michael, Jake, and I were all in Jake's room the other night, getting his computer set up for him. Michael explained all the rules to Jake about the internet and IM, and Jake was very understanding. Michael had already taken the opportunity to test out the filtering software and decided to show Jake an example of the filter. Every time something is inappropriate, a window with the words "Anti-Porn" shows on the screen, basically letting you know that the website you want to look at is not going to be viewed. Michael was satisfied with the settings on the filter, and gave the computer over to Jake.

Just before going online, Jake looked at me and asked, "Who's this Porn guy? And why doesn't anyone like him?"

So, with a straight face, Michael had to explain on a 9 year old level what porn is. When Jake heard the watered down facts of porn, he reacted with a great big "Ewwwww!" He ended up being very happy that we are so protective of his internet usage.

Now, Jake is our household weather man! Since he has his own computer, he has our local news station's weather site bookmarked so he can check the weather whenever he wants! He's also enjoying the fact that he can IM Michael and I, even though we're just downstairs. (Let me know if you'd like Jake's IM screenname to chat with him, we're only letting him add people with our permission).

He is really enjoying the fact that there are lots and lots of ideas on the internet. Tonight, we're going today to buy some PVC pipe. He found the plans for a marshmallow gun on the internet. :)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Thanks for all the comments!

I have a great family.

My last entry was born of a hard day. I was yelled at by a customer, frustrated with my boss (not Michael), and dealing with past hurts and wounds. I wasn't even sure if I should post what I wrote.

Michael has challenged me to write more often. To write even when I don't feel like writing. My last post was part of that challenge. I was dealing with some sour feelings, and instead of just curling up and cutting myself off, like I usually do, I forced myself to write. That post was more of an exercise than anything. I wasn't fishing for encouragement. But I was truly blessed by the encouragment I received.

Thankfully, those rough days are few and far between anymore. I've come a long way! I've learned a lot about myself in the past 5 years, and am thankful for the journey God is taking me on. I am very blessed by an amazing family. Not only my biological family, but the family I married into 11 years ago. When I married Michael, I knew that I was being blessed by God giving me the best He has for me. I had no idea, however, the depth of the gift He gave me in Michael's family. I have a best friend in my sister-in-law. I have parents that are supportive. I have grandparents who have shown me more love than necessary. I have an aunt and uncle who I consider friends. I am truly blessed by the Deeter/Johnson/Lantz/Monhollon clan! :)

On a side note, in regards to those hard days. I have to laugh at times at an old SNL sketch with Al Frankin. He did a character named Stuart Smalley. He had a mantra to get you out of a funk, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!". It's a funny sketch, but there is some truth to it. Sometimes you just need to tell yourself those words. Here's a clip of an old sketch with Michael Jordan. It's a very low quality, but it still makes me laugh:

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Having a rough day...just need to sort it all out.

Usually, I try and write about something in my life that may inspire others. Motherhood comes with a unique set of challenges. Those challenges can be quite hard to endure. Sometimes you feel like you’re all alone in life, and hearing that someone else has gone through that same thing, can be comforting.

Today, I’m feeling just the opposite of comfort in numbers. I’m actually feeling rather raw.

I came home from a conference a few weekends ago, feeling refreshed and revived. The conference was all about finding your purpose and passion in life. A major theme throughout the weekend dealt with your own personal attitude, and realizing that God created you for a reason. I have to admit, I’m having a hard time with my attitude right now.

In life, I’ve dealt with a host of issues. One recurring theme in my life, unfortunately, has been a lack of confidence. I’ve had a hard time feeling like I’m worth much, and therefore haven’t had much confidence in myself as a person. I really have a hard time seeing myself as unique or special. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that God created me for a purpose, and He made me to be special. I can see that in everyone else, very easily at times. To be honest though, I have a very hard time seeing that in myself.

Growing up, I learned from my grandma how to do crafts. I thought I was pretty cool knowing how to cross-stitch and create things with plastic canvas. Then I went to a crafts show, and saw that a lot of other people did the same thing. I kind of gave that up at that point. I was struggling to find something that made me unique and significant. Being crafty was fun, but it didn’t make me unique.

As I got older, I found out that I could carry a tune. I loved music, and would have it on at any point possible. Singing along to the radio was like second nature. Then I tried out for a school musical, and my signing wasn’t unique enough. Cassandra had an amazing voice! Of course, she got the part. A few years go by, and I thought I’d try out for the junior high talent show. Again, nervous as could be, I gave my all, to be followed by Cassandra. My teacher told me “Your voice is okay, but her’s….there’s just nothing like it!”. That prompted me to stop singing in front of anyone, for many years.

As an adult, I’m still searching for what makes me unique. Thankfully, I’ve picked up crafts again. Although it’s not going to define me in history, it’s still a fun activity. I sing in front of people now, but never by myself anymore. I like being the backup singer…in hopes that singing a cool harmony will make me unique and stand out. Right now, though, the only outlet I have for doing that is overcrowded. I’m more frustrated than fulfilled in that area.

I found a few years ago, that I enjoy writing. Once again, though, that’s not a talent that is exclusive to me. I am surrounded by amazing writers in my family. But I find myself here, writing again, about feeling insignificant as a writer. Why is that? I have no idea why I’m even writing about it, or what I hope to get out of writing about my feelings today, or why I even feel the need to post my feelings on a public blog. I just have to write.

I don’t know if writing is going to put me in the history books. I don’t know if I’m ever going to really make a difference to anyone with my writing. To be brutally honest, that is something that has been hard to deal with. All I know is that as I get older, the more and more writing is a part of me. When I’m writing, I’m able to sort out my feelings. I’m able to not think about my shortcomings. It helps me sort out (like today) those raw feelings. It preserves those joyous moments with my kids. It helps me to really understand the depths of my feelings towards my husband. It even sometimes makes me understand what God has been telling me all along.

I’m significant.

I’m worth something.

I’m unique.

Even on the days that I feel raw.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Trend? We'll see.

Okay. A crazy wave of blogs have recently been posted by family members this week: from my Dad, my Sister, and my Aunt. I challenge them all to write often and continually... as that was and still is the challenge I made for myself when I first created our blog.

It's really cool to have a place to lay down some thoughts or opinions and (sometimes) get feedback, compliments or rejections by others that may or may not really care. That's the interesting thing about blogs.... in my opinion, I'd like to have our blog have three main aspects:

  1. A cache of notes and letters to family and friends
  2. A cooktop of thoughts and revelations about our life and local happenings
  3. Feedback and encouragement/rejection/opinions from readers
One concern that arose in some posts was the issue of blog privacy. Hmmmm... I'm not really that concerned about it. I don't think I'll be posting anything that will endanger me or my family on this blog. Most of our posts will include notes and stories about recent events with general information that only readers that know us would really understand. If someone could explain to me what the worry is, I'd be happy to try to understand why there's a scare.

One thing to help you with is the privacy option in the blog settings to "Add your Blog to our listings?" Yes or No.

(A Public blog appears in your Blogger Profile. If you select "No" we will not show your blog anywhere on, but it will still be available on the Internet.)

I'll be adding some more video soon. Since we got our new camcorder, I'm trying to keep up with the video that we capture. Once it gets too old, it seems too outdated to blog about them.

See you again soon.