Saturday, December 29, 2007

The first time Bryan has ever shown interest in a candle...

Over Christmas we inherited another wonderful computer from my dad (thanks dad!). This computer was put on disability and retired from regular service due to a serious problem it has with shutting down without warning whenever there is static electricity. However, since Bryan has implemented his new system (touching the metal candle base every time before using the computer) there have been no further shutting down incidents. I just had to laugh. Who knew candles were so multi-purpose!


Well, I pretty much never remember to take out my camera at important family gatherings such as Christmas, but for complete coverage of the Barton side of Christmas you can visit my mother's blog or my sister's blog . Unfortunately, there are no other Scheffers blogs, so there won't be any pictures up of that Christmas, but a good time was had by all.

While in Troy we did have a chance for a quick visit with 2 of the 3 Sargents. Isn't Jeremiah precious!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lights on State Street

Every year since we moved to Chicago we have accidentally ended up downtown on the night that they have the parade for the Lighting of State Street. This year we actually went on purpose with some friends from Hope. It was beyond freezing, but we had a great time- and a great dinner at Cheesecake Factory, of course. Good times with good friends!

Somebody give this child a cookie- quick!!!

To see happier pictures of my precious niece, visit

Fun times with the Sargents

We love the Sargent family.
Could this child BE more adorable?!Whenever we go to visit, they always provide wonderful snacks...
And there is the traditional girls picture by the tree...
And a new tradition this year apparently- Kristy posing Under the tree...
What great friends! :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy (late) Halloween

The Pace family stopped by to see us on Halloween- even the dogs were decked out for the festivities!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Aren't these lovely flowers? I think they're beautiful. I bought them last week on a particularly crabby trip to the grocery store, shortly after being robbed at the gym. Flowers really can brighten even the worst of moods.

Not pictured: My purse, fully packed duffel bag, 2 cases of CDs, and one small Saturn window.
Also not pictured: The loser robbers who broke into my car, took all of my things, and promptly went to Mcdonalds for a snack on my credit card. Mcdonalds. Seriously.

Sidenote: Before you start thinking "OH, she left her purse in the car... bad move..." let's just remember that this was done on purpose, to avoid having my gym locker broken into as warned about on signs all over the gym. Clearly my solution was ineffective...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The World's Largest Corn Maze

Last weekend we went to the World's Largest Corn Maze with our 2x2 group from church. Being the end of the season, the maze had already been a bit wrecked by so many other visitors making "cheater paths" through the corn, but we had a great time finding all 24 checkpoints anyways.

Here is the Richardson Farm, seen from the observation tower:

and here is the maze: Mapping our our next destination:

The girls: The guys:
We snacked on fresh kettle corn most of the afternoon- yum!

And there were smores at the end of course. Here is Allison enjoying a bite:

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Here is Marathon Man Bryan, sporting his brand new RunChi hat... many thanks M&D!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Miracle or Logical Explanation?

Why is it that we find it so much easier to search for the logical explanation in a situation, rather than recognize and accept that maybe God really did hear and answer our prayers?

Exhibit A: Back in August we had a little problem with the Saturn. Actually, a big problem with the transmission to be specific. Two different mechanics told us the transmission was messed up and would cost us many many dollars to fix. So as we were wondering what to do and where we would come up with the money to do it, we prayed that God would help us out. A few days later we took the car in to Mechanic #3, who examined the car and told us there was absolutely no problem whatsoever with the transmission. And the car has run perfectly fine ever since.

Logical explanation (there never was a transmission problem and the electrical system reset automatically), or miracle (God answered our prayer by fixing our car) ????

Exhibit B: For the past few weeks I have been getting a lot more headaches/migraines, been very sensitive to light, and noticed a general blurriness. On Friday I went to the optometrist, thinking I just needed a new contact prescription. The optometrist said she could not correct my vision fully, even with a new prescription, because my optic nerves were swollen. My pupils were also not reacting correctly to light. So I took my referral to see a neuro-opthalmologist ASAP home with me, and promptly googled "swelling of the optic nerve." For the rest of the weekend we worried about horrible things like brain tumors, MS, intracranial pressure, and permanent vision loss. I also had terrible headaches most of the weekend. So today we went to my appointment where I was pronounced 100% healthy. Perfect vision, perfectly responsive pupils, and absolutely no swelling of the optic nerve. Also my first headache-free day in a while.

Logical explanation (there never was anything wrong with my optic nerve and the optometrist just read it wrong), or miracle (God heard the many prayers going up this weekend and healed whatever was wrong with my eyes) ????

