Monday, December 31, 2007

The View

Mostly, this was our view in Arkansas.

More to come.

I had someone wish me a "Safe New Year" at Walmart today. As I was telling my friend BT, WHY? Do I look like the type of person who's going to knock back a case of cold ones and drag race down the street?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Look Where We Stayed!

I know my first post about Arkansas should be about my Dad's house, but I couldn't pass an opportunity to brag on my other family . . . my church family!

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!

Here's the living room. It was so cozy to sit and chat with them! The fireplace will take a lot of work to make it an actual working fireplace. I've been in Arkansas now in the winter, so the fireplace would be my priority!

This is the only outside shot I have. When I woke in the morning, Edith took me around to each window to "see what God has painted for us this morning." When you leave this house, you will have been fed and refreshed in every way. Plus, you'll be sorry you're leaving!

Lastly --

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. . . "
"Yes, Please!"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

We're back!

We've just returned from Arkansas, and you KNOW we have tales to tell. Lawsy!

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


How many of you journal?

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

Nailed it!

This guy has expressed my exact feelings on this issue, and he says it so much better than I ever could. Check out the video:

Merry Tossmas!

Don't worry . . . this video is safe for little eyes and ears as well!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Holy Days

I just spent 30 minutes in line at Walmart. I couldn't get over how much stuff, useless stuff, surrounded me. I am such a Grinch this year! Everywhere I look I see dollar signs and clutter. I'm just not seeing the love. :-D

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

Election Education

My friend Phyllis (not in Russia) introduced me to this web site and I've spent a lot of time on it. It's interesting to see who shares my opinions on many issues . . . and sometimes surprising!

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

Please Pray!

There's a link to the Hunsucker's web site to the right. Please take a moment to click on it and pray for the Hunsuckers! Phyllis has a court date on Christmas Day to determine whether she may leave Russia and come back, or whether she has to leave for at least 5 years. It is definitely their hearts' desire to come home for a visit and then return as soon as possible.

Thank you!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lyrically Speaking

I love listening to [most] of the music my kids are listening to. With that whole over 40 thing it's sometimes hard to catch the words, but once in a while I realize what they're saying and it's amazing how relevant the lyrics are. Here's a few samples:

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

Oh Wendy . . . .

Last night was the JV Christmas Party. We went ice skating, then headed back to the church for a bonfire, hot chocolate (in 75 degree weather), and toasting marshmallows. There was a great turnout and I hope everyone had as much fun as I did!

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."

"Oh, thanks."

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

T & T Games

In November, I attend my last required AWANA T&T (Truth and Training) Games. What a doozie it was! The team won first place at their circle and second place over all. We always have so much fun when we go, but boy, does it take a lot of energy! One year I had Ty in JV, Kelly in T&T, and Glenna in Sparks. I think that was the year we invested in a cushioned stadium seat.

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


It's an "I Love Kelly" day, which only happens on birthdays, holidays, any day, and everyday.

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:

I think we were inside, waiting in line. If we were at Universal, we were waiting in line.
Kelly had a sleepover for her birthday. It was so great! Her friends are the best; not all of them could be there for the entire time, so they came when the could. I mean, they went through great lengths to come when the could! One had to leave, then she came back to stay over. One came but couldn't stay over, so she left. There were a couple like that.

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?

Except for Kaylee. Kaylee's turning into a monster or something. Tali and Kelly seem unamused with Kay's monsterness. Either that, or they're unaware. Uninformed?
Ok, so I already posted these. Now you have more.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Cold at last, cold at last. .. thank God almighty, I'm cold at last!

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

Strange Happenings

Yesterday, I noticed my son had bought himself a pack of socks. Does anything say "I don't need Mom" more than buying your own socks? How bittersweet!

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.

The Horror.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Some of you have noticed the t-shirt poll to the right, there. ----->
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!


DaisypathAnniversary Years Ticker