Saturday, April 30, 2011

Laundry Basket Weaponry

I get scared. A lot. Believe it or not, most nights I go to bed scared.

Sometimes I can calm myself down and figure out what made the noise.  And go to sleep.

But. Not always.

There are times that I am terr.i.fied.  Frozen in fear.Trembling.Shaking.Goosebumps.Scared.

So those nights I find a weapon of sorts. Form a plan of attack. And head downstairs.

Being the imaginative creature that I am. I make it worse for myself. 

There has been times where I could have given someone a full description of what the 'intruder' looked like.  Had there been one of course. 


My latest experience with an 'intruder' came the other night. 

It was 3 am and I was headed to bed.  I was tired. I was exhausted. I was a bit mind-weary.

I laid in bed and was just dozing off when: I heard/felt a door slam.  The house shook a bit. I shook a lot.

At first I thought. "Julie, quit. Its just your imagination. You are entirely too tired.  Quit this and go to sleep"


It did it again. Only louder and harder.

Now this could mean one of many things. #1 The 'intruder' left. Mad because I have nothing valuable. #2 It was, again, my imagination. #3 The wind  #4 The 'intruders' buddies coming in behind him. 

I, being the brave protecter of my household, got up and clutched my phone. Quite disappointed that Riley's Nerf guns weren't upstairs.

Yes, I have used Nerf guns as protective weaponry. I even hold them up and creep around the walls like they do in the movies....superwoman style. You don't! want to mess with me.

One night last summer I was so scared I moved all my kids to my bed and locked my door.  Figuring we would all be locked in and safe. Together. Oh, we were locked in all right. My door uses an old fashioned skeletal key. And the next morning I couldn't get it unlocked.  (After a few minutes I finally did. And then I laughed at my situation). 

So as you can see, I am not a stranger to being scared at night.  In fact, its a weekly routine.

I stood at the top of the stairs, peeking down to see if I could see or hear anything. To my fright and horror, there was a light on.  I never leave a light on in the living room. I always shut them off. And I knew I had flipped the switch off when I went upstairs. 

I looked around the hallway, searching for something.anything that I could use as protection.  I saw an empty laundry basket and kicked it down the stairs as hard as I could hoping to scare away the creepy guys.  Nothing happened.  The 'intruders' weren't scared of my clanging noise and didn't leave. 

I honestly don't know what I would have done if I heard people run out and leave.  Probably fainted.  But since that didn't happen I did the next best worse thing. I called the police.

A very kind officer came out and looked around the outside of the house while I stayed on the phone with the dispatcher.  The cop then came to the front door to make sure I was okay.  I was,of course, and explained that I am here alone and get scared.  They (dispatcher and police) were very understanding and said they were glad I called. 

My next biggest fear?  Was the realization that they will print it in the local paper's police blogger.  And that everyone would know it was me.  I guess I beat 'em to it. I'm posting it on-line.

The noise? Well. It was a very, very windy night. I never did find out what it was exactly.  And the light? Well, the light was accidentally left on by me.   Of course.

So it was no one. Just my wild imagination.Again. 

I should do better.

And think of this:

I will both lay me down in peace and sleep; for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.
~Psalm 4:8~

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

This weekend I took the kids to see their grandparents in West Virginia. 

We had a wonderful visit. 

Not knowing for sure when we will make it back made the visit bittersweet. 

The children adore their grandparents and they are adored in return. 

They have their secret little jokes and as the children grow older they are making their own memories. 

Pawpaw told the kids that they needed to go on a walk around the yard to make sure the Wompon cat wasn't lurking around.  Riley joined in on the joke and told the two littles that it was 10 feet tall and was yellow with purple stripes.  Rhianna and Reagan gladly joined in the hunt.

The uniform required for hunting Wompon cats are: one of pawpaw's caps and a light saber or a ring pop. 

These items are strict requirements.

Unfortunately, the only two who ever saw the cat was Pawpaw and Riley.  Rhianna and Reagan kept missing the sightings.

After a rainy Friday, we were thankful for a sunny Saturday.  Uncle Steve and Uncle David hid the eggs for the big Easter Egg hunt.

We had to leave early Sunday morning to make it to church in Sardis for Easter services. 

The kids hugged and kissed Mawmaw and Pawpaw goodbye knowing it would most likely be a year until they had the chance to visit again.

On the way up the interstate, they said "I wish Pawpaw and Mawmaw lived next door and Kendra lived down the block". 

I'm so thankful they have close relationships with their family on their dad's side.  It is good. And I'm thankful.

