Monday, December 31, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Tired and worn from a grand time at Dad's, we arrived on Edith's door in the evening. She excitedly showed us around the home that only God could have given them. It was adorable! She showed us from room to room, and when we got to the kitchen she clasped her hands together and gushed, "See, JoAnna? I told you I was His favorite!"
One of Edith's mantras is, "God loves you, but I'm his favorite." As I looked at their home, perfectly suited for mother, daughter, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, I was starting to agree.
Edith had supper ready for us. The table was set with beautiful dishes, and I never saw her do it. We unloaded our things from the Escape and then sat down to supper. When we all held hands and prayed, I could have cried.
At Dad's, we didn't impose prayer upon them but respected Dad as the head of his household. I would notice each of my children (as well as Himself) close their eyes for a brief moment in prayer before eating (more on this later). As Edith spoke aloud to our Heavenly Father, thanking Him for our safe journey and time with Dad, I felt myself grounded and anchored and slowly being made whole again. I simply cannot describe how good it felt to pray with Edith.
Next time we go, and if any of Circle head there, plan on at least two DAYS with Edith and Marie! They have plenty of room and are so excited to have visitors!
Here are some pictures:
This was taken in Edith's own little sitting room, right off her bedroom. The bookshelves you see are only one small shot of the tons of books! Kelly and I could be found browsing the shelves, drooling. Glenna was curled up on a chair with Narnia. Edith gave a book to Kelly, 31 Days of Praise, and endorsed it for her.
You see that Edith and Marie are still unintentionally dressing alike. :-D
From the front door, this is a shot of their living room into the dining room. See the two clocks? Edith wound up the one in the dining room while we were there, but they've been so busy, they haven't even wound the clocks yet. I was amazed at how "moved in" they were. They arrived in September; they're not only unpacked, but decorated for Christmas!
Everyone who knows Ty, knows that mornings are not his forte (he takes after his mother, poor kid). He bravely woke and placed himself in front of the fresh eggs, muffins, bacon, and drinks prepared for us. The following conversation between he and Marie was so amusing:
"Ty, would you like some eggs?"
"Um, no, I'm not really into eggs in the morning."
"No, I don't think so."
"No. . . "
Thursday, December 27, 2007
For now, I'm tired.
Oh, and the answer to the poll was None of the Above. With a God like mine, who needs worry? We never ran out of gas or snacks, and the weather was perfect (though overcast) the entire time we were driving.
Can't wait to share the details!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I have kept a journal since the year I married Himself. I haven't posted daily or even monthly, but there's a definite record of the ups and downs of married life, as well as our spiritual walk, the births of our children, and our countless moves around Florida.
I have no idea whom will ever read this. I suppose my children (though I doubt Ty will, ha!). I have a grandmother who died before I was born . . . I often wish she had kept a journal so I could have known her.
Right now, I'm reading Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secrets. He lived in the late 1800s and started the China Inland Mission. The spiritual truths he learned through his trials, heartaches, and triumphs are blessing my socks off today! They're still so relevant to what Christians face in their daily walk with God. This morning it really struck me; I would have missed out on this blessing if he never wrote anything down! He wrote so many letters home and journals, and now generation upon generation receive the benefit.
I'm no Hudson Taylor, but what if? What if people read about our lives and like in Psalm 40, they "see and hear and fear the Lord" because of what we have written? (And by "fear" I mean "stand if awe of.")
Do you journal?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
I saw some love on Sunday, though! Despite the fact that Glenna has a Grinch for a mother (or maybe because of it), her friends bombarded her with love and gifts on Sunday. Wow! Cards and candy and a yard-size container of bubble gum. Rebekah R., what would I do without you???
Actually, that last bit is true. Many of you know I suffer from migraines, and I had just thrown out my very worn and leaking herb-bag-thing that I stick in the freezer. When migraines hit, I grab Excedrin and the herb bag and hibernate in my room. I was so saddened to see it destroyed! Then wouldn't you know it, Rebekah R. made. Me. A. New. One. She even researched which herbs fight migraines.
Rebekah, I was feelin' the love, girl!
And Mrs. Rebekah's Mommy, I was eating the chocolate! And feeling the love! And taking the Excedrin and using my new herb pillow! And not caring!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The site allows you to select topics. It then offers several quotes (but it's unknown to you who stated them) and you click on the ones you agree with. At the end of the survey, it will show you who you have agreed with and rank them in order.
I'm not ready to get on anyone's bandwagon yet, but there are one or two candidates I find myself agreeing with more and more. So interesting!
Check it out!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I'm an addict for dramatics, I confuse the two for love.
I want to break every clock, the hands of time will never move again
We could stay in this moment for the rest of our lives.
