Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back in the Saddle, again!!

Wow! I just looked at my blog for the first time in almost a year! How crazy is that?

Yes, I've had a busy year but geez! That is just not right. Feels like I abandoned a child :)

Actually, I just read my daughter's blog and got kind of emotional and remembered, "hey, I have one of those!!"

So, here I am. Back in the saddle so to speak, and I don't know where to begin, hmmmm. Lots of stuff has happened in the last year so I better organize my thoughts and come back and jot them down!!

Be back soon!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Joy has to be a priority!!

I need to thank Pastor Chuck for that wonderful quote, "Joy has to be a priority". Two weeks ago as he was finishing a sermon series on "Play" he said this and I knew that it would be the title of my next post!
I think there is a period in the life of every "mom" in which she forgets to put a priority on her own joy. We are so busy raising kids and enjoying their "joyful' moments that we tend to put a priority on their happiness. Don't get me wrong.....I have been plenty happy watching my kids enjoy themselves but I often failed to branch out on my own and develop my own "play bucket list".

A "play bucket list" is a list of things that I have always wanted to do for enjoyment. Some of them I have never even mentioned to Sir Bill!! So, here is my list....I figure if I make it public I will actually be held accountable by one of the ten people who actually read this!!!!

1. Learn to shoot a pistol.
2. Drive a combine (or other piece of large farm equipment)!
3. Hike in as many of the US states as I possibly can.
4. Learn how to really play bocce...not just pretend!
5. Camp at least once a year.
6. Fly Fish.
7. Make my own fishing lures.
8. Rock Climb (baby steps at first, people).
9. Become an expert cookie and cupcake baker. I'm pretty close to that already!
10.Climb Trees. At one of those places that actually puts you in a harness!! I'm not stupid.
11. Learn to dance......with Bill. Problem is I don't think this is on his bucket list.
12. Walk in 5ks for charitable events.

Twelve is enough for now. I'll keep adding to my list though...and I'll let you in on a little secret.....I've located a combine!!

Just a note. I know the pictures have nothing to do with my bucket list but I wanted to share some of Christian "the king of joy". He knows how to play and he does it well!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

At last the Pity Party is Over!

Hello and please forgive me for my absence. I hadn't planned on being away from the blog all summer but I found myself with no spark to even start a decent blog post. I blame it all on the pity party I was having for myself; the pity party that zapped all of my creative juices. You see I have not had an extended pity party before, maybe one that lasted a day or two, but not one that took up 3 months time!!

So, how and why did this pity party begin? Well first you need to understand that our family is pretty low key. We do our work, help each other out, help others out when they need, and we don't ask for much (if anything) in return. We are pretty predictable and faithful in our work. We do not make a lot of noise, live in a lot of drama or clamour for attention. But this summer we were blindsided, two times, and I found myself wanting some ATTENTION! But, alas, since we are so self sufficient and pretty much backwards at knowing how to attract attention.....we got very little. And this fueled my pity party!!

The first blindside happened with Anna's gymnastic team. I'll spare the long details of this situation but it was a situation that hurt Anna and our family and we had no involvement in the issue or decisions. We were just the innocent (blindsided) ones left behind to pick up the pieces. And watch the others' drama get ALL of the attention. That just ground my gears!! And began my pity party!! I was angry and I had Anna as my anger partner. At least I wasn't going through this myself!! Its nice to have a pity party buddy in times like this! But that didn't last long......Anna asked me shortly after the incident why some people tend to get all of the attention when things like this happen, and we, the Gortners do not. I think I said something sarcastic about learning to become drama queens and Anna replied that if it meant plastering drama all over Facebook it was just a waste of her time.....and that ended it for her!! I, on the other hand, thought long and hard about the Facebook idea!! And though I didn't follow through with that, I still held on tightly to having my pity party!

Our next blindside, and definitely the hardest to handle , was Bethany being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. This, my friends, has been tough. She had just graduated with a BSN and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army and was ready to start her adult life and this happened. And with this diagnosis a whole host of other issues cropped up. The army has put her on hold while they decide what do with her and her disease (pity party fuel); insurance is refusing to cover the medications (more pity party fuel); and now, she is forced to look for a nursing position eventhough she had one secured with the army (more anger to fuel my pity party)!! Attention!! Hey, we needed some attention here! If there ever was Drama in the Gortner household.....this is it! Does anyone notice us?

Well, Someone has been noticing us all summer....... giving me and my family attention all summer. But I was too busy fueling my pity party to accept the attention. Fortunateley, just a couple of Saturdays ago, our pastor spoke on the triumphs of faithfulness. The attributes of pounding the same nail and knowing that God honors that committment to Him even though others might not notice or find our committment worthy of attention. During that sermon, my pity party started to weaken. By the time I left church....it was pretty much nonexistent and I had this overwhelming feeling that Someone was paying attention to ME! Even though there was not a lot of fanfare or drama....I felt the attention!!

