Dusty Penguin

Child of God and in love with my Lord. Wife of a wonderful man. Mother of a young adult, two teens, and a miscellaneous menagerie of furry and finned creatures. Work full-time outside of home and as little as possible at home:)

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Location: Cedarville, Ohio

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rendezvous in Akron



This weekend Duane and I decided to meet halfway instead of one or the other of us driving all the way to see each other. Akron was pretty close to halfway. So I did some research and found a cool place to stay. It was the old Quaker Oats mill/factory and they made the grain silos into hotel rooms. So every hotel room is round. Around the hotel they displayed old Quaker oats advertising posters and gears and machinery from the mill. It's a pretty neat place and is a national historic site. I was disappointed in several things, though. We found out when we got there that the majority of the floors of the hotel are now being used by the University of Akron as dorm rooms and by this time next year the entire hotel will be a dorm. I guess because of this, or because of the season, it seemed that everything was shut down. The hotel restaurant was never open, and the adjoining advertised shopping area was mostly closed down as well. The one eatery that was open provided very poor service. The area of town that the hotel was in had no other eating places. I was also disappointed that they didn't have a hot tub. Then we also wanted to go the the National Inventors Hall of Fame museum, and it was closed! But in spite of all that we had a nice time, since the main point was to see each other and relax and rest.

Here is a picture of a room (we had a king bed) but you can't tell too well that it is round.


On Sunday we left and went to Bucyrus/Galion area (about 1 1/2 hours away) to a church where my second cousin's husband is the pastor (for family that would by Tim and Kelly). It is a very small but friendly church and their kids were being baptized that day. There was also a potluck dinner afterward. We then had some time to burn before meeting up with Jeremiah and Heather, so we went to Lowe's and purchased bathroom fixtures for the master bathroom at our house (in NY).

I am continuing to stay with my cousins, Ken and Jeanne, in Ohio, and wishing that Duane and I were together. Please pray that he will have strength, energy, health, and time to finish this house remodel project up quickly. Pray that he will then be able to find a job in Ohio. Pray also that the house will sell quickly once it is put on the market.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Update--October 17

Well, most of that is still the same, except that Aunt Jeanette went home to be with the Lord on September 14. That was the day the hurricane hit Ohio (unbelievably) and much of this area was without power for an entire week. That same week I went to a different house (in Cedarville) to housesit for a month for a missionary family. It turned out to be a real blessing, because it's a very large house and I was able to put up quite a few family members who came for the funeral. My month there was up this Wednesday, and I am now back at my cousin's house in Xenia.
I've gotten faster at my jobs, not as exhausted except on shower scrubbing day, and not as hot as the weather is much cooler now! I've also been trained on some cool equipment. Cleaning toilets will never be a fun job, but there are other blessings of being here. Our supervisors are very kind, we get to go to chapel on Wednesdays, we start each day with prayer together, and my co-worker Joan has been a good friend to me.
I've been visiting different churches each Sunday--it's hard to find a new church family when there are so many churches in the area, and when your spouse isn't here to visit the churches. My mom and dad headed back to Florida last Sunday. Lets see, what else has happened? I was the victim of debit card fraud (to the tune of over $800.00) and that took weeks to get straightened out. My kids loans got messed up and that took weeks to get straightened out. The engineering students have a "Cardboard Canoe" race followed by a demolition derby of whatever boats are still afloat. Jeremiah and his teammate placed 5th in the race, and placed 5th in the demo! We were very proud of him. It was a great deal of fun. Duane came out that weekend to watch the race, and Jeremiah played his tuba in the Symphonic Band in a concert that weekend as well.
I also volunteer twice a week to help a student who is a quadraplegic (paralyzed from the neck down). I do range of motion exercises on his arms and legs to keep them from freezing up. He's a great kid and it's just incredible that he can be here. You can learn more about him at checkinondan.blogspot.com.
Well, I can't think of anything else. I usually go to bed by 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. because I get up early.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Relocation--Stage One

Well, if anyone reads this, this is a long overdue update. So much has happened in the last 3-4 weeks, it's unbelieveable. I have no way to post pictures at the moment.

For several months I have been submitting applications to LeTourneau and Cedarville Universities. The reason for this is to gain employment at a Christian university so the kids would get a tuition reduction. The kids wanted to go to Cedarville, but with Alesha in Texas, LeTourneau would have been o.k., too. I eventually got interviews at Cedarville for 3 jobs, but the only one offered to me was custodial. I didn't really want to do that, but for the tuition benefit we decided I should take the job. So, I turned in my 2-week notice, which was hard to do, because I really loved my job at the physical therapy office.