(For you Emo kids out there, and you know who you are:)
The hair in your eyes doesn't hide what you're feeling inside
And probably my favorite for its passion and dramatic emphasis:
Jesus, I'm ready to come HOOOOOMMMMMMEEEEE!!!!!!
(That last one is probably my most favorite screamo song ever!)
I know these don't seem to be full of meaning, but working with teens allows me some insight to what these songs are really saying. How many times have I watched teen crushes come and go (the Addict for Dramatics)? How many times have I wanted to tell them that what they're feeling is not love, just as it wasn't love with the last two crushes? How many times have I wanted to take them and hide them away so they don't ruin God's perfect and special plan for their lives?
What are some of your most meaningful song lyrics?
PS if you haven't read the comments from the Wendy's post, my Mom had this hilarious thing that I had forgotten!
Monday, December 10, 2007
The story you're about to read is true and without embellishment.
On the way to the church, I stopped by Wendy's to get some I-Won't-Die-Food. This is food that isn't so great, but you eat it anyway so you won't die of hunger. All I wanted was a Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe with no onion.
This Wendy's has the reputation of being the slowest Wendy's on the planet. Noting that the drive-thru was full, I decided to go inside. There were only two other people in the lobby and they had both already ordered.
I'm not kidding when I say I was there for 20 minutes. Twenty!
It's hard to describe why, really. The service seemed to move in slow motion. The guy behind the counter would look at the ticket, place it on the counter, walk away from it, then return to look at it again. When he placed it on the counter a second time, the one next to it blew off and fluttered to the floor. At this point it was slightly amusing, so I watched to see what would happen.
He went and filled two drink orders, then came back to look at the second ticket. Not finding the right one, he proceeded to check all the tickets on the counter, even ones that had already been filled. I decided to give him a break and told him, "It's on the floor. It fell to the floor."
He then looked around, spied it on the floor, and proceeded to read it. Off. The. Floor. After getting the information he needed, he walked over to fill another drink.
By this time, someone had come to "help" him. He started looking for the missing ticket. The first guy helpfully pointed out that it was on the floor. He, too, began to read it. Off. The. Floor. He then grabbed a bag (though "grab" is a word describing a faster action than what actually happened here) and place burgers inside.
The lady in front of me was finally getting her order. She decides she wants two Frosties to go with it. Thus began a discussion of cup size and the value of each, plus a search for the Oreo cookie topping. I watch as my burger is finally prepared and slides into the pick-up slot.
A crisis occurs. Evidently, the drive-thru needs some salad dressing and it's not in the bin.
Guy number one finishes the Frosty lady and starts to search for the salad dressing. I am now the only customer and my burger is sitting right there. He calls to guy number two, and they both begin to search for salad dressing.
The clock's ticking. Not only do I need to get my sandwich, I need to eat it in 6 minutes.
Guy number one and guy number two both leave to the back of the store to search for salad dressing.
And there I stood. All alone.
There was my burger. All alone.
I've worked fast food for two years. I felt perfectly capable of walking behind the counter to retrieve my burger. My children would be proud of my restraint, though since none of them were present, they would not have been embarrassed in the least.
I finally flagged down one of the drive-thru people and asked for my burger. At that moment, guys one and two returned (without salad dressing) and she gave them a stern talking-to, something along the lines of, "What the heck's goin' on, here? That lady had to ask me for her sandwich!" They both turned their heads and looked at me, then did a comical bumping into each other in their haste to get away from The Scolder.
One of them had the lost ticket stuck to his shoe.
Friday, December 07, 2007
I wanted to include a video of one of the events, so I found the tug of war. Here's a picture of Glenna and Katherine H. getting into position. They're the ones in green, and Glenna has the darker jeans and darker ponytail. Look at some of those girls! Giants in red and white! Do they even stand a chance?
Make sure you catch Katherine's dramatic collapse at the end. ;-)
If I attend any more T&T Games, it will be to cheer on others. I was talking to Himself the other day and I was thinking; how great would it be if our church began to rally behind the youth like they did back in the day? What if the entire church body turned out for things like AWANA games, or even their school basketball, volleyball, or swim meets?
How loved would a youth feel to know his entire church was rooting him on? How eager would he feel to move away from a community like that?
I feel we should post school events at our church, and everyone who can should attend. Himself and I LOVE to watch basketball and volleyball on the high school level. We love learning the names of everyone on the team and yelling our loudest. It's so exciting, and something we could do with the whole family. Glenna is starting basketball right now, and Kelly will play softball in the spring.
Of course for us, our son's "game" is a rock concert. What's not to love about that?
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I can't remember if I posted these photos before. They're left over from her birthday. I know I posted all the Universal ones when we went with Ty.