After stopping in Sardis for Sunday School/Easter Service, I decided to stop in Marietta to get a few photos of the children on the college campus.

My dad went to Marietta College.  He loved to go back and visit the campus and had taken me once or twice.  I only have bits and pieces of memories there with him.  But the more I visit the more I remember. And the more I remember the more contended I feel. 

And that is good. 

The kids know how much I enjoy the beautiful brick walks. 

The gorgeous old buildings.

The memories triggered.

The smell of knowledge.

My lost dreams of one day attending.

I didn't know the next time I would make it through Marietta. 

I don't know the next opportunity I will have to take photos of my kids walking the places where my dad once walked.

I wanted to seize the moment and capture all that I could.

Which today I did. Until it rained. 

But I got some good shots. 

Riley said "Mom. Get us running in the white stuff. Won't it look nice?" 

I smiled.  "Yep Riley. It'll look great"

Doesn't it? 

That white stuff? Not snow.  Gorgeous, dainty petals. Floating. Down.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On Cheerleading

I love the book of Philippians.

I've never really considered why I enjoy it so much. Until tonight.

It is a book that encourages us to be encouraging. And I like that.

I want to be known as an encourager.

Whether it is in my speech, my actions or my reactions I want to be an encourager to those around me.  I want people to see my weaknesses...and through my weaknesses God's strength.

I want people to walk away from talking to me feeling happier.

I want people to smile.

Maybe even laugh.

Philippians 4:8 tells us: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

There are a lot of 'whatsoevers' in this passage.  I knew what it meant.  But I still thought it fun to look  it up:


–pronoun, adjective
an intensive form of whatever
An INTENSIVE form of whatever. 
I read this as whatever, only exaggerated.
If you think on whatever things are positive only intensified, then there really is nothing left to look on critically or negatively. 
And since Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. we can see that in the grand scheme of things, nothing bad happens. 
It may seem bad, or negative, or tragic, or horrible. 
But for those who are called a child of God, who are serving His purpose it will serve for a greater good. 
Which is good. Right? 
And good can't be bad.
I want to hear of all my dear readers' lovely things you are thinking on. 
I want to hear the wonderful things that God has done for you today. Or this past week. Or whenever. 
I want to think on your lovely things with you. 
And praise God alongside you for those blessings in your life.
Another favorite Philippians' passage is:
Philippians 2:3: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Just stop and walk with me into my world of imagination. 
Come. I'll take you by the hand...
Imagine a world where people esteemed people higher than themselves. 
[esteemedpast participle, past tense of es·teem (Verb)1. Respect and admire]
A world where:
Husbands cherished their wives
Wives respected their husbands
Parents loved their children, unconditionally
Children obeyed their parents
Siblings only spoke kinds words
Bosses dealt fairly with employees
Co-workers didn't gossip
Friends didn't become malicious
Acquaintances didn't lie and destroy reputations
Strangers respected strangers
The list goes on and on...
I realize we are living in a fallen world where Satan is attempting to destroy.
Even though the devil is strong, we can control our nastiness towards one another. 
One person at a time.
In our corner of the world. 
The evil one may appear to be winning, but we can control our attitude towards each other. 
And that in itself will cause a stronghold, a brick wall, of protection from the devil.
Give some encouragement today.
And the next day.
And the day after that. 
Until it becomes routine and second nature. 
I dare you.
Be someone's cheerleader.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I have the world's sweetest girlie.  Seriously.  I adore her. And I love being in the kitchen with her.  I may fail at many things as a Mama but one thing I am sure of.  My kids will know how to make cookies. 
 After all, what else is important?

It was her turn to take in snack for school and I had a few extra spring cut outs in the freezer.  All I needed to do was quick decorate them. 

First. We rolled out the fondant.

Then we mixed in the coloring gel to the royal icing. 
Rhianna wanted to mix the pink.

We then set out to put the finishing touches on the cookies.  First we laid out the fondant.  Then we added  detail with Royal Icing.  We waited a few minutes for the icing to set. 

After the icing had dried, we placed them in a plastic sleeve and packaged them in spring time novelty bags.

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.


~Barbara Jordan~

Monday, April 18, 2011

Biking Down Memory Lane

Each month I take one of the kids out on a 'date'.  Last Sunday was Riley's date.  And he chose a bike ride.

We started out riding the rails to trails bike path but ended up heading into Sterling.

As we rode into town, I realized how long it had been since I had biked through Sterling.  I had moved to the village when I was 8 and lived there until I was 16.  I spent most of my 'bike riding' years riding through the street and alleys of Sterling. 

