Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our New Car

This is the new car we bought today. (Not really. It's our old car that we fixed.)

We only paid $3,500 for it! (Not really, we paid for it long ago but recently paid the transmission shop to fix it).

We are so excited about it. (Not really, it feels like the same old car but with a bunch less cash in my wallet to have to sit on while driving).

Tonight I tried to trick our family into taking a ride in our new car instead of lamenting the fact that we didn't spring for a new one. We pretended and zipped the family out to Target to buy some toilet paper and almonds.

It sure was fun looking for our new car in the parking lot when we came out of the store.

With a wife this stunning, who needs a really nice vintage Mercedes Benz?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

2 Inches

Von is growing. No, I really mean it, he is growing.

For the past 7 months while Von has been on chemotherapy he has not grown one teeny centimeter. Chemo attacks fast growing cells like cancer cells, hair follicles and immune systems.

Von still has three years of chemo, but the really intense treatments were finished a month ago. His hair has started coming in and his body is gaining strength, but we have still been praying for Von's long-term health. His stunted growth was one of those things that we were willing to accept, but still we asked friends to pray.

Last week's checkup marked a month since he has blood or vitals measured. The nurse noted the measurements for weight/height/blood pressure etc. on her clipboard and proceeded to the routine blood and spinal tap stuff (which is always pleasant to watch).

The doctor came in to look at Von's chart and she noted a mistake on his height measurement. After sending the nurse back to re-measure and then checking it herself to make sure he was barefoot, she was utterly amazed.

In the last 30 days, Von has grown a little more than two full inches. I don't know how that is even humanly possible but I've got to believe God has heard our prayers and cheated things along for Von a little.

Getting this news was a great encouragement to us as parents, but you can't imagine the delight it brought to a 4 year old who has been two inches too short to ride a roller-coaster at the amusement park for what seemed like forever.

So to celebrate, we went to Mall of America today where Von was finally able to ride a roller-coaster.

Thanks God, for roller-coasters and little things like inches!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


If you're ever in an Elder Beerman's store in New Philadelphia, Ohio, and they are doing a remodel and have their posters lying around, and your kids are with you and you have your camera handy, you too can have one of these photos.

Sorry, this one's mine, I'm keeping it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Observations from the women's locker room

I went to the gym this weekend and sauntered into the women's dressing room. Hold on, I'll explain.

It felt naughty enough that I had to re-read the temporary signs twice to make sure I wasn't just sleepy eyed and imagining it, but sure enough, the signs pointed the men to the women's dressing room.

(Evidently, a construction crew placing new tile in the women's locker room made the switch possible.)

So here are a few observations for most of you who won't be privileged enough to make the forbidden journey to the other side.

1) Girls have larger lockers than the boys do.

2) There are WAY more bathroom stalls in the girls bathroom than there are in the boys.

3) There is a little "don't look at me, I'm changing" privacy booth that the boys don't have.

4) Towels. There are three times the towels in the girls room. What gives?

5) Sauna. The girls was smaller than the boys. Girls must not do steam sauna's or maybe the boys need a bigger room so that they don't have to sit close to another man wrapped in nothing but a towel.

The most fascinating surprise about the women's locker room was the advertisements on the walls. In the men's locker the ads ask the reader about financial security and if they have a retirement plan and what would happen if their insurance ran out and who is going to look out for your family after you are gone. All stability and security related life issues.

The women's room? The ads surprised me. They were ads asking women if they wanted their kids to have the best summer ever, or if they were feeding their families healthy or if they thought their kids were getting the best education. All issues appealing to a female's desire to be a good caretaker. Interesting.

The health club will go back to normal locker room gender assignments next week so if you are really dying to see what the other sex sees as they get their game on to go work out, time is running out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A little over a month ago, Von was in the hospital, hanging on for dear life while battling cancer. (The re-posted photo is for Tom and is going somewhere.)

At that time, we had encouraged him to make a wish. The best wish he could come up with was to go to McDonalds. We told him to think bigger. He wished that he could have Moses, the family dog, come live with us in our temporary housing, which worked out.

After some more prompting to think even bigger, he came up with something. After browsing through my coffee table book showing some vintage BMW's, he came running into the kitchen holding the book while exclaiming, "I found it, I found my wish!".

This is what he pointed to.

This weekend we found a vintage motorcycle show put on by the Viking Chapter of the AMCA at the fairgrounds. I managed Von's expectations and said we might see a sidecar (or sidehack as the cool guys call them) but we wouldn't be able to sit in one or even touch as these were special motorbikes.

A piercing scream of excitement was how Von announced he found one.

Not only did we find a sidehack, we found Mr. Tom.

Mr. Tom. is the cool guy who, without knowing anything about Von's wish, asked if Von would like to sit in the sidecar. Von and I looked at each other in disbelief.

And then Mr. Tom fired up the the ride and asked Von if he wanted to go around the block. You could see his smile from a few blocks away!

A huge thanks to the Viking Chapter of the AMCA. You guys know how to put on a stellar vintage motorcycle show. And a very special thanks to Tom, who without knowing it, showed a little bit of kindness that will make a memory for this little kid for life!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

High fives for the tree we bought today

We are celebrating tonight!

We bought this tree today. The yard and house comes with it.

Three posts ago, I shared that Ellie used the bathroom with the door open while on a tour of the house making all of us feel right at home.

Two posts ago, I shared that another couple bid $30,000 more than we did and we were crushed.

I am happy to post tonight that the bad guy bidders couldn't make good on their offer and the house is ours.

If you're near somebody, high five them and tell them the Rovenstines are finally going to settle down.

Then pull out your map and start scheming a trip to enjoy some Lisa hospitality on our back porch.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What Happens in Chicago Stays in Chicago

Thanks to our little temporary motorcycle gang (and that one homeless guy in Chicago) for some good and entertaining times this weekend.

We all have some friends that are good at being Christians.

Then there are the friends we have that are just fun to be around.

David, Lamar and Van are good at both and that is why I love hanging with them so much.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Road Trip Therapy

What do you do when you offer asking price on a house you really wanted after 6 months of looking and someone outbids you by $30,000?

You do a little road trip therapy on a motorcycle with friends, that's what!

I will head out tomorrow at 5am to meet up with some buddies from Ohio in Chicago.

The last time I did any motorcycle road trip therapy was in Africa. I know, it's not the same, but Chicago does have deep dish pizza and besides, there can be some pretty wild characters on Michigan Avenue.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Making Yourself at Home

We made an offer on a house today. We knew it was the right one for us.

How did we know?

While in the middle of the tour, with the owners present, Ellie sat on the toilet to go to the bathroom with the door wide open.

Yep, feels like home!