Except for this one:
Here's Team B on the couch. Team A already went to dog walk or something and said she'd be back. Except for Tali (in yellow), they're all "K's" . . . . Kaylee, Kate, and Kelly.
This is the best. Back tickling. Evidently, Kate's the best at it.
Makes you happy just watching, doesn't it?
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
The school room is freezing this morning. I'm inside to thaw out my hands. Where are those fingerless gloves?
This is the kind of day where it's appealing to sit in a patch of sunlight. As hot as it's been, the cold is welcome. However, I'm reminded yet again why I live in a warm climate!
Could I just get back to the dry heat and lose the humidity? I can take warm weather all year long without the humidity, thank you.
Anyone else not have Christmas decorations up yet?
Monday, December 03, 2007
Today, I stumbled into the bathroom and noticed something else; my kids are taking over my bathroom.
There's Kelly's stuff on my counter.
There's Tyler's toothbrush sitting neatly across my cotton ball holder.
There's Glenna's writing, "helping" me with my Sudoku puzzle.
My bathroom is not in my bedroom, but it's in the hall. Why should my bedroom have a bathroom? It doesn't even have a closet! Anyway, this makes it available to whomever should stroll in. This definitely makes it NOT my own personal space.
Why don't they use their OWN bathroom?
A trip upstairs quickly reveals the reason - I would write it down, but why would I want any of my dear friends screaming in anguish? I mean, when it happened to me, I at least had a little child available to grab me by the arm, gently call my name, and lead me carefully back downstairs.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
I know there's a few days left, but the answer is 40. FORTY!!! That's just his t-shirts, not his dress shirts! Is it any wonder I never reach the end of laundry? He'll wear at least two, if not three, per day.
My friend D put up a weird poll on her page! It cracks me up. You have to go check it out!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
This is Master B. What is it about cute kids that make all of us drop everything, just to get a smile or (bonus!) giggle from them? Here's Himself, setting up towers for him to knock down.
And because Master B has Himself well trained, he of course rebuilt the tower for several more rounds of "knock down."
Man, that's one cute kid.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Snyder took it. They were getting ready for Cornerstone last May. I just love it so much!
I'm glad Cornerstone only comes once per year. It takes me that long to forget how exhausting it is. I love it and all, but it certainly is taxing! Perhaps I should start working out now to prepare. I'll start by:
Unfolding and refolding camp chair
Picking up ten purses with one hand, camp chair with the other, and someone's glass lemonade jar with my toes
Gargling with saltwater
Practicing yelling at the top of my lungs
Insert and remove earplugs. Repeat.
Pack snacks other than raw almonds (will Jess ever forgive me?)
Stick close to Kelly so she doesn't blow her T-shirt money on a band she didn't really want
That should about do it!
Friday, November 23, 2007
I thought this neighborhood was quiet!
No offense to Jack, but I felt a lot safer when we had a large dog around, barking her deep bark and letting people know someone was home.
I think the only thing saving us now is we're mostly home all day, plus with various vehicles it's hard to tell if anyone IS home.
Yesterday! Thanksgiving day!
We not only have laptops, digital cameras, and electronics, but we also have musical equipment (you know, the stuff I vacuum around and trip over?). These boys have worked so hard to pay for these things. It would be devastating to have a break-in.
I hate this feeling! I wish I could say like Bonnie when her van was stolen, "It's the Lord's van! He can do what He wants with it!"
Come to think of it, this isn't the first time that house has been broken into.
I hate this.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
What are we going to buy everyone for Christmas?
Over the last decade, our family has tried to reduce the hub-bub that is Christmas. We've opened our home to international students. We've limited gifts. We've made Christ the priority in our holiday. Still, we feel so much pressure to include everyone we've ever known on either a gift list or a card list!
I haven't mailed out Christmas cards in years. I used to publish a family newsletter (written in newspaper headline format) but even that became too taxing. As much as I would love to include every nephew, niece, and cousin, my gift giving has been reduced to immediate family only. I hope my family knows I love them, since I try so hard to tell them.
Then why the guilt?
We live in the world, and we're bombarded with a secular worldview. Advertisements tout the need to buy gifts for loved ones. Commercials help us realize that unless a certain gift is given, we really don't love that much. Everything is about what our loved ones need and deserve from us. How could we possibly let them down? I have a ready answer for this kind of pressure and find it easy to ignore. I mean, it's a little obvious, isn't it?
What blindsides me is the pressure from the Christian world. Talk about bombardment! Every organization of good works steps up their game at Christmas. I'm sure they do quite well, or they wouldn't waste precious dollars on the extra advertising.