Soon after crossing the tracks into town we went by Sterling Farm Equipment.  This place had once been a second home to me.  My dad had been the general manager for years and when we moved into town, from Rittman, we moved across the street from the store.

I often remember going over to be with my dad after the store closed.  My sisters and I would roller skate down the wide aisles or we would play hide and seek or leave ornery pranks for the employees the next day. 

I told Riley to follow me as we rode into the parking lot.  I wanted him to see where I played. I wanted him to ride where I had once rode.

The store hadn't aged.  There was still the Partsland, Ohio sign up by the front door.  There was still the 'step up sign'.  There were still the same hours posted by the door next to the phone number that was so very familiar. As if it had once been my own.  There were still the long red rugs lying just inside the front door.  There were still Cub Cadets on showcase inside the front windows. There was still the olive green siding.  There was still the slight incline at the end of the sidewalk next to the same red employees door.

 I felt 9 years old again.  I wanted to open the door and run in to dad's office and tell him I came to skate.  I wanted to smell the familiar smell of the dirt and oil and grease that was so comforting.  I wanted to run through the parts department and wave hello to all the familiar faces. To Fred. Dennis.Doug.Dean.SandyArt. I wanted to run down the back ramp and into the shop where we would soon turn around because it was so big and dark and scary.  I wanted to ~  I wanted to experience it all over again.  And this time treasure it and remember.

But I couldn't open the door.  I couldn't run inside.  It was Sunday and the store was closed.  And the things I wanted to see and the people I wanted to say 'hey' to weren't there. They were all in my memory and are held in my heart.

Riley and I rode on through the parking lot to the back.  He wasn't too sure about going there but I assured him I knew where I was going.  As we rode I saw sights I hadn't seen since the early 90's.  Not much had changed.  And I was glad.  

While we rode past this storage building in the back part of the property.  I had to laugh when I saw the opening to the door.  I knew that there would be a huge flight of stairs to the right as you walked through the opening.  I knew that there would be a locked door at the top of the stairs.  And I was right. Partially.

There was a door at the top of the stairs.  And it was locked.  And the stairs were to the right.  But they were not a huge flight of stairs.  There were three steps.  Funny how a childhood memory can become exaggerated.

There is only one other person who knows why these steps to this door is so memorable.  My sister and I would often ride bikes back through here.  Next to this particular building there was always a banging/clanging sound.  We made up the story that there was a witch who lived in this building and that is why the door had to be locked.  Now, neither of us believed in witches.  So I'm not exactly sure where we got the notion.  But we knew it had to be something scary that lived in there or why else would they keep it locked??

Well, sister.  I figured it out.  As I rode by the building as I was leaving the banging started again.  Just as a gust of wind blew through the old cracks of the walls.  So there goes our theory.  Unless she was banging a friendly 'hello'?

The loading ramp was often rode down to see how fast we could get going.  Riley started to ride his bike up the ramp to take a turn at flying down the steep ramp.  But part way up he decided he wasn't ready for it.  And was quite impressed that his mama used to do it.  "Really mom?  You really rode down it?"

I remember when a crew of Amish carpenters came and built the white building to the left.  We would sit in the parking lot for hours; watching as they framed, roofed and sided the huge building.  Before it was filled with equipment we rode through the smooth concrete and enjoyed the newness of it.  And feeling a part of the building process.

I vaguely remember the inside of this building.  I know it was not well lit.  And kinda scary.  I would sometimes go in with dad and check on things.  If I remember right, this is where the shop was for lawn equipment.  Some foggy pictures are floating through my mind:  I see a large room lit by only one bulb.  I see steps leading up.up.up to a large upstairs storage area.  I remember smiling faces.  Of employees who knew us Bauman girls.  Sterling Farm is a part of us.  And for a time we were a part of it. 

I have since had a few farmers tell me they remember the little blond girls who would be playing at the store.  How they would bounce in all smilies.  How sometimes there would be girls on skates going up one aisle and down the other. Then they always get a grin when I tell them that I was one of those little Bauman girls.  

After we left Sterling Farm, Riley and I headed down the alley.  I'm not sure if it actually has a name... we always called it 'the alley'.  We rode past the old Chidsey place where Mr. Chidsey and I would ride to the moon on his porch swing. We would talk about my day at school. We would talk trains. And books. And just stuff.  He was at least 70 years older than me.  But he was my friend. A confidant. A companion.  And I miss him.