Those 2 weeks were extremely busy as the kids rushed to finalize application materials for Cedarville, apply for financial aid and loans, do college shopping, and continue working full-time. I was trying to pack up various thing in the house (mainly books) to make the remodeling job easier for Duane and my dad, work full-time, help the kids with all the above mentioned items, and pack all my own belongings. Without my mom there, we would have fallen apart. She did all the laundry and ironing and cooking. I'm so thankful for the help mom and dad are giving.

So, on Aug. 15, we drove 3 vehicles out to Cedarville (which is in southern Ohio)--my car, Jeremiah's car, and Duane's truck (which he would return home in). Jeremiah's girlfriend Heather made the trip with us and returned with Duane. Friday afternoon we unloaded Erika's stuff which was mostly in my car and made good progress on her unpacking. Then we went through most of the registration process with Jeremiah. Then we moved his stuff in and unpacked his room. I don't even remember all the details of the weekend, but Friday night we unloaded my stuff at my cousin's house where I am staying in Xenia, Ohio. On Saturday we helped both kids finish unpacking and settling in, attended some meetings, went to WalMart, and ate lunch in the cafeteria. We went to a buffet type restaurant for supper, then to Young's Dairy for icecream afterwards (it's a favorite local spot). On Sunday we went to service at the chapel on campus, then had lunch in the cafeteria. Then Duane and Heather left, and I went to my cousins and tried to organize my belongings and be ready for work on Monday.

My alarm rings at 4:00 a.m., and I hit the snooze once. At 4:10 I get up and get ready for work. I leave for work at 4:30 and drive from Xenia to Cedarville. From 5:00 to 9:00 I work in the Athletic Center and the University Medical Center. From 5-6 I clean a huge bathroom in the Fitness Center area, and help with the men's bathroom if I am finished before Steve is. Then he mops my bathroom (thankfully) and I go over to the medical center and start cleaning the waiting room. (Windows, ledges, dusting, vacuuming as necessary). By that time Steve is there, and he takes one hall while I go down the other hall. It involves cleaning exam rooms, bathrooms, and offices. That is from 6-8, but usually we're done well before 8:00. Then we go to the Athletic Training area and I take one set of offices while Steve takes another and we meet in the training area and finish up there. If we are done before 9:00 the supervisor usually finds something for us to do.

At 9:00 we go to lunch. At 10:00 I head over to a girl's dorm (Printy) where I work with Becky, who is also the supervisor for that area. We clean umpteen thousand toilets, showers, sinks, mirrors, empty trash, and sweep/mop. We also have to clean the laundry room and lounge/kitchen areas. At 12:00 we go over to a different dorm (Murphy) and repeat the scenario. In that building I work with Joan. At 2:00 we are done and done in. It is exhausting work, and I am also not used to the heat.

When I am done work I go to a computer lab in the student center and check my emails/blogs. Then I either go home and shower and relax, or I go over to my great-aunt's house. She is 94 and is dying of cancer. I usually go there every other day.

Meanwhile, Duane is back in NY, working madly to finish the remodeling job on our house (plus working full-time). The upstairs is nearly completed. My mom and dad came up from Florida to help with the work on the house and to make sure Duane is taken care of and not there by himself.

So, there you have the details.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mosaic Puzzle

This is a puzzle that Erika and I just finished. It is a photo mosaic puzzle. We've had it out for quite a few weeks, putting in a piece every now and then as we walk by. It was very difficult! In the first picture, you can see it turned out to be a cute kitten.

But, if you look closer (sorry the photo is dark--with flash on it just reflected off the puzzle) you can see that each piece contains sections of tiny photographs. When you look closely at this picture, you can see polar bears (top left), airplanes (middle left), a bird (lower left), and so on.
It was very challenging and a lot of fun.
Update on family: Alesha's car died and right now they are trying to get to 2 different jobs with 1 car that doesn't start well.
Erika is working full time at the Salamanca physical therapy office location for the same company I work for in Ellicottville. She is working as a physical therapy aide and likes it very much (I think!). She also works at Burger King usually for 5 hours on Wednesday night, and 5 or more hours on Friday night, and several hours on Saturday. That doesn't leave her much free time.
Jeremiah is working for a Christian man in our church who does construction/remodeling kind of work. He works on an "as needed" basis, and so far has been getting a good amount of work. He hasn't worked much at McDonalds. He spends every spare moment doing various sorts of entertainment.
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Drywalling Erika's room

For those who are interested, here is the progress upstairs on what will be Erika's room. These little cubbies are over the stairwell going downstairs. Picture a couple of shelves in them for plastic bins to slide into for storage. The little triangle spaces at the bottom can hold a rolled up blanket or something. Duane says it's almost impossible to do the mudding in there. They are deeper than they appear, because that's the whole width of the stairwell. To the right (behind the ladder) is the closet, which is the old landing that led into the big room (previously the girls' room, now Jeremiah's room). Are you confused yet? This room that will be Erika's room used to be the bathroom. We gained a few extra feet of space from the hallway/walkway.