For these organizations, what makes giving at Christmas different from giving during the rest of the year? Most of the ones I know about are indeed worthy of sacrificial giving. By meeting the physical needs of others, we are able to share the love of Christ and minister to their spiritual needs as well. Why not all year?
Every Christmas, my Dad feels enormous pressure because he can't afford to send us gifts like he has in the past. Directly, he feels he's not being a good father/grandfather because he can't specifically send gifts at this time of year. I can't tell you how angry this makes me! I'm not angry at him, but at the lie he's bought into - If I can't buy stuff, I'm not good for my family.
How did this happen? How can we stop it?
I guess I need to ponder what I would consider an ideal Christmas. There's much that is obvious, but there's so much more I'd like to change from rabid commercialism to Christmas as it was originally intended. I'll have to get back to this.
Input welcome. ;-)
Monday, November 19, 2007
I returned home from church yesterday, and there was a message from Bonnie and Howard. They thought I should be the first to know! The only damage noted so far is to the ignition.
Last night was our annual Thanksgiving service at church. In the past, each family brought food to the church to share with those in need. There was an open microphone, and anyone who wanted to could go up and speak about what God had been doing in their lives. After the time of sharing, each family brought their food onto the stage, then knelt or stood and prayed together. The food was then distributed.
I haven't gone up in years, but I wanted to publicly thank God not only for the van's recovery, but for answered prayer in JV. I desperately needed help (or I wouldn't be able to do it this year). God answered prayer when BA and ML signed on for the job. They're such a perfect fit! I'm so thankful and JV is a pleasure with them there. I'm also thankful for Rebecca H, Zach S, and Paul H, our Leaders and LIT's. A true dream team.
This year, instead of bringing 40 cans of canned yams, the families were asked to bring gift cards in the amounts they would normally spend. There was a basket on stage and we all filled it with Publix gift cards. It was easier, and I'm sure the families who need it will be able to use the cards more effectively than the 40 cans of canned yams. Nice!
I'm sure looking forward to a week off. It's 10:00 and I'm still in my jammies. Kelly has history co-op tomorrow, but that's it.
Do any of you ever get so busy that you schedule sleep? I've been planning on sleeping in today since last week! Ok, I have to take Himself to the airport Tuesday, have to drive the Biology carpool on Wednesday, have things to do on Thursday, have to pick up Himself on Friday in the morning, do Kate's hair on Saturday, church on Sunday. . . . so MONDAY I'll sleep in. And that's what I did.
Friday, November 16, 2007
And there was great rejoicing.
This morning, it was even chilly in the house. In the house!
And there was great rejoicing.
Himself came home from Lost Wages this morning.
And there was great rejoicing.
The Band is recording two more songs this weekend.
And there is great rejoicing!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I'm so glad one of us got to go to the desert! I told him to breathe in the air and bring me a rock. A real rock, one picked up off the ground. Imagine that!
Tuesday at History co-op, CP brought out a chart showing the different plants the Navajo use to dye their wool. I could have looked at that chart for hours! Here were the plants I knew - pinon, goldenrod, sage, Indian paintbrush, mesquite, bluebonnet . .. . I looked at that picture and could practically smell each one.
This afternoon, I walked into the school room and found a small white vase with flowers in it. I recognized the flowers as the ones we have around our yard. It looked so pretty! Next to the vase was a note card that read:
Here Mom! I know you must be missing the beauty of the desert, so here's some beauty from right where we are! -- Love, Kelly
I can't tell you how much this touched my heart. What a thoughtful gesture.
I do long for the desert, but Kelly's right; I need to look at the beauty from right where I am! God has placed us here. There is beauty here, if I'm willing to look for it.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I remember getting rid of a perfectly good dress (forgive me, Grandpa Hay) because I was tired of looking at it and it was a pain to iron. It was Kelly's, and there was no way I was going to cycle it through for Glenna! (Sorry, Kelly. Now you know what really happened to the purple flower dress!)
Himself often wears the same t-shirts when he's home. There's nothing really wrong with them; I'd just like the rest of his wardrobe to wear out at the same pace. OK. . . . the truth is, I like variety. How many pictures did I have of him wearing the same blue Henley?
I started to "hide" the shirt. I'd fold it and put it under the other clothes.
I'd walk into the bedroom to find is closet in complete disarray. "Where's that blue Henley? I'll wear that one."
Then I'd try not washing it right away when it was in the laundry basket.
"I'm just going to throw a load of laundry in here, Hon."
I've also [gasp] thrown away pants because I kept ruining them. He had this pair of black wool pants that went with his suit. I can't tell you how many times I'd accidentally throw them in the wash! Then I'd have to try and rescue it with the iron. I always felt they came out horribly. The other day, I confessed to this:
"Honey, I threw away those black wool pants."
"What? Those were good pants!"