Why is it harder to believe in the miracle? Why do we pray for God to work in our lives and then search for a way to explain it ourselves?

I want to be a person who believes in miracles...

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Yesterday we decided to take advantage of the lovely fall weather, so we rode our bikes up and down the lakeshore trail. It was a great time, but boy was I tired by the end. 17.28 miles is no small distance!

Here we are taking a break down by Shedd Aquarium, which turned out to be the perfect spot for some picture-taking.

Check out that cloudless sky- talk about blue!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles

This is the corner of our living room.

What you do not see in that picture is the infestation of THESE little monsters:
These are called Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles, and they have decided to live in that corner of our living room, crawling all over the ceiling and basically looking disgusting.

After noticing this bug infestation I googled it (of course, what else would a person do?), and learned quite a bit. Not to be confused with the plain variety of ladybug that I always thought looked quite friendly, Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles get in your house, leave some stinky yellow discharge everywhere, and potentially even bite. Horrifying.

Fortunately they are not particularly bright creatures, and have therefore not figured out how to get out of that corner and into the rest of our house, which makes me feel at least a tiny bit better.

Oh, and does anyone else feel like Chicago is under some kind of bug curse? So far this year we have had the Cicada Invasion, Attack of the Itch Mites, and now Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles. What insect will terrorize us next??!?!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Day O' Fun

So last weekend we hopped over to GR for a quick day o' fun with our friends the Coxes:Bryan and Ryan had a great time at the Michigan game: ...while Amber and I spent the day buying honeycrisp apples at the farmers market in Rockford and shopping in Grandville. We also got to stop by the Irvings' for a few minutes, where Auntie Amber got to read Carolyn a story:

... and Carolyn got to show Auntie Amber her teeth:
We love our friends!

Friday, October 12, 2007


So, yesterday I came home from work with a busted lip. That's right, working with toddlers can be much more extreme than you might think. Lesson learned: never underestimate the power of an angry 2 yr old.

Side note, in case you were wondering, I do not have a picture of this war wound because the swelling has gone down and the bleeding is on the inside, so there's really nothing to see anymore. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Chicago Marathon '07 + Heatwave

This weekend we had a great time with both of our families here for the Chicago Marathon. Unfortunately, it was pretty much the worst weather for a marathon, but all 3 of our participants made it to the finish- a Marathon Miracle! Read about all the drama here on the Chicago Tribune.

Here are our 3 runners moments before the race:

I had a hard time getting action shots of Bryan while running (because he was going so fast of course!), so here are two body part photos of him. First we have his left hand, waving at us at mile 2:

And here is his right foot (white shoe, red stripe), with his friend RJ in the blue shorts running next to him at mile 11:
We also found my dad eating Goo at mile 11:

... and my sister, looking perkier than anyone should while running in that heat:

At mile 17 we found Bryan and Laura again (my dad was nowhere to be seen), and Bry stopped and walked with us for a few minutes while taking a water break. This is also where he began cramping up, an unfortunately miserable turn of events for him. Mile 18 found him on the ground, unable to move. Somehow he managed to get up after a few minutes and run another 8 miles in to the finish. I have no idea how runners do these things!
After finishing our cheering duties at mile 17 we all piled on the train to head back downtown for the finish line. The train was quite packed full of very smelly, sweaty people:
At the very end, Kristin and I ran down to meet Bryan and Laura and run the last half mile or so in with them. We stared and stared at the runners passing us, with several false alarms of Bryan or Laura sightings. At first we were so hoping we hadn't missed them already. After a while, we were just hoping they weren't among the 300+ being taken away in ambulances (Bry actually saw someone getting CPR on the side of the road! Yikes)!

Just when we thought we couldn't take the waiting any more, there they appeared- running side by side! So Kristin and I jumped in and ran with them- past all of the people cheering and the swarms of photographers capturing all the runners' finishes (yes, I felt a bit poserish, but who cares at that point!). It was so fun to be able to find them at the very end and be there when they accomplished something so huge!

Here's Bry, moments before finishing. This was not quite the, "I'm so excited to see you!" face that I was hoping for, but I found out quickly that he was pretty disoriented from the heat and feeling entirely miserable, so I decided to not be offended.

And this is how the crowd in general looked after crossing the finish line. For me, this shot sums up why I have no interest whatsoever in running a marathon myself. This loooks like torture.

Too bad the marathon people had run out of ice already by that point- we certainly could have used it for their poor overheated bodies!

Overall, a good time was had by all, and Bryan is already scouting out the next marathon he can run to work on his time. Have I mentioned that runners are crazy people?!