Saturday, April 17, 2010


Today Amber turns 7. Wednesday we went to Disneyland to celebrate. The weather was beautiful! It was a low-numbers day for Disney and the longest we had to wait in line was 40 minutes (to see the Princesses). Amber and Autumn were on their best behavior, not complaining at all. And we didn't spend a penny once we got inside Disneyland (we brought all of our food and drinks)! We all had a wonderful time. Amber's favorites were: the parade, seeing Mickey & Minnie, Toon Town, Pixie Hollow (where Tinkerbell lives) and seeing the Princesses. She thoroughly enjoyed Thunder Mountain Railroad, a wild roller-coaster. I really like it, too! Autumn liked the Dumbo ride, the parade, Mickey's house and the Princesses. I liked Pirates of the Caribbean, of course! Eric and I both liked seeing the excitement and joy on the girls faces all throughout the day! Below are 16 out of the 160 pictures I took (only 10 percent). Enjoy the smiling faces!
My favorite picture: the birthday girl!

The classic family Disneyland photo!




Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Playing With a Possum

Today the girls were playing out back with their neighbor friend, Nathalie, when all three of them came running in the house screaming like they'd all been seriously injured. I quickly shut the door behind them, thinking our neighbor's pit bull in our back yard again. Thankfully, it was not a pit bull, but a harmless baby possum. Of course, at the time I had no idea what it was, because Autumn was the one who first saw it and labeled it a rat. I kept the girls in the house and went out back in search of the "rat" with a shovel in my hand. If you've ever seen our jungle of a back yard, you may be thinking what I was thinking, "It will be nearly impossible to find a rodent in our backyard!"

To my surprise, I found a baby possum cowering in the bushes, shaking and scared to death. I think the girls' high-pitched screams almost gave the little thing a heart-attack! I had Nathalie go get her dad and he scooped it up with the shovel and put it in a box. A man from Animal Regulations just drove away with the little creature, but not before he let me pet the baby. He said they don't bit at that age, it's all just a show when they bare their teeth. He didn't even wear gloves when he picked that possum up by the tail! I said they look cute when they're babies, and he said that we might find more of them in our backyard. Great--that means more screaming!

Seriously, though, I hope that is the last possum (baby or not) that we see in a long while.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Booking my Blog

Next month will be the 3-year-anniversary of my blog! In celebration, I've decided to publish these stories. I've researched various ways to do this and several companies, and I found that I like Blog2Print the best. I'm going to have them make my blog into a book. Since I've started blogging, I've written less in my journal and in the journals I keep for the girls, so I decided that I'd better save these stories in case the blogger world crashes and my writings are lost forever. I am so excited about this and I can't wait to see the finished product. So, after posting this little ditty, I am going to order my book.

Happy Anniversary Hodge Lodge Blog!

Mud Mask

"Where did you get the mud mask?" Laurisa (a Young Life leader) asked me in the bathroom as she washed the mud off of her face after our Woodleaf skit.

"From the backyard," I replied.

"Ewwww! You put REAL mud on my face!" She sounded shocked.

"I told you I was going to put mud on your face," I said in defense.

"Yeah, but I didn't know you were going to use REAL mud," Laurisa said, laughing.

"I got it out of one of the planters in the backyard," I said. "But don't worry, I took out all the worms."

"I think my eyes are stinging," she said.

"From the mud?" I asked.

"No, from the sunscreen," she said. I wasn't planning on really putting sunscreen on my face, I was just in the moment."

"Yeah, I couldn't believe you actually used the sunscreen. That was so cool," I said. "We did a good job..."

Laurisa and I are long-time, super close friends and it is so much fun being a Young Life leader with her. We work so well together--it is a blessing. The above conversation took place after we performed a Woodleaf commercial for the teens in my living room during Young Life last week. You see, at Woodleaf (a Young Life camp), one of my favorite events is the messy games. It's the highlight of my week at camp. We get dressed in clothes and shoes that we will never wear again and run relay games in the mud. Not just any mud, though--a huge field of Woodleaf's famous orange dirt is wet down until it is so muddy you can hardly walk without slipping. The games end in a huge mud fight where we are covered from head to toe in the orange slime. We get so muddy that we have to wash off in the cold lake or be hosed off before walking back to our cabins to take showers. One year I had mud in my ears for days afterward. I love it!

That is why I put REAL mud on Laurisa's face in my living room. It was only a little bit of mud compared to the mud fight she'll get to be a part of at camp. I can't wait!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A letter in the mailbox

Today I got a letter--an old-fashioned letter--from my nephew, Logan, who lives in Tennessee. It was on lined notebook paper, handwritten and an entire page long! He thanked me for the handmade birthday card I sent him, assured me that--at 13--he was not too old to be receiving handmade cards from me, told me he still wanted me to send him cards on his birthday, told me about the cold and wet weather they've had recently, told me what he got for his birthday and where they went to celebrate. I won't even go into the immaculate penmanship...

I am seriously thinking about framing the letter. At the least, I will put it on the refrigerator. You see, this is the first letter I have received in the mail in a long time. The only person I correspond with by mail is my aunt in Illinois, and even then we only write each other a few times a year.

I love, love, love receiving letters, as you can tell. I told Eric that this was the happiest day of my life. I was--of course--exaggerating, but it definitely made my day, my week! I am going to sit down at my desk, dust off my stationery box and write him a letter in return. Oh the joy!

Who knows--we may bring back an old tradition.