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Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Didgeridoo


Here is the DIY of my didgeridoo.  LINK

2" PVC didgeridoo
I took a blow torch to the pvc, flexed it, held it, and poured cold water over it.
Slightly flared end
My grandfather thought the pvc resembled more a tree branch once I was done, which was what I was aiming for.  Here's a very cool site of some impressive free-trade artisan didgeridoos.  LA Outback


I think I want to do some aboriginal style patterns on it.

Here's a great site that gives the background history of the didgeridoo.  howtoplaydidgeridoo.com

El Salvador- Unexpected Visitors

Part way through our trip to El Salvador, six people from our hometown church came and joined a team from Florida as we did evangelical outreaches.  We didn't know that Chuck and Mike would be joining us.  It was so good to see familiar faces.  We knew we'd be joined by a team from Valley, but I was pleasantly surprised to see these two in particular.
Chuck, Eliana, and me in El Salvador

             Kyle and Chuck serving together in Jamaica, 2002

Chuck was one of the "adults" on the mission trip that Kyle and I went on the summer after our freshman year of college.  I use the term "adult" in quotes because we were all over 18, or at least I'm pretty sure we were, but Mr. Chuck was from the wise and mature mentoring part of our team.  Our team of somewhere around 15 went down to Jamaica to hold Vacation Bible School in several small churches.  Our team split up into smaller teams, and each mini team of 4 or 5 lead VBS at a church.  Chuck was our team's driver.  Kyle and I had been dating for over a year at that point.  Chuck talked to us a lot about life, missions, dating, and marriage.  He has encouraged us and prayed for us for many years.

Now you can tell the Mike is a grandpa because he was willing to try to eat and hold Eliana at the same time.  He was pretty good about not letting her steal his food, and that takes the talent of a loving grandpa.  Mike has a handful of grand kids that he loves dearly.  He was thrilled to see Eliana and loved spending time with her while we were in El Salvador.  Mike and Kyle served in Mexico together doing VBS in Mexico when Kyle was in high school.  I thought it was pretty neat that we'd be able to serve with those we have served with before.
Mike went with us door to door sharing the gospel.  

He has a heart for children to know Christ.

El Salvador- Pastel Story

Do you remember back in March when I wrote a post called "A Gift" and shared how I was pursuing ways to share my love of art for the glory of God?  While in El Salvador I was able to use my pastels to create three pastels.  Have you ever tried to create an art piece in 15 minutes?  Yikes!  It is a challenge!!!  On two different mornings we went to central market squares.  I created the art work to draw a crowd that our team would then share the gospel with.  After I was done, someone from the team would write a number on a gospel tract and put the number face down on the easel.  Then that person would ask the crowd to guess what number was written on the tract.  The person who correctly guessed the number got the art work.  
Here I am with the winner of the art piece inspired by a photo I took in Wisconsin several summers ago.

Monday, July 25, 2011

13 Months Old!!!

Wow, where has the time gone?

What is Eliana up to now that she is over a year old?  She can climb in and out of her Little People block wagon.

She can see new challenges and is fearless when it comes to problem solving.  

This includes using toys to try and climb on the couch!  HA!!!

Thankfully, she didn't fall during the photo shoot.  My mom tells me that I was a climber, so I wasn't too surprised to see Eliana climbing.  She hasn't figured out how to climb out of her crib... yet?!?!?!  
Other highlights:
*Eliana continues to take 2 steps here and there.  We practice, but she is content to take two on her own and then crawl.
*I think she is faster crawling than Lighting McQueen is racing!  HA!!!
*She cracks me up when she claps just to get others to clap with her.
* When Kyle and I are talking in the car, sometimes Eliana will sing or laugh just to get our attention.
*There are times when she will show the sign "more" to get more food, and then there are times when we are trying to help her remember the sign and she pulls her hands apart in an effort to not let them touch.
*She has gone swimming and loves it!!!
*I think today she was showing the sign "eat", but maybe I'm wrong.  It was before lunch time... so maybe.
*She still loves to go on walks in her stroller.
*Grocery shopping isn't nearly as stressful as it was when she was younger.  
*She loves to be my shadow, so I have to do many of my chores when she is sleeping.  That includes on some days making dinner while she naps in the afternoon so that we won't have to "argue" about staying out of the kitchen when I have knives in my hands.
*She waves to people, and that brings such joy to friends, family, and strangers!
*She loves her tub of books.  If I do need to make dinner when she is awake, I might get 10 minutes of uninterrupted cooking time if I open up her tub of books.  It is amazing how much I can get done in 10 minutes.
*She can climb up on the couch by hiking her leg up past the middle of her chest and then pulling on the couch cover.  She and Ruli practiced sliding off the couch onto pillows.  She had an absolute blast, and I think Ruli loved it just as much:)
****OH, I almost forgot!!!  We weaned her off of the pacifier last Monday.  She initially cried half an hour during her nap time, and then an hour that first night.  Since then, she doesn't cry much if at all.  Wahoo!!!
****Praise the Lord, she is sleeping through the night.  For awhile that meant she was waking up between 5-5:30 for the day, but for the last few days she has been waking up between 7:30 and 8:30.  In fact, last Saturday I woke up at 8 totally refreshed and she slept for another 45 minutes.  AMAZING!!!  On days that she is up at 5ish, she takes a morning nap.  When she sleeps until 7ish, she just has a nice long (some times as long as 3+ glorious hours) nap.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kyle's new instrument