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Well, it looks a little like this:
Thanks to Beefy's sister (yes, that's what we call him) for this photo taken at one of their shows! Himself knew the fill was coming and told her, "Get ready! Take it . . NOW!"
Oh yeah.. . . Oh yeah. . . .
No update on the stolen van. :-(
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I worked a book fair for some friends of ours while they were out of state. We had trouble with our vehicles, so they offered me the use of their van while they were gone.
Yesterday, that van was stolen from our driveway.
Apparently, someone wanted to steal some 22" tires from another place. They needed a van to load the stolen tires. They saw the van in our driveway, took it, drove to where the tires were, dumped out all the book fair merchandise, stole the tires off the other vehicle, then drove away.
So, all the merchandise has been recovered, but the van is still missing.
I can't tell you how it feels to have someone steal something from your front yard while you're inside your home, oblivious.
Blaze, in her glory days, would never have allowed this. I don't blame Jack - his room is upstairs in the far corner.
A van!!! Stolen!!! Has this ever happened to any of you?
Monday, November 05, 2007
Some of them played cards. I was wondering if I should join them or just give commentary from the peanut gallery. That's when I started to notice something interesting happening in the background. I love when something interesting happens and I actually have a camera with me!
Not playing cards were Pablo and El Chico. Pablo's wearing a hat. Usually, when this look appears on El Chico's face, something's about to happen. You can almost count on it. Right now, he's trying to convince Pablo of a scheme, and Pablo's trying to see the reason in it (or just get the rules right, one or the other. Pablo's usually pretty game).
The plan was evidently to play air hockey, but to alter the rules a little. Personally, I wouldn't want my face so close to the puck! Note the girls in the foreground, oblivious.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Yesterday, Kelly, Kate and I were able to witness another young man who found the right "skin" to be in.
I met Matthew when he was 6 or 7 years old. He was part of my group for the first VBS at our church. What a blast we had! That week, I seemed to form a life-long bond with the kids in my group. I know that I still talk to and care about each one of them. As the years progressed, Matthew picked up a nickname for himself called El Chico. He was doing well at a youth group game one night and he kept saying, El Chico always wins. Then he applied it to every situation. El Chico always has dessert. El Chico always needs a Slurpee. El Chico always holds the door.
When Matthew told us he was competing in ballroom dancing, we knew we had to go and support him! I mean, we've watched this kid in plays, musicals, and now this. He was so great about making sure we not only had directions, but he told us what to wear so we wouldn't feel out of place. We were prepared!
His first dances are what are called the "smooth dances." He did the waltzes, tango, etc. We clapped and cheered because it was so fun to watch him.
Then came the Latin dances.
Wow. . . Let me just say the kid is good and placed first in all but two of his dances (he did over 20), but that's not what had us on our feet and cheering madly.
Matthew may have been having fun before, but now he was ecstatic. We were laughing and crying and clapping because of the look on his face. His entire countenance was one of pure joy! The dance floor may have been crowded, but we sure didn't see anyone else when Matthew did the Latin dances! Everyone around us, even ones who didn't know him, was shouting, "Number 8! Number 8!!!" I could hardly believe this was the same little boy from my VBS group!
We were kind of upset because we noticed the judges weren't really watching him. What we came to realize (and what he later confirmed) is that the judges glanced at him, placed him in first, then immediately watched the others to see if they would equal or surpass him. If there was someone close, they would then watch him again, then the competition, then make their marks. It was thrilling!
A junior in high school, Matthew hopes to pursue dancing as far as it will go, hopefully winning scholarships through it.
I'm a believer, El Chico. I know you can do it! We will be watching from near and far, and we will be clapping and cheering like mad. Wow!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I get to see Ruthie for my maintenance tomorrow. I'm so looking forward to it.
Saturday, Kelly, her friend Kate, and I are going to watch some Ballroom competitions! The Jr. competition is here in town, and one of my former JVers is competing. We're going to support and cheer him on! He emailed the girls and told us that it's a pretty formal event, so cocktail-type dresses are recommended. I'm glad he told us! I would have felt odd in my jeans!
Still working on getting school room pictures posted. BT, in Central Florida there are two main universities; Florida State University (FSU) and the University of Florida (UF). You are either an FSU Seminole or a Florida Gator. Neither one are here in THIS town, but that doesn't seem to matters. What matters is where you went, your pappy went, and where your grandaddy went.
Jess is a Gator fan. She bleeds Gator Blue!
Allie is an FSU Alumni. She actually probably doesn't care either way, but she's always up for a good razzin'. She did, indeed, declare it looked like an FSU room. Sorry, Jess! We need to get more blue and orange in there!
You probably won't hear from me for a few days. Hope you all have a blessed weekend!