Here is Duane doing some mudding, and you can see the closet door behind him. He wears tennis elbow braces on both arms because he has tennis elbow in both arms and all this work on the house keeps it flared up all the time.
This is the opposite side of the room. The room has one window and some cute ceiling angles that will give it character. By the way, several of you will probably think that's me in the photo, but it's Erika. If I didn't know it was her shirt, I probably couldn't tell! So, first coat of mudding is done, 2 to go, then paint, trim, and carpet. It all moves along slowly, and Duane puts in a few hours every night. He is trying to do some work outside on the days it's not raining.
Meanwhile, I am packing up books, getting rid of books, and sorting through files and throwing away stuff in the "office" because that has to emptied out to become the master bathroom. I'll help paint when the drywall work is done, but for now I can do this job. I'm also working a little at a time on my ABWE application which has lots and lots of parts and is very long. I just finished the theological exam part last night.Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 27, 2008

Graduation Pictures

The graduates present roses to their loved ones. Here is Jeremiah giving me mine and Alesha's. He gave one to his grandmother (Duane's mom), the one for his other grandmother who wasn't able to be there he gave to Heather, and he gave one to Erika. He's a sweet boy.

The graduation video I posted separately, so here we are after graduation--the family.

After wondering up to the last minute whether or not Jeremiah would graduate, you can imagine our surprise when he received 2 awards!! He has them right now, so I can't tell you the full names of them, but one was given to the 3 seniors with the most community service hours, and that one was a $100 gift. The other was for the student who had made a significant contribution to the music program of the school, and that was a $25.00 gift. So we were very proud of him, and thankful that there are some non-academic awards being given.

Jeremiah is crouched down in this picture, so he would be closer to Heather's height. She just got her hair cut and layered, and it really makes her look different. After graduation they went with a bunch of other senior friends to supper at a Chinese restaurant. (She is not a senior and goes to a different school).
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Jeremiah's Graduation

June 27, 2008. Jeremiah graduating from Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School. He was 3rd from the end (out of 76 graduates.
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video

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bethie's party, Part 2

I tried in these two posts to get a picture of each family member.
Here is Johnny 5 heating up the sloppy joe sauce.

And this is the graduate herself.
And this is David.
And this is the youngest, Timmy.
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Bethie's Grad Party, Part 1

The Coulters are very special best friends of ours--we met when I was pregnant with Erika and Arlene was pregnant with David. This year their daughter, Laura Beth, graduated from high school (a year early). She's fun, cute, smart, talented.. I went over to their house Friday night and stayed over, then Saturday helped with the graduation party. Actually, I mostly just took pictures for them, but I did some work in the kitchen, too.
This is my best friend, Arlene.

This is the whole Coulter family, plus Mellie, Peter's girlfriend on the far right.

From left to right: David (Oxman), Laura Beth (Bethie), John (Johnny 5), Timmy, Arlene (Leney), Peter, and Mellie. A mutual friend, Patty, did several beautiful bulletin boards with pictures of Bethie.

Here's the four kids acting normal.

This is Peter and Mellie. They got in about 2 or 2:30 a.m. on the party day! Mellie's a sweetheart and I really enjoyed visiting with her.
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Father's Day, cont.

This is Heather's twin, Christina, and the back of Erika's head.

Duane, playing with the kids.

Heather, Jeremiah's girlfriend.

Erika, Kelli, and Crystal (Heather's younger sister).
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Father's Day

On Father's Day Duane, his dad, and Jeremiah went out for several hours. They went to a place about 40 minutes away where a bridge is being constructed over a pretty deep gorge. They went to see the gigantic crane that is being used, but when they got there it had been dismantled to be moved to the other side of the construction site. But they looked at what had been done so far on the bridge, then went to Tim Hortons for some lunch. Then they went to our house so Duane's dad could catch up on the work we've done on our house. Then they took him home.
Meanwhile, the girls and I went to a little lake. Girls you may say? Only Erika is home. Well, usually every Sunday we have a house full of girls. Kelli, a 22 year-old from church, Heather (Jeremiah's girlfriend), Crystal (Heather's sister), and Christina (Heather's twin sister), plus Erika and myself. So, we packed up swimsuits, beachtowels, lawn chairs, coolers with picnic and pop, and about everything else we could think of. We had a wonderful afternoon and eventually Jeremiah and Duane joined us.
The dog loved swimming in the lake. We'd throw the frisbee out into the lake and she'd go after it and bring it back--again and again. The kids all had fun swimming, playing, eating, relaxing. It was a great day.



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Saturday, June 07, 2008

My Family is SO Normal...Not

Otherwise titled: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous, or The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Enjoy our crazy family.