DIY - PCV Didgeridoo for less than $20USD
By Kyle Guess

Making Your Own PVC Didjeridu
By Johan Lundback and Matt Newby

1 - 2" PVC, 5'/60" length (see notes 1 and 2) = $4
2 - 2" End Cap PVC = $3
1 - J-B Weld, 2 oz., Kwik Plastic Epoxy Putty = $4
1 - 3M, Sanding Sponge, 60 grit = $4
1 - Rattle Can of spray paint = $4

1. LENGTH - If you plan on making more than one didgeridoo, then you can purchase the 10'/120" length. Realize that a 10'/120" length of PVC doesn't fit in a car, so plan ahead. :) I easily fit the 5'/60" piece in the front seat of my small car.
2. COLOR - PVC is sold in white and black. White PVC is cheaper. Black PVC, which is made for sewage, is more expensive. If you want the black PVC, then make sure that the piece you purchase hasn't been returned to the store. :P Idea: Using acetone to remove the lettering on a black length of pvc would give you a glossy black didgeridoo if you want.

Bore/spade bits
Reciprocating Saw or Hacksaw
Box cutter
Leather gloves (they saved my fingers from being sliced off when using the box cutter) %|

1. Decide what note didgeridoo you want (see resource given above).
2. Using a saw, cut the 2" PVC to the length specified.
3. Johan and Matt suggest using acetone to remove the lettering on the PVC. If you wish to paint your didgeridoo, then you'll want to skip the acetone (fingernail polish remover) and just sand it. Sand the tube using the Sanding Sponge until the letters and glossiness of the tube are gone. Set the tube aside until you are ready to paint all the pieces.
4. Johan and Matt used PVC fittings to reduce down to a smaller diameter for their mouth piece. Since I am on a budget, I decided to use end caps instead. This is where the drill comes into play. Mark the center of the end cap with a sharpie marker. Choose the diameter bit you want to use, place the end cap down on its flat edge, and drill the hole through the top of the end cap. I chose to drill one end cap with a 3/4" bit and the other with a 1-1/2" bit.
5. The 1-1/2" bit jumped around a lot, which produced a pretty off centered, horrible looking hole. Instead of scrapping the end cap, I used epoxy putty to replace material and make a nice, smooth, and centered hole. Follow the directions on the product. I found that having damp hands helped it not stick to my fingers and made it very easy to mold on the end cap.
6. I also modified the end caps to make them look a little more polished. I took a box cutter and made the outer edge of the end cap tapered inward. After this is done, I used the Sanding Sponge to smooth the facets cut by the blade. I also put a tapper on the 3/4" hole, removing material with the box cutter and then sanding the facets smooth.
7. Rinse all the pieces with water, DO NOT USE SOAP, to remove all the partials and dust from the surface. Allow it to dry. I purchased a rattle can of Rustoleum Satin Finish Paprika, which I think will give it a nice wood-like, earthy color. Perhaps I'll go back and add some designs later.

Have fun!

Pictures will follow...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Little Friends

We've been able to visit some small friends in the last two weeks.  Seeing little ones younger than Eliana always amazes me as it reminds me of how much Eliana has grown.  There are things I miss about Eliana being a few months old (like her falling asleep in my arms and smiling up at me with huge toothless grins just because she saw me) and things I don't miss ( like her spitting up all over me and herself for over six months and the major sleep deprivation).
Meet Naomi Rose!!!  
She and Eliana share the same middle name.  Isn't that cute?!?!  She was seven weeks old when we visited.

Eliana loved playing with the Noah's Ark set at Naomi's.  I was pleased as punch to hold sleeping Naomi.  Thanks again Greg and Alyssa for an amazing, restful, humorous, and delightful visit!!!

Meet Timothy who is exactly 3 months younger than Eliana!  His birth story is amazing because he came several months early.  We've prayed for his growth and development for many months.  I can't really put into words how blessed I am to see him getting so big since he was less than 2 pounds when he was born.
Timothy's siblings Theresa, Emily, and Nathan love having their baby brother home!  Eliana was fascinated by other little people visiting us.  She loved watching Theresa, Emily, and Nathan play, and she was especially curious about Timothy.  It isn't every day that she sees someone near her size.  

 Tristan is getting so big!!!  The first time I posted his picture he was on a Mexican blanket Kyle got on a mission trip.  This time he is on fabric from our mission trip to India.  We thought it was pretty funny that he was wearing a tiger outfit that happened to go well with the elephant fabric I once wore as a sari.  Tristan is now 5 and half months old!