Monday, October 29, 2007
How did I get so much STUFF?
What am I going to do with 50 lbs of clay? So, I haven't used it yet. I will.
That's the thing with home schooling. You have to hold on to everything! The things Tyler used are now being used by Kelly. Kelly's stuff is being used by Glenna (or will be). When Glenna finishes with it, out it goes!
I will be posting pictures very soon, because the school room is done and we have moved in! It has been pure pleasure to go out of the house, away from distractions, and get work done. We celebrated with cheers each time we needed an encyclopedia, walked two steps, and retrieved what we needed. I have our desktop computer out there for school projects. It's so nice! I'm sure the bloom will wear off the rose, but for now, why did we wait so long? I taught classes today and it was wonderful!
The rest of the house actually looks more open and homey, now that the school stuff is out. It's exactly as I had hoped. Bonus: there's still plenty of room for the band to practice. :-) Priorities, you know.
One last thing to move; the KONOS timeline. We've moved three times and I've taken it down and replaced it each time. It will now have a permanent home and NOT be part of my home decor. Don't get me wrong, the timeline is a great teaching tool. It's just. . . well. . . I'll have to take pictures to show you what I mean.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I thought it was so well written and perfectly described the thoughts I had been having on the immigration issue. Anything written in bold is my own excited emphasis . . . I simply couldn't have said it as well. This was written after a conversation on this issue.
I basically agree with everything that was said regarding illegal immigration. The problem really bothers me and I think that our government should do something about it, be it law enforcement, a wall or something effective (although I think people will always find a way when desperate enough). It annoys me to no end that illegals think and expect certain rights within our country when they know they're not abiding by our laws. It bugs me that they don't want to learn our language, expect us to pay for all their medical care, etc. All that, I agree with.
However, I've been convicted that, as Christians, our primary concern should be for the individual and not for the political issue at hand. I really feel that if Christ were here today, He'd be much more concerned about the spiritual and physical needs of an immigrant than He would be about their legal status. Yes, people shouldn't be enabled, should be held accountable, etc. but when I listen to Christians talk, myself included, I'm struck by how much we lack grace. I dare say that an observer, in comparing the way we talk to that of the liberals, would think that the liberals sound more "Christ-like" in some areas. That really bothers me.
By no means am I saying that we shouldn't have political views or be involved in politics. I will be more likely to vote for a politician who believes in smaller gov't, who has a good plan for border protection, who's tough on terrorism, etc. However, politics and the welfare of America are not our main priorities as Christians. In fact, I think that we should consider ourselves Christians first, Americans second and thus shape our views, or at least express our views, from that perspective. Our main priority is to reflect Christ, share the gospel and bring honor and glory to His name by the way we live and talk. We can't do any of that if we have such harsh, ungracious attitudes towards people.
On the broad issue of illegal immigration, we can naturally have our view that they shouldn't be here, they need to be sent back, etc. but how does that translate to the individual person who is here? Are we going to turn our backs on them and ignore their needs and refuse to reach out to them just because they're illegal? When we come across them, and we will, are we going to be unloving, resentful and complain (even if it's in our minds) that they're taking our jobs and bleeding our welfare system dry? How is that going to win them for Christ? Or, rather, are we going to see them as Christ would see them...lost people who need the Lord and therefore see it as our duty and privilege to facilitate that process? If our political views trump our attitude of love for the individual, then there is an imbalance that needs to be addressed. I find it ironic that as Christians we tend to be so adamant about following the law, personal responsibility, and consequences yet so lacking in grace. This coming from us, who have been the greatest recipients of grace ourselves! Regarding these issues, we need to reflect the balance between justice and love/grace/mercy that God demonstrates towards us.
Again, I'm "preaching" to myself as well. Please don't think I'm talking from a "holier-than-thou" stand point. These are concerns I have, not only for myself, but for any Christian who cares about political issues. Food for thought: I enjoy listening to talk radio but have found that it feeds my negativity and breeds discontent, fear, anger and hard feelings towards illegals, Muslims, Democrats, etc. I agree with so much that is said but there's no love, grace or mercy involved in their discussions. I find that I need to turn it off after awhile because it ends up becoming un-beneficial to me and the attitudes I should be cultivating.
One last thing. We also talked about the concern that there are so many Muslims, even moderates, here in the US and that we'd be more comfortable if they left, for safety reasons. It struck me the other day, though, that what if this is God's way of giving us a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with them? Maybe He has brought them right to us where it's so much easier to witness to them than it is back in their home countries. In the grand scheme of things, I really do think that God is much more concerned about saving souls than He is about the safety of America.
Oooohhhh, that last line. . . . how many things can I apply that to?