I talked about being blindsided twice this summer. Well acutally after church that Saturday...I was blindsided the third time!! Then a few days later...blindsided again...when Anna told me she is happier at gym than she has ever been!! Blindsided for the fifth time just a few days ago. Bethany's doctor's office let us know that they found a way for her medicine to be provided to her!!!

So....I am done wasting my time having pity parties!! They just get in the way of all of the attention that God is sending my way!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

28 Levels of Compatibility

Yesterday I was feeling tired and lazy so I took a little time in the afternoon to veg. Vegging to me means curling up on my bed and watching college softball for the afternoon. After years and years of playing softball I find it soothing just to sit around and take in a few innings every now and again. Odd, I know but at least I was never a smoker!!

While I was enjoying the game on Fox Sports a crazy little commercial came on the tube - one for an online computer dating service. The ONLY one that uses the 28 levels of compatibility to match someone with that perfect person. I had to think about that for a few minutes. Then I called Kind Sir Bill in to ask him. "Hey, are we compatible on 28 levels? Did we try to figure that out before we got married?"

Bill then looked at me like I was a crazy woman and asked me what level we missed on.
Yes, he thought, that was an important error in judgment on his part!! But, alas, he loves me!

Funny. When I first saw Bill, singing in front of a bunch of people, holding that guitar.....the thought of being compatible on 28 levels never entered my mind. The thought that "this guy is hot" however did!!! Then after dating this hot guy for a few months I just knew this was who God wanted me to be with.
We didn't have any deep discussions about compatibility. No questioning whether he would still love me even if I didn't organize my closets, keep good check book records, love listening to music at all times, take off my shoes in the house, etc.

We may not be compatible on 28 levels but we are in love and we are committed. That is what has mattered for 24 years.

And do you know what? Bill doesn't roll his eyes at me when I get lazy and veg in front of a women's softball game. He cuddles up next to me. And I switch the station over to baseball cause that's the sport my "hottie" likes the best.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Titanic and Digestion!

Those were two topics that Anna studied early this spring and lucky for us COSI (Center of Science and Industry in Columbus) had exhibits involving both of those things!! So, being the good home school mom that I am, I corralled the troop and headed up there. Troop being Bill, Anna and myself.
Before going we learned a lot about the Titanic. Much of our research came from the internet and we came across one site that was really intriguing - http://www.titanicbranson.com/!! Did you know that you could go to Branson, Missouri and not only see some crazy live entertainment but you could also have a tea party on board the Titanic. Better yet, you could get married on the Titanic! Does the thought of that creep anyone else out besides me?! Where does a marriage get to after it begins on the Titanic?? Not sure.
Anyway......back to COSI. The exhibit was awesome and we just happened to be there on the actual anniversary of the iceberg hit. Didn't even plan that. Happens a lot when you home school!!
I only wish we had been allowed to take some pictures. So, you will have to take my word. It was a great exhibition.
The Grossology (Impolite Science of the Human Body) Exhibit was good. Not great. But it did keep my two kids amused. Yes, Bill was one of the kids. Below he is experimenting with the fart machine. Notice Anna didn't stick around for a picture with dad.
Other exhibits were fun and included the vomit center, nasal passages, giant operation, and the burping machine.
Below Anna and I are at the Booger machine.

My favorite activity in this exhibit was viewing the colonoscopy and the upper GI. Fascinating!! Least favorite was the odor sampling of foot jam, arm pit and anus. That exhibit stuck with us for awhile but didn't keep us from eating lunch at North Market!!! ...next post.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Montgomery Park in Montgomery, Ohio!

Wednesdays are a special day for us. It is Anna's day off from gymnastics and a short school day for us. Well, I make it a short school day so we can get out and play!!
We are on a mission to find the best playground in the tri-state area. So, many of our Wednesdays include trips to different neighborhoods! Let me say up front that a great playground should always have a great treat possibility nearby!!
Montgomery Park is on the corner of Montgomery Road and Schoolhouse Road. For your treat pleasures The Original Pancake House and Aglamesis Brothers Chocolates and Ice Cream are within walking distance!!
We love it when playgrounds include the "not so ordinary equipment". This one has many of the newer and unique pieces. There are two large play sets. One encourages strategic climbing skills while the other allows kids to test their balance in a number of different ways!

Kids can spin and balance to their hearts content!! Anna really enjoys spinning. That is why we save treats until after we are finished at the park!!

Montgomery Park also has preschool play equipment along with mini backhoes for sand digging. I loved those cute little things but Anna's legs were a little to long to fit on the baby backhoes!! I was a little tempted myself to get on but could see myself getting stuck and having to ask the park crew to rescue me!!
A really nice basketball court sits in a shaded area and there is also a small baseball field. Restrooms are on the premises and many picnic tables, too.
Very nice park!! We would rate it a "7" on a 1-10 scale!! So give it a look!!