There is a curve in the alley.  I remember riding around that curve as fast as I could.  Racing.  Someone.No one.  Just going fast.As fast as I could.  This time we took it slower.  I savored the sights.  Of the house where the lady with the dog lived.  The dog was a big fat dog that had itty bitty short legs.  For the life of me I can't remember the dogs name.  {Kelly... can you help me out??}

Riley and I rode on through Sterling.  Looping around to get back to Alyssa's house so I could return the borrowed bike.  As I neared the end of the street I realized I didn't know when I would ride my bike through Sterling again.  If ever.  With the move to Connecticut right around the next bend in my road, I realized this may be the last time. 

I wanted to forever remember what those bike rides felt like.  I wanted to forever know the smell of the warm air, the feel of the air flowing through me.  I wanted to remember what the tiny town looked like from the view of a 9 year old girl walking home from school. 

Our bike ride was soon over.  I hadn't intended for our ride to be memory evoking to me.  But I'm glad it was.  While we were riding and the memories came flooding back I spoke them aloud to Riley.  He saw my eyes light up with each recollection.  He saw me as a girl his own age.  He saw me as someone who has memories that are not his own.  And that was good. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On Plowing

I have a confession to make.  And anyone who knows me knows how true this is.

I'm a plow. 

I just bust through whatever needs to be busted through.  And get it done. 

Could be because I'm German.  Could be because I am a Bauman. 

Not sure which. Most likely both.

I am sure though that I am a plow.

I'm struggling with some things that even though I push and pull with all my might I can't bust through it. 

And I don't like the feeling.

Then I remembered one time when I was dealing with something similar and I complained to my friend: "Why doesn't God ever give me a break?  Why doesn't He ever just hand something to me?"

Now. I realize this thought process is totally and completely ludicrous.  God does give me breaks all the time...and He has handed countless things to me. 

But He wasn't handing the thing I wanted handed to me.

Her response was "Julie. We are like plows.  We just tear into and bust through everything.  If God didn't constantly pull at the reigns with us, imagine how bad our lives would be?" 

I had to stop and think.  This is so true.  I am such a plow.  Or horse.  Like a draft horse.  One that just pulls and pulls until the job is done. 

Doesn't this look just like me?? Check out the awesome 'shoes'.  If I were a horse I would totally want shoes like these!

But I had to realize that even a draft horse has a driver.  With reigns to guide it.  The driver doesn't let the draft horse go too fast or the horse will tire before the job is completed.  The driver doesn't let the horse veer off course or imagine how messy the field would be.  The driver doesn't let the horse take a wrong turn into dangerous places. 

So. I'm a horse. Pulling the plow. That is constantly plowing. pushing.pulling.  To get my work done.  But I am oh so thankful that I have a driver who is willing to pull back on my reigns and slow me down.  And I'm thankful that driver loves me enough to keep me safely on course. 

Maybe. I should stop being the horse and let God do the hard work.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Twelve on Twelve

I'm going to try something...but don't hold me to it. 

I'm going to take 12 photos of my day, on the 12th day of each month.

Which is today. Or yesterday.  It's one hour into tomorrow.  The 13th.  Anyhow.

I follow a blog where she takes ten in ten.  And I love it.  Check it out here .  Thanks Betsy for a great way to share your day!

I had a great time today taking photos.  It was fun to quick catch a snapshot of something that struck me as a blessing.  Methinks this will keep me thinking on happy things... (Phil. 4:8)

Started my day off by dropping the kiddos off at school before running Reagan to the sitter...

After we got home, I started favorite chore at home. Seriously.  I love doing laundry. I think it's genetic.  Just ask my mom.  And my grandma. 

After I had the first load going, I ran upstairs and started a pot of coffee. Folgers Drizzled Caramel coffee with French Vanilla creamer in my favorite mug.  The one way I spoil myself.  Then as an added thought...topped it off with whipped cream.  Doesn't get much better than this:

Had forgotten to pack my lunch for work today and came home starved.  Found some salsa and a bag of chips I had stashed away.  These tortillas?  Never tried 'em before today.  But they are now a necessity when it comes to salsa and chips.  Yum.

Setting the table for dinner...

Rhianna crying because I didn't take her picture with the bowls.

Rhianna smiling when I said I wanted a picture of her *new* smile.  Her top teeth are starting to come in.  And I think it is so cute.

Eating carrots at dinner:

While Riley gives her bunny ears...

Because we all know that eating carrots = turning into a bunny.  Right??

Finished homework:

Worked on my homework:

Finished my day with a wonderful visit from a precious friend.  Spent time chatting, crying together, reading the Bible together and praying together for each other.  Love you Nina!

I had a day full of blessings.  Whipped cream, black bean tortilla chips, a washing  machine, dinner (thanks Gail:o) and a wonderful, spiritually uplifting visit. 

What were your blessings today?