I really do think God is much more concerned about saving souls than He is about:
My being first in line and someone cutting in front of me
My "me" time
My obsession with current movies/books
My school room
On a lighter note, the band actually came home long enough to check out the progress on the school room today. They loved it and gave me great encouragement about the progress made.
Then, they huddled together and discussed how much room they would have if they practiced in there instead of in the house. I could see them plotting where the drums would be, where Zach would stand, etc.
It made me smile.
Too bad it wouldn't work right now. With a bare, cement floor, it would be incredibly loud in there (even for them!).
Himself had to be gone all day.
Ty tried to go to work and his car broke down.
Where did I get all this STUFF??? Someone, come put a blindfold on me and throw it all away, will you?
I'm trying to keep things in perspective. I have this huge desk to move, and the only one around right now is the eleven-year old. The STUFF that was on my desk is now all over the house. We measured, and it won't fit through the side door so we'll have to take it through the front door.
Did I mention Himself is out of town?
Did I mention he'll also be out of town tomorrow? (Not his choice, believe me. He's just as eager as I am to get our home in order.)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Some of them came dressed as pirates.
It looks like Zach (center) is making a weird face, but actually he's "Arrrrggghh" -ing me. Maybe you're not supposed to smile or laugh in the middle of an Arrrgggghhhh.
This is another Matt with a much milder Arrrggghh and expression.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
(Jaan, Raia, and Asya's Grandma is in this photo) Sorry it's not a better photo!
This photo contains a pastor's wife, a survivor, an incredible servant, an English woman who is fluent in Hebrew, and a missionary.
Mary Ann B, now recovering from back surgery. Next to her is another crazy home school mom. Next to her, believe it or not, is another grandmother!
Jimmie thought this would be a bad picture of her because she was eating. I took care of the "bad" part for her, don't you think?
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
On to better subjects!
I love our high school youth. I love spending time with them, playing cards with them, and listening to them. I even love camping with them!
Every other Tuesday, a bunch of them go to a facility to play with children waiting to go into foster care. These are children who have been taken from their homes (hopefully for valid reasons and for their protection) and have not yet been placed into foster care or returned to their parents. We go down there and love on them, play with them, and listen to them.
The last time we were supposed to go, the place called and said almost all the children had head lice and ringworm! Our youth pastor rightfully nixed the play time, so we gave them two weeks to "clear up."
Instead, we hung out at the church together and waited for prayer time at 6:00. I hope to show some pictures these next few days of our teens! I wanted to start with one so dear to my heart, Kate the Great.
Kate was dancing in the high school room. There was no music, but that didn't matter! I tried to catch her, but alas, my camera is mostly good for taking pictures of rotting stucco and failing paint applications. (Notice I didn't say failing paint? It's rarely the paint's fault, after all.)
Spots on the camera! I should have wiped the lens.
. . . and lovelier!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
When I boot up the computer first thing, I'm greeted by the pleasant sound of birds as if they were greeting the sunrise.
When I shut my computer down, I hear the mournful call of the coyote, probably sad because I'm leaving for a while.
When the computer needs to ask me a question like whether to save the changes on my computer or not, I get the wise reminder of a hoot owl.
BUT . . . .
When there's a warning, like an attack on my computer or I've just done something that could have adverse consequences, I get the Angry Monkey.
What a screech! If the computer is turned up loudly (as it is every time the band comes over and they listen to other bands on line) it honestly scares the bejeebers out of me. I couldn't even show you or tell you what a "bejeeber" is because I don't have any left.
The stupid virus, popping up every ten minutes, has this sound. I've dubbed it The Angry Monkey Virus.
I thought if I unplugged the internet from my computer while I was working, it wouldn't keep popping up. Wrong. It's pretty firmly implanted and pops up like clockwork.
I can see I'm going to have to call in the big guns on this one. Have you any idea how annoying it is to have The Angry Monkey pop up in the middle of Dancing With the Stars? The girls and I watch it on line together and it pops up several times.
If anyone out there has any idea what I'm dealing with here, your input is welcome! I'll pay in chocolate, brownies, spaghetti dinners, or whatever suits you!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
So far, it's only annoying.
It makes me so angry to know there's people in this world who invent these things to rob and annoy others. I want to stick my claws out and scratch them!
On a better note, the school room is almost ready for texture and painting! It could be as early as this weekend! As soon as the walls are painted, I'm moving things in. Himself and I can't wait!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
I wanted to show off this fantastic lecturn Himself made for me!
My neighbor was having a garage sale several years ago and he had this fantastic wooden box. For two dollars, I snapped it right up. I didn't know WHAT I wanted it for yet, but I wanted it. It was moved around the garage several times by Himself; I prevented him from tossing it several times as well!
