Sunday, April 28, 2013

Be Still

This weekend, I got to babysit the most precious and snuggly little guy ever! He's just shy of his first birthday, and boy howdy, was he adorable. Not having had a solid nap time for a little while (due to travel and parental obligations) he was more than ready to doss down and sleep a little when he got to my house.

As I rocked this precious boy in the quiet of my living room, all the lights off, the shades drawn, no tv, no radio, no computer, no book to read even, I realized what a long time it had rocked a sleeping baby, how long it had been since I watched a nap time clock, and after awhile, how long it had been since I had just been...still.

In our world that is constantly bombarding us with data, where we keep the tv on as background noise, where the car radio comes on when we insert the key, when we fire up the laptop with our first cup of coffee and don't turn it off until we're saying good night, these times of just being still are rare and to be treasured.

The baby slept for almost 3 solid hours. That's plenty of time to think some long thoughts. Thoughts about the next story I'm plotting, about all the things I need to do this week, about a vacation we're hoping to take...and then, I was just still.

Thoughts about my church family came to me, and I was still enough to pray for them. Still enough to reflect on the Sunday School lesson I'd taught that morning and about the Ladies' Bible Study I was going to attend that night. Still enough to pray for the baby I was holding and to wonder what the world would look like in twenty years when he was a grown man.

Thoughts about the benefits of being still and how it can turn my thoughts to things of eternal value.

Have you had any time to be still, to turn off the blare and blurting of our world and listen to the silence for awhile?

Oh, and I'm guest blogging over at Seekerville today. I hope you can drop by!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Friday Five

This week's Friday Five is

Five websites that crack me up:

1. Reasons my Son is Crying A dad takes pictures of his heartbroken kids and says why the boys are crying. Now before you think me or him some heartless ogre, read the reasons why the kid is crying...The above picture: He's sobbing because his dad won't let him get a tattoo.

2. Cake Wrecks When cakes go horribly wrong. Warning: not all of the blogs are family friendly...but they are always funny.

3. There. I Fixed it. Duct Tape, Wire, Paperclips, and Staples to the rescue.

4. Grumpy Cat This is the facebook page for Grumpy Cat. I love when these memes come through my facebook feed.

5. Okay, this one doesn't make me crack up, at least not all of the time, but it is wicked interesting. These photos are amazing! And when you get to the bottom, check out the best pictures of 2012 and the best so far of 2013. Stunning!

What websites make you laugh?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Spring That Never Came

This was the view from my front porch yesterday morning as we readied for church. This feels like the Spring That Never Came.

I saw a post on Facebook that read "This year I hope Summer falls on a Saturday."

In other news, I put together a novella collection idea and sent it off to my lovely agent, and I'm continuing to work on the synopsis of another novel.

Registration for the ACFW conference is now open. Yay! I've been eyeballing all the classes and agents and editors, trying to fine tune the things I want to do and the people I'd like to meet.

What's the weather like where you are, what are you working on, and do you have anything exciting coming up?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Patience is a virtue...wish I had some.


Are you good at waiting? I'll confess, I'm not too great at it. And if there is anything I've learned in the publishing game is that waiting is very much a part of the way it works. Waiting to hear from an agent, waiting to get contest results back, waiting to hear from an editor, waiting for cover art...waiting.

It is easy to be paralyzed by the waiting involved...and I confess, I've allowed this to happen to me before. I've gotten stuck doing nothing but waiting instead of being productive while I'm waiting.

I'm currently waiting for some news on a project or two, and rather than climb the walls, I'm getting busy. I've got one novel plotted out, and I'm working on another one. I've got a finished novel ready to submit to a publisher, and I've got two more in that series to flesh out. 

If I keep busy, I can stop focusing on the thing I'm waiting for and distract myself with a new project. This is a win-win, since it keeps me from feeling like one big knee-jiggle all the time and keeps me productive while I wait.

So what do you do while you're waiting? Are you successful at waiting? 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Friday Five

This week's Friday Five:

Five pieces of advice we gave our son when he got his new cell phone.

1. No Texting and Driving.

2. You will not pay more attention to your phone than you do to people.

3. No surfing the internet in your bedroom. For the safety and integrity of us all, the phone stays out where the parents can see it.

4. No downloading apps without clearing it with the folks.

5. Don't take or send any pictures with that phone that you would be embarrassed for your parents to see.

What phone etiquette would you recommend for a new phone user? What breach of phone etiquette makes you the most nuts?

Sunday, April 07, 2013

A Successful Weekend

James and his lovely date Rebekah at the prom.

This last weekend was packed! Beginning Friday morning when my son, James, and I headed into the wilds of SE Minnesota. We arrived in the lovely hamlet of Preston where James successfully navigated the rigors of the driver's exam and emerged victorious with the precious license in hand. :)

The Defenders basketball kids at prom.
That evening was the Rochester Area Homeschool Defenders Basketball Party. James and I arrived at 4 pm to help with the set-up and decorating. Jody Rosedahl, organizer par excellence, was in charge and pulled everything together so beautifully. There was a yummy buffet of fresh fruit, cookies, and bars, and a program of coaches' talks, slide shows, player intros, and fellowship. After the party, Peter and James and I went out to celebrate James's new driver's license and the news we'd received that our daughter, Heather, had scored a 100% on her latest Egyptology test.

Dancing with Bekah.
 Saturday was a HUGE day at the Vetsch household. James attended his first prom. All dressed up. With a date. To dinner first, then a dance. I was so proud of him. He tried some new things, stepped out of his comfort zone, and had a great time. His date was sweet, a friend he's known for a long time and fellow basketball player. The dances organized so that you could have lots of fun without being self-conscious, and the company excellent. Parents were allowed to come for a short time to take some pictures, and afterwards, a bunch of the kids went to one of their houses for a short after-prom party.

On Sunday, it was my turn. I took over teaching the teen Sunday School class at church. I stepped out of this job when my MIL was very sick, and I've missed it. We're studying John's epistles, and I can already tell this group will be a lot of fun. They're talkers and questioners and good kids.

What I didn't get done was my chapter-by-chapter synopsis or judging more contest entries, so those are on the top of the list for Monday.

What about you? What did you get done this weekend? Was it epic? What are you plans for this week?

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Friday Five

We've entered another season of Driver's Ed/Driver's tests. I'll be so glad when this part is behind us! "Watch your mirrors." "Slow down." "Keep a safe distance." "Watch your mirrors." "Give it some gas going around the corner." "Watch your mirrors." :)

In honor of our son, who is in the midst of all this instruction, this week's Friday Five is Five things I remember about my driver's test.

1. Right off the top, I'll let you know, I failed the first time I took my driver's exam.

2. The women at the DMV in Salina, Kansas were all horribly cranky all the time.

3. The horn didn't work when I went to take the test the second time and we had to go home so my dad could make the repair.

4. The second time seemed so much easier than the first.

5. The license cost $9.50, and when I gave the woman a $20 bill, she said "What do you think I am? A bank? I can't change that!" (remember I said they were cranky?) so I went outside where my dad was waiting for me and told him. He ran up to the 7-Eleven and got a big gulp, gave me the change, and I paid for my license. (He's a good man.)

What do you remember about taking your driver's test?