Ethan has gotten big too!!!  He has changed so much in his three months.  You can see a major change since this photo.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hume Lake

We headed up to Hume Lake early yesterday morning.  The night before we debated whether to head up to Hume or another lake near by.  We figured if Eliana woke up early and stayed up (thus needing a morning nap) we'd drive up to Hume.  If she woke up early and then nursed and went back to bed (thus immediately taking the morning nap) we'd head over to the other lake closer to us.  She was up at 5:15am and was ready to greet the world.  So, we headed up the mountains during her morning nap.  She slept until we had to pull off to pay our $20 for entering the National Park.

I haven't been to Hume during the summer in over ten years.  The last time I was there, I was a Safe Cracker on the gray team for the Hume Lake Christian Camp theme of Solus Veritas (One Truth).  I have many good memories from that summer.  For example, one afternoon near the end of the week a group of us decided to walk around the lake.  Someone thought it would take us about an hour.  We stopped by some waterfalls on the way and in general had a great time.  I remember some of us starting to get a little worried as it took us quite a bit longer to get back than we expected.  That night was the special dinner where people dressed a little nicer.  So, I had friends in line wearing summer dresses when we arrived back at camp with no time to head up to the cabins to clean up.  We did a quick clean up of the mud on our tennis shoes and legs in the near by restroom and jumped in line with our friends.  Awe, good times.

While I'm reminiscing, let me share another story.  There is a small dock that a few of us girls headed out to late one night after the night service.  I remember us lying on our backs staring up at the millions of stars that you miss in the city.  I don't remember much of what we said that night, but I remember being stunned at God's handy work way up in the sky.

I'll share one more funny story from that summer oh so many years ago.  The girls I was hanging out with thought it was funny when asked by the gals making smoothies for their names to make up a new name.  Although it sounded strange to me, it also sounded fun.  I don't remember what my name was, but I do remember that I forgot it when the gal called me over to get my peach smoothie.  She kept calling over and over, and boy did I feel silly forgetting my new name.

Eliana practiced her "spider crawl" while at Hume Lake.  She realized earlier this week that crawling on her knees on the grass or concrete isn't too much fun, so she adapted and gets around just as fast.  She loved the freedom of being able to get around for awhile outside of the stroller.

One of the nice things about Hume is the trail around the lake.  We didn't go as far as I did that summer when I was a Safe Cracker, but we got to enjoy a lot of the scenery.

Plus, we took in some humorous sights.  What you can't tell from this picture is that this rock is actually a mini island.  We debated about if the dog swam after his family, or if he was paddled there and then stuck until his family moved on.  I imagined him saying to us, "Help me, help me!!!"

I don't know about you, but I just feel more relaxed simply looking at these pictures.  

Even though it has been very hot in town, it was actually rather cool when we first got there.  It was cool enough that I realized I should have pack pants and socks for Eliana.  We kept a blanket on her for the first half hour as we walked around part of the lake.  Then it got warm enough to just enjoy the weather with sweaters on.  It was such a lovely 70 degree day.

One thing I loved about our time at Hume was that I naturally slowed down to enjoy the day.  We saw lizards darting about, fish swimming, and a handful of butterflies that made me stop in my tracks in an effort to capture their beauty.

 Below are possible thoughts Eliana had while exploring the water fountain.

    The water is pretty, may I have a closer look?  The water is cool to the touch, may I play in the water?

            Look, I'm walking on water!!!!    May I sit in the water?   You said no, so may I splash in the water?

I love the water.  When are we coming back?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Eliana in Review

June 2010
tiny, precious, delightful, sleep thief

July 2010
rocked to sleep, swaddled, cooing, thief of many hearts

August 2010
smiling, growing, singing, giggler in training

September 2010
laughter, mountain traveler, adored, a blessing

October 2010
joyful, laundry maker, darling, warmer of many hearts

November 2010 
night waker, tearful evenings, cousin visitor, prayed for A LOT

December 2010
rice cereal eater, tummy time enthusiast, rocking chair fan, expert in spitting up

January 2011
toe sucker, sitter upper, clever, expressionate

February 2011
first fever, first two teeth, park adventurer, stroller expert

March 2011 
book chewer, second fever, two more teeth, flower gazer

April 2011
crawler, life changer, hat wearer, BSFer

May 2011
third fever, two more teeth, bubble watcher, mobile

June 2011
world traveler, preciousa, bathing suit wearer, birthday cake consumer

July 2011
food explorer, first steps, sleeping through the night on occasion (Praise the LORD!!!), loved

This post has taken me many hours on three different days!!!  I had to look through thousands and thousands and thousands of pictures.  I didn't want to repeat any pictures from previous blog posts, so it took a bit of creativity.  I am still stunned that Eliana was born over a year ago.  Since I see her everyday, it is sometimes hard to remember her being smaller.  Yet this post shows that she indeed was a tiny 5 pound 14 ounces infant at one time and is now taking steps here and there and nearing twenty pounds.  We love our daughter and are so glad that God has blessed us with her.