When I started teaching classes, he added a board across the top at an angle, with a lip at the bottom of the board so things wouldn't roll off. I loved it. I requested wheels for the bottom of the box so I wouldn't have to lift and drag it each time I needed to move it, which was several times per class.
Last month, he went one better.
Not only did I get wheels, but he added SHELVES! He also made a little frame on the top shelf for my pens so they won't roll around. I now keep all my teacher's manuals in the lecturn, plus reference books. As I sit and grade papers, I wheel my lecturn next to me and EVERYTHING is at my fingertips; paperclips, pens, books, and grade book. Then I use it during class as the lecturn.
Each time I sit to grade papers or help the girls with school, I thank God for Himself and this jewel he made! I can't wait (she says again) until the rest of the school room is as organized as my two dollar yard sale box.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Himself's Aunt MA and Uncle B were/are yuppies. They used to receive gifts like "Yuppie Chow." If there was any trendy new kitchen appliance that only someone with expendable income would purchase, they had it. I'm sure they were the first in the family to have an espresso machine. They were probably the first to have an air-pop popcorn popper. Most likely, they were even the first to "go green."
After the Yuppies came the DINKs (Double Income, No Kids). The key here is you have a married couple, they don't have kids, ergo they must be loaded with all this extra dough. Back when Himself and I were DINKs, we did stuff like go to rock concerts in L.A. or San Diego on the weekends, or we'd go skiing up at My Dad's, or we'd take a trip to New Mexico for a few weeks. We'd buy stereos and CDs. We'd eat out in restaurants where the menu wasn't lit or on the wall.
I've been thinking of Yuppies and DINKs every Thursday morning, because that's when a very Yuppie/DINK thing happens at my house.
Organic produce is delivered. To. My. Door.
It's like Christmas every Thursday! A box arrives by delivery. We rush it into the house to see what the Produce Fairy has delivered this week! Sure, we could check the web site to see what this week's delivery would be, but that would ruin the surprise!
Sometimes we get food we're not so sure of, nor do we know what to do with it. Black Figs, anyone? We love kiwi, but could anyone tell me exactly the proper way to eat them? Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea what a Pluot was!
I've done the math -- the price is comparable to buying organic produce at the grocery store (Publix, yes. Walmart. . . do they even have organic produce? I no longer shop there, anyway). Still, it's such a Yuppie/DINK thing to have it delivered, don't you think? So, the box arrives, and when we open the door, this is what would greet us:
The delivery guy used to walk quietly to the door, leave the box, then walk quietly away. The only way I knew he was there was because Jack would go and stare at the door. Now the delivery guy sets the box down, knocks loudly to scare the bejeebers out of me, then drives away.
You can bet I wait for him to leave, too; I don't want him to know I'm still in my jammies. After all, it is Thursday, and I don't have any classes to prepare or co-ops to drive to or carpools to meet or anything. Jammies 'til 10! I'll say it again!
So we open up the box and see all the yummy goodness. First thing we do is wash the grapes - they're gone within hours. If I'm on my toes and not distracted, I wash everything immediately and have it ready to grab in the fridge (or on the counter, if it still needs to ripen).
Surprisingly, this is the exact amount of fruit my family will eat in a week. When I used to buy it in the store, I would buy too much and it would go bad before we finished it. Glenna's eating more fruit because she likes the whole delivery thing. I'm eating more fruit, too, unless PopTarts are on sale.
Thanks to my friend D for turning me on to Organic Delivery! You all should google it and see if it applies to your neighborhood! You know you want to!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Everything is Burning
Now, if the guitars sound the loudest to you, and you can (but you can't quite) understand what the vocals are saying, then it's time for you to get a mammogram! If the vocals sound fine to you, then call your Mom and grandmother and make sure they've gone this year.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
I just had mine today, my first, and I'll say that loudly from the blogosphere. It wasn't so bad, really, and I feel fine. Won't know results until tomorrow.
I've heard some places take 6 months for you to schedule an appointment. My Dr. recommended a place that just opened, and they got me in the day after I called! Of course, when I went there at 8 am the power was out in the entire town and I had to come back at 3 pm, but that was no biggie. I'm good to go for another year.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
The guys are checking her out.
There was the guy in the produce section, then the bag/cart boy. They speak to me, but they're looking at my daughter.
Kelly was oblivious (heh heh). I hope she stays that way. Don't read this, Kelly!
How weird is that?
The new Evangelin CD is amazing. I love listening to it, and since it's on my computer I listen to it often. I've noticed something strange, though.
All the people 40 and up say they can hear the guitar the loudest, and it's hard to understand what the lyrics are. All the people 39 and under say they hear and understand the vocals just fine, and they think the vocals are really loud.
Whoa! When did that happen?