New Back Deck

A couple of Saturdays ago, Duane decided to use wood that was on the burn pile to build a little deck by our back door. These wide boards were on the floor in the attic, so were probably original to the house. That would make them 150+ years old, and if the tree were already that big in 1846, that makes those boards really, really old. We like putting things from the house/property back into the house. We've used a lot of lumber from the big tree we had taken down in front several years ago. So, a lot of sweat equity from Duane, and a little "here, hold this" for my share, voila, back deck. Nice. We've enjoyed it already. First meal, charred chicken. Just ask Ethan about it. And thanks, mom and dad, for the blue chairs. Now we've got to get our house trim painted to match!

Last high school concert for us!

Sweet sorrow--we'll miss the school concerts, but on to bigger and better things. Jeremiah started on the trombone in 7th grade, then they asked him to switch to the tuba, as they were losing their highschool tuba players. So, up until this year, he has been the best and the worst--the only tuba player in our school. This year we were so pleased that he was chosen to go to All-State (he's gone to All-County every year I think), and he got first chair. He also had the opportunity to go to a Music Showcase event for highschoolers from all over the U.S. which was held at Cedarville College. He also got first chair there, and the Cedarville orchestra/band director was trying to recruit Jeremiah. He hopes to continue to play tuba in some kind of a music group at college, but he doesn't own a tuba, so will have to borrow/rent from the college. We are proud of his musical achievements, just as we were with Erika's flute and Alesha with voice. Praise God for the gifts and talents He has given to the children. In the photos you'll see cousin Ethan on saxophone, and Jeremiah with band director, Mr. Wilder. We wanted to get a picture of him with the other band director, Mr. Maguda, but he was nowhere to be found. Both men have been great mentors for Jeremiah, and he has spent most of his high school free time in the band room. There is also, of course, another photo with Heather.

Jeremiah's 18th birthday

Jeremiah and his cousin Ethan's birthdays are only a few days apart, so they usually celebrate their birthdays together. We went over to Ethan's house this time for the party. Their friend Wes is in a couple of pictures, and Jeremiah's girlfriend, Heather, is in a picture as well. You'll see from the pictures that they both have McJobs (McDonald's jobs), Jeremiah loves Monster and Mountain Dew. Ethan got mostly money to make payments on the used Beemer (BMW) he just bought--great deal!

Wedding Slideshow


The wedding began at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 18, 2008. First, Daphne and I went up front and lit the mother's candles by the unity candle while the song "Find Your Wings" was playing. When that song was over, Pachebel's Canon began, and the bridesmaids entered. Then, Duane and Alesha appeared at the top of the steps, and I must admit, that was the moment that brought tears to my eyes--my beloved and our precious daughter, coming to meet her beloved and pledge herself to him. After Duane gave Alesha to Nathan, the pastor had some very, very good words to say. He then said some things to which they said, I do. Then they said their vows to each other which they had written, then they exchanged rings. I don't remember at which point they lit the unity candle, but that was to Steve Green's "'Til the End of Time". Then my dad, Alesha's grandpa did a blessing (not a prayer) for the bride and groom. It was excellent. First, he explained the bibical history and use of blessings and the importance/meaning of them. Then he pronounced 8 blessings on Nathan and Alesha. He had wanted them to kneel to be blessed with his hands on their heads, but there wasn't space and we didn't have a kneeler. Then Duane did a communion for Nathan and Alesha. First, he explained to everyone present what the communion service meant, then he said he was going to talk just to Nathan and Alesha. It was special just for them. During communion the song "How Beautiful" by Twila Paris was playing. I don't remember what else was after that. They marched out to the electric guitar version of Pachabel's Canon.
After taking pictures, everyone gathered in the reception hall. Alesha told about how they met, and Nathan told the story of their engagement. I'll let Alesha catch up her own blog and tell you that! Oh, the reception began with a powerpoint of Alesha and Nathan's pictures set to music, put together by Erika, myself, and our friends Laura Beth and Arlene. Then were the bride and groom dance, the father-daughter dance, good food, cutting the cake, and karaoke to end the evening.
Beautiful wedding, great weather, wonderful reception. Wish you could have been there. Enjoy the photos!

Reception Area, A&M Gardens

The rest of the morning was spent running around doing last minute errands. At about 3:00 p.m., we headed over to the gardens to begin getting ready for the wedding. Alesha had a girl come to do everyone's hair, and in between taking pictures of that, I was taking pictures around the empty reception hall, knowing that I probably wouldn't have time to take many pictures later!


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Pics from the Wedding Photographer


Just before the wedding, Duane and I gave Alesha her wedding present--a white gold and diamond necklace--and I read a poem "Perfect Daughter, Perfect Bride."



No peeking before the wedding!



Both families and the wedding party.




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